Formula in Buddhism Vow #2 - Part 1

 

Here is the formula when we learn the Teaching of Buddha. It goes as follows: 

1. To Learn Buddhism is to learn myself:

2. To learn myself is to learn Buddha’s Compassion:

3. To learn Compassion is to forget myself,

4. And to throw myself into Buddha’s World. 

When we learn Buddhism, why don’t we learn the Teaching of Buddha directly? Why do we learn Primal Vows (Hongwan)? It’s simply because Dharma is appearing to us in the form of Vows. You see the following Vow (Vow #2) below:

“If the men and devas in my country, after obtaining Buddhahood, return again to the Three Evil Worlds at the end of their lives, may I not achieve the Highest Enlightenment.”  Service Book page 46.

Words:

Man: Lay people or ordinal people, or myself.

Deva: People who are better than common people in quality such as Yoga masters and serious practitioners.

After obtaining Buddhahood: This part tells us what Dharma (Truth) is.

Three Evil Worlds: Results of anger, greed, and ignorance.

At the end of their lives: The moment I die is the very moment I enter into Dharma

May I not achieve the Highest Enlightenment: Dharma is fully appearing in form of the Vow.

When I went to Las Vegas with temple members by bus long time ago, my purse became empty. I just played without sleeping until a last penny. I knew my greed, but I could not stop losing. My wife and I reluctantly, as the result, went back home with empty-hands.

“Sensei, did you win some?” “No. I have to eat cup-noodles for a couple of weeks,” I replied. Then, everyone laughed. One of them asked me, “Sensei, why did you lose?

Were the machines you played really bad?” “I lost, not because of the machines but, because of my greed. I knew it.” I said to the person. 

I know me, and I have to live with the ugly causes of Three Evil Worlds. Thus, I am a being which repeats them until the end of life. Stupid and ignorant, indeed! However, do you recognize something warm in this Vow? Each Vow shows clearly what I am. At the same time I recognize Warm and Sad World working on me. It is so-called “Compassion.”

When I got most difficult sickness, I became the one who surely meets the best doctor in the world. Don’t you think and feel so through this Vow?

In Gassho,

Rev. E. D. Fujii

 

Read the next article in the series

Return to the Formula in Buddhism articles