Formula in Buddhism: 14th Vow

You see the formula below. These steps are essential when we learn the Teaching of Buddha. They are 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 forget myself is to throw me into Buddha’s World.

The 14th Vow

Please recall that each Vow appears to clarify what I am. The 14th Vow is stated:

“If the number of Sravakas in my country, after my obtaining Buddhahood, can be counted by the Pratyeka-buddhas and Sravakas of 3 thousand great-thousands worlds within a hundred thousand kalpas, may I not achieve the Highest Enlightenment.”

Sravaka: Or, Shravaka, who is one of the two kinds of Hinayana sages. This disciple of Buddha contemplates the principle of the Four-Fold Noble Truth to attain Nirvana.

Pratyekabuddha: A sage in Hinayana who attains emancipation without a teacher’s guidance by observing the principle of 12 causations.

Kalpa: Unit of time and year. One kalpa = 4.32 billion years.

The two kinds of sages in Hinayana are sincere people who try to attain emancipation or Nirvana. They are the people who are in the position next to Buddha. But they are now in Amida’s World, and they are too many to be counted in the Pure Land. Why are they in
Amida’s World? What does this mean to me?

When we learn anything new, we heavily depend on our reason, or rational and logical ways of thinking. Both (kinds of) sages are also the disciples who study Four-Fold Noble Truth or use careful observation of causation while depending on their reason. However,
strangely to say, accumulation of knowledge and understanding do not easily open up emancipation or Nirvana. I went through this process. In other words, my knowledge and understanding did not help to solve my question. Why didn’t they work?

Conclusion: Excellent sages failed to attain what they longed for. It is because rational and logical ways of thinking, knowledge, and understanding are not proper ways to open up Nirvana. It is simply because my ability and power are not effective enough to do so.
Many excellent sages simply entrusted themselves to the Name. That’s why they were born into Amida’s World by and through their entrusting. And there are now too many to count them. This Vow recommends me to entrust myself to the Name that is made of Pure Cause (Wisdom) and Pure Condition (Compassion). Follow the right way! This is what this Vow tells me.

In Gassho,

Rev. Doei Fujii

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