Formula in Buddhism: The 16th Vow

You see the formula as below. These are essential steps 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 forget myself is to throw me into Buddha's World.

The 16th Vow

Please recall that each Vow appears to clarify what I am. The 16th Vow states:

"If the men and devas in my country, after my obtaining Buddhahood, ever heard the name of evil, may I not achieve the Highest Enlightenment."

Newspapers and television give us a lot of information daily. Most of them tell "troubles" or "problems" or "terrible happenings" in society. Happy ones are seldom reported. It is interesting because people, including me, want to hear someone's troubles and problems. Basically we love someone's adversities. Media simply show us "demand-supply relation" in society. Whenever I watch news or read papers, I always recall this Vow: I have the mind that loves to hear names of evil.

For example, "Mr. A hit the biggest state lottery of 150 million dollars yesterday!" It sounds great, but I say to my wife, "Change the channel!" "The big hurricane hit New York and more than one million people lost power. They are in serious trouble!" Then, I keep watching the news. I pay more attention to unhappy reports.

Avoid seeing evil; avoid hearing evil; avoid saying evil! Stay clean! Don't collect evil conditions! To tell the truth, however, I pay more attention to hear someone's faults. I love to see evil, to hear evil, and to say evil. I come to realize my nature by and through this Vow. When I encountered this Vow long time ago, I could not help laughing at myself. And this Vow has stayed in mind all the time since then. Indeed, our society is also filled with names of evil because we have been creating this society by our minds and nature.

It's sad to love names of evil and it is also a great and joyful moment when I come to learn what I am by and through Buddha's Wisdom. It's also the moment of awareness when something dark and bright appears to me at the same time. Something sad and joyful exists at the same time in the experience of Amida's Wisdom. I see my dark shadow because I am in the Light. When it's completely dark, I see no shadow. Does it make sense to you? Again, to learn Buddhism is it learn myself (by and through the Wisdom).

In Gassho, 

Rev. Doei Fujii

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