Formula in Buddhism: The 17th Vow Part 2

You see the formula below. These are essential procedures 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 17th Vow

Please recall that each Vow appears to clarify what I am. The 17th Vow goes as follows:

"If, after my obtaining Buddahood, all the immeasurable Buddhas of the 10 quarters do not glorify and recite my name, may I not achieve the Highest Enlightenment."

Five True Vows

There are the five important vows that clarify the whole structure of Amida's Teaching, or Jodo-Shin-Shu. They are as follows:

1. Vow #11: People reach the non-retrogressive stage. Please listen to the Teaching, but they don't know why they listen. In short, they don't know what they are truly looking for in this life. This vow tell us about the ultimate stage we can reach in this life.

2. Vow #12: Immeasurable Working in space (Immeasurable Light). This indicates "Wisdom of Enlightenment."

3. Vow #13: Immeasurable Working in time (Immeasurable Life). This means "Compassion of Enlightenment."

Note: When we explain one thing while using the two units of time and space, it shows "working or virtue." Therefore, Vow #12 & 13 indicate "Immeasurable Working." In short, Amida expresses "any time and any where." It covers all space and time.

4.  Vow #17: Recitation of Namo-Amida-Butsu. We see the Name for the first time in the 48 vows. There are many kinds of practices in Buddhism such as the practice of effort, patience, sharing, keeping precepts, or meditation. These are all the practices which carry people to Enlightenment. Now we see a very new form of practice here: Recitation of the Name. This practice is so-called "Buddha's Practice" or "Great Practice." In other words, Immeasurable Light and Life appears in the form of the Name. Why is it one of the true vows?

5. Vow #18: Three minds are required when we recite the Name: sincere, entrusting heart, and aspiration to be born in the Highest Enlightenment. However, these three minds are not the ones I have to generate. These are generated by Buddha's True heart and mind, or Wisdom and Compassion.

In Gassho,

Rev. Doei Fujii 

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