Each of us is a guide to “the True Way.”
WebEx……through live broadcaston the computer, I was able to participate from New York in the Commemorative Celebration of Founder’s Birth that was held at the Great Sacred Hall in Japan.
November 15th is the Founder’s Birthday.
There is a 12-hour difference between New York and Tokyo. Therefore, via live broadcast, the ceremony started at 7:00pm on the 14th here in New York. This was the first time I participated in the Commemorative Celebration of our Founder’s Birth over the internet through WebEx. Through the live images of the service held on the stage of the Great Sacred Hall, I could sense the dignified and warm atmosphere of celebrating the Founder.
I was so grateful and felt myself being drawninto the Great Sacred Hall.
In his “Words of Respect,” President Niwano praised the Founder saying:
“Our Founder was born 107 years ago on November 15, 1906, in the village of Suganuma, Tokamachi, in Niigata Prefecture. On this day, November 15th, in 1945 The Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni was enshrined here; and on November 15th, 1991, the ceremony for the Inheritance of The Lamp of the Dharma was held. For our organization, there is truly a deep relationship with this day. …...Omission…....
After intently searching to find a way to liberate all beings, our Founder finally encountered the Lotus Sutra, in which Shakyamuni Buddha’s true wishes are expressed as follows: ‘How can I lead living beings to enter the Buddha Way and how can I quickly guide them to the state of Buddhahood?’ Even after establishing Rissho Kosei-kai in 1938, he devoted his whole life to the realization of world peace and the liberation of humanity though the spirit of the One Vehicle, which is ‘Being generous and open-minded, respecting one another, and cooperating with each other, because we are, from the outset, fellow passengers riding on the same One Vehicle.’…..” Furthermore, President Niwano made a pledge saying: “We, Sangha members in every part of the world, vow to recognize a true way of liberation in Buddhism, to emulate the Founder’s One Vehicle spirit, to learn and practice the teachings in our daily lives and guide people, according to their circumstances, to the True Way.”
I embraced each sentence, one by one, firmly in my heart and mind.
Nationalities, ethnic groups and cultures may vary, but all human beings are part of one great Life-force caused to live by the Truth, Dharma, and the Buddha at work everywhere throughout the universe. I believe we need to keep this deep in our hearts and minds.
Moreover, on this day in his Dharma Talk, our President spoke about the importance of having an empathetic heart by introducing episodes by the former British Olympic track & field athlete and Ichiro, the Japanese baseball player on the New York Yankees, as he referred to “compassion,” the basic and fundamental principle of Buddhism.
Furthermore, as for our existence as human beings, just as water is formed by the combination of hydrogen and oxygen, human beings are also formed from things other than human beings.
We came to be by the elements that scattered during the Big Bang which gave birth to the universe.
And the human body is sustained by the vegetables and animals. Our bodies can be considered as part of the universe. Human beings occupy space in the universe with our bodies and we consume time…we are actually one with the universe itself. This is what he said.
I was truly grateful. Everything he said was easy to understand. That all members of the human race are fellow passengers of the One Vehicle; that we are all part of the same life force and are caused to live…..
Moreover, I felt my heart warm when he was telling us the importance of keeping the spirit of the One Vehicle by putting our palms together and revering each other.
Now, everyone! With our Founder’s bright, cheerful and warm smile and his generous-hearted character as our model, let us give life to the teachings in our daily lives.
And also, in our respective positions, let us first of all be practitioners ourselves, as guides to the “True Way,” by inviting many people with whom we come into contact.
Minister of New York Church