英語で法話


僧侶「大來尚順」による、英語で読む法話。


Ohigan


The Japanese term Ohioan refers to the vernal and autumnal equinox days which mark the changing of the seasons. With the autumnal equinox taking place this month, I would like to take this brief opportunity to reconsider the meaning and essence of Ohigan.

Generally speaking, during the Ohigan season in Japan, we go to the temple and cemetery to participate in Buddhist memorial services and to take flowers, incense and offerings to visit our family graves. For a moment, let's focus on the meaning of why we visit the family grave. For most Buddhists, the act of visiting the family grave is to dedicate merit for the deceased, but for Shin Buddhists, this purpose is not the meaning of Ohigan.

According to the Amida Sutra, which is one of the main sutras for Shin Buddhism, the Amida Buddha's Pure Land lies in the far western direction. On the day of the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, the sun rises due east and sets due west. Thus for Shin Buddhists, the sun is setting due west into the Amida's Pure Land.

Therefore, during Ohigan, Shin Buddhists will also go to the temple and cemetery, participate in Buddhist memorial services and visit the family graves, but the main purpose is to remember our loved ones and reconsider the meaning of Amida's Promise and His Pure Land in the context of our own lives. We express our gratitude to the Amida Buddha which will enable us to meet our loved ones again in the Pure Land. This is the significance of Ohigan for those who walk the Shin Buddhist Path.

In Gassho


お彼岸


通常、お彼岸には多くの方が先祖供養を目的としてお寺やお墓へお参されます。しかし、浄土真宗におけるお彼岸とは、先祖供養を目的としません。先に浄土にお生まれになった亡き人を偲びつつ、私たちもいずれは浄土に生まれる身であることを確認し、亡き人々と再会できる浄土に思いを寄せながら、今一度自身の「いのち」について考えさせて頂くご縁に感謝することが目的です。この意味を踏まえた上で、お彼岸をお過ごし下さい。


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大來尚順(おおぎしょうじゅん)プロフィール
浄土真宗本願寺派 大見山 超勝寺 衆徒。翻訳家。ハーバード大学 神学部研究員を修了し、帰国。現在は、執筆活動や通訳・翻訳を通して、日本仏教を世界に弘める活動をしています。


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