“The essential purpose and meaning behind holding a meeting known as wasanko lies in the fact that we are opening our home to other people. At the same time it is an important place in which a young priest is to be trained.” Head Priest.
“When I heard that the divine body of the kami (Japanese gods) is a mirror, I found myself nodding in agreement. It is said that when a monkey looks into a mirror he tries to make a grab at it, a dog barks and a human stands in fear and awe. I feel that the Japanese people, accustomed as they are since ancient times to look into mirrors, have been finding their own karma reflected and illuminated therein.” Head Priest.
“Amida Buddha is the Buddha who ‘embraces all and abandons none’ but, with sharp insight, holds on firmly to those who would flee. An officiator at the ceremony gazed with pure reverence directly at the Buddha without ever blinking. I always feel his sense of tension to be the core of the Shin Buddhist religious ceremony.” Elder priest at the temple.
“Very close to the end of his life, my father said to me, ‘Although I have always said that everything, including my body and the whole environment, is a gift from Amida Buddha, I have now found that this serious disease is also in fact a gift from the Tathagata. ‘Tathagata is Nirvana and Nirvana is called Buddha-nature. At the stage when we are ordinary beings we cannot hope to understand, but on reaching the Land of Peace and Rest, then realization will come to us.’ Do you understand the meaning of this wasan (hymn composed by Shinran Shonin)? Alas! My whole life has been nothing but self-power, hasn’t it!” Lady attending the seventeenth memorial service of her father’s death.
臨終間近に父は娘の私に云った。「自分の体や一切の環境が佛樣の賜ものと云ってきたが、自分のこの重い病いも実は如来様からの賜ものだった。『凡地にして はさとられず安養にいたりてさとるべし』、このご和讃の心がお前は分かるか。ああ、俺の一生は自力ばかりだったなあ」と。 （父上の十七回忌を迎えた娘さんの述懐）
“As my family had been responsible for this temple for many hundreds of years, I used to consider myself endowed with ‘accumulated good from the past.’ But now I have understood that on its own it is nothing. Only when I attain true faith through my encounter with a good teacher can I say I have ‘accumulated good from the past.’” Responsible Trustee of Shogyoji Temple at one of the Hoonko meetings.
先祖以来私の家はお寺を建ててきたので、自分にはいささか宿善があると思っていたが、ただそれだけでは無きに等しいことが分かった。善知識にお遇いして真 実の信心を頂いてこそ、始めて宿善がある身と言える自分であった。…… （報恩講の時、ある責役のお披瀝、取意）
“In March 1937 I was accorded a personal interview with Daigyoin sama. After many questions and answers I felt a great tide of relief as I found myself able to revere Daigyoin sama as a Buddha. I really had the feeling that all the phenomena of this world were working for me alone. All my sorrow and loneliness were immediately wasted away and my whole being, both body and mind, was filled with joy and gratitude in a boundless world.” Elder Dharma friend taught by Daigyoin sama.
「昭和１２年３月、大行院様に一人で面談を許され、いろいろと問答を重ねた末、大行院様を佛さまと仰ぐことが出来、大安心の境地に至りました。世の中森羅 万象が私一人のために働いて下さっていると実感して、それまでの悲しさ、淋しさが一挙になくなり、広い世界に更生して歓喜と感謝で心身は一杯になりまし た」。 （大行院様の時代からのお同行の言）
“When I visited the Aso Shrine to attend the funeral of its former Head Priest, I discovered the Shintoist tradition of silent clapping and was reminded of a famous Zen koan: ‘the sound of one hand clapping’. That koan rose up and filled my whole being. Wherever I go, listening always to the Dharma, I find myself constantly encountering the Japanese mind, known as kamnagara (just-as- kami [gods]-are), that is so deeply imbedded in our long tradition.” Head Priest.
“When I gave a Dharma talk at a nearby temple, it was heartwarming to learn from the Head Priest that when they had funerals to conduct, he would ask his father (the retired head priest) to play the role of the leading priest again because seeing this made the temple followers so happy.” Head Priest.
“Towards the very end of his life, after a long struggle with illness, my father spoke to me with a radiant face, ‘Although we are used to pronouncing life to be a gift, I have found that this disease itself is a gift’. He talked of the incomparable joy of faith he had experienced when he encountered Shinran Shonin’s wasan, ‘Tathagata is Nirvana and Nirvana is called Buddha-nature. At the stage when we are ordinary beings we cannot hope to understand, but on reaching the Land of Peace and Rest, then realization will come to us’.” Lady attending the seventeenth memorial service of her father’s death.
「苦しい闘病生活の末、いよいよ臨終も間際になって、父は『賜ったいのちというけれども、この病気も賜ったものだった』と明るい光に満ちた顔で申し、『如 来すなはち涅槃なり』のご和讃に出会った無上の喜びを話してくれました」。 （御尊父の十七回忌を迎えた婦人同行の言）
“In perfect accordance with the words of Rennyo Shonin, ‘A proper response to the invisible aid of the Buddha is to take refuge in Amida Buddha,’ this meeting taught me that everything comes together, beyond time and space, at the very moment of entrusting oneself to Amida Buddha.” Head Priest.