2019 New Year’s Greetings from His Eminence Gomonshu Kojun Ohtani

The Gomonshu is the spiritual head of our denomination based in Kyoto, Japan. The current Gomonshu is His Eminence Monshu Kojun Ohtani, the 25th-generation descendant of Shinran Shonin to head the Hongwanji. Here is his New Year’s message.

 
Gomonshu Kojun Ohtani

New Year’s Greeting

At the beginning of this New Year, I would like to extend my warmest greetings to you all.

Last year, Japan was hit by frequent natural disasters like torrential rains, typhoons, and earthquakes. Other countries including Indonesia and the US were also visited by devastating earthquakes, tsunamis, and major hurricanes. I would like to convey my deepest condolences to those who lost their lives through the natural disasters and express my sympathy to everyone affected. We must also never forget that armed conflicts and terror attacks as well as severe starvation is making it difficult to live and lives are being lost every day.

In my message entitled, A Way of Living as a Nembutsu Follower which I presented on October 1, 2016, the first day of the Commemoration on the Accession of the Jodo Shinshu Tradition, I have stated, “by trying to live according to the Buddha Dharma, …we can live to the best of our ability, aspiring to live up to the Buddha’s Wish.” In agreement with this proposal, beginning last April, our organization has launched a campaign against poverty under the slogan, “Dana for World Peace— overcoming poverty to nurture our children.”

Unable to part from our self-centered mentality, we are simply foolish beings, incapable of attaining supreme enlightenment through our own strength. It is all through the salvific working of Amida Tathagata that we are enabled to realize our selfishness. Furthermore, because of this self-awareness, with the hope of responding to the Buddha’s boundless compassion even just a little, we are enabled to aspire for everyone’s happiness and make a sincere effort in dealing with the many difficult problems of bitter reality in this world.

In this New Year, as we receive the Dharma and recite the Nembutsu, let us make every effort to acknowledge and cope with the reality we face.

January 1, 2019

OHTANI Kojun
Monshu
Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha

Gomonshu Kojun Ohtani

年頭の辞

新しい年のはじめにあたり、ご挨拶申し上げます。

昨年は日本においては、豪雨・台風・地震など多くの災害が起こり、また、世界でもインドネシアにおける地震と津波、北米における大型ハリケーンなど多くの自然災害が起こりました。災害によってお亡くなりになられた方に謹んで哀悼の意を表しますとともに、被災された方に心よりお見舞い申し上げます。また、これら以外にも紛争やテロ・飢餓などによって、日々多くの方が犠牲となり、困難な生活を送っておられることも忘れてはいけません。

さて、私は2016年10月1日の親教「念仏者の生き方」において、「仏法を依りどころとして生きていくことで、(中略)仏さまのお心にかなう生き方を目指し、精一杯努力させていただく人間になるのです」と記しました。本願寺においては、昨年4月より「<貧困の克服に向けて~Dāna for World Peace~>―子どもたちを育むために―」という取り組みが始まっています。言うまでもなく、私たちは自己中心的な考え方を離れることができず、自力修行によって悟りを開くことができない凡夫です。しかし、阿弥陀さまのおはたらきによって自己中心的な凡夫であると気づかされるからこそ、そのような私を救って下さるお慈悲のお心に少しでもかなうよう、すべての人々の幸せを願い、現実の困難な課題に積極的に取り組むことが大切ではないでしょうか。

本年も浄土真宗のみ教えを聞き、南無阿弥陀仏とお念仏申す日々をともに過ごさせていただく中で、現実の課題に向き合う1年にしたいと思います。

2019年1月1日

浄土真宗本願寺派
門主 大谷光淳

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