Tangyo Raihai By Rev. Yamamura

Tangyo Raihai

There was a priest called Fukyou in India long ago. He did not read sutras at his temple, nor did he give sermons, and never conducted memorial services. So, what did he actually do? He would get up in the morning, put on his priest’s attire and go out. As he met people, he would bow his head, put his hands together, and say, “I respect you, and will never look down you,” and continued on his path. That’s all he did. If a priest suddenly came up to you, and said those things, wouldn’t you be surprised? If this happened today, he would simply be ignored, and be brushed off, but back then, people were offended, and threw rocks and tiles at the priest. Fukyou would run away, bow his head from afar, and repeat, “I am not looking down on you. I respect you,” and offered more prayers. This practice is called, Tangyou Raihai, and is found in 20th chapter of the lotus sutra.

I don’t know how many of you remember, but in 1970 there was a hi-jacking of a Japan Airlines flight from Tokyo to Fukuoka by the Red Army faction of the Japanese Communist Party. The flight was diverted to Seoul’s Kimpo Airport, and finally to Pyongyang. When the Japanese Prime Minister at the time, Takeo Fukuda had the hostages released, he said “Human lives weigh more than the earth itself.” That is so true, a human being’s life is heavier than the earth. The same goes for you and those around you. Every human being is given a life, which is heavier than earth. We were sent to earth to perform a duty just by being alive. Every human being is equal.

The priest Fukyou worshipped our lives, and prayed for us. If you pass this practice on by worshipping others, and praying for them, you begin to realize how important and precious your existence is. Instead of worshipping yourselves, it becomes a privilege to pray for others.

One of the main goals of Buddhism is to rid yourself of self-loathing. Even if you say, “I love myself dearly,” I think you realize deep down inside that life is fleeting. Self-hatred is buried deep down inside our hearts.

You ask, “What should I do, then?” You should praise yourself. Speak well of yourself. Give praise to yourself. “I’m doing my best.” “I honor myself.” Tell yourself that.

However, if you bow your head and pray for others, you will gain greater satisfaction.    Another person’s life is the same as yours. In weight and in value. By looking up to others, your are also honoring yourself. But why would you pray for someone you don’t like? You are not offering prayers to that person, but allowing yourself to pray for their life.

Let’s think about how we can have peace of mind and be happy. If you are not happy, you will not be able to make others happy. First, lead a happy life. If you have not attained happiness, you will not be able to respect others. But as you continue to pray for that person’s existence you will be satisfied, and will be able to have deep love for others. That is why it is important to pray for others. Start by putting your hands together for others. You will start to realize that to worship others is the same as worshipping yourself. As you worship others, you will also be honoring yourself.

The life of another person is your life. As you are allowed to pray for them, you will be honored, and obtain gratification.

但行礼拝(たんぎょうらいはい)

 

ホノルル妙法寺は日蓮宗です。日蓮宗の修行法。シンプルでありながら、やるとなるとそう簡単には出来ない修行法について、今日はお話しさせて頂きます。それは、但行礼拝という修行です。

大昔のインドに、ひたすらにこの修行をやり続けて、人間性を完成させた方がいました。その方は不敬菩薩という方です。彼はお寺でお経を読んだり、説教もしない、また法事もしませんでした。では何をしていたのですかというと、毎日、家を出ては会う人会う人に「貴方を敬います。決して軽んじません。なぜなら貴方は菩薩の道を歩んで必ず仏になる方ですから。」と言って、会う人に深く頭を下げて礼拝して歩いたのです。ただそれだけ。人間礼拝行に徹した人が不軽菩薩でした。不軽菩薩はお寺で仏像に拝むのではなく、外で人の命を拝んでいたのです。この行を但行礼拝と言いまして、法華経の20番目の章にあります。

さて昔、日本でよど号事件がありました。その時に福田赳夫前首相は「人の命は地球より重い。」と言って事件を解決に導きましたね。

本当に人の命は地球より重いのです。またその重さは自分も他者も同じです。どんな人も地球より重い命を頂いているのです。我々は生きているというだけで、何かしらの役割をこの世に頂いています。ここに差別はないのです。

不軽菩薩は私たちの命に対して、礼拝して合掌していました。相手に向かい合掌して拝むことをやってみると、自分というものが本当に貴重で素晴らしい存在である事に気づかされます。自分自身の命に向かって拝むことはできませんので、相手の命を拝ませ頂くのです。

仏教の最大目的に自己嫌悪の脱却があります。「私自分の事大好きです。」と言っても、どんな人間も自分の心の底では自分はいつか死ななくてはならないということを知っているのですね。これが我々の心の底に隠れた逃れられようもない自己嫌悪なのです。

ではどうしたらいいのですかというと、自己礼讃することです。自分自身を褒めて讃えて行くのです。自分に対して、「おまえ、(あなた)よく頑張ってるね。」や「私は自分自身を敬います。」と口に出して言って聞かせるのです。しかし、これ以上に効果があるのは、自分以外の相手に頭を下げ合掌して拝むことです。

相手の命は自分と同じ命です。重さも価値も。相手を拝むという事は、自分自身を拝んでいることになるのですね。気に入らない人には、あんな奴のこと拝めませんって思いますね。しかしその人を拝むのではなくて、その人の「命」を拝ませて頂くのです。

人間は不幸であってはなりません。幸せであることが義務なのです。まず自分自身が精神的に幸せになるには、どうしたらよいか考えましょう。

自分自身が幸せでないのに、他者を幸せにする事はできません。『まず自分が幸せに生きる。』そのために他人様の命を拝ませて頂く事が大切です。

相手の命は自分の命。

相手を拝ませて頂くうちにどんどん自分自身が祝福されて、満たされていくでしょう。