Awareness of Life

There is a book by Shinichi Matsushita, who was a professor of atomic physics at Hamburg National University in Germany, entitled Hokekyo to Genshi Butsurigaku—Inochi no Chikara Yo Wakiagare (The Lotus Sutra and Atomic Physics—Well Up Life Power!).

In that book chapter 11 of the Lotus Sutra, Beholding the Stupa of Treasures, is being explained. He refers to sutra saying, “In eleven, in the four hundred billion nayuta worlds, the Buddhas and Tathagatas are omnipresent” and he explains its meaning from the standpoint of a physicist. I would like to share it with you.

“What is most important in Buddhism is being written here…. The statement that the Buddhas are filling the universe means that within a single atom, within a single molecule, and consequently, within one human cell—to put this another way, in the human body, the totality, the Buddha is permeating.

“It is a matter of becoming aware of this or not. It is the crossroad between reaching ‘enlightenment’ or not arriving there. Yet, even if we do not have this awareness, the Buddha is giving us life….

We are able to breathe, our heart is working, and our stomach and intestines are functioning. That is to say, we become aware of the ‘life’ that is being sustained by the Buddha… and we awaken to and have gratitude for life that is ‘being sustained’….” This is what is written. Impressive, isn’t it?

A physicist is writing about “becoming aware” of “life” that is being sustained by the Eternal Shakyamuni Buddha.

The truth is that as life that has branched from the Eternal Buddha, a human being is a spirit body that is being given life by the Eternal Buddha.

Nevertheless, there is something rather difficult to understand about this truth. It is result of our strong preconception that the physical-body self is the human being, and the powerful working of egotism and the self-centered consciousness, which sees things in a selfish manner that is attached to the self of “I” and “me,” and is based on physical-body self.

This consciousness gives rise to the fabric of the dualistic conflict of rivalry, discrimination and exclusivism, which become various negative emotions such as animosity, hatred, discontent and anger that cover the real mind of a human being and cause us to lose sight of our true self.

Words From the Primitive Buddhist Sutras

There are so called primitive Buddhist sutras that are inlayed with what are close to the actual words of Shakyamuni Buddha.  They are collections of sutras known as the Dharmapada and the Suttanipata.  When looking at those writings we can strongly feel the deep thoughts of Shakyamuni that people will quickly wake up from their delusive thoughts and awaken to their true self.

A small sample of this writing is the lesson:

“Release attachment,

Discard anger,

Remove self-conceit,

Transcend all your fetters.”

Anger, attachment and self-conceit are all karmic-conceptions that are born from self-obsession. They are clouds of delusion that are covering the real mind of a human being.

Shakyamuni Buddha is strongly advising us to transcend all notions that shackle our self and strive to discard them.

Shakyamuni Buddha next tells us: “Know your self. Make your self whole.”

“Make your self whole”—means to strive to awaken to your true self.