Hiroshima Commemoration Service

Today is the Hiroshima Commemoration Service. As I am a Buddhist minister, I would like to share with you a teaching of the Buddha. As you know, Buddhism is a teaching of compassion. The basic teaching of Buddhism might be called ahimsa, to never kill. Never kill. Killing is not allowed. This is the teaching. A long time ago, about two centuries before Christ, in India, there was King Ashoka.

This king had a mind of world conquest and he engaged in war. His country was called Magadha. He conquered the neighboring country and slaughtered several hundreds of thousands of people. He saw those hundreds of thousands of corpses, and he thought that these people, who were killed might have a family, brothers and sisters, and children somewhere. “How sad are those, who have been left behind, and they might have hatred for me, the king. Their hatred and sorrow will all return to me as my karma. Even if I conquered the world through war, those who remain have only hatred and sorrow. What meaning is there in world conquest and the like?” The king had such thoughts after killing many people.

At that time a Buddhist monk appeared and spoke to the king. “Stop making war. No more war. If you think about conquering the world, do not kill people, but give them life. What does it mean to give people life? It is to pledge in your mind that you will never kill a person. And it is to rule your kingdom with the pledge that you will never kill a person.” Because of the monk’s teaching, the king became a Buddhist.

Before long, Alexander the Great, from Greece, aspired to conquer the world and he entered India from the Middle East. Although the king should have fought against Alexander, at that time he was a Buddhist. He first sent an ambassador of peace to Greece, and discussed about ending the war. The peace ambassador explained the teaching of ahimsa to Alexander about to not kill people and to give people life. Alexander agreed with that teaching and stopped his war. In this way, true peace is found in the mental pledge to never end the life of a person.

You all probably already have this mind of ahimsa. That is why you have gathered here today. However, unless we are careful, a mind of violence naturally comes from within us that says that it is enough that things are good for ourselves.

We must not forget the mind of peace. To attend such as service as today’s is an important opportunity to know about how a human being should live and to obtain inner peace.











「 戦争をやめなさい。あなたが本当の意味で世界を征服しようと思うのであれば、人を殺すのではなく、人を生かしなさい。人を生かすとはどういうことか、人を絶対に殺さないことをあなたの心に誓いなさい。そして人を絶対に殺さない誓いとともに政治をしなさい。」



そしてその平和の使節は、 人を殺さないこと、人を生かすということ、非暴力の教えをアレキサンダー王に説いたのです。