Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Erect a toba for animals

We were talking about the buddhahood of animals:

and for those of us like myself who were drawn to the Lotus Sutra because of its

great vision of the buddhahood of all sentient beings, there is something we can do

to help animals achieve liberation. What is it? Here let me quote from a gosho

Nichiren wrote To the Tonsured Layman Nakaoki  ( Nakaoki nyudo goshosoku, STN, v.2

1718-1719)

Moreover, on the thirteenth anniversary of the death of your infant daughter, you erected a sixteen foot sotoba with the seven characters Namu-myoho-renge-kyo inscribed on it. When the north wind blows, it is said, fish in the southern sea who are touched by it will be released from their sufferings; and when the wind comes from the east, birds and deer in the western mountains who come in contact with it will escape from the path of Animality and be born in the inner court of the Tushita Heaven. 

Tushita Heaven is a pure land where the future Buddha of the earth, the bodhisattva

Maitreya dwells, Nichiren explained that such various pure lands are in reality the pure 

land of Eagle Peak of the 16th chapter of the Lotus Sutra where the Eternal Buddha 

Shakyamuni is. 

Now a toba is usually understood as a Japanese memorial tablet commonly put up for 

dead like here:
                         

 
 Toba is the Japanese term for a stupa. It can be for living beings too. So if

you wish to help the birds, insects, fish, butterflies and your loving pets, inscribe a toba

with Namu Myoho renge kyo and set it up outside and by this toba and faith in the

Lotus Sutra you will benefit the multitude of animals so  they will be born in the pure 

land of Sacred Eagle Peak and achieve 

buddhahood.
                              

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