Thursday, July 24, 2008

Gods are terribly fair

-Imagine you are at the end of your life-

Comment from a reader:
I live outside of Japan and my husband is a foreigner. Keeping one’s maiden name after marriage is quite common in the country where I live, and most homes wouldn’t have any Buddhist or Shinto altar. However, I have registered my last name to be the same as my husband’s and I have made my own memorial to do ancestral worship with gratitude. I would usually put the altar away after a while, but one day, I left it out. And my father-in-law saw it. He said, “What is this?” So I answered, “I send my gratitude everyday to my ancestors.” He said, “Oh! So you will continue to do this even after I am gone”. He seemed very impressed and happy. It made me happy too to see him smile.

Reply to comment:
This is an ideal way for a Japanese woman to be married to a foreign man. In this way, the marriage becomes a true, spiritual marriage. The husband’s family has accepted her spiritually. She even becomes the “special one” who started sending gratitude to her husband's ancestors. I am sure the old man was so joyous to know about this. When one becomes old, he/she would start thinking about his/her own death, worrying about the future of their children or grandchildren. When one knows that one’s children will not forget about him/her and continue to send gratitude “on their own will”, that is most comforting and reassuring. By knowing this, when the time comes, they will be ready to leave this plain.

In the Western part of the world, Christianity is the main religion, and ancestral worship has not been part of their custom. When you were young, your religion may have served you well. But as you are getting closer to the end of your days, even you have been religious all your life, you are still not so sure about god. You think, “I have done some sinful act in the past. When I die do I really get to go to Heaven? Is my family going to forget about me? Am I just going to disappear?” In a real sense, I feel people are worried about these things.

The idea to honor one’s own ancestral spirits is the shortest way to reach Heaven. By worshipping your own ancestral line, and opening the path by "your own effort" is the "safest way" to reach the Kingdom of God. This way, you will be able to reach Heaven as a "true identity".

People tend to look for a powerful figure, such as God, to depend on. But imagine that you are a God. Would you help the ones that ignore their own related family, and lost ancestral spirits?

A selfish act could lead to serving a wrong spirit such as a concealed spirit, or the ones pretending to be a God, but in truth, eats the human souls. Unfortunately, it seems to be a fate to be on such path. But when you realize that you had been selfish, you will still have the chance to save your soul.

Without doubt, the righteous god will come to help for those who are helping the weak. Gods are terribly fair.

"Ikashite-Itadaite Arigato-Gozaimasu." "Thank you for letting us live."

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