Q. What is the meaning of September 22nd, the day of (O)higan?
A. It is the day to celebrate the sun. It’s around the autumnal equinox. The length of the day and the night becomes just about the same. It’s one turning point of a season. At such time, it will be easier to reach the ancestral spirits. The daytime = this dimension of reality = the soul in a physical body. The nighttime = the dimension of the spirits = the souls are hidden. In Ko-Shinto (ancient Shintoism), we believe that the soul is eternal. And even after the death of the physical body the soul lives. It is simply hiding in the dark (night). It returns at some point just like the sun returns in the morning (daytime).
In Japanese Buddhism, we celebrate this Ohigan as a holiday. I believe it’s the unification of Buddhism and the Japanese idea in the Shintoism of ancestral worship. There are only two days in a year when the length of the day and the night becomes the same. So it is in fact very special. Spiritually speaking, it’s a special turning point that is influenced by the sun’s orbit. It would be a great time to send gratitude towards your ancestors in such occasion.
The length of the day and the night become equal in the middle of ohigan. It gradually reaches to the middle and few days around this time is a perfect time to send gratitude to your ancestors. The ancestral worship is to send honor and blessings to them. Sun=Amitāhba(the one who has the infinite light)= Amida-nyorai=Amaterasu-ohomikami. And when you send blessings to your ancestral spirits the esoteric implication is that you are sending back the spirits to their ultimate home, the sun. But the truth is that many of the spirits are not able to return home because they still carry in their unconsciousness some desires and/or attachments. The energy of those desires is heavy and will be captured by the gravity from the moon. It’s hard to explain by words, but many people are still sort of strangled by their own wishful thinking. And those who were captured by the moon will have to return to Earth once again and experience the opposite life they had before. There are still many of our ancestors who are captured on the moon. In the Western world, there is a legend that bad people would be sent to the moon. The gravity from the moon influences the great nature on Earth. But it also influences the lives after death. The moon takes part in the development of the soul’s journey. The spirit body is in fact an electro magnetic energy. Therefore, when you have any attachments or obsessions, your soul’s vibrational frequency becomes rough. The rougher it is the more influence you receive from the gravity from the moon. And you will be captured. The moon is a perfect spherical devise created by the Great Spirit in the super ancient time.
Let us send gratitude and blessings to our ancestral spirits during this Ohigan time. When you heal your ancestors you heal yourself. We are all connected and in oneness.
Ikashite-itadaite arigato gozaimasu
Thank you for letting us live