August 25, 2019
As a seasonal event for adorning the end of summer, the colossal bronze statue of Buddha is lit up at night during the final week of August.
Being illuminated by the golden light, the Great Buddha is shining gloriously in the evening darkness, which makes me see the vision of its solemn gilded figure in far distant past. A lot of lamps which symbolize lotus flowers and sacred lights are twinkling gently on the approach to the Buddha.
The sea breeze from the nearby beach is surrounding me. In the calm voice of this warm breeze, I hear the silent prayers whispered by an untold number of past people for salvation.
(Please refer to the link destination, "the Great Buddha and Kotoku-in.")
The Great Buddha of Kamakura is the seated image of Amitabha Buddha. In Buddhism, Amitabha or Amida Nyorai is the supreme deity who has infinite light of wisdom and measureless life to save all people from spiritual darkness and suffering in this transient world.
He is present in the Pure Land in the West and descends from there to greet the souls of the dead and lead them to his pure land.
The worshipers of the Pure Land sect of Buddhism have believed that they can certainly cross over into the Western Paradise after death by continuing to chant "Namu-amidabutu" ("I sincerely believe in Amitabha Buddha") wholeheartedly in this harsh earthly world.
According to the Flower Garland Sutra of Buddhism, countless lotus flowers adorn and envelop the pure land where Rushanabutsu (the central deity shining on the whole universe) is sitting. The infinite light of wisdom emitted by this shining one illuminates living things all over the universe to lead them to spiritual enlightenment.
The bright sunlight of the midday sun is making this flower shine radiantly as if a small shining deity inside this flower were emitting the limitless light of wisdom and truth to the world.
July 31, 2019
During the brief period of only four days, the flower of sacred lotus opens quietly, comes into full bloom splendidly, and then falls apart in just one breath of air.
In the bright glaring sunlight of midsummer, I found a lotus flower which had already finished its role in life and passed its best time of bloom.
Its golden stamens were drooping gracefully around the pollinated receptacle. The bright magenta petals had begun bending gradually, waiting for the time to be scattered in the summer gentle breeze without losing their dignity.
On the wooden floating bridge lying on the pond, a blue heron is standing still, gazing fixedly at the water surface in search of prey.
The thick green leaves of sacred lotus are flourishing vigorously and covering the water surface almost thoroughly.
Just like the ardent voice emitted by the dazzling sun of high summer, the lively chirping of cicadas is continuing to sound over the pond endlessly.
Summer rainy season had already passed by without a trace. The countless colorful flowers of Ajisai had vanished completely like a fleeting illusion which the rainy sky had let me see.
Now the intense sunlight of midsummer is blazing on oppressively to erase the faintest memories of long rain from the summer sky.
Lush green trees and plants are thirstily absorbing strong sunlight to continue their robust growth with rapture. The rows of solid-white cirrocumulus clouds are firmly suspended in the true blue sky high above me.
By the side of the Karamon (Chinese gate) of this old Zen temple, a white silky lotus flower is blooming in a modest and noble manner in the beaming sun of high summer.
A flower of sacred lotus patiently comes up to the surface of muddy water and opens in an untainted and pure figure in the rising sun.
Because of this, in the teachings of Buddha, a lotus flower is regarded as a blessed symbol of the infinite wisdom and compassion which Buddha gives us.