Introduce about 瑞光寺 -Zuikōji & 元政上人 –Gensei Shonin-
Zuikoh-Ji isn’t sightseeing temple. Zuikoh-Ji is normal activity temple. But this temple’s founder is Gensei Shonin. Gensei shonin had many talents like as calligrapher, tea ceremony master, and Japanese poet. So he leave many treasures of Gensei Shonin.
So we are holding Memorial ceremony with Hokke Senbo and his exhibition once a year as annual event for memorial to Gensei Shonin on 18th march every year. We display many his treasures like his true writings lotus sutra, and Omandara, and his tea ceremony utensils, and his true wearing Buddhist robe.
And we officiate Hokke Senbo Buddhist Ceremony which means confessing to our daily bad karma with Lotus Sutra. This ceremony officiates only by Shomyoshi because this ceremony is consisted almost by very difficult Shomyo.
Well At this time, I would like to explain to you about the history of Zuikoh-Ji temple and Gensei Shonin.
Zuikoh-Ji temple founded in 1655 by the priest Gensei Shonin. Gensei Shonin was born in Hikone in 1622. His family was soldier family. When he was 13 years old, he read a lot of books. And he studied word and Japanese and Chinese classics. His around person admire to his smart.
Although he was 19 years old, He went to –Edo- with his master, he returned to Kyoto because he got disease.
After returning to Kyoto, he worship to –Myōsenji- temple where is –Sensyu- in Osaka prefecture. When he watched Statue of Nichiren, He built three vows.
One of vow is I should become a priest. Two of vow is I should take care to my parents. Three of vow is I should read big Three part of -Tendai-.
When he was 26 years old, he shaved his hair and then He decided my master is No.14th Priest in charge of –Myōkenji- who is Sohnain Nippoh Shonin. And He continued to be studied from his master.
When he was 33 years old, his master moved to Ikegami Honmon-JI temple. So, He moved to this place.
And then he built this temple called Shōsinan. Shōsinan means the place of calling heart. Person who follow his pleasant and smart continue gathering to this place, and then chanting voice was crowded at this place.
And then He wrote down the practice way for Green Mountain called Sōzanyōro for his disciples. This book explains the guiding of practice and study, important of becoming priest. He explained guide for seeker after truth by this book.
At this year, He invited his parents after built Yohju-An near this temple. And then He took care of his parents through his filial heart toward them. His taking care is famous in Japan.
When he was 36 years old, his father passed away. Then at next year, he worshiped to Mt. Minobu and Ikegami with his mother. Then he laid his father's ashes in the grave of Mt. Minobu.
And he wrote down diary of the way of Mt. Minobu. This diary is famous one in Japan also.
At 1661, he built this hall. And then he decided name of Zuikōji. And then he enshrined a statue of Buddha in the main hall of this temple. This Buddha has the internal organs and the bowels.
At 7 years later, his mother whose age of 87 years old passed away.
His mother and father could live until 87 years old. So he could take care of them through his filial heart toward them. his three vow that built when he was young age accomplished his purpose.
At next year, He got sickness again. And then he passed away at 46 years old. His disciples built his grave with three bamboos by following his last word.
Three bamboos have meaning. One of bamboo means for spreading lotus sutra around world. Two of bamboo means for protecting human beings. Three of bamboo means for his parents. He said if future’s minister of this temple would not be able to eat, please plow my grave.
Gensei Shonin had been always thinking about his parents and around he. It is nothing to say that his human life was surely Bodhisattva’s life.
Nichiren Shonin explain in Kaimokusho this:
“To be filial means to be high; heaven is high but not at all higher than being filial. To be filial also means to be deep; the earth is deep but not any deeper than being filial. Both sages and wise men come from filial families.”
Gensei shonin had been thinking always about his parents. Some young person thinks Human beings become like air after passing away. But when we think about parent’s favors, parents favors never disappear after become air.
Parents bring up us till adult with compassion. Then before parents passing away, they take care for us with compassion. Then after passing away, they are always protecting us as Buddha. So, we must pray our ancestors with thankfulness heart like on memorial service. But we just set up memorial service for our only reason. Our ancestors always protect us, so we must keep thankfulness as faith.