When we become religious, there are two kinds of people. One that uses the teachings to find fault with others, while the other uses the teachings to improve oneself. Until I started to read the Ofudesaki, and study it, I was the former follower who used the teachings to find falult in others. Don’t get me wrong, I was not a bad person, but I did not understand why we suffer or have joy. When inconveniences came my way, I use to blame others, instead of looking within myself; more specifically I did not understand why my heart was bringing forth these inconveniences and illnesses. But this is human nature, where we try to find out why things occur. It is more easy to blame others, then blame oneself. Some may say that blaming yourself, will only make one more depressed. If they do no understand the heart,they may be correct in this assumption. If one understands the words in the Ofudesaki, one will be aware that “from knots, buds will sprout”. What does this mean? From inconveniences or sufferings, we are seeing a mirror of our past actions caused by the dust or evil thoughts in our minds. If we understand the heart, we can purify our minds by not acting on our evil thoughts when inconveniences delivered by our own hearts occur. By this process, we can eliminate both our negative thoughts and negative fate or sufferings caused by our hearts. Inconveniences and illness may be trying, but from these occurences, we have the ability to purify our minds. Thus the saying from knots, buds will sprout. Our heart give us the opportunity to do this. The opportunity to have joy is always possible because of the heart.
It is not surprising that our hearts brings us together with people that have similar mind sets. Why do the same type of people appear in our lives. God tells us that we see a reflection of ourselves in the people we encounter everyday. By understanding the heart, we begin not to blame others; but we begin to ponder our own minds , to eliminate our own evil thoughts. Some people will say this is nonsense, that we blame ourselves when bad people try to hurt us. Our own hearts make no mistakes; it delivers what we have done before in our previous lives. Yes, other people may be evil,but it is our own hearts that make them appear in our lives. Yes, we must protect ourselves and others from physical or verbal abuse from dangerous situations, but we must later ponder why our hearts have brought them to us. The answer alway lies in what exist in our minds. These are the dusts of greed, arrogance, self-love, regret and covetousness. They are the source of all evil in this world. God tells us if we can eliminate them from our minds, only joy will radiate from our hearts!
Some will say that this talk is ridiculous, and I cannot remember sinning or doing anything evil in this life time. But again our hearts make no mistake. They store our merits and demerits from our actions of previous lives. But you may say that these were done in my previous life, and I should not be liable for things I cannot remember doing. One may be correct in saying this; but the cause of these evil actions came from the evil thoughts in the mind, which usually transfers to the next life time. These evil thoughts do not disappear with our physical death, but travel with the heart to our next destination. These inconveniences from the heart give us the opportunity to eliminate the evil thoughts that initially caused our inappropriate behavior. This purification only occurs when one ponders one’s mind, and does not act on their evil thoughts when suffering occurs.
Yes, the saysings from a knot, buds sprout and what one sows, one reaps, they all begin to make sense when one understands the heart. All these information is in the Ofudesaki. These are God’s truths that will eventually save the world, and bring upon heaven on earth.