Saturday, May 17, 2014

"the power of the Lord was present to heal them" - Mahayana Buddhism

Government Office District, Tokyo

Mahayana Buddhism

A big change occurred in Buddhism in the first century.

A school called Mahayana came to grow, develop, and deploy to more vast regions.
Mahāyāna (literally the "Great Vehicle") is one of the three main existing branches of Buddhism and a term for classification of Buddhist philosophies and practice. Mahāyāna Buddhism originated in India, and some scholars believe that it was initially associated with one of the oldest historical branches of Buddhism, the Mahāsāṃghika. 
The Mahāyāna tradition is the largest major tradition of Buddhism existing today, with 56% of practitioners, compared to 38% for Theravāda and 6% for Vajrayāna. 
The origins of Mahāyāna are still not completely understood.[11] The earliest Western views of Mahāyāna assumed that it existed as a separate school in competition with the so-called "Hīnayāna" schools. 
Scholars have suggested that the Prajñāpāramitā sūtras, which are among the earliest Mahāyāna sūtras,[19][20] developed among the Mahāsāṃghika along the Kṛṣṇa River in the Āndhra region.[21] The earliest Mahāyāna sūtras to include the very first versions of the Prajñāpāramitā series, along with texts concerning Akṣobhya Buddha, which were probably written down in the 1st century BCE in the south of India. 
Few things can be said with certainty about Mahāyāna Buddhism,[note 11] especially its early Indian form, other than that the Buddhism practiced in China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Korea, Tibet, and Japan is Mahāyāna Buddhism.[note 12] Mahāyāna can be described as a loosely bound collection of many teachings with large and expansive doctrines that are able to exist simultaneously.

The Buddha lived and taught in the eastern part of India between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE.
His teaching was about the way in which an individual achieved enlightenment to conquer pains of living and existence and enter eternal peace and repose.  It was intended to be practiced by an individual for his own salvation of soul.

But around the first century a new movement emerged among Buddhists.  The background was that around the first century Buddhism became a religion for special people who could renounce the world and leave their families to devote themselves to practicing spiritual training.  Conversely, ordinary or poor people forced to work for their masters and families could not be saved.  Accordingly, people wanted another form of enjoying merit of Buddhism.

So, people came to revere followers of Buddhism who carried out hard spiritual training for salvation not only of their own souls but also of others' souls.  Those followers were respected as bodhisattvas.  And this school of Buddhism adopted a theory that people who continued to be engaged in worldly lives could also grasp the wisdom of Buddhism and reach enlightenment through their efforts.  The core of this teaching is wider salvation of souls.  

However, the largest difference between this school, called Mahayana, and other sects of Buddhism lies in that the former uses Mahayana sutras but the latter doesn't.

Yet, how this difference came to exist has been a mystery.  There is a huge gap between the direction Mahayana faces and that other sects do.  What made it possible for Buddhism to realize this quantum leap? 

One theory to solve this enigma is that around the first century Buddhists changed their method of handing down the teaching.  It was a change from an oral method to a writing and copying method.        
Wider introduction of religious texts as a means of keeping and communicating teachings paved the way for more detailed and structured study of Buddhism.  Different from a traditional practice of learning the teaching through individual ascetic practices where contents of the religion were stored in the brain of an ascetic monk, written teachings allowed for cooperation and discussion on the religion by many people, including laymen.  Further, documents opened a new space for human thinking.  It created a new world.  Religious practices were no longer restricted to individual's narrow space of his existence.  Study of Buddhism could now expand human and natural boundaries.    

For this reason,  Mahayana or Great Vehicle of Buddhism came to spread among peoples in different culture and traditions, such as Tibetans, Mongolians, Vietnamese, Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese.   
From a different perspective, the history of Mahayana is comparable with that of Christianity that began in the first century.  And Theravada (Hinayana or Small Vehicle) or other sects that keep more original form of the teaching of Buddhism might be comparable to Judaism in the analogy of the relationship of these religions.

Even Christianity probably could not spread without the Gospels or the New Testaments.  And the Old Testament could be accepted by Christians as it is written material.  There is no need to be Judaists to learn the teaching of Judaism.  

Therefore these 2000 years can be regarded as the era of sacred writings, though it was between 475 BC and 221 BC that Analects of Confucius were written and edited.

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Luk 5:16 And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.
Luk 5:17 And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.
Luk 5:18 And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him.
Luk 5:19 And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus.
Luk 5:20 And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.

Friday, May 16, 2014

"Let your light so shine before men" - A Story of a Japanese Judaist

The Tokyo Station

A Story of a Japanese Judaist

Some Japanese really helped lives of thousands of Judaists in WWII.
Chiune Sugihara (1900 – 1986) was a Japanese diplomat who served as Vice-Consul for the Empire of Japan in Lithuania. During World War II, he helped several thousand Jews leave the country by issuing transit visas to Jewish refugees so that they could travel to Japan. Most of the Jews who escaped were refugees from German-occupied Poland and residents of Lithuania. Sugihara wrote travel visas that facilitated the escape of more than 6,000 Jewish refugees to Japanese territory, risking his career and his family's lives. Sugihara had told the refugees to call him "Sempo", the Sino-Japanese reading of the characters in his first name, discovering it was much easier for Western people to pronounce.[1] In 1985, Israel honored him as Righteous Among the Nations for his actions.

However when 6,000 Judaists arrived at Vladivostok on the Sea of Japan through Siberia, the situation changed in Tokyo.  Then Imperial Government did not like to welcome these Judaists due to their alliance with Germany.  So, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Empire of Japan sent an official notice to the deputy counsel general stationed in the port city of the USSR, requesting virtual prohibition of allowing the Judaists to sail to Japan.   Nonetheless, the deputy counsel general Saburo Nei, in compassion to poor Judaists, neglected this telegraphic instruction.  Nei authorized voyage to Japan for the Jewish asylum seekers.
The Judaiasts landed on Tsuruga, a port city of Japan on the Sea of Japan on October 1941.  Residents of Tsuruga helped them get foods and other necessities.  Then the band of refugees mainly from Poland moved by train to Kobe, another port city on the Pacific side where a humble community of Judaiats living in Japan existed.  But, they were allowed to stay in Japan only for 10 days.  It was impossible for them to find ships to the US or Shanghai in only such a short period of time.

So, a Japanese scholar of Judaism who could speak the Hebrew word, named Setsuzo Kotsuji, came to be involved as some of the Judaists once heard Kotsuji's lecture delivered in Manchuria and asked help from Kotsuji.   Kotsuji went to Tokyo to meet his old acquaintance Yosuke Matsuoka, the notorious Foreign Minister of the Empire who was regarded as a kind of friend of Nazi Germany.  A little surprisingly, Matsuoka gave a tip to Kotsuji, telling that it was the police but not the Foreign Ministry that could allow prolonged stay for the Judaists since they were now within Japan.   So, Kotsuji went back to Kobe to persuade top officials of the police department of Kobe City.  Kotusji could finally gain the goodwill from the police after several lucrative banquets with high raking police officers.  The Judaists could now have time enough to find ships that would carry them to the US or Shanghai.

Accordingly, before the Pearl Harbor Attack by the Imperial Navy in December 1941, most of the Judaists could sail to the US or Shanghai.  They could completely avoid the Holocaust.

In June 1945, Setsuzo Kotsuji and his family moved or fled from Japan to Manchuria, since he was suspected of having a dangerous ideology against the Empire by the police.  When the Empire of Japan surrendered to the US in August 1945, Soviet Union troops invaded Manchuria.  Kotsuji was about to be arrested by Russians like other Japanese soldiers and citizens then living in Manchuria, a virtual puppet country of the Japanese Empire.  But some Judaists living in Manchuria protected Kotsuji from the Russian authority.  Kotsuji and his family could return to Japan safely.

In 1959, Setsuzo Kotsuji visited Israel.  He converted to Judaism there after strict religious probation.  He changed his name to Abraham Kotsuji.  He was warmly welcomed by the survivors he had helped in Japan in 1941.

In 1974 Kotsuji died at the age of 73 in Japan.  Though Israel was at war at the time, his dead body was carried to Israel for burial as he wished so.  A minister of the Israeli Government took the trouble to arrange this extraordinary burial, as the minister was one of those Judaists whose lives had been saved by Kotuji in Japan in 1941.

So, this is a real story of a very rare Japanese Judaist.        

Setsuzo Kotsuji and Judaists in Japan

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Mat 5:15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

"the shadow of Peter passing by" - Some Financial Aspect of the 2011 Great Disaster of Japan

The Tokyo Station

Some Financial Aspect of the 2011 Great Disaster of Japan

The 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that occurred along Pacific coast lines northeast of Tokyo on March 11, 2011 destroyed 400,000 houses and buildings as well as more than 400,00 cars and vehicles, taking on about 20,000 lives.

It also caused loss of cash of residents.  But after the disaster, 5,135 million yen ($51 million) cash was found in the disaster-stricken areas.  Of this amount, banknotes and coins worth 4,356 million yen ($43 million) were returned to legitimate owners.  The amount of money given to those who found by law totaled 160 million yen.  The related prefectures legally received about 500 million yen, for example, in such cases as finders were officials of municipalities.

In addition, there are still 10,000 financial items today kept by the police since legitimate owners are unknown.

The disaster also caused various crimes.  Thieves invaded houses, offices, filling stations, etc. to steal money and other assets.  The total amount of damage from this sort of crimes reached 100 million yen ($1 million) in two weeks after the tsunami.  ATMs of banks were also targeted by robbers.  In three months after March 11, total 684 million yen ($ 6.8 million) was stolen from banking machines.

Especially in Fukushima Prefecture where residents who lived within 20 km of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant were forced to evacuate their houses and offices by order of the Government, many cases involving sneak thieves were reported.

However, this Great Disaster of 2011 Tsunami/Earthquake/Nuclear Accident did not hit the total Japanese economy so hard as the 2008 Financial Crises triggered by the Lehman Shock  as the following figure about Japan's real GDP shows.

    Trend of Japanese GDP since 2003 
If you lost cash in a natural disaster such as a great tsunami, you may still get it back through kind hands and the police.  But if you lost money in the global financial crisis, you would lose it forever.

While running away from a great tsunami, no one minds cash he has left in a car or a house.  But, in a global financial crisis, no matter how much you worry about you financial assets, most of them should be lost in a black hole of the global monetary market.

Any way, as the US was double hit by the 2001 Terror and the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, Japan was also double hit by the 2008 Global Financial Crisis and the 2011 Great Tsunami Disaster.  And what is worse, Japan is still suffering the aftermath of the Fukushina Daiichi Nuclear Accident that is partly a man-made disaster.

And in the near future, Russia and China might have to face very critical crises to be tested on their integrity and justice.

*** *** *** ***

Act 5:15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

"they that fed the swine fled" - Golden Legend

In Tokyo

Golden Legend

There is a book intended to be a sequel of the New Testament, since its volume is almost equal  to the sum of volumes of the New Testament and the Old Testament.
The Golden Legend (Latin: Legenda aurea or Legenda sanctorum) is a collection of hagiographies by Jacobus de Voragine that became a late medieval bestseller. More than a thousand manuscripts of the text have survived.[1] It was likely compiled around the year 1260, although the text was added to over the centuries.

Among incunabula, printed before 1501, Legenda aurea was printed in more editions than the Bible.[4] It was one of the first books William Caxton printed in the English language; Caxton's version appeared in 1483 and his translation was reprinted, reaching a ninth edition in 1527. 
(An incunable, or sometimes incunabulum (plural incunables or incunabula, respectively), is a book, pamphlet, or broadside (such as the Almanach cracoviense ad annum 1474) that was printed—not handwritten—before the year 1501 in Europe.) 
Written in simple, readable Latin, the book was read in its day for its stories. Each of these is well told, but en masse they tend to become monotonous and blur together, with their repetitious accounts of martyrdoms and miracles. The book is considered the closest to an encyclopaedia of medieval saint lore that survives today; as such it is invaluable to art historians and medievalists who seek to identify saints depicted in art by their deeds and attributes. Its repetitious nature is explained if Jacobus de Voragine meant to write a compendium of saintly lore for sermons and preaching, not a work of popular entertainment.
 In this book more than 100 saints appear to save people and perform miracles.  But, some say that the only saint who heard a voice of God and ventured into salvation of mankind believing mercy of God before 1300 is Saint Francis of Assisi (1181/1182 – 1226), an Italian Catholic friar and preacher.  Even Jacobus de Voragine might have been influenced by deeds of St. Francis.
He founded the men's Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order of St. Clare, and the Third Order of Saint Francis for men and women not able to live the lives of itinerant preachers, followed by the early members of the Order of Friars Minor or the monastic lives of the Poor Clares.[1] Though he was never ordained to the Catholic priesthood, Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history. 
On 13 March 2013, upon his election as Pope, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina chose Francis as his papal name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi, becoming Pope Francis.   
So, the incumbent Pope seems to be linked with the era of Columbus, since among incunabula, printed before 1501, Legenda aurea was printed in more editions than the Bible and the Golden Legend with full of miracles was written immediately after the death of St. Francis.

Pope Francis had better make an effort to make the world of today a world with faith and miracles, as depicted in the Golden Legend, so that everybody can realize the Second Coming of Christ Jesus.

The Golden Legend

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Mar 5:13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.
Mar 5:14 And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done.
Mar 5:15 And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

" I will: be thou clean" - Queen Elizabeth I vs. the Vatican

In Tokyo

Queen Elizabeth I vs. the Vatican

It is reportedly said that the Vatican once wanted Queen Elizabeth I to be assassinated.
Has anyone ever tried to assassinate a king or Queen of the United Kingdom? 
by iwnit on November 8th, 2007

1) Queen Elizabeth I of England: 
"The Ridolfi plot was a Roman Catholic plot in 1570 to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I of England and replace her with Mary I of Scotland. The plot was hatched and planned by Roberto di Ridolfi, who, an international banker, was able to travel between Brussels, Rome and Madrid to gather support without attracting too much suspicion."
Source and further information: 

"The Babington Plot was the event which most directly led to the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. This was a second major plot against Elizabeth I of England after the Ridolfi plot." 
"It is named after the chief conspirator Anthony Babington (1561–1586), a young Catholic nobleman from Derbyshire. John Ballard, a Jesuit priest and Catholic agent, persuaded Babington to become involved in a plot to overthrow and/or murder Queen Elizabeth I of England, replacing her on the throne with the Roman Catholic former Queen of Scotland."
Source and further information:
When the Pope anathematized Queen Elizabeth I, he must have been sure that some Catholic agents would try to assassinate her due to political and religious situations at the time.  But the Pope never added his hope or order that no Catholics should attempt to take on the queen of England.  

However, the threat to Elizabeth's life did not end on the day that she became Queen. There were countless plots against Elizabeth I and many of these are listed in a chapter entitled “How Many Plots Were There to Kill Elizabeth I?” in the book that I'm reading at the moment, “How Fat Was Henry VIII? And 101 Other Questions on Royal History”. Another of Elizabeth's achievements was surviving and having a long and successful reign.

Elizabeth's life was in constant danger after Pope Pius V issued the Bull Regnans in Excelsis of Excommunication and Deposition against Elizabeth in 1570, which was a green light for Catholics to rise against her and assassinate her. This Bull led to Elizabeth and her government passing strong laws against the Catholics even though Elizabeth had once said that she had “no desire to make windows into men's souls”.

How Many Plots Were There to Kill Elizabeth I?

In December 1583, Elizabeth I wrote to the French Ambassador:-
“There are more than two hundred men of all ages who, at the instigation of the Jesuits, conspire to kill me.”
and she wasn't exaggerating!
A fact that once a Pope helped attempts to assassinate a queen of England is so shocking.  But today, a billion of Catholics believe and love the Vatican as if such attempts had never existed.

From this fact, it can be easily inferred that the Vatican did not make full efforts to save lives of millions of Judaists in Europe from evil power of Nazi Germany in and before WWII.

If the Vatican once tried to assassin a Protestant monarch, it would more naturally have Judaists attacked and killed so brutally.

Accordingly, people should try to pray to God directly without praying through the Pope.  This habit should prevail before another Queen Elizabeth is gone.

In addition, I don't think William Shakespeare had any dangerous connection with the Vatican, though he is said to have been a hidden Catholic with some ambiguous linkage with some dubious Catholic bishops or the like.

*** *** *** ***

Luk 5:13 And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.

Monday, May 12, 2014

"for great is your reward in heaven" - Origin of Evil of Wall Street and the City

Part of Metropolitan Tokyo

Origin of Evil of Wall Street and the City

The origin of modern evil can be traced back to the start of modern banking.

However, essentially banking had been forbidden by the Vatican.
Originally, the charging of interest known as usury was banned by Christian churches meaning the charging of interest at any rate was banned. This included charging a fee for the use of money, such as at a bureau de change. However over time the charging of interest became acceptable, the term came to be used for interest above the rate allowed by law. 
The rise of Protestantism in the 18th century weakened Romes dictates against usury that would free up the development of banking in Northern Europe.
The inception of this trend started in England during the last phase of its Renaissance
In the City of London there weren't any banking houses operating in a manner recognized as so today until the 17th century, [176][177] although the London Royal Exchange was established in 1565. 
As Henry VIII (1491 – 1547) cut a tie with the Vatican in 1530s for handling of his divorce, England was positioned so as to easily leave "Rome's dictates against usury."
Supreme Head of the Church of England was a title held by Kings Henry VIII and Edward VI of England, signifying their leadership of the Church of England. 
The title was created for King Henry VIII, who was responsible for the English church breaking away from the authority of the Roman Catholic Church after the Pope excommunicated Henry in 1533 over his divorce from Catherine of Aragon. By 1536, Henry had broken with Rome, seized the church's assets in England and declared the Church of England as the established church with himself as its head. The Act of Supremacy of 1534 confirmed the King's status as having supremacy over the church and required the nobility to swear an oath recognising Henry's supremacy.
This trend must have been carried well by his daughter Elizabeth I (1533 - 1603) with establishment of the London Royal Exchange in 1565.

Then the Industrial Revolution occurred in England, resulting in a strong need for a financial system that provided money and funds for industrialists.
The Industrial Revolution and growing international trade increased the number of banks, especially in London. At the same time, new types of financial activities broadened the scope of banking far beyond its origins. The merchant-banking families dealt in everything from underwriting bonds to originating foreign loans. These new "merchant banks" facilitated trade growth, profiting from England's emerging dominance in seaborne shipping. Two immigrant families, Rothschild and Baring, established merchant banking firms in London in the late 18th century and came to dominate world banking in the next century.  
Here we have to refer to teaching of Judaism on banking, since Rothschild got involved in the banking system of England.
The Torah and later sections of the Hebrew Bible criticize interest-taking, but interpretations of the Biblical prohibition vary. One common understanding is that Jews are forbidden to charge interest upon loans made to other Jews, but obliged to charge interest on transactions with non-Jews, or Gentiles. However, the Hebrew Bible itself gives numerous examples where this provision was evaded. 
Court Jews were Jewish bankers or businessmen who lent money and handled the finances of some of the Christian European noble houses, primarily in the 17th and 18th centuries.[167] Court Jews were precursors to the modern financier or Secretary of the Treasury.[167] Their jobs included raising revenues by tax farming, negotiating loans, master of the mint, creating new sources for revenue,floating debentures, devising new taxes. and supplying the military.[167][168] In addition, the Court Jew acted as personal bankers for nobility: he raised money to cover the noble's personal diplomacy and his extravagances.[168]
So, now it is clear that decline of authority of the Vatican after the era of Christoper Columbus (1450 - 1506) and Martin Luther (1483 - 1546), England in its Renaissance detached itself from the realm of the Vatican where the charging of interest was forbidden.  Then the Industrial Revolution began in England where Rothschild started to expand their business in extension of their old profession of "court Jews" that was based on an unique aspect of Judaism on money.  However it was the Vatican that helped Rothschild and the likes develop skills in this trade due to restrictions imposed on their social activities in Christianity dominant society.

Put simply, this sinful modern banking business and the financial sector were a result of failure of the Vatican.  And it can be traced back to the era of Columbus and Martin Luther.  Indeed today, in the New World or America that was introduced into history by Columbus and became a great turf of Protestantism triggered by Martin Luther, the banking business so flourished to lead the highly industrialized world.

The origin of evil of Wall Street and the City is thus so religious.        

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Mat 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Mat 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.