Eitaikyo: The Perpetual MemorialPosted: April 18, 2009 | Author: Doug | Filed under: Buddhism, Jodo Shinshu, Jodo Shu, Religion, Theravada, Zen | 2 Comments »
April 17th through 18th is an important holiday in Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, called Eitaikyō (永代経), or the “Perpetual Memorial”. This is a holiday commemorating the contributions of Buddhists in past, who’ve kept the tradition going. Since Jodo Shinshu draws heavily on the past teachings of Pure Land Buddhists like Honen and Shan-tao, the memorial tends to have focus on Pure Land Buddhists of the past. However, one of the strengths of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism in my opinion is its emphasis on gratitude and acknowledging the contributions of others.
So, for all your readers who consider yourselves Buddhist, who are you grateful to?
I’ll name a few I am grateful to, in no particular order:
- Honen for demonstrating a Buddhist path anyone can follow.
- Kūkai for inspiring people to adhere to high standards of conduct.
- Yin-Shun for his fantastic scholarship in modern times, and for providing a great overview of Mahayana Buddhism, as well as his uncompromising teachings of the Dharma.
- Bhikkhu Bodhi for his excellent scholarship, sincere adherence to the Vinaya, and ecumenical efforts to bridge the gap between Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism.1
Namu Amida Butsu
P.S. Apparently other Japanese Buddhist traditions celebrate this as well, though it goes by the name Eitai Kuyō (永代供養).
1 With so many corrupt priests in the world, it’s very re-assuring to see men like Ven. Yin-Shun and Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi keeping the faith and precepts. They are an inspiration to the rest of us.