In Japan, the cherry blossom season is about to be over. When the Japanese hear the word flower, the first thing that comes to mind is the cherry blossom. Cherry blossoms are in full bloom for only one week and disappear very beautifully. This symbolizes the manliness of the samurai.

The samurai wanted to depart from this world beautifully, too because they prefer to die gracefully than to be put to shame. This “samurai spirit” has existed deep inside the Japanese from ancient time. That is why the Japanese like the cherry blossom.

HBS believers should live like the cherry blossom, too. Nissen Shonin says in his teaching guidebook:

We should always offer as much as we can to the Myoho [the Fine Dharma (the Odaimoku)] whenever we can afford. Even if we die poor due to the offerings, we shall leave this world without regret. On the contrary, it must trouble ourselves to die worth millions wishing for a slim but long and healthy life even though being in a position to offer a lot. Then, wishing a short but fulfilling life is suitable for the intent of the Lotus Sutra. Wishing for a slim but long and healthy life is a wrong way of thinking that arises from evil thoughts of our strong desire due to disobeying the teachings of the Buddha. The two thoughts are as different as heaven and earth or fire and water. The strong wish to die for the Myoho should be our greatest pleasure in life.

 

[Koba Hikkei—A Priest’s Companion at Oko]

As a result, we actually can live a “long and fulfilling life” thanks to the merits of the faith in the Fine Dharma. :-)