January 1, 2017
The Gomonshu is the spiritual head of our denomination based in Kyoto, Japan. The current Gomonshu is His Eminence Monshu Kojun Ohtani, the 25th-generation descendant of Shinran Shonin to head the Hongwanji. Here is his New Year’s message.
At the beginning of this New Year, I would like to extend my warmest greetings to you.
This past year, we have been observing the ceremony known as The Commemoration on the Accession of the Jodo Shinshu Tradition since last October. This service will be continuing until the end of May over 10 sessions and a total of 80 days. The participation of the many delegates from both domestic and overseas districts has revitalized the atmosphere of all of our temple activities, and for that I am truly happy and grateful to each and every one of you.
Through holding the service together with you fellow Nembutsu followers, I am able to personally experience how the Jodo Shinshu teaching has not only been passed down to us over the span of nearly 800 years, but also how it has been delivered to many regions of the world beyond national borders. I believe that we have the Jodo Shinshu teaching today precisely because it served as the spiritual foundation for all of the preceding Nembutsu followers.
Shinran Shonin revealed his understanding of the Dharma known today as Jodo Shinshu Buddhism. It is a teaching for those of us who constantly struggle with various worries and hardships in life. Let us continue to listen to the teaching and share our own appreciation of the Dharma with family and friends in the hope that we can follow the Nembutsu path together with them.
Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha
浄土真宗本願寺派 門主 大谷光淳