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Harada Roshi

SAITAN New Year`s Poem

Ryujin Nami wo maki, Kenkon wo nomu
Akumu masa ni sameru, shoji no kon
Isshi asshi Kishi ni kakatte, hana sakashima ni kassu
Konshin saiken su, Taihei no moto

The dragon is bringing forth great waves and drinking up heaven and earth
Difficulties have opened our eyes, cutting through the root of life and death
Pressed by a rock, hanging from a cliff, the flower grows upside down
The wish for new life comes forth, the source for great peace


During this New Year it is impossible not to think about the Eastern part of Japan.

It is said that the Dragon RYUJIN is the God living in the waters, like the 38 meter high tsunami wave, the anger of that dragon drank up everything in heaven and earth. That is how it could be looked at. Of course it is the structural change on the planet that brings forth earthquakes and tsunamis, but in the olden days it was looked upon as the dragon in the ocean being filled with rage. It was even believed that there was a castle RYUGUJO of that dragon under water.

Due to that huge tsunami, 28000 people lost their lives, more than 4 kilometers into the land, all houses as well, everything existing was pushed by that wave and washed away. Just like seeing a nightmare, which fills us with fright and anger, but because of this experience, it also opened our eyes to the truth of birth and death. Nature took many lives, but also shows us that humans cannot use the environment of this planet according to their own wishes. Our life can be lost in just one short moment. While we are alive today, already tomorrow our life could be taken. For that reason we cannot be indulgent with ourselves and only follow our desires.

Like the Buddha would say over and over again: Everything is constantly changing. In just one moment everything changes, and we will one day have to say good bye and depart. And for that reason we have the chance to use our life for realizing the truth of what we are alive for.

The difficulties have opened our eyes, and thus we can cut through the root of life and death.

The grass pressed down by a rock will start to grow sideways, and will even grow upside down hanging from a cliff. Even in such adverse circumstances, life energy doesn’t stop there. In challenging circumstances, the greater the suffering is, the greater the wisdom and wish to live will come forth from there. And new life energy and efforts are born.

This life energy is the source of peace, no need for separation or fear, but building on a united base. This is where the truth of Buddhism can be found.

For this New Year the poem expresses the refreshing and joining of life energy.

With best wishes to the world wide sangha.


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