A Statement from Jodo Shu
Concerning the Terrorist Attacks on the United States
September 25, 2001
I would like to express my sincerest condolences and feeling of grief to the families of those who were sacrificed in the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11th.
We at Jodo Shu believe in the power of non-violence and so recall the terrorist attacks on the United States with deep sorrow. Regardless of the grounds for this attack, there cannot be forgiveness for the violence which has wounded people. Shakyamuni Buddha taught that, “All tremble at violence; life is dear to all. Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill.” (Dhammapada 130)
Violence is surely an act of ignorance. This is something everyone can understand. However, humans are neither gods nor buddhas. And so living beings tend to commit foolish mistakes. If we deeply understand this ignorance inside of us, we can reduce it – this is also human.
The United States has declared that it will discover who committed these acts and exact revenge on them. However, violence gives birth to more violence, and there is no end to a war of mutual revenge. Revenge creates new sorrow and the birth of hatred.
The Buddha said, “Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world; by non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is an Eternal Law. (Dhammapada 5) The founder of Jodo Shu, Honen Shonin, witnessed the murder of his father during an attack on their family home one night. As he lay ding, his father said to the young boy, If you seek for revenge, it will be difficult to end the cycle of this hatred.” Even in an age when revenge was common, Honen’s father dared to forbid it. This is the kind of deed which truly upholds the Buddha’s teaching. If we strike at others, we ourselves invite attack, and so there is no end to the violence.
We in Jodo Shu will continue to strive to create a world with no violence in which fellow beings trust one another, love one another and help one another.
Rev. Kosho Mizutani
Secretary General of Jodo Shu (Pure Land Buddhist Denomination)