Power of Light

When I was sorting photos of various ponds in Japanese gardens, I noticed color of water was pretty different depending on the location and time. Some ponds look very clear, some look brown and some look green. To my surprise, one of Eikando’s pond photos look blue. Then I noticed the existence of light. Color of the water in the pond looks all different because of the reflection of light. This simple realization of light led me to have new understanding and translation of our Master Honen’s short poem called “Pond Water Poem.”



Water of the pond, (5 syllables)

A human heart and mind are, (7syllables)

Similar and alike. (6 syllables)

Whether it’s muddy or clear, (7 syllables)

Changing and never settled. ( 7 syllables)

By Honen Shonin

Water in the pond looks different depending on the pond. Some are clear and some muddy. However with the power of sunlight, even the muddy pond can look so clear. So it doesn’t matter whether it is muddy or clear, because color is set by not pond itself but the sunlight. The original vow of Amida Buddha is exactly like sunlight which influences the color of water. Whether we are pure or not is actually never issue, because Amida Buddha keeps shining infinite light onto us. For Amida Buddha, we are all same kind, not so different.

Honen Shonin must have realized the importance of sunlight when he saw water in the pond. Sunlight represents infinite light of Amida Buddha.   Namu Amida Butsu