I am Koei Morikawa, Tendaizasu, The 257th Supreme Priest of the Tendai Buddhist Denomination. I am from a sacred place of Japanese Buddhism, Mt. Hiei, located near Kyoto, Japan. The Gathering of Prayer for Peace by World Religious Leaders, which was sponsored by His Holiness Pope John Paul II started 30 years ago. It has been held all over the Europe and has returned to its starting point, Assis, today. It is one of the most joyous occasions of my 91-years of life to be able to pray with world religious leaders, and all of you, gathered here at this event for those people who are in need of assistance.
History has shown us that the peace attained by force will be overturned by force. We should know that prayers and dialogue are not the long way but the shortcut to the peace. We cannot, however, overlook the current world movements which separates dialogue from unity and cooperation and demands isolation and power. This trend can produce self-centered hatred, anger and furthermore antipathy.
Shakyamuni Buddha taught us that “hatred is not eliminated by hatred; hatred can only be eliminated by abandoning hatred.” Saicho, the founder of Tendai Buddhism of Japan, instructs us to treat hatred with virtue, and Saint Francis of Assis teaches us to bring love where hatred exists.
In order to create a world with virtue where abhorrence exists and with love where hatred exists, we, clergy, must pray together hand in hand and continue to do our very best. From that point of view, the presence of His Holiness, encourages all.
Next year will be the 30th year since we have initiated ‘The Gathering of Prayer for Peace by World Religious Leaders’, which is held at Mt. Hiei in Japan in the spirit of Assis. I sincerely pray that the uninterrupted prayers by various religious organizations from East and West aiming the unification of humanity will reach to God and buddhas in certitude. Thank you very much for your attention.
Gassho (prayer with palm together)