Time passes by very quickly. The new year has already arrived, and our lives are slipping away, year after year. Around the new year, everyone has new hopes and resolutions, but we should earnestly make plans and form everlasting aspirations that will continue with each passing year. Amitabha Buddha made forty-eight great vows which remained unchanged over the course of many lifetimes; Sakyamuni Buddha also made the great everlasting vow to return on the ship of compassion to save sentient beings. All buddhas and bodhisattvas who come to the world have their own original vow. As the Buddha’s disciples, we also must make our own original vows and put them into action.
Every year, I make three vows:
- I seek not for a healthy body but for a clear mind.
- I seek not for everything to go my way but for perseverance and courage.
- I seek not for less responsibility but only for more strength.
This year, more than ever, I am filled with limitless hope that people’s hearts may be purified, societies may be in harmony, and the world may be free of disasters.
We all must advance diligently and have self-discipline, for with each passing day, we draw closer to death. Time passes like flowing water, and the seconds, minutes, hours, and days ebb away ceaselessly. Life is impermanent and constantly changing, and everyone should earnestly form aspirations and make vows. When we have aspirations, we will not be lax; when we have vows, we will have great strength. Only when we make great vows and at the same time carry them out in our actions can we make the most of our time and the karmic conditions of our limited lifespans to create blessings, merits, and wisdom.