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3. "Sin" and "Repentance" in Buddhism

To look into one's own mind - this is basis of Buddhism. What is found when our eyes, open to the outside, are turned inside? Although it is said that all sentient beings have the "Buddha Nature," can you find there any radiance that may grow into enlightenment? Or, do you instead find something unfaceable and hideous obscuring the radiance?
Such hideous things may include, for example, memories of hurtful experiences in the past, regret, self-hatred, hatred of others, jealousy, revengefulness, the temptation of addiction, and the like. They are like separate beings which dwell in our heart. However, the more we dislike them and try to force them further and further away, the more hardened they become and overwhelm us. Our mind thus does not work as we wish.

For example, in Buddhism, there are five deadly sins, the "five cardinal sins." If a person violates any one of them, he/she will go to the "worst hell, in which beings suffer incessantly." The first is "matricide," the second is "patricide," and so on. "Killing one's parent is the most cardinal sin." - The fact that such a commandment is prescribed suggests that, on the other hand, this sin has been committed from ancient times, although perhaps not very often.
Today, various criminal affairs, if not parricide, are reported, some of which are too dreadful and horrible for us to bear even hearing about. However, sins and anguish of human beings are not problems specific to contemporary society, and we may say that we human beings have continuously suffered from sins and anguish since the beginning of human existence.
If one can successfully avoid such affairs during a lifetime, he/she may be lucky. However, anybody may happen to become a wrongdoer or a victim depending upon the circumstances. Look into yourself. Are you sensitive enough to recognize a wrongdoer or a potential germ of violentness within your own self?
Antagonism, jealousy, hatred, revengefulness..., these feelings may possibly occur in anyone during one's life. When such feelings abruptly flare up, what can we do and how can we control them? One may feel backed into a corner and unreasoningly believe that he/she must make a difficult and extreme choice. In this case, he/she may take a destructive attitude toward others or him/herself, leading to a chain of bad results.

"Surrender and confess yourself to Buddha." - This is the teaching by ancient masters given to people suffering from sin and anguish. It does not merely mean "unburden yourself," because negative aspects of the self have significant power in a certain sense. By confessing yourself in the presence of Buddha, you will be able to accept, with Buddha's forgiveness, the fact that the negative aspect is just part of you. Even if the finding within yourself seems to be insignificant, accept it as reality.
Only then will the conversion of energy from "destruction" into "creation" occur. You will make a new departure, and feel a productive outflow of your new life.

Repentance has great creative power. "Destruction" or "creation" - the choice is up to every one of us.