One of the great heroes in our Jodo Shinshu Buddhist tradition is a
humble farmer and handyman named Shoma who lived in Sanuki province
on the Japanese island of Shikoku from 1799 to 1871.
On one occasion, Shoma visited the head temple and received the Sarana
Affirmation Ceremony, a ritual in which the abbot of the temple places a
razor on the head of the Nembutsu follower three times, representing the
shaving of the head, which since the time of the Buddha, has expressed
the resolution to take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.
After administering the ceremony to Shoma, the abbot started to
move on to the next person when Shoma grabbed hold of the sleeve of his