It’s now been one month since the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan and left the island nation forever changed.
The ongoing suffering of the people and animals in Japan after the 9.0 magnitude great earthquake, thirty-seven foot tsunami, and explosive atomic disaster at Fukushima’s Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, have not left my heart and mind since that ominous day of March 11, 2011. It is unlikely that even Hollywood with it’s ultimate disaster movies could have considered such a terrible fate for those living in Japan.
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What are we who are not there on the ground, who have contributed financially to a charity but want to do more, left to do? We can pray for Japan. His Holiness the Dalai Lama stated it would be very good if Japanese Buddhists were to recite the Heart Sutra on this occasion and that it may not only be helpful for those who have lost their precious lives, but may also help prevent further disasters in the future. In addition there, are four other Tibetan Buddhist prayers that would be most beneficial to recite for the people of Japan. They are: PrayerToAvertNuclearWar; Sampa Nyur Drupma; Sa Chu Me Lung; and Green Tara Terma.
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I can only imagine what it must be like to experience that sudden jolt of life altering events that left the world of those living in Japan forever changed. Over 12,000 people died in the quake and tsunami that followed and there are estimates that another 14,000 are missing and presumed dead. But accounting for the missing hasn’t truly been addressed because the buildings housing local government resident records were crushed, then washed away by wave after pounding wave. Half a million people are now homeless from the natural and man-made disaster. Those who have returned home and some who stayed indoors in the evacuation zones are facing starvation as getting food to the isolated areas has proved difficult.
Before the twin disasters Japan already imported 60% of it’s food and is the world’s largest importer of corn. So many people living in Japan are going through an incredible amount of hardship, struggling with scarce food, water, and electricity. (The Tokyo region, powered by Fukushima, Daiichi is expected to face rolling blackouts throughout the summer, but it could actually go on for years.)
Over 10,000 cows and other livestock are dead after they were abandoned in the fields, barns, and pens, by their owners who fled the radioactive contaminated air, land, and water, near Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant.
And untold numbers of pet dogs, cats, birds, rabbits have been left behind to fend for themselves when evacuees were told ‘no pets allowed.’
With all six of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants in peril because TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) has been unable to keep water circulating into the containment tanks of radioactive spent fuel rods that are cracked, the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) calls the situation there “very serious” and 16 of Japan’s top nuclear experts say there is “no reason to be optimistic” about the grave conditions. A few nuclear scientists say even a hydrogen explosion, similar to a bomb, could happen there, spreading even more radioactive contaminants into the jet stream.
An executive of AREVA, a French company touted as being a leader in atomic energy and who has written a report about the Fukushima Daiichi plant problems after the quake and tsunami has gone so far as to say that “Clearly we are witnessing one of the greatest disasters in modern time.”
An end to the nuclear crisis in Japan is decades away and will cost several billions of dollars. The environmental damage done to the country of Japan and the ocean surrounding it is tragic and unfathomable. Two and a half tons of water is being pumped into the plant each day. That water is dissolving into steam, flowing into the sea, and onto the earth. It’s filled with radioactive elements.
Some nuclear scientists have right now declared one-third of Japan uninhabitable because of the radioactive contamination, and also say that those countries around the world who are touched by Japan’s jet stream will suffer and increase in illnesses and cancer.
Besides the ongoing nuclear crisis is Fukushima, Japan is home to ten percent of the world’s volcanoes. Japan is the location of four tectonic plates: the Pacific; Philippine; Eurasian; and North American and the 9.0 earthquake on March 11, 2011 awakened 20 of the countries volcanoes. Japan’s Meteorological Agency has warned that the people should maintain vigilance against this tendency.
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PLEASE PRAY FOR JAPAN
With much of Japan still in crisis mode, this is a frightening and especially perilous time for the people there, filled with much sadness and a lot of fear for those who lived through it. I knew that reciting Tibetan Buddhist mantras for every person and animal living there would be helpful, and just two weeks after the events in Japan I had the good fortune to interview Lama Tharchin Rinpoche about these things. Rinpoche is a Dzogchen (Great Perfection) master of Vajrayana Buddhism who was trained in His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche’s monastery, engaged in five years of solitary retreat, and then completed the three year retreat with three others under Dudjom Rinpoche. Lama Tharchin Rinpoche’s main teachers have been Dudjom Rinpoche, Chatral Rinpoche, Lama Sherab Dorje Rinpoche, and Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche.
Rinpoche did advise me that the most beneficial prayers for Japan are posted on his website, Vajrayana Foundation. For your convenience I have also listed them here with a brief explanation:
PrayerToAvertNuclearWar – Rinpoche told me that this is an excellent prayer to help with the atomic destruction that is going on now in Japan. It does not matter if the radiation was released because of a war. It matters that it is atomic and it is of arrogant making by ignorant humans who believed they were infallible.
Sampa Nyur Drupma – ‘The Prayer that Swiftly Fulfills all Wishes’ is a treasure composed by Guru Rinpoche and reavealed by the omniscient Longchenpa and Rigdzin Jigme Lingpa.
Sa Chu Me Lung – A prayer to Guru Rinpoche and his retinue of the four elemental dakinis to remove all obstacles caused by the four elements of fire, earth, water and wind. (The elements have turned negative against us because of our negative thinking)
Green Tara Terma – Green Tara is a savioress who represents compassion in action, she who can give aid from material threats, one of them being floods, like a tsunami.