Namu Amida Butsu

This work is especially dedicated to Zuiken Saizo Inagaki, who sheds light on the pristine and original teachings of Jodo Shinshu (Shin Buddhism) for many people, including myself. I regard him as my soul teacher and I am very much influenced by his words and thoughts, which are deeply imbued with the Wisdom of Compassion of Amida Buddha. I read most of his writings available in Chinese language and I wish to share some of his golden words in this blog in English. Rev. George Gatenby and Mr. Gabriel Schlaefer have been kindly and untiringly assisting me to edit the translated essays so that they are readable and true to the intent of Sensei. May all partake of the wisdom of Shinshu teaching and be overpowered by the light of Amida Buddha.

Namu Amida Butsu!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Unit 21 'I Can Protect You'

Unit 21 ‘I Can Protect You’

The ‘protect’ of ‘I can protect you’ refers to ‘revealing the import of Amida Buddha’s fruition’. (二卷钞).

Amida Buddha and God are not the same. ‘If you cannot gain birth, I will not attain perfect enlightenment’; if you are unable to gain deliverance, I will not as well attain perfect enlightenment. This Primal-Vow of perfect enlightenment made has been realized and is called ''Namu Amida Butsu''. ‘The import of Amida Buddha’s fruition’ is right here. Relying on the Vow-Power, sentient beings will attain birth accordingly. The word ‘protect’ is so precious.

Thinking that ‘Buddha is seeing me, protecting me and awaiting me,’ I am so blissful to have been taken within the light.

No matter how I have been taught and guided earnestly, I remain blind to the great path, the white path of the Vow-Power. What is to be done? Because you put the great path into your small bombu frame of  self-power and therefore you are unable to see it; because you use your brain to think of the Vow-Power and therefore you are unable to see it. What shall I do in order to see it? Just pay no attention to the ‘brightness or darkness inwardly and outwardly’, if you are aware that you are saddled with hellish karma (sins), you will know personally of your ‘pitch-black’ conditions. ‘Pitch-blackness’ will get you informed and show itself before you. The people that are blind to the ‘pitch-blackness’ are unable to see the great path.

Those do not know the ‘great path’ are simply blind to ‘blackness’. Don’t worry  about good, evil, being wise or ignorant.  The Primal Vow-Power surpasses good and evil. Neither being wise nor ignorant could hinder the working of The Primal Vow. The very moment of downfall (into the hell) is the great path! The muddy bombus that are ignorant of evil karma, being in the ‘pitch-blackness’ but blind to its existence, they could not see the great path as the matter of course.

Before talking about ‘shinjin’ ‘nembutsu’, please look carefully at the ‘pitch-blackness’. Before talking about 'yearning for a peace mind (anjin)’, please get to know  precisely the ‘pitch-blackness’. If you discern  the 'pitch-blackness’, the mind of ‘yearning for shinjin, anjin thereafter to seek birth’ will naturally be sorted out. With that beggars’ base nature of ‘wish to have’ ‘wish to have’, it is normal that one is unable to see the great path. 

'Pitch-blackness’ refers to the fact that no matter what, it is just impossible to be rescued, hitting walls around (hedged all about), such a state of mind is called ‘pitch-blackness’.  Hitting walls, hitting walls, hitting walls out-and-out, the ‘pitch-blackness’ comes after hitting walls thoroughly, how invaluable (actually sensei used honorable to describe this) is this ‘pitch-blackness’! The wise and the learned and those with eyes cannot see the great path but the foolish however can see it.

For a bombu to try to understand birth will turn to be an obstacle that hinders birth. Those who simply put themselves thoroughly at the discretion of the inconceivable Buddha-Wisdom and Vow-Power are called foolish beings. Though living in the blackness, they have put an end to  judgment; they have been taken in (by Buddha) and walk on the great path, rejoice at the companion of Buddha they seem to be living in a whole new world.

By Zuiken Sensei

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