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!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Unit 23 Stem from the Primal Vow Power

23 Stem from the Primal Vow Power

At your deathbed the pitch darkness will come into view! By then you will aware of your nakedness.

At your deathbed the pitch darkness  will come out, it reveals the reality that for birth in the Pure Land, bombu like us cannot help but can only feel the torments of hell which haunts us unbearably. Only then you will hear the reverberation of ‘the immensity of the Primal Vow’ from Amida Buddha. If you don’t listen carefully enough right at this juncture you may be regretful when the wind of impermanence blows.

We have sunlight during the day, and we have lamp light at night. Prompted by the five desires of the monkey mind we hustle around for a living and are negligent about the emergence of pitch darkness at the point of death. In truth, the broad daylight remains pitch dark to us!

On the side of bombu, daytime is still pitch dark as there is no slightest possibility of us to become a Buddha because we cling to this ‘most attractive self’. Without relying on the Other-Power - ‘the Primal Vow Power’ - there is no way that you can become a Buddha.

Bombu have self-attachment therefore they cannot be ‘no-self’. As long as one cannot be achieving ‘no-self’, one is inescapably an utterly perplexed and perverse bombu. If bombu simply take the words of bombu, they will never ever enter upon the stage of enlightenment. By wholeheartedly embracing the golden words of the Great Sages of Perfect Enlightenment the Sakyamuni Buddha and Amida Buddha, we can only come to the stage of enlightenment. 

Even an intelligent being cannot conceive of impermanence and they act in a way as seems they have nothing to do with death. The one who perceives impermanence is someone who is sentenced to death, or someone who is dying in the last stage of cancer and having vomited dark blood before dying.

Master Shinran seriously sought after the ‘path of escaping life and death’, today we shall as well pursue the ‘path of escaping life and death’ earnestly to be able to see the light of settling our Shinjin or Pure Faith. Just emulating other people is of no avail.

‘Stem from the Primal Vow Power’, ‘stem from the Primal Vow Power’, ponder it again and again. Reflect it deeply even through tenth of years of privation in order to conceive of this! When you conceive of this, Shinjin is so settled.

How come those people who cannot be born in the Pure Land are, however, born there? After many decades hearing the Buddhadharma and going through stringent tussle, one finally concedes to this one phrase, ‘the Primal Vow Power is immense!’ which dispels the darkness of ignorance. 

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