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!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

CHAPTER 24 There is no Mahayana without the Primal Vow

Revised on the 3rd, November 2017

Mahayana Buddhism is so designated because of the aspects of “non-duality” and “suchness”; to be exact, “the Primal Vow,” “the Name,” “the Buddha,” and “the Pure Land.”

There is no Mahayana without the Primal Vow.

If not for the Primal Vow, bonbu could not be saved, and the Pure Land would remain unaccomplished.

Resolving the matter of birth-and-death would be hopeless without the Primal Vow.

“Relying on the Primal Vow-power of the Tathagata that saves all sentient beings” is the Primal Vow of Amida Tathagata. Amida Buddha proclaims, “I save you by the Primal Vow!” In no other way (other than the Primal Vow) could you be saved.

“No matter what you will fall  (into hell),” yet “because of the Primal Vow you are made to be born in the Pure Land.” If not for the Primal Vow, birth in the Pure Land could not be realized.

The Dharma (ki) (that saves) is not other than the person (ho) (to be saved). Similarly, the person is not other than the Dharma. “Relying on the Primal Vow and gain salvation”—that is, dharma is not other than the person. Shinjin is inherent.

The Primal Vow-power transforms the poisons of our evil passions into the pure mind of the Tathagata. Once reflected in the mind-mirror of the Tathagata, the Tathagata will never forsake you, making you attain the realization of the “nonduality of Buddha and sentient beings.” This is the inconceivability of the Buddha-wisdom.

From the stance of the Buddha, the inconceivability of the Buddha-wisdom is natural—that’s the naturalness of the Buddha-wisdom.

The Tathagata is born into the world for the sake of my emancipation. If it was not because of my nature that is assuredly doomed to hell, Amida Buddha would not have needed to exist.

Having nothing, I am called to return to the home of the Compassionate Father.

I am totally unworthy to be called home; however, the call reaches me.

I have no reason to be saved; however, He comes to my rescue. Such is the Tathagatathat’s the inconceivable Buddha-wisdom.

No meaning is true meaning!

Other-power, the naturalness of the Buddha, the causes and effects of the Buddha—which refers to the vows He made and his practices, the six-character Name, the Pure Land, etc.—all amount to the causes and effects of the salvation of me alone.

The Dharma (Namo Amida Butsu) is inconceivable; rely on this power, bonbu go to the Pure Land.

From the stance of the Buddha, it is saved by the reliance on this single virtue (power) of the Tathagata; therefore, it is said to be natural (spontaneous) and is called, “the naturalness of the Vow-power.”

Zuiken Sensei

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