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, January 10, 2012

Dharma Words at Yokawa 横川法语

By Genshin

translated by Hisao Inagaki

It is a great joy for us sentient beings to escape from the three evil realms and be born as humans. Even if our status in society is low, could it be worse than the state of animals? Even if we are born in a poor family, we are in a far better condition than hungry spirits. Even if our wishes are not fulfilled, our suffering cannot be compared with tortures of hell. We should not sorrow over unhappiness in this life; we should consider our lower social position as an incentive to seek Enlightenment. For this reason, we should rejoice at having been born as humans.

Even though the mind of faith is shallow, anyone who takes refuge in Amida will unfailingly attain birth, because the Original Vow is deep. Even though the Nembutsu comes from a reluctant heart, anyone who recites it never fails to see Amida welcoming him to his Pure Land; so great is the merit of the Nembutsu. For this reason, we should rejoice at having encountered the Original Vow.

Delusion is the nature of ordinary beings. Apart from delusion, there is no mind in us. If we recite the Nembutsu while resigned to the fact that we are to remain ordinary beings full of delusion until death, we shall be received in welcome by Amida; then, as soon as we mount the lotus seat, our mind of delusion will be turned into that of Enlightenment. The Nembutsu that is uttered with the mind of delusion is like a lotus flower unstained by the muddy water. There should not be any doubt as to our attainment of birth.

We should not be concerned about our delusion, but reflecting on the shallowness of our mind of faith, continually recite the Name in earnest.

源信大师 作

离三恶道 生於人间 应大庆喜
自身虽贱 不劣於畜牲
吾家虽贫 犹胜於饿鬼
事虽不如人意 难比地狱之苦
世间难住多忧 即是忻厌之示谕
身虽卑贱不贵 更是菩提之引导
故生人间 应该庆喜
信心虽浅 本愿深故 任凭必往生
念佛虽倦 功德大故 称念定来迎
故遇本愿 更应庆喜
妄念原是 凡夫本体 妄念之外 别无心也
直至临终 犹是一向 妄念凡夫 知此念佛
即蒙来迎 乘莲台时 能翻妄念 成为觉心
从妄念中 所出念佛 犹如莲华 不染污泥
决定往生 不可有疑
莫厌妄念多 应叹信心浅
故以深信心 常称弥陀号

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