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, November 6, 2012

Essays 12, 13, 96 and 34

Essay 12

The great sage hidden in the clouds of Nirvana

When he was 88 years old, Shinran Shonin left us his Dharma words entitled “On Jinen Honi”. In this essay, you find this one phrase of ‘no working is true working’, with the meaning of ‘making those unable to attain birth (in the Pure Land) to thus attain birth’.  This is the Primal Vow-Power, which connotes the birth through the Vow-Power.

Many people assume that ‘because I have obtained shinjin I can attain birth (in the Pure Land)’. Or some presume that ‘If I obtain shinjin I can surely attain birth (in the Pure Land)’.

Such thinking is not ‘no working is true working’ but simply ‘your own sense-perception that is working’. Those who harbor the thoughts of ‘because’ and ‘if’ are exercising their self-power’s mind of discrimination. Thus they do neither get any closer to ‘the inconceivable Vow-Power’ nor to ‘no working is true working’. 

The Shin Buddhism is about ‘no working is true working’; this is called the Shin Buddhism.

Zuiken Sama

Essay 13

The strong wind of the Primal Vow-Power
Without aware of it we are blown into the Pure Land
The mind that entrusts to the Buddha comes from Amida
The mind that thinks on the Buddha too comes from His call

On listening to ‘no working is true working’, the thought ‘ah, I've got it!’ is not about ‘no working is true working’. Ponder your personal heavy evil karma, how powerless an idiot you have been, ponder deeply on these matters again and again until you suffer unbearably. The ‘Primal Vow-Power’ that you accept thus from Amida Buddha, ‘the real and genuine emancipation’ is called ‘no working is true working’.  The persons who have not reached a dead end would not be able to savor this taste. What is the use of the things your head could think of? Have you not accepted the inconceivable Buddha wisdom wholeheartedly and in totality?  It is just not your belief that ‘I have got it right’.

 ‘The Pure Land where you think you can be born is not the place you can be born; the people who are unable to be born there, will be born there because it is inconceivable.’

Zuiken Sama

Essay 96

My mind is the murky drain water
As it is colloidal and unclear
The compassionate father’s mind is limpid and pure
The true and genuine virtue that of Namu Amida Butsu
The great vow of ‘surely will come to your rescue!’
‘Ah, how reliable this is, how reliable this is!’

When you come across the phrases like ‘relying on the Hongan’, ‘relying on the Name’ and ‘relying on Amida Buddha’, just think solely on the one-thought moment of shinjin of ‘relying on Namu Amida Butsu for birth (in the Pure Land)!’

When you get to the bottom of the idea of ‘the evil person is the true object of salvation’, the evil person and stupidity will merge into one entity, you will be able to acknowledge the fact that you are zero. Zero, zero, zero; saved, saved, definitely!  This is known as deep shinjin of the oneness of the Dharma (that saves) and the objects of salvation (that are saved), which is thus Shinjin.

Zuiken Sama

Essay 34

Human lives pass vainly and idly 
Alackaday! This life full of worries
Be seeing no flaws in people
Be fear of the fruit of retribution

‘During the dark period of the world when the five defilements are prevalent’ refers to the muddy field, where sentient beings are covered in mud. In brief, as long as you are making a living in this floating world you just can’t avoid getting stained with mud. Even far deep inside the mind, the whole of your ideas are covered in mud. This is termed ‘perverted thoughts’, ‘defiled thoughts’.  ‘Good things’ cannot be born of ‘defiled thoughts’.

In this muddy field there is only one thing that is not stained with mud, and this is the incomparable gem of the Name. If you come to accept the gem reverently, you will feel contented. Therefore, those believe in the Buddha Dharma are the takers of the gem at the same time. Are you not taking it seriously since there is only one gem? 

Zuiken Sama

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