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!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The hand-held nenju does not fall owing to the power of the hand

A member of the Buddhist Church of Santa Barbara holds a nenju
(Photo credited to the owner of the blog at 
All of you are holding nenju, right? If this nenju is let go of, it falls, right? 
“The hand-held nenju does not fall owing to the power of the hand.” 
Because the nenju is “held (in the hand)”, the same way we are grasped or held by Amida Buddha “embraced and not forsaken” stopping me from falling, this falling good-for-nothing can only be safe from falling. That’s how it happens! However, this nenju (bombu) insists on “having to acquire shinjin for birth!” Nenju (bombu) apparently do not have limbs but think of holding on to Amida firmly for birth. As these good-for-nothing (nenju) take out their limbs, they head to hell! 
“The hand-held nenju does not fall owing to the power of the hand!” 
Therefore, we can “attain birth in the Pure Land” whether or not we hear the Dharma, do good work (charity), say the Nembutsu, as the nenju’s nature (weight) of falling does not change! “This me who is falling,” “cannot fall because I am relying on Amida’s Primal Vow-power that holds me firmly!” “Try to fall and see if you will. You won’t, will you?” “I can’t fall!” when “I have been defeated by your power." You have just mounted the Primal Vow-power; this means that shinjin is determined. 

If it is just the nenju alone, it will fall! Even though it will fall, it’s firmly held by Amida Buddha “embraced and not forsaken” and when asked to “try to fall and see if you will,” however, you are unable to fall anymore. Unable to fall, no matter if you like it or not, you have no way to get away from being born there. Because Amida Buddha's power is so immense, you have been defeated by Him at last; isn’t this shinjin? During the struggling period, you have no shinjin.  When being held by Amida, you won’t be worrying unnecessarily “Would I not fall? Would I not fall?” Similarly, when being held by Amida, you won’t be saying “have to acquire shinjin for birth.” This is not acceptable.


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