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!

Monday, October 3, 2016

That's the implication of my Name

I pleaded Amida for endowment of Shinjin. 
Amida replied, "Don't worry, I will save you! That's the implication of my Name."

Even down to ten times

"Even down to ten times" refers to people who say the Name as few as ten times. "Even down to" means that neither those who say the Name more than ten times nor those who only HEAR the Name are omitted or excluded from birth in the Pure Land." 
Shinran Shonin
The above passage is referring to the true entrusting (shinjin). On hearing Amida's Vow, "Save you as you are!" free of doubt (shinjin), the nembutsu of gratefulness and joy will flow, "Namo Amida Butsu, my Lord Buddha, thank you for saving me!" This is one utterance awakened from Shinjin.
When Shinjin has been settled, in ordinary days, every time when we come to think of Amida's Vow, it naturally calls to mind His Name of Great Compassion, and the nembutsu will naturally flow, "Namo Amida Butsu...." All these are the proof of Amida's realisation of our birth.
Zuizen Melvin

All the hindrances become free of hindrances

“Taking refuge (kimyo)” means to give up our design (self) and pursue and adore the “kimyo” of the Tathagata.
The Tathagata is free of hindrances; virtuous and unvirtuous people are equally saved. From the perspective of bonbu, the virtuous people are saved while the unvirtuous are not; so they discriminate based on their frame of mind from ages ago. This is known as “hindrances.” Bonbu discriminates over every single thing, and this is termed “hindrances.” The “Unhindered Light” of the Tathagata is the Primal Vow that saves bonbu who is good at nothing but discrimination. Thus, it’s said that “all the hindrances become free of hindrances.”

The Tathagata in Hell

Zuiken Sensei preaches,
'You think you are hearing the Buddha Dharma in this Saha world, at the main hall (of the Buddhist temple). Therefore, you get nowhere.
In hell, to behold Amida Tathagata even once, “Ah, what a joy!” is the only fit expression.
The Tathagata in hell is the Buddha Dharma!
No Buddha Dharma and shinjin outside the state of mind of encountering the Buddha Dharma in hell. 

You may think of acquiring shinjin by listening to the Buddha Dharma, but there is no shinjin when you forget about the Tathagata in hell
Yes, it’s true! Because you forget about the hot flames that begin to burn right under your feet, you are taking no heed and turning a deaf ear to the call of the Oyasama (Honored Parent)…
What’s more lamentable than this?
What’s more sorrowful than this?
Namo Amida Butsu
Namo Amida Butsu
Rev Zuikaku

Oyasama's mind

The mind of the Oyasama surpasses the mind that think of the Oyasama. 
~ Zuiken

The "Oyasama's mind" signifies our Honored Parent's Sincere Mind that pleads (begs) you to be saved as you are by Him. And, why are you hesitant?
Do you think your mind (defiled/delusional) is worthy of trust than the Oyasama's (true and real)?

True and real shinjin are extremely rare

"Birth through the Vow-power, thus, is easy;
Shinjin [arises] through the Buddha's power, thus, is difficult, difficult! "

"Great shinjin is rare, most excellent, true and wondrous, and pure. Why? Because the ocean of great shinjin is extremely difficult to enter, for it arises through the power of the Buddha; because the true land of bliss is extremely easy to go to, for one is born there immediately through the power of the Vow."
KGSS, page 227.

"To go is easy and yet no one is born thereTo go is easyWhen persons allow themselves to be carried by the power of the Primal Vow, they are certain to be born in the land that has been fulfilled through it; hence, it is easy going there. No one is born there: Because people of true and real shinjin are extremely rare, those born in the true fulfilled land are few. Hence, Master Genshin states that those born in the fulfilled Pure Land are extremely few; those born in the transformed Pure Land are many."
Notes on the Inscriptions of Sacred Scrolls

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Would die with a peaceful mind help?

A story told by Zuiken:
In the past, there was a pious Shinshu follower who was desperate for peace of mind (anjin/shinjin). He could not help dying without a peaceful mind. Therefore he looked for all Shin teachers of his time to hear the teaching earnestly but to no avails.
Then he heard there was a great Shin teacher came to his town. He hastened to meet him. When he met the teacher, he explained to him that he could not afford to die like that without a peaceful mind.

"Would die with a peaceful mind help (workable)?" The great teacher replied. The man was shocked at the reply and realized anjin.


"To die with a peaceful mind" remains bonbu's calculation, there should not be any calculation from our sides. 

“Such a matter of great importance as birth in the Pure Land should not be meddled with by bonbu. You should leave it wholly to the Tathagata.” (Tract on Steadily Holding to the Faith [Shujisho])