The radiant light, unhindered and inconceivable, eradicates suffering and brings realization of joy; the excellent Name, perfectly embodying all practices, eliminates obstacles and dispels doubt. This is the teaching and practice for our latter age; devote yourself solely to it. It is eye and limb in this defiled world; do not fail to endeavor in it. Accepting and living the supreme, universal Vow, then, abandon the defiled and aspire for the pure. Reverently embracing the Tathagata's teaching, respond in gratitude to his benevolence and be thankful for his compassion.

~ Shinran Shonin, Passages on the Pure Land Way

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Light Breaks Through

My choice for the background image of this blog was inspired by the following passage from the “Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu” (Shoshinge) composed by Master Shinran:

The light of compassion that grasps us illumines and protects us always;
The darkness of our ignorance is already broken through;
Still the clouds and mists of greed and desire, anger and hatred,
Cover as always the sky of true and real shinjin.

But though light of the sun is veiled by clouds and mists,
Beneath the clouds and mists there is brightness, not dark.
When one realizes shinjin, seeing and revering and attaining great joy,
One immediately leaps crosswise, closing off the five evil courses.
Kyogyoshinsho II:102

For the person who has once realized diamondlike shinjin, the “long night of ignorance” is over. Though blind passions and outflows of past karma persist to trouble his peace of mind, they cannot extinguish the flame of pure faith that burns in his heart, any more than clouds can put out the sun. And while in this transient world the sun will one day expire, in the Pure Land Amida’s body of glory shines everlastingly, illuminating even the darkest regions of the universe.

The sun shines by day, the moon shines by night. The warrior shines in armor, the holy man shines in meditation. But the Buddha shines resplendent all day and all night.
Dhammapada, Verse 387

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