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

Saturday, November 1, 2014

"Honganji shonin Shinran den-e 本願寺聖人親鸞伝 (Text to Accompany the Illustrated Life of Monk Shinran) © Trustees of the British Museum
How could we ever return the benevolence of the Venerable Master Shinran?
Without his guidance, we would still be lost in delusion,
Mired in self-power, adrift on the endless ocean of birth-and-death.
Though others may confuse themselves with useless theories and ideas,
I simply trust in the words of the Founding Master.
Pondering how to preserve the True Teaching and benefit future generations,
He set brush to paper and composed sacred lines,
Lines imbued with the Light and Life of Amitabha,
Hymns resonant with the Dharma-music.
The Venerable Master rejoiced to find himself
Safe aboard the ship of the Primal Vow;
Reciting "Namo Amida Butsu," he recorded his deep joy,
Filling each page with the wisdom of the Buddha-Mind.
All his works, from beginning to end, are acts of gratitude, written for our sake.
Those who humbly read them, casting off the calculating mind,
Will certainly find their doubts resolved
And their innermost aspiration for the Buddha-Dharma brought to fulfillment.
Riding the Other-Power, paying no heed to anything else—
Such people are certain to be born in the Land of Utmost Bliss,
One hundred out of one hundred, and ten out of ten.
November 1, 2014

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