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, February 20, 2015

Verses in Praise of the Buddha-Dharma

The Tathagata, the Thus-Come One,
Our Father of great compassion,
Who loves each and every being
Like an only son or daughter,
Is with you, now and always!
The Buddha-Dharma will never let you down;
It is the supreme treasury of teachings.
It stops the courses of defilement
That lead to the evil realms,
And opens the gate to the good realms.
It purifies all thoughts.
It shows the way to Nirvana,
Freedom from birth-and-death for all.
The Buddha-Dharma is the teaching of Shakyamuni,
The Great Sage, the World Hero,
The One Most Honored in heaven and earth.
It is the word of the Buddha,
His True Body, and the fruition of his vows,
Weighty and vast.
All the excellent Dharma-gates taught by the Buddha
Lead to Nirvana without exception.
Though within His teachings are found
Both provisional and true,
Whether simple or abstruse,
Whether easy or profound,
They all, without exception, bring benefit to living beings.
Entrust yourself to the Buddha's words alone,
And don't listen to the opinions and views of unenlightened men.
The Dharma is the precious medicine
That cures all illnesses,
And the Buddha is the skillful Physician.
Therefore, we must accept his teachings
And follow them just as He prescribed.
The Buddha-Dharma is like the wish-granting jewel,
Bringing the aspirations of all to fulfillment.
Never tire of listening to it!
Like pure gold, the more you test it,
The brighter it shows itself,
Without any impurity or stain.
To truly hear with your heart
The Buddha's teaching
To believe and obey it,
Much learning is not required,
Nor great intelligence.
The longer I listen to the Dharma,
The more I realize how little I know.
But at the same time I understand
That there is no need to "know" it all.
One thing is enough: the Nembutsu.
Single-mindedness is everything.
Without repentance, faith, and humility,
It is impossible to understand
The Heart of the Buddha.
January 10, 2015

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