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

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Raft of the Vow

Amida Tathagata is absolutely trustworthy;
His Primal Vow is entirely dependable.
In the sacred Name given to us,
We find the confirmation of our Birth.

Why are you still not convinced?
Give up all your calculative notions--
Your supposed faith, aspiration, and practice.
These are the products of your foolish mind;
They are one and all tainted by self-power,
And are not “true and real” by any means.
Simply entrust yourself to the raft of the Vow!
It will carry you to the Other Shore without fail.

You doubt your Birth because you are ignorant
Of the inconceivable Primal Vow-power;
To understand the Name in six characters
Is to know that Birth is completely settled.

“Peace of mind through hearing the Name”
Is the incomparable teaching of Shinshu.

Our Parent is calling with open arms;
Why do you linger in this burning house?
Pass through the great thousandfold world
And be forever free from birth-and-death!
Once you are safe in the enfolding Light,
The Nembutsu will naturally pour forth.
Oh, how marvelous this is! How wonderful!
True shinjin is the diamond-like Mind;
Our recitation is the echo of His Call.


Lines composed on August 11, 2015, at around 7:30 in the morning.

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