Samurai warrior's rebirth in the pure land
Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:27 am
I was born in a soldier's family and trained in the use of the bow and arrow, being on the one hand under obligation not to fail in carrying out at least in some measure the will of my ancestors, and on the other responsible for handing down something of glory to my posterity. And yet if, as a soldier, I abandon myself to the driving back of the enemy, all sorts of wicked and furious passions are likely to be stirred within me, and it becomes very hard to awaken any pious feeling in my heart. If, indeed, I should allow myself to keep thinking all the time about the transitoriness of life, and trying not to forget the truth about attaining birth by the Nembutsu, I should be in danger of being taken captive by my enemies, and thereby be eternally branded as a coward, straightway have all my patrimony confiscated, and so for a fool like me it is very hard to decide which of these courses to choose. Will you tell e how I may accomplish my cherished desire for my birth in the pure land, without on the other hand sacrificing the honor of my family as an archer? To this Honen made the following reply: " Amida's Original Vow says northing about whether a man is good or bad, nor does it discuss whether a man's religious practices are many or few. It makes no discrimination between the pure and the impure, and takes no account of time, space, or any other diverse circumstances in men's lives. It matters not how a man dies. The wicked man, just as he is, will attain birth if he calls on the sacred name. This is the wonderful thing about Amida's Original Vow. And so, though a man is the born in archer's family goes to war, and loses his life, if he only repeats the sacred name and relies upon Amida's Original Vow, there is not the slightest doubt whatever that Amida will come to welcome him to his paradise" Under these gentle instructions his doubts left him, and with a glad heart he exclaimed, "Tadatsuna's birth will verily take place today." Honen handed him a sacred scarf which he put on under his armor, and he finally set out for the castle at Hachioji where he abandoned himself to battle with the rioters. In the midst of the struggle his sword was broken, and he received a deep wound. Seeing it was quite hopeless, he flung down his sword, and clasping his hands, with a loud voice he called upon the sacred name, and gave himself over into the hands of the enemy. Purple clouds covered the battlefield and many smelled the delicious perfume, and people said that purple clouds also hung over the northern mountain. When Honen heard about it, "Good" sad he, "Amakasu has been born into the pure land."