Shoko bo-Benchos further elaboration of Master Honen

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Shoko bo-Benchos further elaboration of Master Honen

Post by sth9784 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:07 am

Good Evening all,

From the JSRI ... encho.html : 'Bencho was the founder of the Chinzei school of Pure Land teaching. His teaching while true to that of Honen was also a further elaboration of his system. He emphasized the necessity of studying both the path of self-realization (shodo-mon) as well as the Pure Land path (jodo-mon), avoiding a one-sided emphasis on either. He characterized all Buddhist practices as a “general form” of the nembutsu (so-no-nembutsu) and recitation of Amida's name as the “specific” nembutsu (betsu-no-nembutsu).'

This description is very brief, and it does not mention what the study of 'the path of self-realization' entails, and why Shoko bo-Benco thought that it was necessary, so I was wondering if anyone on here can help me out with some answers. Master Honen seems to have been very learned in the 8 traditions of his day, and I am assuming Shoko bo-Benco was learned as well, but Master Honen urged those who had an affinity to the Pure Land Gate to set the Holy Gate aside for awhile.

Does this refer to the study of the 8 traditional schools current in Japan at the time? Or does it refer to the studying of, for lack of a better term, doctrines common to the 8 schools such as impermanence, emptiness, dependent-origination, mind-only, etc? Or is it something else entirely?

I am well aware that there are very few direct quotes of Shoko bo-Bencho in English on the internet, and even in the books on Master Honen released in English, but as you may be able to guess from my avatar, I look to Master Honen as my main teacher in the Pure Land Way, so I am extremely interested in the 'further elaboration' of Master Honen's system.

I do have more questions in a similar vein, but they will have to wait for another time.

This may be too much of a sectarian question, and possibly out of place on this forum, but I thought I would ask in the hope of gaining some answers to my questions. Thank you all in advance, and do not worry about it if there is nobody who can answer.

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