Rennyo on Faith

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Son of Buddha
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Rennyo on Faith

Post by Son of Buddha » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:02 am

Nighthawk wrote:In the school founded by the Master, faith is placed before all else. If we ask the purpose of that faith, [the answer is that] it is the point of departure enabling wretched ordinary beings like ourselves, who lack good and do evil, to go readily to Amida�s Pure Land. Without attaining faith, we will not be born in the Land of Utmost Bliss but will fall into the hell of incessant pain (avici).
If we then ask how to attain that faith, [the answer is that], relying deeply on the single buddha, Amida Tathagata, we give no thought to any of the various good deeds and myriad practices, and, dismissing the inclination to make petitions to the various buddhas and bodhisattvas just for this life, and discarding false, erroneous thoughts such as those of self-power, we entrust ourselves singleheartedly and steadfastly, without double-mindedness, to Amida; without fail, Amida embraces such people with his all-pervading light and will not abandon them. Once we have attained faith (shin) in this way, we should bear in mind that the nenbutsu we say at all times, sleeping or waking, expresses our gratitude for the benevolence of Amida who saves us.
Those who understand as explained above are indeed exemplary of what it is to have attained faith fully according to our tradition. If there are people who say that there is something else over and above this called �faith,� they are greatly mistaken. We can never accept [such a claim]. (2:2) - Master Rennyo

MY REPLY:The 18th Vow of Amitayus guarantees that those who have sincere faith and devotion in the Dharmakaya will be reborn in his PureLand,where they will reach Full Enlightenment under the direct guidance of a Buddha.
"All sentient beings who,having heard his name,rejoice in faith think of him even once,and sincerely transfer the merit of virtuous practices to that land,aspiring to be born there,will attain birth and dwell in the state of non-retrogression.

"Anyone who sincerely desires birth in the Land of Peace and Bliss is able to attain purity of wisdom and supremacy in virtue,You should not follow the urges of the passions,break the precepts,or fall behind others in the practice of the way.

whoever wishes to be born in the western pureland should practice the three acts:(1),caring for one's parents,attending to one's teachers and elderss,compassionately refraining from killing,and do the 10 good deeds;(2)taking the 3 refuges,keeping the various precepts,and refraining from breaking the rules of conduct;and (3)awakening aspiration for enlightenment(bodhicitta),believing deeply in the law of causality,chanting the Mahayana sutras,and encouraging people to follow their teachings.These 3 are called pure karma.
"You should resolutely do worthy deeds with propriety,strive to do more good,control and purify yourselves,wash away the mental defilements,be sincere in word and deed,and allow no contradiction between what you think and what you do,seek your own liberation and then turn to saving others;straight forwardly aspire to be born in the Pure Land and accumulate roots of virtue.However hard you may practice in this life,it can only be for a short while.In the life to come you will be born in the land of Amitayus and enjoy endless bliss there.Being forever in accord with the Way,you will no longer be subject to birth and death and be free of the afflictions caused by greed,anger,and ignorance".

"People of the world,parents and children,brothers and sisters,husbands and wives,and other family members and kinsmen,should respect and love each other,refraining from hatred and envy.They should share things with others,not be greedy and miserly,always speak friendly words with a pleaseing smile,and not hurt each other".

hey brother faith and practice need to be one we cannot fall behind others in practice,if we do then our faith is not strong.
are you apart of Jodo shinshu????they seem to be going very materalist these days its nice to see someone not trying to "re-interpret" the pureland sutras.

peace and love brother.

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Re: Favorite Pure Land Quotes

Post by Rakz » Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:15 am

Hello Son of Buddha,

I tend to agree with you somewhat but the essence of Jodo Shinshu is to discard all self power practices including the five precepts believing that by following these sort of practices one will "increase" their chances of getting into the Pure Land. According to the Contemplation sutra, In the lowest level in the lowest grade it is said beings who have even committed the five grave offenses can be reborn in the Pure Land. Master Shandao takes it even further and says that even folks who have slandered the Dharma will achieve birth but they will have to go through some sort of purification process in the borderlands for some kalpas. Think about the people who have not committed the five grave offenses and who have not slandered the Dharma, which is probably just about every average joe out there. How much more so will they achieve birth? It all comes down to how much faith one has with the Sutras and 48 vows, specifically the 18th Primal Vow by Amida Buddha which is the vow that the whole of Jodo Shinshu is based on. According to Jodo Shinshu, people who say one needs to do this or that in order to achieve birth do not have complete faith. In Jodo Shinshu it is all about complete faith in the Primal Vow and nothing else. Jodo Shinshu believes that we as bonbus (foolish beings) burdened with evil passions have no way to escape samsara without the power of Amida Buddha since we are in the last age of Mappo and all other Dharma doors are completely shut, except for the Dharma door of Amida Buddha.

To answer your question. I am not officially Jodo Shinshu and nor do I tend to be. As you know, the Jodo Shinshu institution (Nishi Honganji) is in complete decay right now in North America and I have no intention to be a part of it. I am content with reading the writings of Masters Shinran and Rennyo who are the heart and soul of Jodo Shinshu over going to a nearby temple and listening to some new age materialistic garbage that is pointless and completely out of touch with the founding fathers. I'm also a member of the online True Shin Sangha (" onclick=";return false;) which is a sangha based on the pure teachings. Feel free to join us if you like, it would be a pleasure to have you.

Peace and love to you as well.

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Re: Rennyo on Faith

Post by Dodatsu » Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:00 pm

Hopefully, this article will help clear up some misgivings...
Zuiken Inagaki (1885-1981)

Introduction to the Kyo Gyo Shin Sho

The Purpose of the Kyo-Gyo-Shin-Sho
The Outline of the Kyo-Gyo-Shin-Sho
The Seven Patriarchs in the Kyo-Gyo-Shin-Sho
The True Teaching and the Temporary Teaching
Relation between Gyo (Practice) and Shin (Faith)

The True Teaching and the Temporary Teaching

The Seven Patriarchs of the True Pure Land Sect are of the same opinion that the 18th Vow is the principal and most important Vow of the 48 Vows. The 18th Vow represents all of the Vows, that is, the other Vows are included in the 18th Vow. Because in the 18th Vow Amitabha's Infinite Wisdom and Love and the condition of being born in the Pure Land are manifested, and His Will is most clearly seen in this Vow.

It goes without saying that all the Patriarchs of the three countries highly appreciate and fully acknowledge the important role of morality and the teachings of the Noble Eight-fold Path and the Five Precepts taught by the Gautama Buddha. In considering, however, the span of life, and the craving, covetousness, and ignorance of the people, they reflected upon themselves and at last they resorted to the 18th Vow for their salvation. They were prudent and religious, and sincerely wished to attain the supreme Enlightenment-Nirvana.

The scholars of the True Pure Land School examined carefully the Practice or the condition of entering the Pure Land. Accordingly Doshaku-Zenji, the fourth Patriarch, divided all the practices of Buddhism into two kinds:

the Practice of Nembutsu and
the Practice of All Other Precepts (Shogyo).

Zendo-Daishi, the fifth Patriarch and disciple of Doshaku, following after the fashion of his precedented Patriarchs, divided the Condition (or Practice) into

Shogyo or the Right Practice and
Zogyo or the Miscellaneous Practice (Practice of the Precepts of all sorts).

Genshin-Kasho, the sixth Patriarch, declared the theory that

Senju or the Exclusive Practice or Nembutsu is for the True Pure Land and
Zasshu or the Miscellaneous Practices are for the Temporary Pure Land.

And Genku (Honen-Shonin) also followed Zendo's Division of the Right Practice and the Miscellaneous Practice.

Shinran-Shonin also, having studied carefully those theories, discriminated between the Right Practice and the Miscellaneous Practice, taking Amida's Vow into consideration. He took up the Three Vows - the 19th, the 20th and the 18th, and he asserted that in the 19th Vow the Tathagata Amitabha promises (or vows) to save all beings on condition that they fulfill all kinds of moral and religious precepts; in the 20th He promises to save the people provided that they practice the Nembutsu exclusively. In this case the Nembutsu means to recite the Sacred Name through self-effort (Jiriki), being proud of their Recitation. In the 18th Vow He declares to save all the people if they believe in the Merit of the Sacred Name. In this case the Nembutsu (Recitation of the Sacred Name) is identical with True Faith, taking refuge in the Sacred Name. The 19th and 20th are Temporary Vows, and the people who fulfil the conditions of those Vows shall be born in the Temporary Pure Land (Kedo). And those who believe in the 18th, the True Vow, shall enter into the True Pure Land (Shindo). For the above reason, Shinran-Shonin placed entire trust only in the 18th, and he rejected the other two Vows as Temporary (Ke). And he composed the Kyo-Gyo-Shin-Sho for the purpose of making clear the reason of discriminating the True Practice from the Temporary Practice.

At the end of the fifth book, " Book of True Buddha and True Pure Land " (Shinbutsudo-kan), Shinran-Shonin says: " Concerning the Sea of Vows, there are the True Vows and the Temporary Vows, and consequently, concerning the Buddha Country, there are the True Land and the Temporary Land "(1)

He developed the 18th Vow into the " Five True Vows " (Shinjitsu Gogan), that is, the 11th Vow ( Vow of Final Enlightenment), the 12th Vow (Vow of Infinite Light), the 13th Vow (Vow of Eternal Life), the 17th Vow (Vow of His Name's Being Praised by All Buddhas), and 18th Vow (Vow of True Faith, or Vow of Sincerity-and-Faith).

So dividing, Shinran-Shonin put preponderance upon the " Vow of True Faith " (the 18th), and asserted that the True Faith is the only cause of entering into the Pure Land. In this case, the Practice of Nembutsu (Reciting the Sacred Name) is considered to be identical with True Faith, or that Recitation is the natural and spontaneous product of the True Faith.
" The 18th Vow is the profession of the original compassionate Will of Amitabha, and the 19th and the 20th Vows are the Vows that He proclaimed temporarily as a skilful, expedient device for leading the people to the 18th. This is the meaning of " Temporary ". Some people cannot believe directly in the 18th owing to their own Karma in former lives, therefore Buddha Amitabha, out of compassion, declared those temporary Vows for them. For a man who immediately believes in the 18th Vow, the 19th, and the 20th Vows are of no use. "

The 19th Vow is called, " The Vow of Accumulating Miscellaneous Merits ". In this Vow, Buddha Amitabha vowed various kinds of merits to be accumulated. This Vow is for the People who cannot easily discard the idea that moral good and Precepts taught by the Buddha are the necessary factors to Enlightenment. Of course, those Precepts or Practices are good in themselves. In the 20th Vow, Buddha Amitabha vowed the Nembutsu to be recited as the condition of entering into the Pure Land. Therefore those who come to the 19th Vow should abandon it, and turn into the 20th; and those who entered the 20th Vow should forsake it, and turn into the 18th. Indeed Shinran-Shonin experienced such a religious process. But if interpreted spiritually, this " Turning-into "(2) (Tennyu) is but the power of Amitabha.

The 19th Vow corresponds to the Amitayus-dhyana Sutra. Shinran-Shonin thought the Amitayus-dhyana Sutra has a double meaning: the Explicit Meaning and the Implicit Meaning. The " Explicit Meaning " (Ken) is literal, apparent, and temporary, while the " Implicit Meaning " (On) is deep, involved, and true. The " Explicit Meaning " of this Sutra corresponds to the 19th Vow in the Larger Sutra, and the " Implicit Meaning " refers to the 18th Vow. The true intention or message of the Buddha, of course, is to reveal the 18th Vow. In the 'Keshindo-kan', Shinran-Shonin says;

Buddha Sakyamuni, having preached explicitly the " Store of Virtues and Merits " (that is, Amitayus-dhyana Sutra) (the 19th Vow), guided the " Sea of Beings " with many devices. Buddha Amitabha chose, out of compassion, precious Vows, and saves all from the " Sea of Samsara " (Cycle of Birth-and- Death) (the 19th Vow)(3)

In the 19th Vow, Amitabha says; " Whosoever that raises within himself the Bodhi-aspiring Mind (Bodaishin; Aspiration for becoming a Buddha) and practises all the noble Precepts shall be saved. " In this Vow He encourages the people to practise all kinds of Precepts of Self-Enlightenment School (Shodomon).

These Practices described in the 19th Vow are the Practices that are not the Right Practice (Non-Right Practice). On the contrary, in the sixteen Meditations (of the Amitayus-dhyana Sutra both the Non-Right Practice or the Miscellaneous Practices (Zogyo) and the Right Practice (Shogyo) are described.

The first thirteen Practices of Meditation on Amitayus and His Land are the Right Practice, and in the last three Meditations the Right Practice and the Miscellaneous Practices are mixed. The 16th Meditation is the teaching for the wicked and the sinful, and in which the Nembutsu (Recitation of the Sacred Name) is encouraged exclusively, therefore it is the Right Practice. The Practice that concerns Buddha Amitabha and His Land exclusively is the Right Practice.

The thirteen Meditations are the Right Practice, but they do not accord with the purport of His Original 18th Vow. So they are yet the Auxiliary of Temporary Practice (Jogo, or device), which was preached by the Buddha in order to carry the people into Principal Right Practice (Shojogo) - the Nembutsu. Unless a man truly understands the meaning of Nembutsu, he can not appreciate the doctrine of True Pure Land Sect - " Other Power " (Tariki).

Those who follow the Temporary Practice will not be aware that they are practicing temporarily: so they will not be able to discriminate the Right Practice from the Temporary Practice. All kinds of Precepts that were taught by the Buddha for us to observe are accepted as the Right Practice by those students of the School of Self-Enlightenment without discrimination. But it is not so with the True Pure Land Sect, for those Practices that are practiced with Self-Effort (Jiriki) does not accord with Amida's Original Vow.

If the Nembutsu be practiced with self-power (Jiriki) or if one be proud of ones merit of practicing it, that Nembutsu can even be called " Temporary Practice ". In the 19th Vow, the Nembutsu is one of the miscellaneous practices. There are some people who choose the Nembutsu exclusively, abandoning all other Practices. For such people Amitabha raised the 20th Vow. It says:

" Those who, having heard My Name, turn their thought toward My Buddha Country and practise the " Root of Virtues " (the Nembutsu), shall be born in My Land of Bliss and Happiness. "

They, who belong to the 20th Vow, do not take refuge in the Infinite Mercy of Amitabha, but rely upon their own merit of reciting His Sacred Name, that is, they practice the Nembutsu with self-power, and wish to be born in His Buddha Country. The Amitayus Sutra (Amida-Kyo) is indeed the exposition of such Nembutsu.

The Smaller Sukhavati-vyuha Sutra (Amida-kyo) says:

" Whosoever recites the Sacred Name with a single mind even for a day or for seven days shall gain rebirth in the Pure Land. "

The Sutra also says:

" One cannot enter into the Pure Land by virtue of little merit (the miscellaneous Practices that are practised in the School of Self-Enlightenment). "

So describing, the fulfillment of all kinds of Precepts is said to be an inferior merit in comparison with the Practice of Nembutsu, concerning the rebirth in the Pure Land. And the Nembutsu is more highly praised than any other Practice, for the Nembutsu is most virtuous and powerful. But the Nembutsu in the Smaller Sukhavati-vyuha Sutra (Amida-kyo) is recited with self-power; therefore it cannot be called the true Nembutsu, but Provisionary Nembutsu. Through the Provisionary Nembutsu one cannot enter into the True Pure Land, but perhaps they will enter into the Temporary Pure Land. The self-power (Jiriki) in this case, means the pride of his merit from reciting the Name many times. A man of pure faith is never proud of his power or merit, but he is ever thankful for Amitabha's infinite mercy, wisdom and power.

This Sutra also says:

" Those who diligently recite the virtuous Name on ordinary days may, at the brink of death, see the vision of the sacred troop, Buddha Amitabha and Bodhisattvas, coming to guide them into the Pure Land, and consequently they can be born in the Buddha Country without their minds being disturbed. "(4)

Certain kinds of people, aspiring for the vision at their last hour, devote themselves to the Nembutsu exerting self-effort. Such Nembutsu is called the " Nembutsu of Shimmon " (Shimmon; The Gate of Truth). The Nembutsu of the Smaller Sukhavati-vyuha Sutra corresponds to the Nembutsu of the 20th Vow in the explicit sense.

It is different from the Nembutsu of the 18th Vow, i.e. the " Nembutsu of Gugan " (Gugan; The Gate of Great Vow). According to the Three Vows (the 19th, 20th and 18th), the Nembutsu is also divided into three kinds:

the Nembutsu of Yomon (the 19th Vow) (Yomon; The Gate of Importance),
the Nembutsu of Shimmon (The Gate of Truth), and
the Nembutsu of Gugan (Mon) (The Gate of Great Vow).

The " Yomon " is described in The Amitayus-dhyana Sutra, the " Shimmon " in the Shokyo or the Smaller Sukhavati-vyuha Sutra, and the " Gugan mon " in The Larger Sukhavati-vyuha Sutra.

Firstly, a man of " Yomon " recites the Nembutsu, but he is not freed from Miscellaneous Practices. He accounts the Nembutsu as one of the Miscellaneous Practices. Secondly, a man of " Shimmon " recites the Nembutsu exclusively, and he does not rely upon any other good or Good of Meditation, establishing his faith upon his reciting the Name through his own effort. He is nearer to the Nembutsu of the 18th Vow, but his faith is not yet absolutely pure, and his Nembutsu is imbued with self-effort. Thirdly, a man of the 18th Vow relies absolutely upon the infinite mercy, wisdom and power of Amitabha, His Name and His Vow; he puts entire trust in His sincerity and mercy; and he takes refuge in the Three Jewels (or Gems) the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. Out of his pure Faith he recites the Sacred Name. The true Nembutsu is nothing but the expression of praise, laud, homage and thankfulness to the Sacred Name. The true Practice is the glorification of the Name filled with all kinds of virtues. Therefore his Practice is but the overflow of his " Faith-with-Joy (true-Faith) ". Such true Practice (Nembutsu) and such true Faith is the true cause of the rebirth in the Pure Land - these two being inseparable.

The Pure Land should not be materially interpreted, but it should be understood spiritually. The Pure Land is indeed the embodiment of Amitabha's Enlightenment; and its substance (Tai) is His infinite mercy, wisdom, power and the Name; it is also the realization of His Vows. In other words, the Buddha Country of Bliss and Happiness consists of Amida's Light (wisdom) and Life (mercy).

In the last part of the Smaller Sukhavati-vyuha Sutra (Amida-kyo), we read a passage as follows: " I (the Buddha) preach the most difficult Law (Teaching) to believe. " This corresponds to the words of the Larger Sukhavati-vyuha Sutra, which says:

This Law is the most difficult to believe, none else is more difficult than this.

" This Law " means the gospel of the 18th Vow. The " one days or seven days' Nembutsu " in the Smaller Sutra is, in the temporary sense, the Nembutsu of the 20th Vow, but the " most difficult Law to believe " implicitly denotes the Nembutsu of the 18th Vow.

The teachings of the Amitayus-dhyana Sutra and the Smaller Sukhavati-vyuha Sutra are preliminaries to the Larger Sutra. At the same time it can be said that the Larger Sutra is the root of the other two Sutras. In the " Keshindo-kan " Shinran-Shonin says:

Buddha Sakyamuni, opening the " Treasury of Virtues " (the 20th Vow), taught the worlds defiled with heinous sins and passions. And Buddha Amitabha, raising the Preliminary Vow (the 20th Vow), intended to save all sentient beings unenlightened.
Contemplating the power of Tathagata's Primal Vow,
One sees that no foolish being who encounters it passes by in vain.
When a person single-heartedly practices the saying of the Name alone,
It brings quickly to fullness and perfection [in that person] the great treasure ocean of true and real virtues.
- Shinran Shonin

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Re: Rennyo on Faith

Post by Rakz » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:31 am

Nice quote by Zuiken Inagaki Sensei, one of the all time greats. Here's a poem by him.
In the Path of Sages there are eighty-four thousand teachings.
The bombu may be able to study some of them,
But is unable to practise even one.
The bombu is beneath those teachings of the Buddha,
And is in bondage to the passions, unable to escape forever;
So the bombu is called a fool and a boor (doro-bombu).

Why are you not able to practise a single teaching?
Because of the three evil passions: greed, anger and stupidity.
The three passions sound few, but they contain
as many minor passions as eighty-four thousand.
The eighty-four thousand teachings are provided
to deal with the eighty-four thousand passions.
Unable to destroy even one passion,
the bombu cannot escape being a clod.
Amida's Law of Salvation
is above those eighty-four thousand teachings.
Its transcendent character is described by Shinran as:

"the absolute transcendent and universal Single Path of
Deliverance based on the Primal Vow."

This is the Path by which Amida comes to us;
By the same Path we go to the Pure Land.
This is the Path of the Priimal Vow,
the absolute Path of Namu Amida Butsu!

The Path is right in front of you;
It has been there since a long time ago,
But unaware of this, you have taken other paths,
Which have brought you nowhere.
The Path is calling you,

"Come straight to me!"
"Just say Namu Amida Butsu!"

The moment you hear this voice,
Your salvation has been accomplished.
When you say the Nembutsu,
Within it you find Amida's Great Compassion.

Amida's Heart and my heart made into one Heart
Namu Amida Butsu.

In the Nembutsu you hear Amida's Call;
Through the Nembutsu Amida's Call becomes your shinjin.
Your saying of the Nembutsu manifests Amida's working;
The Nembutsu is a living voice of the Buddha.
To hear it is to accept;
What do you accept?
Amida's Wisdom, Compassion, Virtue --
all that belongs to him and all that he is!

Don't think that the Nembutsu is simply a symbolic six-character Name;
For in it are contained all the merits and virtues of the ultimate truth.
The bombu can accept what is given by Amida;
Through the Name - Namu Amida Butsu -
Amida's merits are made ours;
The Name finds its natural expression
as the Nembutsu on our lips and as shinjin in our minds.

It is not you who hear the Buddha-dharma;
It is not the Buddha-dharma that is heard;
Only the Call of Amida sounds throughout the universe --
Namu Amida Butsu.

This is the natural working of the Buddha-dharma;
This is the natural working of the Vow-Power.

How inconceivable it is
that the bombu can be saved as he is!
Namu Amida Butsu turns the bombu into Buddha;
How inconceivable!

Son of Buddha
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:48 pm

Re: Favorite Pure Land Quotes

Post by Son of Buddha » Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:24 pm

Hey Nighthawk

oh no brother they shouldnt do good to receive a cookie,this goes against the principle,if a person just does good so that he will receive something in return.then it really is just him being selfish,if he knew he wouldnt receive his cookie then he wouldnt do any good at all.

the purpuse of a man or woman doing good shouldnt be to have a better birth in the pureland it should be becuase they love others and actually want to help them and see them have a good life(Amitayus Vow is one of pure compassion)I completely agree with you on this.
I also wouldnt discard the precepts though the sutra itself tells us not to do that

the borderlands of the pureland can be found in the sutra so Master Shandao is spot on.

When it comes to "abuseing the right Dharma" or slandering the right Dharma" I always took it to mean a person who says I will go to the pureland i know i will,so I can do whatever I want cause Amitabha will let me in anyway.
pretty much I have always viewed it as a person feeling free to do evil casue he thinks amitayus will let him do evil and still let him in,which means he is useing the Buddha as a scape goat for his immorality(kinda like haveing a governor as ur father)you think you can do whatever you want cause you have no consequences,and ur father will always bail you out. this is what i always took "abuseing the right Dharma" to mean.(this is personal opionion of course)

yea decay is a kind way of putting it,hijacked would also be anouther kind way of putting it. :twisted: :techproblem:

Im apart of Karuna Dharmakaya Buddhism,our main sutras are the 3 pureland sutras and the Nirvana sutra,we are small right now,we should have a website up and running in either a month or two(we are laity based)If you want i can send you some pre website info.

Peace and Love

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