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Re: 'The Verse on True Reliance' by Shinran Shonin

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  • Erick Neiss
    ... out to use during my practice.* Dear Evie, You re very welcome. i am extremely glad that it has benefited someone. And i agree, it is lovely. Namu Amida
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 13, 2000
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      "Evie" <velvetwater@d...> wrote:
      > *Thank you so much Erick. It is just lovely. I have printed it
      out
      to use during my practice.*

      Dear Evie,

      You're very welcome. i am extremely glad that it has benefited
      someone. And i agree, it is lovely.

      Namu Amida Butsu,
      Erick Xiang-Zou
    • Clifton Ong
      Namu Amida Butsu fellow Godobos, below is a slight intro to the Shoshinge, found in the Jodo Shinshu Seiten published by Hawaii and Canada:- Shoshinge (full
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 13, 2000
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        Namu Amida Butsu fellow Godobos,
        below is a slight intro to the Shoshinge, found in the
        "Jodo Shinshu Seiten" published by Hawaii and Canada:-
        "Shoshinge (full name: Shoshin Nenbutsu Ge) or Gatha
        of True Faith, which is most widely chanted among Shin
        Buddhists, was written by Shinran Shonin to
        encapsulate the teachings of Jodo Shinshu.
        Joyfully stating that his faith (Shinjin) was granted
        by the Power of Amida's Primal Vow, Shinran Shonin
        encourages all to entrust themselves in Amida Buddha."

        Below is also a slightly personal explanation to the
        Shoshinge:-
        The first half mainly deals with the Primal Vows of
        Amida when He was still a Bodhisattva called
        Dharmakara. After asking Lokesvaraja
        Budddha(Dharmakara's Teacher, and another
        Transhistorical Buddha), Amida Buddha made His 48 Vows
        to liberate all sentient beings, another part of the
        Shoshinge teaches that Sakyamuni's True intention of
        coming to this world was to teach the Nenbutsu for the
        benefit of sentient beings of the Latter Dhamra Ages
        (i.e. the present times). Just after this part of the
        hymn it says that people who embrace the Nenbutsu
        teachings are few and rare, and are utmost supreme
        amongst men, and we are exhorted by Shinran Shonin to
        believe in the Buddha's teachings of salvation for us.

        The second half of the Shoshinge traces the lineage of
        the 7 Patriachs from Nagarjuna, Vasubhandhu, Tan-luan,
        Dao-zhuo, Shan0dao, Genshin and finally Genku (Honen
        shonin, Shinran Shonin's teacher, and founder of
        Jodo-shu). It summarises the teachings of the 7
        Patriachs and in the last 4 lines of the hymn, Shinran
        Shonin exhorts us once again to put our trust in the
        teachings of these eminent masters.

        The 6 hymns found after the Shoshinge are the first 6
        hymns of the Jodo Wasan, composed by Shinran Shonin
        himself. Shinran Shonin had composed three volumes of
        hymns - Jodo Wasan (Hymns on the Pure Land), Koso
        Wasan (Hymns on the High Monks), and Shozomatsu Wasan
        (Hymns on the Dharma Ages). The Shoshinge and Wasans
        (all three volumes) are chanted in every Shinshu
        followers house in Japan, and it has been a tradition
        since the time of Rennyo shonin, who composed it as
        the "Daily Liturgy" for Shinshu followers of the
        Honganji.

        I have added the "Sharing of merits" Gatha under the
        Shoshinge.

        In gassho,
        Clifton (Shaku Do Tatsu)
        -"Thoroughly realised"
        (once again i thank His Eminence the Gomonshu for
        conferring such a meaningful Homyo to me)

        Shoshin Nenbutsu Ge
        I. I rely on the Buddha of Infinite Life
        I rely on the Buddha whose light is unlimited.
        When Dharmakara, the great Bodhisattva
        Was studying under Lokesvararaja

        II. And having examined the realms of pure mind
        And comparing them all to the ego-bound consciousness,

        Brought fourth the ultimate thought of compassion
        And set out to save the innumerable beings.

        III. He carefully chose the most vital of realms,
        One whose purification would aid countless beings.
        Effects of his efforts flow forth like a light,
        Incomparable, boundless and immeasurable.

        IV. The brilliance of purity, wisdom and joy,
        Unceasing, unhindered, ineffable light!
        It outshines both the sun and the moon in it's
        brilliance
        For anywhere consciousness rises it shines.

        V. The great light of the Buddha fulfills the
        conditions
        For reaching the level of Non-retrogression
        And, after this life, realizing Nirvana
        Is due to the Buddha's unbounded compassion.

        VI. The reason the Buddha appeared in the world
        Was to lead everyone to Nirvana's pure realm.
        All the beings who suffer from greed and impermanence,
        Hear now the truth of the realm of Amida

        VII. When "One Thought of Joy" awakes in your mind,
        Though the passions are not tamed, you will reach
        Nirvana.
        When men meet Amida they all become pure
        Just as rivers all turn to one taste in the sea.

        VIII. As the Light of Amida protectively shines on us
        Error, like darkness, retreats from the light
        But the clouds of desire, anger, hatred and ignorance
        Keep us from seeing it's unsurpassed brilliance.

        IX. Our clouds are obscuring the light of His sun
        But beyond them is light and there is no more
        darkness.
        The Light of Amida arises within us
        Replacing the grasping which leads us to sorrow.

        X. Shakyamuni Buddha says all common men,
        Whether evil or good, who accept the compassionate
        Light of Amida have great understanding
        And also He likens them to the white lotus.

        XI. The doctrine explaining the Thought of the Buddha
        Is based on the knowledge of cause-and-effect
        And the great difficulty of self-power practice.
        Without these, Nirvana is hard to approach.

        XII. Nagarjuna and Vasubandhu and Donran,
        Doshaku and Zendo and Genshin and Honen
        Have clearly shown us Shakyamuni's discourses
        Concerning Amida befit man's capacity.

        XIII. Shakyamuni Buddha, when He was preaching
        The Lankavatara Sutra had predicted
        Nagarjuna's coming, and said he would disprove
        The absolute views of both being and non-being.

        XIV. He would attain the pure realm of Nirvana
        And he would expound the great truth of the doctrine.
        The difficult path is like walking on land
        But the path of Amida's like sailing on water.

        XV. The moment the Mind of Enlightenment reaches us
        Final release from this world is assured us.
        Relief and thanksgiving become then the basis
        For all of our actions, Nagarjuna tells us.

        XVI. When Vasubandhu was composing a discourse
        He said he relied on the light of the Buddha.
        His doctrines are all in accord with the Sutras
        And show us the way to escape the world's suffering.

        XVII. Out of compassion he showed the results
        Of the Mind of Enlightenment rising within us.
        Our ignorant efforts can't ease our own minds
        But the mind of the Buddha is already pure.

        XVIII. When the Light of Amida breaks through from
        within us
        The Buddha's compassion and wisdom are ours.
        Thus relieved of our ignorance, we become Buddhas
        And aid in His efforts, so said Vasubandhu.

        XIX. When Donran was living, the emperor called him
        A great Bodhisattva, and when Bodhiruci
        Gave Donran a Sutra expounding the Pure Realm
        He burned all his books on the Taoist religion.

        XX. He commented on Vasubandhu's discourses
        And showed that the cause and effects of rebirth
        And of all of the aid that we give or receive
        In the Pure Realm depends on the Light of Amida.

        XXI. The Light of Amida brings with it the knowledge
        That this universe and Nirvana are one
        So that after we get to the Pure Realm, we still
        Can aid others in this world, so Donran explained to
        us.

        XXII. Doshaku said meditation and efforts
        Toward goodness are useless because of our ignorance.
        Our impure efforts will not create purity,
        Therefore rely on the Light of Amida.

        XXIII. True Mind is sincere, is serene and is steady
        So even though time will efface and destroy
        The teachings, the truths taught about are eternal.
        The Realm of Amida awaits, so Doshaku said.

        XXIV. Zendo alone showed the Buddha's intention.
        He knew that our acts, good or evil, are grasping.
        Cessation or sorrow can not come from this,
        But we all can rely on the Light of Amida.

        XXV. The diamond-hard thunderbolt mind, when it rises
        Produces supreme concentration and joy
        Which leads us to wisdom, compassion, reliance,
        And finally the peace of Nirvana, so Zendo said.

        XXVI. Genshin had studied and taught Buddha's
        doctrines,
        Distinguished between Recompensed and Transformed
        lands
        And urged us to practice the Thought of the Buddha
        For various practices shows lack of confidence.

        XXVII. People who have heavy sins should rely
        On Amida. I, too, am within His embracement,
        Though I cannot see, being blinded by passions,
        His mercy still shines on us ceaselessly, Genshin
        said.

        XXVIII. Honen was also well versed in the teachings
        And felt great compassion for all, good or evil.
        By spreading the teachings throughout all Japan
        Dharmakara's good work has been firmly established.

        XXIX. Our cravings are constantly pulling us back
        To impermanent objects and our preconceptions.
        Rely on Amida's compassion and wisdom
        Instead of ourselves for Nirvana, so Honen said.

        XXX. All of the masters who passed on the teachings
        Have combated sorrow by striking at ignorance.
        People now living in sorrow and sadness
        Take refuge in all of the doctrines they taught.
        ........................................
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Na....
        From the time that Amida reached Enlightenment
        Till the present time ten kalpas have elapsed.
        The light of the Dharma-body, without hindrance
        Shines on the darkness and lights up the world.
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Na....
        Without measure is the light of the Buddha's wisdom.
        Of all beings who have finite attributes
        None is there who is not blessed by the light
        So take refuge in the true illumination.
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo
        Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Na....
        Without boundary is the light-wheel of deliverance
        Of all beings who are thereby illuminated
        Being and non-being will no longer fetter them.
        So I take my refuge in the equal Bodhi.
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Na....
        Without hindrance like space is the cloud of light.
        By its nature it is free from all impediments.
        None is there who is not blessed by the light
        So take refuge in the inconceivable one.
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Na....
        Without equal is the pure clean light.
        When we meet and trust this light
        All our bonds of good and evil Karma will be gone.
        So take refuge in the ultimate resort.
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Namo Amida Buddha
        Na....
        With the utmost brightness the Buddha's light shines
        So we call Him Buddha of Majestically Flaming Light.
        He breaks through the darkness of the three realms
        So take refuge in the great Arhat!

        May we share these virtues
        Equally with one and all
        And together attaining
        Birth in the Land of Bliss

        >
        >


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