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Re: [shinlist] Re: 'The Verse on True Reliance' by Shinran Shonin

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  • 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 1 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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