Gobunshō – 御文章 – Fascicle 1-13 – A Wrong View Concerning “Ten Kalpas Ago” – 此方十劫邪義章 –

1-13  A Wrong View Concerning “Ten Kalpas Ago”

These days, there are some among the nembutsu practicers in this region who use strange words, saying that these express how one has attained the entrusting heart, with a pretentious air that they know very well about the entrusting heart of our tradition.

According to them, “The entrusting heart is not to forget our indebtedness to Amida, who settled our birth in the Pure Land at the time of his enlightenment ten kalpas ago.” This is a great mistake. For, even though they know all about Amida Tathagata’s attainment of enlightenment, it would be futile if they failed to realize the significance of the entrusting heart of Other Power that ensures our birth.

Therefore, from now on, you all should first thoroughly understand what the true entrusting heart of our tradition means. The entrusting heart is explained as “threefold mind” in the Larger Sutra and as “three minds” in the Contemplation Sutra, and is shown as “single mind” in the Amida Sutra.

Although the terms are different in the three sutras, they are simply meant to express the single mind of Other Power.

How, then, should we understand the entrusting heart? To begin with, discard various practices and unwaveringly rely on Amida Tathagata. Give no thought to any deities or other Buddhas and single-heartedly take refuge in Amida, and then the Tathagata will embrace you within his light and never forsake you. This is how the single thought of entrusting is decisively settled.

After you have understood thus, you should remember that your nembutsu is to express your gratitude for the benevolence of Amida Tathagata who bestows you the entrusting heart of Other Power.

Those who have this understanding are to be called nembutsu practicers in whom the entrusting heart has been decisively settle.

Humbly and respectfully.

Written in the latter part of the 9th month, 5th year of Bunmei [1473]

1-13 此方十劫邪義章

そもそも、 ちかごろは、 このほう念仏ねんぶつしゃのなかにおいて、 思議しぎみょうごんをつかひて、 これこそ信心しんじんをえたるすがたよといひて、 しかもわれはとうりゅう信心しんじんをよくがおていしんちゅうにこころえおきたり。

そのことばにいはく、 「十劫じっこうしょうがくのはじめより、 われらがおうじょうさだめたまへる弥陀みだおんをわすれぬが信心しんじんぞ」 といへり。 これおほきなるあやまりなり。 そも弥陀みだ如来にょらいしょうがくりたまへるいはれをしりたりといふとも、 われらがおうじょうすべきりき信心しんじんといふいはれをしらずは、 いたづらごとなり。

しかれば、 きょうこうにおいては、 まづとうりゅう真実しんじつ信心しんじんといふことをよくよくぞんすべきなり。

その信心しんじんといふは、 だい三信さんしんき、 かんぎょう には三心さんしんといひ、 弥陀みだきょう には一心いっしんとあらはせり。

さんぎょうともにそのかはりたりといへども、 そのこころはただりき一心いっしんをあらはせるこころなり。

されば信心しんじんといへるそのすがたはいかやうなることぞといへば、 まづもろもろのぞうぎょうをさしおきて、 一向いっこう弥陀みだ如来にょらいをたのみたてまつりて、 自余じよ一切いっさい諸神しょじん諸仏しょぶつとうにもこころをかけず、 一心いっしんにもつぱら弥陀みだみょうせば、 如来にょらいこうみょうをもつてその摂取せっしゅしててたまふべからず。 これすなはちわれらが一念いちねん信心しんじんけつじょうしたるすがたなり。

かくのごとくこころえてののちは、 弥陀みだ如来にょらいりき信心しんじんをわれらにあたへたまへるおんほうじたてまつる念仏ねんぶつなりとこころうべし。


あなかしこ、 あなかしこ。

文明ぶんめいだい、 がつじゅんのころこれを云々うんぬん

Index of individual letters:

Fascicle 1-2 – Renouncing the World and Awakening the Bodhi-mind – 出家発心章
Fascicle 1-3 – Hunting and Fishing – 猟すなどり章
Fascicle 1-5 – Journey in the Snow – 雪中章
Fascicle 1-6 – Drowsiness – 睡眠章
Fascicle 1-8 – Construction at Yoshizaki – 吉崎建立章
Fascicle 1-13 – A Wrong View Concerning “Ten Kalpas Ago” – 此方十劫邪義章
Fascicle 2-4 – Severing Crosswise the Five Evil Courses – 横截五悪趣章
Fascicle 2-5 – Juzu – 珠数章
Fascicle 2-7 – Going Is Easy, but No One Is Born There – 易往無人章
Fascicle 2-11 – The Fivefold Doctrine – 五重義章
Fascicle 3-4 – The Great Sage, the World-honored One – 大聖世尊章
Fascicle 3-6 – Solely Saying the Name Constantly – 唯能常称章
Fascicle 4-10 – This Present Age – 今の世章
Fascicle 4-11 – The Unity of Beings and the Dharma – 機法一体章
Fascicle 4-12 – The Meetings Twice Every Month – 毎月両度章
Fascicle 4-14 – The Settled Mind of Our Tradition – 一流安心章
Fascicle 4-15 – Construction at Ozaka – 大坂建立章
Fascicle 5-1 – Those Lacking Wisdom in the Latter Age – 末代無智章
Fascicle 5-2 – Eighty Thousand Dharma-teachings – 八万法蔵章
Fascicle 5-3 – Women Remaining in Lay Life – 在家尼入道章
Fascicle 5-4 – Whether Men or Women – 抑男子女人章
Fascicle 5-5 – Attaining the Entrusting Heart – 信心獲得章
Fascicle 5-6 – Singleness of Heart, Great Benefit – 一念大利章
Fascicle 5-9 – All the Sacred Scriptures – 一切聖教章
Fascicle 5-10 – The Tradition of Shinran Shonin -聖人一流章
Fascicle 5-11 – The Annual Memorial Observance for Shinran Shonin – 御正忌章
Fascicle 5-12 – Holding on to Amida’s Sleeves – 御袖章
Fascicle 5-13 – The Unsurpassed, Profound Virtues – 無上甚深章
Fascicle 5-16 – White Ashes -白骨章
Fascicle 5-17 – All Women – 一切女人章
Fascicle 5-18 – The Master of Our Tradition – 当流聖人章
Fascicle 5-21 – Clear Statements in the Scriptures – 経釈明文
Fascicle 5-22 – The Teaching of Our Tradition – 当流勧化章

Other Resources:
Letters of Rennyo: The Essence of Shin Buddhism (essay/talk by Rev. Daien T. Haseo)

Letters of Rennyo – On Youtube (presented by Rev. Sugahara Yuki)

Complete Letters of Rennyo translation by the Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai follow this link to their website to download a copy.

To purchase the book ‘Letters of Rennyo’ , Translated by as part of the Hongwanji Shin Buddhism Translation Series, this is the publication information & link:

  • Title :Letters of Rennyo
  • ¥1,100
  • Author :Shin Buddhism Translation Series
  • Language :English
  • ISBN :4-938490-20-X
  • pages :164

Buy from Hongwanji International Center: https://international.hongwanji.or.jp/html/c3b1p1.html

If you would like a digital copy containing more translated letters than listed above (albeit not translated by Hongwanji), you can download a PDF from the Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai (BDK – Amercia) website here: Link: https://bdkamerica.org/product/tannisho-passages-deploring-deviations-of-faith-and-rennyo-shonin-ofumi-the-letters-of-rennyo/

Credits: The text for the Letters of Rennyo as presented on this and subsequent pages was originally shared on the following site : http://www.yamadera.info/seiten/seiten_index.htm

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