Gobunshō – 御文章 – Fascicle 1-5 – Journey in the Snow – 雪中章 –

1-5 Journey in the Snow

From the beginning of this year a large number of people, both monks and laypeople, men and women, from the three provinces of Kaga, Noto and Etchu, have been flocking to this mountain at Yoshizaki; I feel uneasy about the state of mind of each one of them.

The reason I feel so is, to begin with, that in the teaching of our tradition the cause for birth in the land of bliss is attainment of the entrusting heart of Other Power, but there is hardly anyone in this school who has definitely attained it. How then could these people ever expect to be born with ease in the fulfilled land? This is the matter of the greatest importance.

In what state of mind have these people come here in spite of this snow after having managed to complete the long journey of five or ten ri? I am most concerned about this.

Whatever your frame of mind may have been in the past, I will explain in detail what you should bear in mind from now on. Listen with utmost attention.

You should firmly keep in mind the entrusting heart of Other Power, and then say the nembutsu, whether walking, standing, sitting or lying down, to express your gratitude for the Buddha’s benevolence. With such an understanding, you are assured of the birth that is to come. With overflowing joy, you may go to the temples of the priests who are your teachers and perhaps make offerings to them.

Those who do this are called practicers with the entrusting heart who have thoroughly understood the teaching of our tradition.

Humbly and respectfully.

8th day of the 2nd month, 5th year of Bunmei [1473]

1-5 雪中章

そもそも、 当年とうねんより、 ことのほか、 しゅう能登のとえっちゅう、 りょうさんこくのあひだより道俗どうぞく男女なんにょ、 くんじゅうをなして、 この吉崎よしざきさんちゅう参詣さんけいせらるる面々めんめんしんちゅうのとほり、 いかがとこころもとなくそうろふ。

そのゆゑは、 まづとうりゅうのおもむきは、 このたび極楽ごくらくおうじょうすべきことわりは、 りき信心しんじんをえたるがゆゑなり。 しかれども、 このいちりゅうのうちにおいて、 しかしかとその信心しんじんのすがたをもえたるひとこれなし。 かくのごとくのやからは、 いかでかほうおうじょうをばたやすくとぐべきや。 いちだいといふはこれなり。

さいわひに五里ごりじゅうえんをしのぎ、 このゆきのうちに参詣さんけいのこころざしは、 いかやうにこころえられたるしんちゅうぞや。 千万せんばんこころもとなきだいなり。

所詮しょせんぜんはいかやうのしんちゅうにてありといふとも、 これよりのちはしんちゅうにこころえおかるべきだいをくはしくもうすべし。 よくよくみみをそばだててちょうもんあるべし。

そのゆゑは、 りき信心しんじんといふことをしかとしんちゅうにたくはへられそうらひて、 そのうへには、 仏恩ぶっとん報謝ほうしゃのためには行住ぎょうじゅう坐臥ざが念仏ねんぶつもうさるべきばかりなり。 このこころえにてあるならば、 このたびのおうじょういちじょうなり。 このうれしさのあまりには、 しょうぼう在所ざいしょへもあゆみをはこび、 こころざしをもいたすべきものなり。


あなかしこ、 あなかしこ。


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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