Gobunshō – 御文章 – Fascicle 2-5 – Juzu – 珠数章 –

2-5 Juzu

As I reflect, having observed the ways of the nembutsu followers in this temple community over the past few years, I find that they totally lack the settled mind of Other Power.

The reason I say this is that there is none among them who carries a juzu. Not carrying any juzu amounts to grasping the Buddha with bare hands. Shinran Shonin never told us to worship the Buddha without a juzu. Nevertheless, in order to attain birth in the Pure Land, only the entrusting heart of Other Power is required. Not carrying any juzu creates no hindrance to that end.

In the first place, priests of big temples are expected to wear robes and carry juzu. In this connection we notice that those who have attained the true entrusting heart never fail to express it in their voice and manifest it in their manner. From this we can conjecture that nowadays those who have admirably attained the true entrusting heart are extremely rare.

To explain this further, it appears that these priests, failing to appreciate that the Primal Vow of Amida Tathagata is befitting to us, always assume the air of understanding all about the entrusting heart and, whenever they hear the Dharma, they dismiss it as nothing new, thereby unable to take it seriously in their minds; and so they are merely imitating others.

Such being the case, their own birth in the land of bliss seems doubtful; it is even more doubtful whether they can teach their followers and members. In such a state of mind, their birth that is to come in the fulfilled land will be impossible.

How shameful and sad it is! You should simply calm your minds and deeply reflect. Indeed impermanence of human life is such that one may die at any time, when the breath that goes out is not followed by the breath that comes in. Be very careful in keeping in mind the Buddha Dharma, and seek to settle the entrusting heart.

Humbly and respectfully.

Early in the morning on the 16th day of the 2nd month, 6th year of Bunmei [1474], I suddenly took a brush and wrote this.

2-5 珠数章

そもそも、 このさんねんのあひだにおいて、 当山とうざん念仏ねんぶつしゃぜいをみおよぶに、 まことにもつてりき安心あんじんけつじょうせしめたるぶんなし。

そのゆゑは、 じゅ一連いちれんをももつひとなし。 さるほどにほとけをばづかみにこそせられたり。 しょうにん (親鸞)、 まつたく 「じゅをすててぶつおがめ」 とおおせられたることなし。 さりながらじゅをもたずとも、 おうじょうじょうのためにはただりき信心しんじんひとつばかりなり。 それにはさはりあるべからず。

まづだいぼうぶんたるひとは、 袈裟けさをもかけ、 じゅをもちてもさいなし。 これによりて真実しんじつ信心しんじんぎゃくとくしたるひとは、 かならずくちにもし、 またいろにもそのすがたはみゆるなり。 しかれば、 とうはさらに真実しんじつ信心しんじんをうつくしくえたるひと、 いたりてまれなりとおぼゆるなり。

それはいかんぞなれば、 弥陀みだ如来にょらい本願ほんがんのわれらがために相応そうおうしたるたふとさのほども、 にはおぼえざるがゆゑに、 いつも信心しんじんのひととほりをば、 われこころえがおのよしにて、 なにごとをちょうもんするにも、 そのこととばかりおもひて、 みみへもしかしかともいらず、 ただひとまねばかりのていたらくなりとみえたり。

このぶんにては、 しんおうじょう極楽ごくらくもいまはいかがとあやふくおぼゆるなり。 いはんやもん同朋どうぼうかんも、 なかなかこれあるべからず。 かくのごときのしんちゅうにてはこんほうおうじょう不可ふかなり。

あらあらしょうや。 ただふかくこころをしづめてあんあるべし。 まことにもつて人間にんげんづるいきるをまたぬならひなり。 あひかまへてだんなく仏法ぶっぽうをこころにいれて、 信心しんじんけつじょうすべきものなり。

あなかしこ、 あなかしこ。

文明ぶんめいろく、 がつじゅう六日ろくにちそうちょうににはかにふでめをはりぬのみ。

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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