2-7 Going Is Easy, but No One Is Born There
When I reflect quietly, I realize that one receives life in the human world due solely to the merit of observing the five precepts in one’s past life. This is indeed a rare thing to happen. Life in the human world, however, is but momentary and ephemeral; the life in the Pure Land is the eternal, blissful fruit.
Even if we boast of pomp and glory and revel in prosperity, we cannot enjoy such a state for long, because “those who prosper will necessarily decline, and those who meet must definitely part” is the way of the world. Life lasts only fifty or hundred years. In addition, since it is not certain whether death comes to the old first and then to the young, human life is hardly reliable.
For this reason, people of today should seek the entrusting heart of Other Power and aspire to be born in the Pure Land.
In order to attain the entrusting heart, you do not need wisdom or learning; it is not a question of whether you are rich and noble or poor and destitute, whether you are good or evil, male or female. The essential point is to give up various practices and take refuge in the right practice, that is, the nembutsu.
To take refuge in the right practice means simply to entrust yourselves to Amida Tathagata single-mindedly and unwaveringly.
Those beings who thus entrust themselves to Amida will all be embraced in his light and not be forsaken; when their lives come to an end, they will unfailingly be brought to the Pure Land. Your birth in the Pure Land is attainable only through the single thought of the settled mind. How easy it is to attain the settled mind which is free of calculations! This is why the two-character word, “an-jin,” also means “easily attained mind.”
You will be born in the land of bliss only through having the entrusting heart － a single-minded and unwavering reliance on the Tathagata without any calculations.
How easy it is to realize the settle mind! How easy it is to go to the Pure Land!
Hence, it is stated in the Larger Sutra, “To go is easy and yet no one is born there.”
This passage means that it is easy to go to the Pure Land if you attain the settled mind and entrust yourselves unwaveringly to Amida, but those who attain the entrusting heart are rare. For this reason, the sutra states that the Pure Land is easy to go to but there is no one who is born there.
Calling the Name day and night, morning and evening, after you have reached this understanding, is simply to express your gratitude for the benevolence of the universal Vow of great compassion.
You should, by all means, keep in mind the Buddha Dharma and seek to know the essentials of the entrusting heart which is easy to gain, and never fail to attain birth in the fulfilled land, the matter of the greatest importance.
Humbly and respectfully.
I made a fair copy on the 3rd day of the 3rd month, 6th year of Bunmei 
しづかにおもんみれば､ それ人間界の生を受くることは､ まことに五戒をたもてる功力によりてなり｡ これおほきにまれなることぞかし｡ ただし人界の生はわづかに一旦の浮生なり､ 後生は永生の楽果なり｡
たとひまた栄華にほこり栄耀にあまるといふとも､ 盛者必衰会者定離のならひなれば､ ひさしくたもつべきにあらず｡ ただ五十年百年のあひだのことなり｡ それも老少不定ときくときは､ まことにもつてたのみすくなし｡
これによりて､ 今の時の衆生は､ 他力の信心をえて浄土の往生をとげんとおもふべきなり｡
そもそも､ その信心をとらんずるには､ さらに智慧もいらず､ *才学もいらず､ 富貴も貧窮もいらず､ 善人も悪人もいらず､ 男子も女人もいらず､ ただもろもろの雑行をすてて正行に帰するをもつて本意とす｡
この一念の安心一つにて浄土に往生することの､ あら､ やうもいらぬとりやすの安心や｡ されば安心といふ二字をば､ ｢やすきこころ｣ とよめるはこのこころなり｡
さらになにの造作もなく､ 一心一向に如来をたのみまゐらする信心ひとつにて､ 極楽に往生すべし｡
あら､ こころえやすの安心や､ また､ あら､ 往きやすの浄土や｡
これによりて ¬大経¼ (下) には､ ｢易往而無人｣ とこれを説かれたり｡
この文のこころは､ ｢安心をとりて弥陀を一向にたのめば､ 浄土へはまゐりやすけれども､ 信心をとるひとまれなれば､ 浄土へは往きやすくして人なし｣ といへるはこの経文のこころなり｡
かくのごとくこころうるうへには､ 昼夜朝暮にとなふるところの名号は､ 大悲弘誓の御恩を報じたてまつるべきばかりなり｡
かへすがへす仏法にこころをとどめて､ とりやすき信心のおもむきを存知して､ かならず今度の一大事の報土の往生をとぐべきものなり｡
Index of individual letters:
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
- 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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