Gobunshō – 御文章 – Fascicle 2-7 – Going Is Easy, but No One Is Born There – 易往無人章 –

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 [1474]

2-7 易往無人章

しづかにおもんみれば、 それ人間にんげんかいしょうくることは、 まことにかいをたもてるりきによりてなり。 これおほきにまれなることぞかし。 ただし人界にんがいしょうはわづかに一旦いったんしょうなり、 しょうようしょうらっなり。

たとひまたえいにほこり栄耀えいようにあまるといふとも、 じょうしゃ必衰ひっすいしゃじょうのならひなれば、 ひさしくたもつべきにあらず。 ただじゅうねんひゃくねんのあひだのことなり。 それもろうしょうじょうときくときは、 まことにもつてたのみすくなし。

これによりて、 いまときしゅじょうは、 りき信心しんじんをえてじょうおうじょうをとげんとおもふべきなり。

そもそも、 その信心しんじんをとらんずるには、 さらに智慧ちえもいらず、 *才学さいかくもいらず、 富貴ふきびんもいらず、 善人ぜんにん悪人あくにんもいらず、 なん女人にょにんもいらず、 ただもろもろのぞうぎょうをすてて正行しょうぎょうするをもつてほんとす。

その正行しょうぎょうするといふは、 なにのやうもなく弥陀みだ如来にょらい一心いっしん一向いっこうにたのみたてまつることわりばかりなり。

かやうにしんずるしゅじょうをあまねくこうみょうのなかに摂取せっしゅしててたまはずして、 いちいのちきぬればかならずじょうにおくりたまふなり。

この一念いちねん安心あんじん一つにてじょうおうじょうすることの、 あら、 やうもいらぬとりやすの安心あんじんや。 されば安心あんじんといふ二字にじをば、 「やすきこころ」 とよめるはこのこころなり。

さらになにのぞうもなく、 一心いっしん一向いっこう如来にょらいをたのみまゐらする信心しんじんひとつにて、 極楽ごくらくおうじょうすべし。

あら、 こころえやすの安心あんじんや、 また、 あら、 きやすのじょうや。

これによりて ¬だいきょう¼ (下) には、 「おうにん」 とこれをかれたり。

このもんのこころは、 「安心あんじんをとりて弥陀みだ一向いっこうにたのめば、 じょうへはまゐりやすけれども、 信心しんじんをとるひとまれなれば、 じょうへはきやすくしてひとなし」 といへるはこのきょうもんのこころなり。

かくのごとくこころうるうへには、 ちゅうちょうにとなふるところのみょうごうは、 だいぜいおんほうじたてまつるべきばかりなり。

かへすがへす仏法ぶっぽうにこころをとどめて、 とりやすき信心しんじんのおもむきをぞんして、 かならずこんいちだいほうおうじょうをとぐべきものなり。

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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