Gobunshō – 御文章 – Fascicle 4-11 – The Unity of Beings and the Dharma – 機法一体章 –

4-11 The Unity of Beings and the Dharma

What is the meaning of “Namo Amida Butsu”? Further, how should we entrust ourselves to Amida to attain birth in the fulfilled land?

First of all, you should entrust yourselves to Amida by carefully discerning the six-character Name, “Na-mo-a-mi-da-butsu.”

The essence of “Namo Amida Butsu” is this: when sentient beings entrust themselves to Amida with the assurance of emancipation in the afterlife, Amida Tathagata fully recognizes this and endows them with the merit of unsurpassed, great benefit. This is what is meant by directing of virtue to sentient beings.

Because it is through Amida’s Dharma that the sentient beings who rely on the Buddha are liberated, we say that “Namo Amida Butsu” represents “the unity of beings and the Dharma.” You should bear in mind that this itself the entrusting heart of Other Power that assures our birth.

Humbly and respectfully.

I wrote this on the 25th day of the 5th month, 6th year of Meio [1497]

4-11 機法一体章

 南無なも弥陀みだぶつもうすは、 いかなるこころにてそうろふや。 しかれば、 なにと弥陀みだをたのみてほうおうじょうをばとぐべくそうろふやらん。

これをこころべきやうは、 まづ南無なも弥陀みだぶつろくのすがたをよくよくこころわけて、 弥陀みだをばたのむべし。

そもそも、 南無なも弥陀みだぶつたいは、 すなはちわれらしゅじょうしょうたすけたまへとたのみまうすこころなり。 すなはちたのむしゅじょう弥陀みだ如来にょらいのよくしろしめして、 すでにじょうだいどくをあたへましますなり。 これをしゅじょうこうしたまへるといへるはこのこころなり。

されば弥陀みだをたのむ弥陀みだぶつのたすけたまふほうなるがゆゑに、 これをほう一体いったい南無なも弥陀みだぶつといへるはこのこころなり。 これすなはちわれらがおうじょうさだまりたるりき信心しんじんなりとはこころべきものなり。

あなかしこ、 あなかしこ。

明応めいおう六年ろくねんがつじゅうにちこれをきをはりぬ。       はちじゅう三歳さんさい

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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