Gobunshō – 御文章 – Fascicle 4-14 – The Settled Mind of Our Tradition – 一流安心章 –

4-14 [ The Settled Mind of Our Tradition ]

Concerning the essentials of the settled mind of our tradition:

You should know that they are revealed by the six-character Name, “Na-mo-a-mi-da-butsu.”

Master Shan-tao explains these six characters as follows: “‘Na-mo’ means ‘taking refuge’ and also implies ‘aspiring and directing virtue.’ ‘A-mi-da-butsu’ is ‘the practice.’ For this reason, one can surely be born in the Pure Land.”

To begin with, the first two characters, “na-mo,” mean “to take refuge”; “to take refuge” means that sentient beings entrust themselves to Amida Buddha for emancipation in the afterlife. “Aspiring and directing virtue” implies that Amida embraces and saves the sentient beings who entrust themselves to the Buddha. This is precisely the meaning of the four characters, “a-mi-da-butsu.”

What state of mind should we, ignorant and foolish beings, have and how should we entrust ourselves to Amida? If you discard various practices and single-mindedly and unwaveringly rely on Amida for your emancipation in the afterlife, you will definitely attain birth in the land of bliss. You should not have the slightest doubt about this.

Hence, the two characters, “na-mo,” imply the act of sentient beings to entrust themselves to Amida; the four characters, “a-mi-da-butsu,” indicate the working of the Dharma that saves the beings who rely on Amida. This is exactly what we mean by “the unity of beings and the Dharma” in Namo Amida Butsu.

For this reason, what is essential for birth of all sentient beings is Namo Amida Butsu.

Humbly and respectfully.

4th month, 7th year of Meio [1498]

4-14 一流安心章



このろく善導ぜんどうだいしゃくしていはく、 「ごん南無なもしゃ そくみょう やく発願ほつがんこう ごん弥陀みだぶつしゃ そくぎょう  必得ひっとくおうじょう」 (玄義分) といへり。

まづ 「南無なも」 といふ二字にじは、 すなはちみょうといふこころなり。 「みょう」 といふは、 しゅじょう弥陀みだぶつしょうたすけたまへとたのみたてまつるこころなり。

また 「発願ほつがんこう」 といふは、 たのむところのしゅじょう摂取せっしゅしてすくひたまふこころなり。 これすなはちやがて 「弥陀みだぶつ」 の四字しじのこころなり。

さればわれらごときの愚痴ぐち闇鈍あんどんしゅじょうは、 なにとこころをもち、 また弥陀みだをばなにとたのむべきぞといふに、 もろもろのぞうぎょうをすてて一向いっこう一心いっしんしょうたすけたまへと弥陀みだをたのめば、 けつじょう極楽ごくらくおうじょうすべきこと、 さらにそのうたがいあるべからず。

このゆゑに南無なも二字にじは、 しゅじょう弥陀みだをたのむのかたなり。 また弥陀みだぶつ四字しじは、 たのむしゅじょうをたすけたまふかたのほうなるがゆゑに、 これすなはちほう一体いったい南無なも弥陀みだぶつもうすこころなり。

このどうあるがゆゑに、 われら一切いっさいしゅじょうおうじょうたい南無なも弥陀みだぶつときこえたり。

あなかしこ、 あなかしこ。

明応めいおう七年しちねんがつ にち

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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