4-15 Construction at Ozaka
The place called Ozaka in the Ikutama area, Higashinari district, Settsu province, must have had some connection with me from the distant past. After it took my fancy by chance in the latter part of autumn in the fifth year of Meio, I had a temple of sorts built here. Now three years have passed. I feel that I have some close karmic relationship with this place from the past.
In regard to this, the fundamental reason for living in this place is not to spend a relaxed life here or enjoy a life of luxury and glory or a life of seclusion appreciating flowers, birds, breezes and the moon. My sincere hope is only to see an increase in number of the practicers who have attained the entrusting heart and of those who recite the nembutsu － all for the sake of attaining the supreme enlightenment. It could happen that some people in the secular world harbor prejudice and come to me with difficult problems. In such a case, I would give up my attachment to this place and immediately withdraw.
In this connection, I hope more people, regardless of whether they are noble or base, priests or lay, will attain the entrusting heart which is indestructible as diamond; this will indeed be in accord with the Primal Vow of Amida Tathagata and, in particular, conform to Shinran Shonin’s true intention.
Incidentally, as of this year, this foolish old man has lived to the age of eighty-four; this is extraordinary. Since I feel I have been living in accord with the teaching of our tradition, I have nothing more to desire.
But I have not been well since the summer of this year and even now there is no sign of recovery. It seems certain that my long-cherished desire to attain birth will be finally realized this coming winter.
Morning and evening, I fervently wish that all will come to the attainment of the entrusting heart while I am still alive. Although I am aware that all of this depends on the good accumulated from the past, my worries never cease.
Or I should perhaps consider that my living here for three years has been worthwhile. Please be doubly sure that you attain the entrusting heart during this seven-day period of Hoonko services, so that you and others together may realize the sincere wish to attain birth in the land of bliss.
Humbly and respectfully.
This letter was first read on the 21st day of the 11th month, 7th year of Meio . It should be read so that people may attain the entrusting heart.
そもそも､ 当国摂州東成郡生玉の庄内大坂といふ在所は､ 往古よりいかなる約束のありけるにや､ さんぬる明応第五の秋下旬のころより､ かりそめながらこの在所をみそめしより､ すでにかたのごとく一宇の坊舎を建立せしめ､ 当年ははやすでに三年の星霜をへたりき｡ これすなはち往昔の宿縁あさからざる因縁なりとおぼえはんべりぬ｡
それについて､ この在所に居住せしむる根元は､ あながちに一生涯をこころやすく過し､ 栄華栄耀をこのみ､ また花鳥風月にもこころをよせず､ あはれ無上菩提のためには信心決定の行者も繁昌せしめ､ 念仏をも申さんともがらも出来せしむるやうにもあれかしと､ おもふ一念のこころざしをはこぶばかりなり｡ またいささかも世間の人なんども偏執のやからもあり､ むつかしき題目なんども出来あらんときは､ すみやかにこの在所において執心のこころをやめて､ 退出すべきものなり｡
これによりて､ いよいよ貴賎道俗をえらばず､ 金剛堅固の信心を決定せしめんこと､ まことに弥陀如来の本願にあひかなひ､ 別しては聖人 (親鸞) の御本意にたりぬべきものか｡
それについて､ 愚老すでに当年は八十四歳まで存命せしむる条不思議なり｡ まことに当流法義にもあひかなふかのあひだ､ 本望のいたりこれにすぐべからざるものか｡
しかれば､ 愚老当年の夏ごろより違例せしめて､ いまにおいて本復のすがたこれなし｡ つひには当年寒中にはかならず往生の本懐をとぐべき条一定とおもひはんべり｡
あはれ､ あはれ､ 存命のうちにみなみな信心決定あれかしと､ 朝夕おもひはんべり｡ まことに宿善まかせとはいひながら､ 述懐のこころしばらくもやむことなし｡
またはこの在所に三年の居住をふるその甲斐ともおもふべし｡ あひかまへてあひかまへて､ この一七箇日報恩講のうちにおいて､ 信心決定ありて､ われひと一同に往生極楽の本意をとげたまふべきものなり｡
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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