Gobunshō – 御文章 – Fascicle 4-15 – Construction at Ozaka – 大坂建立章 –

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 [1498]. It should be read so that people may attain the entrusting heart.

Shaku Shounyo

4-15 大坂建立章

 そもそも、 当国とうごくせっしゅうひがし成郡なりのこおり生玉いくたましょうない大坂おおざかといふ在所ざいしょは、 おうよりいかなる約束やくそくのありけるにや、 さんぬる明応めいおうだいあきじゅんのころより、 かりそめながらこの在所ざいしょをみそめしより、 すでにかたのごとくいち坊舎ぼうしゃこんりゅうせしめ、 当年とうねんははやすでに三年さんねん星霜せいそうをへたりき。 これすなはちおうじゃく宿しゅくえんあさからざる因縁いんねんなりとおぼえはんべりぬ。

それについて、 この在所ざいしょきょじゅうせしむる根元こんげんは、 あながちにいっしょうがいをこころやすくすごし、 えい栄耀えいようをこのみ、 またちょう風月ふうげつにもこころをよせず、 あはれじょうだいのためには信心しんじんけつじょうぎょうじゃはんじょうせしめ、 念仏ねんぶつをももうさんともがらもしゅつらいせしむるやうにもあれかしと、 おもふ一念いちねんのこころざしをはこぶばかりなり。 またいささかもけんひとなんどもへんじゅうのやからもあり、 むつかしき題目だいもくなんどもしゅつらいあらんときは、 すみやかにこの在所ざいしょにおいてしゅうしんのこころをやめて、 退たいしゅつすべきものなり。

これによりて、 いよいよせん道俗どうぞくをえらばず、 金剛こんごうけん信心しんじんけつじょうせしめんこと、 まことに弥陀みだ如来にょらい本願ほんがんにあひかなひ、 べっしてはしょうにん (親鸞) のほんにたりぬべきものか。

それについて、 ろうすでに当年とうねんはちじゅうさいまで存命ぞんめいせしむるじょう思議しぎなり。 まことにとうりゅうほうにもあひかなふかのあひだ、 本望ほんもうのいたりこれにすぐべからざるものか。

しかれば、 ろう当年とうねんなつごろよりれいせしめて、 いまにおいて本復ほんぷくのすがたこれなし。 つひには当年とうねんかんちゅうにはかならずおうじょう本懐ほんがいをとぐべきじょういちじょうとおもひはんべり。

あはれ、 あはれ、 存命ぞんめいのうちにみなみな信心しんじんけつじょうあれかしと、 ちょうせきおもひはんべり。 まことに宿しゅくぜんまかせとはいひながら、 じゅっかいのこころしばらくもやむことなし。

またはこの在所ざいしょ三年さんねんきょじゅうをふるその甲斐かいともおもふべし。 あひかまへてあひかまへて、 このいちしちにち報恩ほうおんこうのうちにおいて、 信心しんじんけつじょうありて、 われひと一同いちどうおうじょう極楽ごくらくほんをとげたまふべきものなり。

あなかしこ、 あなかしこ。

  明応めいおう七年しちねんじゅう一月いちがつじゅう一日いちにちよりはじめて、 これをよみて人々ひとびとしんをとらすべきものなり。


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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