Gobunshō – 御文章 – Fascicle 5-11 – The Annual Memorial Observance for Shinran Shonin – 御正忌章 –

5-11 The Annual Memorial Observance for Shinran Shonin

Among those of you who have come during the annual memorial observance for Shinran Shonin to attend and pay reverence to him with sincere wishes to express your appreciation for his benevolence, some have already attained the entrusting heart while others have not. This is a matter of the greatest importance.

For, if you have not attained the entrusting heart, your birth in the fulfilled land after this life is uncertain. So those of you who lack the entrusting heart should strive to settle your mind quickly.

The human world is a realm of uncertainty, while the land of bliss is the realm of eternity. Hence, you should aspire for the eternal land of bliss instead of desiring to continue to inhabit this human world of uncertainty. If you do not know why, in our tradition, the entrusting heart is placed before anything else, all is in vain. In quickly attaining the settled mind, you should aspire for birth in the Pure Land.

The popular belief held by the people of the world is that if they simply recite the nembutsu, they will be born in the land of bliss. But this idea is completely groundless.

Attaining the entrusting heart of Other Power is nothing other than understanding fully the significance of the six-character Name, “Na-mo-a-mi-da-butsu.” This is what is meant by attaining the entrusting heart.

As to the essentials of the entrusting heart, the [Larger] Sutra states, “Hearing the Name, one attains the entrusting and joyful heart.”

Shan-tao says, “‘Namo’ means to take refuge. It further signifies aspiring and directing virtue. ‘Amida Butsu’ implies the practice.”

The first two characters, “na-mo,” signify the mind to abandon various practices and entrust oneself single-mindedly and unwaveringly to Amida Buddha.

Next, the implication of the four characters, “a-mi-da-butsu,” is that Amida readily saves those sentient beings who entrust themselves to him with singleness of heart. This is what “a-mi-da-butsu” means.

Understanding “Namo Amida Butsu” in this way is what I mean by attaining the entrusting heart. Those who have this understanding are the nembutsu practicers who have truly realized the entrusting heart of Other Power.

Humbly and respectfully.

5-11 御正忌章

そもそも、 このしょうのうちに参詣さんけいをいたし、 こころざしをはこび、 報恩ほうおん謝徳しゃとくをなさんとおもひて、 しょうにんおんまへにまゐらんひとのなかにおいて、 信心しんじんぎゃくとくせしめたるひともあるべし、 また信心しんじんのともがらもあるべし。 もつてのほかのだいなり。

そのゆゑは、 信心しんじんけつじょうせずはこんほうおうじょうじょうなり。 さればしんのひともすみやかにけつじょうのこころをとるべし。

人間にんげんじょうのさかひなり。 極楽ごくらく常住じょうじゅうくになり。 さればじょう人間にんげんにあらんよりも、 常住じょうじゅう極楽ごくらくをねがふべきものなり。 さればとうりゅうには信心しんじんのかたをもつてさきとせられたるそのゆゑをよくしらずは、 いたづらごとなり。 いそぎて安心あんじんけつじょうして、 じょうおうじょうをねがふべきなり。

それ人間にんげん流布るふしてみなひとのこころえたるとほりは、 なにの分別ふんべつもなくくちにただしょうみょうばかりをとなへたらば、 極楽ごくらくおうじょうすべきやうにおもへり。 それはおほきにおぼつかなきだいなり。

りき信心しんじんをとるといふも、 べつのことにはあらず。 南無なも弥陀みだぶつつののこころをよくしりたるをもつて、 信心しんじんけつじょうすとはいふなり。

そもそも、 信心しんじんたいといふは、 ¬きょう¼ (大経・下) にいはく、 「もんみょうごう信心しんじんかん」 といへり。

善導ぜんどうのいはく、 「南無なもº といふはみょう、 またこれ発願ほつがんこうなり。 ª弥陀みだぶつº といふはすなはちそのぎょう」 (玄義分) といへり。

南無なも」 といふ二字にじのこころは、 もろもろのぞうぎょうをすてて、 うたがいなく一心いっしん一向いっこう弥陀みだぶつをたのみたてまつるこころなり。

さて 「弥陀みだぶつ」 といふつののこころは、 一心いっしん弥陀みだみょうするしゅじょうを、 やうもなくたすけたまへるいはれが、 すなはち弥陀みだぶつつののこころなり。

されば南無なも弥陀みだぶつたいをかくのごとくこころえわけたるを、 信心しんじんをとるとはいふなり。 これすなはちりき信心しんじんをよくこころえたる念仏ねんぶつぎょうじゃとはもうすなり。

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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