Gobunshō – 御文章 – Fascicle 5-12 – Holding on to Amida’s Sleeves – 御袖章 –

5-12 Holding on to Amida’s Sleeves

Those who wish to know in detail the essentials of the settled mind in our tradition do not necessarily require wisdom and learning. While aware of their deep karmic evil and helplessness, they should realize that Amida Tathagata is the only Buddha capable of saving such beings; putting aside all calculations, they should single-mindedly entrust themselves to the Buddha for their emancipation in the afterlife, as if holding fast to Amida’s sleeves. Then, Amida Tathagata will greatly rejoice and send forth from his body eighty-four thousand magnificent rays of light, embracing those beings in this light.

We should remember that this is described in the [Contemplation] Sutra as: “The light shines everywhere throughout the ten quarters, embracing and not forsaking sentient beings of the nembutsu.” Therefore, there is no problem about our becoming Buddhas.

How wonderful is the all-surpassing Primal Vow! How benevolent is Amida Tathagata’s light! Unless we had a chance to encounter this light, we could not possibly be cured of the dreadful illness of ignorance and karmic hindrances we have had since beginningless past.

Prompted by the working of this light, those endowed with past karmic good have come to attain the entrusting heart of Other Power. Thus, it has now become clear that the entrusting heart is bestowed by Amida Tathagata.

Accordingly, we now clearly know that this is not the mind created by the followers but the great entrusting heart of Other Power given to us by Amida Tathagata.

Hence, those who have ever had the fortune to attain the entrusting heart of Other Power should remember their indebtedness to Amida’s benevolence and always say the nembutsu as an expression of gratitude for it.

Humbly and respectfully.

5-12 御袖章

とうりゅう安心あんじんのおもむきをくはしくしらんとおもはんひとは、 あながちに智慧ちえ才学さいかくもいらず、 ただわがつみふかきあさましきものなりとおもひとりて、 かかるまでもたすけたまへるほとけは弥陀みだ如来にょらいばかりなりとしりて、 なにのやうもなく、 ひとすぢにこの弥陀みだほとけの御袖おんそでにひしとすがりまゐらするおもひをなして、 しょうをたすけたまへとたのみまうせば、 この弥陀みだ如来にょらいはふかくよろこびましまして、 そのおんより八万はちまんせんのおほきなるこうみょうはなちて、 そのこうみょうのなかにそのひとおされておきたまふべし。

さればこのこころを きょう (観経) には、 「こうみょうへんじょう 十方じっぽうかい 念仏ねんぶつしゅじょう 摂取せっしゅしゃ」 とはかれたりとこころうべし。 さてはわがのほとけにらんずることは、 なにのわづらひもなし。

あら、 しゅしょうちょう本願ほんがんや、 ありがたの弥陀みだ如来にょらいこうみょうや。 このこうみょうえんにあひたてまつらずは、 無始むしよりこのかたのみょうごっしょうのおそろしきやまいのなほるといふことは、 さらにもつてあるべからざるものなり。

しかるにこのこうみょうえんにもよほされて、 宿しゅくぜんありて、 りき信心しんじんといふことをばいますでにえたり。 これしかしながら、 弥陀みだ如来にょらいおんかたよりさづけましましたる信心しんじんとはやがてあらはにしられたり。

かるがゆゑにぎょうじゃのおこすところの信心しんじんにあらず、 弥陀みだ如来にょらいりきだい信心しんじんといふことは、 いまこそあきらかにしられたり。

これによりて、 かたじけなくもひとたびりき信心しんじんをえたらんひとは、 みな弥陀みだ如来にょらいおんをおもひはかりて、 仏恩ぶっとん報謝ほうしゃのためにつねに称名しょうみょう念仏ねんぶつもうしたてまつるべきものなり。

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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