Gobunshō – 御文章 – Fascicle 5-13 – The Unsurpassed, Profound Virtues – 無上甚深章 –

5-13 The Unsurpassed, Profound Virtues

The Name, “Na-mo-a-mi-da-butsu,” consists of only six characters, and so it may not appear to have much merit. Yet, the greatness of the unsurpassed, profound virtues and benefits contained in this six-character Name is truly beyond measure.

We should then know that the significance of attaining the entrusting heart is contained in these six characters. There is no entrusting heart apart from the six-character Name.

Shan-tao explains the six-character Name, “Na-mo-a-mi-da-butsu,” 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.

How should we understand this explanation? Even though we are full of evil karma and blind passions, at the moment we take refuge in Amida Buddha with a single thought of entrusting, the Buddha recognizes this and saves us.

“Taking refuge” means entrusting oneself to Amida’s saving power. “Aspiring and directing virtue” means Amida’s bestowing of the unsurpassed, great virtues to those who entrust themselves to the Buddha with singleness of thought.

Since the great good and great virtue realized through “aspiring and directing virtue” are bestowed to us, our evil karma and blind passions that we have had since the beginningless past are eliminated all at once. With complete elimination of our blind passions and evil karma, we are made to dwell in the stage of the truly settled, or the stage of non-retrogression.

For this reason, we know even more clearly that the six-character Name, “Na-mo-a-mi-da-butsu,” manifests how we attain birth in the land of bliss. Then, concerning the settled mind, or the entrusting heart, those who thoroughly understand the significance of the six-character Name are called persons who have attained the great entrusting heart of Other Power.

Such being the profound meaning of the Name, we should deeply accept it.

Humbly and respectfully.

5-13 無上甚深章

それ、 南無なも弥陀みだぶつもうもんは、 そのかずわづかにろくなれば、 *さのみのうのあるべきともおぼえざるに、 このろくみょうごうのうちにはじょう甚深じんじんどくやく広大こうだいなること、 さらにそのきはまりなきものなり。

されば信心しんじんをとるといふも、 このろくのうちにこもれりとしるべし。 さらにべつ信心しんじんとてろくのほかにはあるべからざるものなり。

 そもそも、 この 「南無なも弥陀みだぶつ」 のろく善導ぜんどうしゃくしていはく、 「南無なもº といふはみょうなり、 またこれ発願ほつがんこうなり。 ª弥陀みだぶつº といふはそのぎょうなり。 このをもつてのゆゑにかならずおうじょうすることを」 (玄義分) といへり。

しかれば、 このしゃくのこころをなにとこころうべきぞといふに、 たとへばわれらごときの悪業あくごう煩悩ぼんのうなりといふとも、 一念いちねん弥陀みだぶつみょうせば、 かならずそのをしろしめしてたすけたまふべし。

それみょうといふはすなはちたすけたまへともうすこころなり。 されば一念いちねん弥陀みだをたのむしゅじょうじょうだいどくをあたへたまふを、 発願ほつがんこうとはもうすなり。

この発願ほつがんこう大善だいぜんだいどくをわれらしゅじょうにあたへましますゆゑに、 無始むし曠劫こうごうよりこのかたつくりおきたる悪業あくごう煩悩ぼんのうをばいちしょうめつしたまふゆゑに、 われらが煩悩ぼんのう悪業あくごうはことごとくみなえて、 すでに正定しょうじょうじゅ退転たいてんなんどいふくらいじゅうすとはいふなり。

このゆゑに、 南無なも弥陀みだぶつろくのすがたは、 われらが極楽ごくらくおうじょうすべきすがたをあらはせるなりと、 いよいよしられたるものなり。 されば安心あんじんといふも、 信心しんじんといふも、 このみょうごうろくのこころをよくよくこころうるものを、 りきだい信心しんじんをえたるひととはなづけたり。

かかるしゅしょうどうあるがゆゑに、 ふかくしんじ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

Please report any broken links here

Leave a Reply