Gobunshō – 御文章 – Fascicle 5-4 – Whether Men or Women – 抑男子女人章 –

5-4 Whether Men or Women

Men and women possessed of deep karmic evil, even if they rely on the compassionate vows of other Buddhas, cannot possibly be saved by their power, because this is the evil world of the latter age. Thereupon, the Buddha we revere as Amida Tathagata, surpassing all those Buddhas, made the great Vow of saving those who commit the ten evil acts and the five grave offenses, and became Amida Buddha.

Since Amida vowed “If I could not save those who deeply rely on me with a single thought of entrusting, I would not attain perfect enlightenment,” so we shall no doubt be born in the land of bliss.

For this reason, those who, without doubting, deeply entrust themselves to Amida Tathagata single-mindedly and unwaveringly, and disregarding their own deep karmic evil and leaving it to Amida’s care, and who have their heart settled in a single thought of entrusting, will no doubt, ten out of ten and a hundred out of a hundred, attain birth in the Pure Land.

Beyond this, when we remember Amida’s benevolence more and more with gratitude, we should recite the nembutsu, saying “Namo Amida Butsu, Namo Amida Butsu, …” regardless of time or place. This is called the nembutsu as an expression of gratitude for the Buddha’s benevolence.

Humbly and respectfully.

5-4 抑男子女人章

そもそも、 なん女人にょにんつものふかからんともがらは、 諸仏しょぶつがんをたのみても、 いまぶん末代まつだいあくなれば、 諸仏しょぶつおんちからにては、 なかなかかなはざるときなり。 これによりて、 弥陀みだ如来にょらいもうしたてまつるは、 諸仏しょぶつにすぐれて、 じゅうあくぎゃく罪人ざいにんをわれたすけんといふ大願だいがんをおこしましまして、 弥陀みだぶつとなりたまへり。

「このぶつをふかくたのみて、 一念いちねんおんたすけそうらへともうさんしゅじょうを、 われたすけずはしょうがくらじ」 とちかひまします弥陀みだなれば、 われらが極楽ごくらくおうじょうせんことはさらにうたがいなし。

このゆゑに、 一心いっしん一向いっこう弥陀みだ如来にょらいたすけたまへとふかく心にうたがいなくしんじて、 わがつみのふかきことをばうちすて、 ぶつにまかせまゐらせて、 一念いちねん信心しんじんさだまらんともがらは、 じゅうにんじゅうにんながらひゃくにんひゃくにんながら、 みなじょうおうじょうすべきこと、 さらにうたがいなし。

このうへには、 なほなほたふとくおもひたてまつらんこころのおこらんときは、 南無なも弥陀みだぶつ、 南無なも弥陀みだぶつと、 ときをもいはず、 ところをもきらはず、 念仏ねんぶつもうすべし。 これをすなはちぶっとん報謝ほうしゃ念仏ねんぶつもうすなり。

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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