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.
そもそも､ 男子も女人も罪のふかからんともがらは､ 諸仏の悲願をたのみても､ 今の時分は末代悪世なれば､ 諸仏の御ちからにては､ なかなかかなはざる時なり｡ これによりて､ 阿弥陀如来と申したてまつるは､ 諸仏にすぐれて､ 十悪・五逆の罪人をわれたすけんといふ大願をおこしましまして､ 阿弥陀仏となりたまへり｡
｢この仏をふかくたのみて､ 一念御たすけ候へと申さん衆生を､ われたすけずは正覚成らじ｣ と誓ひまします弥陀なれば､ われらが極楽に往生せんことはさらに疑なし｡
このゆゑに､ 一心一向に阿弥陀如来たすけたまへとふかく心に疑なく信じて､ わが身の罪のふかきことをばうちすて､ 仏にまかせまゐらせて､ 一念の信心定まらん輩は､ 十人は十人ながら百人は百人ながら､ みな浄土に往生すべきこと､ さらに疑なし｡
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､ 南無阿弥陀仏､ 南無阿弥陀仏と､ 時をもいはず､ ところをもきらはず､ 念仏申すべし｡ これをすなはち仏恩報謝の念仏と申すなり｡
Index of individual letters:
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
- 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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