Jōdo Wasan – On Youtube – Part 1: Wasan on Master T’an-luan’s Gatha in Praise of Amida Buddha – Verses 1-50

Without a doubt, Shinran Shonin would be very pleased to know that the Nembutsu teaching is reaching far and wide in this current age. Modern technology offers wonderful tools to share in the Nembutsu teaching with the world.

Since the start of the Corona-virus pandemic of 2020, the Oregon Buddhist Temple (OBT) resident minister, Rev. Sugahara Yuki, has diligently been presenting the Jodo (and as of the time of writing, also Koso) wasan on YouTube every day! Nanmandabu! How wonderful!

For ease of access you may wish to go directly to the OBT YouTube channel and subscribe! Visit here: https://www.youtube.com/user/OregonBuddhistTemple

If you would like to connect with OBT you can visit their website and facebook pages below. OBT is a very active temple and an example of compassionate ministry. Not only offering remote weekly services in this difficult time (covid19), but also going that step further and offering daily services for the wider Jodo Shinshu fellowship. Arigatiya honmani!

Visit OBT’s website: https://www.oregonbuddhisttemple.com/
Visit OBT’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/oregonbuddhisttemple/

On this page we will share, inline, each youtube video along with the quoted wasan text. The first video of the series is an introduction to the text.

* Please wait just a moment while the videos load – it’s worth the wait *

  1. (this page) Wasan on Master T’an-luan’s Gatha in Praise of Amida Buddha: Verses 1-50

2. Wasan on the Three Pure Land Sutras : Verses 51-86

3. Amida Wasan on the Heart of Various Sutras: Verses 87-95

4. Wasan on Benefits in the Present: Verses 96-110

5. Wasan in Praise of Mahāsthāmaprāpta Bodhisattva: Verses 111-118

To skip this page and go straight the the OBT Jodo Wasan YouTube Playlist click here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkeYL6A2MrBRImQYR6Dhc2ReZx53t3iqz
(don’t forget to subscribe to their channel!)

Each daily service consists of a chanting, followed by the wasan and an explanation or commentary from Rev. Sugahara. On the full youtube video in the description, Rev. Sugahara links to the chanting text and also a copy of the BCA Shin Buddhist service book.

Please see copies of these below as shared by Rev. Sugahara in each youtube video.

Complementary text downloads:

– Shin Buddhist Service Book
– Ougonge
– Sanbutsuge

– Juseige
– Junirai

If you feel inspired by the OBT videos. Please scroll to the bottom of this page to see a link to the OBT website’s donations page.

Let’s begin!

Please wait a little while for all the videos to load. There are many so takes a little while. Gassho.

Reading Jodo Wasan Introduction: Hymns of the Pure Land Introduction
Reading Jodo Wasan Prefatory Words: Hymns of the Pure Land Prefatory Words

1. Wasan on Master T’an-luan’s Gatha in Praise of Amida Buddha
Verses 1-50

Jōdo Wasan 1

Those who truly attain shinjin
As they utter Amida’s Name,
Being mindful of the Buddha always,
Wish to respond to the great benevolence.

Jōdo Wasan 2

Those who say the Name while they doubt
The Vow beyond conceptual understanding
Attain birth and abide for five-hundred years
Vainly within a palace; so it is taught.

Jōdo Wasan 3

Amida has passed through ten kalpas now;
Since realising Buddhahood;
Dharma-body’s wheel of light is without bound,
Shining on the blind and ignorant of the world.

Jōdo Wasan 4

The light of wisdom exceeds all measure,
And every finite living being
Receives this illumination that is like the dawn,
So take refuge in Amida, the true and real light.

Jōdo Wasan 5

The liberating wheel of light is without bound;
Each person it touches, it is taught,
Is freed from attachments to being and nonbeing,
So take refuge in Amida, the enlightenment of non-discrimination.

Jōdo Wasan 6

The cloud of light is unhindered, like open sky;
There is nothing that impedes it.
Every being is nurtured by this light,
So take refuge in Amida, the one beyond conception.

Jōdo Wasan 7

The light of purity is without compare.
When a person encounters this light,
All bonds of karma fall away;
So take refuge in Amida, the ultimate shelter.

Jōdo Wasan 8

The Buddha’s light is supreme in radiance;
Thus Amida is called ‘Buddha, Lord of Blazing Light.’
It dispels the darkness of the three courses of affliction,
So take refuge in Amida, the great one worthy of offerings.

Jōdo Wasan 9

The radiance of enlightenment, in its brilliance, transcends all limits;
Thus Amida is called ‘Buddha of the Light of Purity.’
Once illuminated by this light,
We are freed of karmic defilements and attain emancipation.

Jōdo Wasan 10

The light of compassion illuminates us from afar;
Those beings it reaches, it is taught,
Attain joy of dharma,
So take refuge in Amida, the great consolation.

Jōdo Wasan 11

The light dispels the darkness of ignorance;
Thus Amida is called ‘Buddha of the Light of Wisdom.’
All Buddhas and sages of the three vehicles
Together offer their praise.

Jōdo Wasan 12

The light shines everywhere ceaselessly;
Thus Amida is called ‘Buddha of Uninterrupted Light.’
Because beings hear [and apprehend] this power of light,
Their mindfulness is enduring and they attain birth.

Jōdo Wasan 13

The Buddha’s light cannot be fathomed;
Thus Amida is called ‘Buddha of Inconceivable Light.’
All the Buddhas, in acclaiming a person’s attainment of birth.
Extol Amida’s virtues.

Jōdo Wasan 14

The majestic light, transcending form, is beyond description;
Thus Amida is called ‘Buddha of Inexpressible Light.’
All the Buddhas praise this light –
The cause by which Amida’s Buddhahood was fulfilled.

Jōdo Wasan 15

The light is more luminous than the heavenly bodies;
Thus Amida is called ‘Light that Surpasses the Sun and Moon.’
Even Śākyamuni’s praise cannot exhaust its virtues,
So take refuge in the one without equal.

Jōdo Wasan 16

When Amida, on becoming a Buddha, first taught the dharma,
The sages present were numerous beyond reckoning;
All who aspire to be born in the Pure Land,
Take refuge in Amida of the vast assembly.

Jōdo Wasan 17

The countless great bodhisattvas of the land of happiness,
Have reached ‘succession to Buddhahood after one lifetime’;
Entering the compassionate activity of Samantabhadra,
They unfailingly work to save beings in defiled worlds.

Jōdo Wasan 18

Amassing a stock of virtues from the Buddhas
For sentient beings of the ten quarters,
They bring them to entrust themselves to the universal Primal Vow;
So take refuge in Amida, the ocean-like great mind.

Jōdo Wasan 19

Avalokiteshvara and Mahāsthāmaprāpta
Together illuminate the world with the light of compassion,
Never resting even for a moment
From bringing to nirvana those with mature conditions.

Jōdo Wasan 20

Those who reach the Pure Land of happiness
Return to this evil world of the five defilements,
Where, like the Buddha Shakyamuni
They benefit sentient beings without limit.

Jōdo Wasan 21

The free working of their supernatural powers
Cannot be fathomed,
For they are possessed of virtues that surpass conception;
So take refuge in Amida, the supremely honoured one.

Jōdo Wasan 22

In the land of happiness, Śrāvakas, Bodhisattvas,
Human beings, and devas all possess luminous wisdom,
And their bodily features and adornments are all the same;
Different terms are used for them only in accord with
the forms of existence in other worlds.

Jōdo Wasan 23

Their countenances, dignified and wonderful, are beyond compare;
Their bodies, delicate and subtle, are neither human nor deva.
Theirs is the body of emptiness, the body of boundlessness,
So take refuge in Amida, the power of non-discrimination.

Jōdo Wasan 24

People who aspire for the land of happiness
Dwell in the stage of the truly settled.
None in that land are falsely settled or unsettled;
Therefore the Buddhas offer Amida their praise.

Jōdo Wasan 25

When sentient beings in the various forms of existence
        throughout the ten quarters,
On hearing Amida’s Name of transcendent virtues,
Come to attain true and real shinjin,
They greatly rejoice at what they have heard.

Jōdo Wasan 26

Because of the Vow, ‘If they should not be born…,’
When the moment of genuine entrusting has come
And people attain the one thought-moment of joy,
Their birth becomes completely settled.

Jōdo Wasan 27

The two kinds of fulfilment of the Buddha land
        of happiness – the beings and adornments –
Were formed through the power of Dharmakāra’s Vow.
They have no equal in the heavens or on earth,
So take refuge in Amida, the power of the great mind.

Jōdo Wasan 28

Śākyamuni Buddha states
That even with his unhindered eloquence,
The adornments of the land of happiness cannot
        be fully expounded;
So take refuge in Amida, the inexpressible Buddha.

Jōdo Wasan 29

Beings born in the Pure Land in the past, present, and future
Are not solely from this world;
They come from Buddha lands throughout the ten quarters
And are countless, innumerable, beyond calculation.

Jōdo Wasan 30

Those who, hearing Amida Buddha’s Name,
Rejoice in it with reverence and praise,
Receive its treasure of virtues;
The great benefit acquired with one utterance is supreme.

Jōdo Wasan 31

Those who hear the Buddha’s Name –
Going even through flames that fill
The great thousand-fold world to do so –
Attain forever the stage of non-retrogression.

Jōdo Wasan 32

The Buddhas, infinite in number, all praise Amida,
Whose majestic powers are boundless;
From the eastern Buddha lands, countless as the sands of the Ganges,
Innumerable bodhisattvas go to pay homage.

Jōdo Wasan 33

Bodhisattvas of the Buddha lands in the nine other quarters
Likewise go to pay homage to Amida;
Śākyamuni Tathagata has taught in verse
The praise of the Buddha’s immeasurable virtues.

Jōdo Wasan 34

The countless bodhisattvas throughout the ten quarters,
To cultivate roots of virtue,
Revere and praise Amida in song;
Let us all take refuge in the Bhāgavat.

Jōdo Wasan 35

The hall and bodhi-tree of seven precious materials
Belong to the Pure Land of the transformed Buddha-body,
      a provisional means;
Numberless are the beings born there from throughout
      the ten quarters,
So pay homage to the sacred hall and bodhi-tree.

Jōdo Wasan 36

The wondrous land, vast beyond measurement,
Is made up of adornments fulfilled through the Primal Vow,
So bow down to and take refuge in Amida,
The pure one who broadly grasps all beings.

Jōdo Wasan 37

Amida’s self-benefit and benefit of others have
        been perfectly fulfilled as the Pure Land,
The compassionate means skilfully adorned
        to lead us to take refuge.
It cannot be grasped by the mind or by words,
So take refuge in the Honoured-one beyond
        conceptual understanding.

Jōdo Wasan 38

The Buddha’s majestic power and Primal Vow –
Fulfilled, luminous, resolute, and ultimate –
Are means of compassion beyond conceptual understanding,
So take refuge in Amida, the truly immeasurable one.

Jōdo Wasan 39

The delicate, wondrous sounds of jewel-trees
        in the jewel-forests
Are a naturally pure and harmonious music,
Unexcelled in subtlety and elegance,
So take refuge in Amida, the music of purity.

Jōdo Wasan 40

Trees of seven precious materials fill the land,
Mutually reflecting each other’s brilliance;
The flowers, fruits, branches, and leaves all shine thus,
So take refuge in Amida, the store of virtues fulfilled
        through the Primal Vow.

Jōdo Wasan 41

Pure winds blow in the jewel-trees,
Producing the five tones of the scale.
As those sounds are harmonious and spontaneous,
Pay homage to Amida, the one imbued with purity.

Jōdo Wasan 42

Beams of light, thirty-six hundred
Thousand billion in number,
Shine brilliantly from within each flower;
There is no place they do not reach.

Jōdo Wasan 43

Buddha-bodies, equal in number
To the thirty-six hundred thousand billion
Beams of light, emerge from each flower;
Their features and marks are like mountains of gold.

Jōdo Wasan 44

Each feature and mark releases, throughout the ten quarters,
A hundred thousand beams of light;
Thus the Buddhas constantly teach and spread
        the excellent dharma
And lead beings into the Buddha’s path.

Jōdo Wasan 45

The jewel-ponds, formed of seven precious materials, are limpid
And brimming with waters of eight excellent qualities;
The undefiled adornments of the land surpass conceptual
So take refuge in Amida, the treasury of virtues.

Jōdo Wasan 46

The afflictions of the three evil courses are forever eliminated,
And only spontaneous, delightful sounds are heard.
For this reason the Buddha’s land is called ‘Happiness’;
So take refuge in Amida, the ultimately honoured one.

Jōdo Wasan 47

Those of immeasurable wisdom throughout the ten quarters
      – past, present, and future –
All, without exception, having grounded themselves in oneness,
Equally attain the enlightenment of perfection in the two aspects
      of wisdom;
Their salvation of beings according to conditions is beyond conception.

Jōdo Wasan 48

When we take refuge in the Pure Land of Amida,
We take refuge in all the Buddhas.
To praise the one Buddha, Amida, with the mind that is single
Is to praise all the unhindered ones.

Jōdo Wasan 49

When, in even a single thought-moment of sincere mind,
You have attained shinjin and joy, gladdened by what
      you have heard,
Bow down in homage at the feet
Of the Buddha of Inconceivable Light!

Jōdo Wasan 50

I praise Amida’s wisdom and virtue
So that beings with mature conditions throughout the ten quarters
        may hear.
Let those who have already realised shinjin
Constantly respond in gratitude to the Buddha’s benevolence.

–> Next: 2: Wasan on the Three Pure Land Sutras

If you enjoyed the content by OBT, please consider visiting their website where you can
make a donation: https://www.oregonbuddhisttemple.com/support-the-temple

Visit OBT’s website: https://www.oregonbuddhisttemple.com/
Visit OBT’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/oregonbuddhisttemple/

We would like to thank Rev. Sugahara for his work and dedication to supporting us fools in this life with the Nembutsu teaching.


Namo Amida Butsu!

Leave a Reply