Koso Wasan – On Youtube – Part 5: Master Shan-tao:Verses 62-87

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5. Master Shan-tao – Verses 62-87

Koso Wasan 62

Manifested from the ocean-like great mind
Was Master Shan-tao;
For the sake of beings of this defiled world in the latter age,
He called on the Buddhas of the ten quarters to bear witness
      to his teaching.

Koso Wasan 63

Shan-tao appeared in the world in succeeding ages,
Manifesting himself as Fa-chao and Shao-k’ang,
And by revealing the treasury of virtues,
He fulfilled the Buddhas’ fundamental intent.

Koso Wasan 64

If women did not entrust themselves to Amida’s Name and Vow,
They would never become free of the five obstructions,
Even though they passed through myriads of kalpas;
How, then, would their existence as women by transformed?

Koso Wasan 65

Shakyamuni, revealing the ‘essential’ gate
To lead people of meditative and non-meditative practices,
And provisionally teaching the right and sundry practices,
Wholly urges us to perform the saying of the Name alone.

Koso Wasan 66

Performing auxiliary and right practices together is ‘mixed praxis’;
Since those who endeavour in this way
Have not attained the mind that is single,
They lack the heart that responds in gratitude to the
      Buddha’s benevolence.

Koso Wasan 67

Practicers who pray for worldly benefits,
Although they may perform chiefly the saying of the
      Buddha’s Name,
Are also termed people of mixed praxis;
In rejecting such practice, it is taught that not one in a
      thousand attains birth.

Koso Wasan 68

Although their meanings are not the same,
Sundry practices and mixed practices are alike;
Acts which are not the practice that leads to the Pure Land
Are all called sundry practices.

Koso Wasan 69

Master Shan-tao, calling the Buddhas to bear witness,
Led us to overturn the two minds of meditative and
      non-meditative practices;
Presenting the parable of the two rivers of greed and anger,
He ensured the safeguarding of the shinjin of the universal Vow.

Koso Wasan 70

Even when the time of the extinction of the sutras has come,
Foolish beings, by encountering the true teaching
      of the universal Vow –
The exposition of which was the fundamental intent of
      the Tathagata’s appearance in the world –
Will think on Amida and attain enlightenment.

Koso Wasan 71

The inconceivable working of the power of Buddha-dharma
Is such that external hindrances and karmic fetters do not obstruct us;
Hence, the universal, Primal Vow of Amida
Is termed the ‘decisive cause’ of birth.

Koso Wasan 72

The mind and practice of self-power do not bring one
Into the fulfilled land established through the power of the Vow;
Hence, sages of the Mahayana and Hinayana
All entrust themselves to Amida’s universal Vow.

Koso Wasan 73

When we come to know truly that we are possessed of
      blind passions,
And entrust ourselves to the power of the Primal Vow,
We will, on abandoning completely our defiled existence,
Realise the eternal bliss of dharma-nature.

Koso Wasan 74

Shakyamuni and Amida are our father and our mother,
Full of love and compassion for us;
Guiding us through various skilful means,
They bring us to awaken supreme shinjin.

Koso Wasan 75

Persons who have thoroughly realised the true mind,
Because it is the diamond-like mind,
Are equal to those who accomplish
The three grades of repentance; thus Shan-tao teaches.

Koso Wasan 76

Only with the diamond-like shinjin
Can we, living in the evil world of the five defilements,
Completely abandon birth-and-death forever
And reach the Pure Land of naturalness.

Koso Wasan 77

When the time comes,
For shinjin, indestructible as diamond, to become settled,
Amida grasps and protects us with compassionate light,
So that we part forever from birth-and-death.

Koso Wasan 78

Concerning those who have not realised true and real shinjin,
Shan-tao teaches that they ‘lack one mind’;
Know, therefore, that all who lack this mind that is single
Do not yet possess the threefold shinjin.

Koso Wasan 79

People who realise the true entrusting that is Amida’s benefiting
      of others,
Because they are in correspondence with the Vow,
Accord with Śākyamuni’s teaching and the words of the Buddhas;
Thus, there is nothing that obstructs them.

Koso Wasan 80

Those who are free of even a moment of doubt,
Having been able to hear the Nembutsu of the Pure Land way,
Are praised as ‘rare and excellent persons,’
And are ascertained to ‘have realised right-mindedness.’.

Koso Wasan 81

When people are not in correspondence with the Primal Vow
Various conditions arise to trouble and confuse them.
To lose sight of shinjin in confusion
Is to ‘lose right-mindedness.’

Koso Wasan 82

Since shinjin arises from the Vow,
We attain Buddhahood through the Nembutsu by the
      [Vow’s] spontaneous working.
The spontaneous working is itself the fulfilled land;
Our realisation of supreme nirvana is beyond doubt.

Koso Wasan 83

The time has come when the five defilements increase;
Those who doubt and revile Amida’s Vow are numerous.
Both monks and lay people despise the Nembutsu
And harm any they see engaging in it.

Koso Wasan 84

Those who revile and attack the Primal Vow
Are termed ‘persons completely blind to dharma’ or
        ‘persons lacking the seed of Buddhahood.’
Passing kalpas numerous as the particles of the great earth,
They long sink in the three evil courses.

Koso Wasan 85

Although they have been given the teaching of the path to the West,
They have obstructed themselves and obstructed others
      from accepting it,
And so for vast kalpas since the distant past,
They have spent their lives meaninglessly and in vain.

Koso Wasan 86

Had we not received the power of the universal Vow,
When can we part from this Saha world?
Reflecting deeply on the Buddha’s benevolence,
Let us think on Amida always.

Koso Wasan 87

Casting off long kalpas of painful existence in this world of Saha,
We live in expectation of the Pure Land, the uncreated;
That is the power of our teacher, Shakyamuni;
Let us respond always in gratitude for his compassion
      and benevolence.

—> Next Part 6: Master Genshin: Verses 88-97

To view the current publications of the The Pure Land Writings please follow the links below to the Hongwaji International Center bookshop.
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  • Title :The Pure Land Writings Volume I The Indian Masters
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