Koso Wasan – On Youtube – Part 7: Genku (Honen) Shonin – Verses 98-119

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7. Genku (Honen) Shonin – Verses 98-119

Koso Wasan 98

As our teacher Genku appeared in the world
And spread the One Vehicle of the universal Vow,
Throughout the entire country of Japan
Favourable conditions for the Pure Land teaching emerged.

Koso Wasan 99

Our teacher Genku appeared
Through the power of the Light of Wisdom,
And revealing the true Pure Land way,
He taught the selected Primal Vow.

Koso Wasan 100

Though Shan-tao and Genshin urged all to enter the true
      Pure Land way,
If our teacher Genku had not spread it amongst us
On these isolated islands in this defiled age,
How could we ever have awakened to it?

Koso Wasan 101

Through countless kalpas and innumerable lives,
We did not know the strong cause of liberation;
Were it not for our teacher Genku,
This present life also would pass in vain.

Koso Wasan 102

Genku, at the age of fifteen,
Became aware of the reality of impermanence;
Manifesting a long-cherished aspiration to reject this defiled world,
He entered the path to enlightenment.

Koso Wasan 103

The supreme virtues of Genku’s wisdom and practice were such
That even the teachers in the various schools of the Path of Sages
All turned to him for guidance and revered him
As master of the diamond-like precepts embodied in the one-mind.

Koso Wasan 104

When Genku was alive
He emanated a golden light,
Which the chancellor, an ordained laymen,
Saw before him.

Koso Wasan 105

It was said among the people
That the original state of our teacher Genku
Was Master Tao-ch’o,
Or again, Master Shan-tao.

Koso Wasan 106

Genku appeared as Mahāsthāmaprāpta,
And also as Amida.
Emperors and ministers venerated him, and
And the ordinary people in the capital and the countryside
      revered him.

Koso Wasan 107

The ordained retired emperor of the Jokyu era
Revered our teacher Genku;
Monks of Shakyamuni’s tradition and scholars of the
      Chinese classics
All alike awakened to and entered the Pure Land way.

Koso Wasan 108

When the time came for the Buddhas’ guidance through skilful means,
They appeared as Master Genku
And, teaching the supreme shinjin,
Opened the gateway to nirvana.

Koso Wasan 109

To encounter a true teacher
Is difficult even among difficult things;
There is no cause for endlessly turning in transmigration
Greater than the hindrance of doubt.

Koso Wasan 110

Genku emanated a radiance
Which he always revealed to his followers,
There is no cause for endlessly turning in transmigration
Greater than the hindrance of doubt.

Koso Wasan 111

When the moment of death approached,
Our teacher Genkû said,
‘This is my third time to be born in the Pure Land;
It is especially easy to accomplish.’

Koso Wasan 112

Genku himself said, ‘Formerly,
I was among the assembly on Vulture Peak;
I practiced austerities with other Shravakas,
And guided beings to the Buddhist path.’

Koso Wasan 113

Born on isolated islands scattered like millet in the sea,
He spread the teaching of the Nembutsu;
In order to guide sentient beings,
He came into this world many times

Koso Wasan 114

Amida Tathagata, manifesting form in this world,
Appeared as our teacher Genkû;
The conditions for teaching having run their course,
He returned to the Pure Land.

Koso Wasan 115

At the death of our teacher Genku,
Radiant light shone on the sky like purple clouds;
Music sounded, subtle and elegant,
And the air was fragrant with rare perfumes.

Koso Wasan 116

Monks and laypeople, men and women,
    gathered beforehand;
Ministers and nobles assembled in numbers.
Lying on his right side with head to the north,
He observed the manner of the Tathagata’s passing into

Koso Wasan 117

At the end of the life of our teacher, Genku,
In the second year of Kenryaku, in the year
On the 25th day of the first month,
He returned to the Pure Land.

Koso Wasan 118

When beings of the evil world of the five defilements,
Have Faith in the Selected Original Vow,-
The inestimable, inexplicable, inconceivable
Virtue fills these followers.

  • India
  • Bodhisattva Nāgārjuna
  • Bodhisattva Vasubandhu
  • China
  • Master Donran
  • Master Doshaku
  • Master Zendo
  • Japan
  • Master Genshin
  • Master Genku

Shotoku Taishi. Born on the first day of the first month of the first year of Emperor Bidatsu. 1521st year after the passing away of the Buddha.

Koso Wasan 119

To speak of Namu-Amida-Butsu,
Its virtues are like the waters of the ocean
I have received the goodness of that purity –
May it be shared among all beings.

– end of koso wasan –

To view the current publications of the The Pure Land Writings please follow the links below to the Hongwaji International Center bookshop.
Alternatively contact your local temple or regional bookshop to find out if they have the books in stock.

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  • Title :The Pure Land Writings Volume I The Indian Masters
  • ¥1,320
  • Author :Shin Buddhism Translation Series
  • Language :English
  • ISBN :978-4-89416-026-2
  • pages :113
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