Koso Wasan – On Youtube – Part 1: Wasan on Bodhisattva Nāgārjuna – Verses 1-10

Here we present the second series of Shinran Shonin’s Wasan on Youtube presented by Rev. Sugahara Yuki of the Oregon Buddhist Temple (OBT).

The first series, covering Jōdo Wasan can be viewed here: https://jodoshinshu.faith/2020/11/08/jodo-wasan-on-youtube/

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.

The Koso wasan is written in praise of and in dedication to the 7 Patriarchs of Pure Land Buddhism in the view of Shinran Shonin.

You will be delighted to know that Hongwanji have already published two volumes of The Pure Land Writings into English with insightful introductory texts and the writings of the masters. At the time of writing (Nov. 2020) we have access to the translated writings of Nāgārjuna, Vasubandhu & T’an-luan. Please see links to these publications at the end of this page.

The Koso wasan is made up of 7 chapters, or sections. One for each of the Pure Land Masters:

For presentation of the OBT Youtube Series on the Koso Wasans we will break them up in to seven pages, one for each Pure Land Master as follows:

1. (This page) Bodhisattva Nāgārjuna: Verses 1-10

2. Bodhisattva Vasubandhu: Verses 11-20

3. Master T’an-luan: Verses 21-54

4. Master Tao-ch’o: Verses 55-61

5. Master Shan-tao:Verses 62-87

6. Master Genshin: Verses 88-97 – Not Broadcast on Youtube yet

7. Genku Shonin (Honen): Verses 98-119 – Not Broadcast on Youtube yet

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

Introduction to Koso Wasan by Rev. Sugahara Yuki – OBT

1. Nāgārjuna Bodhisattva – Verses 1-10

Koso Wasan 1

Our teacher, Bodhisattva Nāgārjuna, abundantly praises
      the Pure Land in the west
In such works as his commentaries on the Maha Prajña Paramita Sūtra
And the Ten Bodhisattva Stages,
And urges us to practice the Nembutsu.

Koso Wasan 2

The World-honoured one foretold
That a monk named Bodhisattva Nāgārjuna
Would appear in south India and would crush
The wrong views of being and non-being.

Koso Wasan 3

Our teacher, Bodhisattva Nāgārjuna,
Clarified the unexcelled dharma of the Great Vehicle;
Having attained the stage of joy,
He wholeheartedly recommended the Nembutsu to all.

Koso Wasan 4

Mahāsattva Nāgārjuna, appeared in the world,
And distinguished the paths of difficult and easy practice;
Thus he leads us, who are wandering in transmigration,
To board the ship of the universal Vow.

Koso Wasan 5

People who hear and accept the words
Of our teacher Bodhisattva Nāgārjuna,
Should be mindful of the Primal Vow
And say the Name of Amida always.

Koso Wasan 6

Those who desire quickly to attain
The stage of non-retrogression
Should, with a heart of reverence,
Hold steadfast to and say Amida’s Name.

Koso Wasan 7

The ocean of birth-and-death, of painful existence, has no bound;
Only by the ship of Amida’s universal Vow
Can we, who have long been drowning,
Unfailingly be brought across it.

Koso Wasan 8

The Commentary on the Mahā Prajña Paramita Sūtra states:
The Tathagata is the supreme dharma-king;
With bodhisattvas a dharma-vassals,
The person to be deeply revered is the World-Honoured One.

Koso Wasan 9

All the bodhisattvas state:
‘When we were in the causal stage,
We passed through countless kalpas
Performing the myriad good accts and practices,

Koso Wasan 10

But the attractions of affection were extremely hard to sever,
And birth-and-death was extremely difficult to exhaust.
Only by practicing the Nembutsu-samadhi,
Could we eliminate the obstructions of karmic evil and gain

–> Next: 2. Bodhisattva Vasubandhu: Verses 11-20

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.

  • 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

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/
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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!

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