|Shinjin and Anjin|
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If, when I attain Buddhahood, sentient beings in the ten directions who recite my Name even ten times with sincere mind, faith serene, and wish birth in my country are not born there, may I not attain the supreme and greatest Enlighten-ment. Those who commit the “five deadly evils” and abuse the Right Dharma are excluded.
The 18th Vow expresses the desire to cause birth in the Pure Land of all sentient beings (all living things) in the ten directions. Accordingly, shinjin—the general term for the “three minds” expressed in this 18th Vow: “sincere mind,” “faith serene” and “wish birth in my country”—is the shinjin for “birth in the Pure Land” (ojo), nothing else.
As in the phrase, “shinjin is the true cause (for birth in the Pure Land)” (shinjin shoin), the sole purpose of shinjin is birth in the Pure Land. In the Chapter on Faith of his “Teaching, Practice, Faith and Attainment,” the Venerable Master Shinran said shinjin was a lack of doubt, using expressions such as the following:
and in his “On the One Recitation and the Many Recita-tions” (Ichinen Tanen Mon’i), he wrote:
Shinjin is hearing Amida Buddha’s Vow (to cause my birth in the Pure Land) without doubt.
In other words, shinjin is not having doubt in the salvific power of the Primal Vow.
As can be determined from the above, the shinjin that the Venerable Master Shinran taught is the cause of our birth in the Pure Land. It is the mind that accepts the truth of the Primal Vow.
In Letter 15 of Fascle One of his “Honorable Letters,” Master Rennyo discussed shinjin in the following way:
And so if you ask what this shinjin is, (the answer is that) it is just (a matter of) relying single-heartedly and without worry on Amida Tathagata and, giving no thought to other buddhas and bodhisattvas, entrusting ourselves steadfastly and without double-mindedness about Amida. This we called “settlement of shinjin.”
As can be determined from the above, Master Rennyo correctly received the Venerable Master Shinran’s teaching of shinjin. In one of his letters, the Venerable Master Shinran wrote about the mind that accompanies shinjin:
Those who consider their “birth in the Pure Land” to be assured realize their indebtedness to the Buddha and recite the Nembutsu in gratitude.
Accordingly the mind that feels unmistakably bound for the Pure Land is completely different from the mind that waffles in its feeling about whether it is bound there or not. The mind that feels unmistakably bound for the Pure Land is none other than the world of “assurance of birth in the Pure Land/guarantee of salvation” (ojo ichijo ontasu-ke jijyo) mentioned in the “Creed” (Ryogemon, written by Master Rennyo) so it is quite natural to also refer to it as anjin.
Those who insist that referring to shinjin as anjin is an error, misunderstand what shinjin is. I believe such people somehow consider shinjin to be something that causes a result. And very likely, those who make such an error are those who have no experience of shinjin/anjin. In other words, I believe that because they have no experience of the assurance that comes from the absolute guarantee of birth in the Pure Land, they have absolutely no idea about what shinjin/anjin is.