|The Essence Of The Venerable Master Shinran's and Master Rennyo's Teaching|
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As related in my previous book, “Understanding Jodo- Shinshu,” I believe the most important aspect of the Venerable Master Shinran’s teaching is the salvation of being in the “group of those assured (of birth in the Pure Land) in our present life” (gensho shojoju), which, superficially is expressed in the sacred literature as what we receive in the next world after being born in the Pure Land.
Regarding this point, prior to the Venerable Master Shinran, the Pure Land teaching seemed to speak of salvation only in the next world, but because of the Venerable Master’s insight, it became a teaching of salvation from the present. The Venerable Master Shinran’s reading into the sutras was that being in the “group of those assured (of birth in the Pure Land)” was not what happened in the next world, but rather our condition in the present world when our “shinjin is settled” (shinjin ketsujo).
This was not an arbitrary determination by the Venerable Master. Rather, it came from his deep introspection and the joy that resulted from awareness of the of salvation that he experienced in this world.
And I believe that what the Venerable Master Shinran wished for us was that same “settled shinjin” and abiding in the “group of those assured (of birth in the Pure Land).”
The “Hymm of True Faith” (Shoshin-ge) expresses the essence of the Venerable Master Shinran’s “Teaching, Practice, Faith and Attainment.” Part of this works states:
Shakyamuni Tathagata appeared in this world
Further, in the Postscript to that same work, he wrote:
The great masters and venerable teachers
These passages contain the words, “accept” and “rely completely on.” As to what it is that the Venerable Master told us to “accept” and to “rely completely on,” it is “tathagata’s words of truth.” In other words, to accept without doubt Amida Buddha’s Primal Vow that Shakyamuni Buddha taught.