What Attitude? What Type of Person?

Rennyo is called “The Restorer” because he blew away the dust that had obscured Shinran’s SHIN UGLY teaching after several hundred years.

Here’s a Q&A he did with a sincere inquirer.

The inquirer asked:

The essence of the Doctrine as taught by Shinran Shonin of our school is the placement of initial importance on the Faith of the Other Power.

It is clearly seen (both in the Sutras and the commentaries by the patriarchs of our sect) that the most important rebirth into the Land of Bliss (that is to come) becomes truly doubtful unless a person thoroughly experiences this Faith of the Other-Power.

Therefore, relative to the desire of being reborn in the True Land of Recompense upon understanding of what is meant by Faith of the Other-Power, I wish to inquire: what attitude should I hold deep in my heart and what type of person must I be to be reborn in this Land of Bliss?

Not knowing the essentials, I humbly ask to be taught so that I may receive this steadfast Faith through careful listening.

Here is Rennyo’s reply:

By “Faith of the Other-Power,” as taught by our sect, means to simply place reliance on Amida Tathágata with a singleness of heart without the necessity to be gravely concerned over the depths of one’s own evil nature.

It means to firmly believe that it is through the inconceivable power of the Vow that evil men encumbered with the Ten Major Evils and the Five Cardinal Sins, and even people inherent of the Five Obstacles and the Three Reliance’s will all receive deliverance.

If, at the very instant of the awakening of Faith, there is not even a speck of doubt in the Primal Vow, Tathágata (Amida Buddha) graciously recognizes this awakening and simultaneously equates the evil-laden heart of the faithful and His own Pure Heart as one and the same.

This is what is meant by the union into one of the Heart of Buddha and the heart of the unenlightened being.

Accordingly, such a person is embraced within the Bright Universal Light of Amida Tathágata and is to exist throughout the balance of his life within this Light of Amida. Then, when one’s life comes to its end, he is immediately reborn in the True Land of Recompense.

Therefore, (pertaining to the point of how best to express the sense of gratitude felt for this sacred and blessed Great Compassion of Amida) one should simply recite the Nembutsu day and night to express this sense of gratitude to Amida Tathágata.

The essence of the foregoing is the doctrine of the awakening of Faith and the acquisition in everyday life of the cause for rebirth into the Pure Land as taught by our sect.

Thus, no great effort is needed to place total reliance on Amida.

Simple as it is to receive the Faith of the Other-Power, it is simpler yet to become a Buddha and be reborn in the Land of Bliss.

Oh, the sacredness of the Primal Vow of Buddha!

Oh, the sacredness of the Faith of the Other-Power!

There is not even the slightest doubt where our next rebirth is concerned!

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