Two Teachers - Compare and Contrast (cont’d)

Following up on an earlier post Two Teachers - Compare and Contrast:

Ray writes:

You say teacher 2 is saying that we need a great capacity for deep introspection in order to sever the bonds of egocentricity. I don’t think he is saying this at all. He is saying we need to recognise we are unable to sever the bonds of egocentricity. That we need to call on Amida.


Hi Ray -

Unfortunately, this teacher doesn’t believe that there is an Amida to call on. He asserts that Amida is FICTIVE, like Hamlet (his example), like Santa Claus (my example).

You can read more about that HERE.

This is one of the MOST lamentable modern divergences from Shinran’s teachings. It give me no pleasure to point it out - or to mention that this idea is gaining wide currency among the Shin Sangha here in the West.

So, to do the “compare and contrast” once again:

Shinran clearly and unequivocally teaches that Amida Buddha is NOT fictive. He was a man who was a King, named Dharmakara. He gave up his kingdom (as did Gotama) and became a Monk. He sought liberation in the time of another Buddha named
Lokeshvararaja. He went through many lifetimes as a True Bodhisattva. He finally completed his work, and became the Buddha we call Amida.

Some would call that a “shallow reading” of the Larger Pure Land Sutra - including this teacher.

I am a shallow person - and a shallow reading is all I am capable of. Honen, Shinran, Yuien, Renny, Eiken Kobai, George Gatenby are shallow as well.

My shallow teacher Shinran has more to say.

In Lamp for the Latter Ages, Letter #8, Shinran clearly and unequivocally teaches that Amida Buddha is NOT fictive. He is a Buddha of Reward Body.

Any teacher who teaches otherwise is teaching his own personal opinions - whether deep or shallow - it matters not at all. The ONLY thing that matters is that such teachings are NOT teaching the True Teaching of Shinran.

That is why it is necessary to do a “compare and contrast” if people are interested in coming to the same SHINJIN - the same True Entrusting - as Shinran.

Thanks for writing.

Paul R.

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