Master Shinranʼs Answers to “Why We Live”

It’s recommended that these 4 quotes from Master Shinran are to be read aloud during chanting.

Amidaʼs inconceivable Vow is a great ship that carries us across the sea that is difficult to cross, and his unimpeded light is the sun of wisdom that destroys the mind of darkness.

(“Preface” in Teaching, Practice, Faith, Enlightenment.)

Amidaʼs Vow to save all beings is the sun that eradicates the darkness which is the root of human suffering, and a great ship on which all are borne cheerfully and happily across lifeʼs sea of endless waves of tribulation. To board this ship is indeed the purpose of life.

Now that I have boarded the ship of Amidaʼs great compassion, now that I am afloat on the vast ocean of brightness, the breezes of supreme joy blow softly and the waves of all woe are transformed.

(“Practice” in Teaching, Practice, Faith, Enlightenment.)

Lifted aboard the ship of Amidaʼs great pity, I look on the sea of suffering that is my life and see a vast ocean of dazzling brightness. How wonderful it is to be alive, like voyaging over the sea with a fair wind in the sails!

The painful sea of birth and death knows no bounds. Long have we been sinking in its waters. Only the ship of Amidaʼs universal Vow will take us aboard and carry us across without fail.

(Hymns of the Masters)

To paraphrase: “We have long been floundering, lost in the vastness of the ocean of suffering; the only thing that can take us aboard unconditionally and carry us to the far shore without fail is the Vow of Amida.”

How genuine, the true words of Amida that embrace us and never forsake us, the absolute doctrine that is peerless and transcendant! Listen and believe without hesitation or delay.

(“Preface” in Teaching, Practice, Faith, Enlightenment.)

This means, “It is real! It is true! Amidaʼs Vow is not a lie. Everyone must hear — I, Shinran, am a living witness. I want everyone to quickly know the truth of Amidaʼs Vow.”

Source: The Buddhist Village Times #19 | 2012, Master Shinranʼs Answers to “Why We Live”

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