The Ringing Declaration of Master Shinran

Through the poem of the mother of Master Genshin, we have learned that Buddhism is not a teaching that gives us satisfaction for the 70 ― 80 years of this life, but a teaching that conveys only Amida’s Vow, which takes us across to the land of infinite light in the world to come. If one’s child succeeded in life and ended up basking in the limelight, anyone would be pleased and proud together with their child.

However, the mother of Master Genshin refused to accept the expensive gifts she received from her son and sent them back to him even though she lived in poverty. In addition, she admonished him strongly not to be a ‘worldly monk’. I was taken aback by her strong will and wisdom.

I myself have been learning the teaching which is a bridge to the world to come. Even so, I have to say what I’m wanting all the while more than anything else is to be praised and affirmed. I cannot help but consider this poem to be a warning directed towards me.

Master Shinran made a resounding declaration in the introduction to his most important work, Teaching, Practice, Faith, Enlightenment, as follows: “Amida’s Vow is a great ship that carries us across the sea that is difficult to cross.” No other declaration shows the direction of salvation with as much clarity as these words.

Fortunately, I was blessed with the chance to know the ‘existence of the ship of Amida’s great compassion’ and became ‘one who seeks that ship’. Thinking deeply about how happy I am, I will listen to Buddhism intently until the point when I will really come to know the true meaning of these words: “One who has boarded the ship of Amida’s great compassion is the most fortunate of all.”

Daisuke Itan, Supportive Staff, Toyama

Source: The Buddhist Village Times #38 | 2014, The Ringing Declaration of Master Shinran

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