The Orthodox Teaching of True Pure Land Buddhism

On both days of Gotan-e, before Takamori-sensei’s lecture, there was a video showing for about 30 minutes. What is the difference between what the ten sects of True Pure Land Buddhism teach today and Master’s Shinran’s teachings? The answer was clearly expressed in the video based upon two aspects: “go-honzon” (the object of reverence) and the fact that “Amida’s salvation is an unambiguous experience.”

The True Pure Land Buddhist temples of Japan display a wooden statue of Amida Buddha as their object of reverence. In contrast, Master Shinran revered go-myogo (the Name: “Namu Amida Butsu”) all throughout his life.

It is impossible that though one does not follow Master Shinran’s guidance regarding the object of reverence, he or she can follow the Master in other aspects. Once the teaching goes wrong from its foundation, then naturally the rest of the teachings go wrong as well. Therefore, an error in choosing the Correct Object of Reverence is a crucial issue.

After the video showing on the first day, many Buddhist friends decided to become Shinran Followers one after another, saying, “I’d like to have the Correct Object of Reverence granted to me just as it is taught in Master Shinran’s teachings.”

On the second day, the video was about the meaning of “Given that Amida’s Primal Vow is true” in Chapter 2 of Tannisho (Lamenting the Deviations), which is the most misunderstood phrase in the work. The book itself has created a great deal of misunderstandings on Master Shinran’s teachings.

Until now, all self-proclaimed orthodoxies have interpreted the phrase in the conditional mood, as a hypothetical case: “If Amida’s Primal Vow is true.” However, “Amida’s Primal Vow is true” is Master Shinran’s starting point, and that does become clear upon salvation.

Source: The Buddhist Village Times #42 | 2014, The Orthodox Teaching of True Pure Land Buddhism

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