Pure Land Buddhism - Saving Grace of Buddha Amida

Nenbutsu | Nianfo

Nenbutsu, also transcribed as nembutsu (Chinese, nianfo; Korean, yombul), is the religious practice in Pure Land Buddhism of chanting or invoking the name of the Buddha Amida (Sanskrit, Amitābha or Amitāyus; Chinese, Amituo). There are many Buddhas, but in practice, nenbutsu typically refers to chanting Amida’s name: In Japan, the practice consists of reciting the 6-character formula Namu Amida Butsu (Chinese, Namo Amituo Fo), “Homage...

Pure Land Schools

The Mahāyāna Sūtras developed considerable lore based on the idea of different Buddhas and Bodhisattvas dwelling in Buddha-fields (Buddha-kṣetra): It is common for practitioners to meditate on, make offerings to, chant Sūtras about, and recite the name or Mantra of a particular Buddha or Bodhisattva. Amitābha Buddha and his accompanying Bodhisattvas, Avalokiteśvara and Mahāsthāmaprāpta, are the focus of the Pure Land tradition in East Asia....

Pure Land Buddhism | Overview

Pure Land Buddhism signifies a wide array of practices and traditions within Mahāyāna Buddhism directed to the Buddha Amitābha (Amitāyus) and his realm, Sukhāvatī (Land of Bliss), which came to be referred to in Chinese as the Pure Land (jingtu; Japanese, Jōdo). Pure Land practice was initially predicated on the aspiration to achieve proximity to a Buddha either through a meditative vision or through Rebirth...

The Seven Patriarchs of Jōdo Shinshū Buddhism

The Seven Patriarchs of Jōdo Shinshū Buddhism - Master Shinran singled out seven masters or Patriarchs of Pure Land Buddhism in the millennium prior to his own, beginning with the writings of Bodhisattva Nāgārjuna and continuing to his own mentor, Master Hōnen (Genku). He also included Masters T'an-luan, Tao-ch'o, Shan-tao (Jp. Zendō)and Genshin (a.k.a. Eshin Sozu).Each of the Seven Patriarchs was himself an aspirant for...

Rennyo, his life and work

Rennyo (1415-1499) was a descendant of Shinran and the eighth chief abbot (monshu) of the Hongwanji in Kyoto. In 1457, when he was 43, he became the chief abbot and continued his missionary activity in the Omi region. He started a unique way of transmitting the Dharma through the use of letters, which were widely read among the followers and contributed enormously to the dissemination...

Tannishō | Passages Deploring Deviations of Faith

Tannishō by Yuienbō, also known in English translations as Passages Deploring Deviations of Faith or A Record in Lament of Divergences is one of the most significant religious and philosophical works in Pure Land tradition of Buddhism, in so called Shin Buddhism. The first part of the book consists of Yuienbō’s personal recollections of the words of Shinran himself. The second part gives Yuienbō’s own...

Although he refused to recognize any disciples, Shinran had, in fact, many ardent followers, including Yuienbō, the author of the Tannishō. The Tannishō was probably written about 1280. Yuienbō’s reason for writing the tract is given in the text itself: to refute deviations from the true faith that had arisen among Shin followers after Shinran’s death. The Tannishō has continued to exert a profound influence...

Shozomatsu Wasan | by Shinran

This is the Third Volume of the inspiring and guiding verses of Master Shinran named - Shozomatsu Wasan. Here we find ourselves in the present situation of a Buddhist and simply - a human being: far from the influence of the Buddha, living in dark and confused times. Shinran Shonin (1173-1263) composed three volumes of verses (Wasan) in Japanese, namely - Jōdo Wasan, Koso Wasan...

Koso Wasan | by Shinran

This is the second volume of the inspiring and guiding verses of Master Shinran named - Koso Wasan. It represents the verses dedicated to the 7 great Buddhist Masters of the past which Shinran Shonin considered the foremost Patriarchs of Pure Land Buddhism and teachers of "Faith Alone" concept propagated afterwards by Jōdo Shinshū tradition. Koso Wasan comprises the following 5 chapters: Nāgārjuna Bodhisattva ,...

Jōdo Wasan | by Shinran

Shinran Shonin (1173-1263) composed three volumes of verses (wasan) in Japanese, namely - Jōdo Wasan, Koso Wasan and Shozomatsu Wasan. This is the first volume of the inspiring and guiding verses of Master Shinran named - Jōdo Wasan. These songs celebrate the essence of Jōdo Shinshū (Shin Buddhism or Pure Land Buddhism). They touch upon every facet of the spiritual life, and the Pure Land...

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