Gutoku’s Notes

[ FACICLE ONE ]

[ COMPOSED BY GUTOKU SHINRAN ]

 

1 ^Through hearing the shinjin of the wise, the heart of myself, Gutoku (“foolish/stubble-haired”), becomes manifest:

^The shinjin of the wise is such that they are inwardly wise, outwardly foolish.

^The heart of Gutoku is such that I am inwardly foolish, outwardly wise.

2 ^Concerning the teachings of the Path of Sages and the Pure Land way, there are two types:

1. Mahayana teachings. 2. Hinayana teachings.

3 ^Concerning the Mahayana teachings, there are two types:

1. Teachings of sudden attainment.

2. Teachings of gradual attainment.

4 ^Concerning the teachings of sudden attainment, there are further two types of teachings and two kinds of transcendence.

^The two types of teachings are:

^1. Real teachings of the difficult practices, the Path of Sages. These are the teachings of the Busshin (Zen), Shingon, Hokke (Tendai), Kegon and other schools.

^2. The true and real teaching of the easy practice, the Primal Vow of the Pure Land way; this is the teaching of the Larger Sutra of Immeasurable Life and so on.

^The two kinds of transcendence are:

^1. Transcending lengthwise. This refers to the realization termed “this body itself is Buddha”, “becoming Buddha with this very body”, and so on.

^2. Transcending crosswise. This refers to the selected Primal Vow; the true and real fulfilled land; immediate attainment of birth.

5 ^Concerning the teachings of gradual attainment, there are again two types of teachings and two kinds of departure.

^The two types of teachings are:

^1. Accommodated teachings of the path of difficult practices, the Path of Sages; the teachings of performing practices for many kalpas, such as that of the Hossō school.

^2. The “essential” gate of the Pure Land way, the path of easy practice. This is the meaning of the Sutra of Contemplation on the Buddha of Immeasurable Life: the teachings of meditative and nonmeditative good, the three types of meritorious conduct, and the good acts done by the nine grades of beings.

^The two kinds of departure are:

^1. Departing lengthwise through the Path of Sages. This is the realization attained by performing practices for many kalpas.

^2. Departing crosswise through the Pure Land way. This is birth in the womb-palace, the borderland, or the realm of indolence and pride.

6 ^Concerning the Hinayana teachings, there are two types of teachings:

^1. Teachings for pratyekabuddhas.

i.i Pratyekabuddhas who practice in solitary, like the single horn of a rhinoceros.

ii. Pratyekabuddhas who practice in groups.

^2. Teachings for sravakas.

The eight classifications of sravakas:

The person who has attained the first fruit; the person advancing to [the fruit of] stream-enterer.

The person who has attained the second fruit; the person advancing to [the fruit of] once-returner.

The person who has attained the third fruit; the person advancing to [the fruit of] nonreturner.

The person who has attained the fourth fruit; the person advancing to [the fruit of] arhat.

7 ^Know that all the teachings other than solely the selected Primal Vow of Amida Tathagata, whether Mahayana or Hinayana, accommodated or real, exoteric or esoteric, are the path of difficult practice, the Path of Sages, or they are the path of easy practice, the Pure Land way, that is termed the directing of merit and aspiration for birth in the Pure Land path, the self-power, provisional gateway of expedience.

8 ^In the Larger Sutra, there are three kinds of selection.

 ^Bodhisattva Dharmākara:

The selection of the Primal Vow.

The selection of the Pure Land.

The selection of grasping all beings.

The selection of the realization [in the Pure Land].

 ^Lokeśvararāja Buddha:

The selection of the Primal Vow.

The selection of the Pure Land.

The selection of the praise.

The selection of the witness.

 ^Śākyamuni Tathagata:

The selection of the entrusting of the sutra to Maitreya.

9 ^In the Contemplation Sutra, there are two kinds of selection.

 ^Śākyamuni Tathagata:

The selection of the virtues.

The selection of the grasping.

The selection of the praise.

The selection of the protection.

The selection of the entrusting of the sutra to Ānanda.

 ^Queen Vaidehī:

The selection of the Pure Land.

The selection of the person suited for the Pure Land teaching.

10 ^In the Smaller Sutra, there are two kinds of encouragement to entrust oneself, two kinds of witness, two kinds of protection, two kinds of praise, and difficulty and ease [in acceptance].

^The two kinds of encouragement to entrust oneself are:

1. The encouragement of Śākyamuni. Concerning Śākyamuni, there are two passages.

2. The encouragement of the Buddhas. Concerning the Buddhas, there are two passages.

^The two kinds of witness are:

1. The witness to the adornment of virtues.

2. The witness to the attainment of birth.

^The two kinds of protection are:

1. The protection of those holding steadfast [to the Name].

This is the protection by Śākyamuni.

2. The protection of those awakening aspiration.

This is the protection by the Buddhas.

^The two kinds of praise are:

1. The praise by Śākyamuni, of which there are two kinds.

2. The praise by the Buddhas, of which there are two kinds.

^Concerning difficulty and ease [in acceptance]:

1. The difficulty refers to doubt.

2. The ease refers to shinjin.

^There are three kinds of people holding steadfast [to the Name]: those in the past, those in the present, and those in the future.

There are three kinds of people awakening aspiration: those in the past, those in the present, and those in the future.

11 ^In Hymns of the Nembutsu Liturgy, there are three kinds of birth:

1. Birth that is inconceivable; this is the intent of the Larger Sutra.

2. Birth attained beneath twin śāla trees; this is the intent of the Contemplation Sutra.

3. Birth that is noncomprehensible; this is the intent of the Amida Sutra.

12 ^It is stated in the Larger Sutra: “In the giving of witness to the Primal Vow, there are three [Buddha-]bodies.”

The witness of dharma-body;
The [Larger] Sutra states: From the sky [a voice] declared in praise, “You shall decidedly and without fail attain the supreme enlightenment!”

The witness of fulfilled bodies;
this refers to the Tathagatas of the ten quarters.

The witness of transformed bodies;
this refers to Lokeśvararāja Buddha.

13 ^Concerning Buddha-lands, there are two types:

1. Buddhas [true and provisional].

2. Lands [true and provisional].

14 ^Concerning Buddhas, there are four kinds:

1. Dharma-body. 2. Fulfilled body.
3. Accommodated body. 4. Transformed body.

15 ^Concerning dharma-body, there are two kinds:

1. Dharma-body as suchness.

2. Dharma-body as compassionate means.

16 ^Concerning fulfilled bodies, there are three kinds:

1. Amida. 2. Śākyamuni.

3. Buddhas throughout the ten quarters.

17 ^Concerning accommodated and transformed bodies, there are three kinds:

1. Amida. 2. Śākyamuni.

3. Buddhas throughout the ten quarters.

18 ^Concerning lands, there are four kinds:

1. The land of dharma-body.

2. The lands of fulfilled bodies.

3. The lands of accommodated bodies.

4. The lands of transformed bodies.

19 ^Concerning fulfilled lands, there are three kinds:

1. That of Amida. 2. That of Śākyamuni.

3. Those of the Buddhas throughout the ten quarters.

20 ^Concerning the transformed lands of Amida, there are two kinds:

1. The city of doubt or womb-palace.

2. The realm of indolence and pride or borderland.

21 ^Know that because the One Vehicle of the Primal Vow is the ultimate sudden teaching, the teaching of sudden and instantaneous attainment, the perfectly fulfilled teaching, and the consummate teaching, it is the absolute and incomparable teaching, the path of true reality or suchness. It is the single within the single, the sudden within the sudden, the true within the true, the consummate within the consummate. The One Vehicle that is true reality is the ocean of the great Vow. It is the supreme, rare practice.

22 ^Know that the diamondlike true mind is the ocean of unhindered shinjin.

23 ^The Commentary on the Contemplation Sutra states:

I rely on the bodhisattva-pitaka,

The sudden teaching, the ocean of the One Vehicle.

24 ^The Hymns on the Samadhi of All Buddhas’ Presence states:

In the Ornament Sutra the gradual teaching is expounded;

Performing practices for a myriad kalpas, one attains the stage of nonretrogression.

What is taught in the Contemplation and Amida Sutras

Is the sudden teaching, the bodhisattva-pitaka.

25 ^Concerning “consummate” and “sudden”: “consummate” means “perfectly fulfilled” and “consummate”. “Sudden” means “ultimate sudden” and “sudden and instantaneous”.

26 ^Contrasts of the two kinds of [Pure Land] teachings.

^Know that the ocean of the One Vehicle of the Primal Vow is the ultimate sudden teaching, the teaching of sudden and instantaneous attainment, the perfectly fulfilled teaching, the consummate teaching.

^Know that the “essential” gate of the Pure Land teaching is the teaching of the two kinds of good acts, meditative and nonmeditative, the provisional gate of expedient means, the teaching of the three types of meritorious conduct and the good acts done by the nine grades of beings.

0

01Easy, in contrast to difficult;

03Crosswise, in contrast to lengthwise;

02Sudden, in contrast to gradual;

04Leaping across, in contrast to fording;

40True, in contrast to provisional;

05Accordant, in contrast to opposing;

15Pure, in contrast to mixed;

Right, in contrast to wrong;

08Superior, in contrast to inferior;

09Intimate, in contrast to remote;

06Great, in contrast to small;

07Many, in contrast to few;

13Momentous, in contrast to trivial;

18Special, in contrast to general;

16Direct, in contrast to roundabout;

17Quick, in contrast to slow;

14Vast, in contrast to narrow;

10Close, in contrast to distant;

37Fully expressed teaching, in contrast to that not fully expressed;

42Greatly beneficial, in contrast to meagerly beneficial;

27Unsurpassed, in contrast to surpassed;

32Not-directing merit, in contrast to directing merit;

31Buddha’s exposition, in contrast to those of others;

44Embodying the Vow, in contrast to not embodying the Vow;

Promised, in contrast to not promised;

39Selected, in contrast to unselected;

35Praised, in contrast to unpraised;

34Witnessed, in contrast to unwitnessed;

33Protected, in contrast to unprotected;

20Straightforward exposition, in contrast to incidental explanation;

22Exhaustive of truth, in contrast to not exhaustive of truth;

24Uninterrupted, in contrast to interrupted;

26Continuous, in contrast to noncontinuous;

19Nonretrogressive, in contrast to retrogressive;

25Unceasing, in contrast to ceasing;

30Resultant virtue, in contrast to causal practice;

42Unperishing dharma, in contrast to perishing;

43Other Power, in contrast to self-power;

45Practicer grasped, in contrast to not grasped;

46Practicer entering the stage of the truly settled, in contrast to not entering;

29Inconceivable, in contrast to conceivable;

47Fulfilled land, in contrast to transformed land.

^Know that the above forty-two contrasts are applied with respect to the teaching.

27 ^True and real, pure shinjin is the inner cause. Being grasped, never to be abandoned is the outer cause.

28 ^Concerning the entrusting of oneself to the Primal Vow, [to borrow the words of Shan-tao,] “in the preceding moment, life ends . . . ”.

This means that “one immediately enters the group of the truly settled” [T’an-luan].

^Concerning immediately attaining birth, [to borrow the words of Shan-tao,] “in the next moment, you are immediately born”.

This means that “one immediately enters the stage of the definitely settled” [Nāgārjuna].
Further: “One is termed a definitely-settled bodhisattva.”

29 ^Know that it is the diamondlike mind that is Other Power.

^Know, in other words, that one is the same as Bodhisattva Maitreya, who has attained the diamondlike mind of self-power.

It is stated in the Larger Sutra, “Next [to enlightenment], like Maitreya.”

30 ^Contrasts of the two kinds of practicers.

^The practicer of the One Vehicle, of perfect fulfillment, is one of Other Power.

^The practicer of the teaching of gradual attainment, of conversion [from other teachings], is one of self-power.

01Entrusting, in contrast to doubt;

Wise, in contrast to foolish;

02Good, in contrast to evil;

03Right, in contrast to wrong;

04Suitable, in contrast to unsuitable;

05Real, in contrast to empty;

06True, in contrast to false;

07Pure, in contrast to defiled;

Comely, in contrast to ugly;

Subtle, in contrast to coarse;

08Intelligent, in contrast to dull;

09Quick, in contrast to slow;

Rare, in contrast to common;

Strong, in contrast to weak;

Highest of the high, in contrast to lowest of the low;

Superior, in contrast to inferior;

Directly entering, in contrast to entering by conversion;

11Bright, in contrast to dark.

^Know that the above eighteen contrasts apply to practicers.

31 ^Further, concerning the two kinds of practicers, there are also two kinds of natures.

^The two kinds of practicers are:

1. Good practicers. 2. Evil practicers.

^The two natures are:

1. Goodness. 2. Evil.

32 ^Further, there are two kinds of good practicer.

 (There are also the contingent and the proper.)

1. Practicers of meditative good acts.

2. Practicers of nonmeditative good acts.

It is stated in the Commentary on the Contemplation Sutra, “The capacities of all sentient beings are of two kinds: meditative and nonmeditative.”

33 ^Concerning the contingent and the proper:

1. Bodhisattvas (Mahayana and Hinayana).

2. Pratyekabuddhas.

3. Sravakas and pratyekabuddhas (contingent practicers of the Pure Land path).

4. Devas.

5. Human beings (proper practicers of the Pure Land path).

34 ^Further, there are five kinds of goodness.

1. Goodness. 2. Rightness.
3. Sincerity. 4. Rectitude.

5. Truthfulness.

35 ^Further, there are seven kinds of evil practicer.

1. Those who commit the ten transgressions.

2. Those who commit the four heavy evils.

3. Those who destroy right views.

4. Those who break precepts.

5. Those who commit the five grave offenses.

6. Those who slander the dharma.

7. Those lacking the seed of Buddhahood (iccantika).

36 ^Further, there are five kinds of evil.

1. Evil. 2. Wrongness.
3. Deceit. 4. Badness.

5. Falsity.

37 ^The Master of Kuang-ming temple states:

People of the present, both monk and lay,

Seek to awaken the supreme mind,

But it is extremely difficult to abhor birth-and-death,

And difficult to aspire to the Buddha-dharma.

Let us all together awaken the diamondlike aspiration

And, transcending crosswise, cut off the four currents.

Contemplating the realm of Amida.

Let us take refuge, place our hands together, and worship.

According [with the Vow] in one thought-moment

We become persons who consequently attain nirvana.

38 ^The Treatise on the Pure Land states:

O World-honored one, with the mind that is single

I take refuge in the Tathagata of unhindered light

Filling the ten quarters

And aspire to be born in the land of happiness.

Relying on the sutras

In which the manifestation of true and real virtues is taught,

I compose a gatha of aspiration, a condensation,

That accords with the Buddha’s teaching.

39 ^The Sutra of the Buddha of Immeasurable Life states:

 (Translated by Tripiṭaka-master Saṃghavarman)

^“Do not give rise to doubt after my parinirvana. In the future, when the time of the extinction of the sutras comes, out of compassion and pity I will cause this sutra in particular to survive and remain for one hundred years. Sentient beings who encounter this sutra will all, in accord with their aspiration, attain the other shore.”

 ^The Buddha said to Maitreya, “It is difficult to encounter a time when a Tathagata has appeared in the world and to meet one. It is difficult to meet with and difficult to hear the teaching of the Buddhas. It is difficult to hear of the excellent dharma of bodhisattvas, the paramitas. It is also difficult to meet a true teacher, hear the dharma, and put it into practice. But the most difficult of all difficulties is to hear this sutra and accept it in shinjin; nothing surpasses this difficulty.”

 ^“Therefore, I have presented the dharma thus, preached it thus, and taught it thus; accept it in trust and practice in accord with it.”

40 ^The Sutra of the Tathagata of Immeasurable Life states:

 (Translated by Tripiṭaka-master Bodhiruci)

The words taught through the supreme wisdom of the Tathagata that pervades all space

Are understood only by Buddhas.

For this reason, hearing widely of the Land of all-knowing wisdom,

You should entrust yourselves to my teaching, the words in accord with reality.

41 ^The Sutra of the Immeasurable Pure Enlightenment of Equality states:

 (Translated by Tripiṭaka-master Po-yen)

Swiftly and rapidly transcending [birth-and-death], at once

We attain that world, the land of happiness;

On reaching that land of immeasurable light,

Let us make offerings to the countless Buddhas.

42 ^The Sutra of Salvation through the Perfect Enlightenment of Amida, Supreme among Buddhas states:

 (Translated by Tripiṭaka-master Chih-chi’en)

^After I have attained my parinirvana and departed, the sutras will remain for one thousand years. After one thousand years, they will vanish. Out of pity, I will cause this sutra in particular to survive and remain for one hundred years. After one hundred years, it will disappear. All who aspire in their hearts will attain enlightenment.

43 ^The Commentary on the Amida Sutra by Yüan-chao, master of the Vinaya school (Master Tai-chih), states:

^The “Chapter of Mahāsthāmaprāpta” [of the Sutra of the Samadhi of Heroic Advance] states: “The Tathagatas of the ten quarters think compassionately on sentient beings just as a mother thinks of her child.” The Commentary on the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra states: “For example, if the mother fish did not think of her eggs, the eggs would soon fall into ruin and decay.”

 ^Anuttara is translated “unexcelled”. Samyak means “right”, and sambodhi means “perfect enlightenment”. This is a term for the fruit of Buddhahood.

 ^Foolish beings of the lowest level, fettered by their karmic acts and blind passions, are transmigrating in the five evil courses for a hundred thousand myriads of kalpas. But suddenly hearing of the Pure Land, they awaken aspiration and seek to be born there. Saying the Name for one day, they transcend and reach that land. All the Buddhas protect them, and enable them to advance directly toward enlightenment.

 ^Know that such a encounter is rare, even in a myriad kalpas. In a thousand lifetimes, a person might encounter the Vow but once. From this day to the very end of time, wherever you are, give praise to the Vow, and wherever you may go, encourage others to hear it. Whatever body and land you may be born into as your recompense, whatever the conditions for teaching others, your work is the same as Amida Buddha recognize and know this.

 ^For this reason, after this passage we are encouraged three times to entrust ourselves to the Buddha’s teaching. To “accept my words” is to entrust ourselves to the teaching. For people not to entrust themselves to “the witness to me of the Buddhas of the ten quarters” would be to take the Buddha’s words as false and empty.

 

Written in Kenchō7 [1255] wood/hare
Eighth month, 27th day

GUTOKU SHINRAN
Age 83

 

Gutoku’s Notes

FACICLE TWO

 

44 ^Through hearing the shinjin of the wise, the heart of myself, Gutoku (“foolish/stubble-haired”), becomes manifest:

^The shinjin of the wise is such that they are inwardly wise, outwardly foolish.

^The heart of Gutoku is such that I am inwardly foolish, outwardly wise.

45 ^The Commentary on the Contemplation Sutra by the Master of Kuang-ming temple in the T’ang dynasty states:

^To begin, regarding those in the highest rank of the highest grade . . . first, in the passage beginning The Buddha said to Ānanda, two meanings are expressed in succession: 1) the Buddha’s command is clarified; 2) the definition of the rank is elucidated. These are, in other words, ordinary people who practice the highest good acts of the Mahayana.

 ^Third, in the passage from If sentient beings to they attain immediate [or] provisional birth clarifies comprehensively the kinds of beings born in the Pure Land. There are four aspects: 1) clarification of those who entrust themselves to the Vow; 2) clarification of aspiration for birth; 3) clarification of the number of minds to be awakened; 4) clarification of the benefit of attaining birth in the Pure Land.

 ^Fourth, the passage from What are these three? to born without fail in that land clearly delineates the three minds and explains that these are the true cause resulting in birth. There are two points elucidated by this passage. First, it shows that the World-honored one’s revealing of benefit in accord with the nature of the practicer is profound in intent and difficult to fathom; thus, if the Buddha had not himself raised the question and presented the point precisely, we would have no way of understanding. Second, it shows that the Tathagata himself answers, setting forth the previously mentioned “three minds”.

 ^The sutra states, “The first is sincere (shijō) mind”. ^Shi means truth, means reality. ^This shows that the understanding and practice of all sentient beings, cultivated through their bodily, verbal, and mental acts, unfailingly take as essential what was performed [by Amida] with a true and real mind. ^We should not outwardly express signs of wisdom, goodness, or diligence, for inwardly we are possessed of falsity. We are filled with all manner of greed, anger, perversity, deceit, wickedness, and cunning, and it is difficult to put an end to our evil nature. In this we are like poisonous snakes or scorpions. Though we perform practices in the three modes of action, they must be called poisoned good acts or false practices. They cannot be called true, real and sincere action. ^Firmly setting our minds and undertaking practice in this way―even if we strive to the utmost with body and mind through the twelve periods of the day and night, urgently seeking and urgently acting as though sweeping fire from our heads―must all be called poisoned good acts. To seek birth in the Buddha’s Pure Land by directing the merit of such poisoned practice is completely wrong. ^Why? Because when, in his causal stage, Amida Buddha was performing practices as a bodhisattva, in every single moment―every single instant―he performed his practices in the three modes of action with a true and real mind. [True practice] depends on this.

 ^What is given [by Amida] constitutes our aspiration; it is all true and real. ^Further, what is true and real falls into two types: self-benefiting with a true and real mind and [Amida’s] benefiting others with a true and real mind.

46 ^Further, concerning benefiting others with a true and real mind, there are two kinds:

^1. “What is given [by Amida] constitutes our aspiration; it is all true and real.”

^2. “Regarding acts in the three modes that are not good, you should unfailingly take as essential the Buddha’s abandoning of them with a true and real mind. And if you perform good in the three modes of action, unfailingly take as essential what the Buddha performed with a true and real mind. It is because a person takes the true and real as essential, whether he or she be within or without, whether of brightness or darkness, that the term ‘sincere mind’ is applied.”

47 [It is stated:]

^Self-benefiting with a true and real mind is of two kinds. ^The first is, with a true and real mind, to stop all one’s own and others’ evil acts and abandon this defiled world, and, just as bodhisattvas stop and cast off all evil acts, to aspire oneself to do likewise whether walking, standing, sitting or reclining.

 ^The second is to cultivate diligently with a true and real mind what is good for oneself and for others, both ordinary people and sages. ^As verbal action with a true and real mind, one praises Amida Buddha and the Buddha’s two kinds of fulfillment, beings and land. Moreover, as verbal action with a true and real mind, one deplores and loathes the pain and evil of the two kinds of recompense―beings and environment―of oneself and others within the three realms and six courses. In addition, one praises the good performed by all sentient beings in the three modes of action. If their acts are not good, one should respectfully keep one’s distance and not rejoice in accord.

 ^Further, as bodily action with a true and real mind, one pays homage, with joined hands, to Amida Buddha and the Buddha’s two kinds of fulfillment of body and land, venerates them, and makes offerings to them with the four kinds of gifts. And, as bodily action with a true and real mind, one loathes and abandons the two kinds of recompense―beings and environment―of oneself and others within the tree realms of birth-and-death, holding them to be of no account.

 ^Further, as mental action with a true and real mind, one thinks on, observes, and remains mindful of Amida Buddha and the Buddha’s two kinds of fulfillment of body and land, as though they stood before one’s eyes. And, as mental action with a true and real mind, one despises, loathes, and abandons the two kinds of recompense―beings and environment―of oneself and others within the tree realms of birth-and-death.

48 ^The first is sincere (shijō) mind. Shi means true, means real. It is itself that which is true and real. What is true and real is of two types.

^1. Self-benefiting with a true and real mind.

The path of difficult practice. The Path of Sages.

 Transcending lengthwise.

That this body is itself Buddha

and that this body itself becomes Buddha

are [teachings of] self-power.

 Departing lengthwise.

The teaching of gradual attainment within self-power teachings.

This is [the teaching of] performing practices for many kalpas.

^2. Benefiting others with a true and real mind.

The path of easy practice. The Pure Land way.

 Transcending crosswise.

This is the Other Power of the Tathagata’s Vow.

 Departing crosswise.

This is self-power within [the teaching of] Other Power.

It consists of all the meditative and nonmeditative practices.

49 ^Regarding self-benefiting with a true and real mind, there are further two types.

^1. Rejecting [this defiled world] with a true and real mind.

The Path of Sages. The path of difficult practice.
Departing lengthwise. Self-power.

Departing lengthwise is the teaching of the path of difficult practice. It is based on seeking to become free [of birth-and-death], because it manifests the mind of self-power.

^2. Desiring [to be born in the Pure Land] with a true and real mind.

The Pure Land Way. The path of easy practice.
Departing crosswise. Other Power.

Departing crosswise is the teaching of the path of easy practice. It is based on earnest desire [for the Pure Land], for one is brought to discard birth-and-death through the power of the Vow.

50 ^Further, regarding departing crosswise with a true and real mind, there are three types.

^1. Desiring with a true and real mind [to be born in the Pure Land] through verbal action,
and with a true and real mind rejecting [birth-and-death] through verbal action.

^2. Desiring with a true and real mind [to be born in the Pure Land] through bodily action,
and with a true and real mind rejecting [birth-and-death] through bodily action.

^3. Desiring with a true and real mind [to be born in the Pure Land] through mental action,
and with a true and real mind rejecting [birth-and-death] through mental action.

51 ^Reflecting on the commentary of Master [Shan-tao], I find that the passage from The first is, with a true and real mind to what is good for oneself and for others, both ordinary people and sages takes rejecting [birth-and-death] to be foremost and desiring [birth in the Pure Land] to be secondary. This refers, therefore, to the path of difficult practice, or the teaching of self-power and departing lengthwise. The passage from As verbal action, with a true and real mind to the two kinds of recompense―beings and environment―of oneself and others refers to the path of easy practice, or the teaching of Other Power and departing crosswise.

52 [It is stated:]

^The second is deep mind. Deep mind is the deeply entrusting mind. There are two aspects. ^The first is to believe deeply and decidedly that you are in actuality a foolish being of karmic evil caught in birth-and-death, ever sinking and ever wandering in transmigration from innumerable kalpas in the past, with never a condition that would lead to emancipation. ^The second is to believe deeply and decidedly that Amida Buddha’s Forty-eight Vows grasp sentient beings, and that allowing yourself to be carried by the power of the Vow without any doubt or apprehension, you will attain birth.

^The deeply entrusting mind expounded above is the diamondlike mind that is the consummation of Other Power, the ocean of true and real shinjin that is the supreme One Vehicle.

53 ^Reflecting on the meaning of this passage, we find that in deeply entrusting mind there are seven forms of deep entrusting and six forms of decidedness.

^The seven forms of deep entrusting are:

^1. Deep entrusting is “to believe deeply and decidedly that you [are a foolish being of karmic evil caught in birth-and-death] . . . .”

^2. Deep entrusting is “to believe deeply and decidedly that . . . being carried by the power of the Vow . . . [they will attain birth.” This is, in other words, the ocean of shinjin that is [Amida’s] benefiting of others.

^3. To believe deeply and decidedly in the Contemplation Sutra.

^4. To believe deeply and decidedly in the Amida Sutra.

^5. To entrust oneself to the Buddha’s words alone and rely decidedly on the practice [of the nembutsu].

^6. In accord with the [Contemplation] Sutra, to entrust oneself deeply [to the practice of the nembutsu].

^7. Further, the deep trust that is deep mind is to decidedly settle one’s own mind.

^Know that the six forms of decidedness are as given above in order.

54 ^Concerning the fifth, “to entrust oneself to the Buddha’s words alone”, there are three kinds of guidance, three kinds of accord, and three kinds of designation.

^The three kinds of guidance are:

1. Practicers “abandon what the Buddha brings them to abandon”.

2. Practicers “practice what the Buddha brings them to practice”.

3. Practicers “leave what the Buddha brings them to leave”.

^The three kinds of accord are:

1. This is called “being in accord with the Buddha’s teaching”.

2. This is called “being in accord with the Buddha’s intent”.

3. “Being in accord with [Amida] Buddha’s Vow”.

^The three kinds of designation are:

1. This is called “being a true disciple of the Buddha”.

Together with the designations [“This is called being in accord with the Buddha’s teaching” and “This is called being in accord with Amida Buddha’s Vow” above, there are three designations.

55 ^Concerning the sixth, “In accord with the [Contemplation] Sutra, to entrust oneself deeply [to the practice of the nembutsu]”, there are six occurrences of soku (“then”, “none other than”), three occurrences of “sanction”, three occurrences of mu (“deficiency”), six occurrences of “right”, and two occurrences of “fully expressed”.

^The six occurrences of soku (“then”, “none other than”) are:

1. “When one is in accord with the Buddha’s intent, then the Buddha will give sanction, saying ‘So it is’”.

2. “If one is not in accord with the Buddha’s intent, then the Buddha will say, ‘Concerning what you say: it is not so’”.

3. “Not giving sanction carries none other than the same meaning as ‘not to be discussed,’ ‘profitless,’ ‘without benefit’”.

4. “The Buddha’s bestowing of sanction means none other than that one is in accord with the Buddha’s right teaching.”

5. “Every word and pronouncement of the Buddha is none other than the right teaching.”

6. “What is taught by the Buddhas is none other than the fully expressed teaching.”

^The three occurrences of “sanction” are:

1. Then giving sanction. 2. Not giving sanction.

3. The Buddha’s bestowing of sanction.

The three occurrences of sanction are in the passages of the six occurrences of soku.

^The three occurrences of mu (“deficiency”) are:

1. Not to be discussed. 2. Profitless.

3. Without benefit.

The three occurrences of mu are in the passages of the six occurrences of soku.

^The six occurrences of “right” are:

1. The right teaching. 2. The right meaning.
3. The right practice. 4. The right understanding.
5. The right act. 6. The right wisdom.

^The two occurrences of “fully expressed” are:

1. “What is taught by the Buddha is none other than the fully expressed teaching.”

2. “What bodhisattvas and others teach is all to be labeled the teaching not fully expressed. This should be known.”

56 ^Concerning the seventh, “Further, the deep trust that is deep mind is to decidedly settle one’s mind”, there are two occurrences of “different”, three occurrences of “other”, and one question-and-answer.

^The two occurrences of “different” are:

1. Different understandings.

2. Different practices.

^The three occurrences of “other” are:

1. Other teachings. 2. Other views.

3. Other opinions.

57 ^In the one question-and-answer there are four kinds of difference and four kinds of trust.

^The four kinds of difference are:

1. Difference in places.

2. Difference in times.

3. Difference in types of beings addressed.

4. Difference in benefits.

^The four kinds of trust are:

1. Trust regarding attainment of birth in the Pure Land.
This answers the doubts and questions of ordinary people.

2. Pure heart of trust.
This answers the doubts and questions of bodhisattvas below the first stage, arhats, and pratyekabuddhas.

3. Supreme heart of trust.
This answers the doubts and questions of those of the first stage to the tenth stage.

4. Ultimately never giving rise to a single thought of doubt or vacillation.
This answers the doubts and questions of fulfilled Buddhas and transformed Buddhas.

58 ^Concerning the supreme heart of trust, there are five aspects regarding reality and two aspects regarding difference.

^The five aspects of “truly” are:

1. Truly ascertaining. 2. Truly knowing.
3. Truly understanding. 4. Truly seeing.

5. Truly realizing.

^The two kinds of “difference” are:

1. Different views. 2. Different understandings.

59 ^Concerning the doubts and questions of fulfilled Buddhas and transformed Buddhas, the Amida Sutra is quoted as encouraging beings to trust. Here, there are two kinds of singleness, four kinds of sameness, two aspects of what is taught, six kinds of evil, two aspects of sameness, and three aspects of what is performed.

^The two kinds of singleness are:

1. Practicing the saying of the Name alone.

2. Single praxis. There are five kinds.

^The four kinds of sameness are:

1. Praising [the nembutsu teaching] with the same intent.

2. Urging [beings to follow the teaching] with the same intent.

3. Bearing witness with the same intent.

4. Being the same in essence.

^Two aspects of what is taught are:

1. What one Buddha teaches is what all Buddhas teach.

2. What all Buddhas teach is what one Buddha teaches.

^The six kinds of evil are:

1. The evil age. 2. The evil world.

3. Evil sentient beings.

4. Evil views.

5. Evil passions.

6. The time when evil acts and lack of faith prevail.

^The two occurrences of “same” are:

1. The Buddhas throughout the ten quarters, with the same intent.

2. At the same time they each extend their tongues.

^The three aspects of what is performed by Śākyamuni are:

1. What is taught. 2. What is praised.

3. What is given witness to.

60 ^“What one Buddha teaches, all Buddhas give witness to. This is known as ‘establishing belief through the Buddha’”. This should be known.

61 ^“Next, concerning ‘establishing belief in relation to practice,’ there are two kinds of practices:

1. Right practice. 2. Sundry practices.

62 ^Concerning right practice, there are five kinds of right practice, six kinds of single-heartedness, and six kinds of single praxis of the five right practices.

^The five right practices are:

1. To single-heartedly recite only [the Pure Land sutras].

2. To single-heartedly observe only [the adornments of the Pure Land.]

3. To single-heartedly worship only [Amida Buddha].

4. To single-heartedly say only the Name of [Amida] Buddha.

5. To single-heartedly praise and make offerings only [to Amida Buddha].

^Further, right practices are divided into two.

1. Single-heartedly practicing the saying of the Name of Amida alone. This is called “the act of true settlement”.

2. If one engages in worship, sutra-chanting, and so on, these are called “auxiliary acts”.

^The six kinds of single-heartedness are the kinds of single-heartedness listed above in order.

^The six kinds of single praxis are the single praxes listed above in order.

63 ^Further, concerning right and sundry practice, there are two kinds of practice.

1. Meditative practice. 2. Nonmeditative practices.

64 ^Further, concerning right and sundry, there are two kinds:

1. Nembutsu. 2. Buddha-contemplation.

65 ^Further, concerning nembutsu, there are two kinds.

1. Amida nembutsu. 2. Nembutsu of all the Buddhas.
Dharma-body. Fulfilled body.
Accommodated body. Transformed body.

66 ^Further, concerning Amida nembutsu, there are two kinds.

1. Nembutsu of right practice with a meditative mind.

2. Nembutsu of right practice with a nonmeditative mind.

^Know that meditative and nonmeditative Amida nembutsu is the “true” gate of the Pure Land way. Further, it is termed wholehearted single praxis.

67 ^Further, concerning nembutsu of all the Buddhas, there are two kinds:

1. Nembutsu of sundry practice with a meditative mind.

2. Nembutsu of sundry practice with a nonmeditative mind.

^Know that meditative and nonmeditative nembutsu of all the Buddhas is single praxis within sundry practice.

68 ^Further, concerning Buddha-contemplation, there are two kinds:

1. Right Buddha-contemplation.

2. Sundry Buddha-contemplation.

69 ^Further, concerning right Buddha-contemplation, there are two kinds:

1. True contemplation.

2. Provisional contemplation.

70 ^Further, concerning true and provisional, there are thirteen contemplations.

Contemplation of the sun.

Contemplation of the water.

Contemplation of the land.

Contemplation of the treasure tree.

Contemplation of the treasure ponds.

Contemplation of the treasure pavilions.

Contemplation of the lotus throne.

Contemplation of the Buddha-image.

Contemplation of the true body of Amida.

Contemplation of Avalokiteśvara.

Contemplation of Mahāsthāmaprāpta.

Comprehensive contemplation.

Miscellaneous contemplation.

71 ^Further, concerning right nonmeditative practice, there are four kinds:

Recitation of sutras. Worship.
Praise. Making offerings.

72 ^Know that performing the six kinds of meditative and nonmeditative practices mentioned above together is termed sundry praxis. This may be called [performance of] auxiliary acts. It is the provisional gateway of expedience. Further, it is termed the “essential” gate of the Pure Land way.

73 ^Further, concerning sundry Buddha-contemplation, there are two kinds.

Also, there are the true and the provisional.

1. Formlessness-contemplation and cessation of thought.

2. Visualization of forms and fixing the mind.

74 ^Further, concerning sundry nonmeditative practice, there are the three types of meritorious conduct.

1. Filial piety, reverence for teachers and elders, compassionate nonkilling, performance of the ten good acts.

2. Keeping the three refuges, observing monks’ precepts, not violating rules of deportment.

3. Awakening the mind aspiring for enlightenment, deeply believing in cause-and-effect, reciting the Mahayana sutras, encouraging practicers.

75 ^Know that all meditative and nonmeditative good acts mentioned above are termed sundry practices. In contrast to the six kinds of right practice, there are the six kinds of sundry practice. Because they include the understandings and practices of human beings, devas, and bodhisattvas, they are called “sundry”. Originally, they are not acts that result in birth in the Pure Land. They are termed practice that requires awakening of aspiration Further, they are termed practice that requires directing one’s thought [in aspiration for birth]. Hence, they are known as sundry practices of the Pure Land way. Further, they are the “essential” gate of the Pure Land way. ^Generally speaking, the right and sundry practices, both meditative and nonmeditative, taught in the Path of Sages and the Pure Land way are practices that require directing one’s thought [in aspiration for birth].

76 ^Concerning the words, “The third is the mind of aspiration for birth through directing merit”, with regard to the mind of aspiration for birth through directing merit, there are two kinds.

^1. To aspire, with a mind of genuine deep trust, to attain birth in that land through directing all roots of good performed by oneself and others from the past down to the present life.

^2. Those who seek to be born with the mind of aspiration and directing of virtue aspire for attainment of birth by unfailingly and decidedly taking as essential the Vow directed to them from the true and real mind, thereby becoming sure of the attainment of birth.

77 ^Concerning those who seek to be born with the mind of aspiration through directing merit, there is trust.

^Concerning entrusting:

One becomes sure of the attainment of birth. This mind, being deep trust, is like diamond.

78 ^In the passage on deep trust, there is one metaphor, two occurrences of “other”, two occurrences of “different”, one question-and-answer, and two occurrences of “directing merit”.

^The one metaphor is:

“This mind, being deep trust, is like diamond.”

^The two occurrences of “other” are:

1. Other views. 2. Other teachings.

^The two occurrences of “different” are:

1. Different understandings. 2. Different practices.

79 ^Concerning the one question-and-answer, there are seven kinds of evil, six metaphors, two kinds of gateway, four occurrences of “correspondence with conditions”, two occurrences of “what is sought”, two occurrences of “what is desired”, two occurrences of “desire for understanding”, and two occurrences of “by all means”.

^The seven kinds of evil are:

1. The ten transgressions.

2. The five grave offenses.

3. The four serious offenses.

4. Violation of precepts.

5. Destruction of right views.

6. Slander of the dharma.

7. Lack of the seed of Buddhahood.

^The six metaphors are:

1. Light dispersing darkness.

2. Space enveloping all things.

3. The earth bearing and nurturing.

4. Water bringing forth and nourishing.

5. Fire ripening and consuming.

6. The two rivers.
River of water, river of fire.

^The two kinds of gateway are:

1. To emerge from one gateway is to emerge from one gateway of blind passions.

2. To enter one gateway is to enter one gateway of emancipation-wisdom.

^The four occurrences of “correspondence with conditions” are:

^1. Why do you obstruct and confuse me with what is not the essential practice corresponding to my conditions?

^2. What I desire is the practice corresponding to my conditions; that is not what you seek.

^3. What you desire is the practice corresponding to your conditions; that is not what I seek. Each person’s performance of practices in accord with his aspirations unfailingly leads to rapid emancipation.

^4. If you desire to undertake practice, by all means follow the method of practice corresponding to your own conditions. In return for a little effort, you will gain great benefit.

^The two occurrences of “what is sought” are:

as in the above passages.

^The two occurrences of “what is desired” are:

as in the above passages.

^The two occurrences of “desire for understanding” are:

^1. Practicer, know that if you desire to gain understanding, you will be able to study without obstruction the teaching relevant to the stages of ordinary beings or sages or to the fruit of Buddhahood.

^2. If you desire to undertake practice, by all means follow the method of practice corresponding to your own conditions.

^The two occurrences of “by all means” are:

as in the above passages.

80 ^In this [passage on] deep entrusting, there are two occurrences of “directing merit”. They are:

^1. [All practicers] always have this thought. Because they always dwell in this understanding, it is called “the mind of aspiration for birth through directing merit”.

^2. Moreover, concerning “directing merit”: after being born in that land, one now awakens great compassion and re-enters birth-and-death to teach and guide sentient beings; this too is “directing merit”.

81 ^In [the parable of] the Two Rivers, it is stated:

“I will now present a parable for practicers so that their shinjin be protected from attacks by those of wrong or nonbuddhist views and of different opinions.”

“This path, from the eastern bank to the western bank, is one hundred paces in length.”

^Concerning “one hundred paces”:

This is a metaphor for human life of one hundred years.

^Concerning “brigands and wild beasts”:

Brigands refers to different understandings, different practices, other views, other opinions, evil views, wrong thinking, and the mind of self-power, meditative and nonmeditative.

Wild beasts refers to the six sense organs, the six forms of consciousness, the six kinds of objects, the five aggregates, and the four elements.

^Concerning the phrase, “One constantly joins with evil companions”:

Evil companions contrasts with “good friend”; it refers to people of various poisons and falsity.

^Concerning the phrase, “Vast wilderness where there is no one to be seen”:

This refers to evil companions. One does not meet a true teacher.

^True contrasts with false and provisional.

True teacher contrasts with false teacher.

Genuine true teacher. Right true teacher.
Sincere true teacher. Correct true teacher.
Good true teacher. Person of good nature.

^Concerning the evil teacher:

Provisional teacher. False teacher.
Wrong teacher. Erroneous teacher.
Bad teacher. Evil “true teacher”.

Person of evil nature.

^Concerning “the white path, four or five inches wide”:

^Concerning white path, “white” contrasts with black; “path” contrasts with trail.

White refers to the six paramitas and the myriad practices, meditative and nonmeditative. It refers to the trail of small good endeavored in through self-power.

Black refers to the dark evil path of the six courses, the four modes of birth, the twenty-five forms of existence, and the twelve kinds of beings in birth-and-death.

^Concerning four or five inches, “four” refers to the four elements, which are likened to poisonous snakes.

Five refers to the five aggregates, which are likened to evil beasts.

^Concerning the phrase, “Awakens the pure mind of aspiration for birth”:

This is to awaken the diamondlike true mind, the supreme shinjin.

This is the entrusting directed to beings by Amida Tathagata.

^Concerning the phrase, “When he has gone one or two paces”:

This is a metaphor for years and time.

^Concerning “People of evil views”:

These are people of arrogance, sloth, wrong views, and doubt.

82 ^Further it states:

Someone on the western bank calls to him, “O traveler, with mind that is single, with right-mindedness, come at once! I will protect you well.”

^The phrase, Someone on the western bank calls, refers to the Vow of Amida Tathagata.

^O traveler refers to the practicer. This is the definitely settled bodhisattva. Master Nāgārjuna states of such practicers in Commentary on the Ten Bodhisattva Stages that they “immediately enter the stage of the definitely settled.” Bodhisattva T’an-luan states in his Commentary regarding them that they “enter the group of the truly settled.” Master Shan-tao states that such a practicer is “the rare person, the very finest person, the wondrous person, the excellent person, the best among the best” and “the true disciple of Buddha”.

^The term, mind that is single, refers to shinjin.

^The term right-mindedness, refers to the Primal Vow selected and adopted [by Amida]. Further, it refers to the highest, rare practice; it is the diamondlike, indestructible mind.

^The term, at once, contrasts with following a winding path and with going roundabout.

^Further, at once means to abandon the provisional gate of expedient means and take refuge in the Other Power of the Tathagata’s great Vow. It is used to make clear the “direct” exposition, which is why Buddhas appear in the world in order to teach.

^Come contrasts with “leave” and with “go”. Further, it is used to lead us to return to the fulfilled land.

^I” indicates the Tathagata of unhindered light filling the ten quarters, the Buddha of inconceivable light.

^Well contrasts with inability, which indicates people with minds of doubt.

^Protect expresses the true intent fulfilled by Amida Buddha. Further, it characterizes the nature of Amida’s grasping, never to be abandoned. It is, in other words, protecting in the present life.

^The phrase, think on the path, admonishes us to think on the white path of Other Power.

^In the term joy (kyō-raku), kyō is a word indicating sanction; it means to attain. Raku means happiness and joy; it means to dance with joy.

83 ^“Reverently embracing Śākyamuni’s teaching in his exhortations to advance westward” means to be in accord.

^“Further, obeying Amida’s compassionate call to us” means to accept.

^“The traveler accepts and accords with the mind of the two honored ones; never giving a thought to the two rivers of water and fire and taking their intent to heart at every moment, he entrusts himself to the path of the power of the Vow.”

84 ^Concerning sincere mind:

The contrast of “difficult” and “easy”.

The contrast of “that” and “this”.

The contrast of “go” and “come”.

The contrast of “poison” and “medicine”.

The contrast of “within” and “without”.

^Concerning the contrast of “difficult” and “easy”:

Difficult indicates the untrue and unreal mind of performing good in the three modes of action.

Easy indicates the mind directed to beings through the power of the Tathagata’s Vow.

^Concerning the contrast of “that” and “this”:

That indicates the Pure Land.

This indicates the defiled world.

^Concerning the contrast of “go” and “come”:

Go indicates Śākyamuni Buddha.

Come indicates Amida Buddha.

^Concerning the contrast of “poison” and “medicine”:

Poison indicates the mixed mind of good and evil.

Medicine indicates the exclusive, single mind.

^Concerning the contrast of “within” and “without”:

Within, nonbuddhist teachings; without, Buddhist teachings.

Within, the Path of Sages; without, the Pure Land way.

Within, doubt; without, trust.

Within, evil nature; without, good nature.

Within, wrong; without, right.

Within, deceit; without, sincerity.

Within, incorrect; without, correct.

Within, falsity; without, truth.

Within, admixture; without, singleness.

Within, foolish; without, wise.

Within, provisional; without, true.

Within, hesitation; without, advance.

Within, remote; without, familiar.

Within, distant; without, near.

Within, roundabout; without, direct.

Within, difference; without, accord.

Within, conflict; without, conformity.

Within, disregard; without, reverence.

Within, shallow; without, deep.

Within, pain; without, joy.

Within, poison; without, medicine.

Within, timidity; without, strength.

Within, indolence; without, courage.

Within, interruption; without, constancy.

Within, self-power; without, Other Power.

85 ^Concerning “mind”, there are two kinds of three minds:

1. The three minds of self-benefit.

2. The threefold shinjin that is [Amida’s] benefiting others.

86 ^Further, there are two kinds of birth:

1. Immediate birth. 2. Provisional birth.

87 ^Reflecting within myself on the birth through the three minds taught in the Contemplation Sutra, I see that this refers to the three minds of self-power that are individually different for each practicer. They are taught in order to bring each practicer to take refuge in the threefold shinjin of the Larger Sutra, and to enter into the threefold shinjin.

 ^The threefold shinjin is the diamondlike true mind, the ocean of inconceivable shinjin.

 ^Further, “immediate birth” is inconceivable birth, or birth in the true fulfilled land.

 ^“Provisional birth” indicates the land resulting from each individual practicer’s causal acts; the womb-palace, borderland, realm of indolence and pride; it is birth attained beneath the twin śāla trees. Further, it is noncomprehensible birth.

 ^This should be known.

 

Written in Kenchō7 [1255] wood/hare
Eighth month, 27th day

GUTOKU SHINRAN
Age 83