Jodo-Shinshu originated in India, developed in Asia and finally truly blossomed in Japan.
First, let’s start with the history of Jodo-Shinshu.
In the fifth century B.C. in India, Shakyamuni Buddha appeared and preached Buddhism.
This teaching spread westward, also to China and Korea and through this teaching many people were saved. In the sixth century A.D., this teaching arrived in Japan.
After approximately 700 years, in the thirteenth century A.D., Shinran appeared, accepted Shakyamuni Buddha’s teaching as Jodo-Shinshu and continuously preached it.
Shinran accepted the following three main sutras:
„Daimuryoujukyou“ (The larger sutra of immeasurable life), „Kanmuryoujukyou“ (The contemplation sutra), „Amidakyou“ (The smaller sutra of immeasurable life).
In these three sutras lies the explanation of „Amidabutsu no Hongan“ (Amida Buddha’s original vow). Shinran made it clear that humans are saved through this „Hongan“ (Vow).
This teaching of the sutras, which Shakyamuni Buddha preached, is not easy to interpret.
Shinran found out that 7 people over the course of about 1700 years really accepted „Amidabutsu no Hongan“ and correctly preached it.
Shinran went back to those sutras and studied the teaching, which his predecessors before him had correctly interpreted.
He clearly showed that in this world there exists the effect of truth named „ Amida no hongan“ and that by accepting the power of truth humans can be saved.
To be continued…