What is Jodo-shinshu (2)

Now I will tell you about the life of Shinran.

In his adolescence, Shinran studied the teaching of „Shodomon“, which was popular at the time and which taught the aspiration of achieving Buddha’s „Satori“ (Enlightenment) through one’s own power.

However the more he used his own power, he could not attain  Buddha’s Enlightenment, he even noticed the depth of his erroneous ways.

At age 29, he left the path of „Shodomon“ and came to Honen, who was preaching „Jodomon“ at his Dojo to ordinary people, that „Amida no Hongan“ (Amida Buddha’s primal vow) alone saves humans.

Shinran concretely and deeply listened to Honen’s teaching and thereby awoke to „Amida no Hongan“, thus awoke to himself, and finally could live in the great world of truth.

At about age 50, he wrote a book about Amida’s world of truth, which he had continuously received during his life.

This work is called „Kyougyoushinshou“.

During his lifetime he continued to ask the question „What is real salvation?“,  he wrote many books and he finally passed away at the age of 90.

I will now try to give you an outline of Jodo-Shinshu, as „Kyougyoushinshou“ teaches it.

The world of salvation is structured with six components.

The first is: „Teaching of truth“. 

A human being must encounter the teaching of truth. This signifies that inside human beings there exists no truth. The teaching of truth is concretely expressed in the teaching of „Amida no Hongan“. At the center lies a sutra named „Daimuryoujukyou“(Greater Sutra). This sutra teaches in detail for example „What is Amida no hongan, which saves human beings?“, or „What is the human form, which is saved?“, etc…

„Kanmuryoujukyou“ (Contemplation Sutra) and „Amidakyou“ (Smaller Sutra) reasoning are also based on „Daimuryoujukyou“.

The second is: There exists the effect of truth, which saves human beings.

In order to clarify what truth is, made Buddhism come into existence. Truth equals „Daijihi“ (Buddha’s great compassion/mercy).

„Daijihi“ is the wish and effect of truly wanting to save human beings. Truth’s wish is the root and source of the world, this is the Buddhist teaching and perspective on the world.

The truth, which is Daijihi, is continuously working towards human beings. This is called „ Namu Amida Butsu“ (Return to truth, live together with truth). The whole effect of truth working towards human beings is expressed with „Namu Amida Butsu“.

The third is: „Shinjin“.

One will awaken to the wish of truth, which arrives at this person as „Namu Amida Butsu“.

Thereby  truth, wanting to save human beings, can be perceived. This heart of having perceived truth is called „Shinjin“. „Shinjin“ is the heart of truth having become clear. What became clear? There are two big things.

To be continued…