Today, 30th August, according to Amidaji calendar, we celebrate Master Tao-ch’o, the fourth Patriarch of Jodo Shinshu. These are some fragments from his teachings in the An-le-chi (Anrakushu):

“Question: To which of the three worlds does the Land of Peace and Bliss belong?

Answer: The Pure Land is supreme and excellent, its essential quality exceeding the worldly realms. The three worlds are the dark house of Samsara inhabited by ordinary people. Though there are different degrees of pleasure and pain and different lengths of lifespan of the inhabitants, the universal characteristic is that there are long 'ferries' of defilement everywhere. Fortune and misfortune alternate, continuing in endless cycles. Experiencing suffering in various modes of life, beings are long misled by four perverse views. Whether in causal acts or in resultant states, falsehood ensues. How detestable! For this reason, the Pure Land does not belong to the three worlds.”

“The reward of the Pure Land is free of desires, so it does not belong to the world of desire.”
(Master Tao-ch’o quoting Great Wisdom Discourse)

“It is stated in the Pure Salvation Bodhisattva Sutra:

‘If a man is mindful of Amida Buddha for ten years or five years, or for many years, he will be born in the land of infinite life; namely, he will attain the Dharma-body in the Pure Land, which is as inexhaustible and inconceivable  as  the  sand-grains  of  the  Ganges River.’”

In this defiled world, one's life-span is short; the karmic reward in this life soon ends. If you are born in Amida's Pure Land, your life-span will be long and inconceivable. […]

Each one of you should weigh this great benefit and should aspire to go there.

“We urge people to turn to the West for refuge. Once born there, the three learnings spontaneously advance and ten thousand practices are completely accomplished. Hence, the Larger Sutra  states (adapted):

‘In Amida's Pure Land, there is not even a place, as small as a hair's breadth, where evil is committed.’” 

“If one wholeheartedly places faith in the Buddhist teachings and aspires to be born in the Pure Land, one is born there as soon as one’s life—whether short or long—ends. […]
I now urge you to turn to the Land of Utmost Bliss for refuge. If you dedicate all your practice toward it with sincerity of heart, you will be born there, without fail, after the end of your life.
Master Tao-ch’o, An-le-chi (Anrakushu)

“It is like a wax seal impressed on the clay; as the wax seal is destroyed, the letter is formed. When one’s life ends, one is born in the Land of Peace and Bliss.”
Master Tao-ch’o, An-le-chi (Anrakushu)

“As the Dharma Drum Sutra states: ‘Even though you are unable to be mindful (of the Buddha), if you know that the Buddha dwells in the west and think of attaining birth there, you will be born there.’

“Again, it is stated in the  Great Compassion Sutra (adapted):

‘Why is  this called ‘Great Compassion’? Those who single mindedly practice the Nembutsu without ceasing will be certainly born in the Land of Peace and Bliss after death. Those who urge the transmission of the Nembutsu from person to person, it should be known, are all those who practice the great compassion.’” 

--- Collection of Passages on the Land of Peace and Bliss -  AN LE CHI by Tao-ch’o, translated by Zuio Hisao Inagaki, Horai Association International, Singapore, 2015 -

#JodoShinshu   #ShinBuddhism   #PureLand   #TaoCho   #AmidaBuddha   #Amitabha   #Amitayus   #Amituofo   #Nembutsu   #Nienfo  
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