Today, October 8th, according to Amidaji calendar we celebrate Master Genshin, the 6th Patriarch of Jodo Shinshu. Here are some passages from his teachings contained in the Ojoyoshu:

“Let us realize, therefore, that when one comes to the hour of death, even though it be in a grass hut, at that very moment one can take his place upon the lotus seat. One can follow after Amida Nyorai and in company with a host of Bodhisattvas be born in a moment into the realm of the Pure Land which lies in the West ten thousand hundred millions lands away.”

"If they are born into the Pure Land they are endowed with a superior wisdom and their clear power of mysterious communication reaches unto those who were formerly their benefactors and to those who were their acquaintances through many lives and generations, they can attract them freely. Endowed with a heavenly eye, they can see where they live, and with their heavenly ear they can hear their voice. Their wisdom of destiny enables them to remember the favors (of their former benefactors) and with their insight into others’ hearts they understand their hearts. Their mysterious powers of communication enable them to go where they are, and by changing their form they can adapt themselves to their needs and in various ways teach them and lead them in the way of salvation. 

And again it is explained in the Byodokyo where we read: “Those who are born in the Pure Land of the West know for themselves where they lived in their previous lives, what was their state and by what causes they are now born into the Pure Land. Since they know everything about the present state of every being that goes and come to and from the Eight Directions and up and down, they understand what the various heavenly beings, birds, beasts and insects think in their minds and the language which they speak." 

“What is called the pleasures of the First Opening of the Lotus is this: When a believer is born into the realm of the Pure Land we speak of it as the time of the First Opening of his Lotus. All his pleasures are increased a hundred thousand times above what they were before. Such a one is like a blind man who has for the first time received his sight, or like a man from the country who has suddenly been transported to a palace. As he looks at his own body his skin becomes radiant with golden rays. His clothes are made of natural treasures. Gold rings, hair ornaments of beautiful feathers, a crown of gems, a necklace of most wonderful jewels and such ornaments beyond description in their beauty, cover his body. As he beholds the radiance of the Buddha, his eyes become purified and he is able to see the multitudes that assemble in the next world and to hear the voice of the various Laws. Everything of form and sound is mysterious and marvelous
to him. When he looks up into the spacious sky he beholds a wide radiance of sublimity so glorious that heart and words cannot express it, and his eyes lose themselves in the path of clouds. The mysterious voice of the honorable Law is heard and it fills this Land of Treasures.
[…] The believers, while they were still in this evil world, could only read or hear about these things, but now they can see them for themselves. How great, then, must be their joy!”

“The various beings of The Pure Land have all the five mysterious communications whose marvelous nature cannot be comprehended. They live a life of freedom according to their heart’s desire. If, for example, they wish to look across the universe without taking a step they can do so. If they wish to hear the voice of anyone in the universe they can do so without moving from their seats. Not only this, but they can hear also the things of the infinite past as if they were happening today. They know the inmost thoughts of the beings of the Six Realms as if they were reflected in a mirror. They can go and come freely as if all the lands of the Buddha in all the ten directions lay beneath their feet. They can do anything they please in the realm of infinite space and in the realm of endless time.

The forms of beings in this present evil wor1d are thirty-two in number, and who is there that can obtain even one of these? But as for the Five Mysterious Communications, what kind of being is there that has attained even one! For beings in our world it is impossible to see without sun light or lamp-light; and, without moving, it is impossible to approach an object. We cannot see through even one sheet of paper. We know nothing of the things in the past; we know merely the things of the present moment. We are still confined to the cage and obstructed in every direction. But as for the beings in the Pure Land there is not one which does not have this power (of mysteriously transcending space and time). Even though for a period of a hundred Great Kalpas they have not planted the seed (karma) of the Special Characteristic Forms and have not created the cause for the Mysterious Communications, during the Four Meditations, they still have this power as a natural consequence of having been born into the Pure Land. How happy, then, they must be!”

“As they have power to understand their own destinies, they talk to each other about their former lives, namely, as to what country they lived in, how their mind became enlightened by this and that scripture when they were seeking the way of the Buddha, how they kept this and that precept,
and learned such and such teachings and thus developed the Good Root, and how they gave such and such alms. In this way they talk with one another about the virtues which they enjoyed, or they tell in detail the story from beginning to end of how they came to be born into the Pure Land.”


“They will recite the entire canon in a moment and explain most perfectly the most profound passages. Thus their enjoyment continues without any interruption. Their place is a place of incorruption, and in this pure Land of Pleasure they abide forever and thus have for all time escaped from the terrors of the Three Realms and the Eight Difficulties. Life here is boundless and their state is not subject to birth and death, nor do they endure the four sufferings of birth, old age, sickness and death which characterize human life.

[…] Their body is as of diamond and so is not burned even though it is in fire. It does
not become tarnished even though it is in the mud. Their heart is not stained with the dust of their environment. Their marvelous body of purity and strength is not affected by the sufferings of any and all sufferings combined. They are never injured even though attacked by ten times ten thousand numberless warriors armed with spears and arrows. They are not burned even though they may be in the midst of limitless flames; nor are they drowned though they are submerged in a fathomless ocean. Therefore they can go freely even into the eight Hot Hells and the eight Cold Hells in order to save their relatives from the Three Worlds and the Six Realms.

[…] There is nothing but suffering when we examine even the smallest parts of our bodies, not to mention the larger parts. But when we have been born into this Pure Land everything is like a diamond changeless, permanent, without increase or decrease, wonderful, and therefore there is no such suffering as in our fleshly body; yea, it is less than the finest particle of dust.”


from the chapter "A collection of passages on the true meaning of birth in the Pure Land of Amida Buddha" from my book, The True Teaching on Amida Buddha and His Pure Land (click here for a free copy):

#Genshin   #MasterGenshin   #JodoShinshu   #ShinBuddhism   #Amitabha   #AmidaBuddha   #Amitayus   #Amituofo   #Nembutsu   #Nienfo   #Sukhavati  
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