Dharma Card for October, 2011


      Say, are you going to take the seat of the nembutsu?

     Say, are you going to take the seat of shinjin?

      Nay, I am going to take the seat of the Vow.

                                                                     by Muso Kimura

       Yea, I am going to take the seat of hearing.

                                                                     by Guseki



     Amida Buddha vows, “All sentient beings, entrust yourselves to

the compassionate wisdom of the Tathagata and say the nembutsu,

and I will save you without fail.  “Believing in this Vow and saying the

nembutsu will surely lead you to enlightenment (saving)” was the basic

teaching Shinran learned from Honen.  However, among Honen’s various

disciples were those who practiced the nembutsu alone neglecting

shinjin. Therefore, one day Shinran attempted to make sure of their faith

by asking each of them to take either the seat of practice (nembutsu)

or the seat of shinjin ---the famous episode of Shinjin-Nembutsu Seats.

In consequence, Shinran and a few others took the shinjin seat, followed

at last by Honen himself.

     This episode does not imply that shinjin excludes the nembutsu, but

the Vow stresses both shinjin and the nembutsu---this is Muso’s viewpoint. 

In order to realize how deeply the Vow and the nembutsu is aimed at saving

our own selves, however, I would like to conclude, the seat of Dharma hearing

is the most important seat for us modern people to take frist.