A Collection of Letters
I understand that that which is called "the Vow that all Buddhas
say the Name" and "the Vow that all Buddhas praise the
Name" is for the purpose of encouraging the sentient beings
of the ten quarters [to entrust themselves to Amida's Vow]. Further,
I have been taught that it fulfills the purpose of bringing to an
end the doubting thought of the sentient beings of the ten quarters.
This is understood to be the witness of the Buddhas of the ten quarters
taught in the Amida Sutra. In short, I take this Vow as the
Vow of compassionate means.
I understand that the Vow of birth through the nembutsu is the
right act and right cause that is the Tathagata's directing of virtue
for our going forth. Since persons of true shinjin are the equal
of Maitreya, who has attained the stage equal to perfect enlightenment,
I have been taught that the Buddhas praise them as being equal to
Tathagata. Further, once one has entrusted oneself to Amida's Primal
Vow, as the great teacher Master [Honen] has said, no working is
true working. Thus, it is taught that as long as one's own working
remains, it is not Other Power, but self-power.
Further, with regard to Other Power, since it is inconceivable
Buddha-wisdom, the attainment of supreme enlightenment by foolish
beings possessed of blind passions comes about through the working
shared only by Buddhas; it is not in any way the design of the practicer.
Thus, no working is true working. "Working" [that is negated]
refers to the calculation of the person of self-power. Concerning
Other Power, then, no working is true working. I know nothing at
all about what these people are saying, so I should not comment
on it in any way.
Further, the character rai ("to come") means [Buddhas]
"having come" in order to benefit sentient beings; it
refers to compassionate means. When enlightenment has been attained,
it means "to return." I understand that, depending on
the context, it means either "having come" or "to
I will write you again more fully.
Second month, 9th day
Reply to Kyosai-bo