Topics Concerning Shinjin: Transcending Crosswise]
The Treatise on Samatha and Vipasyana, fascicle one, states:
P'u-ti (bodhi) is in Indian word; in Chinese it is rendered tao
Chih-to (citta) represents an Indian sound; here in this country
it is called hsin. Hsin indicates reflecting and discerning.
Let us consider the words, transcending crosswise, cut off the four
In transcending crosswise, crosswise stands in contrast to transcending
lengthwise and departing lengthwise. Transcending contrasts with
going roundabout and following a winding path. "Transcending
lengthwise" characterizes the true and real teaching of the
Mahayana. "Departing lengthwise" is the accommodated,
expedient teaching of the Mahayana and the roundabout teachings
of the two-vehicle and three-vehicle schools.
Transcending crosswise is the true teaching based on the fulfillment
of the Vow, which embodies the perfectly consummate true reality.
This indeed is the true essence of the Pure Land way.
Further, there is "departing crosswise." This is the
teaching of meditative and nonmeditative practices of the three
levels of practicers and the nine grades of beings; it comprises
the good acts of going roundabout that lead to the transformed land,
the realm of indolence and pride.
In the pure fulfilled land of the Great Vow, grade and level are
irrelevant; in the space of an instant, one swiftly transcends and
realizes the supreme, perfect, true enlightenment. Hence, transcending
The Larger Sutra states:
Surpassing all, he made the supreme, incomparable Vow.
Further, it states:
I have established the all-surpassing Vow
And will unfailingly attain supreme enlightenment.
My Name shall pervade the ten quarters;
If there be any place it is not heard,
I vow not to attain perfect enlightenment.
Further, it states:
Necessarily one achieves the abandoning of this world, transcending
and parting from it, and attains birth in the land of peace. One
cuts off crosswise the five evil courses and the evil courses close
naturally (jinen). Ascending the way is without limit; to go is
easy and yet no one is born there. Never at variance with that land,
one is drawn there by its spontaneous working (jinen).
The Larger Amida Sutra states:
One will be able to abandon this world, transcending and parting
from it. When one is born in that land of Amida Buddha, one cuts
off crosswise the five evil courses, and they close naturally. Ascending
the way is without limit; to go is easy and yet no one is born there.
Never at variance with that land, one is drawn there by its spontaneous
Concerning the term cut off: because we have awakened the mind that
is single, which is directed to us for our going forth, there is
no further state of existence into which we must be born, no further
realm into which we must pass. Already the causes leading to the
six courses and the four modes of birth have died away and their
results become null. Therefore we immediately and swiftly cut off
birth-and-death in the three realms of existence. Hence, cut off.
The four currents are the four turbulent currents. They also refer
to birth, aging, sickness, and death.
The Larger Sutra states:
You will unfailingly attain the enlightenment of Buddha
And bring beings everywhere across the stream of birth-and-death.
Further, [the Sutra of Immeasurable Pure Perfect Enlightenment]
You will unfailingly become a world-honored one
And free all beings from birth, aging, and death.
The Nirvana Sutra states:
Nirvana is called an islet in the stream. Why? Because the four
great turbulent currents cannot toss it about. What are these four?
First, the turbulence of desire; second, the turbulence of existence;
third, the turbulence of views; fourth, the turbulence of ignorance.
Therefore nirvana is called an islet.
The Master of Kuang-ming temple states:
I say to all practicers: Do not crave the birth-and-death of foolish
beings and fail to abhor it. Do not consider Amida's Pure Land lightly
and fail to aspire for it. When you abhor this Saha world, you part
from it forever; when you aspire for the Pure Land, you constantly
dwell there. When you part from this world, the causes leading to
the six courses die away, and naturally their results of transmigration
are nullified. With the causes and results already null, the forms
and names [of samsaric existence] suddenly come to an end.
Further, he states:
My reverent wish is that all who aspire for birth carefully take
measure of their own capabilities. Persons who aspire in the present
existence to attain birth in that land should unfailingly strive
with all their heart, whether walking, standing, sitting, or reclining,
and overcoming the self, they should never abandon [the nembutsu]
day or night. It may seem rather arduous to do this throughout your
life to the very moment of death, but in one thought-moment life
ends, in the next you are immediately born in that land, and there
you will constantly enjoy the pleasure of the uncreated dharma for
endless kalpas. Until your attainment of Buddhahood, you will be
free of turning in birth-and-death. Is this not joy? Reflect on