Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Those who deny the existence of Amida don’t have shinjin (faith) – some simple explanations

Check my new book on the topic
of modern divergences
- click here for the Portughese version - 

Unfortunately, there are many false teachers in the international Jodo Shinshu community who support wrong interpretations of the nembutsu Dharma - the so called modern and progressive interpretations - but which are in evident contradiction with the teaching of the sutras and the sacred texts. One of the most widely distributed is the theory that Amida is a symbol, a metaphor or a fictional character.

Such interpretations prove the absence of the genuine shinjin from the hearts of those who support them. It is simply impossible to have the experience of faith in Amida and in the same time to consider him a fictional character or a metaphor. On the contrary, such a shinjin is false or fictional like how fictional the object of faith is. I have never heard or read in the sacred texts about such presentations of Amida Buddha. Not Shakyamuni, nor Shinran Shonin or other masters of our tradition ever spoke in like that about Amida and His Pure Land. This is why I always say that those who present Amida as a fictional character, metaphor, symbol or something similar to these terms, don’t have the experience of faith and salvation.

The entrusting heart (shinjin) is the cause of our birth in the Pure Land and of our attainment of Buddhahood, but how faith in something fictional can be called true faith? This is something easy to understand even by kids. Fictional is fictional no matter how you present it, while the real is real. Only faith in something real and alive can be a true faith and have results - birth in the Pure Land.

If somebody says that you, the reader of these lines, are a fictional character, I suppose he doesn't believe that you exist. It’s as simple as that:).

It is said that trees are known by their fruits. It’s impossible that someone speaking and insisting in his entire work on such false teachings to have a real experience of faith and guide others to faith. It’s not that I judge the faith of others, but their own words speak for themselves. They simply don’t know or don’t feel or don’t understand or don’t want to accept who Amida is (who the sutras and explanations of the Masters say he is) so how can they have faith in him?

Master Honen was recorded in the postscript of Tannisho to say that some people don’t have the same shinjin (faith) as his so they will surely not go to the same Pure Land he goes, after death.

His shinjin and the shinjin of Shinran came from Amida Buddha, the real Amida Buddha, not the fictive Amida, the symbolic or metaphorical Amida, this being the reason why they had the same shinjin, although their personal wisdom and knowledge of the Dharma were different.

Both Shinran and Honen, but also the other Masters, accepted the teaching about Amida Buddha as taught by Shakyamuni in the Larger Sutra. By listening to this teaching they received shinjin and became Buddhas in the Pure Land. We, their disciples of modern times, are also different in knowledge, experiences and wisdom, but we too must accept the same teaching they accepted in order to receive the same shinjin like them.

Birth, life and death are not fictive, symbolical or metaphorical. Also our freedom from birth and death can’t be fictive, symbolical or metaphorical. A Buddha who is not alive and active in the world of suffering, cannot help and guide us to the supreme, unsurpassed Enlightenment. Faith in a fictive character, in a symbol or metaphor does not keep warm and cannot free anybody.

If shinjin comes from Amida and is the cause of our Freedom, those who do not entrust in Amida as being a living and active Buddha, what kind of shinjin they have?
Please use your mind and simple logic, so that you do not fall in such illusions and wrong understanding.

The true Jodo Shinshu Buddhism is not a rambling metaphysical system, filled with symbols, metaphors and hidden meanings, but a set of clear and precise teachings intended to free all beings from birth and death through a simple faith in a living and active Buddha called Amida. 

Those who don’t like or cannot accept this path are free to leave it or forget it, but they should never try to change it so as to accommodate it with their personal ideas and lack of faith.


4 comentarii:

James Stadler said...

Wonderful post! It is so unfortunate that the modernists want to take such a simple straight forward teaching and complicate it so that people can not reach shinjin. It IS fortunate that there are good teachers such as yourself (as well as Rev.Eiken Kobai & Paul Roberts) who tell it like it is.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Pure Land devotion is common in Tibetan Buddhism. I've looked up references to Amitabha on Tibetan Buddhist websites and they refer to him as a transcendent or primordial Buddha, rather than a historical Buddha. This means that Amitabha's existed from eternal past, rather than having a literal beginning as Dharmakara. I wonder if these Tibetan Buddhists are "modernist" as well.

Josho Adrian Cirlea said...

You looked for references with your mind clouded by doubt and wrong views. Here is a link to HH Sakya Trizin, Head of Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism accepting the reality of Sukhavati – the Pure Land of Amida Buddha

That Amitabha existed from eternal past refers to His ultimate Dharmakaya beyond form, but this does not deny His manifestation in transcendental form (Sambhogakaya), that is, Amida as described in the Larger Sutra. I clearly explained this in my article:

“The relation between the doctrine of the Two Buddha Bodies and the doctrine of the Three Buddha Bodies”

Historical Buddha is Shakyamuni, as we can trace His existence in the history of our earth, but Amida is a transcendent Buddha who attained Buddhahood long before this earth came into existence.

This is the last time you are commenting anything on this website and the last time I am trying to help you. I know who you are, as I already banned your presence on my facebook pages. I hope that one day you will come to your senses and receive true faith in the true and real Amida Buddha.

Namo Amida Butsu

NEW poems by Gansen John Welch