Showing posts with label HONGWANJI. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HONGWANJI. Show all posts

Monday, May 14, 2018

Information on priest ordination in Jodo Shinshu (Nishi Hongwanji branch) and my opinion on this matter

crest of Nishi Hongwanji
branch of Jodo Shinshu
Many people ask me about priest ordination in Jodo Shinshu, so I thought to post this article to help them get some information, and also to express some of my own views on this matter.

As far as I know, in our Jodo Shinshu school (Nishi Hongwanji branch) a tokudo (priest ordination) candidate must have two recommendation letters from other Jodo Shinshu priests with a higher rank, but sometimes, even one recommendation is enough from one’s local priest to make one join a tokudo session for foreigners, as the other recommendation will be easier to get if one has earned the trust of a priest with a good connection in the system. These tokudo sessions for foreigners are usually organized from time to time (not at fixed intervals) by Hongwanji International Center, which deals with all matters related with ordination for non-japanese candidates. Their website is this, You can also access the official page of our school here,

The candidate must spend 15 days in some kind of retreat at a facility near the main temple (Nishi Hongwanji) of our tradition, in Kyoto. There he (or she) is examined and attains various courses on doctrine and ritual, after which he receives a tonsure and the actual ordination from the Go Monshu sama - the Patriarch of our main temple and leader of Nishi Hongwanji branch.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Nobody is beyond criticism - an example of Rennyo criticizing a Hongwanji family member

Rennyo Shonin, the eight Monshu (Patriarch)
of Hongwanji 
"Rennyo's criticism of divergent views and beliefs reached into the interior of Hongwanji.  In particular, in a letter dated the ninth month of 1473 (Bunmei 5), he severely admonishes the laziness of 'a certain young person' who was holding himself out as a member of the 'first family of the Hongwanji in Kyoto'. The content of the letter indicates that this person was likely one of Rennyo's sons who had been assigned to a temple in Kaga. The young man would always declare to others,

'I understand about the settled mind (anjin). I recite the nembutsu often. Also, I have never performed anything like the miscelaneous practices, nor worshipped other Buddhas or Bodhisattvas. I am, in particular, a member of the first family of Kyoto. Everyday I eat whatever I want to eat and if then feel like sleeping, I can lie back and sleep whenever and for as long as I like. No one can ever complain. I am not especially concerned about the Buddha-Dharma. Besides, I can learn about it through listening to what others say about any temple matter. As for the benevolence of the Master Shinran, I only think about it from time to time.'
(Other Letters, in SSS, P. 157)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Standard of Shinshu Faith (complete free online edition)

A Standard of Shinshu Faith by Dr Ryosetsu Fujiwara was first published in 1963 by the Buddhist Churches of America and it contains a digest of the Anjin Rondai - Topics for Discussions on Faith, which is the doctrinal standard of the Nishi Hongwanji branch of Jodo Shinshu school. As the author himself said in the first part of the book:

"For the better understanding of Shinshu and for the prevention of unorthodox faith, the Nishi Hongwanji selected a certain number of special topics for discussion of Doctrine and of Faith. The latter, including 30 topics, is called 'Anjin Rondai' or 'Topics for Discussion on Faith.' The original is not so easy to understand because of its classical terminology and expressions. So the writer has tried to sum up the main points of these topics and rearranged them with the hope that it would become a helpful guide for those voluntarily working for the spreading of Shinshu in the West".

As this book is now out of print, I thought that it is very important to  make it available online to readers, especially in our difficult times when so many divergences from the Jodo Shinshu teachings prevail in the international sangha.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

We have a new Monshu

Retired Monshu Sokunyo left and the new Monshu Sennyo, right

I welcome with great joy and hope the appointment of our new Go Monshu-sama, Shaku Sennyo (Kojun Ohtani). May he act as a true "Guardian of the Gate", and watch over the spreading of Amida Dharma in the spirit of Tannisho:

"Let there be not the slightest distortion of the teaching of Other Power with words of an understanding based on personal views."

 Namo Amida Butsu

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Official position of Hongwanji on the matter of "after death" birth in The Pure Land

In many articles on this website, in my books or on my Facebook pages I presented to you many explanations and passages from the sacred texts in which it is clearly stated that the Pure Land of Amida Buddha is to be attained after death and that it is not to be found “here and now”, or in “one’s mind”, as some nowadays deluded scholars and priests in the international Jodo Shinshu sangha claim.

In this short post I intend to show to you that our Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha (Nishi Hongwanji) religious organisation does NOT officially sustain the aberrant views of those scholars and priests. The following two passages are from an official document of our school, Jodo Shinshu Kyosho (The Essential of Jodo Shinshu) and from a statement made by the former Monshu (Patriarch/Leader) of Hongwanji, His Eminence Koshin Ohtani, the 24th successor of Shinran Shonin and also the one who ordained me. In the passages you can read by yourself that birth in the Pure Land is to be understood as taking place after death, in perfect agrement with the sacred texts of our tradition:

NEW poems by Gansen John Welch