Friday, July 26, 2019

We do not rely on personal vows but on Amida's Primal Vow

I heard many times the idea that we need to make a vow to be born in the Pure Land. This is said under the influence of various Chinese Pure Land groups that still put a lot of emphasis on self-power, a view which is totaly rejected in our school.

I will state it clearly and I ask all of you to please listen deeply:
We do not need to make a personal vow to be born in the Pure Land because birth in the Pure Land does NOT depend on our personal power, but on Amida's Power.
This is extremely important - you can be born in the Pure Land by the Power of Amida Buddha, and NOT by your self power! The vows you make have ZERO importance. What matters is that you give up any idea of self power and entrust completely to Amida Buddha.

In His Primal Vow (18th Vow) Amida mentioned three conditions to be born in His Pure Land : "say my Name, entrust to me and desire to be born in my land". He did not mention that you must make any vows or transfer any merits! So, if we do the above three simple things in the Primal Vow, we become karmically connected to Amida's Power and we are assured of birth in the Pure Land.

Our Jodo Shinshu is the school of the Primal Vow, of total and exclusive reliance on Amida Buddha. Nothing inside our unenlightened minds can bring us closer to the Pure Land. Only Amida's Power and His Primal Vow (His Main Promise) are reliable. We will reach His Pure Land because He vowed that He will bring us there if we entrust to Him and say His Name in faith, and NOT because we make any personal vows or we transfer our pitiable "merits" to birth there.

The promises and vows made by unereliable and unenlightened minds mean nothing, while the Promise and Vow of Amida is everything.
Namo Amida Bu

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