Shoshin Nembutsuge (Hymn of True Entrusting Heart and the Nembutsu) was written by Shinran Shonin to encapsulate the teachings of Jodo Shinshu, and appears in the Chapter on Practice of his Kyogyoshinsho (The True Teaching, Practice, and Realization of the Pure Land Way). In it, Shinran Shonin declares his entrusting to the workings of Amida Buddha’s Primal Vow, and expresses his joy and gratitude in being guided by the Sutra of the Buddha of Immeasurable Light and the seven eminent masters (patriarchs) of India, China, and Japan, to encounter the Nembutsu teaching. Wasan are poems of praise composed in Japanese that laud the intrinsic nature and significance of Kyogyoshinsho.


The eighth generational head priest of the Hongwanji, Rennyo Shonin, added the chanting of the Nembutsu to Shoshin Nembutsuge and Wasan, rescribing that it be used for Jodo Shinshu services.










Sambutsuge (Verses in Praise of the Buddha) appears in the first volume of the Sutra on the Buddha of Immeasurable Life.


In this gatha, Bodhisattva Dharmakara, who became Amida Buddha in the beginningless past, praises the discourse on the Dharma and the brilliantly majestic appearance of his teacher, Buddha Lokesvararaja. Bodhisattva Dharmakara expresses his desire to become a Buddha overflowing with wisdom and compassion.


Further, he vows that he will save all beings who are suffering in the world of delusion, enabling them to cross over to the other shore, having no regret, even if it would mean sinking in to the poisonous swamp of suffering and pain himself.










Juseige (Verses Reiterating the Vows) appears in the first volume of the Sutra on the Buddha of Immeasurable Life.


Bodhisattva Dharmakara, who became Amida Buddha in the beginningless past, appears and sets forth his all-surpassing Forty-Eight Vows with which to save all beings, and promises to fulfill them all without fail.


This gatha is so named because Amida Buddha reiterated in his Vows, that should all beings wallowing in the sea of delusion not be saved and that should there be any place that his Name, Namo-Amidabutsu, not be heard, he will not attain Buddhahood.










Junirai (Twelve Adorations) was composed by Nagarjuna, the first of the seven masters of Jodo Shinshu. Since he repeatedly praises and expresses his reverence of Amida Buddha twelve times, it is thus named.


Nagarjuna lauds the beauty, grandeur, and preciousness of the Pure Land which manifests the virtues of Amida Buddha, and expresses the desire to be born in the Pure Land. Amida Buddha’s aspiration is to save all beings and enable them to attain birth in the Pure Land.