Shoshinge

Ki myo mu ryo ju nyo rai

Na mu fu ka shi gi ko

Ho zo bo satsu in ni ji

Zai se ji sai o bus-sho

To ken sho butsu jo do in

Koku do nin den shi zen maku

Kon ryu mu jo shu sho gan

Cho hotsu ke u dai gu zei

 

Go ko shi yui shi sho ju

Ju sei myo sho mon jip-po

Fu ho mu ryo mu hen ko

Mu ge mu tai ko en no

 

Sho jo kan gi chi e ko

Fu dan nan ji mu sho ko

Cho nichi gak-ko sho jin setsu

Is-sai gun jo mu ko sho

 

Hon gan myo go sho jo go

Shin shin shin gyo gan ni in

Jo to gaku sho dai ne han

His-shi metsu do gan jo ju

 

Nyo rai sho i ko shus-se

Yui setsu mi da hon gan kai

Go joku aku ji gun jo kai

O shin nyo rai nyo jitsu gon

 

No hotsu ichi nen ki ai shin

Fu dan bon no toku ne han

Bon jo gyaku ho sai e nyu

Nyo shu shi nyu kai ichi mi

 

Ses-shu shin ko jo sho go

I no sui ha mu myo an

Ton nai shin zo shi un mu

Jo fu shin jitsu shin jin ten

 

Hi nyo nik-ko fu un mu

Un mu shi ge myo mu an

Gyaku shin ken kyo dai kyo ki

Soku o cho zetsu go aku shu

 

Is-sai zen maku bon bu nin

Mon shin nyo rai gu zei gan

Butsu gon ko dai sho ge sha

Ze nin myo fun da ri ke- fi 

 

Mi da butsu hon gan nen butsu

Ja ken kyo man naku shu jo

Shin gyo ju ji jin ni nan

Nan chu shi nan mu ka shi

In do sai ten shi ron ge

Chu ka jichi iki shi ko so

Ken dai sho ko se sho i

Myo nyo rai hon ze o ki

 

Sha ka nyo rai ryo ga sen

I shu go myo nan ten jiku

Ryu ju dai ji shut-to se

Shitsu no zai ha u mu ken

 

Sen zetsu dai jo mu jo ho

Sho kan gi ji sho an raku

Ken ji nan gyo roku ro ku

Shin gyo i gyo shi do raku

 

Oku nen mi da butsu hon gan

Ji nen soku ji nyu hitsu jo

Yui no jo sho nyo rai go

O ho dai hi gu zei on

 

Ten jin bo Satsu zo ron setsu

Ki myo mu ge ko nyo rai

E Shu ta ra ken shin jitsu

Ko sen o cho dai sei gan

 

Ko-yu hon gan riki e ko

I do gun jo sho is-shin

Ki nyu ku doku dai ho kai

Hitsu gyaku nyu dai e shu shu

 

Toku shi ren ge zo se kai

Soku sho shin nyo hos-sho jin

Yu bon no rin gen jin zu

Nyu sho ji on ji o ge

 

Hon shi don ran ryo ten shi

Jo ko ran sho bo satsu rai

San zo ru shi ju jo kyo

Bon jo sen gyo ki raku ho

 

Ten jin bo satsu ron chu ge

Ho do in ga ken sei gan

O gen ne ko yu ta riki

Sho jo shi in yui shin jin

 

Waku zen bon bu shin jin potsu

Sho-chi sho-ji soku ne hon

His-shi mu ryo ko myo do

Sho-u shu jo kai fu ke

 

Do shaku kes-sho do nan sho

Yui myo jo do ka tsu nyu

Man zen ji riki hen gon shu

En man toku go kan sen sho

 

San-pu san shin ke on gon

Zo matsu ho metsu do-hi in

Is-sho zo aku chi gu zei

Shi an nyo gai sho myo ka

 

Zen do doku myo bus-sho I

Ko ai jo san yo gyaku aku

Ko myo myo go ken in nen

Kai-nyu hon gan dai-chi kai

 

Gyo-ja sho-ju kon go shin

Kyo-ki ichi nen so o go

Yo-I dai to gyaku san nin

Soku sho hos-sho shi jo raku

 

Gen shin ko kai ichi dai kyo

Hen ki an nyo kan is-sai

Sen zo shu shin han sen jin

Ho ke ni do sho ben ryu

 

Goku ju aku nin yui sho butsu

Ga yaku zai-hi ses-shu chu

Bon no sho gen sui fu ken

Dai-hi mu ken jo sho ga

 

Hon shi gen ku myo buk-kyo

Ren min zen maku bon bu nin

Shin shu kyo sho ko hen shu

Sen jaku hon gan gu aku se

 

Gen rai sho-ji rin den ge

Ket-chi gi jo I sho shi

Soku nyu jaku jo mu I raku

Hit-chi shin jin I no nyu

 

Gu kyo dai ji shu shi tou

Jo sai mu hen goku joku aku

Do zoku ji shu gu do shin

Yu-I ka shin shi ko so se-tsu

 


Shoshinge Translation

 

I take refuge in the Tathāgata of Immeasurable Life!

I entrust myself to the Buddha of Inconceivable Light!

Bodhisattva Dharmākara, in his causal stage,

Under the guidance of Lokeśvararāja Buddha.

 

Searched into the origins of the Buddhas’ pure land, 

And the qualities of those lands and their men and devas;

He then established the supreme, incomparable Vow;

He made the great Vow rare and all-encompassing.

 

In five kalpas of profound thought, he embraced this Vow,

Then resolved again that his Name be heard throughout the ten quarters.

Everywhere he casts light immeasurable, boundless,

Unhindered, unequaled, light-lord of all brilliance,

 

Pure light, joyful light, the light of wisdom,

Light constant, inconceivable, light beyond speaking,

Light excelling sun and moon he sends forth, illumining countless worlds;

The multitudes of beings all receive the radiance.

 

The Name embodying the Primal Vow is the act of true settlement,

The Vow of entrusting with sincere mind is the cause of birth; 

We realize the equal of enlightenment and supreme nirvāņa

Through the fulfillment of the Vow of attaining nirvāņa without fail.

 

Śākyamuni Tathāgata appeared in this world

Solely to teach the ocean-like Primal Vow of Amida;

We, an ocean of beings in an evil age of five defilements,

Should entrust ourselves to the Tathagata’s words of truth.

 

When the one thought-moment of joy arises,

Nirvāņa is attained without severing blind passions;

When ignorant and wise, even grave offenders and slanders of the dharma, all alike turn and enter shinjin,

They are like waters that, on entering the ocean, become one in taste with it.

 

The light of compassion that grasps us illumines and protects us always;

The darkness of our ignorance is already broken through;

Still the clouds and mists of greed and desire, anger and hatred,

Cover as always the sky of true and real shinjin.

 

But though light of the sun is veiled by clouds and mists,

Beneath the clouds and mists there is brightness, not dark.

When one realizes shinjin, seeing and revering and attaining great joy,

One immediately leaps crosswise, closing off the five evil courses.

 

All foolish beings, whether good or evil,

When they hear and entrust to Amida’s universal Vow,

Are praised by the Buddha as people of vast and excellent understanding;

Such a person is called a pure white lotus.

 

For evil sentient beings of wrong views and arrogance,

The nembutsu that embodies Amida’s Primal Vow

Is hard to accept in shinjin;

This most difficult of difficulties, nothing surpasses.

 

The masters of India in the west, who explained the teachings in treaties,

And the eminent monks of China and Japan,

Clarified the Great Sage’s true intent in appearing in the world,

And revealed that Amida’s Primal Vow accords with the nature of beings.

 

Śākyamuni Tathāgata, on Mount Lankā,

Prophesied to the multitudes that in south India

The mahasattva Nāgārjuna would appear in this world

To crush the views of being and non-being;

 

Proclaiming the unexcelled Mahāyāna teaching,

He would attain the stage of joy and be born in the land of happiness.

Nāgārjuna clarifies the hardship on the overland path of difficult practice,

And leads us to entrust to the pleasure on the waterway of easy practice.

 

He teaches that the moment one thinks on Amida’s Primal Vow, 

One is naturally brought to enter the sage of the definitely settled;

Solely saying the Tathāgata’s Name constantly,

One should respond with gratitude to the universal Vow of great compassion.

Bodhisattva Vasubandhu, composing a treatise, declares

That he takes refuge in the Tathagata of unhindered light,

And that relying on the sutras, he will reveal the true and real virtues,

And make widely known the great Vow by which we leap crosswise beyond birth-and-death.

 

He discloses the mind that is single so that all beings be saved

By Amida’s directing of virtue through the power of the Primal Vow.

When a person turns and enters the great treasure-ocean of virtue,

Necessarily he joins Amida’s assembly;

 

And when he reaches hat lotus-held world,

He immediately realizes the body of suchness or dharma-nature.

Then sporting in the forests of blind passions, he manifests transcendent powers;

Entering the garden of birth-and-death, he assumes various forms to guide others.

 

Turning toward the dwelling of Master T’an-laun, the Emperor of Liang

Always paid homage to him as a bodhisattva.

Bodhiruci, master of the Tripitaka, gave T’an-laun the Pure Land teachings,

And T’an-laun, burning his Taoist scriptures, took refuge in the land of bliss.

 

In his commentary on the treatise of Bodhisattva Vasubandhu,

He shows that the cause and attainment of birth in the fulfilled land lie in theVow.

Our going and returning, directed to us by Amida, come about through OtherPower;

The truly decisive cause is shinjin.

 

When a foolish being of delusion and defilement awakens to shinjin,

He realizes that birth-and-death is itself nirvāna;

Without fail he reaches the land of immeasurable light

And universally guides sentient beings to enlightenment.

 

Tao-ch’o determined how difficult it is to fulfill the Path of Sages,

And reveals that only passage through the Pure Land gate is possible for us.

He criticizes self-power endeavor in the myriad good practices,

And encourages us solely to say the fulfilled Name embodying true virtue.

 

With kind concern he teaches the three characteristics of entrusting and nonentrusting,

Compassionately guiding all identically, whether they live when the dharmasurvives as but form, when in its last stage, or when it has becomeextinct.

Though a person has committed evil all his life, when he encounters the Primal Vow,

He will reach the world of peace and realize the perfect fruit ofenlightenment.

 

Shan-tao alone in his time clarified the Buddha’s true intent;

Sorrowing at the plight of meditative and non-meditative practicers andpeople of grave evil,

He reveals that Amida’s Light and Name are the causes of birth.

When the practicer enters the great ocean of wisdom, the Primal Vow,

 

He receives the diamond-like mind

And accords with the one thought-moment of joy; whereupon,

Equally with Vaidehī, he acquires the threefold wisdom

And is immediately brought to attain the eternal bliss of dharma-nature.

 

Genshin, having broadly elucidated the teaching of Śākyamuni’s lifetime,

Wholeheartedly took refuge in the land of peace and urges all to do so;

Ascertaining that minds devoted to single practice are profound, to sundry practice, shallow,

He sets forth truly the difference between the fulfilled land and thetransformed land.

 

The person burdened with extreme evil should simply say the Name:

Although I too am within Amida’s grasp,

Passions obstruct my eyes and I cannot see him;

Nevertheless, great compassion is untiring and illumines me always.

 

Master Genkū, well-versed in the Buddha’s teaching,

Turned compassionately to foolish people, both good and evil;

Establishing in this remote land the teaching and realization that are the true essence of the Pure Land way,

He transmits the selected Primal Vow to us of the defiled world:

 

Return to this house of transmigration, of birth-and-death,

Is decidedly caused by doubt.

Swift entrance into the city of tranquility, the uncreated,

Is necessarily brought about by shinjin.

 

The mahasattvas and masters who spread the sutras

Save the countless beings of utter defilement and evil.

With the same mind, all people of the present, whether monk or lay,

Should rely wholly on the teachings of these venerable masters.