Month: October 2015

Gatha Of True Faith

SHOSHINGE –     信   偈

 white-lotus-tumblr_DAP_Golden Age

Pundarika –  An Excellent Pure White Lotus that rose from the mud of blind passions…
This excellent Gatha of True Faith was composed by Master Shinran expressing his deep gratitude for The Boundless Compassion of Amida Buddha and for the benevolence of the great Masters who transmitted down The True Pure Land Teachings taught by Shakyamuni Buddha. Beautifully written in Classical Chinese, these four line verses captured the intimate kindness and exhortations of The Pure Land Masters. They fervently urge all mundane foolish persons (凡 夫 , bombu) in this Dharma ending Age, to entrust themselves solely in Amida Buddha’s Primal Vow which promises to free everyone from the relentless cycle of birth, suffering and death:
(1).歸 命 無 量 壽 如 來 , 南 無 不 可 思  議 光 . 法 藏 菩 薩 因 立 時 , 在 世 自 在 王 佛 所
Entrusting myself to The Tathagata of Infinite Life                                                       
I take refuge in The Inconceivable Light 
Boddhisattva Dharmakara in His practising stage                                               
Under the guidance of Buddha Lokesvararaja
(2).覩 見 諸 佛 淨 土 因 , 國 土 人 天 之 善 惡 . 建 立 無 上 殊 勝 願 , 超 發 希 有 大 弘 
Examining the causes that create the various Buddhas’ Pure Lands                    
And the good and evil of humans and devas in those Lands,
He established the unsurpassed, incomparable Vow                                               
And boldly declared this extremely rare, Universal Vow.
(3).五 劫 思 惟 之 攝 受, 重 誓 名 聲 聞 十方. 普 放 無 量 無 邊 光, 無 㝵 無 對 光 炎 王
And after five kalpas of deep contemplations and reflections                                
He strongly pledged that His Name shall be heard in the ten directions            
Everywhere, He sends forth Immeasurable, Boundless Light                                   
Unhindered, Incomparable, Majestically Brilliant Light
(4).清 淨 歡 喜 智 慧 光, 不 斷 難 思 無 稱 光, 超 日 月光 照 塵 剎, 一 切 群 生 蒙 光 照
Pure Light, Joyful Light, The Light of Wisdom                                       
Continuous, Inconceivable, Ineffable Light                                                                        
The Light that Outshines the sun and moon, illuminating countless worlds   
The multitudes of beings are all embraced by His Light.
(5).本 願 名 号 正 定 業, 至 心 信 樂 願 為 因, 成  等 覺 證 大 涅 槃,  必 至 滅 度 願 成 就
The Primal Vow embodying The Name, bestows true settlement           
This Vow of Sincerity and Joyful Entrusting is the cause of birth                           
We are brought to the stage equal to enlightenment and supreme Nirvana               
And through the fulfillment of the Vow, we will surely attain Nirvana
(6).如 來 所 以 興 出 世, 唯 說 彌 陀 本 願 海, 五 濁 惡 時 群 生 海, 應 信 如 來 如 實 言
The reason for the Tathagata’s appearance in this world                             
Is solely to teach the ocean-like Primal Vow of Amida                                                
The multitudes of beings in this Age of the Five Defilements                                  
Should entrust themselves to the absolute true words of the Tathagata 
(7).能 發 一 念 喜 愛 心 , 不 斷 煩 惱 得 涅 槃 , 凡 聖 逆 謗 齊 回 入 , 如 眾 水 入 海 一 味
When the One-thought moment of joyful trust is awakened in one’s mind        
Nirvana will be attained without severing blind passions                                            
Commoners, sages, dharma offenders and slanderers alike receive Shinjin    
Like water from all sources acquiring the same taste on entering the ocean.
(8).攝 取 心 光 常 照 護, 已  能 雖 破 無 明 暗, 貪 愛  瞋 憎 之 雲 霧, 常 覆 真 實 信 心 天
The embracing light of compassion illumines and protects us always               
Having already broken through the darkness of our ignorance                                 
Still the clouds and mists of greed, desire, anger and hatred                                        
Constantly obscure the sky of true and real Shinjin.
(9).譬 如 日 光 覆 雲 霧, 雲 霧 之 下 明 無 暗. 獲 信 見 敬 大 慶 喜, 即 橫 超 截 五 惡 趣
But just like the light of the sun being blocked by clouds and mists                       
Beneath those clouds and mists, there is brightness, not darkness                     
So on receiving Shinjin we experience gratitude and great joy                                    
And instantly transcend cross-wise the five evil courses.
(10).一  切 善 惡 凡 夫 人, 聞 信 如 來 弘 誓 願, 佛 言 廣 大 勝 解 者, 是 人名 分 陀 利 華
All ordinary foolish persons whether good or evil                                                                  
When they have heard and entrust in the Universal Vow of the Tathagata           
The Buddha called them persons of vast excellent understanding                       
And also named by people as ‘Pundarikas’
(11).彌 陀 佛 本 願 念 佛, 邪 見 憍 慢 惡 眾 生, 信 樂 受 持 甚 以 難,  難 中 之 難 無 過 斯
Entrusting in Amida Buddha’s Primal Vow and saying the Name                                   
For arrogant sentient beings with perverted views                                                                
To accept and be blessed with Shinjin is difficult indeed                                                    
It is the most difficult of all difficulties that anyone could meet 
(12).印 度 西 方 之 論 家, 中 夏 日 域 之 高 僧, 顯 大 聖 與 世 正 意, 明 如 來 本 誓 應 機
The treatise Masters from India to the west                                                                                  
And the Eminent Monks from China and Japan                                                                      
Clarified the true intent of The Great Sage’s appearance in this world         
Revealing that Amida’s Primal Vow accords with the capacities of beings
(13).釋 迦 如 來 楞 迦 山, 為 眾 告 命 南 天 竺, 龍 樹 大 士 出 於 世, 悉 能 推 破 有 無 見
Shakyamuni Tathagata on Mount Lanka                                                        
Prophesied to the masses that in south India                                                                              
Mahasattva Nagarjuna would appear in this world                                                                
To dispel the views of being and non-being
(14).宣 說 大 乘 無 上 法, 證 歡 喜 地 生 安 樂, 顯 示 難 行 陸 路 苦, 信 樂 易 行 水 道 樂
Proclaiming the unexcelled Mahayana Teachings                                                                   
He realized the Stage of Joy and was born in the Land Of Peace and Bliss      
Revealing that difficult practices are like hardships on the overland way              
He urged us to take the easy path of true entrusting like joy on the waterway
(15).億 念 彌 陀 佛 本 願, 自 然 即 時 入 必 定, 唯 能 常 稱 如 來 号, 應 報 大 悲 弘 誓 恩
When one deeply remembers Amida Buddha’s Primal Vow                                        
Naturally in that instant, one enters the Stage Of Definitely Settled                          
And solely Saying the Tathagata’s Name always                                                   
One responds gratefully to Great Compassion’s Universal Pledge and grace
(16).天 親 菩 薩 造 論 說, 歸 命 無 㝵 光 如 來, 依 修 陀 羅 顯 真 實, 光 闡 橫 超 大 誓 願
Bodhisattva Vasubandhu, composing a treatise declared                                                  
That he himself took refuge in The Tathagata Of Unhindered Light.
In accordance with the sutras, he revealed the true and real                                        
And elucidated the Great Vow of Cross-wise Transcendence
(17).廣 由 本 願 力 回 向, 為 度 群 生 彰 一 心, 歸 入 功 德 大 寶 海, 必 獲 入 大 會 眾 數
Through the power of His Primal Vow, Amida directs His merits                                
Manifesting the one-mind in order to save the multitudes of beings                         
So when one takes refuge and enters the great treasure ocean of virtues               
Definitely, one obtains entry into Amida’s Great Assembly
(18).得 至 蓮 華 藏 世 界, 即 證 真 如 法 性 身, 游 煩 惱 林 現 神 通, 入 生 死 園 示 應 化
 When one reaches that lotus-store world                                                                          
One instantly realises the body of suchness or dharma nature                                       
Roaming in the forrest of blind passions, one uses transcendental powers  
Entering the garden of birth and death one uses skilful means to guide others
(19).本 師 曇 鸞 梁 天 子, 常 向 鸞 處 菩 薩 禮, 三 藏 流 支 受 淨 教, 焚 燒 仙 經 歸 樂 邦
Facing toward the dwelling of our Teacher Tan Luan                                                           
The emperor of Liang paid tribute to him as a Bodhisattva                                               
When he received the Pure Land teachings from tripitaka Master Bodhiruci    
Tan Luan burnt his Taoist scriptures and took refuge in The Land Of Bliss
(20).天 親 菩 薩 論 註 解, 報 土 因 果 顯 誓 願, 往 還 回 向 由 他 力, 正 定 之 因 唯 信 心
Bodhisattva Vasubandhu explains in his treatise                                                                     
That the fruition of the Fulfilled Land is itself manifestation of The Vow.
Going to the Pure Land and returning are merit transference of Other Power  
And the cause of true settlement is solely due to Shinjin.
(21).惑 染 凡 夫 信 心 發, 證 知 生 死 即 涅 槃, 必 至 無 量 光 明 土, 諸 有 眾 生 皆 普 化
When a deluded and defiled, mundane foolish person awakens Shinjin          
That person realizes, knowing about birth and death and Nirvana                                                        
Without fail, that person will reach the Land of Immeasurable Light                                                  
And then, universally guides all sentient beings to enlightenment 
(22).道 綽 決 聖 道 難 證, 唯 明 淨 土 可 通 人, 萬 善 自 力 貶 勤 修, 圓 滿 德 号 勸 專 稱
Tao Cho asserted that achieving realisation by the path of sages is difficult    
Clarifying that only the Pure Land Way could deliver us         
He discouraged the diligent practices of myriad good and self-power                    
Urging us to solely Say the Name endowed with perfect virtues
(23).三 不 三 信 誨 慇 懃, 像 末 法 滅 同 悲 引, 一 生 造 惡 值 弘 誓, 至 安 養 界 證 妙 果
With deep concern he taught the three aspects of entrusting and of doubt
And Compassion in the Dharma Ages of Semblance, Ending and Extinction 
So, those with lifelong evil, should solely depend on The Great Vow,
Realizing the perfect fruit of nirvana in the Land of Serene Sustenance 
(24).善 導 獨 明 佛 正 意, 矜 哀 定 散 與 逆 惡, 光 明 名 号 顯 因 緣, 開 入 本 願 大 智 海
Shan Tao alone understood the Buddha’s true intent                                                           
Pitying meditative and non-meditative practicers and people of grave evil         
He revealed that Amida’s Light and Name are the causes of their birth
When they enter the wisdom ocean of The Primal Vow.
(25).行 者 正 受 金 鋼 心, 慶 喜 一 念 相 應 後, 與 韋 提 等 獲 三 忍, 即 證 法 性 之 常 樂
Followers would certainly receive the diamond-like mind                                                 
When the one-thought moment of joy and gratitude arises                                              
Like Vaidehi they would similarly acquire the three insights                                          
And instantly realize the eternal bliss of Dharma Nature 
(26).源 信 廣 開 一 代 教, 偏 歸 安 養 勸 一 切, 專 雜 執 心 判 淺 深, 報 化 二 土 正 辦 立
Genshin widely expounded the Buddha’s lifetime teachings                                             
Yet, he took refuge in the Land of Peace, urging others to do the same                      
Discerning that single-minded practice is profound; sundry practices shallow  
He differentiated the respective births in The Fulfilled or Transformed Lands
(27).極 重 惡 人 唯 稱 佛, 我 亦 在 被 攝 取 中, 煩 惱 障 眼 雖 不 見, 大 悲 無 倦 常 照 我
Extremely evil persons should only Say The Name of the Buddha                               
Who has also grasped and embraced me                                                                                         
Though blind passions have obscured my eyes and I cannot see                                  
Great Compassion is untiring and constantly illumines me.
(28).本 師 源 空 明 佛 教, 憐 愍 善 惡 凡 夫 人, 真 宗 教 證 興 片 州, 選 擇 本 願 弘 惡 世
Our teacher Genku was well-versed with Buddhism                                                             
And he showed pity on ordinary foolish people, whether good or evil  
By spreading the True Teaching and Realisation in this remote land                        
He propagated widely the selected Primal Vow to this evil world.
(29).還 來 生 死 輪 轉 家, 決 以 疑 情 為 所 止, 速 入 寂 靜 無 為 樂, 必 以 信 心 為 能 入
Our continued return to this cyclic existence of birth and death                                   
Is certainly due to the hindrance of doubt                                                                                      
Swift entrance into the peaceful, uncreated Realm of Peace and Bliss                 
Is necessarily brought about by Shinjin  
(30).弘 經 大 士 宗 師 等,  拯 濟 無 邊 極 濁 惡, 道 俗 時 眾 共 同 心, 唯 可 信 斯 高 僧 說
The Mahasattvas and Teachers of the tradition who propagated the sutras         
Save boundless beings of grave evil and defilements                                                        
Both monks and lay people of this present Age, should, with one mind                   
Solely trust in these great Masters’ expositions.                                                     
These beautiful verses convey a clear message from Master Shinran and the other great Teachers of The True Pure Land Tradition. They exhort us to take refuge solely in Amida Buddha, abandon all sundry practices, single-mindedly entrust ourselves to The Primal Vow and Say the Excellent Name endowed with perfect virtues. Let us Listen Deeply, hear The Call of Boundless Compassion and accept the inconceivable gift of Shinjin freely bestowed by Amida Buddha.

NAMO AMIDA BUTSU   南 無 阿 彌 陀 佛


Home PageThe Call Of Boundless Compassion

The Primal Vow

                                                              阿      陀      本   


The Primal Vow that embodies Saying the Name, is Amida Buddha’s absolute promise to all wretched sentient beings like ourselves, who are firmly caught in the net of samsara, the vicious cycle of birth, suffering and death – those who are unable to free themselves by struggling in vain with their own self-power efforts and practices…

If, When I attain Buddhahood
Sentient Beings of The Ten Quarters
With Sincere Mind, Joyfully entrusting themselves
Aspiring To Be Born in my Land
And Saying My Name perhaps even ten times
Should Not be born there
May I Not Attain The Supreme Enlightenment
Excluded Are Those Who Commit The Five Grave Offences
And Those Who Slander The Right Dharma.


Amida Buddha in His practising stage many, many billions of years ago – as Bodhisattva Dharmakara, under the guidance of Buddha Lokesvararaja – made forty-eight inconceivable Vows, out of great compassion for all suffering sentient beings. These Vows are made fully in accord with the varying karmic capacities and natures of beings – the main purpose is to free everyone, without exception – from the relentless and painful cycle of samsara. All these Vows have already been wonderfully fulfilled when the Bodhisattva attained Perfect Enlightenment ten kalpas ago as Amida Buddha and His Pure Land splendidly established, to receive all beings who wish to be born there in accordance with His Vows.

The Primal Vow – that is the 18th Vow – has caused countless mundane foolish persons (bombu 凡 夫), both good or evil, stupid or intelligent , male or female from different social status and environments – to be born directly into The Pure Land of Peace and Bliss and come to the end of all suffering, the beginning of Buddhahood. We should know that Amida Buddha has already accomplished our Pure Land birth through the power of The Primal Vow, by fulfilling for each of us our aspirations and their attendant practices – all ignorant sentient beings will realise this fact sooner or later when they are ready to receive Amida Buddha’s precious gift of Salvation.

By sincerely and joyfully entrusting ourselves single-mindedly to Amida Buddha and The Primal Vow, we have fully accepted  His Absolute Confidence in saving all beings – His inconceivable Faith-mind (Shinjin, 信 心). Thus, we have completed the cause of birth in the Pure Land, here and now in this life. Spontaneously we would Say the Name (Nembutsu – Namo Amida Butsu 南 无 阿 彌 陀 佛) endowed with Amida Buddha’s infinite virtues which are instantly transferred to us for our birth in the Pure Land at the end of this painful existence in mortal flesh.


In the Gatha of True Faith (正 信 偈), Venerable Master Shinran passionately expresses in beautiful poetry, his direct experience on the Primal Vow:

The Primal Vow that embodies The Name bestows true settlement
This Vow of Sincerity and Joyful Entrusting is the cause of birth
We are brought to the stage equal to enlightenment and supreme Nirvana
And through the fulfillment of The Vow, we will surely attain Nirvana.

The reason for The Tathagata’s appearance in this world
Is solely to teach the ocean-like Primal Vow of Amida
The multitudes of beings in this Age of The Five Defilements
Should entrust themselves to the absolute true words of The Tathagata.


“Saved by the inconceivable working of Amida’s Vow, I shall realize birth in the Pure Land”: the moment you entrust yourself thus to the Vow, so that the mind set upon saying the Nembutsu arises within you, you are immediately brought to share in the benefit of being grasped by Amida, never to be abandoned.

Know that the Primal Vow of Amida makes no distinction between people young and old, good and evil; only Shinjin is essential. For it is the Vow to save the person whose karmic evil is deep and grave and whose blind passions abound.”

Thus, for those who entrust themselves to the Primal Vow, no good acts are required, because no good surpasses the Nembutsu. Nor need they despair of the evil they commit, for no evil can obstruct the working of Amida’s Primal Vow. – (Tannisho – Lamenting Divergences chapter 1).


We see that The Primal Vow is clearly Amida Buddha’s pledge to every sentient being. He had already attained Supreme Enlightenment and The Pure Land wonderfully established, although not all sentient beings would single-mindedly entrust themselves to this Vow of Boundless Compassion at this time. The enlightenment of all sentient beings had already been fulfilled at the hands of Amida Buddha. Therefore, The Primal Vow is constantly in an active mode, instantly fulfilled the moment sentient beings single-mindedly and fully accept Amida’s Shinjin.

Thus, Saying the Name fulfilled in The Primal Vow is the Great Practice and an active other-power cause of our birth in The Pure Land and attainment of Nirvana. It is not our good nor is it our self-power practice. With the one thought moment of True Entrusting (Shinjin, 信 心) in The Primal Vow, we Say the Name, deeply grateful to Amida Buddha for having saved us, particularly in this spiritually defiled Dharma Ending Age (末 法 時 代) when all persons are badly consumed by the evil passions of greed, hatred, ignorance, jealousy and arrogance.

If we seriously desire to be completely free from all pain and suffering at the end of this precious human life which gives us the right opportunity of encountering The Buddha Dharma, we should know that we Do Not have any other choice but to fully entrust our karmic destiny to Amida Buddha and The Primal Vow.


Let us Listen deeply and HEAR: The Call of Boundless Compassion

Namo Amida Butsu 南 無 阿 彌 陀 佛
Namo Amida Butsu 南 無 阿 彌 陀 佛
Namo Amida Butsu 南 無 阿 彌 陀 佛


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Embraced By Amida

My Winding Path to JodoShinshu
淨  土  真 宗  行


Under the cherry blossoms…..

Transporting active memories through my mind’s eye
Pensively, I witness the unfolding of nature,
In this fleeting, impermanent but wonderfully miraculous life
Exhibiting clearly both suffering and pain, joy and pleasure.
There is really no difference between myself and others
And for everyone regardless of status, race or age,
Endless struggle for achievements and gains is what matters
While we carelessly act on life’s transient stage.
How extremely foolish and ignorant am I
Still so attached to these fleeting apparitions,
Like trying to grasp at the clouds floating by
In order to increase my wealth and possessions.
But then, how else can I possibly live
In this stressful materialistic society,
Even when someone speaks about her religious belief
It is rarely away from gains, benefits or money.
Even good persons with strong religious faiths are struck by misfortunes
Suffering from traumatic accidents, diseases and calamities,
While many non-religious evil persons enjoy good fortunes
Through cheating, manipulation, theft, and immoral activities.
Greatly intrigued by the inequalities most have endured
I often thought about the character of the Creator,
Why some are made healthy, rich, talented and well-endowed
While others are born sickly, deformed, stupid and poor.
The usual answer is that God’s activities are incomprehensible
So be thankful for what you have and just praise Him,
Even learned people have agreed that He is not answerable
Therefore, stop asking questions lest you may upset Him.
Seeking for truth, I turned to the Bible with fervour
Strongly encouraged by a warm-hearted sincere friend,
The fraternity was wonderful with a nice church atmosphere
But not favoured by God my two-year lessons soon came to an end.
Other strong sincere believers in God, I too met with reverence
Conducting their lives with little difference in deed,
But in them I could sense a clear class arrogance
While they firmly project themselves as a special creed.
God is also faithfully worshipped by many other beliefs
Benefitting and guiding those with such affinity,
To them He is Love that brings benefits and reliefs
As for myself, He has left me thoroughly confused and empty.
If I preach Love and display a praiseworthy intention
But eternally condemn to hell those who failed to please,
My conditional love is egoistic and certainly lacks compassion
So, I am not different from the common man or beast.
Again, I pondered my fragile existence deeply
The common dilemma shared by everyone far and near,
Through tainted perceptions each one views differently
Only a few could see vaguely, others totally unclear.
If God is that good living force we possess within
Producing all the good things, love, joy and happiness,
Then, to personify Him as a jealous and revengeful being
Is extremely disrespectful and really frivolous.
These thoughts constantly invaded an insecure, curious mind
Asking why we are born in this world to live, suffer and die,
But keenly aware that our rare intelligence is extremely hard to find
I should not let this precious human existence just slip by.
By chance I stumbled clumsily into a Buddhist lecture
And was caught listening to a Sri-Lankan speaker,
The monk’s speech on the topic of Rebirth was forceful and sure
Arousing the curious imagination of a pathetic thinker.
Condescendingly, I hurled at him many smart queries
Egoistically expecting no satisfactory answers in reply,
But the monk was on his toes returning the volleys
Tearing me mentally to shreds, my ideas went dry.
I was rudely shocked and amazed to discover a new dimension
Hidden in what I thought was legendary folklore,
A so-called religion I considered mere superstition
Fragments of which I heard my mother mentioned before.
A lifetime study may help to understand the basic tenets
Like impermanence, interdependence, cause and effect,
Buddhism covers everything in this world and all the countless planets
Encompassing all our scientific knowledge within a speck.
I also learned that the imaginative God is merely a factor
In an inconceivable cyclical series without beginning or end,
Great ego and pride however, marked the created Creator
Whose past good deeds had propelled Him to His heaven.
Buddhism is an analytical and sublime education
For eradicating the ego that caused our suffering,
It certainly demands a humble attitude and concentration
Qualities often spoken about but usually lacking.
The intellectual aspect of the Buddha Dharma is indeed appealing
But it also feeds the knowledge ego with no benefit,
As this is the same habitual ego that I am eradicating
Discovering a practical method for me is no easy feat.
Habitual tendencies from countless lives shaped this existence
Naturally creating that powerful demon from infinite time,
Only a skillful method from the Buddha’s immense treasury has relevance
To awaken this foolish and stubborn being in this lifetime.
Like a wise physician, The Buddha prescribed appropriate cures
Out of compassion for the boundless suffering multitude,
Skillfully peeling off the strong impediments that obscures
The root of our sicknesses, that craving egocentric attitude.
As our mental and physical conditions carried from the past greatly differ
Some spiritual medicines are only meant to relief,
Others worked immediately but the symptoms still linger
While the use of poison against poison is quick and brief.
However, miracle cures are widely advertised and attractive
So many seek for them and shunned proper treatments,
These temporary cures offer quick solutions and are sometimes effective
Naturally drawing in the crowds with deep-rooted ignorance.
The quacks and the Gods eventually caused more harm
Though some are actually kind with good intentions,
At times, I too felt disillusioned with an undesirable qualm
And desperately thought of seeking their help without reflections.
For fifteen years, I followed the path meant for monks and sages
Who left their homes in search of enlightenment,
The practices prescribed were arduous and effective in stages
As methods of meditation are coupled with non-attachment.
Realizing I had been following unsuitable, difficult practices
I switched to those that are meant for the householder,
But doing meritorious deeds and emulating past masters
Were still beyond my evil mind and hypocritical nature.
During those years I wondered aimlessly without any direction
Contented with feeding the ego with tainted merit gathering,
While pretending to be well-versed without a solid foundation
I treated Buddhism as an interesting subject good for debating.
Serving the temple and monks without attachment or conditions
Is indeed an excellent practice taught for the laity,
However, when results were seen not up to my expectations
My evil mind was again disturbed and poisoned with anxiety.
The sutras described the great sacrifices of Bodhisattvas
Accomplished practicers returning to this world to help beings,
Delaying their enlightenment to alleviate the suffering of others
They showed me a selfless path amongst material things.
Outwardly, I appeared able to perform good deeds and actions
And follow the Bodhisattvas’ path towards Buddhahood,
But inwardly my mind was badly poisoned with many reservations
And honestly incapable to carry out the smallest good.
Then a marvelous Tibetan Lama appeared at this juncture
And imparted to me wonderful teachings from his skillful treasury,
As head of an unbroken lineage, he was an accomplished teacher
Whose moral conduct, wisdom and compassion were exemplary.
I stayed at the foothills of the Himalayas with great enthusiasm
Receiving from my guru profound teachings which were unique,
Fathoming for the first time the sublime implications of Buddhism
Since I heard my maiden Buddhist lecture at the Polytechnic.
Devoting much time strongly committed to practices and meditations
I thought it was easy to awaken that spiritual eye,
Unaware that those were difficult practices taught to superior persons
I made no real progress while another twelve years had gone by.
However, the fascinating stories of holy sages who gained liberation
Through the same mysterious practices that I had received,
Kept me struggling along for many years without the slightest realisation
That only those with superior circumstances had achieved.
The pride of building a Tibetan styled temple with a thousand audience
Strongly crushed by the agony of disappointments and loss of confidence,
It was really unthinkable to leave my beloved guru and dharma friends
With immense guilt in my mind, burning in pain and utter confusion.
For a period, I was badly besieged with traumatic failures
Shattering my hardened ego and I was painfully disillusioned,
My unsettled mind was raging uncontrolled like wild fires
I was completely lost and ironically hoped that God had beckoned.
Like an extremely sick man who had taken the wrong medicine
My suffering was indeed severe and facially quite apparent,
Finding a solution to remain sane and realistic was my only concern
I could not accept the advice that I should be repentant.
The sub-conscious ego-centric nature so deeply embedded in me
Persistently searched for exciting means beyond my circumstance,
And totally blind to this, I certainly failed to see
The wisdom of the Enlightened Ones and their presence.
Such was the confused fate of a pretentious practitioner
Who had for countless lifetimes hardened that evil passion,
And whose proper place will naturally be Hell for sure,
Unless an Enlightened One grasps him out of compassion.
I may waste this precious and unrepeatable human life
Hanging on precariously before it comes to the unavoidable end,
With impure thoughts driving that chronic strife
My self-power efforts and contrivance will surely be in vain.
Recalling a past accomplished Master’s advice on excellent gateways
For beings in this Dharma Ending Age seeking ultimate salvation
Those who firmly aspire to be permanently free from suffering always
Should practice according to their own capacities to receive emancipation.
With a confused unsettled mind, disillusioned, lost and uneasy
After thirty years trying strenuously to find the Light of Dharma,
Then in 1994, I abandoned all practices seeking solace in Kyoto City
Under the cherry blossoms, past causes suddenly ripened my good karma.
While reflecting deeply on the Buddha’s compassionate intention
I recalled the wonderful Pure Land teachings of Venerable Shinran,
Writing in Classical Chinese about the work of Boundless Compassion
As I prostrate saying NamoAmituoFo at the Temple of Hongwan.
Inconceivable Gift of Entrusting Faith, True and Real
Mysteriously ignited this blind and ignorant being with joyful insight,
Knowing that Amida Buddha’s Great Vow had been wonderfully fulfilled
With the warm and exhilarating embrace of Unhindered Light.
This one-thought moment of Joyful Entrusting in His Primal Vow
Is the Shinjin of Amida Buddha bestowed on me alone, a wretched person,
And though it is the easy Path of Salvation here and now
It is the most difficult of all difficulties, the knowledge of true settlement.
Completing the cause of birth in the Land of Serene Sustenance
I am unconcerned about the weight of my defilements and evil karma,
Discarding completely all sundry practices and disciplines
Single-mindedly,I take refuge in The Compassionate Vow of Amida Buddha.
I still remained an ignorant, ordinary human being with evil passions
Yet constantly protected by the Light of Boundless Compassion
Basking in the working of His Universal Vow and untiring presence
Gratefully I say NamoAmituoFo accepting the unfolding of karmic conditions.
Looking back on those years since receiving Amida’s diamond-like Shinjin
Knowing without any doubt this is my last deluded life in Samsara,
I am truly thankful to The Compassionate Ones and their skillful means
For leading me out of difficult self-power into the arms of Amida Buddha.
I am greatly indebted to my compassionate Teacher Master Shinran
For teaching and transmitting the pristine Amida Dharma,
His wonderful discourses on Teaching, Practice, Faith and Realisation
Elucidate the true purpose of the appearance of Shakyamuni Buddha.
Words cannot express  my profound gratitude for his benevolence
In clearing all my doubts and entrusting in the Absolute Confidence of Amida.
All I can do is to Listen Deeply to his excellent, incomparable teachings
And sharing the same with anyone interested in the True Pure Land Dharma.

NAMO AMIDA BUTSU               阿  彌  陀  佛
NAMO AMIDA BUTSU               阿  彌  陀  佛
NAMO AMIDA BUTSU              阿  彌  陀  佛

Completed in Singapore on 13th August 2013 … Heng


HOME PAGE – The Call Of Boundless Compassion

page 2 – The Primal Vow

page 3 – Shoshinge – Beautiful teaching in Poetry