Amida’s Gift of Salvation

namoamitofu-fa

I take refuge in Amida Buddha, Saying The Name in profound gratitude for His  inconceivable gift of salvation

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Saying the Name ( Nembutsu  念 佛  – Namo Amida Butsu  南 無 阿 彌 陀 佛) is the Great Practice embodied in Amida Buddha’s Primal Vow – (阿 彌 陀 佛 本 願)., the universal pledge of Great Compassion which guarantees the Salvation of all sentient beings caught in samsara, the vicious cycle of birth, suffering and death. The Name is a practical and easy  medium by which Amida Buddha  transfers His infinite virtues to us, mundane foolish persons (凡 夫 – bombu) – those who sincerely and joyfully entrust ourselves to Him, for our birth in The Pure Land of Peace and Bliss at the end of this live.

When we truly realize our utter inability to free ourselves from samsara by our own efforts, we would single-mindedly accept Amida’s Gift  of Salvation. With deep gratitude abiding in our hearts we spontaneously Say the Name, whether sitting, standing, walking, lying down, in times of happiness or sadness, irrespective of the environment or circumstance we are in. Thus, we know without any doubt, that our safe deliverance to the shore of ultimate freedom is absolutely assured at the end of this miserable existence in mortal flesh.

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The following poem expresses the unsatisfactory conditions of our wretched existence and Amida’s Gift of Salvation which is the one and only means available to us, for our escape from samsara in this Dharma Ending Age (末 法 時 代):

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The texture of life
Appears rough or fine, 
 
Fashioned by strong karmic threads

Accumulated from countless time.
 
Fleeting and impermanent

Closely examining the fabric
We will definitely see,

The ugly stained threads of blind passions
Weaving the net of suffering without cease.

Interdependent

Our own wretched existence
Despite the persistent hue and cry,

Are just like dust specks

Against the vast sky.

Insignificant

Yet, we have already been proffered
The Unconditioned Land of Enlightenment, 
 
More than fifty billion years ago

By Amida’s grace and compassion.

Inconceivable

The Buddha’s Primal Vow
Call of Boundless Compassion, 
 
Was made for evil persons like us

In our wretched condition.

Namo Amida Butsu

His wonderful Gift of Salvation
Received by us in this precious human life,
Is the fabric of Infinite Compassion
Assuring our freedom from pain and strife.
Namo Amida Butsu

Recognizing that our useless self-power 
Cannot free us from the clutches of samsara, 
 
We take refuge and gratefully rely

On the Vow-power of Amida Buddha.

Namo Amida Butsu

The Buddha’s infinite merits and virtues
Are bestowed equally on all beings. 

May we accept Amida’s Gift of Shinjin
And obtain birth in His Land of Peace and Bliss
.
Namo Amida Butsu

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The first four stanzas deeply express the four seals of the Buddha Dharma, describing Impermanence (Anicca), all stained emotions have the nature of Suffering (Dukha), Emptiness/insignificance of all phenomena (Anata) and The unconditioned Land of Enlightenment (Nibbana/Nirvana is inconceivable). Nirvana is obtained by accepting and relying entirely on Amida’s Gift of Salvation, The Primal Vow taught in the True Pure Land Teaching transmitted directly from Shakyamuni Buddha through the seven Pure Land tradition teachers to Master Shinran.

The fifth verse convey to us the unique message regarding Amida Buddha and His fulfilled Land, based on the wonderful expositions of Master Shinran particularly for saving wretched, evil persons in this Dharma Ending Age, according to  their true nature and capacity – those who realized their total failure and inability to save themselves by self-power. Namo Amida Butsu (南 無 阿 彌 陀 佛) unconditionally guarantees the salvation of all suffering beings who single-mindedly and steadfastly rely on the Primal Vow.

The working of the Vow of Great Compassion described in the last three verses, assures our Salvation in the present while we are still living out this life as persons filled with evil passions. All mundane foolish persons will be able to realize this when the good karmic seeds from their distant past ripen.

We should know that Amida Buddha, will, without fail, transfer His store of merits to us for our birth in the Pure Land, the moment we entrust ourselves and our karmic destiny entirely to Him.

May all who listened deeply to this message ‘Hear’ and humbly accept:

Amida’s Gift of Salvation

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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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