I take refuge in Amida Buddha, Saying The Name in profound gratitude for His inconceivable gift of salvation
The Four Seals of Dharma define all authentic Buddhist Teachings taught by Shakyamuni Buddha during His lifetime. From the perspective of The True Pure Land Teachings (JodoShinshu) expounded by Master Shinran, they contain the Four Seals of Dharma with The Primal Vow of Amida Buddha that embodies Namo Amida Butsu (南 無 阿 彌 陀 佛), clearly taught as the Right and only path available that assures mundane foolish persons (凡 夫 , bombu) absolute freedom from the firm clutches of samsara – the end of suffering and attainment of Nirvana at the end of their lives.
Master Shinran does not directly enumerate or describe the four Dharma seals in his writings but they are randomly mentioned. The following poem which is adapted from a previous post (Amida’s Gift of Salvation) touches on the four seals:
The texture of life
Appears rough or fine,
Constantly fashioned by karmic threads
Accumulated from countless time.
Fleeting and impermanent
Closely examining the fabric
We will definitely see,
The ugly threads of stained emotions
That weave the net of suffering without cease.
Our own wretched existence
Despite the persistent hue and cry,
Are just like dust specks
Against the vast sky.
Yet, we have already been proffered
The true and real Land of Enlightenment,
An extremely long time ago
By Amida’s grace and compassion.
The Buddha’s Primal Vow
Call of Boundless Compassion,
Saves even an evil person like me
In my wretched condition.
Namo Amida Butsu
The first four stanzas deeply express the Four Seals of the Buddha Dharma, authenticating the True Pure Land Teaching transmitted directly from Shakyamuni Buddha through the seven Pure Land Masters to Master Shinran – Impermanence (Anicca), All stained emotions have the nature of Suffering (Dukha), Emptiness/insignificance of all phenomena (Anata) and Absolute freedom (Nibbana/Nirvana is Inconceivable).
The last verse intimately convey to us the unique teaching on Amida Buddha and His fulfilled Land taught by Shakyamuni Buddha particularly for saving wretched, evil persons in this Dharma Ending Age, according to their true nature and capacity – those who realised their total failure and inability to save themselves by self-power. Namo-Amida-Butsu guarantees salvation of all suffering beings who entirely entrust their karmic destiny to Amida Buddha and His Primal Vow.
Namo-Amida-Butsu 南 無 阿 彌 陀 佛
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