A person said: At the point of the awakening of the one moment of shinjin, we come to be grasped and protected by the unhindered light of Amida’s compassion; hence, the cause of birth in the Pure Land is one and the same [for all]. Thus, there should be no doubt about this. Therefore, there is no need whatsoever to inquire into whether one has firm faith or not. Hence we say “Other Power”; this is why it is said that there is true working in no-working. We are completely possessed of ignorance and our minds are wholly covered over by blind passions.


Eleventh month, 1st day

From Senshin


[Shinran’s Response to Senshin]

To respond to your question concerning the cause of birth, at the moment we realize true and real shinjin, we receive [the benefit of] Amida’s grasping, never to abandon us; hence, we unfailingly come to dwell in the Tathagata’s Vow. We find this in the compassionate Vow, which states: “If, when I attain Buddhahood, the human beings and devas in my land do not dwell among the settled and necessarily attain nirvana, may I not attain the supreme enlightenment.” If it is understood that the person of shinjin dwells in the stage of the truly settled, there is no calculation on the part of the practicer; hence, we speak of Other Power, in which no working is true working. Since practicers have become free of calculation as to whether they are good or evil, pure or defiled, it is said that no working is true working.

It is stated in the Seventeenth Vow, “If [the Buddhas] do not praise and say my Name,” and in the Eighteenth Vow, “If [beings] truly realize shinjin and yet are not born, may I not attain Buddhahood.” Since both the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Vows are true, how can the Vow of the stage of the truly settled be meaningless? Because persons of shinjin dwell in the same stage as Maitreya, who will attain Buddhahood after one lifetime, it is certain that they are grasped, never to be abandoned. Hence, what we call Other Power means that there is no room for the slightest particle of calculation on the part of the practicer. For this reason, it is said that no working is true working. The great master [Honen] said, “Beyond this, nothing need to be said. Simply entrust yourself to the Buddha.”

Eleventh month, 18th day

Message to Senshin-bo