In answer to your question: at the moment persons encounter Amida’s Vow – which is Other Power giving itself to us – and the hearth that receives true shinjin and rejoices becomes settled in them, they are grasped, never to be abandoned. Hence, the moment they realize the diamondlike mind, they are said to abide in the stage of the truly settled and to attain the same stage as Bodhisattva Maitreya.
Since persons of true and real shinjin are of the same stage as Maitreya, they are equal to Buddhas. Moreover, all Buddhas feel great joy when such a person rejoices in the realization of true shinjin, and they proclaim, “This person is our equal.” Sakyamuni’s words of rejoicing are found in the Larger Sutra: “The one who sees, reveres, and attains [the dharma] and greatly rejoices – that persons is my excellent, close companion”; thus he teaches that the person who has attained shinjin is equal to Buddhas.
Further, since Maitreya has already become one who is certain to attain Buddhahood, he is called Maitreya Buddha. By this we know that the person who has already realized shinjin that is Other Power can be said to be equal to Buddhas. You should have no doubts about this.
There is nothing I can do about your fellow-practicers, who say that they await the moment of death. Those whose shinjin has become true and real – this being the benefit of the Vow – have been grasped, never to be abandoned; hence they do not depend on Amida’s coming at the moment of death. The person whose shinjin has not yet become settled awaits the moment of death in anticipation of Amida’s coming.
I will be very happy if you take the name Zuishin-bo. What you have written in your letter is splendid. I cannot accept what your fellow-practicers are saying, but there is nothing to be done about it.
Eleventh month, 26th day