Collected Works of Shinran

Reply to Yuamidabutsu

In answer to your question about the nembutsu: it is completely mistaken to look down upon people who believe in birth through the nembutsu, saying that they are destined for birth in the borderland. For Amida vowed to take into the land of bliss those who say the Name, and thus to entrust oneself deeply and say the Name is to be in perfect accord with the Primal Vow. Though a person may have shinjin, if he or she does not say the Name it is of no avail. And conversely, even though a person fervently say the Name, if that person’s shinjin is shallow he cannot attain birth. Thus, it is the person who both deeply entrusts himself to birth through the nembutsu and undertakes to say the Name who is certain to be born in the true fulfilled land.

In short, although persons say the Name, if they do not entrust themselves to the Primal Vow that is Other Power, they will surely be born in the borderland. But how can it be that those who deeply entrust themselves to the power of the Primal Vow are also born there? Please say the nembutsu fully understanding what I have explained above.

My life has now reached the fullness of its years. It is certain that I will go to birth in the Pure Land before you, so without fail I will await you there.


Seventh month, 13th day


Reply to Yuamidabutsu