The Life of Shinran Shonin

 浄土真宗の開祖、親鸞聖人は、承安三年、西暦1173年にお生まれになられました。この時代、中国では南宋の時代でした。生家は都(京都)の南東にある日野の里にありました 。幼名は松若丸と言われ、親鸞聖人の生誕の日は、旧暦の四月一日となっていますが、現代の西洋歴になりますと五月の二十一日になります。    The founder of Jodoshinshu, Master Shinran was born during the 3rd year of Joan or 1173. This period corresponds to the Southern Song dynasty of China. His family home was at a place called Hino located southeast of the city of Kyoto. His given name as a child was said to be Matsuwakamaro. The date of the Venerable Master’s birth is generally considered to be the 1st day of the 4th lunar month, which has been converted in modern times to May 21 of the Western calendar.
 聖人の父、日野有範は日野氏の出身で、日野家は藤原の家系の一つであります。聖人の母は吉光女とされて聖人がまだ幼い時にお亡くなりになられたと伝えられています。日野の誕生院は親鸞聖人ご生誕の日野誕生院は、日野家ゆかりの地とされています。日野家の氏寺は古くからの法界寺で寺の内には阿弥陀如来座像が安置されいます。日野の誕生院の裏側には、日野家の墓所があります。その墓所には日野有範と吉光女が眠っています。この時代、天災や戦乱が多くありました。朝廷は弱体化していて、各氏族が権力争いをしていました。飢饉、震災、や火災は珍しくはありませんでした。民衆は生活に苦しみ多くの貴族の財産も衰えていきました。    His mother was said to be Kikkonyo and she was said to have passed away when the Master was very young. This is the Hino Birth temple which was built in memory of Shinran’s family home. The family temple of the Hino clan is the ancient Hokkaiji temple which houses a beautiful seated Amida Buddha image. At the back of the Hino Birth temple is the family cemetery of the Hino family. Old tomb stupas of Hino Arinori and Kikkonyo are found there. During this era, Japan was full of wars and natural disasters. The Imperial Court was weak and warring clans fought for power. Famines, earthquakes and fires were also common. The common people struggled to live and the fortunes of many nobles declined as well.
 西暦1181年の春、親鸞聖人がまだ九歳の時聖人さまの 伯父の日野範綱にともなわれて当時の名僧でもあった、慈円和尚(慈鎮とも呼ばれてた)の元で出家をされました。青蓮院にて、親鸞聖人が得度をお受けになられました。この青蓮院は格式のある天台寺院で皇族との密接した関係を持っておられました。聖人がなぜ若くして出家をした理由は定かではありません。しかし当時は、 衰退していく公家の一族にとっては出家し世俗からはなれるのは珍しくはありませんした。聖人の伝承によりますと、慈円和尚が聖人に出家の儀式を明日に行う何故なら夜が更けていて準備が整えないと言われました。しかし、聖人は今すぐその場で出家を願っていて、そのきもちを一句の歌に歌われました。「明日ありと思う心のあだ桜夜半に嵐の吹かぬものかは」その晩に出家をする事ができ、範 宴(はんねん)と言う名を授かりました。    During the spring of 1181 AD, when Shinran was 9 years of age, His uncle, Hino Noritsuna, brought him to a well-known monk of that time, Master Jien (also known as Jichin) who initiated the Venerable Master into the Buddhist monkhood. This is Shorenin, the temple where Master Shinran was ordained. This Tendai temple was an influential temple as it had close connections to the imperial family. The actual reason for Master Shinran’s entry into monkhood at such a young age is not certain. However, it was common for nobles of declining families to take up monkhood in order to seclude from the secular world. Tradition has it that when Shinran was told by Master Jien that he will conduct the ceremony the next day as it was already late then. However, Master Shinran was adamant to be ordained on the same day and he composed this poem to reflect his feelings.Cherry Blossoms that are thought to last till the next day may well be blown away during the night.’ He was then ordained in that evening and was given the novice name Hannen.
 翌年、比叡山へ登り(当時では仏教を学ぶところとして中心的な存在であった)天台の厳しい修行と学問を始めました。天台宗は元々中国随の天台智者大師が開祖で大乗仏教を体系化された方です。智者大師は現在の 浙江省(せっこうしょう)の天台山に住み、天台宗の名の由来でもありました。九世紀頃、有名な日本僧最澄は中国の唐に行き天台仏教を日本に持ち帰りました。後に比叡山が仏教教育の中心地となりました。親鸞聖人は比叡山の無道寺谷にある大乗院に住まわれたとされ、しかし当時の比叡山に関する資料は残っておらず、聖人が比叡山でどのような事をしていたかは明らかではありません。    The following year, he ascended Mt. Hiei then the center of Buddhist learning and began studying the teachings and performing the religious practices of the Tendai school of Buddha-dharma. As he lived on Mt. Tian Tai of Zhe Jiang China, his school was named the Tian Tai School. (Jpn: Tendai shu) In the 9th century, the famous Japanese monk Saicho went to Tang China and brought back the teachings of this school. He then developed Mt. Hiei as a centre of Buddhist learning. Master Shinran was thought to have resided in the Daijo Temple  of the Mujoji Valley of Mt. Hiei. As many historical records on Mt. Hiei were lost, not much is known about what the Master actually did in Mt. Hiei.
 しかし、親鸞聖人は比叡山で堂僧でした。貴族出身の僧侶は学僧でしたが、堂僧は修行や儀式を行っていました。親鸞聖人は比叡山の横川に住んでいた源信に浄土教の影響を受けていたと考えられています。源信僧都は親鸞聖人より200年前に存在していた方で往生要集を著し、聖人に大きな影響を与えました。聖人はまた常行三昧の行もされました。この行は90日間阿弥陀如来の像を堂内で廻りながらひたすら念仏を唱えます。しかし、聖人が比叡山で修行をしていてもいわゆる、迷いの道を捨て、悟りの道へ入る確信を得られませんでした。一つの理由は最澄の精神は比叡山には無くなり堕落した僧侶が多かったからです。親鸞聖人はそういった環境に幻滅して自分を見つめ直した時、悟りへの道の行き詰まりを感じてしまいました。親鸞聖人は29歳の時に比叡山を下ることきめ、心の悩みを打ち砕くのに、聖徳太子(西暦574−622)の廟所へ向かいました。聖徳太子は7世紀に生きていた摂政で、日本仏教の初期には太子によって庇護を受けていました。改革者として広く知られ、太子は観音菩薩の生まれ変わりと考える人も多かったです。聖徳太子の御廟で聖人がお告げを頂いたと伝わっています。    However, it is certain that he was a Doso on Mt. Hiei.Those who were from noble families were scholar monks or Gakusho.A Doso was one who conducted services and rituals. He was also said to be influenced by the Pureland teachings of the scholar monk Genshin, who resided in the Yokawa area of Mt. Hiei.Master Genshin who lived 200 years earlier wrote a work named 'Essentials of Birth' which influenced Shinran greatly as well. It was also likely that he practiced the Continuous Samadhi Ritual as well.This 90 day ritual requires the participants to circumambulate an image of Amida while reciting his name continuously. However despite of his training on Mt. Hiei,the Venerable Master did not gain the conviction that he had “left the world of delusion and entered the way to enlightenment." One of the reasons for this may have been because Saicho's spirit had disappeared from Mt. Hiei by then and many monks were corrupt as well. The Master may have been extremely disappointed in the religious environment and his deep self-reflection led him to feel he had come to a dead-end in his search for enlightenment. When the Master was 29 years of age (in 1192) he decided to descend Mt Hiei to go on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Prince Shotoku (574 - 622 AD) in order to solve his inner problem. Prince Shotoku was a 7th century regent of Japan who supported Buddhism in the early years of Japanese Buddhist history. He is greatly respected for his pioneering works and many considered him to be an incarnation of Kannon Bodhisattva ( Guanyin ). It was said that Master Shinran received a prophesy at the shrine.
 その後、1201年に親鸞聖人が京都の六角堂で100ヵ日の参籠をされる事を決意しました。それは、六角堂が聖徳太子の創建した寺院でもあったからです。これが現在の六角堂です。本尊は如意輪観音で観音菩薩を祀るお寺として広く知られています。六角堂では親鸞聖人が参籠の行を記念して、お堂の脇に聖人の絵像が安置されています。聖人が参籠をして95日目の暁、観音菩薩が夢の中に現れました。夢の詳細なところは明らかではありませんが、その夢によって、吉水の草庵に住む法然上人(西暦1133−1212)を出会う事ができました。 法然上人は源空上人と言う名でも知られています。親鸞聖人より40歳の年上で法然上人も比叡山の天台の僧侶でしたが、唐の善導大師の書物 仏説観無量寿経疏 (ぶっせつかんむりょうじゅきょうしょう)に大きく影響を受けて自ら浄土宗を開き、独立した宗派として浄土教を教え始めました。吉水で法然上人が、わかりやすく浄土教を広めたおかげで、多くの民衆の心を打ちました。特筆するべきことは、この時代までの日本仏教は、主に国家安泰や権力者のためのものでした。しかし、平安末期から鎌倉初期にかけて、民衆に仏教を広めために多くの高僧が現れました。比叡山にある講堂で鎌倉時代の各宗派の開祖の絵像が安置されています。親鸞聖人はよき師である法然上人の横に御安置されています。法然上人の信者には在家者と出家者がいました。庶民から武士や宮中の公家達まで法然上人の教えに引かれました。当時にしては珍しく、法然上人は男女同様差をつけずに受け入れ、多くの女性が法然上人の心に引かれました。法然上人は浄土教の教えを伝えるために『選択本願念仏集』を書かれました。親鸞聖人は法然上人のもとで名を  範宴(はんねん)から 綽空(しゃっくう)四年後に法然上人から直々に善信(ぜんしん)という名に改めました。聖人は弟子の中で 『選択集』を写す事を許された数少ない弟子の一人です。    Following that, in 1201 the Master decided to seclude himself for 100 days in a temple named Rokkaku-do in Kyoto. He did so because that temple was also built by Prince Shotoku.This is the Rokkaku do temple today. The principal image honored there is the Nyoyirin Kannon.It remains a popular Kannon temple today.To commemorate Master Shinran’s retreat, an image of him is enshrined at the side of the temple. Early in the dawn of the 95th day of his seclusion, the Venerable Master had a revelation from Kannon in his dream. The words that he received were lost but that dream led him to Master Honen (1133 - 1212 AD), who was then living at a hermitage in Yoshimizu.  Master Honen, also known as Master Genku, was 40 years older than Shinran. He was also a Tendai monk from Mt. Hiei.
Upon reading the Tang dynasty Master Shan Dao’s 'Commentary on the Contemplation Sutra', he was greatly moved and decided to start an independent Japanese Pureland school. At Yoshimizu, he preached the Pureland doctrine to the masses who were greatly touched by his simple teachings. It is significant to note that Buddhism of the earlier periods was mainly concerned with the benefit of the state and the rulers. Towards the end of the Heian period and the start of the Kamakura period, many masters appeared to bring Buddhist teachings to the common people. In this Lecture Hall in Mt. Hiei, the founders of Kamakura era schools are enshrined here. Shinran is seen here next to his beloved teacher Master Honen. Master Honen’s followers included both lay people and monks. Those who were attracted to his teachings ranged from nobles to samurais to the most destitute. Those who were attracted to his teachings ranged from nobles, to samurais, and people who were the most destitute. As Master Honen was one of the few Buddhist teachers of ancient times who didn’t discriminate against women, many women of all classes were also attracted to his teachings. In order to expound the Pureland teachings, Master Honen wrote a work named 'Selected Passages on the Nembutsu of the Primal Vow'. Under Master Honen, Shinran changed his name from Hannen to Shak'ku 4 years later, he changed his name to Zenshin and Master Honen personally wrote his name for him. He was among the few who were allowed to copy the Selected Passages.
 ある日、親鸞聖人が法然上人の弟子達に信心が往生の因か、行が往生の因かどちらかかと問いたいと言われました。法然上人のお許しを得て、翌日親鸞聖人がこの質問を草庵の弟子達に問いました。お堂の席によって、答えが決められました。結果的に、親鸞聖人を含めて五人は「信」の席に座わりました。最後に、法然上人が、「私の名前も信のところに入れてもらいたい」とおっしゃいました。「行」の席に座った弟子達は 法然上人の他力本願の教えを完全に理解をしてなく、後悔をしていました。法然上人は末法の時代には教義や儀式は必要ではなく、どんな人でも南無阿弥陀仏を称えれば救われるとおさとし下さいました。信者の数が増え、旧仏教寺院が法然上人を憎むようになりました。まして、他の行や儀式よりも念仏を主張する法然上人に不満を抱くようになりました。法然上人はそういった状勢のなかで、『七条制誡』という門弟189名の連署を集めた自粛誓約書を作りました。この 自粛誓約書に親鸞聖人は 綽空と言う名で著名をしています。この 自粛誓約書は天台座主に提出されました。その翌年(1205年)に興福寺が朝廷に法然上人の念仏の教えを禁じる事を要請しました。しかし、朝廷は法然上人に対して何もしませんでした。1206年にある事件によって歴史の流れが大きく変わった。上皇が熊野御幸の際、法然上人の二人の弟子、住蓮と安楽が上皇のお許しをうけずに宮中の女官二人を出家をさせそれを聞いた上皇は、激怒しました。1207年、勅命で宮中の女官を出家させた二人の僧侶を 斬首しました。同時に法然上人と七人の僧侶が 僧籍を剥奪されました。親鸞聖人はその一人でありました。法然上人は当時75歳、親鸞聖人は35歳。法然上人は藤井元彦という俗名を与えられ、四国へご流罪となりました。親鸞聖人は藤井善信という俗名をあたえられ、越後(今の新潟県)へご流罪となられました。この時代では、罪を犯した僧侶は、僧籍を召し上げられて、俗名を与えられた後刑罰を降されました。この流罪の間親鸞聖人は、強い絆で結ばれた師匠法然上人と離れる事になり再び会う事はありませんでした。この事件にかんして、親鸞聖人は、『教行信証』に『天皇や朝廷は仏のみ教えに従わずお浄土のみ教えを尊重せず、ただ憎み結果的に開祖源空上人(法然上人)と数人の弟子達は抗議もできずに罪をなすりつけられて、最終的に死罪や僧籍を取り上げられる事となり、俗名を与えられて、流罪の身となられた。    Once, Shinran proposed to Honen that he wished to ask his fellow disciples
whether they feel that ‘Entrustment/Faith in Amida’ is the cause for Rebirth or is ‘Practice’ the cause for Rebirth? With Honen’s permission, Shinran asked the same question to his fellow disciples the next day. They were told to take their seats according to their decision. Recording the results, only five disciples, including Shinran took their seats in the Faith section. At the end, Honen responded," Please enter my name in the Faith section there as well. ”The rest of the disciples regretted not understanding their master’s teaching of Tariki Nembutsu better. Master Honen taught that that study and religious practices were unnecessary in the Dharma Ending Ages, and that even the worst of people will be saved by the recitation of “Namo Amida Butsu” As his followers grew, the older Buddhist schools were jealous of Master Honen. They were also unhappy that his teachings negated the ‘various practices’ and promoted only the nembutsu. In response to such pressure, Master Honen wrote the 7 Rules for Self Regulation and made his 189 disciples to sign on it. In this document, Shinran signed his name as Monk Shakku. This was submitted to the head monk of the Mt. Hiei’s Enryaku Ji. The next year, in 1205, Kofuku ji in Nara petitioned the Imperial Court. However, the Court did not take any actions against Master Honen. However, the uneasy peace was destroyed in 1206 While the Emperor was away to Kumamo. 2 of Master Honen’s disciples Ju’ren and An Raku ordained 2 palace maids without permission. When the Emperor found out about it, he was greatly angered. In 1207, the Emperor decreed to execute both of them with 2 others. Master Honen and 7 others were stripped of their monk status and exiled. Master Shinran was one of them. Master Honen was then 75 years old while Shinran was 35 years old. Master Honen was given the criminal name of Fujii Motohiko and exiled to the island of Shikoku. Shinran was given the criminal name of Fujii Yoshizane and exiled to Echigo which is modern day Niigata prefecture. During that era, monks who were convicted were stripped of their monkhood status and given lay names before they could be persecuted. During this persecution, Shinran was separated from his beloved master forever as they never met each other again. With regard to the unfair sentences, Master Shinran later wrote in his work The Kyogyoshinsho. The emperor and his ministers, acting against the dharma were indignant and resented the Pureland teachings. As a result, Master Genku - the eminent founder and a number of his followers, without receiving any deliberation of their [alleged] crimes, were summarily sentenced to death or were dispossessed of their monkhood, given [secular] names, and consigned to distant banishment.
 私は後者のほうでしたが。それ故に私は僧でも俗でもありません。その理由で、私は『禿』の字をとって名前として使っています。源空上人とその弟子達は、日本の各地へ離れ離れの流罪の身となり、五年ほど流罪されました。聖人は僧籍をもっておらず、自分自身のことを『非僧非俗』いわゆる、僧ではなく俗ではないと流罪された後、よく言われました。この時親鸞聖人は『愚禿親鸞』とも名のりました。浄土教の教えを広める事になりました。越後での生活は楽なものではありませんでした。生活をするのに親鸞聖人は農民とともに畑を耕しました。聖人はこの機を生かし一緒に住む村の住民のために布教を始めました。多くの人々は貧しい生活をおくり、学問を受ける事はできず同時に厳しい環境と戦っていました。この時に、聖人は恵信尼さまとご結婚をなされました。親鸞聖人が結婚をした理由といいますと、聖人はすでに僧籍を持たずして、一般の庶民に普通の生活を送っている人でもお浄土の教えを修する事が出来ることを見せたかったのです。そして、以前も法然上人がどんな人であろうともお浄土の教えを信仰する事はできるとお教え頂きました。流罪の身となって五年後の西暦1211年、親鸞聖人と法然上人は朝廷からお許しを得られました。親鸞聖人は京都へもどるつもりでしたが、しかし、朝廷から流罪赦免の二ヶ月後の西暦1212年に法然上人がお亡くなりになられました享年80歳でした。    I was among the latter. Hence, I am now neither a monk nor one in worldly life. For this reason, I have taken the term Toku ["stubble haired"] as my name. Master Genku and his disciples, being banished to the provinces in different directions, passed a period of five years [in exile]. As he was no longer officially an ordained monk, the Venerable Master referred to himself as “non-monk, non-layperson” (hiso hizoku) after being exiled. He also called himself “Shinran, the ignorant short-haired one” (gutoku Shinran). Both Shinran and Master Honen took this opportunity to spread the Pureland teachings among the people in their places of exile. Life in Echigo was harsh and difficult. In order to survive, Master Shinran had to toil the lands along with the farmers. He took this opportunity to preach to the common people whom he lived with. Most of the people whom he lived with were poor, illiterate and often struggled to survive in the harsh environment. At this period, the Master married a lady by the name of Eshinni. The reasons for his marriage was that he was no longer a monk and he wanted to show the common people that they could also practice the Pureland teachings like himself. In addition Master Honen had also taught earlier that anyone of any creed or profession could practice the Pureland teachings without any discrimination. In 1211, which was after 5 years of exile, both Shinran and Master Honen were pardoned by the Court. Master Shinran would have prepared to return to Kyoto but in 1212, just two months after receiving their pardons, Master Honen passed away in Kyoto at the age of 80.
 親鸞聖人は、京へ戻らない決心をなさいました。西暦1214年、聖人42歳の時に諸国を周り東国のあたりに仏法を広めました。家族とともに20年も旅をし、少しずつ信者が増えました。各場所に80人相当の直弟子があったとされています。この弟子達は代わりに念仏を集う会を作りました。しかし、 歎異抄には親鸞聖人は、一人も弟子を持たなかったと言い:「私、 親鸞には、わが弟子と思っている者は一人もいません。そのわけは、私の導きによって人に念仏を申させているのであれば、その人を自分の弟子ともいえましょうが、阿弥陀仏の導きによって念仏を申しておられる人を
   Master Shinran then decided not to return to Kyoto. In 1214, at the age of 42 he decided to travel to various places in eastern Japan to preach the Dharma. He traveled with his family for the next 20 years and his followers slowly gathered. He had about 80 direct disciples in various places. These disciples in turn headed local nembutsu groups. However Master Shinran is quoted as saying in the Tannisho, however, he did not consider himself to have any disciples: 'I, Shinran, do not have any disciples. The reason I do not is because people recite the Nembutsu
through the workings of Amida Buddha and not because of any efforts on my part. It is thus ridiculous to refer to those who recite the Nembutsu as “my disciples." The Venerable Master said he did not have any disciples because people do not recite the Nembutsu because of him, but because of Amida Buddha’s Primal Vow. Referring to such people as 'his' disciples is therefore preposterous. Further, since all are disciples of the Buddha, he considered them to be “friends” (ondobo) who “walk the same path” (ondogyo).
 親鸞聖人がなぜ関東という東国へ回った理由は明らかではありません。ある学者は農民たちが新しい土地である東国へ移動をしていたからではないかと推測しています。他の学者は、聖人の妻、恵信尼様の実家が常陸あたりに土地を持っていたのではないかと推測しています。西暦1217年頃、親鸞聖人と聖人の家族が常陸の国(現在の茨城県)の稲田に住む事になりました。聖人は20年ほど稲田に住み、現地の方達とともに暮らしました。そのおかげで、当地にお浄土の教えが広まりました。ここが聖人がお住まいになられた、稲田の草庵です。現在草庵の跡地には西念寺がたっています。聖人が旅をしてる際、多くの土地の方々がは聖人の教えに御教化を受けました。しかし、全部が全部そうであった訳ではありません。常陸の国には板敷山に住む山伏の弁円がいました。(山伏は山の中で修行をする僧)弁円は信者のために護摩行をしながら生活をしていました。常陸の国で親鸞聖人のもとで浄土教の教えが普及するにつれて、弁円の護摩の行は多くの影響を受けました。弁円は聖人の教えがはやることを羨み、聖人の草庵に襲いかかろうとしました。しかし、そのとき聖人の穏やかな顔を見てその表情に引かれて武器と修行の装身具を投げ捨てました。その後、聖人の弟子となり、『明法房』と言う法名を頂きました。    The actual reasons for Master Shinran’s decision to travel to the estern area of Kanto are unclear. Some scholars have proposed that he could have followed the peasants who were migrating to the newer eastern territories. Others have suggested that the family of Shinran’s wife-Eshinni might have owned territories in Hitachi area. In about 1217, Master Shinran and his family settled in the Inada area of Hitachi (modern day Ibaraki Prefecture). Inada was Master Shinran’s home for close to 20 years and he lived closely amongst the locals. The pureland teachings were thus widely propagated in the area. This is the site of Shinran’s hermitage in Inada. The Sainenji temple now stands in its original location. During his missionary travels, many locals were converted by Master Shinran. However, some of his encounters were less than friendly. In Hitachi area, there was a mountain ascetic (yamabushi) named Bennen from Mt. Itajiki. (Yamabushi refer to ascetic hermits of the mountains) He made a living by performing various magical rituals for others. As more people practiced the Pureland teachings under Master Shinran’s guidance, his business was greatly affected. As a result, Bennen became so jealous to the extent that he went to the Master’s hut attempting to attack him. However, upon seeing the Master’s kind face, he was so touched to the extent that he threw away his weapons and ritual gear. He became one of the master’s disciple and he was given the Dharma name Myohobo.
 親鸞聖人が52歳の頃に浄土真宗にとってその基盤となる書物を書きはじめました、その書は「教行信証」です。『顕浄土真実教行証文類』教、行、信、証、真仏土、と化身土を一つ一つ説いた書物です。この大作は聖人が75歳の頃に完成されましたが、85歳頃まで、編集を続けていました。「教行信証」は漢文でかかれていて、当時は教育を受けた人の書体でした。「教行信証」は六巻から構成され、親鸞聖人が解釈をしている阿弥陀様の教えが綴られています。真宗門徒でおなじみの「正信偈」は、「教行信証」行巻の最後のところにあります。「正信偈」には聖人が七人の高僧を選び、ンドから中国へ経て、日本まで伝わった浄土教の教えの流れの趣意を書きました。その七高僧はインドで二人の龍樹菩薩と天親菩薩、中国で三人の曇鸞大師道綽禅師と善導大師、そして、日本では二人の源信僧都と法然上人。七高僧はそれぞれお浄土に関する書物を書き、歴史上に浄土仏教の基礎を築きそして、浄土真宗発展の足がかりになりました。浄土真宗のすべてのお寺のお内陣に七高僧が描かれている掛け軸が掛かっています。    When Master Shinran was about 52, he started to write the fundamental work of the Jodoshinshu school, the Kyogyoshinsho. The complete title of this work is Ken Jodo Shinjitsu Kyogyosho Monrui (Passages in Which the True Teaching, Practice and Attainment in the Pure Land are Revealed). This lengthy work was only completed when Master Shinran was about 75 years old. However, he kept revising it until he was about 85. This work was written in Classical Chinese which was the language of learning in that era. The Kyogyoshinsho comprises of 6 chapters and it systemizes the Pureland teachings as interpreted by Master Shinran. The Shoshinge which is chanted by all Jodoshinshu followers is found at the end of the Chapter on Practice. In his writings, Master Shinran selected seven Pureland Masters from India, China and Japan to signify the lineage of the Pureland tradition. These Seven Masters are namely,
the 2 Indian Masters Nagajuna and Vasubandhu, the 3 Chinese Masters TanLuan (Doran), DaoChuo (Doshaku) and Shan Tao (Zendo), the 2 Japanese Masters of Genshin and Honen. All these masters wrote many works in the history of Pureland Buddhism and they laid the foundation for the development of Jodoshinshu. Scroll images of these Seven Masters are enshrined in all Jodoshinshu temples.
 西暦1232年、聖人が60歳の時に、京都へお戻りになられました。京には仏教の書物が多くそろっていて、聖人は「教行信証」を完成させ、他の書物も書き始めました。経文には漢文が多かったため、一般の平民の人々のために、聖人はたくさんの和讃などもお書きになられました。この時、聖人は各地に住む弟子達とそのうち何人かははるばる遠くから聖人を訪ねて、お浄土のみ教えについて聞きに来られていま した。しかし関東地方では聖人の教えを誤った解釈していたものが増えていました。その中の一つは「造悪無碍本願」、いわゆる阿弥陀如来の本願は悪行をした人でもお救いをなられると言われ、それ故に悪行をしても良いと間違った解釈をしてしまう危険性を生じてしまいます。このせいで、信徒の間で混乱を生じる事になりました。親鸞聖人は息子善鸞を 間違った解釈を正すために関東の地へ送りました。しかしながら、この問題を解決するのに難しく、時を経て善鸞は自分の地位をつかい弟子と信者をおさえようとしました。同時に自分は父である親鸞聖人から秘伝の教えを受けたと言いふれていました。その結果、門信徒の間に混乱がおこりました。親鸞聖人は善鸞が間違った教えをひろめていると聞き落胆し、聖人は意に反してわが子を義絶しました。聖人がお書きになった勘当状の写しが今日多く残っています。聖人は自分の息子を勘当するほどの悲しいときもありましたが、聖人が生涯をかけて尊いお念仏の教えを広めました。    In 1232, Master Shinran returned to Kyoto at the age of 60. With the resources of Buddhist materials in Kyoto, Master Shinran completed the Kyogyoshinsho and started to write many other works. For the benefit of the common people couldn’t read classical Chinese which was used for most Buddhist texts, Shinran also composed many Buddhist hymns in Japanese. During this period, he corresponded with his disciples who lived in other areas. Some of them also came from far to visit him
to enquire about Pureland teachings. However in the Kanto area (Eastern Japan), misunderstandings of the Pureland teachings grew. One of these includes the wrong attitude that because Amida’s Primal Vow saves the evil one, one should then commit more evil. This attitude is called 'zoaku muge hongan'. This resulted in pressures by the local authorities. In order to clarify such misconceptions, Master Shinran sent his son Zenran to the Kanto area. However this task was difficult and as time passed Zenran used his relationship with Shinran to control them. He also negated his father’s teachings and claimed to have received a ‘secret teaching’ from his father. Disturbances then broke out among the nembutsu groups there. When Master Shinran realized that Zenran was misleading others, he was so disappointed that he disowned his son. Copies of his disownment document still exist today. Although he encountered heart-breaking sorrow such as having to disown his own son, the Venerable Master spent his entire life spreading the precious Nembutsu teaching.
 親鸞聖人は西暦1263年享年90歳で、その生涯を静かに往生されました。当時としては90歳まで生きるのは大変珍しかったです。聖人は次第に衰弱され、静にかに息をひきとられました。それは聖人が自分の末娘の覚信尼と弟子とに囲まれて、往生されました。聖人が往生されたのが、ここ角坊(角坊別院)です。曾孫の覚如上人は「御伝鈔」に聖人が往生をされる時の事を次のように残しています:それよりこのかた、口に世事をまじへず、ただ仏恩のふかきことをのぶ。声に余言をあらはさず、もつぱら称名たゆることなし。聖人の最後の言葉は次のように記録されています:「私が往生をした後、私の遺体を 魚の餌の為に鴨川に流してほしい」その翌日、聖人は簡素な法要後荼毘にふされ遺骨は、は京の西大谷に埋葬されました。その場に、小さな廟所がたてられ、聖人の絵像と聖人の遺骨が納められました。覚信尼は聖人の遺弟の支援のもとで、聖人の遺骨の守り役の留守職となられました。この大谷にあった廟所は後の今日の本願寺となりました。覚信尼の子孫は代々と聖人の遺骨の守る留守職に就任し後に本願寺門主制度として成立しました。歴代の門主の働きにより、大谷にあった小さな廟所から、現在の本願寺の伽藍へと発展しました。この本願寺は京都の中央に位置し、二つの重要な建造物は左に御影堂、右に阿弥陀堂が位置します。毎年一月は親鸞聖人を追悼する「報恩講」という法要がおこなわれています。何千人という門信徒がここに集い、御安置されている聖人の御木像の前で、お念仏の教えを聴聞します。ここ大谷本廟には、今日数多くの真宗の門徒は、大谷本廟でお聖人さまと同じ墓所にお骨をおさめています。親鸞聖人の死後750年の歳月がたっても、今でも、聖人の御教えが多くの人々の心に受け継がれています。    In 1263, Master Shinran was 90 years of age. It was rare to be able to live till so old in that era. His health declined and he passed away peacefully on the 28th of the 11th lunar month. He was attended by his youngest daughter Kakushinni and a few other disciples. This is the Suminobo temple where the Master passed away. In the Godensho written by his great grandson Kakunyo, his last moments are described in the following way: Without speaking of worldly matters at all, he expressed his deep indebtedness to the Buddha by reciting the sacred name (the Nembutsu) without cease. His last words were recorded as' When I close my eyes for the last time, please place my remains in Kamo River to nourish the fish.' On the next day, his body was cremated in a simple ceremony. His ashes were then picked and enshrined in the Nishi Otani.
A small memorial temple was built and an image of Master Shinran was enshrined with the ashes. With the help of the late Master's disciples,
Kakushinni became the caretaker. This was the humble origins of today’s Honganji. The descendants of Kakushinni inherited the caretaker position which then developed into the Monshu leadership system of Honganji in later generations. Through the efforts of the succeeding leaders, the small memorial temple evolved into the Honganji complex of today. This is Honganji located in central Kyoto, the two principal buildings are namely the Goeido (Founder’s hall) on the left and the Amida do (Amida hall) on the right. On the January of every year, is the annual memorial for Shinran’s passing. Thousands of followers will congregate here to listen to the Dharma and to pay their respects to the image of Shinran shonin. This is the Nishi Otani mausoleum today. Millions of Shinshu followers have their ashes placed here in order to be reunited with the late Master. Even though Master Shinran passed away nearly 750 years ago, his teachings still remain alive in the hearts of millions today.



We are greatly appreciative of the wonderful article provided by Rev. Clement Tanpy in the Republic of Singapore.