Shinran and Shinjin

From the book, The Essential Shinran, I found this quotation in one of Shinran’s letters:

Shinjin that is the inconceivable working of the power of the Vow [of Amida Buddha]
Is none other than the mind aspiring for great enlightenment;
The evil spirits that abound in heaven and earth
All hold in awe the person who has attained it.

(Hymns on Benefits in the Present #107, pg. 163 in the book)

I had never heard such a clear-cut explanation of Shinran’s interpretation of Shinjin. The term Shinjin is a fairly broad Buddhist term for the aspiration for enlightenment, but it takes on a slightly different nuance in Jodo Shinshu because it comes not from our own cultivation, but through our encounter with Amida Buddha.

As stated in the Immeasurable Life Sutra:

“If, sentient beings encounter his light, their three defilements are removed; they feel tenderness, joy and pleasure; and good thoughts arise. If sentient beings in the three realms of suffering see his light, they will all be relieved and freed from affliction. At the end of their lives, they all reach emancipation.

Namu Amida Butsu


About Doug

A Buddhist, father and Japanophile / Koreaphile.
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