One-Page Testament | Hōnen Shonin

One-Page Testament | Hōnen Shonin
(Dictated 1212 C.E.)

In China and Japan, many Buddhist masters and scholars understand that the Nembutsu is to meditate deeply on Amida Buddha and the Pure Land.

However, I do not understand the Nembutsu in this way.
Reciting the Nembutsu does not come from studying and understanding its meaning.

There is no other reason or cause by which we can utterly believe in attaining birth in the Pure Land than the Nembutsu itself.

Reciting the Nembutsu and believing in birth in the Pure Land naturally gives rise to the 3 minds (sanjin) and the 4 modes of practice (shishu).

If I am withholding any deeper knowledge beyond simple recitation of the Namu Amida Butsu, then may I lose sight of the compassion of Śākyamuni and Amida Buddha and slip through the embrace of Amida's Original Vow.

Even if those who believe in the Nembutsu deeply study all the teachings which Śākyamuni taught during his life, they should not put on any airs and should practice the Nembutsu with the sincerity of those untrained followers ignorant of Buddhist doctrines.

I hereby authorize this document with my hand print.
The Jodō Shū way of the settled mind (anjin) is completely imparted here.

I, Genkū, have no other teaching than this.
In order to prevent misinterpretation after my passing away, I make this final testament."

/January 23, the 2nd Year of Kenryaku (1212)/