text size

Concerning The Welfare Of The Present World In Buddhist Psalms

Top comments

{{ annotation.praises_count }} Likes
{{ annotation.creator_alias }}
{{ annotation.creator_score }}

There are no comments yet. Be the first to start comment or request an explanation.

Buddhist Psalms, by S. Yamabe and L. Adams Beck, [1921] CONCERNING THE WELFARE OF THE PRESENT WORLD 94. He that hath unending pity, the Buddha of Infinite Life, hath given unto us in the Sutra of Golden Light a teaching concerning long life, that the way of long life and the welfare of the people might be made known unto them. 95. Dengyo-Daishi, he who taught the Tendaishu in the mount of Hiye, hath compassionately instructed us that we should recite Namuamidabutsu, that Holiest Name, as a sure shield against the seven sorts of calamities. 96. Whoso reciteth the Holy Name, that is higher than all other virtues, shall be set free from the fetters of the past, the present, and the future. 97. To him that reciteth the Holy Name shall be good unending even in this world, for the sin of his former births is vanquished and his youth set free from death. 98. To him that reciteth the Holy Name, shall Brahma and Chakra the great king bring homage, and about him shall heavenly beings and benignant deities keep watch throughout the days and nights. 99. That man that reciteth the Holy Name shall the four mighty Regents in Heaven guard through the days and nights against the disturbance of all evil spirits. 100. To him that reciteth the Holy Name shall the Deity of the Earth bring homage, watching over him throughout the day and night, as the shadow follows its substance. 101. To him who reciteth the Holy Name, Nanda and Upananda the Naga Kings, together with their attendant deities shall bring homage, watching over him throughout the day and night. 102. To him who reciteth the Holy Name, the King of Death, together with his ministers in the five worlds, shall do reverence, guarding him throughout the days and nights. 103. Mara, the Tempter, he who is Ruler of that heaven where pleasures are collected, hath sworn unto the Lord to shield him from temptation who reciteth the Holy Name. 104. All good deities in Earth and Heaven shall be gracious unto him who reciteth the Holy Name, shielding him throughout the days and nights. 105. All evil spirits in heaven and earth tremble before that believer who standeth upon the Immutable promise. For even in this world hath he the mind of Divine Illumination. 10G. Kwannon and Seishi, the Bodhisattvas of incarnate Pity and Wisdom, together with their companions, innumerable as the sands of Ganges, shall be beside him who reciteth the Holy Name, even as the shadow cleaves to the substance. 107. Within the Light of Buddha of Infinite Light are unnumbered Buddhas, and of these, each and every one shall shield him who hath within him the true Faith. 108. Whoso reciteth the Holy Name shall be surrounded himself by those Buddhas who cannot be numbered, who in the Ten Regions with joy protect and guide him. Upon the Sutra of Suraigama-Samadhi, I, Shinran Shōnin, have uttered these eight lauds praising the virtue of Seishi the Bodhisattva of Wisdom. 109. Seishi, he who is the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, having comprehended the fullness of the Holiest Name, rising from his seat, prostrated himself beneath the feet of our Lord, worshipping Him, he and his fellowship, and thus he spake : 110. "O my Lord, in the ancient time, before the Kalpas innumerable as the sands of Ganges, there was manifest in this world a Buddha, and His Name was called—The Buddha of Infinite Light. 111. "In His footsteps twelve Buddhas followed, and twelve long Kalpas have rolled away. And of these Buddhas the last was He that is called that Buddha in whose glory the Sun and Moon are even as darkness. 112. "Unto me hath that Buddha revealed the Path of the meditation of the Supreme—that meditation wherein He instructeth us that all the Buddhas of all the Ten Regions compassionate as even as a father pitieth his child. 113. Whoso seeketh refuge in Buddha, as a child in the bosom of his mother shall verily perceive Him now or in the time that shall be. And it shall be soon. 114. "As a man encompassed by the cloud of incense casteth sweet odours about him, so he that trusteth in the Holy Promise is spiritually endued with the Divine Essence. 115. "When I was initiate in right doing, I attained unto the high way of that assurance that freed me from birth and death, through the teaching of the Noble Doctrine of the Holy Name. "Therefore in this world, rejoicing, I guide the faithful believer into the way of Purity." 116. Now with all praise let us give thanks unto the merciful goodness of the Bodhisattva of Wisdom.

read all comments

1 Gordon Bermant = "Thanks very much for the inquiry. This is a most interesting text, Let me answer in two parts. First, the "Holy Promise" can be none other than the great vow of Dharmakara/Amida, the 18th of his 48 vows, promising a final birth in the Pure Land for those who sincerely and joyfully announce the Name, Namo Amida Buddha. Second, the translation here, by two Englishmen in 1921, was apparently intended to provide gospel-like resonances. It is quite different from the current "official" English translation of Shinran's complete works (CWS,) by Dennis Hirota and several colleagues, and published by the Hongwanji-Ha (Kyoto) in 1997. Not all the differences between the translations are important, but some are very puzzling. I refer interested readers to the 1997 version, which appears in CWS vol. 1 page 352-355. Here it is comprises 15 verses ("hymns," to translate the Japanese wasan, instead of "psalms."). The title of the 15 verse-collection is Hymns on Benefits in the Present. These are numbered 96-110. The Deily reader can compare the titles and verse numbering with the 1921 translation here. These verses are part of a larger set, 118 verses in total, that Hirota et al translated as Hymns of the Pure Land. In their commentary, they note that the wasan were written by Shinran late in his life, in Japanese, to provide a wider distribution of his teaching. His earlier work, including his magnum opus True Teaching, Practice, and Realization of the Pure Land Way, he had composed in Chinese, as was the custom for scholarly religious writing at the time (CWS, vol. 2, p.92). I hope this helps."