Monday, March 7, 2011

Self-power as obstacle to nembutsu

Question:
 “Quite often it seems that we want it both ways........'our power' and Other Power. 
Could we think about it this way,  'self-power' is an illusion that exists within Other Power, and even this illusion cannot obstruct the nembutsu ?   

Answer:
I think we should not complicate our minds. To rely on your own power cannot lead you to Buddhahood in the Pure Land. It’s as simple as that. To rely on your own power will obstruct the nembutsu and your birth in the Pure Land. In the true Other Power faith there is no trace of self power. You rely on Amida Buddha or not. Mixed faith is not true faith.

When it is said in the sacred texts that nothing obstructs the nembutsu this means that no matter how heavy your karma, you are saved by Amida if you fully entrust in him. In this sense, your illusions or blind passions cannot be an obstacle to the nembutsu. But self power simply means that you do not rely at all or not exclusively on Amida for your attainment of Buddhahood in the Pure Land. This is why self power is an obstacle for the nembutsu, because in reality, the vehicle that takes you to the Pure Land is Amida’s Power, not your own power.

We also have to understand clearly the meaning  of the terms “self power” (jiriki) and “Other power”(Tariki).
They are related only with the ultimate goal of becoming a Buddha in the Pure Land. They have nothing to do with our daily activities related with work, family, health, business, etc. In everyday life one can make efforts to be successful, to be a good husband, a good doctor, a good engineer or teacher, etc, but in matters related with Buddhahood one should rely only on Amida Buddha and on nobody else, especially not on himself.

To become a Buddha is the problem of Amida, not yours.

1 comentarii:

武田ヤン said...

Yes, the Other Power is only related to becoming a Buddha.

Everything else is something else. I sometimes think about this stuff too. Thank you for explaining it, sensei!