Chanting is an essential aspect of any type of Buddhist belief

It is often compared to various religious recitations practiced under Hindu, Jewish, or Catholic principles. Chanting is an approach of immersing oneself in spiritual, cultural, and ritualistic practices of Buddhism that is commonly carried out in small or big groups of people.

A Buddhist chant is a type of melodic verse or invocation that is traditionally done to prepare one’s mind for meditation contrary to the common belief that it is some form of a Buddhist prayer. According to practitioners, in chanting one can learn, teach, philosophize, or recall the whole Buddhist discourse.

The development of Buddhist chanting said to have started from simply memorizing its discourse during the times when books and other support materials were lacking. In order to retain the thought and essence of Buddhism, one was required to memorize its principles, learn it, and live with it. And for the propagation and preservation of the Buddhist thought, the discourse was passed on to the next generation which then became a practice until now.

The concept behind the chanting is that if a practitioner does not recite the Buddhist discourse daily, there is the tendency to forget it and leave out some of its important parts. In some way, chanting has proven to have helped the very survival of Buddha’s teaching called Dhamma”.

With the development of technology nowadays, the purpose of chanting has also evolved. Today, chanting serves the purpose of more than the memorization of Buddhist discourse. Believers claim that in chanting one can gain confidence, satisfaction, and joy in one’s life and develop a sense of devotion within the person’s being. Also, the repetitive process of chanting or recitation of the Buddhist discourse is believed to bring out good karma to person who is strictly practicing it.

Audio Format with Translations of Common Chants

In the audio versions in the tabs below, Rev. Katsuya Kusunoki, of the Seattle Buddhist Temple, chants a series of traditional Sutras. Rev. Kusunoki has been certified as a “chanting instructor” by the Ritual Department of the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji (international Jodo Shinshu headquarters).

While chanting is typically done with the Sangha (congregation), here Rev. Kusunoki chants solo so one can  hear the tones and pitches involved. These audios were made possible in part by a grant from the Rev. Gyodo Kono Fund, Midwest Buddhist Temple.


Ken shu ten nin sho ku gyo
A mi da sen ryo zo ku son
Zai hi mi me-u an rak-koku
Mu ryo bus-shi i ne-u

Kon ji-ki shin jo nyo sen no
Sha ma ta gyo nyo zo bu
Ryo mo ku jo nya-ku sho ren ge
Ko ga cho rai mi da son

Men zen en jo nyo man gatsu
I ko yu nyo sen ni-chi gatsu
Sho nvo ten ku ku shi ra
Ko ga cho rai mi da son

Kan non cho dai kkan chiu jiu
Shu ju meu so ho sho gon
No buku ge do ma keu man
Ko ga cho rai mi da son

Mu bi mu ku ko sho jo
Shu toku keu ke’n nyo ko ku
Sho sa ri yaku toku ji zai
Ko ga cho rai mi da son

Jip-po myo mon bo sas-shu
Mu ryo sho ma jo san dan
I sho shu jo gan riki kiu
Ko ga cho rai mi da son

Kon tai ho ken chi sho ke
Zen gon sho jo meu dai za
O hi za jo nyo sen no
Ko ga cho rai mi da son

Jip-po sho rai sho bus-shi
Ken gen jin zu shi an raku
Sen go son gen jo ku gyo
Ko ga cho rai mi da son

Sho u mu jo mu ga to
Yaku nyo sui ga’n den yo ro
I shu sep-po mu myo ji
Ko ga cho rai mi da son

Hi son bu-se’n mu aku myo
Yaku mu nyo nin aku do fu
Shunin shi shin kyo hi son
Ko ga cho rai mi da son

Hi son mu ryo ho ben kyo
Mu u sho shu aku chi shiki
O jo fu tai shi bo dai
Ko ga cho rai mi da son

Ga se-n hi son ku do-ku ji
Shu zen mu hen nyo kai sui
Sho- gya-ku zen gon
Sho-u jo– u sha
Ese shu jo—– sho— hi–koku

Na man da bu
Na man da bu
Na man da bu
Na man da bu
Na man da bu
Na man da bu

Gan ni shi ku doku
Byo do se is-sai
Do ho’n be dai shin
O jo an rak-ko ku

Devas and people bow to the ground in reverence
Before Amida, the sage,the noble one.
In that marvelous land of peace and bliss,
Countless bodhisattvas surround him

His golden form shines forth pure, like the kind of Mt. Sumeru.
His practice of truth is steadfast, like an elephant’s pace.
His eyes radiate like pure blue lotus blossoms.
Thus I bow to the ground before Amida, the noble one.

His face is pure and perfectly shaped like the full moon.
His majestic light shines like a thousand suns and moons.
His voice is like a heavenly drum or like a heavenly bird.
Thus I bow to the ground before Amida, the noble one.

Bohdisattva Kannon wears upon his crown
The image of Amida adorned with many precious jewels
To subdue non-Buddhist views and the arrogance of mars.
Thus I bow to the ground before Amida, the noble one.

His virtues are incomparable, vast, and pure,
Clearly extending like vast open space
His acts freely benefit all beings.
Thus I bow to the ground before Amida, the noble one.

Bodhisattvas renowned throughout the ten quarters
And even countless mars always venerate him.
The power of Amida’s vow is for the benefit of all beings.
Thus I bow to the ground before Amida, the noble one.

Lotus flowers bloom in the golden treasure-pond.
Meritorious acts establish a wondrous throne,
And upon it sits Amida, like the kind of Mr. Sumeru.
Thus I bow to the ground before Amida, the noble one.

From the ten quarters bodhisattvas come.
Revealing wondrous powers, they realize peace and bliss.
Honoring his face, they offer eternal homage.
Thus I bow to the ground before Amida, the noble one.

All things are impermanent and without self,
Like the moon on water, lightning, shadow, or dew.
Multitudes benefit from the Dharma that is beyond words.
Thus I bow to the ground before Amida, the noble one.

In the Buddha’s temple there are no evil names,
Nor is there discrimination or fearful evil paths.
Every person having a sincere mind reveres the Buddha.
Thus I bow to the ground before Amida, the noble one.

The Buddhas’s countless skillful means
Put an end to renewed existence and to evil understandings.
To be born is to attain non-retrogression toward Buddhahood.
Thus I bow to the ground before Amida, the noble one.

Thus have I praised the virtues of Amida.
His meritorious acts are as boundless as the waters of the sea.
Upon receiving these our and good qualities,
May all beings be born into his land.


The purpose of chanting Juseige comes form the Larger Sutra of Immeasurable Life. In that sutra the Bodhisattva Dhamakara, who becomes Amida Buddha, declares to the Buddha Lokesvararaja his intentions to become a Buddha himself.

The Three Sacred Vows, refer to Dharmakara’s pledge to: establish the most incomparable Vow in the world, become a great provider and save the poor and suffering, attain Buddhahood and have his Name heard throughout the ten quarters of the universe.

The English translation of this gatha is from The Three Pure Land Sutras, Vol., II, ©2009 Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, pp.30-31.

Ga gon cho se gan
Hisshi mu jo do
Shi gan fu man zoku
Sei fu jo sho gaku

Ga o mu ryo ko
Fu i dai se shu
Fu sai sho bin gu
Sei fu jo sho gaku

Ga shi j o butsu do
Myo sho cho jippo
Ku kyo mi sho mon
Sei fu jo sho gaku

Ri yoku jin sho nen
Jo e shu bon gyo
Shi gu mu jo do
I sho ten nin shi

Jin riki en dai ko
Fu sho mu sai do
Sho jo san ku myo
Ko sai shu yaku nan

Kai hi chi e gen
Mes-shi kon mo an
Hei soku sho aku do
Tsu datsu zen shu mon

Ko so jo man zoku
I yo ro jip-po
Nichi gatsu shu ju ki
Ten ko on fu gen

I shu kai ho zo
Ko se ku doku ho
Jo o dai shu chu
Sep-po shi shi ku

Ku yo is-sai butsu
Gu soku shu toku hon
Gan-ne shitsu jo man
Toku i san gai o

Nyo butsu mu ge chi
Tsu datsu mi fu sho
Gan ga ku e riki
To shi sai sho son

Shi gan nyak-kok-ka
Dai sen o kan do
Ko ku sho ten nin
To u chin myo ke

I have established the all-surpassing vows
And will unfailingly attain supreme enlightenment.
If these vows should not be fulfilled,
May I not attain perfect enlightenment [12th Vow]

If, for countless kalpas to come,
I should not become a great benefactor
And save all the destitute and afflicted everywhere,
May I not attain perfect enlightenment [13th Vow]

When I have fulfilled the Buddha-way
My name shall pervade the ten quarters;
Should there be any place it is not heard,
May I not attain perfect enlightenment [17th Vow]

Free from greed and with deep right-mindedness
And pure wisdom, I will perform the sacred practices
In pursuit of supreme enlightenment
And become the teacher of devas and humans.

Emitting a great light with my majestic power,
I will completely illuminate the boundless worlds;
Dispelling, thereby, the darkness of the three defilements,
I will deliver all beings from suffering and affliction.

Having acquired the eye of wisdom,
I will remove the darkness of blind passions;
Blocking the path to the evil realms,
I will open the gate to the good realms.

When my practice and merits are fulfilled,
My majestic brilliance shall reach everywhere in the ten quarters,
Outshining both the sun and the moon;
Even the heavenly lights shall be hidden and obscured.

For the sake of all beings I will open forth the Dharma-store
And universally bestow its treasure of virtue upon them.
Among the multitudes of beings
I will always preach the Dharma with a lion’s roar.

Making offerings to all the Buddhas,
I will acquire all the roots of virtue;
With my vows fulfilled and wisdom perfected,
I will be the hero of the three worlds.

Like your unimpeded wisdom, O Buddha Lokesvararaja,
My wisdom shall reach everywhere and illuminate all;
May the power of my virtue and wisdom
Be equal to that of yours, O Most Honored One.

If these vows are to be fulfilled,
The great thousand worlds will shake in accord,
And from the sky all the devas
Will rain down rare and wondrous flowers.


Na man da bu
Na man da bu
Na man da bu
Na man da bu
Na man da bu
Na man da bu

We entrust in the infinite Wisdom and Compassion of Amida Buddha


Jodo Shin Shu chants are often followed by the chanting of Nembutsu and end with the”Ekoku” written by Shan Tao(Zendo in Japanese, 618-681 CE), which expresses the aspiration that all beings benefit by the truth and virtue of the dharma.

Gan ni shi ku doku
Byo do se is-sai
Do ho’n bo dai shin
O jo an rak-koku

I vow that the merit-virtue of this truth
Be shared equally with all beings.
May we together awaken the Bodhi Mind,
And be born in the realm of Serenity and Joy.


The gatha Sanbutsuge comes from The Larger Sutra of Immeasurable Life. It is the praises voiced by Bodhisattva Dharmakara to the Buddha Lokesvraraja.

In these praises Dharmakara expresses his own desire to attain Buddhahood and his heartfelt determination to accomplish his goal for the sake of saving all sentient beings.

The English translation of this gatha is from the Dharma School Service Book, by the Buddhist Churches of America, 1981, and Tan Butsu Ge, by Rev. Guomay M. Kubose, 1976.

Ko gen gi gi
I ji mu goku
Nyo ze en myo
Mu yo to sha

Nichi gatsu ma ni
Shu ko en nyo
Kai shitsu on pei
Yu nyaku ju moku

Nyo rai yo gen
Cho se mu rin
Sho gaku dai on
Ko ru jip-po

Kai mon sho jin
San mai chi e
I toku mu ryo
Shu sho ke u

Jin tai zen en
Sho butsu ho kai
Gu jin jin no
Ku go gai tai

Mu myo yoku nu
Se son yo mu
Nin o shi shi
Jin toku mu ryo

Ku kun ko dai
Chi e jin myo
Ko myo i so
Shin do dai sen

Gan ga sa butsu
Zai sho ho o
Ka do shoji
Mi fu ge datsu

Fu se jo i
Kai nin sho jin
Nyo ze san mai
Chi e ijo

Go sei toku butsu
Fu gyo shi gan
Issai ku ku
I sa dai an

Ke shi u butsu
Hyaku sen oku man
Mu ryo dai sho
Shu nyo go ja

Ku yo is sai
Shi to sho butsu
Fu nyo gu do
Ken sho fu gyaku

Hi nyo go ja
Sho butsu se kai
Bu fu ka ge
Mu shu setsu do

Ko myo shissho
Hen shi sho koku
Nyo ze sho jin
I jin nan ryo

Ryo ga sa butsu
Koku do dai ichi
Go shu ki myo
Do jo chozetsu

Koku nyo naion
Ni mu to so
Ga to aimin
Do datsu issai

Jippo rai sho
Shin etsu sho jo
I to ga koku
Ke raku an on

Ko butsu shin myo
Ze ga shin sho
Hotsu gan o hi
Riki sho sho yoku

Jippo se son
Chi e mu ge
Jo ryo shi son
Chi ga shin gyo

Ke ryo shin shi
Sho ku doku chu
Ga gyo sho jin
Nin ju fu ke

Your radiant countenance is majestic,
And your dignity is boundless.
Radiant splendor such as yours
Has no equal.

Even the blazing light of
The sun, moon, and mani-jewels
Is completely hidden and obscured,
And looks like a mass of black ink-sticks.

The countenance of the Tathagata
Is unequaled in the world;
The great voice of the Perfectly Enlightened One
Resounds throughout the ten quarters.

Your observance of precepts, learning, diligence,
Meditation and wisdom –
The magnificence of these virtues is peerless,
Excellent and unsurpassed.

He meditates deeply and directly
On the oceanic Dharma of all the Buddhas.
He knows its depth and breadth
And penetrates to its farthest end.

Ignorance, greed and anger
Are forever absent in the World-Honored One.
He is the lion, the most valiant of all men;
His glorious virtue is unlimited.

His meritorious achievements are vast;
His wisdom is deep and sublime.
His light, with awe-inspiring glory,
Shakes the universe of a thousand million worlds.

I resolve to become a Buddha,
Equal in attainment to you, O holy king of the Dharma,
To save living beings from birth-and-death,
And to lead them all to emancipation.

My discipline in giving, mind-control,
Moral virtues, forbearance and effort,
And also in meditation and wisdom,
Shall be supreme and unsurpassed.

I vow that, when I have become a Buddha,
I shall carry out this promise everywhere;
And to all fear-ridden beings
Shall I give great peace.

Even though there are Buddhas,
A thousand million kotis in number,
And multitudes of great sages
Countless as the sands of the Ganges,

I shall make offerings
To all those Buddhas.
I shall seek the supreme Way
Resolutely and tirelessly.

Even though the Buddha-lands are as innumerable
As the sands of the Ganges,
And other regions and worlds
Are also without number.

My light shall shine everywhere,
Pervading all those lands.
Such being the result of my efforts,
My glorious power shall be immeasurable.

When I have become a Buddha,
My land shall be most exquisite,
And its people wonderful and unexcelled;
The seat of Enlightenment shall be supreme.

My land, being like Nirvana itself,
Shall be beyond comparison.
I take pity on living beings
And resolve to save them all.

Those who come from the ten quarters
Shall find joy and serenity of heart;
When they reach my land,
They shall dwell in peace and happiness.

I beg you, the Buddha, to become my witness
And to vouch for the truth of my aspiration.
Having now made my vows to you,
I will strive to fulfill them.

The World-Honored Ones in the ten quarters
Have unimpeded wisdom;
I call upon those Honored Ones
To bear witness to my intention.

Even though I must remain
In a state of extreme pain,
I will diligently practice,
Enduring all hardships with tireless vigor.


The Shoshinge was written by Shinran Shonin, as a portion of his much larger work, the Kyogyoshinsho. The Shoshinge appears at the end of the second chapter of the quite voluminous six chapter work, the Kyogyoshinsho.

The Shoshinge is written in the form of a song or poem, and consists of exactly 120 lines. The Shoshinge is also one of the most fundamental of sutra chants recited in Jodo Shinshu. At our mother temple in Kyoto, the Nishi Hongwanji. the beautiful sound of ministers and lay people chanting this centuries old chant, is something almost indescribable.

In the Shoshinge, Shinran expresses his own religious faith, but he also expresses his deep conviction, his insight, his realization, his humility, and his profound gratitude, which are all his shinjin, or his true heart and mind.

The English translation of the gāthā is from The True Teaching, Practice and Realization of the Pure Land Way, Vol. I., Shin Buddhist Translation Series, Hongwanji International Center, Kyoto, Japan.

1- (LEADER) Ki myo-u mu ryo-u
ju nyo ra-i
(ALL)  Na mo fu ka shi gi ko
Ho zo bo sa-tsu in ni ji
Zai se ji zai o bus-sho

2- To ken sho butsu jo do in
Koku do nin den shi zen maku
Kon ryu mu jo shu sho gan
Cho host ke-u dai gu zei

3- Go ko shi yui shi sho ju
Ju sei myo sho mon jip-po
Fu ho mu ryo mu hen ko
Mu ge mu tai ko en no

4- Sho jo kan gi chi e ko
Fu dan nan ji mu sho ko
Cho nichi gakko sho jin setsu
Is-sai gunjo mu ko sho

5- Hon gan myo go sho jo go
Shi shin shin gyo gan ni in
Jo to gaku sho dai ne han
His-shi metsu do gan jo ju

6- Nyo rai sho-i ko shus-se
Yui setsu mi da hon gan kai
Go joku aku ji gun jo kai
O shin nyo rai nyo jitsu gon

7- No hotsu ichi nen ki ai shin
Fu dan bon no toku ne han
Bon jo gyaku ho sai e nyu
Nyo shu shi nyu kai ichi mi

8- Ses-shu shin ko jo sho go
I no sui ha mu myo an
Ton nai shin zo shi un mu
Jo-fu shin jitsu shin jin ten

9- Hi nyo nik-ko fu un mu
Un mu shi ge myo-mu an
Gyaku shin ken kyo dia kyo ki
Soku o cho zetsu go aku shu

10- Is-sai zen maku bon bu nin
Mon shin nyo rai gu zei gan
Butsu gon ko dai sho ge sha
Ze nin myo fun da ri ke-

11- -mi da butsu hon gan nen butsu
Ja ken kyo man naku shu jo
Shin gyo ju ji jin ni nan
Nan chu shi nan mu ka shi

12- In do sai ten shi ron ge
Chu ka ji-chi i-ki shi ko so
Ken dai sho ko se sho i
Myo nyo rai hon zei o ki

13- Sha-ka nyo rai ryo ga sen
I shu go myo nan ten jiku
Ryu-ju dai ji shut-to se
Shi-tsu no zai ha u mu ken

14- Sen ze-tsu dai jo mu jo ho
Sho kan gi ji sho an raku
Ken ji nan gyo roku ro ku
Shin gyo i gyo shi do raku

15- Oku nen mi da bu-tsu hon gan
Ji nen so-ku ji nyu hi-tsu jo
Yui no jo sho nyo rai go
O ho dai hi gu zei on

16- Ten-jin bo satsu zo ron setsu
Ki myo mu ge ko nyo rai
E shu ta ra ken shin jitsu
Ko sen o cho dai sei gan

17- Ko-yu hon gan riki e ko
I do gun jo sho is-shin
Ki nyu ku doku dai ho kai
Hitsu gyaku nyu dai e shu shu

18- Toku shi ren ge zo se kai
Soku sho shin nyo hos-sho jin
Yu bon no rin gen jin zu
Nyu sho ji on ji o ge

19- Hon shi Donran ryo ten shi
Jo ko ran sho bo satsu rai
San zo ru shi ju jo kyo
Bon jo sen gyo ki raku ho

20- Tenjin bo satsu ron chu ge
Ho do in ga ken sei gan
O gen ne ko yu ta riki
Sho jo shi in yui shin jin

21- Waku zen bon bu shin jin potsu
Sho-chi sho-ji soku ne han
His-shi mu ryo ko myo do
Sho-u shu jo-u kai fu ke

22- Doshaku kes-sho do nan sho
Yui myo jo do ka tsu nyu
Man zen ji riki hen gon shu
En man toku go kan sen sho

23- San-pu san shin ke on gon
Zo matsu ho metsu do-hi in
Is-sho zo aku chi gu zei
Shi an nyo gai sho myo ka

24- (LEADER) Zen-do-u do ku myo-u bus-sho-u i
(ALL) Ko ai jo san yo gyaku aku
Ko myo myo go ken in nen
Kai nyu hon gan dai chi kai

25- Gyo ja sho ju kon go shin
Kyo ki i-chi nen so o go
Yo i dai to gya-ku san nin
So-ku sho hos-sho shi jo raku

26- Gen shin ko kai i-chi dai kyo
Hen ki an nyo kan is-sai
Sen zo shu shin han sen jin
Ho ke ni do sho ben ryu

27- Goku ju aku nin yui sho butsu
Ga ya-ku zai hi ses-shu chu
Bon no sho gen sui fu ken
Dai hi mu ken jo sho ga

28- Hon shi Gen ku myo buk-kyo
Ren min zen ma-ku bon bu nin
Shin shu kyo sho ko hen shu
Sen ja-ku hon gan gu a-ku se

29- Gen rai sho ji rin den ge
Ket-chi gi jo I sho shi
So-ku nyu ja-ku jo mu i raku
Hit-chi shin jin i no nyu

30- Gu kyo dai ji shu shi to-o-o-u
Jo sai mu hen go-ku jo-ku aku
Do zo-ku ji shu gu do shin
Yu-i ka shin shi ko-u so-u se-e-tsu

In the Tathagata of Life Beyond Measure we take refuge and also proclaim
That in the Light Surpassing All Thoughts and Ideas, we joyfully do the same,
Dharmakara while on the bodhisattva path kept strict abidance
And in Lokesvararaja Buddha he found excellent guidance.

He examined the origins of the Buddhas’ pure lands with utmost concentration;
Of everything good and bad in those lands he made full observation.
The Original Vows of great deliverance became articulated,
And his unsurpassed and highest Aspiration emanated.

After timeless and deep concentration, he was undeterred
From making the Vow that everywhere his many names be heard:
Light Beyond All Measure, Light Unbounded and Unconfined,
Light Unhidered, Light Unequaled, Light of all Brilliances Combined,

Light That Is Pure, Light That is Joyful, Light of Wisdom Flowing,
Light Unceasing, Light Beyond All Words, Beyond All Knowing,
And Light Surpassing the Sun and Moon. These Lights shine everywhere –
On all the worlds and likewise on all sentient beings wheresoever

Our truly settled state is the Vow of Amida Buddha’s Name;
Through the mind of true and sincere entrusting to Buddhahood we aim.
The highest bodhisattva stage — our enlightened situation —
Without a doubt fulfills the Vow of our ultimate liberation.

Sakyamuni Buddha did on this very Earth appear
To make Amida’s Innermost Aspiration utterly clear.
We multitudes of beings who reside in times of great defilements
Should trust in the truth of the Buddha’s words and thus avoid beguilements.

One thought-moment of joy emerges from our deep contemplation,
And without the severing of our blind passions we gain liberation.
Foolish and wise offenders of the Dharma, who by the grasp of the Vow are graced,
Resemble the rivers that on entering the ocean transform into one salty taste.

The light of all-embracing Compassion shines on us always – it’s true-
Protecting us all as though the darkness of ignorance has already been broken through;
Even so, extending over the sky of true shinjin are cautions that we must heed:
The vast, misty clouds of anger and hatred and selfish desire and greed.

But just as the darkness of clouds and mists obscures the light of the sun,
Below the clouds we can still see the light, for the brightness cannot be undone.
When the grasp of joyful entrusting our humble reverence is deep.
Over the five evil realms of existence we crosswise and instantly leap.

All foolish beings who are living on earth and whether they’re evil or good
And trust in the great universal deliverance – striving for sure Buddhahood –
As excellent people of vast understanding by the Buddha are acclaimed;
Such people, in fact, pundarikas – or white lotus flowers – are named.

Nembutsu rightly embodies the Buddha Amida’s Original Vow,
And for evil-minded, ignorant, and arrogant beings it certainly still proves now
Very hard to receive with deep trusting joy and difficult also to hold;
Of all of life’s challenges, this one must be the most difficult one, we are told.

The writers of India wrote texts on the teachings, explaining each word one by one,
As well as the masters of the Middle Kingdom and the Land of the Rising Sun.
The true intent for the appearance of Sakyamuni, the Sage, they made plain;
They also revealed that to people of all Ages the Vows of Amida pertain.

Long ago on Mount Lanka, Sakyamuni the Tathagata foretold – the scriptures do say –
To multitudes of followers listening intently that far off in the future one day
A great noble master, Nagarjuna by name, would surely in this world appear.
To make all the views on both being and non-being strikingly, perfectly clear.

The marvelous Mahayana teachings Nagarjuna clearly expounded,
And eventually he attained the stage of Peace and Bliss unbounded.
He said that difficult practice was like our walking on land, which can be
Very hard; while easy practice was likened to sailing on a smooth, gentle sea.

When we grasp with total mindfulness Amida’s Innermost Aspiration,
We enter the definitely settled stage without any hesitation,
By keeping our focus on the Tathagata’s Name with a sincere and trusting attitude,
We express to the Great Compassionate Vow our deep and heartfelt gratitude.

In treatises did the great Bodhisattva Vasubandhu write
That he himself took refuge in the Buddha of Unimpeded Light;
Relying on the Larger Sutra, he declared that crosswise we
Transcend samsara by the Great Vow to realize True Reality.

The power of the Vow and Amida’s transference of merits form the core
Of the manifestation of the One Mind to guide all beings to the other shore.
When entering the Great Treasure-Ocean of merits all seekers for certain are bound
For the Pure Land Path, where those of the Great Assembly are to be found.

On Reaching the Lotus-Storehouse World, or the threshold of true liberation,
They instantly realize Dharmakaya, or total emancipation.
Beset with blind passions, they will manifest transcendent potentiality
And in various forms return to lead others to ultimate reality.

Donran was greatly revered by Emperor Liang of the Chinese nation,
And he as a bodhisattva received the emperor’s veneration.
When from Bodhiruci to Donran the Pure Land teachings came,
Embracing the Doctrine, he completely destroyed his Taoist works with a flame.

Donran, in his comments on Vasubandhu, said that it made perfect sense
That the Vows are the cause and effect of our birth in the Land of Recompense.
The directing of virtue – its going and returning – is Other Power’s endurance:
Through shinjin – or entrusting – comes the stage of Right Assurance.

That true entrusting is awakened in foolish beings is Amida’s dana,
For we instantly realize that birth-and-death is identical to nirvana;
On reaching the Land of Immeasurable Light we most assuredly share
In the process of liberating all sentient beings in all places – everywhere.

Doshaku said that by the Path of the Sages enlightenment is hard to attain;
The Pure Land Path is the only path to enter liberation’s domain.
He criticized harshly the self-power practice of trying to do the good deed
And urged us to focus on Amida’s Name, which is true virtue’s wonderful seed.

Three aspects of faith – of both pure and impure – he kindly explicated;
He has guided all seekers – Dharma Age notwithstanding – with Compassion unabated.
On encountering the Innermost Aspiration, through our misconduct has found no surcease,
We will realize true liberation when we reach the Land of Peace.

Zendo alone wanted wanted to clarify the Buddha’s true intent,
And pitying self-power practicers and beings whose lives in evil are spent,
He taught that the Light and the Name are the cause and condition for their Pure Land birth.
He said when they enter the Great Wisdom Ocean of the Original Vow’s real worth.

And at the same time experience the joy of one thought-moment, they will find
That they, too, have received the indestructible Diamond Mind;
To them the bliss of True Reality instantly will unfold –
As threefold insight came to Vaidehi in the stories and sutras of old.

Genshin deeply delved into the Buddha’s teachings from the distant past,
And solely of the Path of the Pure Land he became an enthusiast.
Setting apart true practice from acts that sundry practices demand,
He showed the difference between our birth in the Transformed versus Recompensed Land.

By saying the Name with a trusting heart, the seekers will know that despite
Their heavy karmic burdens, they are embraced by Amida’s Light.
Though they are unaware because of blind passions and burdensome karma,
On them Great Compassion continues to shine – the Light of Buddha Dharma.

Master Genku studied Buddhist teachings as thoroughly as he could.
He felt great pity for all foolish beings – for the evil and also the good.
To distant regions of Japan the Pure Land teachings he unfurled
And transmitted Amida’s Original Vow to all the defiled world.

Continuing the cycle of birth-and-death, or samsara, comes about
Certainly as a result of the ties that bind us to feelings of doubt.
But entering the realm of uncreated tranquility or quiet transcendence,
Results from the mind of true entrusting and the grasping of interdependence.

The masters who spread the Pure Land teachings throughout the world all sought
To liberate countless beings, who in the world of defilement were caught.
With mindfulness should all, both ministers and lay, who live in the present Age,
Place complete trust in the exquisite teachings of each respectable Sage.