Amida Dharma: the essential doctrine of Amidaji International Temple (Paperback)
Jodo Shinshu Buddhism or Amida Dharma is the Path to Nirvana (perfect Enlightenment) through faith in Amida Buddha. This Path was taught by Shakyamuni Buddha (the historical Buddha) and was later transmitted to our times by a long series of Masters and teachers among which I mention Shinran Shonin (1173-1262), the founder of this school in Japan and Rennyo Shonin (1415-1499), the restorer. The words "Jodo Shinshu" mean "the True Pure Land School" and Dharma means teaching. Amida Dharma is the teaching about the unconditional salvation offered by Amida Buddha. With the help of this Buddha called Amida we are born in His Pure Land (His sphere of influence) after death where we attain perfect Enlightenment (Nirvana). This book represents the essence of Jodo Shinshu Buddhist teaching as it is taught at Amidaji temple and in our international Sangha. Its study is an obligation for any follower. If somebody can't read it, it will be read to him by the priest or one of the Dharma colleagues. Amida Dharma contains the minimum knowledge recquired for a member of Amidaji. It is a simple book without quotations and technical terms, limited to what is strictly necesary to understand the world of repeated births and deaths (samsara) and the Path to escape from it.The text is divided into fourteen fascicles, each fascicle containing numbered passages for an easy lecture and quotation, following the example of classical texts. The reader is offered explanations about karma and samsara, what is Buddha nature and what is Nirvana or Enlightenment, who are Shakyamuni and Amida, what is faith, what one needs to do to have faith, how one should listen to the teaching and how should one behave in relation with faith (the eight precepts of faith), etc. I also explain what one can obtain in this life through faith in Amida and the benefits of being born after death in the Pure Land.At the end of the book I present the moral ideal taught by Shakyamuni in twelve points. The fundamental teaching that Amida Dharma is not a justification or an encouragement to do evil appears in the Larger Sutra, sections 31-40, which I explained in my Commentary on the Sutra on the Buddha of Infinite Life, as well as in Shinran's writing, like Mattosho and Tannisho where it is clearly stated that we should not eat poison (do evil deeds) because we have the antidote (unconditional salvation offered by Amida). Thus, we must not think that because Amida saves us as we are, we should stop any effort to have a good behavior towards others. What this right behavior means from the Buddhist point of view is explained in many sutras and treatises from which I made a detailed summary to offer the reader a daily guide of what to do and what to avoid. These 14 fascicles are explained in greater depth in my other books as they contain teachings that are fully developed, with many quotes and passages from Shakyamuni Buddha and the Masters of our tradition.I invite you to read and study these books if you wish to deepen the teaching presented here.No matter what you read during your life you must keep in mind the content of this book which is the essence of the Path towards birth in the Pure Land of Amida Buddha. All that is written here is in harmony with the Primal Vow of Amida and the intention of all Buddhas.