Buddhist Psalms, by S. Yamabe and L. Adams Beck, , at sacred-texts.com
CONCERNING HŌNEN SHŌNIN
214. Since the day when Hōnen Shōnin appeared in the world, and set forth the single Ark of the Divine Promise, hath the Doctrine of the Pure Land gloriously shone upon the hearts of all men in the land of Nihon.
215. For from the strength of the wisdom of light, Hōnen, the Great Teacher, came into the world and hath taught the chosen doctrine of the Divine Promise, and he hath built Jodo-Shinshu upon the rock.
216. Though Zendo and Genshin, those great teachers, have well instructed us, yet had Hōnen Shōnin kept silence, wherewith should we know the holy teaching of Shin-Shu, we who dwell in remote country and in an evil day?
217. Throughout the long, long Kalpas of my lives that are overpast could I never find the way of Deliverance, and if Hōnen Shōnin, the Great Teacher, had not arisen in this world, vainly had I spent the precious hours of my life.
218. When his years were but fifteen, Hōnen Shōnin entered into the Way of Illumination, for in departing from worldly life he fulfilled his heart's desire, and by him was clearly understanded the doctrine of the transience of life.
219. The excellent righteousness of Hōnen Shōnin, his deeds and the wisdom that was in him, drew unto him for refuge many even of chief priests of the heretics that seek Nirvana through the way of the sages. Yea, they sought him even as their appointed teacher, radiant and stray of soul as the diamond.
220. Even while Hōnen Shōnin yet walked in this world, there issued from his body rays of a golden shining, and this, so it is said, hath Kanezane Fujiwara beheld with his own eyes.
221. The people passed it from mouth to mouth that this Hōnen Shōnin was the living incarnation of Doshaku Zenji, or yet again of Zendo Daishi.
222. Before the eyes of men Hōnen Shōnin stood as the Boddhisattva of Wisdom, or, yet more, as the Blessed One again made flesh.
The Emperor and all his ministers did homage unto him, yea, and the men of the chief city and of the far countries.
223. He who had been Emperor, in the time
of Jokyu, brought homage to Hōnen Shōnin. All the priests and scholars of the word of Confucius had understanding of the doctrine of Shin Shu.
224. A chosen vessel of the Blessed One that men might be saved, Hōnen Shōnin was manifested in the world, and he opened wide the gate of perfect wisdom, having instructed mankind in the Holy Faith.
225. Of all rare things it is the rarest that we should ourselves meet with the True Teacher, yet verily the chain of doubt in the Divine Mercy is the true cause of unending birth and death.
226. Hōnen Shōnin issued forth from the mysterious Light and his disciples beheld it. In his eyes was there nought of disparity between the wise and them that know not, between the noble and the lowly born.
227. And now, his time being at hand, Hōnen Shōnin spake:
"Thrice have I taken birth in the Land of Purity, and of these three times the last hath given unto me the fullness of peace."
228. Once did Hōnen Shōnin speak, saying:
"In the glorious day of our Lord was I among
the holy Assemblage on the Peak of Vultures,
and my Spirit was rapt in self-instruction and in the doctrine of salvation."
229. Having taken birth in that small and remote island, Hōnen Shōnin spread abroad the doctrine of the Holy Name for the sake of all men's salvation. And thus had he done not only then, but many times in ages gone by.
230. That Buddha, whose light is infinite, was made flesh in this world as Hōnen Shōnin, and when his merciful work was accomplished, he returned into the Land of Purity.
231. When his life was drawing to a close, light was manifested about him as a cloud of glory, yea, and music of the heavenly places, sweet and excelling in harmony, and sweet odours scattered about him.
232. Following steadfastly after the ensample of the Nirvana of the Lord, he laid himself upon his right side, his head inclined unto the north, his face turned unto the west. And the crowding people attended upon him, even the priests and men and women of the nobles and of the lowly born.
233. Now the time when Hōnen Shōnin departed from this life was the twenty-fifth day of the young spring. In the second year of Kenriyaku
he returned in peace unto the Land of the Father.
On the ninth day of February and the second of Ko-Yen, the revelation that here followeth was sent unto me in a dream of morning.
234. It is necessary that men should believe the divine promise of Him who is Infinite.
Whoso believeth shall attain unto Perfect Wisdom, by the virtue of that Light which embraceth him and shall never forsake him.