3 by Saichi – a poet from the past

Most of the posts and art on this blog are contemporary though at times we will also include expressions of Pure Land art and poetry from the past and different variations.  Here is a poem by Asahara Saichi (1850-1932)  who was a Shin Buddhist devotee of the kind we call myokonin. The word myokonin is used for devout followers of the Shin Buddhist tradition who lived their lives with pure faith in Amida Buddha. Generally speaking, the myokonin were characterized by their piousness and unworldliness, their gaiety and good nature and, above all, their deep sense of spirituality.

How fine!
The whole world and vastness of space is Buddha!
And I am in it–“Namu-amida-butsu!”

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My joy!
How beyond thought!
Self and Amida and the “Namu-amida-butsu.”

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“Namu-amida-butsu!”–how grateful I am!
“Namu-amida-butsu” is the oneness of the worldly and the highest truth.
‘Namu-amida-butsu!”–how happy I am for the favor!
“Namu-amida-butsu, Namu-amida-butsu!”
Wherefrom is “Namu-amida-butsu”?
It is the mercy issuing from Oya’s bosom;
How happy I am with the favor, “Namu-amida-butsu!”
“Wherefor is Saichi bound?”
‘Saichi will go to the Land of Bliss.”
“With whom?”
“With Oya-sama I go–how happy I am!”
“Namu-amida-butsu, Namu-amida-butsu!”

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