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July 09, 2013

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Very facsinating subject. I could imagine this being very controversial within Zen circles. Interesting stuff!

Another reason why I admire the character of Shinran so much:

"There is no one whom I, Shinran, can call my own disciple. The reason is that, if a man by his own efforts persuaded others to say the Nembutsu, he might call them his disciples, but it is most presumptuous to call those 'my disciples' who say the Nembutsu because they have been moved by the grace of Amida. If it is his karma to follow a teacher, a man will follow him; if it is his karma to forsake a teacher, a man will forsake him. It is quite wrong to say that the man who leaves one teacher to join another will not be saved by saying the Nembutsu. To claim as one's own and attempt to take back that faith which is truly the gift of Amida-such a view is wholly mistaken. In the normal course of things a person will spontaneously recognize both what he owes to the grace of Amida and what he owes to his teacher [without the teacher having to assert any claims] ..."

Also, if a lineage had been established, it goes without saying that the Buddha would not have left that out in his last instructions to his disciples.

"Now the Blessed One spoke to the Venerable Ananda, saying: "It may be, Ananda, that to some among you the thought will come: 'Ended is the word of the Master; we have a Master no longer.' But it should not, Ananda, be so considered. For that which I have proclaimed and made known as the Dhamma and the Discipline, that shall be your Master when I am gone."

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