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Summaries of Hakuin’s Writings in Japanese (Kana hōgo)
by Yoshizawa Katsuhiro
『遠羅天釜』続集「念仏ト公案ト優劣如何ノ問イニ答ウル書」 (Oradegama, supplement: Letter in reply to the question, Which is superior, the koan or the nenbutsu?)
In comparing the koan and nenbutsu, Hakuin writes that what is important is not the method used, but the purpose it is used for. Devotees of the nenbutsu are urged to chant not so that they may be reborn in the Pure Land in their next lives, but so that they may see into their own self-nature in the present life. Hakuin argues that the koan and nenbutsu are both contributing causes to opening up the wisdom of the Buddha, to seeing into the “Pure Land” that is the source of the mind.
At the end of the Oradegama zokushū is an appendix entitled 「客の難ずるに答う」(In answer to a visitor’s criticism), added by Hakuin’s student Shikyō Eryō 斯経慧梁 (n.d.). It states that the concept of the Pure Land taught by Hakuin was not that of the Pura Land as an illusion employed as an expedient means. The Pure Land is the true reality that permeates all that exists.
Last Update: 2003/12/19