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Master Shinran's Lament on His Evil


Question:

Write the hymn from Master Shinran in which he laments that his evil will never stop until death. Give the source too.


A:

My evil nature knows no end.

My mind is like a venomous snake or scorpion.

The good acts I perform are tainted with poison,

and so they are called false and empty practices.

----You Were Born For a Reason page 131

To paraphrase: “My evil shows no sign of stopping even now that I have been saved by Amida Buddha. I am filled with a mind that is terrifying and venomous like a snake or scorpion. Since my every good act is done with this mind, it is taught that the good I do is poisoned.”

evil nature: Our true vicious nature, which consists of passions such as desire, anger, jealousy and envy.

false and empty practices: false and deceitful good

It should be noted that it is not a human being but a buddha who evaluates our good acts as “false and empty practices tainted with poison”.

(from the doctrine book 2-26 )

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