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Passion Turns Into Virtue


Q:

Quote the hymn in which Master Shinran teaches that after one has been saved by Amida Buddha, worldly passions are transformed into virtue without any change in quality or quantity. Give the source too.


A:

Hindrances of sin become the substance of merit.

It is just as with ice and water:

The greater the ice, the greater the water.

The greater the hindrance, the greater the virtue.

(Hymns on the Masters)

Unlocking Tannisho page 74】

You Were Born for a Reason page 164】

To paraphrase: “Amida's salvation melts the hopelessly unyielding ice of blind passions ("sin") into the water of the joy of salvation ("virtue"). The greater the ice, the greater the water; thus the very Shinran who is the vilest and most depraved of sinners is indeed the happiest, most blessed being alive.”

Unlocking Tannisho page 74】

hindrances of sin: evil; suffering

merit: happiness, joy, satisfaction

When we are saved and embraced by Amida, our worldly passions (suffering) are transformed into virtue (joy) without any change in quality or quantity. This is expressed as “passion turns into virtue” or “evil turns into good.” In this way, the wonder of Amida’s salvation is likened to the relation between ice and water.

(from the doctrine book 2-49)

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