• Luigi

The Former-Moment and the Latter-Moment


Question:

When one is saved by Amida Buddha, he becomes a bodhisattva of true settlement. Give two or more quotes that teach this. Write the sources too.


Answer: Revelation of the Primal Vow means the end of life in the former-moment. In that moment, one immediately enters the group of the truly settled. Gaining immediate salvation means immediate birth in the latter-moment. In that moment, one immediately enters the stage of true settlement. He is also called the bodhisattva of true settlement.

---Gutoku’s Notes This is also known as attaining the level of true settlement in a split second of ichinen. ----The Letters

Explanation Quote from Gutoku’s Notes

To paraphrase: “When the truth of Amida’s Vow is revealed, one's life of illusion ends and one enters the stage of true settlement. ‘Gaining immediate salvation’ means that when one's life of illusion ends, simultaneously, one is born into the world of absolute happiness; one becomes a bodhisattva of true settlement in a split second of ichinen.” Revelation of the Primal Vow: The truth of Amida’s Vow is revealed and all doubt toward the Vow is cleared up. The end of life in the former-moment (zennen myoju): “Zennen” has two meanings: one, the former-moment; two, the former-life. The former-life is the life of illusion that has been transmigrating for untold aeons. “Myoju” means death. Therefore, zennen myoju also means “the former-life dies.”

In that moment, one immediately enters the group of the truly settled: We attain absolute happiness in a split second of ichinen. Gaining immediate salvation: This refers to the following words of Shakyamuni Buddha in the Passage Explaining the Primal Vow: “instantaneously attain birth”. “Immediate” (instantaneously) here means “at the same time”. Immediate birth in the latter-moment (gonen sokusho):Gonen” has two meanings: one, the latter-moment; two, the latter-life. The latter-life is absolute happiness. “Sokusho” means to be born in a split second of ichinen. Therefore, “gonen sokusho” also means to be born into absolute happiness in a split second of ichinen. In that moment: In the split second of ichinen The stage of true settlement (hitsujo): The state of being certain to be able to become a buddha. Also expressed as “the group of the truly settled” (shojoju). Here, Master Shinran clarified that the meaning of “instantaneously attain birth” (sokutoku ojo) in Shakyamuni Buddha’s Passage Explaining the Primal Vow is salvation without loss of the body in a split second of ichinen in this life. “Instantaneously attain birth” is the explanation of “If I cannot make them be born” in Amida’s Vow. Therefore, what Master Shinran taught through these words from Gutoku’s Notes was this: “Amida Buddha pledged in his Vow to make us to be born without fail, staking his very life on this promise. He pledged to make us to be born into a world of faith and joy (true settlement) in this life, which is salvation without loss of the body.” Quote from The Letters (Chapter of Master Shinran’s Lifetime Teaching) To paraphrase: “Amida’s salvation is also known as attaining the level of true settlement in a split second of ichinen.”

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