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Why Master Tan-luan Burned His Taoist Texts


本師曇鸞梁天子 常向鸞処菩薩礼 三蔵流支授浄教 焚焼仙経帰楽邦 Master Tan-luan (曇鸞 Donran) was venerated by the Emperor of Liang Facing toward his place, the Emperor always revered him as a bodhisattva Upon being given a Pure Land scripture by Bodhiruci (三蔵流支 Sanzorushi) Master Tan-luan burned his Taoist texts and turned to the land of bliss

amplified translation The Emperor of Ryo would always turn towards Master Donran’s residence And pay homage to him as a bodhisattva When Sanzorushi handed Master Donran a Pure Land scripture Master Donran burned his Taoist scriptures and turned to Amida’s Vow


This part is from a section about Master Tan-luan (Donran), one of the seven great Buddhist masters whom Master Shinran revered. Master Tan-luan (Donran): Master Tan-luan was active about 1,500 years ago in China. Master Shinran held him in very high regard, referring to him using a title indicating deep respect (honshi). Master Tan-luan (曇鸞 Donran) was venerated by the Emperor of Liang Facing toward his place, the Emperor always revered him as a bodhisattva: Many revered Master Tan-luan for his knowledge and virtue, including Emperor Wu of the Liang Dynasty. The Emperor admired Master Tan-luan so much, in fact, that he would always face the direction of Master Tan-luan’s dwelling-place and press his palms in reverence to him, calling him “Luan Bodhisattva.” Upon being given a Pure Land scripture by Bodhiruci (三蔵流支 Sanzorushi) Master Tan-luan burned his Taoist texts and turned to the land of bliss: In the beginning, Master Tan-luan (Donran) had been pursuing Buddhism, but then he fell ill and was led astray by the Taoist teachings of a mountain hermit who preached of eternal youth and prolonged life. He was so proud to receive scriptures from the mountain hermit. But then Master Tan-luan’s old friend Bodhiruci (Sanzorushi) gave him the Sutra of Contemplation on the Buddha of Infinite Life, which teaches the Primal Vow of Amida Buddha. Moved by the depth of these teachings, Master Tan-luan burned the Taoist texts right then and there and turned to Amida Buddha’s Vow.

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