Notes on the Nembutsu
Reflections on the wasan of Shinran

Welcome to Notes on the Nembutsu

I praise Amida's wisdom and virtue
So that beings with mature conditions
      throughout the ten quarters may hear.
Let those who have already attained shinjin
Constantly respond in gratitude to the
      Buddha's benevolence.1

Shinran Shonin (1173-1263) composed three volumes of verses (wasan) in Japanese. These songs celebrate the essence of Jodo Shinshu (Shin Buddhism). They touch upon every facet of the spiritual life, and the most enduring elements of the Pure Land way.

Jodo Wasan

In the poems of the Pure Land, Shinran finds his inspiration, first and foremost in the songs of the Chinese Pure Land master, T'an-luan (476-542 CE) but then turns his attention to the sutras.

Koso Wasan

The second collection of wasan tells of the transmission of the nembutsu way through history, from Nagarjuna Bodhisattva to Shinran's own time.

Shozomatsu Wasan

Finally, we find ourselves in the present: far from the influence of the Buddha, living in dark and confused times.

Reading Notes on the Nembutsu

Notes on the Nembutsu is a series of essays based on the Sanjo Wasan of Shinran Shonin. The verses form a narrative, which moves through time and space, so it is suggested that the essays are read in numerical order.

1: Jodo Wasan (Hymns of the Pure Land) 50, The Collected Works of Shinran, Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, p. 337.

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Jodo Wasan

Koso Wasan

Shozomatsu Wasan

Shinran's Works in Russian Russian

Shoshinge [Audio]
Jodo Wasan
Koso Wasan
Shozomatsu Wasan
Tanni Sho
Kyo Gyo Shin Sho
Kyo Gyo Shin Sho: Glossary
Kyo Gyo Shin Sho: Appendices
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