As you know, 1998 marked the 800th anniversary of the publication of Honen Shonin's manuscript called the Senchaku-shu, which expresses his teachings. We are delighted that we could resume publication of "Pure Land Life" at this time. In ancient China, there was a high priest called "Choshu Zen-ji." Choshu Zen-ji was four years younger than Kukai (also known as "Kobo Daishi") the founder of the Japanese Shingon (Tantric) Sect. He lived for another 60 years after Kukai died until the age of 120. Choshu Zen-ji always told people that he came from the Far West. Choshu Zen-ji's remarks concerning his birthplace may have a similar connotation as those of Honen Shonin on his death bed, "I came from the Pure Land and now will return on the Pure Land."
We also come from the Pure Land. Everybody wants to live long and be happy. This desire suggests that a human being has the two instincts of "maintaining life" and "enriching life." Amida Buddha has the "power to give unlimited benefits to a person and to his/her children and grandchildren" (this is a concept called "muryo-ju") and "additional power to bestow unlimited insight (knowledge) to a person and to his or her children and grandchildren" (this is a concept called "muryo-ko"). These instincts inside us prove that we are receiving these two powers of Amida Buddha (power called "hongan-riki"). Therefore, every one is Amida Buddha's true beloved child.
Every one can call out Amida Buddha's name as a child cries out for his or her mother's affection. If one usually calls Amida Buddha's name, Amida Buddha will surely come as a mother surely comes to her child wherever her child may be. You can call the name Amida Buddha; the great mother of all of us.
Further, as you live in hard times facing all sorts of difficulties, you can wish to return to the Pure Land, which is the home of our lives. If you do, you will receive light and compassion from Amida Buddha and Amida Buddha will guide you.
Honen Shonin's "Senchaku-shu" relates the same ideas as above. Please embrace Amida Buddha by reciting his name (Nembutsu), and trust in Amida Buddha to guide you in your life.