Jodo Shinshu is a denomination of Mahayana Buddhism, one of Pure Land traditions. Its founder was Shinran Shonin, who lived in Japan at the turn of the 12th and 13th century. The basic practice in all Pure Land sects is Nembutsu - saying the name of Amida (Amitabha). Sutras say that Nembutsu enables one to benefit by Amida's merits (which He collected and dedicated to samsara). By the merits transformation Nembutsu person is born in the Amida's Pure Land, where perfect conditions allow one to attain the state of Buddhahood without any obstacles.

Shinran Shonin's religious experience - Shinjin - let him decode the symbolism of Pure Land Sutras and give them a new interpretation. According to Shinran, the Pure Land is not a place one can reach after death, but a state of mind achievable during one's lifetime. Shinjin is the Mind of Buddha given to one who still remains in samsara. Thus a Shinjin person experiences simultaneously both nirvana and samsara.

To achieve Shinjin means to be born in the Pure Land. From then on, development of a Shinjin person proceeds as long as he is transformed in Amida Buddha Himself. It is possible only because one is not devoted to collect one's own merits, but is benefited by the energy of Amida Buddha's vow.

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Last Update: 2023-08-01