By Dennis Hirota
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Additional resources for Asura's Harp: Engagement with Language as Buddhist Path
Into its two component characters and explaining chi as discriminative and chi as nondiscriminative, Shinran indicates the character of wisdom as both nondichotomous reality and yet active in perceiving beings. A corollary of this view is that attainment of nondichotomous wisdom necessarily unfolds in compassionate activity, for it gives rise both to the apprehension of beings as they are, trapped in painful existence by their delusional attachments, and to the experience of their pain immediately as one's own.
This Buddha .. is the dharma-body as. compassionate means. "Compassionate means" refers to manifesting form, revealing a name, and making oneself known to sentient beings. It refers to Amida Buddha. 35 We find it stated in these passages that reality (suchness, dharma-body) is formless, completely ungrasped through conception and speech. Nevertheless, this reality acts to make itself known to ignorant beings. " In other words, reality takes verbal form to disclose itself to ignorant human beings.
The Four Reliances Shinran also refers to the concept of the "four reliances" (shi-e), which sets forth the proper stance for reading the sutras. In "Chapter on Transformed Buddha-Bodies and Lands," he stresses that "monks and lay people of the latter age should practice the dharma with clear awareness of the four reliances" after quoting the discussion of the four reliances in NagaIjuna's (Nagarjuna, c. 2-3 co) Commentary on the Mahaprajnaparamita Sutra: When Sakyamuni was about to enter nirvana, he said to the bhiksus, "From this dayan, (1) rely on dharma, not on people who teach it.
Asura's Harp: Engagement with Language as Buddhist Path by Dennis Hirota