Ichiren Takusho “Born Together on the Same Lotus Flower”

 “Megumi:108 Compassionate Blessings” (by Toshihide Numata, published by BDK)        The phrase ichiren takusho means to be born together on the same lotus flower blooming in Amida’s Pure land of Utmost Bliss, which is also known as the Lotus-repository world (rengezo sekai). In this present life, even though people may live under the same roof together for many years, they live in different worlds. Parents and children, husband and wife, each of us is closed up in our own world. We set up our own “selves” We take advantage of others when it is convenient for us. But if engaging with others becomes inconvenient, we withdraw again into our own world of “self” and we reject of avoid others. Until we can get rid of our own attachment to our small selves, we will all live in disjointed worlds. The Smaller Sutra on Amitayus (Amidakyo) says that when we encounter the mind of Amida Tathagata and are born in his Pure Land, for the first time we are able to “meet together in the same world” (kue issho). When we encounter Amida Buddha’s mind, or when we have heard Amida Buddha’s calling, our birth together on the same lotus flower (ichiren takusho) will be realized. Hearing or encountering the mind of Amida Buddha is called shinjin (faith). Therefore, those who have the same faith, through encountering the same mind of Amida Buddha, will certainly be born together on the same lotus flower blooming in Amida Tathagata’s Pure Land. In the Godensho, a biography of Shinran Shonin, these words of Honen Shonin are recorded:   “Those who think differently of their shinjin (faith) will certainly never attain birth in the same Pure Land where I will be born. Please contemplate this very carefully.”  

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