(1) MASTER SHINRAN, THE FOUNDER OF JODO SHIN BUDDHISM
Today, Master Shinran is considered the light of the world. He was born in 1173, in Kyoto, Japan, and passed away in 1262. During this period, Master Shinran taught continuously about Amida Buddha, and Amida Buddha's Hongan. His masterpiece is the book Kyogyo Shinsho, which is divided into six volumes, respectively, Kyo, Gyo, Shin, Sho, Shinbutsudo, and Keshindo.
The following are the words of Master Shinran that appears in the beginning of Kyogyo Shinsho: "The Great Promise, which is beyond our imagination, is a grand ship that carries us through the ocean of suffering. The Light without obstacles is the sun of wisdom which forever eliminates the dark mind." "The Great Promise, which is beyond our imagination" refers to Amida Buddha's Hongan. Amida Buddha's promise is compared to a great ship, which carries us through the ocean of suffering that means, our life.
Throughout his life, Master Shinran taught about Amida Buddha's Hongan. He devoted his entire life to guide people to achieve the salvation of Amida Buddha by asserting them that Amida Buddha's Hongan is a promise that saves all beings into absolute happiness. Master Shinran tells about his own experience of being saved through the following words of his book Kyogyo Shinsho: "I have embarked on the Hongan's ship made by the Great Compassion. I have floated on a vast Ocean of Light. The winds of virtue blow peacefully transforming the waves of misfortune into happiness."