Master Shinran, founder of Jodo Shin Buddhism, expressed his profound awareness of the law of cause and effect through the words:

“I have embarked on the ship
of the boundless compassion of Buddha’s Promise.
Now I float on a vast ocean of Light.
Winds of virtue gently blow
Turning the waves of misfortune into bliss.

“The ship of the boundless compassion of Buddha’s Promise” refers to Amida Buddha’s Promise. Amida Buddha promises to save all beings and grant them Absolute Happiness. Master Shinran was saved by Amida Buddha’s Promise when he was 29 years old. He expressed his joy through the above poem.

At the instant that Master Shinran was saved, he “floated on a vast ocean of Light.” The vast ocean of Light is the World of Absolute Happiness where there are no obstacles. “The winds of virtue” are the favorable circumstances, when everything happens exactly as one expects.

When we are saved by Amida Buddha’s promise, we are made aware of how full of worldly passions we are. With these worldly passions we perform infinite evils. Thus, according to the law of cause and effect, which says, “bad deeds bring bad results,” it is only natural that we suffer the results of our bad deeds. Master Shinran cried tears of joy when he found that even he, who had committed such evil deeds, was the object of Amida Buddha’s salvation.

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