The Essentials of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism

The information on this page comes from The Essentials of Jodo Shinshu — My Path, a page on the official Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji?ha English website.

Name of Teaching

Jodo Shinshu (The True Essence of Pure Land Buddhist Teaching)


Shinran (Nara National Museum)Shinran Shonin
Date of birth: May 21, 1173
Date of death: January 16, 1263

Name of School

Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji?ha

Head Temple

Ryukoku?zan Hongwanji (Nishi Hongwanji)

Object of Reverence

Amida Tathagata (Namo Amida Butsu)


  • Sutras: The Three Pure Land Sutras Delivered by Shakyamuni Buddha
    1. Bussetsu Mury?ju Ky? [The Sutra of the Buddha of Immeasurable Life]
    2. Bussetsu Kammury?ju Ky? [The Sutra of Contemplation of the Buddha of Immeasurable Life]
    3. Bussetsu Amida Ky? [The Sutra on Amida Buddha]  
  • Shinran Shonin’s writings
    1. Sh?shin Nembutsuge [Hymn of True Entrusting Heart and the Nembutsu], excerpt from the "Chapter on Practice" of Ky?gy?shinsh?
    2. J?do Wasan [Hymns of the Pure Land]
    3. K?s? Wasan [Hymns of the Pure Land Masters]
    4. Sh?z?matsu Wasan [Hymns of the Dharma?Ages]  
  • Rennyo Shonin’s Gobunsh? Letters


Attaining the "entrusting heart"–awakening to the compassion of Amida Tathagata (Buddha) through the working of the Primal Vow–we shall walk the path of life reciting Amida’s Name (Nembutsu). At the end of life, we will be born in the Pure Land and attain Buddhahood, returning at once to this delusional world to guide people to awakening.

Way of Life

Guided by the teaching of Shinran Shonin, we shall listen to the compassionate calling of Amida Tathagata and recite the Nembutsu. While always reflecting on ourselves, amidst our feelings of regret and joy, we shall live expressing our gratitude without depending on petitionary prayer and superstition.


The Hongwanji school is a community of people joined together revering the teaching of Shinran Shonin and saying the Nembutsu. We seek to share with others the wisdom and compassion of Amida Tathagata. By doing so, we shall work toward the realization of a society in which everyone is able to live a life of spiritual fulfillment.