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I recently purchased this manga about Honen life and the rise of Pure Land. Here are my favorite pages. NAMU AMIDA BUTSU! Edited now with explanations
A page on women... and how grateful they are to be accepted in Amida Buddha's vow. This shows how Honen was able to cut down to Amida's true, unsurpassed compassion to all beings; in one of the Pure Land sutras it states women will be reborn as men, etc; clearly stating that women are lesser than. However, Honen instructs they can practice just as they are. This disregarding of gender is very attractive to me. I also know that Pure Land Buddhists were some of the first people to sanction gay marriages in the United States decades ago.
A page on wordly desires....
The Ichimiai-kishomon was featured at the end of the text, after Honen's death
A poem of Honen's. Here he is meeting the emperor's daughter, who also writes poetry
Here a samurai confesses he has killed and carries the guilt of death with him every where. Despite taking countless lives--breaking a major precept multiple times--he is still accepted under Amida's vow and as Honen's disciple
A cameo of Shinran...
Finally, my favorite page. Everything about this page gives me what I need to know about the nembutsu. Honen says that despite their state of birth (women) and despite their current unminfdul way of life (prostitution) they are accepted under Amida's vow. He also states that it is important to control our behavior and be mindful when we can be; but if not, we can continue with our practice anyway. For me, it's been easier to ignore my faults for awhile, focus on my practice, and then realize how immaterial the things driving me to fault are (including myself).
If you would like to purchase this manga and read it entirely, it is only $6 on Amazon!