No.51 The Buddha of Unimpeded Light

As Shinran Shonin’s awareness of his ki (karmic existence) grew deeper and more profound, he came to see that, of the twelve different kinds of light that are the attributes of Amida Buddha, that of Unimpeded Light was by far the most important and virtuous.
Although, not only in the Larger Sutra of Eternal Life but also in the Shoshinge, the last of these different kinds of light is referred to as “the Light that Surpasses both Sun and Moon”, Shinran Shonin himself declares in one of his letters in the Goshosokushu or Collection of Letters (御消息集), “Ultimately, the vital importance of Amida being called the Buddha of Unimpeded Light is something that all of you must comprehend. Please realise that he is called the Buddha of Unimpeded Light in order to show that it is he who saves us, all sentient beings, unimpeded by our wretched and impure state.”
Because Shinran Shonin’s awareness of his own karma was so deep, the transition from the visible image – “Light that Surpasses the Sun and the Moon” – to the notion of inner illumination – “ Unimpeded Light” – was inevitable.
Unimpeded Light is none other than the fundamental wisdom that enabled Shinran Shonin to receive “the nembutsu of wisdom” from Honen Shonin.
One who has become a true disciple of the Buddha shall surely behold the darkness of the three times (past, present and future) as already broken through. The nembutsu of wisdom opens up our future.

Humbly and respectfully
Chimyo Takehara