AS RELATED IN PART ONE, the Venerable Master Shinran was 29 years of age when he met Master Honen and selected the “Way of (attaining enlightenment by) being born in the Pure Land through the Buddha’s power” (tariki jodo-mon). The term tariki used in this phrase is written with the kanjicharacter meaning “other” and the character for “power.” Accordingly, it is often misunderstood to mean relying on other people in our everyday life; however, the use of this term is restricted to our spiritual life. In explaining this term, the Venerable Master wrote in the Chapter on Practice of his Kyogyoshinsho(Teaching, Practice, Faith and Attainment), “The term tariki refers to Amida Buddha’s power of the Primal Vow.”
Letter 10 of the Mattosho (Light for the Later Ages) contains the passage, “Tariki refers to being free of any calculation.” The 13th letter in that same work contains the passage: “At any rate, tariki is not having the slightest calculation on the part of the ‘doer’ (gyoja).”
As can be determined from these quotations, everything regarding our spiritual life is to be left in the hands of the Primal Vow established by Amida Buddha. This is in common with Master Honen’s teaching in which he said that our salvation (wherein we attain the same enlightenment as a Buddha) depends solely on Amida Buddha’s Vow Power.
The term tariki thus refers to the fact that in the context of spiritual realization, only Amida Buddha’s power (contained in the Primal Vow) is meaningful. For that reason, from here on, the term tariki will be translated into English as “Buddha-centered power.”
The effort to realize Enlightenment though our own efforts is jiriki, which is written with the kanji characters for “self,” and “power” or “effort.” For this reason, the term jiriki will be rendered “selfcentered effort” from here on.