As already mentioned, I believe the world that the Venerable Master Shinran urged us to turn to is the true and real world of salvation.
If I were asked what I base this opinion on, I can only reply that it is the teaching that saved me.
The Shinshu scholar Akegarasu Haya once wrote:
Though there are billions of mothers
For billions of people,
No mother surpasses
That mother of mine…
I believe what Akegarasu wished to say is that while there are countless mothers in this world – many who are truly wonderful – for me (Akegarasu), no mother surpasses the one who gave birth to, and raised me.
The same is true of religions. We do not determine to follow a religion after logically studying various religions and determining which is best. Rather, we follow the religion that has truly saved us. That is the most important criteria in determining a religion to follow.
I believe that was the case with both Master Honen and the Venerable Master Shinran, and is also the case with those who take their religion seriously.
In Chapter One, I briefly highlighted the Venerable Master’s life and teaching. In this part, I will explain the following important aspects of his teaching: