This research examines how Kaneko Daiei understands the Larger Sūtra of Immeasurable Life.
Kaneko comprehends the Larger Sūtra as a story. The Larger Sūtra is a story about how the Tathāgata makes the original vows which consist of 48 vows. Kaneko thinks that the essence of these original vows is the 18th vow. The 18th vow and its fulfillment are both significant. The most remarkable characteristic of Kaneko’s understanding of this sūtra is that Kaneko explores its mutual relationships without treating the vow and its fulfillment as separate things.
The sentence of the fulfillment of the 18th vow includes the expression “immediately attained birth in the Pure Land” (即得往生). Kaneko thinks “immediately attained birth” means one’s self-awareness of having attaining “birth” at this present moment and Amida Buddha’s promise of attaining Buddhahood in the future. Kaneko understands the sūtra as giving us the beginning and the ending to our actual life.