The Odori Nembutsu
In the eighth month of Koan 2 (1279) , Ippen , who had left Inabado hall , once again visited Zenkoji temple. After that , at the home in the marketplace of a layman in Tomono , in the Saku district , he conducted a special religious service at the end of the year , and in the village of Odagiri , he followed the precedent of Kuya and began the odori nembutsu. What happened at that time is conveyed in the Ippen hijirie.
In that year , at the house in the marketplace of a layman called Tomono , in the Saku district of Shinano province , on that occasion of a special nembutsu service (betsuji nembutsue) at the end of the year , purple clouds began to gather. The odori nembutsu was begun by Kuya Shonin in the marketplace and at the crossroads of Shijo in Kyoto. Kuya Shonin said , “ Because I have no attachments , when the sun sets , I stop. Because there is no place that my body lives , when they breaks , I leave.
Because my robe of patience is thick , it does not hurt if I am struck by a walking stick or tree branch , or if stones or roof tiles are thrown at me. Because my room of compassion is deep , I do not hear words that speak ill of me. Because I surrender the nembutsu zanmai to my mouth , the entire city is my place of practice. Because I see the Buddha through the voice (of the nembutsu) , my inhalations and exhalations are my prayer beads. Every night I await the welcome of the Buddha , and every morning I rejoice that my end is drawing near. I surrender my three actions all to the will of Heaven , and I offer my four postures to awakening.” (I record this here because it is the words the hijiri always carried around with him.) After that , there were many who spontaneously copied the odori nembutsu , but until now , the benefits of the odori nembutsu were still not widespread. However , it seems that the moment has now ripened.
侍りなり 抑々をどり念仏は空也上人或は市屋或は四条の辻にて始行し給(ひ)けり 彼(の)詞(に)云(く)心無所縁随日暮止 身無住所随夜暁去 忍辱衣厚不痛杖木瓦石 慈悲室深不聞罵詈誹謗 信口称三昧市中是道場 順声見仏息精即念珠 夜々待仏来迎朝々喜最後近 任三業於天運譲四儀於提 矣是依為聖持文載之 それよりこのかたまなぶものをのづから ありといへども利益猶あまねからず しかるをいま時いたり機熟しけるにや