The Seven Patriarchs of Jodo Shinshu were seven Buddhist monks who helped to develop Pure Land Buddhism over time. Shinran, founder of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, established a lineage for Pure Land Buddhist thought that traced all the way to the time of Shakyamuni Buddha. Between the Buddha and Shinran, the Seven Patriarchs each contributed to Pure Land Buddhism at different eras and different regions of the world, as was summarized in the Jodo Shinshu hymn, the Shoshinge. Shinran also frequently quoted the writings and commentaries of the Patriarchs in his major work, the Kyogyoshinsho.

The Seven Patriarchs, in order are:

  1. Nagarjuna, India
  2. Vasubandhu, India
  3. Tan-luan, China
  4. Tao-cho, China
  5. Shan-tao, China
  6. Genshin, Japan
  7. Hōnen, also known as Genku, Japan

Additional Information

The Shoshinge - Written by Shinran, this hymn summarizes Jodo Shinshu beliefs

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