Genshin (源信, 942 – July 6, 1017), also known as Eshin Sōzu (恵心僧都), was the most influential of a number of scholar-monks of the Buddhist Tendai sect active during the tenth and eleventh centuries in Japan. Genshin, who was trained in both esoteric and exoteric teachings, wrote a number of treatises pertaining to the increasingly popular Pure Land Buddhism from a Tendai viewpoint, but his magnum opus, the Ōjōyōshū (往生要集, "Essentials of Birth in the Pure Land") had considerable influence on later Pure Land teachers such as Honen and Shinran. In spite of growing political tensions within the Tendai religious hierarchy, and despite being one of the two leading disciples of the controversial Ryogen, 18th head of the Enryakuji Temple, Genshin and a small group of fellow monks maintained a secluded community at Yokawa on Mount Hiei solely devoted toward rebirth in the Pure Land, while staying largely neutral in the conflict. He was one of the thinkers who maintained that the nembutsu ritual, which was said to induce a vision of Amida, was an important hermeneutic principle in the Buddhist doctrinal system.In summarizing Genshin's teachings, he emphasized the efficacy of the nembutsu for rebirth in the Pure Land, but as part of a holistic approach using a number of mutually supportive practices such as visualization, chanting, personal conduct, etc., in contrast to the later, exclusive teaching of Honen. The purpose and intent of the Pure Land remained in Genshin's thought, within the larger Tendai approach, with the Lotus Sutra as its central teaching, an expedient means on the path to Buddhahood. Further, Genshin's teachings on the "deathbed nembutsu" ritual were highly influential in Heian Period Buddhist practice.

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