The Path to the Pure Land is an English translation of the Shin Buddhist classic, Saihō-Shinan-shō, authored by Shinran (1173-1263). It is a collection of the words and deeds of Shinran’s teacher Hōnen (1133-1212). The latter is regarded as the founder of Japanese Pure Land Buddhism, and Shinran his successor and founder of the most influential Pure Land school called Jōdo Shinshü, or Shin Buddhism in English. Shinran compiled this work to ensure that his teacher’s teaching should be passed down to posterity.
This work mostly consists of Hōnen’s sermons, doctrinal discussions, letters, clarifications of various terms, and dialogs with his disciples, as well as reports of dreams different individuals had before and after his death. It is hard to find Shinran’s own words in this work, but the overall impression is that he is expressing his thoughts through the words of Hōnen.