Collection of Passages on the Nembutsu is the principle work by Honen. It ranks along with Dogen Zenji's The Treasured Eye of the True Dharma and with Honen's disciple Shinran's major writings as one of the three most influential bodies of Buddhist teachings of the Kamakura period. Together, the doctrinally revolutionary ideas contained in these works radically and permanently changed the face of Japanese Buddhism. And among them Honen's Senchakushu was, in terms of its originative and transformative effects on Japanese Buddhism, the most powerful of them all.
This work brought Buddhism within the grasp of even the most unlettered peasant. In a word, Honen simply declares that Sakyamuni Buddha left and "easy way" for the powerless people of the Age of the Dharma's Degeneration into which the world has already entered. One need only cast aside all other worries and practices and recite the Nembutsu. All other Buddhist traditions were expounded for stronger people of an earlier age. But now, says Honen, literally no one is able to use the Holy Path to attain Enlightenment. And so only the Gateway of the Pure Land - the simple recitation of the Numbutsu in full faith - can lead one to Rebirth in the Pure Land and assure one of eventual complete Enlightenment.