General Articles Q&A

Life is Already Hard Enough

Life is already hard enough,
to motivate us
to make the best of it –
to reach Pure Land.

Life is already hard enough,
to not urge us
to make it worse –
to go to Hell by killing ourselves.

So what if it seems difficult
to practise mindfulness of Buddha as a human,
because it will be much more difficult as a hell-being.
What matters is to just do our best now.

This life must be our springboard
to Pure Land; not to Hell,
not from this frying pan into the hellfire;
but into the cool bliss of Pure Land? lotus ponds instead.

Mindfulness of Buddha is already
the simplest yet most wonderful Dharma practice,
towards a better life now and in the future.
If we give it up because it seems difficult, how else can we help us?

Enough excuses, enough procrastination.
It is time to begin our practice!
Amituofo, Amituofo, Amituofo, Amituofo, Amituofo,
Amituofo, Amituofo, Amituofo, Amituofo, Amituofo…

Question: Some hell-beings seem more fortunate than us as they can get to see the Buddha’s light of blessings? Most human practitioners only get to see the Buddha’s light in their dreams? Do the hell-beings wish for the Buddha’s light? With much suffering, do they have time to repent and practise mindfulness of Buddha while suffering in hell? Why do we need to be 100% sincere and repentant in order to receive the Buddha’s light? Does this mean some of us should quickly die and go to hell, so that we will get to see the Buddha’s light, under the principle that the more severe one’s suffering is, the more sincere, devout and mindful we will be of the Buddha?

Answer: [1] It is a severely wrong view that hell-beings are more fortunate than us’. Hell is hellish – this is why all Buddhas warn all beings not to enter them – unless we are enlightened beings who are capable of helping hell-beings. Pure Land is blissful – this is why all Buddhas urge all us to go there.

[2] Hell is the furthest plane away from Pure Land, its direct opposite. It is the realm with the most unfortunate beings; not the most fortunate. If going to hell first is the easiest way to reach Pure Land, the Buddha would not teach Buddha mindfulness, but encourage us to do evil instead – great evil too – to ensure that we get to hell. But the truth is, the deeper we go, the harder it is to get out.

[3] If it is so easy to go to Pure Land from hell for every being, hell would probably be empty most of the time because beings would touch and go. But this is not true. The fastest way to Pure Land is directly from this life, while going through hell is the longest detour for most.

[4] Those who can see Buddha’s light in hell need strong affinity with Buddha too. If we do not practise mindfulness of Buddha well enough, the affinity is weak – and the mindfulness and devotion will be weak in hell too. Beings who practise mindfulness of Buddha in hell can see the light but there is no case of any hell-being who has no affinity or practice being able to go Pure Land from hell.

[5] Hell is the hardest place to practise mindfulness of Buddha due to great suffering. However, hell-beings can repent too and practise if they try hard. But once again, with great suffering, they are greatly overwhelmed most of the time to do so properly. There are many humans who practise mindfulness of Buddha and see the golden light of Amituofo in this lifetime too, as a result of good practice. There is no need to go to hell just to experience it.

[6] It is not a requirement to be 100% sincere and repentant ALL the time to go Pure Land – but at least so on the deathbed. If we can be 100% pure all the time, there would be no need to go Pure Land already. But we do need to train by regular practice to cultivate sincerity and repentance – now.

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