General Articles Translations

Ten Comparisons of the Suffering of Samsara Vs the Bliss of Pure Land 此彼十苦乐

 

一者、此土有不常值佛苦;彼土有花开见佛,常得亲近之乐。

First, in this land, there is the suffering of not frequently encountering a Buddha; while in that land, there is the blossoming of the lotus flower to see the Buddha, with the bliss of being constantly close.

二者、此土有不闻说法苦;彼土有水鸟树林,皆宣妙法之乐。

Second, in this land, there is the suffering of not being able to hear the Dharma; while in that land, there are waters, birds and trees, with the bliss of hearing all of them proclaiming the wonderful Dharma.

三者、此土有恶友牵缠苦;彼土有诸上善人,俱会一处之乐。

Third, in this land, there is the suffering of being entangled with evil friends; while in that land, there are all beings of superior goodness, with the bliss of all meeting together in one place.

四者、此土有群魔恼乱苦;彼土有诸佛护念,远离魔事之乐。

Fourth, in this land, there is the suffering of disturbances from hordes of demons; while in that land, there is mindful protection of all Buddhas, with the bliss of being far away from demonic obstacles.

五者、此土有轮回不息苦;彼土有横截(jié)生死,永脱轮回之乐。

Fifth, in this land, there is the suffering of unceasing rebirth [in the wheel of birth and death]; while in that land, there is horizontal cutting off from birth and death, with the bliss of eternal liberation from rebirth.

六者、此土有难免三途苦;彼土有恶道永离,名且不闻之乐。

Sixth, in this land, there is the suffering of difficulty of avoiding the three realms [of hell-beings, hungry ghosts and animals]; while in that land, there is eternal departure from the evil realms, with the bliss of not even hearing their names.

七者、此土有尘缘障道苦;彼土有受用自然,不俟(sì)经营之乐

Seventh, in this land, there is the suffering of the [Dharma] path being obstructed by worldly conditions [affinities]; while in that land, there are natural benefits [that nurture the path], with the bliss of no waiting or tending.

八者、此土有寿命短促苦;彼土有寿与佛同,更无限量之乐。

Eighth, in this land, there is the suffering of lifespans being of short durations; while in that land, there is lifespan similar to the Buddha’s, with bliss, furthermore, without measure.

九者、此土有修行退失苦;彼土有入正定聚,永无退转之乐。

Ninth, in this land, there is the suffering of retrogression from cultivation of [Dharma] practices; while in that land, there is entry into the stage of definite assurance of enlightenment, with the bliss of eternal non-retrogression.

十者、此土有佛道难成苦;彼土有一生行满,位居补处之乐。

Tenth, in this land, there is the suffering of difficulty of attaining the Buddha path; while in that land, there is completion of practice in one lifetime, with the bliss of attaining the stage of one lifetime from Buddhahood.

– 慈云大师 (Great Master Ci Yun)

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