Translations

The Ten Faiths 十信

净宗十二祖彻悟大师
The Pure Land Tradition’s 12th Patriarch Great Master Che Wu

一、信生必有死:
普天之下,从古至今,曾无一人逃得。

[1] Faith that death must come after birth:     
Universally, in this world, from ancient times until today, there is not a human who has escaped.

二、信人命无常:
出息虽存,入息难保,一息不来,即为后世。

[2] Faith that human life is impermanent:
Although the exhaling breath exists, the inhaling breath is difficult to ensure. When one breath does not come, it immediately becomes the next life.

三、信轮回路险:
一念之差,便堕恶趣,得人身如爪上土,失人身者,如大地土。

[3] Faith that the path of rebirth is dangerous:     
Missing by one thought, one thus falls into the evil realms. Those who attain the human body are (few,) like the dirt on the nails. Those who lose the human body are (many,) like the dirt on the great earth.

四、信苦趣时长:
三途一报五千劫,再出头来是几何。

[4] Faith that the realms of suffering last a long time:     
Retribution once in the three (lower) realms lasts five thousand kalpas. Emerging again (to attain the human body), when will it be?

五、信佛语不虚:
此日月轮,可令坠落,妙高山王 (须弥山),可使倾动,诸佛所言,无有异也。

[5] Faith that the Buddhas’ words are not false:     
This sun and moon can be caused to fall, and the king of wonderful high mountains (Mount Sumeru) can be caused to shake (and collapse), but all the Buddhas have said will not have (the slightest) variation (or change).

六、信实有净土:
如今娑婆无异,的的(dídí)是有。

[6] Faith that Pure Land truly exists:
Like the Saha World (0f Endurance of suffering in the cycle of birth and death) now, without difference (in ‘reality’), it certainly exists.

七、信愿生即生:
已今当愿,已今当生,经有明文,岂欺我哉!

[7] Faith that aspiration to be born leads to birth there:     
Those who aspire(d) in the past, present and future, they have already been born, are now being born and will be born there. As the sutras proclaim this in writing, how can they deceive me?

八、信生即不退:
境胜缘强,退心不起。

[8] Faith that birth there is non-retrogression:     
With superb environment and powerful conditions, the mind of retrogression cannot arise.

九、信一生成佛 (一生补处):
寿命无量,何事不办。

[9] Faith that attaining Buddhahood in one lifetime (is possible):     
With immeasurable lifespan, what matter cannot be accomplished?

十、信法本唯心:
唯心有具造二义,如上诸法,皆我心具,皆我心造。

[10] Faith that the dharmas originally are mind-only (mind-made):
‘Mind-only’ has the two meanings of completion (本具足) and creation (造作). As with all dharmas above, all are completed by my mind, all are created by my mind.

信佛语故,则造后四。 (愿生即生、生即不退、一生成佛、法本唯心)

Due to faith in the Buddhas’ words, the last four (faiths) are created.

不信佛语,但造前四。 (生必有死、人命无常、轮回路险、苦趣时长)

Due to lack of faith in the Buddhas’ words, only the first four (faiths) are created.

故深信佛言,即深信自心也。

This is so as deep faith in the Buddha’s words is deep faith in one’s mind (Buddha-nature).

修净业者,能具此十种信心,其乐土之生, 如操左卷而取故物,夫何难之有。

For those who cultivate pure karma, who are able to be complete with these ten kinds of faiths, being born in that Land Of (Ultimate) Bliss, is like holding the left scroll to attain a former item. Of what difficulty is there?

[Note: In ancient China, there are agreements that when a left scroll can be aligned (matched) with a right one held by another party, it is guarantee that a ‘withheld’ item held by the latter will be returned to the first. Thus, ‘like holding the left scroll to attain a former item’ is an analogy of holding on to Nianfo (practice of mindfulness of the name of Amitabha Buddha – ‘Amituofo’) being what guarantees great confidence and ease of attaining birth in his Pure Land.]

Related Articles:

Ten Comparisons of the Suffering of Samsara Vs the Bliss of Pure Land
http://purelanders.com/2012/01/17/ten-comparisons-of-the-suffering-of-samsara-vs-the-bliss-of-pure-land
A Teaching Very Difficult to Believe In?
http://purelanders.com/2009/09/23/a-teaching-extremely-difficult-to-believe-in
A Single Breath
http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2012/01/a-single-breath

Why Purelands Must Exist

If horrible hells can be created by an unenlightened being without wisdom or merits,
blissful Pure Lands can be created by enlightened beings with infinite wisdom and merits.

Samsara is sustained by selfishness and delusion.
Pure Lands are sustained by compassion and wisdom.

– Stonepeace

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Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!