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Guidance Before Support-Chanting | 助念前开示 (Pure Land Passport Section 2)

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净土宗十三祖印光大师
The Pure Land Tradition’s
13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng

人生在世,皆不能免疾病死亡之苦。

Of humans born in this world, all are not able to avoid the suffering of sickness and death.

当此等苦事发现之时,唯有放下万缘,一心念「南无阿弥陀佛」。

When these and other such situations of suffering are experienced, the only thing to do is to let go of the ten thousand conditions [all worldly distractions, such as love, wealth and status], to wholeheartedly [single-mindedly] recite ‘Námó Āmítuófó’ [Homage to (and refuge for life) in Amitā(bha) Buddha].

若气促,则只念「阿弥陀佛」四字。一心求佛慈悲,接引你往生西方。

If out of breath, thus should you only recite the four words ‘Āmítuófó’. Wholeheartedly seek the Buddha’s loving-kindness and compassion, to receive and guide you to be reborn in his Western Pure Land.

除此一念外,心中不可再起一丝毫别种的想念。

Other than this one thought, in your mind, you must not again give rise to a bit of other kinds of thoughts [or yearnings].

亦不可望病速好,亦不可另起求神求天保佑的想念。有此种想念,便与阿弥陀佛之心隔开了,因此便不能得佛慈加被之力。

Also, you must neither hope the sickness will swiftly heal, nor give rise to other thoughts of seeking godly and heavenly blessings. Having these kinds of thoughts, thus from Āmítuófó’s mind will you be separated, and due to this, not be able to attain the Buddha’s kind power of protection and blessings.

你要晓得,天地父母,均不能令你出生死轮回。唯有阿弥陀佛,能令你出生死轮回。

You must know, that all fathers and mothers between the heavens and earth, are all not able to enable you to depart from the cycle of birth and death. Only Āmítuófó is able to enable you to depart from the cycle of birth and death.

你若肯放下一切,一心念佛,若世寿未尽,就会速好。

If you are willing to let go of attachment to everything [worldly], and wholeheartedly [single-mindedly] recite the name of Buddha [Āmítuófó], if your worldly lifespan is yet to exhaust, you will be swiftly healed.

若世寿已尽,即往生西方。

If your worldly lifespan is already exhausting, you will immediately be reborn in his Western Pure Land.

然不可求病速愈,只可求速往生。求病愈,若寿尽,便不得往生。

However, you must not seek swift healing from sickness, and should only seek swift rebirth in Pure Land. Seeking healing from sickness, if your lifespan is exhausting, you thus cannot attain rebirth in Pure Land.

求往生,若寿未尽,则速得痊愈。

Seeking rebirth in Pure Land, if your lifespan is yet to exhaust, you can thus swiftly attain full healing.

往生西方,好处说不尽,较彼生到天上,做天帝天王,尚要高超过无数无量万万万万倍。

Of rebirth in the Western Pure Land, its benefits cannot be spoken exhaustibly. Compared with others born in the heavens above, to become heavenly emperors and heavenly kings, this still highly surpasses by innumerably immeasurable tens of thousands of tens of thousands of tens of thousands of tens of thousands of times.

你切不可痴心妄想怕死。有怕死的心,就不得往生了。

You must not deludedly indulge your mind in wishful thinking and fear of death. As with your mind fearful of death, you cannot attain rebirth in Pure Land.

我们在世间,犹如蛆在粪坑里,囚在监牢里,苦得了不得。

We, in this world, are just like maggots in a manure pit, prisoners in jail, with suffering that is terrible.

往生西方,如出粪坑监牢,到清净安乐逍遥自在之家乡,何可怕死。

As to be reborn in the Western Pure Land, is like departure from this manure pit and jail, to reach our homeland with purity, peace, bliss, unfettered freedom and ease, why fear death?

若一有怕死的心,便永远在生死轮回中受苦,永无出苦的时期了。

If you once have your mind fearful of death, thus will you forever, within the cycle of birth and death, receive suffering, forever without the time or day of departure from suffering.

你若能出声念,则小声念。

If you are able to recite aloud, thus at a low volume recite [for yourself to hear].

不能出声念,则心里默念。耳朵听别人念,心中亦如此念。

If not able to recite aloud, thus in your mind recite silently. Your ears hearing others reciting, in your mind too thus recite.

又眼睛望着阿弥陀佛,心中想着阿弥陀佛。

Also, with your eyes looking at Āmítuófó[’s image], in your mind, think of Āmítuófó.

有别种念起,当自责曰:「我要仗佛力生西方,何可起此种念头,坏我大事?」

If there are other kinds of thoughts arising, you should reprove yourself, saying [or thinking], ‘As I want to rely on the Buddha’s power to be born in his Western Pure Land, how can I give rise to these kinds of thoughts, to ruin this great matter of mine?’  

你若肯依我所说的念,决定会往生西方,了生脱死,超凡入圣。

If you are willing to rely on what I have said for recitation, you will definitely be reborn in the Western Pure Land, to be liberated from birth and death, to transcend the ordinary and enter the realm of sages.

永劫常受快乐,了无一丝一毫之苦事见闻,又何有此种之疾病苦恼乎?

For inexhaustible kalpas [world cycles] always receiving blissfulness, entirely without the smallest bit of situations with suffering known, again how can there be this kind of suffering from sickness?

倘心中起烦恼时,要晓得:「这是宿世恶业所使,要坏我往生西方之道,要使我永远受生死轮回之苦。我而今晓得他是要害我的,我偏不随他转。」

If in your mind arises afflictions, you must know that, ‘This is caused by past lives’ evil karma, to ruin my path of rebirth in the Western Pure Land, about to cause me to forever receive suffering in the cycle of birth and death. Now that I know they are to harm me, I am determined to not follow them to be reborn.’

除过念佛外,一事也不念他。那就能与佛心心相应,蒙佛接引,直下往生矣。

Except reciting the name of Buddha [Āmítuófó], of any one other matter, do not be mindful of it. That will enable the Buddha’s mind and your mind to correspond, to attain the Buddha’s receiving and guiding, to straightaway be reborn in his Pure Land.

好记我语,自可速得莫大之利益。(示华权师病中法语)

Remember my words well, and you can naturally and swiftly attain the greatest of benefits.

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