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The Third Great Essential | 第三大要 (Pure Land Passport Section 3D)

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第三:切戒搬动哭泣,以防误事者。

Third, you must avoid [touching or] moving the body and crying, so as to prevent bungling the matter [of reaching Pure Land].

病人将终之时,正是凡、圣、人、鬼分判之际,一发千钧,要紧之极。只可以佛号,开导彼之神识。

When the dying person’s life is about to end, this is precisely the time that decides rebirth as an ordinary being, sage [in Pure Land], human or ghost. With one thousand jūns [fifteen thousand kilograms] hanging by a single hair, it is the most critical moment. You can only recite the Buddha’s name [Āmítuófó], to inspire and guide that person’s consciousness.

断断不可洗澡、换衣,或移寝处。任彼如何坐卧,只可顺彼之势。不可稍有移动,亦不可对之生悲感相,或至哭泣。以此时身不自主,一动则手足身体,均受拗折扭裂之痛。痛则瞋心生,而佛念息。

You absolutely must not bathe the person, change the clothes, or move the resting place. Let whatever that person’s sitting or lying position be, only adapting to its conditions. You must not move the person even slightly, also not face to face give rise to forms of sorrow, or even cry. As at this moment, the body is not in personal control, with one [touch or] movement thus, the hands, legs and body all receive the pain of bending, breaking, twisting and cracking. This pain thus gives rise to the mind of anger, and mindfulness of Buddha [Āmítuófó] will cease.

随瞋心去,多堕毒类,可怖之至! 若见悲痛哭泣,则情爱心生,佛念便息矣。随情爱心去,以致生生世世,不得解脱。

If following the mind of anger when departing, many fall to be reborn as poisonous beings. How extremely horrifying! If seeing sorrowful crying, thus will the mind of passionate attachment arise, and mindfulness of Buddha [Āmítuófó] then cease. Following the mind of passionate attachment when departing, is with the result of not attaining liberation, life after life.

此时,所最得益者,莫过于一心念佛。所最贻害者,莫过于妄动哭泣。若或妄动哭泣,致生瞋恨,及情爱心,则欲生西方,万无有一矣。

At this moment, of the greatest attainable benefits, nothing is more beneficial than to wholeheartedly [single-mindedly] recite the name of Buddha [Āmítuófó]. Of the greatest harms, nothing is more harmful than to rashly [touch or] move the body, and to cry. If rashly [touching or] moving and crying, this can cause the rise of anger and hatred, and the mind of passionate attachment. Thus desiring to be born in the Western Pure Land, of ten thousand such persons, not even one can.

又人之将死,热气自下至上者,为超升相。自上至下者,为堕落相。

Moreover, when a person is about to die, if the body warmth, from the below reaches the above, this is a sign of rise to a higher rebirth. If from the above reaches the below, this is a sign of fall to a lower rebirth.

故有:「顶圣眼天生,人心饿鬼腹,畜生膝盖离,地狱脚板出」之说。

Thus is there the saying that, ‘From the crown to be sages and from the eyes to be heavenly beings [gods] born, to be humans from the heart and hungry ghosts from the belly, to be animals from the kneecaps they depart, to be hell-beings from soles of the feet they exit.’

果然大家至诚助念,自可直下往生西方。切不可屡屡探之。以致神识未离,因此或有刺激,心生烦痛,致不得往生。此之罪过,实为无量无边。

If everyone, with utmost sincerity, practises support-chanting, the dying person can naturally and straightaway be reborn in the Western Pure Land. You must not time and again explore [for the last warm area]. As a result, the consciousness yet to depart, due to this, might become upset. With the mind giving rise to afflictions and pain, this causes rebirth in Pure Land not to be attained. Such transgressions and misgivings, in reality, are immeasurable and boundless.

愿诸亲友,各各恳切念佛,不须探彼热气,后冷于何处也。为人子者,于此留心,乃为真孝。

I hope all relatives and friends, will each sincerely recite the name of Buddha [Āmítuófó], with no need to explore for that warm area, where the body last turns cold. As children, being careful about this, is thus true filial piety.

若依世间种种俗情,即是不惜推亲以下苦海。为邀一般无知无识者,群相称赞其能尽孝也,此孝与罗刹女之爱正同。

If you follow various worldly common emotions, you are not hesitating to push your parents down into the sea of suffering. For inviting those who are similarly ignorant and without knowledge, rallying a crowd to praise you for being able to express filial piety, such ‘filial piety’ and female rākṣasaḥs’ ‘love’ are precisely the same.

经云:「罗刹女食人,曰『我爱汝,故食汝。』」彼无知之人之行孝也,令亲失乐而得苦,岂不与罗刹女之爱人相同乎?

A sūtra says, ‘Female rākṣasaḥs [violent demonesses] who eat humans say, “As I ‘love’ you, thus am I eating you.”’ Of those ignorant persons’ practice of ‘filial piety’, that causes their parents to lose [opportunities to attain] bliss, and to instead attain suffering, how is this not the same as female rākṣasaḥs’ ‘love’ towards humans?

吾作此语,非不近人情,欲人各实际上讲求,必期亡者往生,存者得福。以遂孝子贤孙亲爱之一片血诚,不觉其言之有似激烈也。真爱亲者,必能谅之。

I, writing these words, am not being distant from human emotions, as I desire everyone to each emphasise on what is practical, with certain hope that the deceased [and dying] can be reborn in Pure Land, and that the living can attain blessings. In order to fulfil total and absolute sincerity of filial children, virtuous grandchildren and beloved ones, unwittingly, these words might seem sharp. Those who truly love their parents will definitely be able to understand this.

顶圣眼天生等者,谓人气己断,通身冷透,惟头顶独热者,则必超凡入圣,了生脱死也

For those of ‘from the crown to be sages and from the eyes to be heavenly beings born’, this is to say that when the person’s breathing has already ended, and the whole body is fully cold, with only the crown of the head warm, thus has one definitely transcended the ordinary and entered the realm of sages [in Pure Land], having attained liberation from birth and death.

眼天生者,若眼及额颅处独热,则生天道。心处独热,则生人道。肚腹独热,则生饿鬼道。膝盖独热,则生畜生道。脚板独热,则生地狱道。

For those of ‘from the eyes to be heavenly beings born’, if the eyes and forehead are the only warm areas, thus is there birth in the heavenly realm. If the heart is the only warm area, thus is there birth in the human realm. If the belly is the only warm area, thus is there birth in the hungry ghost realm. If the kneecaps are the only warm areas, thus is there birth in the animal realm. If soles of the feet are the only warm areas, thus is there birth in the hell realm.

此由人在生时,所造善恶二业,至此感现如是,非可以势力假为也。

This is due to the person, when living, his or her created good and evil, with these two kinds of karma, here manifesting as such, not what can be forcibly falsified.

是时若病人能志诚念佛,再加眷属善友助念之力,决定可以带业往生,超凡入圣耳。

At this moment, if the dying person is able to, with sincere Aspiration, recite the name of Buddha [Āmítuófó], in addition to the power of relatives’ and good friends’ support-chanting, one definitely can bring one’s negative karma along to be reborn in Pure Land, to transcend the ordinary and enter the realm of sages.

不须专事探试征验,以致误事也。至嘱至祷!(印光大师文钞菁华录)

There is no need to focus on the matter of confirmation by exploration and examination, with the result of bungling the matter [of reaching Pure Land]. This is my utmost sincere exhortation and utmost sincere request!

English text © Shen Shi’an (Recirculation with permission via purelanders.com/contact)

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