Translations

How To Practise Nianfo? 如何修习念佛?

‘净土法门,三根普被,利钝全收。乃如来普为一切上圣下凡,令其于此生中,即了生死之大法也。于此不信不修,可不哀哉?

‘[Of the] Pure Land Dharma door, [all sentient beings of the] three [spiritual] roots [i.e. high, middle and low], the sharp and dull, [can be] completely received. Thus is it [Sakya(muni)] Tathagata’s great Dharma [door], to universally, for all superior sages and inferior ordinary beings, to enable them to, within this life, immediately be liberated from [the cycle of] birth and death. Of this, not having Faith and not cultivating [thus], is this not pitiable?

此法门,以信、愿、行、三法为宗。

This Dharma door, is with Faith, Aspiration and Practice, as the three teachings [to cultivate, for the] principal aim [of reaching Amitabha Buddha’s Pure Land].

信,则信我此世界是苦。信极乐世界是乐。信我是业力凡夫,决定不能仗自力,断惑证真,了生脱死。信阿弥陀佛,有大誓愿,若有众生,念佛名号,求生佛国,其人临命终时,佛必垂慈接引,令生西方。

On Faith, thus is it [1] Faith that I in this [Saha] World am [enduring] suffering. [2] Faith that the [Pure] Land Of Ultimate Bliss is bliss. [3] Faith that I am an ordinary being [affected by much] power [of negative] karma, who is definitely not able to rely on self-power [only], to sever confusions and realise the truth, to be liberated from [the cycle of] birth and death. [4] Faith that Amita[bha] Buddha has great vows [to receive and guide], that if there are sentient beings, who are mindful of the Buddha’s name [Amituofo], to seek birth in his Buddha Land, when they approach the end of life, the Buddha will definitely approach with loving-kindness to receive and guide, to enable birth in his Western [Pure Land].

愿,则愿速出离此苦世界,愿速往生彼乐世界。

On Aspiration, thus is it Aspiration to swiftly depart from this world of suffering, aspiring to swiftly be reborn in that Land Of Ultimate Bliss.

行,则至诚恳切,常念南无阿弥陀佛,时时刻刻,无令暂忘。朝暮于佛前礼拜持诵,随自身闲忙,立一课程。此外,则行、住、坐、卧、及做不用心的事,均好念。睡时当默念,不宜出声。宜只念阿弥陀佛四字,以免字多难念。

On Practice, thus is it to, with utmost sincerity and earnestness, always recite “Namo Amituofo”, at all times [from moment to moment], not causing it to be temporarily forgotten. At dawn and dusk before the Buddha prostrating [reverently] and reciting, according to oneself’s leisure and busyness, setting a course [for sincere regular practice]. Besides this, then walking, standing, sitting or lying down, and when doing matters that do not need an attentive mind, these are all good [times] for recitation. When [about to] sleep, there should be silent recitation, as it is not appropriate for [reciting] aloud. It is appropriate to only recite the four words of “Amituofo”, to avoid words being [too] many, which makes it difficult to recite.’

若衣冠不整齐,或洗澡、抽解、或至不洁净处,均须默念。默念功德一样,出声于仪式不合。无论大声念、小声念、金刚念、心中默念,均须心里念得清清楚楚,口里念得清清楚楚,耳中听得清清楚楚。如此,则心不外驰,妄想渐息,佛念渐纯,功德最大。’

– 净土宗十三祖印光大师
(一函遍复)

If dressing is not orderly, or if bathing, toileting, or when reaching unclean places, there should all be silent recitation. Silent recitation’s meritorious virtues are the same, [while] reciting aloud ceremoniously [or formally then is] not suitable. Regardless of loud recitation, soft recitation, vajra recitation [which is only audible to oneself] or silent recitation, all must be with the mind within reciting clearly, the mouth within reciting clearly, and the ears within listening clearly. In this way, thus will the mind not to the external run, [stray] false thoughts gradually cease, and Buddha mindfulness gradually become pure, which [creates the] greatest meritorious virtues.’

– Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yinguang
(One Letter As A Common Reply)

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Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!