Excerpts General Sutras

Pure Karmas’ Three Blessings 净业三福 Pure Karmas’ Right Causes 净业正因


In the Contemplation Sūtra (观经), Śākyamuni Buddha taught that those who wish to be born in Amitābha Buddha’s [Āmítuófó] Pure Land should cultivate the Three Blessings (三福/ 三福业/ 净业三福/ 净业正因), which are also the timeless causes of Buddhahood. They are related to the teaching from the Amitā[bha] Sūtra (阿弥陀经), that ‘[one] cannot, with few good roots’ blessed virtues [as] causal connections, attain birth [in] that land’. (不可以少善根福德因缘,得生彼国) As such, the Three Blessings can extend good roots’ blessed virtues, increasing blessings and meritorious virtues, to strengthen causal connections.

Along with these factors, the key criteria for successful birth in Pure Land still relies upon having sustained wholehearted Practice with mindfulness of Āmítuófó’s name, based on having profound Faith in him, and having sincere Aspiration to reach his Pure Land – as these are stated in Āmítuófó’s 18th vow. With these interconnected causes and conditions, the Three Provisions of Faith, Aspiration and Practice (三资粮: 信愿行) for Main Practice (正行), and the Three Blessings for Supportive Practices (助行) , reach of Pure Land with higher grades of birth is further guaranteed.



一者,孝养父母 ,奉事师长,慈心不杀,修十善业。



Sūtra On Contemplation Of Immeasurable Life Buddha:

‘Those desiring birth [in] that [Pure] Land [of Āmítuófó], should cultivate Three Blessings.

[1] First, [is to have]

  • [i] filial support [of their] Fathers [and] Mothers,
  • [ii] attend [to their] teachers [and] seniors,
  • [iii] [with] loving-kindness’ mind not kill, [and]
  • [iv] cultivate [the] Ten Good Karmas [i.e. Ten Wholesome Deeds].

[Abstention from (不):

  1. killing (杀生)
  2. stealing (偷盗)
  3. sexual misconduct (邪淫)
  4. false speech (妄语)
  5. two-tongued [i.e. divisive] speech (两舌)
  6. harsh speech (恶口)
  7. frivolous [i.e. idle] speech (绮语)
  8. greed (贪欲)
  9. hatred (瞋恚)
  10. delusion (邪见)]

[2] Second, [is to]

  • [i] receive [and] uphold [the] Threefold Refuge,
  • [ii] [be] complete [with] all precepts [i.e. Five/ Eight/ Bodhisattva/ Monastic Precepts], [and] 
  • [iii] not violate majestic conduct [i.e. rules of comportment].

[3] Third, [is to]

  • [i] [to] give rise [to the] Bodhi mind, [i.e. Bodhicitta],
  • [ii] [have] profound faith [in the law of] cause [and] effect [i.e. karma],
  • [iii] study [and] recite [the] Great Vehicle’s [sūtras, and] 
  • [iv] encourage progress [of] practitioners.

Thus, these three matters [are] named [as] “pure karmas”.’

[Śākyamuni] Buddha told Vaidehī, ‘[Do] you now know [this] or not? These three kinds [of] karma precisely are, [in the] past, future [and] present, [the] three periods’ all Buddhas’ pure karmas’ right causes.

Namo Amituofo : Translation by Shen Shi’an

Related Articles:

The Contemplation Sūtra’s Three Blessings

The Contemplation Sūtra’s Three Minds

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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