Translations

The Ten Faiths 十信

一、信生必有死。
(普天之下,从古至今,曾无一人逃得。)

[1] First, [is] Faith [that with] birth, [there] definitely [will] be death.     
(Universally, of [all] under [the] heavens, from ancient [times] until today, [never] before [is there] one human [who] attained escape.)

二、信人命无常。
(出息虽存,入息难保,一息不来,即为后世。)

[2] Second, [is] Faith [that] human life [is] impermanent. 
([The] exhaling breath although exists, [the] inhaling breath [is] difficult [to] guarantee. [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] Third, [is] Faith [that] rebirth’s path [is] dangerous.
([With the] difference of one thought, then falling [into] evil realms. [Those who] attain [the] human body [are few], like dirt in [the] nails. [Those who] lose [the] human body [are many], like [the] great earth’s dirt.)

四、信苦趣时长。
(三途一报五千劫,再出头来是几时。)

[4] Fourth, [is] Faith [that] suffering realms’ durations [are] long.
([In the] three paths once [with] retribution, [is] 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] Fifth, [is] Faith [that the] Buddhas’ words [are] not false.      
(These sun [and] moon can [be] enabled [to] fall, [and the] Wonderful High Mountain King [i.e. Mount Sumeru] can [be] caused [to] collapse [and] shake, [but] all that [the] Buddhas [have] said [will] not have differences.)

六、信实有净土。
(如今娑婆无异,的的[dídí]是有。)

[6] Sixth, [is] Faith [that there] truly is Pure Land. 
(Like [the] present Sahā [World Of Endurance of suffering] without difference, [it] certainly does exist.)

七、信愿生即生。
(已今当愿,已今当生,经有明文,岂欺我哉!)

[7] Seventh, [is] Faith [that with] Aspiration [to be] born [there] immediately [is] birth.
([Those who] already [aspired], presently [and in the] future aspire, [are] already [born there], presently [and in the] future born [there. [As the Amitābha] Sūtra has clear words [on this], how [can it] deceive me?)

八、信生即不退。
(境胜缘强,退心不起。)

[8] Eighth, [is] Faith [that with] birth [there] immediately [is] non-retrogression.
([With its] realm supreme [and] conditions powerful, [the] mind [of] retrogression [can]not arise.)

九、信一生成佛。
(寿命无量,何事不办。)

[9] Ninth, [is] Faith [that in] one lifetime [is] accomplishment [of] Buddhahood.
([With] lifespan immeasurable, what matter [can]not [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] Tenth, [is] Faith [that] dharmas [are] fundamentally mind-only. 
(‘Mind-only’ has [the] two meanings [of] completion [本具足] [and] creation [造作]. Like all dharmas above, all [are in] my mind complete, [and] all [are by] my mind created.)

信佛语故,则造后四。【愿生即生、生即不退、一生成佛、法本唯心】

[With] Faith [in the] Buddhas’ words thus, then creates [the] later four [Faiths].

不信佛语,但造前四。【生必有死、人命无常、轮回路险、苦趣时长】

Not [with] Faith [in the] Buddhas’ words, only creates [the] earlier four [Faiths].

故深信佛言,即深信自心也。

Thus [with] profound Faith [in the] Buddhas’ words, immediately [is with] profound Faith [in] oneself’s mind’s [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, of [their] births [in] that Land [Of Ultimate] Bliss, like holding [the] left scroll to obtain [a] former item, of what difficulty is [there]?

[Note: In ancient China, there are agreements that when a left scroll can be aligned (or matched) with a right one held by another party, this guarantees that an item withheld by the latter will be returned to the first. Thus, ‘like holding the left scroll to obtain a former item’ is an analogy of holding on to Niànfó (Practice of mindfulness of the name of Amitābha Buddha – ‘Āmítuófó’) being what guarantees great confidence and ease of attaining birth in his Pure Land for swift progress towards Buddhahood.]

净宗十二祖彻悟大师
Pure Land Tradition’s 12th Patriarch Great Master Chèwù
《彻悟禅师文集》卷下
Chán Master Chèwù’s Collected Works : Lower Scroll

Namo Amituofo : Translation and note by Shen Shi’an

Related Articles:

Ten Comparisons of the Suffering of Samsara Vs the Bliss of Pure Land
https://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?
https://purelanders.com/2009/09/23/a-teaching-extremely-difficult-to-believe-in

A Single Breath
http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2012/01/a-single-breath

Why Pure Lands 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

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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