Books General Articles Translations

[3A] The Three Great Essentials When Approaching Death 临终三大要

Previous Section | Contents | Next Section 

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

原文:世间最可惨者,莫甚于死。而且举世之人,无一能幸免者。以故有心欲自利利人者,不可不早为之计虑也。

白话:世间最可悲的,就是死亡。而且世上的每一个人,没有一个能侥幸免死。所以有心想要利益自己与他人的,应该尽早为死亡计划与考虑。

In this world, the most tragic, with nothing more so, is death. Moreover, of everyone throughout this world, no one is able to fortunately avoid it. Therefore, those with the desire to benefit oneself and benefit others, must not delay planning and consideration for it.

原文:实则死之一字,原是假名,以宿生所感一期之报尽,故舍此身躯,复受别种身躯耳。不知佛法者,直是无法可设,只可任彼随业流转。

白话:其实,死这一个字,原本是假用的名词,是因为前生所招感的一期生命果报完毕,所以舍离这个身躯,再受用别种身躯而已。不知道佛法的人,简直没办法准备,只能随着业力轮回。

In reality, however, this one word of ‘death’, is originally a false name [for conventional use], with past lives’ effects for one lifetime’s retribution having exhausted, thus renouncing this body, to again receive another kind of body only. Those who do not know the Buddha’s teachings, simply have no way to prepare for it, and can only follow their karma to be reborn.

原文:今既得闻如来普度众生之净土法门,固当信愿念佛,预备往生资粮,以期免生死轮迴之幻苦,证涅槃常住之真乐。

白话:现在既然听到释迦如来【i.e. 释迦牟尼佛】为普度众生的净土法门,应当生起信心发愿求生西方极乐世界【i.e. 净土】而念佛,预备往生的资粮,为了避免生死轮回中梦幻似的痛苦,证得涅槃常在的真正安乐。

Now, since we have heard of the Tathāgata’s [Śākyamuni Buddha] Pure Land Dharma door [Buddhist Practice], that universally delivers sentient beings, we should resolutely, with Faith and Aspiration [Vow], recite the name of Buddha [Āmítuófó], to prepare the [Three] Provisions for rebirth in his Pure Land, so as to avoid the illusory suffering in the cycle of birth and death, and to realise the true bliss of eternal Nirvāṇa [Buddhahood].

原文:其有父母兄弟,及诸眷属,若得重病,势难痊癒者,宜发孝顺慈悲之心,劝彼念佛求生西方,并为助念。俾病者由此死已,即生净土。其为利益,何能名焉?

白话:如果你有父母兄弟姐妹,及一切眷属,得了重病,而病势难以痊癒,应当发孝顺与慈悲的心,劝导他们念佛求生西方,并为他们助念。令病者因此死后,即刻往生净土。这么大的利益,怎么能用言语表达?

If you have fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and all relatives, with serious sicknesses, the conditions of which are difficult for full healing, you should give rise to the mind of filial piety, loving-kindness and compassion, to urge them to recite the name of Buddha [Āmítuófó] for seeking birth in his Western Pure Land, also offering support-chanting. Enabling dying persons to die thus, they can be immediately born in Pure Land. Of its benefits, how can they be named?

原文:今列三要,以为成就临终人往生之据。语虽鄙俚,意本佛经。遇此因缘,悉举行焉。

白话:现在列出三大要点,为成就临终人往生西方的依据。言语虽然粗俗,意义本从佛经而来。遇到这个因缘,希望大家都能奉行。

Now to be stated are Three Essentials, as guidelines for those approaching death to accomplish rebirth in Pure Land. Although these words seem mediocre and coarse, their principles are originally from the Buddha’s sūtras. Having encountered these causes and conditions, may all put them into practice.

原文:这三要者:

白话:这三大要点是:

These Three Essentials are:

原文:第一,善巧开导安慰,令生正信。

白话:第一,善巧开导与安慰,令生起真正的信心。

First, skilfully inspire, guide and console the dying person, to enable giving rise to right Faith.

原文:第二,大家换班念佛,以助净念。

白话:第二,大家换班念佛,为帮助生起清净的念佛。

Second, everyone should take shifts to recite the name of Buddha [Āmítuófó], so as to support pure mindfulness.

原文:第三,切戒搬动哭泣,以防误事。

白话:第三,千万不能搬动与哭泣,为防止误事。

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

原文:果能依此三法以行,决定可以消除宿业,增长净因,蒙佛接引,往生西方。

白话:如果能依止这三个方法而行,决定可以消除之前所造的业障,增长往生净土的因缘,得到佛的接引,往生西方。

If able to rely on these three teachings in practice, one can definitely eradicate past negative karma, increase causes for birth in Pure Land, and attain the Buddha’s [Āmítuófó] receiving and guiding, for rebirth in his Western Pure Land.

原文:一得往生,则超凡入圣,了生脱死,渐渐进修,必至圆成佛果而后已。

白话:一得往生西方,就能超越凡夫入圣位,了脱生死,渐渐进修,然后必定达到圆满成佛的果位。

Once attaining rebirth there, one thus transcends the ordinary and enters the realm of sages, attaining liberation from birth and death, gradually progressing in cultivation, with certainty, until then perfectly accomplishing the fruit of Buddhahood.

原文:如此利益,全仗眷属助念之力。能如是行,于父母,则为真孝。于兄弟、姐妹,则为真弟。于儿女,则为真慈。于朋友、于平人,则为真义、真惠。

白话:这样的利益,全仰仗眷属的助念力。能如此做,于父母,叫做真正的孝顺。于兄弟、姐妹,叫做真正的兄弟与姐妹情。于儿女,叫做真正的慈悲。于朋友、与平常人,叫做真正的正义、真正的恩惠

Such benefits, all rely on the power of relatives’ support-chanting. Able to thus practise, for your fathers and mothers, it is thus true filial piety. For brothers and sisters, it is thus true brotherhood and sisterhood. For sons and daughters, it is thus true loving-kindness. For friends and for common people, it is thus true righteousness and true kindness.

原文:以此培自已之净因,启同人之信向。久而之之,何难相习成风乎哉。今为一一条陈,庶不至临时无所适从耳。

白话:用这来培养自已往生净土的因缘,启发有共同信心与方向的人。久而久之,不难互相习惯而成风气。现在一一条规为你陈说,以免临时不知所措。

With these, cultivate your own causes for birth in Pure Land, and inspire those of same conviction in Faith. Gradually, with what difficulty, with one another familiar, will it not become a common practice? Now, for the essentials, they are presented one by one, so that you need not, at the critical moment, not know what to follow.

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

Previous Section | Contents | Next Section 

Get Now | IntroFAQs100 Reasons To Get It
Praises
| Launches Media | Distribution
Gallery
| Sample | Course

Get Your Passport Here!

 

Share This:

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

error: Content is protected !!