Translations

Should We Chant Loudly Or Softly? 念佛须大或小声念?

念佛之法,何可执定?古人立法,如药肆中俱备药品。

On the methods to be mindful of Buddha[‘s name – ‘Amituofo’], how can there be attachment to a fixed method? The ancients established methods, like a pharmacy within, complete with all medicines [for all ailments].

吾人用法,须称量自己之精神气力,宿昔善根,或大、或小、或金刚*、或默,俱无不可。

When we use a method, we need to weigh our own vitality’s strength, and past [karmic] good roots, [thus chanting] perhaps loudly, perhaps softly, perhaps with the vajra method,* perhaps silently, all of which, none cannot be used [i.e. any suitable method can be used].

[*注: 金刚持念佛法:口唇半明半默念,绵绵密密,声在唇齿之间。]

[*Note: Vajra method of upholding mindfulness of Buddha’s name: With lips semi-clearly and semi-silently chanting, continually and closely, with the sound between lips and teeth.]

昏沉则不妨大声以退昏,散乱亦然。

When dull [or drowsy, we] thus might as well, with a louder voice chant to break the dullness, and when scatter-minded, also do thus.

若常大声,必致受病。勿道普通人,不可常如此,即极强健人,亦不可常如此。

If constantly with a loud voice chanting, this will cause falling to sickness. Do not say that for ordinary persons it is so, as even extremely sturdy persons, also should not constantly do so.

– 净土宗十三祖印光大师
(复念西师书)

– Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yinguang
(Reply letter to Master Nianxi)

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Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!