Translations

Clear Proof Of Upholding Name As Much Good Roots & Blessed Virtues 持名为多善根福德之明证

总解
General Explanation

问:在《佛说阿弥陀经》中,释迦牟尼佛说,‘不可以少善根福德因缘得生彼国。’ [即是阿弥陀佛的极乐净土] 如何才能有足够的善根福德?

Question: In ‘[The] Sūtra [In Which The] Buddha Speaks [Of] Amitā[bha Buddha]’《佛说阿弥陀经》, Śākyamuni Buddha (释迦牟尼佛) taught that ‘[One] cannot [with] few good roots [and] blessed virtues [as] causes [and] conditions, attain birth [in] that [Pure] Land [of Āmítuófó]. (不可以少善根福德因缘,得生彼国。) How can these good roots and blessed virtues be adequate?

答: 在《佛说阿弥陀经疏钞》中,净土宗八祖莲池大师解释,‘今[以至心信愿]持名,乃善中之善,福中之福。’ 以下是疏钞中的详细解释。

Answer: In ‘[The] Commentary [And] Summary [On The] Sūtra [In Which The] Buddha Speaks [Of] Amitā[bha Buddha]’《佛说阿弥陀经疏钞》, the Pure Land Tradition’s 8th Patriarch Great Master Liánchí (净土宗八祖莲池大师) explained that, ‘Now upholding [the] name [of Āmítuófó with Faith and Aspiration sincerely] is [to cultivate the] good within [all] good, [and the] blessed [virtues] within [all] blessed [virtues].’ (今[以至心信愿]持名乃善中之善,福中之福). The below from the commentary further explains this.

详解
Detailed Explanation

【疏】:问:即持名为多善根福德,此经之外,别有证据否?

[Commentary]: Question: [On] upholding [the name of Āmítuófó] as the same as [having] much good roots [and] blessed virtues, outside of this [Amitā(bha)] Sūtra, are there other [sūtras and treatises as] proof [that this is so]?

答:历历可证,如《大悲》、《大品》等说。

Answer: [This] can [be] very clearly proved, as ‘[The] Great Compassion [Sūtra]’ [i.e. Mahā Karuṇā-Puṇḍarīka Sūtra], ‘[The] Great Prajñā Pāramitā Sūtra [i.e. Pañcaviṃśati Sāhasrikā Prajñā Pāramitā Sūtra and] others say [so].

证善根
Proof [Of] Good Roots

【钞】证善根者,《大悲经》云:“一称佛名,以是善根入涅槃界,不可穷尽。”

[Summary]: [On] proof [of] good roots, [1] ‘[The] Great Compassion Sūtra’ says, ‘[With] one recitation [of a] Buddha’s name, already is [with] good roots entering Nirvāṇa’s realm, [that] cannot be exhausted.’

又云:“我灭度后,北天竺国有比丘名祈婆伽,修习无量最胜善根,已而命终,生于西方过百千亿世界无量寿佛国,以后成佛,号无垢光如来。”

Also saying, [2] ‘I, after Parinirvāṇa, [in a] Northern Indian country, [there will] be [a] bhikṣu named Qípójiā, [who] cultivates practice [of] immeasurable most supreme good roots, and then, [at the] end [of his] life, [will be] born in [the] West, past [a] hundred thousand koṭis [of] worlds, [in] Immeasurable Life Buddha’s [i.e. Āmítuófó] [Pure] Land, later accomplishing Buddhahood, named Stainless Light Tathāgata.’

又《大庄严经论》:“佛世一老人来求出家,舍利弗等诸大弟子俱不肯度,以观彼多劫无善根故。

[3] Also, ‘[The] Great [Vehicle’s] Adornment Sūtra’s Treatise’ [i.e. 大乘庄严经论: Mahāyāna Sūtrālamkāra Kārikā] [says], ‘[In the] Buddha’s lifetime [was] one old man, [who] came [to] beg [to] leave [the] householder’s [life]. Śariputra [and] all other great disciples together [were] not willing [to] ordain [him], with contemplation [of] his many [past] kalpas [being] without good roots thus.

佛自度之,即证道果,因告大众, ‘此人无量劫前为采薪人,猛虎逼极,大怖上树,称南无佛,以是善根,遇我得度。’”

[After the] Buddha personally ordained [him, he] immediately realised [the] path’s fruit, [the] cause [of which he] told [the] great assembly, ‘[That] this person, immeasurable kalpas ago, as [a] person gathering firewood, [was by a] fierce tiger forced [to the] extreme, [whom in] great fear climbed [a] tree, [once] reciting “Námó Buddha[ya]” [i.e. Homage to and refuge for life in the Buddha]. With these good roots, [he] met me [to] attain deliverance.’

《华严·第十回向》 云:“愿忆念无量无边世界,去来现在一切诸佛。”

[4] ‘[The] Avataṃsaka [Sūtra’s] tenth [chapter on] Dedication’ says, ‘[To] aspire [to] recollect [and be] mindful [of] immeasurable [and] boundless worlds, [and] all [their] past, future [and] present Buddhas.’

而次云:“以此念佛善根。”

And next saying, ‘[It is] with this mindfulness [of] Buddha [as] good roots.’

凡此,皆持名为多善根之明证也。

All these, [are] all clear proof of upholding [the] name [of Āmítuófó] as much good roots.

证福德
Proof [Of] Blessed Virtues

证福德者,《大品般若经》云 “若人散心念佛, 亦得离苦,其福不尽”,况定意念。

[On] the proof [of] blessed virtues, [i] ‘[The] Great Prajñā Sūtra’ says, ‘If [a] person [with a] scattered mind [is] mindful [of] Buddha, [this person] also [will] attain departure [from] suffering, [and] its blessings [are] inexhaustible’, moreover [if with a] concentrated mind [being] mindful.

《称扬诸佛功德经》云:“若有得闻无量寿如来名者,一心信乐,持讽诵念,此人当得无量之福,永离三途,命终之后, 往生彼刹。”

[ii] ‘[The Ratnajālīparipṛcchā] Sūtra [On] Praises [Of] All Buddhas’ Meritorious Virtues’ says, ‘If [there] are those [who] attain hearing [of] Immeasurable Life Tathāgata’s name [i.e. Āmítuófó], [with] wholehearted joyful faith, uphold recitation mindfully, these persons will attain immeasurable blessings, forever depart [from the] three paths [of hell-beings, hungry ghosts and animals, and] after [the] end [of] life, [be] reborn [in] that [Pure] Land [of his].’

《智论》云:“譬如有人,初生堕地,即能日行千里,满一千岁,七宝奉佛,不如有人于后恶世,一声称念阿弥陀佛,其福胜彼。”

[iii] ‘[The Great Perfection Of] Wisdom Treatise’ [i.e. 大智度论] says, ‘For example, [if there] is [a] person, [as a] newborn, set [on the] ground, [who is] immediately able [to] walk [a] thousand miles daily, fully [for] one thousand years, [with] seven treasures offering [to] Buddhas, [this is] not equal to [a] person in [the] later evil period [i.e. the present Dharma-Ending Age], once [with the] voice reciting Āmítuófó, [as] its blessings [will] surpass that.’

《增一阿含经》云:“四事供养阎浮提一切众生,若有称佛名号,如乳顷,功德过上,不可思议。”

[iv] ‘[The] Ekottara [i.e. “Increase (By) One”] Āgama Sūtra’ says, ‘[Compared with the] four offerings [of food and drink (饮食), clothing (衣服), bedding (卧具) and medicine (汤药) made to] all [of] Jambudvīpa’s sentient beings, if [there] is recitation [of a] Buddha’s name, like suckling momentarily [i.e. very briefly], [its] meritorious virtues [will] surpass [to be] greater, [as it is] inconceivable.’

凡此,皆持名为多福德之明证也。

All these, [are] all clear proof of upholding [the] name [of Āmítuófó] as much blessed virtues.

证善福
[Overall] Proof [Of] Good Roots [And] Blessed [Virtues]

又《宝积》十九,经云:“时一比丘,闻佛赞扬不动如来佛刹功德,心生贪著,而念生彼。佛言: ‘不以爱恋之心,遂得往生,惟有植诸善本,修诸梵行,得生彼刹。’”

Again, in ‘[The Great] Treasures’ Collection’s [i.e. 大宝积经: Mahā Ratnakūṭa Sūtra] 19th [chapter, the] sūtra says, ‘Then, a bhikṣu, [having] heard [the] Buddha’s praise [of] Immovable [i.e. Akṣobhya] Tathāgata’s Buddha land’s meritorious virtues, [with his] mind gave rise [to] greedy attachment, and mindfulness [to be] born there. [The] Buddha said, “[It is] not with [the] mind of deep attachment, [that] thereupon attains rebirth [there, as it is] only with planting [of] many virtuous [i.e. wholesome] roots, [and] cultivating many pure practices, [that] attains birth [in] that land.”‘

善本即善根,梵行即福德,此又双显持名为多善多福之明证也。诸经交赞,可弗信受?

[As] virtuous roots are the same as good roots, [and] pure practices are the same as blessed virtues, this also doubly reveals [as] clear proof of upholding [the] name [of Āmítuófó] as much good [roots and] much blessed [virtues. As] many sūtras simultaneously praise [it], how [can this] not [be] believed [and] received?

– 净土宗八祖莲池大师
Pure Land Tradition’s 8th Patriarch Great Master Liánchí

《佛说阿弥陀经疏钞》
([The] Commentary [And] Summary [On The] Sūtra
[In Which The] Buddha Speaks [Of] Amitā[bha Buddha])

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Namo Amituofo : Translation by Shen Shi’an

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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