Translations

Chán Master Bǎizhàng Dàzhì’s ‘Twenty Essential Monastery Principles’ 百丈大智禅师《丛林要则二十条》

[1]

丛林以无事为兴盛。

[In] monasteries, [it is] without matters
[of contention, confusion and complication]
as [spiritual] prosperity.

[2]

修行以念佛为稳当。

[For] cultivation [of] practice,
[it is] with mindfulness [of] Buddha as [the most] reliable,
[as it is the easiest, safest and swiftest
for the greatest results].

[3]

精进以持戒为第一。

Diligence [is] with
upholding [of] precepts as [the] foremost.

[4]

疾病以减食为汤药。

Sickness [is] with
reduction [of] eating as medicine
[or decoction].

[5]

烦恼以忍辱为菩提。

Afflictions [are] with
patience as Bodhi
[i.e. awakening].

[6]

是非以不辩为解脱。

Quarrels [over right and wrong are] with
not arguing as liberation.

[7]

留众以老成为真情。

Retaining [of] assemblies [is] with
experienced [practitioners] as true sincerity.

[8]

执事以尽心为有功。

Handling [of] duties [is] with
all [of one’s] heart as having merits.

[9]

语言以减少为直截。

Spoken words [are] with
reduction as straightforwardness.

[10]

长幼以慈和为进德。

[The] elderly [and] young [are] with
kindness [and] harmony as
diligent [development of] virtues.

[11]

学问以勤习为入门。

Learning [or ‘asking for knowledge’ is] with
diligent practice as [the] entry gate.

[12]

因果以明白为无过。

[Karmic] causes [and] effects [are] with
understanding [them] as without transgressions.

[13]

老死以无常为警策。

Ageing [and] death [are] with
impermanence as admonition.

[14]

佛事以精严为切实。

Buddhist ceremonies [are] with
strict meticulousness as practical [workablity].

[15]

待客以至诚为供养。

Receiving [of] guests [is] with
utmost sincerity as making [of] offerings.

[16]

山门以耆旧为庄严。

Mountain gates [are] with
elderly [and] respected [practitioners] as adornment.

[17]

凡事以预立为不劳。

All matters [are] with
[advanced] preparation established as without toil.

[18]

处众以谦恭为有礼。

Getting along [with] assemblies [is] with
humility [and] reverence as having courtesy.

[19]

遇险以不乱为定力。

Encountering dangers [is] with
not [being] scatter-minded as power [of] concentration.

[20]

济物以慈悲为根本。

Helping sentient beings [is] with
loving-kindness [and] compassion as [fundamental] root.

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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