What Is ‘Mind Of Dedication & Giving Rise Of Aspiration’ Of The Three Minds? 何为三心之回向发愿心?

Written by Purelanders

【经】:佛告阿难,及韦提希:「… 若有众生愿生彼国者,发三种心,即便往生。何等为三?

[1] 一者,至诚心,
[2] 二者,深心,
[3] 三者,回向发愿心。


[Sūtra]: [Śākyamuni] Buddha told Ānanda, and Vaidehī, ‘… [I]f [there] are sentient beings who aspire [to be] born [in] that [Pure] Land [of Āmítuófó, who] give rise [to] three kinds [of] minds, [they] immediately then, [will be] reborn [there]. What [are] as [the] three?

[1] First, [is the] utmost sincere mind,
[2] second, [is the] profound[ly faithful] mind,
[3] third, [is the] mind [of] dedication [of meritorious virtues with] giving rise [of the] Aspiration [to be born there].

Those complete [with these] Three Minds, [will] definitely [be] born [in] that land.’

Previous Article:

What Is Profound Mind Of The Three Minds?

【疏】:「三者,回向发愿心。」言「回向发愿心」者,过去及以今生,身口意业所修世出世善根,及随喜他一切凡圣身口意业所修世出世善根,以此自他所修善根,悉皆真实深信心中,回向愿生彼国。 故名「回向发愿心」也。

[Commentary]: ‘Third, [is the] mind [of] dedication [of meritorious virtues with] giving rise [of the] Aspiration’ [to be born there]. Speaking [of] those [with ‘the] mind [of] dedication [of meritorious virtues with] giving rise [of] Aspiration, [this is with] past [lives’] and with [this] present life’s karma [of] body, speech, [and] mind, that cultivated worldly [and] world-transcending good roots, and accordingly rejoicing [in] other all ordinary [and] noble [beings’] karma [of] body, speech, [and] mind, that cultivated worldly [and] world-transcending good roots, with this self [and] others’ cultivated good roots, all [from the] true [and] profoundly faithful mind within, dedicating [and] aspiring [for] birth [in] that land. Thus named ‘[is the] mind [of] dedication [of meritorious virtues with] giving rise [of the] Aspiration’ [to be born there].

又回向发愿愿生者, 必须决定真实心中,回向发愿,作得生想。

Also, those [with] dedication [of meritorious virtues, with] giving rise [to the] Aspiration [to be] born, must definitely [be from the] true mind within, dedicating [and] giving rise to Aspiration, creating [the] thought [of] attaining birth.


This mind [with] profound Faith, just like vajra, [is] not by all different views, different knowledge, different explanations, different practitioners [and] others, disturbed [or] destroyed, only with [the] decided one mind, throwing [oneself] right [onto the path, to] straightforwardly advance.


[You] must not listen [to] those other people’s words, [and] immediately have [difficulty of] advancing [or] retreating, [with the] mind giving rise [to] timidness [and] weakness, looking back [and] falling [off the] path, immediately losing [the] great benefit of rebirth [in Pure Land].

问曰 :若有解行不同、邪杂人等,来相惑乱, 或说种种疑难,道不得往生。或云 :「汝等众生旷劫已来,及以今生,身口意业,于一切凡圣身上, 具造十恶、五逆、四重、谤法、阐提、破戒、破见等罪,未能除尽,然此等之罪,系属三界恶道,云何一生修福念佛即入彼无漏无生之国,永得证悟不退位也?」

Question: If [there] are evil mixed people [and] others, [with] understanding [and] practices not [the] same, [who] come together [to] confuse, perhaps saying various kinds [of] doubts [and] difficulties, [that the] path [does] not attain rebirth. Perhaps saying, ‘You [and] other sentient beings, [from] distant kalpas since, and with [this] present life, [with the] karma [of] body, speech [and] mind, upon all ordinary [and] noble [beings’] bodies, completely created [the] Ten Evil [Karmas], Five Heinous [Transgressions], Four Heavy [Prohibitions], slander [of the] Dharma, [were] icchantikas [i.e. the ‘incorrigible’], [who] broke precepts, broke [right] views, [and have] other transgressions, yet able [to be] eradicated completely. In that case, [as] these [and] other transgressions, bind [you to] belong to [the] three realms’ evil paths, how [can you] say [that you can, in] one lifetime, cultivate blessings [by] mindfulness [of] Buddha, [to] then enter that land without outflows [and with] non-birth, [to] forever attain realisation [of] awakening [to the] position [of] non-retrogression?

答曰 :诸佛教行,数越尘沙,禀识机缘,随情非一。

Answer: All [of the] Buddha’s taught practices, [their] number exceed [that of] dust [motes and] sands, [and were] given [with] recognising [of] causes [i.e. spiritual capacities] [and] conditions, according [with] situations, [they are] not singular.


For example, [this] world’s people’s eyes can see [and] can believe, [that just] like brightness [is] able [to] shatter darkness, space [is] able [to] contain, earth [is] able [to] carry [and] support, water [is] able [to] give rise [to] moisture, [and] fire [is] able [to] accomplish destruction.  


Such [and] other matters, all [are] named [as] ‘dharmas [i.e. phenomena] that await [for] responses’, [which] then [with] eyes can [be] seen, [to be with] ten million differences. What is more, [with the] Buddhadharma’s [i.e. the Buddha’s teachings] inconceivable power, how [can they be] without various kinds [of] benefits?

随出一门者,即出一切烦恼门也 ;随入一门者,即入一切解脱智慧门也。为此随缘起行,各求解脱。

Those accordingly exiting one door, then exit all door [of] afflictions. Those accordingly entering one door, then enter all doors [of] wisdom [for] liberation. By this according [with] conditions [to] give rise [to] practice, each seek liberation.


How [can] you then, with [an] essential practice [that I am] without conditions [i.e. karmic affinity] [with], obstruct [and] confuse me?

然我之所爱,即是我有缘之行,即非汝所求 ;汝之所爱,即是汝有缘之行,亦非我所求。

However, of that I love, then is [the] practice I have conditions [with], then not that you seek. Of that you love, then is [the] practice you have conditions [with, [which is] also not that I seek.


Therefore, those [who] each according [to] that joyful [of], then cultivating that practice, [will] definitely swiftly attain liberation.


Practitioners should know, if desiring [to] learn [and] understand, from ordinary until [as] noble [beings], and even [with the] Buddha fruit, [to be with] all without obstacles, all must [be] learnt.


If those desire [to] learn [and] practise, [they] must rely upon [the] Dharma [they] have conditions [with, to] use little effort, [yet] attain much benefits.


Pure Land Tradition’s 2nd Patriarch Great Master Shàndǎo
(Commentary [On The] Contemplation Sūtra [In] Four Fascicles: Scattered Goodness’ Meaning)

Summary: The mind of dedication of meritorious virtues with giving rise of the Aspiration (回向发愿心) decisively (决定) dedicates all self and others’ (i.e. including ordinary [凡夫] and noble [圣者] beings) past and present lives’ worldly and world-transcending (世出世间) good and pure karma (善业与净业) from body, speech and mind (身口意), with that from rejoice (随喜), with the true (真实心) and profoundly faithful mind (深信心), for the Aspiration to be born in Pure Land.

Although the Buddha’s many given teachings accord with the spiritual capacities (根机) of sentient beings, the Pure Land Dharma Door (净土法门) has the greatest karmic affinity with most in this Dharma-Ending Age (末法时期), for the swiftest path to Buddhahood, via reaching, learning and practising in Pure Land, in which all of the Buddha’s teachings can definitely be mastered. As such, those who find little joy in the Pure Land path, should learn to practise it more diligently, so as to not miss its inconceivable power and benefits.

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