What Is The Third Blessing? 何为第三福?

Written by Purelanders


[2] 三者,

[i] 发菩提心,
[ii] 深信因果,
[iii] 读诵大乘,
[iv] 劝进行者。



[Sūtra]: ‘Those [who] wish [to be] born [in] that [Pure] Land [of Āmítuófó], should cultivate [these] Three Blessings…

[2] Third, [is]

[i] [to] give rise [to the] Bodhi mind, [i.e. Bodhicitta],
[ii] [have] profound faith [in the law of] cause [and] effect [i.e. karma],
[iii] [to] read [and] recite [the] Great Vehicles’s [sūtras, and]
[iv] [to] encourage practitioners [to] advance.

These three matters [are] named [as] “pure karma”.’

[Śākyamuni] Buddha told Vaidehī, ‘[Do] you now know not? These three kinds [of] karma are past, future [and] present, all [the] three periods’ Buddhas pure karma’s right causes.’

Previous Article:

What Is The Second Blessing?

【疏】… 言「发菩提心」者,此明众生欣心趣大,不可浅发小因,自非广发弘心,何能得与菩提相会?

[Commentary]: … [S]peaking [of] those [who] [i] ‘give rise [to the] Bodhi mind’, this [is with] understanding [that] sentient beings, [with the] mind [of] joy [turning] towards [the] great, must not shallowly give rise [to a] small cause, personally not extensively giving rise [to the] great mind, [for] how [is this] able [to], with Bodhi meet together?


Only wishing [that] my body, [is] similar [to] empty space, [and my] mind equal [to the] dharma realm, [for] exhausting sentient beings’ realms.


I with [my] body karma reverencing, making offerings [and] prostrating, welcoming [and] sending off [those who] come [and] go, moving [and] delivering [them], enabling [them to be] exhausted.


Also, with my speech karma praising [and] speaking [the] Dharma, [for] all [to] receive my transformation, when once speaking, [with] those immediately attaining [the] path, enabling [them to be] exhausted. [Note: 言下:说话时;一言之下;顿时]

又我以意业入定观察,分身法界,应机而度,无 一不尽。

Also, with my mind karma entering concentration [to] examine, dividing bodies [throughout the] dharma realm, responding [to] opportunities then delivering, without one not completely [delivered].


I give rise [to] this aspiration, [to] far far [away] extending, just like empty space, [at] no place not pervading, [with] practices flowing without exhausting, passing through [and] exhausting later times, [with the] body without tiring, [and the] mind without revulsion.


Also, speaking [of] ‘Bodhi’, then is [the] name of [the] fruit [of] Buddhahood. Also, speaking [of] ‘mind’, then is sentient beings’ mind of [being] able [to] seek [it]. Thus saying, ‘[to] give rise [to the] Bodhi mind’.

… 言「深信因果」者,谓深信世间出世间苦乐因果。

… [S]peaking [of] those [with] [ii] ‘profound faith [in] cause [and] effect’, [this is] so-called profound faith [in] worldly [and] world-transcending suffering’s [and] bliss’ causes [and] effects.

若作苦因,即感苦果 ;若作乐因,即感乐果。如似蜡印印泥,印坏文成,不得疑也。

If doing [with] suffering’s cause, then responding [is] suffering’s fruit. If doing [with] bliss’ cause, then responding [is] bliss’ fruit. If like [a] wax seal imprinting [on] seal paste, [when the] seal [is] destroyed, [the] words [are] formed, [this] must not [be] doubted.

… 言「读诵大乘」者,此明经教,喻之如镜,数读数寻,开发智慧。

… [S]peaking [of [iii] ‘[to] read [and] recite [the] Great Vehicles’s [sūtras]’, this [is with] understanding [that these] sūtras’ teachings, [are] analogous of [being] like mirrors, [for] repeated reading [and] repeated studying, [to] open up [and develop] wisdom.


If wisdom’s eye opens, then able [to have] revulsion [for] suffering, [and] joy [for seeking] Nirvāṇa [and] others.

… 言「劝进行者」者,此明苦法如毒,恶法如刀,流转三有,损害众生。

… [S]peaking [of [iv] ‘[to] encourage practitioners [to] advance’, this [is with] understanding [of] suffering’s dharmas [to be] like poison, evil dharmas [to be] like knives, wandering [and] circulating [in the] three realms, harming sentient beings.


Now already [understanding] good [to be] like [a] bright mirror, [the] Dharma [to be] like ambrosia, [with the] mirror then illuminate [the] right path for return [to the] true, [with] ambrosia then pour in Dharma rain without exhausting.


Desiring [to] enable [the] contained consciousness [to] receive moisturisation, awaiting [to] meet [the] Dharma’s flow, for this cause [and] condition, thus must [there be] urging [of] one another.


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

Namo Amituofo : Translation by Shen Shi’an

Related Article:

Pure Karma’s Three Blessings
Pure Karma’s Right Causes

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