Translations

Benefits From Mindfulness Of Buddha Surpass All Dharma Doors 念佛利益超过一切法门

既有宿业婴恶疾,当吃素念佛,为宿世怨家作超度事。

Since having past [negative] karma, [to be] bothered [by] loathsome sickness, [you] should eat [as a] veg[etari]an, [and practise] mindfulness [of] Buddha, for past lives’ [karmic] enemies doing practices, [for their] transcendence [and] deliverance.

所言超度,亦不必请僧做佛事,但自己认真恳切至诚念佛,及念观音耳。

That said, [for] transcendence [and] deliverance, [there is] likewise no need [to] invite monastics [to] conduct Buddhist ceremonies, only [with] oneself seriously, earnestly [and] utmost sincerely mindful [of Amitābha] Buddha [i.e. Āmítuófó], and[/or] mindful [of] Guānyīn [Bodhisattva] only.

且勿谓只念一佛一菩萨,便可愈病乎。

Moreover, [do] not say, ‘[Is] only [being] mindful [of] one Buddha [and/or] one Bodhisattva, then able [to] heal sickness?’

须知念佛,为佛法中最圆顿直捷之法,其利益超过一切法门。

[You] must know [that] mindfulness [of] Buddha [is], of [the] Buddha’s teachings within, [the] most perfect, [complete], sudden [and] straightforward teaching, [with] its benefits surpassing all [other] Dharma doors.

但以心之诚不诚为差等,非法有或灵或不灵也。

[It is] only with [the] mind, [being with] sincerity [or] no sincerity as different grades, not [the] teaching having either efficacy or no efficacy.

净土宗十三祖印光大师
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
(复湘阴黄颂平居士书)
(Reply Letter To Xiāngyīn Layperson Huáng Sòngpíng)

Notes:

[1] There should be eating as veg(etari)ans as many, if not almost all sicknesses, arise from unhealthy consumption of animal products, that also creates negative karma which ripens as sicknesses. While eating as veg(etari)ans helps heal the body, mindfulness of Buddha helps to heal both body and mind, by eradicating the negative karma involved.

[2] As we have lived many past lives as unenlightened beings, it is inevitable that we have incurred karmic creditors’ [i.e. enemies], whom we are not aware of. (They might not even remember us as enemies, yet instinctively behave as our enemies.) As such, we should always have good will to practise as taught sincerely, and to dedicate merits to all beings sincerely, to help alleviate their suffering, and to transcend rebirth by being delivered to Pure Land.

[3] Mindfulness of Buddha is the most perfect, complete, sudden and straightforward teaching, as all Dharma practices are perfected and completed upon perfect and complete mindfulness of Buddha – even for great Bodhisattvas, as they have to be mindful all the way, of who they aspire to finally become – Buddhas. It is a straightforward teaching for sudden enlightenment as once Buddha is connected to firmly, especially in Pure Land, this leads swiftly to enlightenment. Being the most straightforward spiritual path, it is thus the swiftest path to Buddhahood, with benefits surpassing all other Dharma doors.

[4] Mindfulness of Āmítuófó and/or Guānyīn Púsà (i.e. Bodhisattva) were probably taught to offer them as optional subjects of mindfulness, not so much of it being essential to practise mindfulness of both. We know this is so as Āmítuófó is also known as the ‘Unsurpassable Great King Of Healers’ (无上大医王), which means mindfulness of his name will suffice for healing. Perhaps Guānyīn Púsà was mentioned as many associate her with alleviating of suffering in everyday life, while associating Āmítuófó more for receiving and guiding for birth in Pure Land at the end of life. However, just as Guānyīn Púsà also assists in receiving and guiding at the end of life, Āmítuófó also heals in everyday life.

[5] When severely sick, to the point of already possibly dying, thus having low possibility of healed in this life, there should be focus only to reach Pure Land, as detailed in the ‘Related Letter’ below. It is via reaching Pure Land that there will be complete and lasting healing.

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

相关文钞
Related Letter:

重病时应当有什么态度?
What Attitude To Have When Severely Sick?
https://purelanders.com/2015/12/30/guidance-before-support-chanting-助念前开示-pure-land-passport-section-2

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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