Translations

Which Śūraṅgama Sūtra Practice Should We Have? 应当修持楞严经的哪个圆通?

楞严一经,不知净土者读之,则为破净土之元勋。

[Of this] one Śūraṅgama Sūtra, [when] those [who do] not know [the] Pure Land [path] read [it, they] thus [see it as the] principal proponent [for] refuting [the] Pure Land [path, if they focus on the twenty-four perfect penetrations without Other-power].

知净土者读之,则为宏净土之善导。

[When] those [who] know [the] Pure Land [path] read [it, they] thus [see it as a] good guide for propagating [the] Pure Land [path, as they focus on the twenty-fourth practice, which is the ‘Section On Great Power Arrived Bodhisattva’s Perfect Penetration With Mindfulness Of Buddha’ (大势至菩萨念佛圆通章), for reaching Āmítuófó’s Pure Land].

何以言之。以自力悟道之难,净土往生之易。

Why [is it] said [so]? [As] with [only] Self-power, awakening [to the] path [is] difficult, [while] Pure Land’s rebirth [is] easy [to attain with Other-power’s support].

十法界因果,一一分明。

[There, of the] ten dharma realms’ causes [and] effects [in the realms of hell-beings (地狱众生), hungry ghosts (饿鬼), animals (畜生), humans (人), asuras (阿修罗), devas (天人), Śrāvakas (声闻),  Pratyekabuddhas (辟支佛), Bodhisattvas (菩萨) and Buddhas (佛陀)], each and every one [will then be seen] clearly, [thus swiftly attaining Buddhahood].

若不仗佛力,虽阴破一二,尚或著魔发狂,为地狱种子。

If not relying [upon] Buddha’s power, although [of the Five] Aggregates [of form, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness, perhaps] breaking [free from] one [or] two, [it is] still possible [to become] possessed [by] demons [to] go mad, [with this] as hell’s seed, [as detailed in the sūtra’s ‘Section On The Fifty Aggregates’ Demon(ic States)’ (五十阴魔章)].

而且二十四圆通之工夫,今人谁能修习。

Furthermore, [on] skills [needed for the] twenty-four perfect penetrations [without Other-power’s support, of] today’s people [in this Dharma-Ending Age], who [are] able [to] cultivate [their] practices?

唯如子忆母之念佛,凡有心者,皆堪奉行。

[It is] only [with this Pure Land practice], like [a] child recollecting [the] Mother, [being] mindful [of the] Buddha, [that of] all those [who] have [sincere] minds, all [are] able [to] practise.

但得净念相继,自可亲证三摩。

Only [needing to] attain pure mindfulness [of Buddha with continuous] succession [with profound Faith (深信) and sincere Aspiration (切愿)], oneself [is] able [to] personally realise [or advance towards] samādhi [for attainment of wisdom].

知好歹者读之,其肯唯主自力,不仗佛力乎。

[When] those [who] know [the] good from [the] ‘bad’ read [this, how can] they [be] willing [to be with] only oneself’s Self-power, [and] not rely [upon the] Buddha’s power [too]?

不知好歹者反是。

Those [who do] not know [the] good from [the] ‘bad’ [are the] opposite [of] this.

以其止欲为通家,无心了生死耳。

With them stopping [at the] desire [to be known] as ‘experts’ [in many teachings, but] without [the] intention [to be] liberated [from the cycle of] birth [and] death.  

净土宗十三祖印光大师
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
复永嘉某居士书七
7th reply letter to a certain Yǒngjiā layperson

Notes:

[1] The Śūraṅgama Sūtra is the first sūtra to disappear in this Dharma-Ending Age, while the Immeasurable Life Sūtra (无量寿经) will be the last, to be specially safeguarded by the Buddha, as it contains the last feasible path to liberation.

[2] Some of the reasons why the Śūraṅgama Sūtra will be the first to disappear are due to its emphasis on [i] morality, in its ‘Section On Four Kinds Of Definitive Clear And Pure Instructions’ (四种决定清净明诲章), [ii] the dangers of unqualified meditative practice, in its ‘Section On The Fifty Aggregates’ Demon(ic States)’ (五十阴魔章), [iii] and its connection to the last possible path to liberation in this era, in its ‘Section On Great Power Arrived Bodhisattva’s Perfect Penetration With Mindfulness Of Buddha’ (大势至菩萨念佛圆通章).

[3] When these three sections are misunderstood and/or neglected respectively, there will be [i] rampant evil, (with many becoming immoral; being without precepts), [ii] much spiritual chaos, (with evil ‘concentration’ [邪定]; without right concentration [正定]) and [iii] no way out, (with much delusion; without essential wisdom). With these fundamental aspects, [i] Precepts, [ii] Concentration and [iii] Wisdom (戒定慧) of the Threefold Learning (三学) increasingly ruined worldwide, this is ending of the Dharma‘s essence, thus deepening the Dharma-Ending Age.

[4] The main Pure Land practice, although seemingly simple, contains the profound essence of Threefold Learning. [i] With sincere mindfulness of Āmítuófó’s sacred name, that tunes to one’s Buddha-nature, evil is avoided, thus upholding morality. [ii] With increasingly focused practice, thus does concentration deepen. [iii] With the mind becoming more calm, it will also become more clear, as the innate wisdom of one’s Buddha-nature blossoms.

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

相关文章 Related Articles:

念佛即是三学
Buddha Mindfulness As Threefold Learning
https://purelanders.com/2011/12/17/buddha-mindfulness-as-threefold-training

大势至菩萨念佛圆通章
Section On Great Power Arrived Bodhisattva’s Perfect Penetration With Mindfulness Of Buddha
https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2013/10/mindfulness-of-buddha-card

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