How The Three Lowest Grades Have Bodhicitta Too 下三品如何也有菩提心

How [The] Three Lowest Grades Have [The] Bodhi Mind Too


Of [the] nine grades’ lowest three grades, [when] approaching [life’s] end [with] suffering extreme, once [they] hear [Amitābha] Buddha’s name: [Āmítuófó (阿弥陀佛), with] their minds of taking refuge [for] life surrendering sincerely, hoping [the] Buddha [to] extend [his] compassion [to] save [them], their brave exertion [and] gratitude, compared with [the] minds of [those] hoping [for] pardon [when] approaching execution, [are more] profound [by] thousands [of] tens [of] thousands [of] times.


Although yet [to] speak [of] and give rise [to the] Bodhi mind [i.e. Bodhicitta], yet their minds’ thoughts of sincerity and earnestness, [are] truly complete [with the] Bodhi mind.

Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
(Third Reply Letter To Layperson Wáng Zǐlì)

Namo Amituofo : Translation by Shen Shi’an


Note: As the Pure Land Dharma Door is named the ‘Special Dharma Door’ (特别法门) by the Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng, the Bodhicitta of those of the three lowest grades can be called ‘Special Bodhicitta’ (特别菩提心), in contrast to Common Bodhicitta (通途菩提心). Upon birth in Pure Land, (Common) Bodhicitta will be given rise to, as stated in the Contemplation Sūtra《观经》. According to the Pure Land Tradition’s 9th Patriarch Great Master Ǒuyì’s ‘Essential Explanation [Of The] Sūtra [In Which The] Buddha Speaks [Of] Amitā[bha Buddha]’《佛说阿弥陀经要解》, ‘[With] profound Faith giving rise [to the] Aspiration [to be born in Āmítuófó’s Pure Land, this] is unsurpassable Bodhi[citta].’ As such, ‘Minds [with] mindfulness, of sincerity and earnestness’ (心念之切与诚) are ‘[with] profound Faith giving rise [to the] Aspiration [to be born in Āmítuófó’s Pure Land] (深信发愿).’

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