Translations

When To Have Verbal & Silent Recitation? 何时出声念与默念?How To Gather The Six Roots For Pure Mindfulness In Continual Succession? 如何都摄六根,净念相继?

【为何念佛是第一方便?】
[Why Is Mindfulness Of Buddha The Foremost Skilful Means?]

念佛法门,下手易而成功高,用力少而得效速。

[The] Dharma Door [of] mindfulness [of] Buddha, [is] easy [to] start, yet [with its] success great, [with] little physical exertion, yet attaining results swiftly.

行、住、坐、卧,一切时一切处,均好念。

[Be it] walking, standing, sitting [or] lying down, [at] all times [and] all places, all [are] good [for] recitation.

【何时出声念与默念?】
[When To Have Verbal And Silent Recitation?]

若衣冠整齐,手脸洁净,出声念,默念,均可。

If dressing [is] orderly, [with] hands [and] face clean, verbal recitation [and] silent recitation [are] all alright.

若睡倒,及衣冠不整齐,尚未洗漱,及到不洁净处,或抽大小解时,皆须默念,不宜出声。

If [1] lying down, and [2] dressing [is] not orderly, [3] not yet washing [the] face [and] rinsing [the mouth], and [4] at unclean places, or [5] when [with] major [or] minor [restroom] relief, all must [be with] silent recitation, [as these occasions are] not suitable [for it to be] verbal.

[Note: In the Master’s ‘Fourth Reply Letter To Layperson Gāo Shàolín’ (复高邵麟居士书四), he also taught that, ‘When lying [down, it is] only suitable [to have] silent recitation. [There] must not [be] verbal [recitation]. If [with] verbal [recitation], first, thus [is it] not respectful, second thus [is it] harmful [for] breathing [and vitality].’ (卧时只宜默念,不可出声。若出声,一则不恭,二则伤气 [i.e. 损伤元气]。) Thus, especially the weak and bedridden, should recite verbally when propped up or seated upright, with more focus on silent recitation, when lying down.]

虽睡不可赤体,须穿衫裤。心中常存敬畏,不可放纵。

Although lying down [or sleeping, there] must not [be] nudity [of the] body. [There] must [be] wearing [of] shirt [and] pants. [There] must not [be] non-restraint.

【如何都摄与六根,净念相继?】
[How To Gather The Six Roots For Pure Mindfulness In Continual Succession?]

欲摄妄念,第一要心存恭敬,常若身在佛前,不敢起别种念想。

Desiring [to] gather [in the mind, away from] false [or stray] thoughts, first, [the] mind must remain reverent constantly, [as] if before [the] Buddha, not daring [to] give rise [to] other kinds [of] thoughts.

第二要字字句句,心里念得清清楚楚,口里念得清清楚楚,则妄想自渐渐消灭矣。

Second, [there] must [be] word [by] word, line [by] line, [the] mind within reciting clearly, [the] mouth within reciting clearly. Thus [will] false thoughts naturally [and] gradually disappear.

即默念,也要听。

Even if [with] silent recitation, [there] also must [be] listening.

以心一起念,即有声。

With [the] mind together reciting, [it] then has sound.

自己的耳,听自己心里的声,仍然明明了了。

[With] oneself’s ears, listening [to] one’s sound within [the] mind, [it should] still [be] clearly [heard].

《楞严经》大势至菩萨云,「都摄六根,净念相继,得三摩地,斯为第一」,注重在听。

[In the] Śūraṅgama Sūtra, Great Power Arrived Bodhisattva said, ‘Gathering in [the] six roots, [with] pure mindfulness [in] continual succession, [to] attain Sānmódì [i.e. Samādhi], this [is] as [the] foremost’. [This is with] emphasis on listening.

「 六根」,即眼,耳,鼻,舌,身,意。

[The] ‘six roots’, are [the] eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body [and] mind.

心,即意根。口,即舌根。听,即耳根。

The mind, is [the] mind root. [The] mouth, is [the] tongue root, [though used for reciting and not tasting here]. Listening, is [of the] ear root.

心念,口念,耳听,此三根一摄,眼也不会东张西望,鼻也不会闻别的气味,身也不敢放逸懈怠,故名「都摄六根」。

[With the] mind mindful, [the] mouth reciting, [and the] ears listening, these three roots [are as] one gathered, [with the] eyes also not seeing [the] East [and] looking [at the] West, [the] nose also not smelling other smells, [the] body also not daring [to be] unrestrained, pleasure-seeking [and] slack, [this is] thus named [as] ‘gathering in [the] six roots’.

「 都摄六根」而念,自无污杂妄念,故名「净念」。

‘Gathering in [the] six roots’, and reciting, naturally without defiled, mixed [and] false thoughts, [is] thus named [as] ‘pure mindfulness’.

「 净念」,必须要常常相继不断,故名「 净念相继」。

‘Pure mindfulness’, must have constantly continual succession without interruption, thus named [as] ‘pure mindfulness [in] continual succession.’

能「净念相继」,久而久之,则得念佛三昧。

[If] able [to have] ‘pure mindfulness [in] continual succession’, as time passes [by], thus attaining Samādhi [From] Mindfulness [Of] Buddha.

此「都摄六根,净念相继」,为得三昧之「第一」妙法。

This ‘gathering in [the] six roots, [with] pure mindfulness [in] continual succession’, [is] for attaining of Samādhi’s ‘foremost’ wonderful method.

故云,「得三摩地,斯为第一」。

Thus said, ‘[to] attain Sānmódì, this [is] as [the] foremost.’

「 三摩地」,即三昧之别名。

‘Sānmódì’, is Samādhi other name.

如此念之,决有净念常存,妄念全无之一日。

Thus mindful of, [there will] definitely be pure thoughts always there, [and] one day, [you will] completely [be] without [any] false thoughts.

净土宗十三祖印光大师
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
复修净师书
Letter To [Dharma Masters (And/Or)] Teacher[s] Cultivating [The] Pure Land [Path]

Related Articles:

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

Can Buddhists Chant In Restrooms & Bedrooms?
https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2014/02/can-buddhists-chant-in-toilets-and-bedrooms

Namo Amituofo : Translation and note by Shen Shi’an

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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