Q&A

Is 2nd Patriarch’s Unsurpassable Path’s Mind 9th Patriarch’s Unsurpassable Bodhi Mind? 二祖无上道心是九祖无上菩提心吗?

问:净土宗二祖善导大师在《观经四贴疏》说,「唯发一念厌苦,乐生诸佛境界,速满菩萨大悲愿行,还入生死普度众生,故名‘无上道心’也。」

Question: The Pure Land Tradition’s 2nd Patriarch Great Master Shàndǎo in his ‘Commentary [On The] Contemplation Sūtra [In] Four Fascicles’ said, ‘Only giving rise [to the] one thought [with] revulsion [of] suffering, [and with] joy [for] birth [in] all Buddhas’ realms [via Āmítuófó’s Pure Land, to] swiftly complete Bodhisattvas’ great compassionate vows [and] practices, [by] returning [to] enter birth [and] death [to] universally deliver sentient beings, thus [is this] named [as the] “unsurpassable path’s mind”.’

净土宗九祖蕅益大师在《佛说阿弥陀经要解》说,「深信发愿,即‘无上菩提’」。此二种心一致吗?

The Pure Land Tradition’s 9th Patriarch Great Master Ǒuyì in his ‘Essential Explanation [Of The] Amitā[bha] Sūtra As Spoken [By The] Buddha’ said that ‘[with] profound [or deep] Faith giving rise [to the] Aspiration [to be born in Āmítuófó’s Pure Land, this] is [the] “unsurpassable Bodhi” [mind].’ Are these two kinds of minds the same? 

答;‘无上道心’即是‘无上菩提’(心)。单以厌苦欣乐之愿念佛必能得生极乐,而自然发圆满菩提心,自在满菩萨行。所以,九祖略说,「深信发愿,即无上菩提」

Answer: The ‘unsurpassable path’s mind‘ is the ‘unsurpassable Bodhi’ [mind of Bodhicitta]. Being mindful of Buddha, only with Aspiration powered by revulsion of suffering with joy for Pure Land will be able to reach it, to naturally give rise to perfect Bodhicitta for completing Bodhisattva practices with ease. Thus did the 9th Patriarch briefly say that ‘[with] profound [or deep] Faith giving rise [to the] Aspiration [to be born in Āmítuófó’s Pure Land, this] is unsurpassable Bodhi[citta].’

两种说法可用此偈略说:

速满偈

深信发愿,
无上菩提。
生西速满,
诸菩萨行。

The two explanations can be summarised by this verse –

Verse On Swift Completion

[With] profound Faith giving rise [to] Aspiration,
[is] unsurpassable Bodhi[citta]. 

[With] birth [in the] Western [Pure Land],
[most] swiftly complete all Bodhisattva practices.

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