[61] Āmítuófó Is The Dharma From The Fruit Of Buddhahood 阿弥陀佛即佛果之法

[解]: 故一声阿弥陀佛,即释迦本师于五浊恶世,所得之阿耨多罗三藐三菩提法。

[Explanation]: Thus, [this] one recitation [of] Āmítuófó, is the same as that [our] fundamental teacher Śākya[muni Buddha], in [this] Five Defilements’ Evil Period’s attained Anuttara Samyak Saṃbodhi’s Dharma.


Now with this fruit [of] awakening’s entire essence conferred [to] defiled [and] evil sentient beings, [it is] thus [of the] realm that all Buddhas practise, [that] only Buddhas with Buddhas [are] able [to] understand completely, not that [the] nine realms’ [beings with their] Self-Power [are] able [to have] Faith [and] understanding [of by themselves].


‘All sentient beings’, separately point [to] Five Defilements’ evil persons.


‘All in [the] world’, commonly points [to the] Four Lands’ material worlds [and the] Nine Realms’ sentient worlds [of hell-beings, hungry ghosts, animals, humans, asuras, gods, Arhats, Pratyekabuddhas and Bodhisattvas].

[Note 1:

Four Lands (四土):

All Four Lands can be separate in various defiled lands and Pure Lands. However, a set of them are interconnected for interaction with various beings in Āmítuófó’s Pure Land, though how fully they are experienced by each being is according to one’s spiritual state. (As Pure Land ‘radiates’ from the ‘centre’, to spiritually advance towards it is to advance towards Buddhahood.)

[1] Noble (And) Ordinary Together Dwelling Land (for ordinary beings) (凡圣同居土)

This Sahā World, although a defiled land, also can have a Buddha, Bodhisattvas, Arhats and ordinary beings dwelling together. However, as they have different spiritual attainments, how they experience it differs greatly. Āmítuófó’s Pure Land has this function too. Unenlightened beings who carry their negative karma to be reborn there are all born here, where they can also meet and dwell with the Buddha, Bodhisattvas and Arhats, in a common but pure environment.

[2] Expedience With Remainder Land (for Arhats) (方便有余土)

As experienced by Arhats, having severed Confused Views And Thoughts (断见思), but yet to break ignorance (破无明) completely.

[3] True Reward’s Adornment Land (for Bodhisattvas) (实报庄严土)

As experienced by enlightened Bodhisattvas, including those of highest three grades of birth, who will swiftly realise Non-Birth, and enter the next land.

[4] Eternal Still Light Land (for Buddhas) (常寂光土)

As experienced by Buddhas, with Buddha-Nature (佛性); Original Nature (本性); Principle Nature (理性); or True Suchness (真如) realised, as the cause of full awakening.]


D2: Master Teacher’s Conclusive Praise

[解]: 前劝信流通是诸佛付嘱,此本师付嘱。

[Explanation]: [The] earlier exhortation [of] Faith’s transmission was [by] all Buddhas entrusted, [and] here [is our] fundamental teacher’s entrustment.


[The] words [of] exhortation omitted [the] separate [to] follow [the] common, only saying, ‘all in [this] world’. [This is] like earlier, [when] all Buddhas said, ‘You [and] other sentient beings’. [It] should [be] known [that] Mañjuśrī [Bodhisattva, Mahā]kāśyapa [the Arhat, and] others, [are] all [who were] those exhorted.

【经】: 舍利弗,当知我于五浊恶世,行此难事,得阿耨多罗三藐三菩提,为一切世间说此难信之法,是为甚难。」

[Sūtra]: Śāriputra, [you] should know [that] I, in [this] Five Defilements’ Evil Period, did these difficult matters, [of] attaining Anuttarā Samyak Saṃbodhi, [and] for all in [the] world spoke this difficult [to] believe Dharma, [which] is extremely difficult.’


[With] Faith [and] Aspiration upholding [the] name [of ‘Āmítuófó’, with this] one Practice, not involving carrying out [of other] actions, [it] completely transforms [the] Five Defilements.


Only [by] Faith thus entered, [is] that inconceivable Practice’s realm.


If not [for with our] fundamental teacher [Śākyamuni Buddha] coming [to] enter [this] Evil Period, [to] manifest attainment [of] Bodhi [i.e. Buddhahood], with great wisdom [and] great compassion, seeing this, practising this, [and] speaking this, [with] what cause [can] sentient beings [be] endowed [with] this [teaching]?


However, we [if] staying within [the] Kalpa’s Defilement, definitely [will be], by [this] period [be] constrained, [and] by suffering [be] compelled.


[If] staying within Views’ Defilement, [we] definitely [will be], by evil knowledge [be] entangled, [and] by evil teachers [be] confused.


[If] staying within Afflictions’ Defilement, [we] definitely [will be], by greedy desires [be] trapped, [and] by evil karma [be] poisoned.


[If] staying within Sentient Beings’ Defilement, [we] definitely [will be] ‘resting’ in stinking defilements, yet not able [to be] thoroughly aware [of them, instead] willing to [remain] inferior [and] weak, and not able [to] exert [efforts], to spread wings and fly [to liberation]. 


[If] staying within Lifespan’s Defilement, [we] definitely [will be], by impermanence [be] swallowed, [as swiftly as] flint sparks [and] lightning [flashes come and go], catching [us] unaware, [making it too late to practise in time].


If not profoundly knowing these extreme difficulties, [there] will [be the wrong] assumption [that there] is further another Dharma [method that] can exit [the] Five Defilements, [which is to], in [this] burning [and] increasingly hot house [of the three realms about to collapse], frivolously discussing tangled [views] thus.


Only [by] profoundly knowing these extreme difficulties, then [are we] willing [to] completely end [our] stealing minds [that deludedly crave for some other ‘better’ means to liberation, to] treasure this one [precious Pure Land] Practice.


This [is] why [our] fundamental teacher [made] supreme [efforts to] speak [of] these extreme difficulties, and profoundly exhorted us, [on what we] should know.


[This] first universal exhortation is [thus] complete.

[Note 2: Not only are we in the Five Defilements’ Evil Period, we are in the Dharma-Ending Age too. This makes Pure Land practice doubly relevant, important and urgent.]

– 净土宗九祖澫益大师

– Pure Land Tradition’s 9th Patriarch Great Master Ǒuyì
(Essential Explanation [Of The] Sūtra [In Which The] Buddha Speaks [Of] Amitā[bha] Buddha)

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

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Complete English Translation Of ‘The Essential Explanation On The Amitābha Sūtra As Spoken By The Buddha’

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