C3: Encouragement [Of] Practice’s Transmission
Divided [In] Two: First, All Buddhas’ Praises [In] Turn, Second, Master Teacher’s Conclusive Praise
D1: All Buddhas’ Praises [In] Turn
[Sūtra]: Śāriputra, like I now praise all Buddhas’ inconceivable meritorious virtues, all those Buddhas [and] others, also praise my inconceivable meritorious virtues, and make this statement, “Śākyamuni Buddha, [was] able [to] do [these] extremely difficult [and] rare of matters, able [to], in [this] Sahā Land’s Five Defilements’ Evil Period, [with] Kalpa’s Defilement, Views’ Defilement, Afflictions’ Defilement, Sentient Beings’ Defilement, [and] Lifespan’s Defilement within, attain Anuttarā Samyak Saṃbodhi, [and] for all sentient beings, speak this Dharma, [that] all in [the] world [have] difficulty believing [in].”
[Note 1: In Great Master Xuánzàng’s (玄奘大师) translation, ‘all Buddhas’ (诸佛) in the first line was translated as ‘Immeasurable Life Buddha’ (无量寿佛), who is Āmítuófó (阿弥陀佛) – being both ‘one of all Buddhas’, and ‘one with all Buddhas’, thus able to represent them.
Note 2: The extremely difficult and rare matter accomplished by Śākyamuni Buddha was doubly difficult. First, he had to personally accomplish Buddhahood, despite being in this Evil Period of the Five Defilements, that is easy to retrogress in. (Although his was a manifested birth, it was still difficult to manifest convincingly.)
Second, he had to personally teach the Pure Land teachings for most skilfully delivering others still trapped in this Evil Period of the Five Defilements, for them to personally accomplish Buddhahood, despite the teachings being the most difficult to teach and most difficult to believe in.]
[Explanation]: All Buddhas’ meritorious virtues [and] wisdom, although [are] all equal, yet [their teachings] given [to] transform, [are] thus with [the] difficult [and] easy.
[Note 3: Below lists five levels of increasing difficulties.]
 [In] Pure Land accomplishing Bodhi [is] easy, [while in this] defiled world (秽土) [is] difficult.
 For Pure Land’s sentient beings speaking [the] Dharma [is] easy, [while for this] defiled land’s sentient beings [is] difficult.
 For [this] defiled land’s sentient beings speaking [the] gradual Dharma [is] still ‘easy’, [while] speaking [the] sudden Dharma [is] difficult.
 For [this] defiled land’s sentient beings speaking other sudden Dharma [is] still ‘easy’, [while] speaking [the] Pure Land’s horizontal transcendence’s sudden Dharma [is] especially difficult.
 For [this] defiled land’s sentient beings speaking [the] Pure Land’s horizontal transcendence’s sudden cultivation [for] sudden realisation [of] wonderful contemplation, [that] already [by] oneself [is] not easy, [yet] speaking [of] this, [that does] not rely upon exhausting toil [to] cultivate realisation, [that] only upholds [the] name [of Āmítuófó, to] directly ascend non-retrogression, [as this is] unusually special [and] supremely wonderful, going beyond conceptualisation [as the] foremost skilful means, [this is] even more [so], as [the most] difficult within [the] difficult [to teach beings to have Faith in].
Thus [of] all [the] ten directions’ Buddhas, none [do] not praise our Śākyamuni [Buddha, who was] inclined as [heroically] bold and powerful.
– 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’