Translations

How Is Rebirth In Pure Land Immediate? 如何即刻往生净土?

【解】:问:西方去此十万亿土,何得即生?

[Explanation]: Question: [As the] Western [Land], from this [world, is] a hundred thousand koṭis [of] worlds [away], how [can we] attain immediate birth [there]?

答: 十万亿土,不出我现前一念心性之外,以心性本无外故。

Answer: A hundred thousand koṭis [of] worlds, [are] not out [of] our presently [manifested] one thought’s mind’s nature externally, with [the] mind-nature originally without [that] external thus.

又仗自心之佛力接引,何难即生?

Also, relying [upon one]self’s mind’s Buddha’s [Other-]Power [within to] receive [and] guide [us], what difficulty [is there for] immediate birth?

如镜中照数十层山水楼阁,层数宛然,实无远近,一照俱了,见无先后。

Like [a] mirror within reflecting several tens [of] levels [of] mountains, waters [and] towering pavilions, [the] numbers [of] levels [are seen] just like [as they are], truly without [that] far [or] near, [in] one reflection together complete [with all, with] seeing without [that] first [or] later.

[Note 1: Just as there is reflecting of all levels at once despite various physical distances, which would take shorter or longer time to reach physically, reaching of Pure Land can be immediate.]

「从是西方过十万亿佛土,有世界名曰极乐」亦如是,

‘From here, [in the] western direction, passing a hundred thousand koṭis [of] Buddha Lands, is [a] world named “Ultimate Bliss”.’ [This is] likewise [immediate] thus.

「其土有佛号阿弥陀,今现在说法」亦如是,

‘[In] that land, is [a] Buddha named “Amitā[bha”, who] is now speaking [the] Dharma.’ [This is] likewise [immediate] thus.

「其人临命终时,阿弥陀佛与诸圣众现在其前。是人终时,心不颠倒,即得往生阿弥陀佛极乐国土」亦如是。

‘[When] these persons approach [the] end [of life], Amitā[bha] Buddha, with [an] assembly [of] many noble beings, [will] appear before [them]. When these persons’ lives [are] end[ing, their] minds [will] not [be] inverted, [and they will] immediately attain rebirth [in] Amitā[bha] Buddha’s Land [Of] Ultimate Bliss.’ [This is] likewise [immediate] thus.

当知字字皆海印三昧,大圆镜智之灵文也。

[It] should [be] known [that] every word [in this sūtra, are] all [of the] Ocean Seal Samādhi, of [the] Great Complete Mirror Wisdom’s spiritual text.

[Note 2: Ocean Seal Samādhi (海印三昧) is the concentration attained with the Buddhas’ True Suchness’ inherent awakening (真如本觉). It is like when the great ocean’s waves from winds (representing false thoughts) all cease, with its water (representing the mind of wisdom) becoming calm and clear, reflecting the entire sky’s moon and stars, (representing the ten thousand things, including all beings’ thoughts and all Dharma Doors needed to deliver them). This reflecting is without any going or coming, not same or different, not with or without. Great Complete Mirror Wisdom (大圆镜智) is the mirror-like wisdom of the Buddhas, which reflects all of phenomena completely and perfectly, as they truly are, purely and equally.]

– 净土宗九祖藕益大师
《佛说阿弥陀经要解》

– 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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