[54] Why Should Those Who Hear Pure Land’s Benefits Vow To Be Born There? 为何闻净土利者应当发愿往生?


C2: Repeat [Of] Exhortation

: 舍利弗,我见是利,故说此言。若有众生,闻是说者,应当发愿,生彼国土。

[Sūtra]: Śāriputra, [as] I see these benefits, thus [do I] speak these words. If [there] are sentient beings, who hear this said, [they] should vow [i.e. give rise to Aspiration] [to be] born [in] that land.


[Explanation]: That [of] ‘I see’, [is by the] Buddha’s eyes that [are] seen, [with] examination complete [and] clearly understood.

「是利」者, 横出五浊,圆净四土,直至不退位尽,是为不可思议功德之利也。

That [of] ‘these benefits’, [are being] horizontally exited [from the] Five Defilements, [to] completely purify [the] Four Lands, directly reaching [the] Non-Retrogressible Position completely, [with] these as [the] inconceivable benefits.


Furthermore, ‘these benefits’, [are here] restricted [to] when life [approaches the] end [to be] not [being] inverted then said.


Because [those in this] Defiled Land [with] Self-Power cultivating practice, [at] life [or] death’s [critical] juncture, [it is] most difficult [for them to be] capable [enough then].  


Regardless [of those] stubbornly cultivating crazy wisdom, [who should be] ashamed [to be] without results; [or even those with] immediate awakening’s door [with results] far-reaching, [or] people [who] conducted [and] fulfilled profound [practice] truly, if [with a] hairsbreadth [of negative] habit yet [to be] eradicated, [they have] yet [to] avoid following powerful [karma, to] lean [towards] falling [in their next lives].


As said [by the Sixth Pure Land] Patriarch [Great] Master Yǒngmíng,'[Of] ten persons, nine [will] detour [on the] path. [The] intermediate state [between death and rebirth], if appearing before [them], swiftly [will] it [be] followed’. This honestly, can [be] disappointing [and] grievous indeed!


[Even those with the] First Fruit [of Sagehood are] obscured from exiting [the] womb, [and] Bodhisattvas [who have yet to realised the Eighth Ground (八地) are] confused from separation [in the] intermediate [state].


Here, how [can they] tolerate [letting] powerful [karma] be [the] dictator [of where they are reborn, by] ‘luck’ [and with] confusion?


[We should] only [be] with Faith [and] Aspiration upholding [the] name [of Āmítuófó], relying upon [his] Other-Power thus. [With the] Buddha’s vows [of] loving-kindness [and] compassion, [this] definitely [will] not [be] in vain.


Āmítuófó [and his] noble assembly, [will] appear before [us to] reassure [and] guide, thus attaining non-inversion, [with] ease [to be] reborn.


[When the] Buddha sees sentient beings approaching [the] end [of life with] suffering of [being] inverted [and] scattered, [he will] specially, for protecting [their] undertaking [of] this matter [of rebirth], therefore earnestly [and] diligently, repeatedly urge giving rise [to] Aspiration, [as it is] with Aspiration, [that he is] able [to] guide [our] Practice thus.

– 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 note 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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