B3: Main Guidance [For] Practitioners [To] Uphold [The] Name For Establishing Practice
Divided [In] Two [Parts]: First, Main Guidance [On] Unsurpassable Cause [And] Effect, Second, Repeated Exhortation.
C1: Main Guidance [On] Unsurpassable Cause [And] Effect
【经】: 舍利弗，不可以少善根、福德、因缘得生彼国。舍利弗，若有善男子、善女人，闻说阿弥陀佛，执持名号，若一日、若二日、若三日、若四日、若五日、 若六日、若七日，一心不乱，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。
[Sūtra]: Śāriputra, [one] cannot, with few good roots [and] blessed virtues [as] cause and condition, attain birth [in] that land. Śāriputra, if [there] are good men [and] good women, [who] hear [this] said [about] Amitā Buddha, [faithfully and] firmly uphold [mindfulness of his] name [i.e. Āmítuófó], if [for] one day, if [for] two days, if [for] three days, if [for] four days, if [for] five days, if [for] six days, if [for] seven days, wholeheartedly without [being] scattered, when these persons approach life’s end, Amitā Buddha, with many [in his] noble assembly [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 Buddha’s Land [Of] Ultimate Bliss.
[Explanation]: [Practising] Bodhi’s right path [is] named [as having] ‘good roots’, the same as [the] close cause.
[Having] all kinds [of practices that] support [the] path, [such as] generosity, [upholding] precepts, meditation [and] others [are] named [as] ‘blessed virtues’, [that are] the same as supportive conditions.
Voice-Hearers [Śrāvakas] [and] Lone Awakeners [i.e. Pratyekabuddhas] [with] Bodhi’s good roots few, human [and] heavenly [beings with] blessed karma [and] blessed virtues with outflows few, all cannot [be] born [in] Pure Land.
Only with Faith [and] Aspiration firmly upholding [the] name [of Āmítuófó], thus [is with] each [and] every one recitation all complete [with] many good roots [and] blessed virtues.
[With a] scattered mind reciting [the] name, bless[ed virtues and] good [roots] likewise cannot [be] measured, moreover [if with] wholeheartedness without [being] scattered!
Thus enabling connection [and] response [for] mutual interaction, [when the] text forms, [the] seal spoils.
Āmítuófó [and his] noble assembly, [will] not come yet [also] come, personally approaching [to] receive [and] guide.
Practitioners’ minds’ consciousness, [will be] not reborn yet reborn, [as] entrusted [to their] treasure lotuses.
Those good men [and] women, regardless [of those who have] left [the] household [life or in the] household [life], noble [or] lowly, old [or] young, [of the] Six Realms [and] Four Births, [even if] only hearing [the] Buddha’s name, [are] at that time, [with] many kalpas’ good roots maturing. [Even those with the] Five Heinous [Transgressions [and] Ten Evils, [are] all named [as] ‘good’.
Six Realms (六趣) /
Six Paths (六道):
(1) Hell-beings’ path (地狱道)
(2) Hungry ghosts’ path (饿鬼道)
(3) Animals’ path (畜生道)
(4) Human beings’ path (人道)
(5) Asuras’ path (阿修罗道)
(6) Heavenly beings’ path (天人道)
Four Births (四生):
(1) Egg birth (卵生)
(2) Womb birth (胎生)
(3) Moisture birth (湿生)
(4) Manifestation birth (化生)]
[As] Āmítuófó is [the] great name [of] ten thousand virtues, with [the] name beckoning virtues, without exhausting [the] inexhaustible, thus then [is] with firmly upholding [of the] name as [the] Main Practice. Not needing [to] also involve [in] visualisation, investigation [and] other practices, [it is] utmost easy, [and] utmost straightforward.
[With] listening then [having] Faith, [having] Faith then [having] Aspiration, then [is there] willingness [to] firmly uphold [the name].
Not [having] Faith, not [having] Aspiration, with not listening [and] others, although as [a] distant cause, [these are] not named [as] Wisdom [From] Listening.
[To] firmly uphold thus, [from] thought [to] thought recollecting [the] Buddha’s name, thus is Wisdom [From] Reflection.
Three Wisdoms (三慧):
(1) Wisdom From Listening (闻慧)
(2) Wisdom From Reflection (思慧)
(3) Wisdom From Cultivation (修慧)]
However, [there] are [those with] Practice Upheld [and] Principles Upheld.
Those [with] Practice Upheld, [have] Faith [that there] is [the] Western Āmítuófó, but [have] yet [to] reach [the state of ‘it] is [the] mind [that] becomes [Buddha, and it] is [the] mind [that] is Buddha’, however with determined Aspiration [to] seek birth thus, ‘like [a] child recollecting [the] Mother’, with no time temporarily forgetting [this].
Those [with] Principles Upheld, [have] Faith [that the] Western Āmítuófó is [in] my mind complete, is [in] my mind created, then with oneself’s mind, that complete [and] that created great name, as [the] realm [for] fastening [the] mind, enabling [it to] not [be] temporarily forgotten.
Those [upholding for] one day to seven days, [are] within [this] time frame carrying out [their] practice.
[Those of] sharp roots [with] one day [are] then not scattered.
[Those of] dull roots [with] seven days [are] then not scattered.
[Those of] medium roots [with] two, three, four, five [or] six, [with] days not fixed.
Also, [those of] sharp roots [are] able [to be with] seven days not scattered.
[Those of] dull roots, only [with] one day not scattered.
[Those of] medium roots [with] six, five, four, three [or] two, [with] days not fixed.
Wholeheartedness likewise has two kinds.
Regardless [of with] Practice Upheld, [or] Principles Upheld, upholding until subduing [and] eradicating afflictions, even until [mistaken] views [and] thoughts [are] first exhausted, all [are with] Practice’s Wholeheartedness.
Regardless [of with] Practice Upheld, [or] Principles Upheld, upholding until [the] mind opens [to] see Original Nature’s Buddha, all [are with] Principles’ Wholeheartedness.
[With] Practice’s Wholeheartedness not by [mistaken] views [and] thoughts that [are] scattered, [and with] Principles’ Wholeheartedness not by [the] two [extreme] sides that [are] scattered, is the same as Wisdom [From] Cultivation.
[Those] not by [mistaken] views [and] thinking scattered, thus connect [to a] Manifestation Body’s Buddha and many [in his] noble assembly, [who] appear before [them, with their] minds not again giving rise [to the] Sahā World within’s Three Existences’ inversions, [to be] reborn in the] Together Dwelling [Land, and the] Expedience [Land, of these] two kinds [in the] Land [Of] Ultimate Bliss.
Three Existences (三有) /
Three Realms (三界)：
(1) Desire Realm (欲界)
(2) Form Realm (色界)
(3) Formless Realm (无色界)]
[Those] not by [the] two [extreme] sides scattered, thus connect [to the] Enjoyment Body’s Buddha and many [in his] noble assembly, [who] appear before [them, with their] minds not again giving rise [to the] two views inverted [on forms of the cycle of] births [and] deaths, [and emptiness of] Nirvāṇa, [to be] reborn [in the] True Reward [Land, and the] Still Light [Land, of these] two kinds [in the] Land [Of] Ultimate Bliss.
[It] should [be] known [that] upholding [the] name, [is] both easy [and] straightforward, yet [able to lead to] utmost sudden [and] utmost complete [awakening].
With thought [to] thought the same as [the] Buddha thus, not exhausting [with] visualisation, not needing investigation, at once completely understanding, without surplus [and] without lack.
[Those] highest [of] high [spiritual] roots [are] not able [to] exceed its threshold, [and those] lowest [of] low [spiritual] roots [are] likewise able [to] reach its land[s].
[As] their that connected Buddha, [and] that born land, [are] often [with] Superior Entry, [they are] also not all [the same].
[Note 4: This refers to those with Superior Entry Received (胜进接), who are the opposite of those According (To) Position (Received) (按位接).]
[This] can [be] said [to be] horizontally complete [with the] Eight Teachings, [and to] vertically pervade [the] Five Periods.
Five Periods (五时):
(1) Flower Adornment (Avataṃsaka) Period (华严时)
(2) Āgama Period (阿含时)
(3) Vaipulya (Right [And] Equal) Period (方等时)
(4) Prajñā Period (般若时)
(5) Dharma Flower [And] Nirvāṇa Period (法华涅槃时)
Eight Teachings (八教):
Transformative Methods’ Four Teachings (化仪四教):
(1) Sudden Teaching (顿教)
(2) Gradual Teaching (渐教)
(3) Secret Teaching (秘密教)
(4) Indefinite Teaching (不定教)
Transformative Dharma’s Four Teachings (化法四教)：
(5) Tripiṭaka Teaching (藏教)
(6) CommonTeaching (通教)
(7) Separate Teaching (别教)
(8) Complete Teaching (圆教)]
Therefore with [the] complete heart [of] compassion, without [being] asked self spoken, further profoundly exclaiming it [to be] difficult [to have] Faith [in].
– 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
Next Section: Why Focus On Buddha Recitation & Not Visualisation?
Complete English Translation Of ‘The Essential Explanation On The Amitābha Sūtra As Spoken By The Buddha’
以上讲解: 《佛说阿弥陀经要解讲记》第 310-335 页