[55] Why Not Be Mindful Of Only Self-Nature’s Buddha? 为何不只念自性佛?


Question: [The] Buddha, since [is from the] mind made [and what the] mind is, why not completely speak [of this] Self[-Nature’s] Buddha (自性佛)? Yet needing [to speak] with [that] Other-Buddha as superior, why [is this so]?


Answer: Of this Dharma Door, [it] entirely is [with] understanding [of the] Other [being] the same as Self.


If avoiding mention [of the] Other-Buddha, thus is [this with the] Other view yet [to be] forgotten.


If [being] partial heavily [on] Self[-Nature’s] Buddha, [this] however becomes Self view [with] inversion.


Also, [of the Four] Siddhāntas’ four benefits [to be offered in sequence, as numbered below, the] later three’s beneficial matters [do] not arise alone.


If not from [(1) learning about that] world, (2) profoundly giving rise [to] rejoice [and] Faith, thus [will] joyful [seeking of] Pure Land’s (欣求极乐) and] revulsed [renunciation of this Sahā World’s (厌离娑婆)] two benefits still not [be] able [to] arise, much less [to] (4) awaken [to] enter [the] Principle Buddha [i.e. join the Dharma Body of all Buddhas]?


(3) [As] only following Practice Upheld [is there] reaching [of] Principles Upheld, therefore with Āmítuófó [and his] noble assembly appearing before [us, this] is the same as [our] Original Nature [being] clearly revealed.


Rebirth [in] that land, [to] see [the] Buddha [and] hear [the] Dharma, is the same as [to] accomplish Wisdom’s Body, [that is] not due to others’ awakening [but one’s own].


[This] Dharma Door [is] profound [and] wonderful, [able to] destroy all frivolous discussions, [and] sever completely all [false] opinions.


[It is that which] only [those] of [the] grades [of] Mǎmíng [i.e. Aśvaghoṣa Bodhisattva], Lóngshù [i.e. Nāgārjuna Bodhisattva], [Great Master] Zhìzhě [and Great Master] Yǒngmíng, [who are able to] completely shoulder, attain [and teach].

[Note 1: Aśvaghoṣa Bodhisattva is the Chán Traditon’s 12th Indian Patriarch. Nāgārjuna Bodhisattva is regarded as the Eight Traditions’ Common Patriarch (八宗共祖). Great Master Zhìzhě is the Tiāntái Tradition’s Actual Founder (天台宗实际创始者), also named the Eastern Land’s Minor Śākyamuni Buddha (东土小释迦). Great Master Yǒngmíng is the Pure Land Tradition’s Sixth Patriarch (净土宗六祖) and the Dharma Eye Tradition’s Third Patriarch (法眼宗三祖师), who is also recognised as Āmítuófó’s manifestation. All of them taught and practised the Pure Land Dharma Door.

Note 2:

Eight Traditions (八宗):

(1) Precepts Tradition (律宗)
(2) Three Treatises’ Tradition (三论宗)
(3) Tiāntái Tradition (天台宗)
(4) Dharma Form Tradition (法相宗)
(5) Flower Adornment Tradition (华严宗)
(6) Mantra Tradition (真言宗)
(7) Chán Traditon (禅宗)
(8) Pure Land Tradition (净土宗).]


Those others [with] worldly wisdom [and] debates intelligent, knowledgeable [in] Confucianism [and as] Chán guests, exhausting thinking [and] measuring, the more [they] push [with their reasoning], the more far [away they get from the true teachings].


Also if not [with] foolish men [and] women who [are] earnestly mindful [of] Buddha, for [being] able [to] dive [within, to] understand clearly [the] Buddha’s wisdom, [to] agree implicitly [with the] path’s wonders, [no one else will be able to understand them].


‘I see these benefits, thus speaking these words.’ [As this is with] clear understanding, with [the] Buddha’s eyes [and the] Buddha’s voice, [to] definitely seal [upon] these matters [as true], how [can there be those who] dare [to] disobey [and] resist, [to] not follow [and] enter [this] well?


[The] second Main Principles’ Section [is now] complete.  

– 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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