The Five Kinds Of Triple Gem Mindful Of In Pure Land 在净土所念之五种三宝


According [to] that desired heard, without [that] not smoothly explained, thus enabling those hearing [to be] mindful [of the] Triple Gem, [to] give rise [to the] Bodhi Mind, subdue [and] eradicate afflictions.


Clearly seeing [the Buddha’s] loving-kindness [and] might [that is] inconceivable, thus [with] ‘mindfulness [of the] Buddha’.


[With] Dharma joy entering [the] mind, [and] Dharma flavour abundant, thus [with] ‘mindfulness [of the] Dharma’.


Similarly hearing [and] together endowed, wholeheartedly cultivating [and] realising, thus [with] ‘mindfulness [of the] Saṃgha’.


[Those] able [to be] mindful then, [are with the] Three Contemplations.

[Note 1:

Three Contemplations (三观者):

(1) Emptiness Contemplation (空观) 
(2) Provisional (False[ly Named]) Contemplation (假观)
(3) Middle [Path’s] Contemplation (中观)]

所念三宝,有别相、一体及四教意义、 三谛权实之不同。

That mindful [of, the] Triple Gem, has [those of] Separate Forms’, One Essence’s and Four Teachings’ meanings, [with the] Three Truths, [and with the] Expedient [and] True not [the] same.

[Note 2:

Separate Forms’ Triple Gem (别相三宝):

(1) Buddha Gem (佛宝): Three Dharma, Reward [And] Manifestation Bodies (法报化三身)
(2) Dharma Gem (法宝): Teachings, Practices, Principles [And] Fruits (教行理果)
(3) Saṃgha Gem (僧宝): Three Vehicles’ Noble [And] Virtuous [Ones] (三乘圣贤)

One Body’s Triple Gem (一体三宝):

The Triple Gem’s true Essential Nature (真实体性):

(1) Buddha Gem (佛宝): Oneself’s mind’s wisdom with originally possessed awakening and illumination (自心本具觉照的智慧), that is still yet constantly illuminating (寂而常照).
(2) Dharma Gem (法宝): Oneself’s mind’s originally possessed still concentration’s True Suchness’ Principle Essence (自心本具寂定的真如理体) , that is illuminating yet constantly still (照而常寂).
(3) Saṃgha Gem (僧宝): Those able to contemplate (能观) wisdom and that contemplated (所念) Principles’ Essence (理体) harmoniously joined (和合), with stillness and illumination not two (寂照不二).

Four Teachings’ Buddha Gem (四教佛宝):

Tripiṭaka Teachings (藏教): Attained Buddhahood under the Bodhi Tree, appearing with an ascetic’s inferior (劣) Manifestation Body (应身).
(2) Common Teachings (通教): Attained Buddhahood under the Bodhi Tree with seven treasures (七宝菩提树) in Bōdh Gayā (菩提伽耶), appearing with inferior and superior (劣胜) Manifestation Body (化身).   
(3) Separate Teachings (别教): Attained Buddhahood under the Bodhi Tree with seven treasures in the Lotus Flower Treasury Land (莲华藏世界), appearing with a complete and perfect (圆满) Reward Body (报身).
(4) Complete Teachings (圆教): Attained pure Dharma Body (法身) and empty space as seat (虚空为座).

Four Teachings’ Saṃgha Gem (四教僧宝):

Tripiṭaka Teachings (藏教): With Voice-Hearers (声闻) and Pratyekabuddhas (缘觉) taught and transformed (教化) at the front (正面), and Bodhisattvas (菩萨) brought along by the side (旁带).
(2) Common Teachings (通教): With Bodhisattvas taught and transformed at the front, with Voice-Hearers and Pratyekabuddhas brought along by the side.
(3) Separate Teachings (别教): With teaching and transforming of Bodhisattvas with dull roots (钝根) outside the Three Realms (界外).
(4) Complete Teachings (圆教): With teaching and transforming of Bodhisattvas with sharp dulls (利根) outside the Three Realms.

Three Truths’ Triple Gem (三谛三宝):

(1) Absolute Truth (真谛): Tripiṭaka Teaching (藏教) and Common Teaching (通教)
(2) Conventional (Relative) Truth (俗谛): Separate Teaching (别教)  
(3) Middle (Path’s) Truth (中谛): Complete Teaching (圆教)

Expedient [And] True Triple Gem (权实三宝):

(1) Expedient Triple Gem (权三宝): Tripiṭaka, Common and Separate Teachings (藏通别教)
(2) True Triple Gem (真实三宝): Complete Teaching (圆教)]


As above, [in the] categorically explained path grades, [they] should [be] known.

– 净土宗九祖藕益大师

– 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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