Translations

[5] Amitābha Sūtra’s Function & Use《阿弥陀经》之力用 The Fourth Layer Of Profound Meaning 第四重玄义 Four Non-Retrogressions 四不退

甲四、明力用

A4: Explanation [Of] Function [And] Use

第四明力用。

Fourth, [is] explanation [of] function [and] use.

此经以往生不退为力用。

This sūtra [is] with rebirth [to attain] non-retrogression as [its] function [and] use.

往生有四土,各论九品,且略明得生四土之相。

[Those] reborn [are] with Four Lands, each [to be] discussed [with] Nine Grades. Also briefly explaining, [are] forms of [those who] attain birth [in the] Four Lands.

若执持名号,未断见思,随其或散或定,于同居土分三辈九品。

If firmly upholding [the] name, yet [to] sever [Mistaken] Views’ [And] Thoughts’ [Confusions] [i.e. 见思惑], according [to] that, perhaps scattered or concentrated, [they are born] in [the] Together Dwelling Land’s divisions [of] three kinds [and] nine grades.

[Note: The causes, conditions and effects (因缘果) of these kinds and grades are detailed in the ‘Immeasurable Life Sūtra’《无量寿经》and ‘Contemplation Sūtra’《观经》respectively.]

若持至事一心不乱,见思任运先落,则生方便有余净土。

If upholding until [with] Practice’s Wholeheartedness Without [Being] Scattered, [with Mistaken] Views’ [And] Thoughts’ [Confusions] allowed [to] naturally first fall [away], thus [are they] born [in the] Expedience With Remainder Pure Land.

若至理一心不乱,豁破无明一品,乃至四十一品,则生实报庄严净土,亦分证常寂光土。

If [upholding] until [with] Principles’ Wholeheartedness Without [Being] Scattered, clearing [and] destroying one grade [of] ignorance, and even forty-one grades, thus [are they] born [in the] True Reward’s Adornments’ Pure Land, also [in] part realising [the] Eternal Still Light Land.

若无明断尽,则是上上实报,究竟寂光也。

If [with] ignorance severed completely, thus are [they born in the] highest [of the] high [grade’s] True Reward [Land, the] ultimate [Eternal] Still Light [Land].

不退有四义:

Non-Retrogression has four meanings.

一、念不退,破无明,显佛性,径生实报,分证寂光。

[1] First, [those with] Thought’s Non-Retrogression, destroy ignorance, reveal Buddha-Nature, [are are] directly born [in the] True Reward [Land, in] part realising [the] still light.

二、行不退,见思既落,尘沙亦破,生方便土,进趋极果。

[2] Second, [those with] Practices’ Non-Retrogression, [have Mistaken] Views’ [And] Thoughts’ [Confusions] already fallen [away, and with] Dusts’ [And] Sands’ [Confusions] [i.e. 尘沙惑] also destroyed, [are] born [in the] Expedience Land, [to] diligently advance [to the] ultimate fruit.

三、位不退,带业往生,在同居土,莲华托质,永离退缘。

[3] Third, [those with] Position’s Non-Retrogression, bringing [negative] karma [to be] reborn, in [the] Together Dwelling Land, [from] lotus flowers entrusted, forever depart [from] retrogression’s conditions.

四、毕竟不退,不论至心散心,有心无心,或解不解,但弥陀名号,或六方佛名,此经名字,一经于耳,假使千万劫后,毕竟因斯度脱。

[4] Fourth, [those with] After All [i.e. All In All] Non-Retrogression, regardless [of with the] sincere mind [or] scattered mind, with intention [or] without intention, [with] understanding or without understanding, only [with] Āmítuófó’s name, or [the] six directions’ Buddhas’ names, [or] this [Amitā(bha)] Sūtra’s name, once passing through [their] ears, [even] if ten million kalpas [i.e. world cycles of about 1.3 trillion years each] later, ultimately due to this, [will be] delivered [for] liberation.

如闻涂毒鼓,远近皆丧;

Like hearing [a] poison-smeared drum, [with those] far [and] near [all] losing [their lives];

食少金刚,决定不消也。

[like] swallowing [a] little vajra [seed, it] definitely will not [be] digested [to be eliminated].

复次,只带业生同居净证位不退者,皆与补处俱,亦皆一生必补佛位。

Furthermore, those only bringing [negative] karma [to be] born [in the] Together Dwelling Pure [Land are] confirmed [to be with the] position [of] non-retrogression, all with [those of] Replacement position together, also all [in] one lifetime definitely [attaining the] Replacement [Of] Buddha’s position.

夫上善一处,是生同居,即已横生上三土;

Those [with persons of] superior goodness [in] one place, are born [in the] Together Dwelling [Land, and are] immediately already horizontally born [in the] above three lands.

一生补佛,是位不退,即已圆证三不退。

[Those in the position of] one lifetime [to] replace Buddhas, are [with] Position’s Non-Retrogression, immediately already complete [with] realisation [of the] Three Non-Retrogressions.

如斯力用,乃千经万论所未曾有。

[That] like this [in] function [and] use, [is] indeed [in] thousands [of] sūtras [and] ten thousands [of] treatises, that never before had.

较彼顿悟正因,仅为出尘阶渐,生生不退,始可期于佛阶者,不可同日语矣!

Compared [with] those [with] sudden awakening [as the] main cause, [who are] still with exit [from the] dusts [with] positions gradually [ascending, if with] life to life not retrogressing, can [they then] begin [to] hope [to reach] Buddha’s position. [These differences are so great that they] cannot [be on the] same day [completely] said!

宗教之士,如何勿思!

Of persons [with] Chán [door’s and sūtras’] teachings, how [can they] not reflect [on this]?

– 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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下文: 《阿弥陀经》之教相
Next Section: Amitābha Sūtra’s Teaching’s Forms
第五重玄义
The Fifth Layer Of Profound Meaning
不可思议
Inconceivability
https://purelanders.com/2019/10/12/amitabha-sutras-teachings-forms-the-fifth-layer-of-profound-meaning-inconceivability

《佛说阿弥陀经要解》全英译
Complete English Translation Of ‘The Essential Explanation On The Amitābha Sūtra As Spoken By The Buddha’
https://purelanders.com/yaojie

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