Six Faiths Of The Pure Land Dharma Door 净土法门之六信


The following is an excerpt from the Pure Land Tradition’s 9th Patriarch Great Master Ǒuyì’s ‘Essential Explanation Of The Sūtra In Which The Buddha Speaks Of Amitābha Buddha’ with its Third Layer Of Profound Meaning’s on Six Faiths.  


This [Amitābha] Sūtra is with Faith and Aspiration upholding the name [of Āmítuófó] as the essential principle of cultivating Practice. If not with Faith, it is not enough to inspire Aspiration. If not with Aspiration, it is not enough to guide Practice. If not with upholding the name’s wonderful Practice, it is not enough to fulfil that Aspiration and realise that with Faith in. The sūtra within first states the Circumstantial and Direct Rewards for giving rise to Faith, next encouraging giving rise to Aspiration for guiding Practice, next showing upholding of the name for directly ascending to non-retrogression.

信则信自、信他、信因、信果、信事 、信理。愿则厌离娑婆,欣求极乐。行则执持名号,一心不乱。

Faith thus is [1] Faith in Self, [2] Faith in Other, [3] Faith in Cause, [4] Faith in Effect, [5] Faith in Practice, and [6] Faith in Principles. Aspiration thus is with revulsed renunciation of the Sahā World, and joyfully seeking of the Land Of Ultimate Bliss. Practice thus is to [faithfully and] firmly uphold the name with wholeheartedness without being scattered. [Note 1: The simplest way to understand wholeheartedness without being scattered is to be utmost sincere without change of mind.]    

信自者,信我现前一念之心,本非肉团, 亦非缘影,竖无初后,横绝边涯,终日随缘,终日不变。十方虚空微尘国土,元我一念心中所现物。我虽昏迷倒惑,苟一念回心,决定得生自心本具极乐,更无疑虑。是名信自。

[1] That called Faith in Self, is to have Faith that my presently manifested one thought of the mind, is originally not this meat lump, also not a conditioned image, vertically without before and after, horizontally surpassing boundaries, all day according to conditions, all day not changing. The ten directions’ empty space’s dust motes of lands, are originally from my one thought of the mind within that appears with objects. I, although am with dullness and inverted confusions, if with one thought returning to this mind, definitely can attain birth in one’s mind’s originally possessed Land Of Ultimate Bliss, without further doubts and misgivings. This is named Faith in Self.


[2] That called Faith in Others, is to have Faith that Śākyamuni Thus Come One is definitely without deceitful speech, Āmítuófó, the World-Honoured One is definitely without empty vows, and the six directions’ all Buddhas who extend their broad and long tongues are definitely without different speech. Following all Buddhas’ true teachings and instructions, to be determined in seeking birth, without further doubts and confusions. This is named Faith in Others.


[3] That called Faith in Cause, is to have profound Faith that as with the scattered mind reciting the name, is still with accomplishing of Buddhahood’s seed, moreover, if wholehearted without being scattered. How can this not attain birth in Pure Land? This is named Faith in Cause.


[4] That called Faith in Effect, is to have profound Faith that Pure Land’s all good persons who gather and meet there, are all from Samādhi From Mindfulness Of Buddha who attained birth. [Note 2: With Āmítuófó firmly connected to with wholehearted (i.e. utmost sincere) mindfulness of his name, thus with his blessings, this concentration will naturally arise.] Like how planting melon seeds attains melons, and planting beans attains bean [sprouts], also like how shadows definitely follow forms, and echoes definitely respond to sounds, it is definitely without those with Faith in vain and abandoned. This is named Faith in Effect.


[5] That called Faith in Practice, is to have profound Faith that as this presently manifested one thought cannot be exhausted thus, relying upon this mind are those appearing ten directions’ worlds, that likewise cannot be exhausted. There truly is the Land Of Ultimate Bliss at ten of ten thousand of koṭis of lands beyond, that is the most ultimately pure and magnificent, that is not the same as Zhuāng Shēng’s allegories. [Note 3: Zhuāng Shēng is Zhuāngzi (庄子),who used fictitious allegories to illustrate various principles he wished to explain.] This is named Faith in Practice.


[6] That called Faith in Principles, is to have profound Faith that ten of ten thousand of koṭis of lands, are truly not outside my presently manifested and even utmost small one thought’s mind externally, with my presently manifested one thought’s Mind-Nature truly without that external thus. Also with profound Faith that the Western Pure Land’s Circumstantial and Direct Rewards, Master and companions, all are my presently manifested one thought’s mind within that appear with images. Complete Practice is the same as Principles, the completely false is the same as the true, complete Cultivated Virtues (修德) is the same as Nature’s Virtues (性德), complete Other is the same as Self. With my mind pervasive thus, the Buddha’s mind is likewise pervasive, and all sentient beings’ Mind-Nature is likewise pervasive. For example, a room with a thousand lamps, has each and every one of their lights, one another pervading it, layer upon layer intersecting and gathering, not obstructing one another. This is named Faith in Principles.


Like this, with Faith already, thus know that this Sahā World is the same as the defilements of one’s mind, that induces them, and of one’s mind’s defilements, there should be revulsed renunciation of them. The Land Of Ultimate Bliss is the same as the purity of one’s mind, that induces it, and of one’s mind’s purity, there should be joyful seeking of it.


To read complete Chinese-English version of the ‘Essential Explanation’, please see

Namo Amituofo : Translation by Shen Shi’an
(This translation was originally published here.)

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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