Exhortation To Give Rise To True Faith《劝发真信》

Exhortation [To] Give Rise [To] True Faith

By Pure Land Tradition’s Tenth Patriarch Great Master Jiéliú (Xíngcè)



[First, Teaching (On) Suffering (And) Hardship Of Not Giving Rise (To) Aspiration (And) True Faith]

[Of] Samādhi [From] Mindfulness [Of] Buddha, [from] its origin, [it has been] rather [long]. From [the Pure Land Tradition’s First] Patriarch [Great Master] Huìyuǎn [慧远] emerging [in] Mount Lú, [to] give rise [to the White] Lotus Society [白莲社], [in the] six periods [with] Pure [Land] practice, thereupon accomplishing virtuous rules [for] throughout all ages.


Although saying [Pure Land practice’s] meritorious [virtues are] great [and is] easy [to] enter, however [the Dharma-]Ending Age’s practitioners rarely obtain spiritual efficacy, verily, [this is] due [to] Faith [and] Aspiration not [being] focused, yet [to be] able [to] guide their good practices, for essential returning [to] Pure Land thus.


Now, since widely inviting good companions, together [to] cultivate pure causes, if not attentively examining [the] mind given rise, how [do we] know [the] essential path [for] exiting suffering?


All [with] me, fellow practitioners, with those [in] this Dharma assembly, must [be] complete [with] true Faith’s mind. If without true Faith, although mindful [of the] Buddha, upholding purification [precepts], liberating animals [and] cultivating blessings, [one is] only [a] worldly good person, [whose] reward [is] birth [in a] good realm [to] receive joy. When receiving joy, immediately creating [evil] karma. Since [with] created karma already, definitely falling [into] suffering. Looking directly [with] contemplating of [this], comparing him [with] Icchantikas, [and those of the] Caṇḍāla class, only differing [by] one gap. [Of] such faith, how [can it] be true?


所谓真信者,[1] 第一要信得心、佛、众生三无差别。我是未成之佛,弥陀是已成之佛,觉性无二。

[Second, Teaching (On) Meanings Of Giving Rise (To) Aspiration (And) True Faith]

[This] so-called true Faith’s meaning has three aspects. [1] First, there must be Faith that the mind, the Buddha and sentient beings are not two and not different [in essence]. I am [a] yet [to be] accomplished Buddha, [and] Amitā[bha] is [an] already accomplished Buddha, [with] nature [of] awakening [that is] not two.


I although [am] muddle-headed, inverted [and] confused, [my] nature [of] awakening [has] yet [to be] lost. I although [have] accumulated kalpas [of] rebirths, [my] nature [of] awakening [has] yet [to] move.


Thus, saying [to] not slight [those] yet [to] awaken, [who with] one thought, [can] return [their] light [within, to] then [have the] same original [nature] attained.

[2] 次要信得我是理性佛、名字佛,弥陀是究竟佛,性虽无二,位乃天渊。

[2] Next, [there] must [be] Faith [that] I am [a] Principle Nature Buddha, [a] Name Buddha, [and] Amitā[bha] is [an] Ultimate Buddha, [with] nature although not two, positions [are] then [like the] sky [and] abyss apart.


If not [with] focused mindfulness [of] that Buddha, seeking birth [in] that land, [I will] definitely follow karma [to be] reborn, [to] receive suffering immeasurably. [This] so-called Dharma Body [that is] reborn [in the] five paths, [is] not named as [a] Buddha, [but] named as [a] sentient being.

[3] 次要信得我虽障深业重,久居苦域,是弥陀心内之众生;弥陀虽万德庄严,远在十万亿刹之外,是我心内之佛。

[3] Next, [there] must [be] Faith [that] I although [have] obstacles deep [and negative] karma heavy, [and] long dwelt [in] suffering’s land, am [a] sentient being [in] Amitā[bha Buddha’s] mind within. Amitā[bha Buddha] although [has] ten thousand meritorious virtues’ majesty, [as] far away [as] one hundred thousand koṭis [of] lands, [he] is [the] Buddha [in] my mind within.


Since [our] mind-nature [is] not two, naturally [will there be] connection [and] response [for] mutual interaction. My this pressing sincerity [is] definitely able [to] connect, [and the] Buddha’s loving-kindness [and] compassion [are] definitely able [to] respond, like [a] magnet attracting iron, without that [to] doubt.


[This is] so-called [the] Buddha [being] mindful [of] sentient beings, [is] like [a] Mother recollecting [her] child. [The] child if recollecting [the] Mother, like when [the] Mother recollects, [the] Mother [and] child, passing through life, [will] not [be] far apart [from] each other. If sentient beings’ minds recollect [the] Buddha, [are] mindful [of the] Buddha, now [or in the] future, [they will] definitely see [the] Buddha, [with the] Buddha not far [away].



[Three, Teaching (On) Benefits Of Giving Rise (To) Aspiration (And) True Faith]  

Completely according [to the] above, those [with] true Faith, although [with] one fine hair of good, [or] one dust [mote] of blessings, all can [be] dedicated [to be reborn in the] West, [to] adorn Pure Land.


Moreover, [with] upholding [of] purification [and] holding [of] precepts, liberating animals [and] giving, studying [and] reciting [the] Great Vehicle’s [sūtras], making [of] offerings [to the] Triple Gem, [and] all kinds [of] good practices, how [can these be] not enough [to] fulfil [as] Pure Land’s provisions?


Only [when] these Faith’s aspects [are] not true, thereupon then sinking to [be] with outflows. [From] ancient [times until] now, [for] cultivation, [there is] no other essential method, [than to] only, [in the] two six periods within, [be] added [with these] three kinds [of] true Faith. Then [with] all practices carried out, without [need to] bother [about] changing track.


If desiring [to] relinquish this deliverance door, moreover [to] discuss mysterious skills, then [with] all directions’ highly esteemed [ones, many] like [trees in a] forest, [with] poles flying banners looking [at] one another, [they] can decide [to] everywhere make inquiries, not needing [to] tread [with their] feet [into] this society.


If [seeking] honour’s [mind has] forever ended, [with the] simple Aspiration long-term [and the] same, [with this] time’s cause [and] condition, [I] hope [you can] often [come to] gather [at our] assemblies. Relying [on a] past lotus [water-]dripping [clock like that created by Great Master Huìyuǎn for gauging practice times], similarly [riding] basket sedan chairs [like Jìn Dynasty’s Táo Yuānmíng [陶渊明], to come to Mount Lú to visit Great Master Huìyuǎn, with] now [and] ancient [times both] like this, [with] surviving traditions yet [to be] destroyed. [With] numerous other [past] lives as [a] bridge [to] be close, immediately [in] this life as [a] provided tool [to] support giving rise [to Aspiration], may [we] mutually encourage [one another]!

Namo Amituofo : Translation by Shen Shi’an

Related Quotes:

With Nature Of Awakening Not Two

Mindfulness Of Each Other Together

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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