Translations

What Is The Third Kind Of Beings Who Reach Pure Land? 何为往生净土的第三种众生?

【经】:三者,修行六念,回向发愿,愿生彼国。具此功德,一日乃至七日,即得往生。

[Sūtra]: Third, [are those who] cultivate practice [of the] Six Mindfulnesses, dedicating [with] giving rise [of] aspiration, aspiring [for] birth [in] that land. Complete [with] these meritorious virtues, [for] one day and even seven days, [they will] immediately attain rebirth.

【疏】:三明「修行六念」者,所谓念佛、法、僧, 念戒、舍、天等。此亦通合上第三福「大乘」之意义也。

[Commentary]: Third, [is] explanation [of] those [who] ‘cultivate practice [of the] Six Mindfulnesses’, so-called [being] mindful [of the] Buddha, Dharma, Saṃgha, [and] mindful [of] precepts, generosity, heaven [and] others. These likewise connects [and] agrees [with the] above Third Blessing’s meaning of [the] ‘Great Vehicle’.

言念佛者,即专念阿弥陀佛口业功德、身业功德、意业功德,一切诸佛亦如是。

Speaking [of] those mindful [of] Buddha, [it] then [is] focused mindfulness [of] Amitā[bha] Buddha’s verbal karma’s meritorious virtues, bodily karma’s meritorious virtues [and] mental karma’s meritorious virtues, [with] all Buddhas likewise thus.

又一心专念诸佛所证之法,并诸眷属菩萨僧。

Also [with] wholehearted focused mindfulness of [the] Dharma [that] all Buddhas realised, furthermore all [of their] family members’ Bodhisattva Saṃgha.

又念诸佛之戒,及念过去诸佛、现在菩萨等,难作能作,难舍能舍,内舍外舍,内外舍。此等菩萨,但欲得法,不惜身财。行者等既念知此事,即须常作仰学前贤后圣舍身命意也。

Also mindful of precepts [of] all Buddhas, and mindful [of] all past Buddhas, present Bodhisattvas [and] others, [with the] difficult [to] do able [to] do, [the] difficult [to] relinquish able [to] relinquish, [with the] inner relinquished [and] external relinquished. These kind [of] Bodhisattvas, only desire [to] attain [the] Dharma, not sparing [their] bodies [and] wealth. Practitioners [and] others, since mindfully knowing these practices, then must often do [them], admiring [and] learning [the] meaning [of] previous virtuous [ones and] later noble [ones’] relinquishment [of their] bodies [and] lives.

又念天者,即是念兜率天上住最后身一生补处菩萨功德。此等菩萨难行之行已过,三祇之劫已超,万德之行已成,灌顶之位已证。

Also, those mindful [of] heaven, then are mindful [of] Tuṣita Heaven above, abiding [in the] last life’s One Lifetime [To] Replacement’s Position’s Bodhisattvas’ meritorious virtues. These Bodhisattvas, [are with] practice of difficult practices already passed, three asaṃkhyeyas of kalpas already transcended, practices of ten thousand virtues already accomplished, [and] Position Of Anointment already realised.

行者等既念知已,即自思念:「我身无始已来,共他同时发愿,断恶行菩萨道,他尽不惜身命,行道进位,因圆果熟证圣者,逾于大地微尘。然我尚是凡夫,乃至今日,虚然流浪,烦恼恶障,转转增多,福慧微微,若封重昏之临明镜也。」        

Practitioners [and] others since mindfully knowing, then [should] personally think, ‘Myself [from] beginninglessness since, together [with] others [at the] same time gave rose [to the] aspiration, [to] sever evil [and] practise [the] Bodhisattva path. Others completely [did] not spare [their] bodies [and] lives, [to] practise [the] path [to] enter [this] position, [and] because [of] perfecting [the] fruit, matured [to] realise [as] noble ones. [They] exceed of [the] great earth’s fine [motes of] dust. However, I still am [an] ordinary being, and even today, [am in] vain thus wandering, [with] afflictions [and] evil obstacles, turn [after] turn increasing, [with] blessings [and] wisdom slight, like [being] limited [in sight by] heavy dusk, then facing [a] clear mirror.’

忽思忖此事,不胜心惊悲叹者哉!    

Suddenly pondering this matter, it cannot [be] beared, [with my] mind fearful [and] mournfully sighing!            

六从「回向发愿」已下,正明各各回前所修之业,向所求处。

Sixth, from ‘dedicating [with] giving rise [of] aspiration’ afterwards, [is the] main explanation [of with] each [and every] one, dedicating prior all cultivated karma, dedicating all [for] seeking [that] place.

七从「具此功德」已下,正明修行时节延促。上尽一形,下至一日、一时、一念等;或从一念、十念,至一时、一日、一形。大意者,一发心已后,誓毕此生,无有退转,唯以净土为期。

Seventh, from ‘complete [with] these meritorious virtues’ afterwards, [is the] main explanation [of] cultivation [of] practice’s durations [being] long [or] short. [With those] above exhausting one lifetime, [and those] below to one day, one period, one thought [and] others. Perhaps from one thought, [to] ten thoughts, until one period, one day, [or] one lifetime. [The] main idea [is], once giving rise [to the] mind afterwards, vowing [to, until the] end [of] this life, without having retrogression, only with Pure Land [when reached] as [the] date [for ending].

又言「具此功德」者,或一人具上二,或一人具下二,或一人三种尽具。或有人三种无分者,名作著人皮畜生,非名人也。又不问具三不具三,回尽得往生。应知。

Also speaking [of] those ‘complete [with] these meritorious virtues’, perhaps [with] one person complete [with the] two above, perhaps one person complete [with the] two below, perhaps [with] one person [with the] three kinds all complete. Perhaps having persons, those [with the] three kinds without [any] part, [who are] named as ‘animals wearing human skin’, not named humans. Also not questioning [being] complete [with the] three [or] not complete [with the] three, dedicating completely, [they will] attain rebirth. [This] should [be] known.

净土宗二祖善导大师
《观经四帖疏》卷四:散善义

Pure Land Tradition’s 2nd Patriarch Great Master Shàndǎo
(Commentary [On The] Contemplation Sūtra [In] Four Fascicles: Scroll Four: Scattered Goodness’ Meaning)

Summary: The third kind of beings who reach Pure Land are those who cultivate the Six Mindfulnesses, mainly by being mindful of the Triple Gem (三宝) in terms of all of Amitābha Buddha meritorious virtues, all his related Dharma teachings and all his Saṃgha members, such as Contemplator Of The World’s Sounds (观世音), Great Power Arrived (大势至) and other Bodhisattvas in his lotus pond ocean-wide assembly (莲池海会). Also with mindfulness of the Bodhisattva Precepts, practices of generosity and the greatest Bodhisattvas’ meritorious virtues on the brink of Buddhahood, also as attainable most swiftly via reach of Pure Land. All the above practices, be they little or much, are thus all dedicated with the aspiration for birth in Pure Land.  

Namo Amituofo : Translation and summary by Shen Shi’an

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