[7] Transforming This Sahā World To A Pure Land And Birth In Heaven Are Both Not Easy 转娑婆成净土与生天都不易


[Part 7]: Nowadays, people [who are] not willing [to be] mindful [of] Buddha, [are] only looking down on [the] Western [Pure Land].

[Note 1: Slighting the Pure Land teachings arises from lack of understanding or being with misunderstanding, for how can the Pure Land created by a Buddha with perfect compassion and wisdom, and as praised by all Buddhas deserve being belittled by any non-Buddha? The Western Pure Land should thus be highly regarded instead.]


Not knowing [that] birth [in the] Western [Pure Land] to be [the] matter [of those with] great virtues, great blessings, great wisdom [and] great nobility.

[Note 2: If even countless Great Bodhisattvas and Great Masters sought and continue to seek birth in the Western Pure Land to expedite their progress towards Buddhahood, so should we ordinary beings.]


Transforming [this] Sahā [World to] become [a] Pure Land, [is] different [from a] small cause [and] condition.

[Note 3: We should strive to make this world a better place. However, as the essence of making a world a better place is by sharing the right Dharma, we should note that the Buddha taught that this world is already in the Dharma-Ending Age, with less and less of the right Dharma, till there will be none for a very long time. It is what even the Buddha did not teach to be preventable, (even if able to be delayed to some extent). When Maitreya Bodhisattva descends to become a Buddha about 5.6 billion years later, this world will still not yet be a Pure Land. Thus, it makes perfect sense, if not yet realised as a Great Bodhisattva, to ensure Pure Land is reached, for further swift training with the right Dharma there, so as to expedite the purification of this world in good time. Otherwise, in a world with increasingly more wrong ‘Dharma’, one might retrogress to become without the right Dharma at all, thus making sharing of it for purifying the world impossible.]


You only [need to] see [that in] this city within, [in] one day [and] one night, how many people [are] dying [and] retreating [spiritually].

[Note 4: As this world is physically and spiritually impure, there are physical death and spiritual retrogression.]


[If] not speaking [of] birth [in the] Western [Pure Land yet], even if [of] birth [in a] heaven, [of a] thousand hundred people within, [they are] still without one.

[Note 5: As rebirth in any heaven requires great virtues from weak Self-Power (自力), this is not easy. In contrast, with the support of Āmítuófó’s great Other-Power (他力) connected to our Self-Power, it is much easier to reach his Pure Land.]


[Many of] those [who] have self-confidence [with their] cultivation, [are] only [able to] not lose [the] human body.

[Note 6: Those over-confident in reaching a heaven might at best retain their human form, or at worst, lose it to fall into the lower realms. With sincere Pure Land learning and practice, it is easy to have strong and sound confidence to reach Pure Land instead.]


Thus, our World-Honoured [One, with] great loving-kindness [and] great compassion taught this Dharma Door, [with his] merits surpassing [the] heaven [and] earth, [and] kindness exceeding [our] parents, [that even if with our] powdered bones [and] shattered bodies, [they are] not enough for repaying [him].

[Note 7: The only way to repay this great kindness of the Buddha is by heeding and sharing his Pure Land teachings.]

Pure Land Tradition’s 8th Patriarch Great Master Liánchí
(Collection [Of] Yúnqī’s Pure Land Sayings: Eight Articles [As] Warnings [For The] Masses)

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

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[8] Be Mindful Of Buddha To Attain Very Good Departure

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Great Master Liánchí’s Eight Articles Of Warnings For The Masses

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