Translations

[2] Earnest Teachings Are The Best 老实开示最好

【二】:我出家后,到处参访,时遍融师门庭大振,予至京师叩之。

[Part 2]: After I left [the] household [life, I] went everywhere [to] visit [and] learn. At that time, [as] Master Biànróng’s school [was] greatly rising, I reached [the] capital city [to] ask [to meet] him.

[Note 1: Especially in ancient times, there are those who earnestly make long journeys to seek essential teachings from Great Masters personally.]

膝行再请,师曰:「你可守本分,不要去贪名逐利,不要去攀缘,只要因果分明,一心念佛。」

[On my] knees moving [forward, as I] repeatedly requested [teachings, the] Master said, ‘You must guard [your] personal responsibilities, must not go [to be] greedy [after] fame [and] chase profits, must not go [to] clutch [at] conditions, only must [be with] cause [and] effect distinct [and] clear, [with] wholehearted mindfulness [of] Buddha.’

[Note 2: In summary, the teachings advise to take care of duties well, but without craving for name and gain, or grasping at external worldly conditions. There should be mindfulness of the workings of the law of karma to be highly moral, with sincere focusing on mindfulness of Buddha as the Main Practice.]

予受教出,同行者大笑,以为这几句话那个说不出。

I, [having] received [these] teachings [and] left, those together travelling laughed heartily, [saying that] with these few sayings, who [is] not [able to] say [them]?

[Note 3: Even if teachings offered are few, ‘simple’ and already known, as long as they are yet to be heeded, they are still helpful reminders.]

千里远来,只道有甚高妙处,原来不值半文。

[From a] thousand lǐs faraway coming, exclusively saying [that there] are extremely lofty [and] wonderful aspects [to learn], as it turns out, [they are] ‘not’ worth half [a] coin.

予曰:「这个正见他好处,我们渴仰企慕远来到此,他却不说玄说妙凌驾我们,只老老实实把自家体认过切近精实的工夫叮咛开示,故此是他好处。」

I said, ‘[From] these [teachings], precisely [can be] seen [are] his strong points. [As] we looked up to reverently [and] admired [him, we from] afar came [to] reach here, yet he [did] not speak [of the] mysterious [and] speak [of the] wondrous to be above us, only earnestly [with his] own realisation, [his] very appropriate, refined [and] down-to-earth skills exhorting [and] teaching thus, these are his strong points.’

[Note 4: The overly theoretically profound are pointless to teach then, as they are difficult to understand, especially when lacking time. Yet it is possible to teach practically, on what to practise, to realise the profound in good time. With mindfulness of Buddha practised well enough to reach Pure Land, all of the profound will be fully realised there. These are thus priceless teachings.]

我至今着实遵守,不曾放失。

I until today truly comply with [these teachings], never heedless [and] losing [them].

净土宗八祖莲池大师
Pure Land Tradition’s 8th Patriarch Great Master Liánchí
《云栖净土汇语》:警众(八条)
(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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[1] Be Close To The Virtuous To Also Be Virtuous
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[3] Do Not Make Light Of And Slight People
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莲池大师「警众」八条文
Great Master Liánchí’s Eight Articles Of Warnings For The Masses
https://purelanders.com/2020/08/21/great-master-lianchis-eight-articles-of-warnings-for-the-masses

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