Translations

How Is Āmítuófó Able To Receive And Guide Immeasurable Beings At Once? 阿弥陀佛如何一时接引无量众生?

或曰:阿弥陀佛,安居极乐。十方世界,无量无边;一世界中念佛众生,亦复无量无边。

[This was] perhaps asked: Amitā[bha] Buddha peacefully abides [in his Land Of] Ultimate Bliss. [The] ten directions worlds [are] immeasurable [and] boundless. [In] one world within, [its] sentient beings mindful [of the] Buddha, [are] likewise immeasurable [and] boundless.

阿弥陀佛,何能以一身,一时普遍接引十方无量无边世界之一切念佛众生乎?

[Of] Amitā[bha] Buddha, how [is he] able [to], with one body, [in] one moment universally pervade [to] receive [and] guide [the] ten directions’ immeasurable [and] boundless worlds’ all sentient beings mindful [of the] Buddha?

答:汝何得以凡夫知见,推测佛境?

Answer: How can you, with ordinary beings’ knowing [and] seeing, speculate [about the] Buddha’s realm?

姑以喻明,使汝惑灭。

Provisionally, [this explanation is] with [an] analogy, [using it for] clarity, [to] enable your confusion [to be] eliminated.

一月丽天,万川影现,月何容心哉。夫天只一月,而大海大江,大河小溪,悉现全月。

[With] one moon suspended [on the] sky, [in] ten thousand rivers, [with its] reflections appearing, how [can the] moon take [this] to heart? That sky only [has] one moon, yet [the] great ocean [and] great rivers, large rivers [and] small streams, all appear [with the] complete moon.

即小而一勺一滴水中,无不各现全月。

Even if small, and [even in] one spoon’s one drop [of] water within, [it is] not without each appearing [with the] complete moon.

且江河之月,一人看之,则有一月当乎其人;百千万亿人,于百千万亿处看之,则无不各有一月当乎其人。

Moreover, of [the] moon [on the] rivers, [when] one person sees it, then is [there] one moon corresponding to that person. [If there are a] thousand million koṭis [of] persons, at [a] thousand million koṭis [of] places seeing it, then [is it] not without each having one moon corresponding to those persons.

若百千万亿人,各向东西南北而行,则月亦于所行之处,常当其人;相去之处,了无远近。

If [a] thousand million koṭis [of] persons, each towards [the] East, West, South [and] North then walk, then [will the] moon likewise of those places walked [towards], constantly correspond to those persons. Of [the] forms’ places gone, [it is] completely without far [and] near.

若百千万亿人,安住不动,则月亦安住不动,常当其人也。

If [a] thousand million koṭis [of] persons, peacefully abide [and] not move, then [will the] moon likewise peacefully abide [and] not move, constantly corresponding to those persons.

唯水清而静则现,水浊而动则隐。月固无取舍,其不现者,由水昏浊奔腾,无由受其影现耳。

Only [when the] water [is] clear and quiet, [it] then appears, [with the] water defiled and moving then hidden. [The] moon originally without accepting [and] rejecting, its not appearing, [is] due [to the] water [being] obscured, defiled [and] surging forth, [with] no way [to] receive its reflection’s appearance.

众生之心如水,阿弥陀佛如月;众生信愿具足,至诚感佛,则佛应之,如水清月现也。

[The] minds of sentient beings [are] like [the] water, [and] Amitā[bha] Buddha [is] like [the] moon. [When] sentient beings’ Faith [and] Aspiration [are] complete, [their] utmost sincerity [will] connect [to the] Buddha. Then [with the] Buddha responding [to] them, [is] like [the] water [being] clear, [with the] moon appearing.

若心不清净,不至诚,与贪嗔痴相应,与佛相背,如水浊而动,月虽不遗照临,而不能昭彰影现也。

If [their] minds [are] not pure, not [with] utmost sincerity, with greed, hatred [and] ignorance corresponding, [this is] with [the] Buddha, [with their] backs [to] each other. Like [the] water defiled and moving, [the] moon although not leaving behind [all], shining [and] approaching, [it is] yet not able [to] reveal [its] reflections’ appearances.

月乃世间色法,尚有如此之妙,况阿弥陀佛,烦惑净尽,福慧具足,心包太虚,量周法界者乎?

[The] moon [is] only [a] worldly form’s phenomenon, [yet] still has such wonders, moreover Amitā[bha] Buddha, [whose] afflictions [and] confusions [have] completely ended, [with] blessings [and] wisdom complete, [with his] mind [that] embraces vast emptiness, that [has its] measure [pervade] everywhere [in the] Dharma realm?

故《华严经》云:「佛身充满于法界,普现一切群生前;随缘赴感靡不周,而恒处此菩提座。」故知遍法界感,遍法界应。

Thus, [the] Flower Adornment Sūtra says, ‘[The] Buddhas’ bodies fully fill [the] Dharma realm, universally appearing before all sentient beings. According [with their] conditions attending [and] connecting, [with] nowhere not [pervaded] everywhere, yet constantly dwelling [on] this Bodhi seat.’ Thus know [that sentient beings] everywhere [in the] Dharma realm connecting, [is with the Buddha] everywhere [in the] Dharma realm responding.

佛实未曾起心动念,有来去相,而能令缘熟众生,见其来此接引以往西方也。

[The] Buddha truly has not given rise [to his] mind [to] move [a] thought, [to] have forms [with] coming [and] going, yet able [to] enable sentient beings [with] matured conditions, [to] see him come [to] these [persons to] receive [and] guide [them], for rebirth [in his] West[ern Pure Land].

怀此疑者,固非一二;因示大意,令生正信。

[As] those [having] this doubt, certainly [are] not one [or] two, therefore teaching [the] main ideas [above, to] enable giving rise [to] right Faith.

净土宗十三祖印光大师
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
《初机净业指南》序
(‘Beginners’ Pure Karma’s Guide’s Preface)

Namo Amituofo : Translation by Shen Shi’an

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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