Translations

Why Be Wholeheartedly Mindful Of Buddha Without Greed To See Buddha? 为何一心念佛不贪见佛?

于未得一心前,断断不萌见佛之念。

Of [those] yet [to] before attain wholeheartedness, [they] absolutely must not sprout [the] thought of seeing [the] Buddha.

能得一心,则心与道合,心与佛合。

[If] able [to] attain wholeheartedness, then [will the] mind with [the] path [be] merged, [and the] mind with [the] Buddha merged.

欲见即可顿见,不见亦了无所碍。

If desiring [to] see, [then] can [there be] immediate seeing [of Buddha, with] not seeing also completely without that obstructing.

倘急欲见佛,心念纷飞,欲见佛之念,固结胸襟,便成修行大病。

If hurriedly desiring [to] see Buddha, [the] mind’s thoughts [will] flutter about. [With the] thought of desiring [to] see Buddha, firmly consolidated [as] ‘aspiration’, then accomplishing [this as] cultivation [of] practice’s great sickness.

久之,则多生怨家,乘此躁妄情想,现作佛身,企报宿怨。

[After] a long time, then [with] many giving rise [to karmic creditor] enemies, [who] ride [on] these impetuous [and] deluded feelings [and] thoughts, [to] manifest [to] become ‘Buddha’s bodies’, [to] attempt [to have] revenge [for] past grudges.

自己心无正见,全体是魔气分,一见便生欢喜。

[With] oneself’s mind without right view, [it] entirely is [of] demonic nature, once [with the fake ‘Buddha(s)’] seen, then giving rise [to] joy.

从兹魔入心腑,着魔发狂。

From now [on, with the] demonic entering [the] heart, [becoming] possessed [and] going crazy.

虽有活佛,亦末如之何矣。

Even if [there] is [a] living Buddha [coming, he will] also [be] without [a] way [to] handle [them].

但能一心,何须预计见佛与否。

[If] only [needing to be] able [to be] wholehearted, why [is there] need [to] in advance [think of] seeing Buddha or not.

一心之后,自知臧否。

[When] wholehearted later, [it will] personally [be] known [if it is] right [or] not.  

不见固能工夫上进,即见更加息心专修。

Not seeing, [one is] definitely able [to have one’s] skills progress, [with] immediately seeing, [with] even more ceasing [of distracting] thoughts, [to have more] focused cultivation.

断无误会之咎,唯有胜进之益。

[This will] absolutely [be] without [the] mistake of misunderstanding, only having benefits of superior diligence.

世间不明理人,稍有修持,便怀越分期望。

[The] world’s people [who do] not understand [these] principles, having [some] slight upholding [of] cultivation, [are] then [with] expectations, thinking [of] exceeding [their] positions.

譬如磨镜,尘垢若尽,决定光明呈露,照天照地。

For example, like polishing [a] mirror, [with the] dirt if completely [cleared], definitely [will] bright light manifest, [that] illuminates [the] heavens [and] illuminates [the] earth.

若不致力于磨,而但望发光。全体垢秽,若有光生,乃属妖光,非镜光也。

If not devoting efforts to polishing, yet only hoping [it will] emit light, [but] entirely [with] defilements, if there [is] light arising, [it] then belongs [to] demonic light, not [being the] mirror’s light.

光恐汝不善用心,或致自失善利,退人信心,是以补书所以耳。

[Yìn]guāng fears [that] you [might] not [be] good at [being] wholehearted, perhaps leading [to] personally lose [the] good benefits [of mindfulness of Buddha, also with] regressing [of other] people’s mind [of] Faith, therefore supplementing [with this] letter as a result.

永明云:「但得见弥陀,何愁不开悟。」

[The Pure Land Tradition’s 6th Patriarch Great Master] Yǒngmíng said, [with] ‘All attaining sight [of] Amitābha Buddha [later], why worry [about] not awakening?’

今例其词曰:「但期心不乱,不计见不见。」

Now [accordingly setting this] rule, [with] words saying, ‘Only hoping [the] mind [to] not [be] scattered, not regarding seeing [or] not seeing [Buddha].’

知此当能致力于心与佛合之道矣。

Knowing this, [you] should [be] able [to] devote [your] efforts to [the] path of [having the] mind with [the] Buddha merging.

净土宗十三祖印光大师
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
《复永嘉周群铮居士书》
(Reply Letter [To] Yǒngjiā Layperson Zhōu Qúnzhēng)

Namo Amituofo : Translation by Shen Shi’an

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