Verses On Third Lifetime’s Sorrow
[Those in this] present life practising good,
[with] increase [in] much blessed rewards,
[while] not seeking [birth in] Pure Land,
[will] accordingly [be re]born [as] humans [or] gods.
[In the] next life [with] wealth [and] honour,
[due to] much ‘happiness’ [and] little suffering,
[there is] heedless breaking [of] precepts,
[which] increases much evil karma.
[In the] life after the next, [with] blessings exhausted,
evil karma [will] definitely [have] retribution,
in [that] third lifetime,
[then] becoming one’s [own] enemy.
Of people only with mindfulness [of] Buddha, [but] without profound Faith [and] sincere Aspiration [to be born in Pure Land], only seeking blessed rewards, hoping [to] seek, [in the] next life, wealth [and] honour, not knowing [that] hoping [to] seek [the] next life’s wealth [and] honour, for example, [is like] facing [the] sky shooting [an] arrow. [When its] energy exhausts, thus returning, [this is] not only without benefits, also having harm [due to possibly falling onto the shooter, and to even fall lower than before].
Such as [those in this] present life mindful [of] Buddha, [or just doing much good, if] creating human [or] heavenly blessed rewards, having blessed rewards and without right wisdom.
With having blessed rewards [in the next life] thus, then having power [and] status, wealth [and] honour.
With [being] without right wisdom thus, then ignorant and not believing [in the karmic law of] cause [and] effect.
Of those people with no belief [in] cause [and] effect, being [on the] ground of power [and] status, wealth [and] honour, [they are] like tigers attached [with] wings, all the more [able to] increase their evil.
Thus, [with] blessed rewards [that are] more great, creating [of] evil [is] much more.
Since [having] created evil karma, deservingly receiving evil’s retribution [in the life after the next], this [is the] so-called ‘third lifetime’s sorrow’.
Thus, those mindful [of] Buddha, absolutely must not retain [the] mind [of seeking] blessed rewards [for human or heavenly rebirths, and] should [instead], with powerful [practice] directly [and] forwardly, [for] rebirth [in the] Western [Pure Land, as the] wonderful method for liberation [from the cycle of] births [and] deaths.
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
(Talk [On] Pure Land Dharma Door’s Essentials)
Recorded [By] Wáng Qiúshì And Gōng Yúnbó
Namo Amituofo : Translation by Shen Shi’an
Are You ‘Recycling’ Yourself Every Three Lifetimes?