Translations

Seeking Supernormal Powers Obstructs The Path Instead 求神通反障道

若妄意欲求神通,则所谓捨本逐末,不善用心。

If [with the] deluded mind desiring [to] seek supernormal [powers], then [is this] so-called [to] abandon [the] root [to] pursue [the] end, [to] not [be] good [at being] diligent.

[Note 1: This is to deludedly and lazily forgo creating of the cause needed, while craving to have the effect wanted.]

倘此心固结,又复理路不清,戒力不坚,菩提心不生,而人我心偏炽,则著魔发狂,尚有日在。

If this mind [is] firm [and has] solidified, also again [with the] path [of] reason not clear, [upholding] precepts’ power not resolute, [and the] Bodhi Mind not given rise, yet [with] self-[and]-others’ mind partial [and] blazing, [to] then [become] possessed [by] demons [to] go mad, [there] still is [this] day existing [to come].

[Note 2: If set on wanting supernormal powers the wrong way, while not being reasonable with the right principles, being morally shaky, without Bodhicitta, and with strong attachment of self versus others, it is a matter of time that such spiritual weaknesses make one susceptible to demonic possession, to go crazy.] 

夫欲得神通,须先得道,得道则神通自具。

Those desiring [to] attain supernormal [powers], must first attain [the] path, [with] attaining [of the] path, then [will] supernormal [powers be] naturally complete.

[Note 3: It is only when the path is fully attained, that supernormal powers become complete. Some partial and temporal supernormal powers might arise on the path of practice naturally, but they should be regarded with strict guidance of the precepts, while not mistaking them as signs of being enlightened. If there is strong greed for such powers, with their own powers, demons can trick one into thinking they have already been attained, so as to keep one off the right path of practice, while also tricking others into believing one is already enlightened, to use the person to spread wrong teachings to mislead many. Based on this, those who hint or flaunt their ‘powers’, be they real or not, should be avoided, as they might be possessed and thus demonic teachers. True Dharma teachers will focus on getting others to focus on the Dharma, instead of ‘impressive magic tricks’.]

若不致力于道,而唯求乎通。且无论通不能得,即得则或反障道。  

If not devoting efforts to [the] path, yet only seeking to [have] supernormal [powers], moreover disregarding [that such] supernormal [powers are] not able [to be] attained, immediately attained then perhaps, [are] obstacles [of the] path instead.

[Note 4: If not focusing on the right path of practice, by veering off for supernormal powers, this is already detouring from the path, to lose the path. More distractions will also arise in time, that obstruct return to the path.]  

故诸佛诸祖,皆严禁之而不许人修学焉。

Thus [do] all Buddhas [and] all Patriarchs, all strictly prohibit it, and not allow people [to] cultivate [and] learn these.

[Note 5: As supernormal powers are naturally attractive, especially to those with strong greed and delusion, while also able to lead them astray, away from the right path, the enlightened and Great Masters forbid focusing on practices just for attaining them. As all will naturally be empowered to have all supernormal powers fully upon reaching Pure Land, there is no hurry to attain them here, with such ‘obsession’ now distracting from walking the right path instead.]

净土宗十三祖印光大师
《复永嘉某居士昆季书》

Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
(Reply Letter [To A] Certain Yǒngjiā Layperson [And His] Brother)

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

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https://purelanders.com/2020/11/26/verses-on-quick-accomplishment-of-buddhahood

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