‘The Pure Land Tradition’s Five Sūtras’ Republication’s Preface《净土五经》重刊序

‘[The] Pure Land [Tradition’s] Five Sūtras’ Republication’s Preface

[(The) Foremost Dharma Door]


[Of the] Pure Land Dharma Door, its greatness [is] without [that] beyond. [With the] three roots universally covering, [with those of] sharp [and] dull [roots] completely gathering.


[The] nine realms’ sentient beings, [if] abandoning this, [are] then without [that] for completely accomplishing [the] Buddha path above. [The] ten directions’ all Buddhas, [if] departing [from] this, [are] then without [that] for universally delivering sentient beings below.


[Of] all Dharma Doors, [there are] none not from this Dharma realm flowing. [Of] all Practice Doors, [there are] none not returning [to] this Dharma realm.

[Universal Virtue (Bodhisattva’s) Practices (And) Vows’ Chapter]


If discussing [about what] those [with] great capacities understand, to start, [it is] truly at [the] Flower Adornment [Sūtra]. With [the youth] Good Wealth’s travelling [to learn [from good-]knowing friends, [he is] in the end at Universal Virtue [Bodhisattva’s] seat below, [to] receive his majestic supernormal [powers’] blessings [and] protection, [with] that realised with Universal Virtue [Bodhisattva] equal, [and] with all Buddhas equal, [to] be as [an] Equally Awakened Bodhisattva.


Universal Virtue [Bodhisattva] thus with [the] Ten Great Vows’ King, encouraged advancement [of] Good Wealth, and with [the] Flower Adornment [Sūtra’s] ocean[-wide] assembly’s forty-one positions’ Dharma Body’s Great Beings, dedicated [for] rebirth [in the] Western [Pure] Land [Of] Ultimate Bliss, in order to perfect [the] Buddha fruit, then with [the] Flower Adornment’s one sūtra [as the] Dharma to return [to the] source, [and to] form [its] peak.


Then, [the] Flower Adornment [Sūtra’s] clear Dharma of one lifetime’s accomplishment [of] Buddhahood, [is] then [to] return [to the] source, to seek birth [in] Pure Land. [From this] is [it] known [that with the] Pure Land’s one Dharma [Door], thus [is how the] ten directions’ all Buddhas, accomplish [the] Buddha path above, [and] transform sentient beings below, [with it] becoming [the] beginning [and] becoming [the] end of [the] unsurpassable great Dharma.


This [is what] only those [of] great capacities understand, [that those of the] Two Vehicles not yet see [and] hear, moreover completely bound ordinary beings.

[(The) Pure Land (Tradition’s) Three Sūtras]


Until reaching right [and] equal assemblies within, [there was] special focus [on] speaking ‘[The] Pure Land [Tradition’s] Three Sūtras’, so that all ordinary or noble [beings, can] together practise [and] cultivate upholding [of the Buddha’s name], in order to, [in this] present life, exit [from] these Five Defilements, [to] ascend those Nine [Grades of] lotuses.

[Immeasurable Life Sūtra]


[The] Buddha at [the] country [of] Māgadhā’s Spiritual Vulture Mountain within, spoke [of how A]mitā[bha] Buddha, first [on his] causal ground, renounced [his] kingdom [and] left [the] household [life, to] give rise [to his] forty-eight vows.


Once again, over a long time passing long kalpas, relying [on his] vows [to] cultivate practice. Until reaching blessings [and] wisdom [that are] perfect [and complete], attaining accomplishment [of the] Buddha path. That corresponding Land [Of Ultimate Bliss’] adornments, [are with] wonders not able [to be] named.


[The] ten directions’ all Buddhas all highly praise [it. The] ten directions’ Bodhisattvas, with [those of the] Two Vehicles [who] dedicate [the] small [to the] great, [and] ordinary beings [who] are complete [with] confusions [and] negative karma, all [can] attain rebirth [in his Pure Land, [to] equally receive reception [and] guidance. [This] is as [the] Immeasurable Life Sūtra.

[Sūtra (On) Contemplation (Of) Immeasurable Life Buddha]


In [the] country [of] Māgadhā’s royal palace within, [was] speaking [of] pure karma’s Three Blessings, [and the] sixteen wonderful contemplations.


So that all sentient beings, all know [that ‘it] is [the] mind [that] becomes Buddha, [and it] is [the] mind [that] is Buddha’, [that] all Buddhas’ right all-knowing ocean, from [the] mind’s thoughts arise.


Then, [‘it] is [the] mind [that] becomes [a] sentient being, [and it] is [the] mind [that] is [a] sentient being’, [that] sentient beings’ afflictions’ karmic ocean, from [the] mind’s thoughts arise. Of [this] meaning, [it is] then already shown, clearly [and] obviously.


If able [to] profoundly understand this meaning, who [will be] willing [to] suffer [from] rebirth in vain?


[For those] yet [to] understand [the] Nine Grades’ births’ causes, in order [to have] each cultivate [for] high[er] grades. [This] is as [the] Sūtra [On] Contemplation [Of] Immeasurable Life Buddha.

[Amitā(bha) Sūtra]


In [the] country [of] Śrāvastī’s Giver[-To-]Orphans[-And-The-Lonely’s] Grove within, [was] speaking [of the] Pure Land’s circumstantial [and] direct wonderful fruits [to] enable giving rise [to] Faith, [to] encourage all listeners, [who] should seek rebirth with giving rise [to] Aspiration, [and] again enable practitioners, [to] firmly uphold [the] name for establishing Practice.


[With Faith, Aspiration [and] Practice, [these] three, [are] as [the] guiding principles [of the] Pure Land Dharma Door. Complete [with] these three Dharma [teachings], perhaps [for] all [of] one’s life firmly upholding [the Buddha’s name], already attaining wholeheartedness. Perhaps [when] approaching [the] end [of life], then hearing [this], only reciting [with] ten thoughts, all [will] attain receiving [of the] Buddha’s reception [and] guidance, [to be] reborn [in the] Western [Pure Land]. [This] is as [the] Amitā[bha] Sūtra.


These three, [are] thus sūtras that focus [on] discussion [about the] Pure Land. And [the] Amitā[bha] Sūtra, [for] gathering [spiritual] capacities, [is] especially universal. Therefore, [of] Chán, [Sūtra] Teachings [and] Vinaya, each tradition, all offer [it] as [part of their] daily chanting [practices].

[Śūraṅgama Sūtra’s Section (On) Great Power Arrived (Bodhisattva’s) Perfect Penetration (With) Mindfulness (Of) Buddha]


[Of] all [the] Great Vehicle’s sūtras, those carrying speak [of] Pure Land, [are so] many [that they are] difficult [to be] counted. Yet [the] Śūraṅgama Sūtra’s Section [On] Great Power Arrived [Bodhisattva’s] Perfect Penetration [With] Mindfulness [Of] Buddha, truly [is] as mindfulness [of] Buddha’s most wonderful teaching.


[For] sentient beings, if able [to] ‘gather in [the] six roots, [with] pure mindfulness [in] continuous succession’ as thought, how can there not be ‘manifesting [in the] present [or in the] future, [to] definitely see [the] Buddha’, [to be] near realisation [of] perfect penetration, [to be] far [from] accomplishment [of the] Buddha path?


Thus with this Section, listed after [the] Three Sūtras, and with Universal Virtue [Bodhisattva’s] Practices [And] Vows’ Chapter, [with] it last, with [these] accomplishing [as] one great condition [for the] arising of [the] Pure Land Dharma Door.


[They] enable all readers, [to] know this one Dharma [Door, by] greatly explaining [the] Buddha’s intention. Comparing [with] those relying [on] Self-power [to] sever confusions [and] realise [the] true, with [this to] liberate [from the cycle of] birth [and] death, its [degree of] difficulty [versus] easiness [is] more than just [the] wide gap [between the] sky [and a deep] abyss.


Therefore, [the] nine realms together return [to it, the] ten directions together praise [it, thousands [of] sūtras together explain [it, and] ten thousand treatises all proclaim [it].

[(The) Pure Land (Tradition’s) Four Sūtras]


[In] Jīnlíng, ‘[The] Pure Land [Tradition’s] Four Sūtras’ plates, [are] already indistinct. Those cultivating pure karma, [face] hardship without [the] most clear [and] understandable reading text.

[(The) Pure Land (Tradition’s) Five Sūtras]


Therefore with casting plates, with [the] Section [On Great] Power Arrived [Bodhisattva’s] Perfect Penetration [With] Mindfulness [Of] Buddha, attached to [the] Three Sūtras behind, named as ‘[The] Pure Land [Tradition’s] Five Sūtras’.

[Conditions (Of) Arising (For) Reading (And) Reciting]


If [for] discussing [on the] Dharma Door’s conditions [of] arising, [it] should [be] with [the] Immeasurable Life Sūtra as [the] foremost. Now, for convenience of reading [and] reciting, [it is] thus with [the] Amitā[bha] Sūtra as [the] foremost. [May] readers understand this.

[In the] People’s Republic [of China’s] twenty-second year, [of] Guǐyǒu [i.e. 1933], [on the] lunar calendar’s new year’s day, [by the] Constantly Repentant Monk Shì Yìnguāng sincerely written.

Namo Amituofo : Translation by Shen Shi’an

Related Sūtras:

‘The Pure Land Tradition’s Five Sūtras’ As Checked By The Chinese Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng

The Sūtra In Which The Buddha Speaks Of Amitābha Buddha

The Sūtra In Which The Buddha Speaks Of Immeasurable Life

The Sūtra In Which The Buddha Speaks Of Contemplation On Immeasurable Life Buddha

The Great Buddha Crown’s Śūraṅgama Sūtra’s Section On Great Power Arrived Bodhisattva’s Perfect Penetration With Mindfulness Of Buddha

The Great Right And Vast Buddha’s Flower Adornment Sūtra’s Entry Into The Inconceivable Liberation’s Realm Of Universal Virtue’s Practices And Vows’ Chapter

Related Commentaries:

The Meaning Of ‘This Mind Becomes Buddha, And This Mind Is Buddha’

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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