Q&A Quotes

Will All See The Buddha Receive Them When Practising Mindfulness Of Him? 念佛者皆见佛接引吗?Verses For The General Person 一般偈

一般偈
Verses [For The] General [Person]

观经下下品,
五逆十恶者,
临终念佛时,
见金莲往生。

[In the] Contemplation Sūtra, [those] Lowest [of the] Low Grade’s [Birth, who are] those [who have done the] Five Heinous [Transgressions and the] Ten Evils, when approaching [the] end [of life with] mindfulness [of] Buddha, [will] see [a] golden lotus [flower and] attain rebirth [in Pure Land].

其余上八品,
无五逆十恶,
所以一般说,
念佛跟佛生。

[As] its other eight higher grades, [are] without [the] Five Heinous [Transgressions and the] Ten Evils, therefore generally saying, ‘[With] mindfulness [of] Buddha, follow [the] Buddha [to be] born.’

佛既发愿接,
若教一般人,
等金莲花到,
可乱众生心。

Since [the] Buddha gave rose [to the] vow [to] receive, if teaching general persons, [to] wait [for a] golden lotus flower [to] arrive, [this] can confuse [the] minds [of] sentient beings.
  
所以一般说,
一心念佛号,
见佛而跟佛,
可摄一般心。 

Therefore generally saying, ‘[With] wholeheartedness [be] mindful [of the] Buddha’s name, [with] seeing [of the] Buddha, then follow [the] Buddha’, [as this] can gather minds generally.


Will All See The Buddha Receive Them When Practising Mindfulness Of Him?
念佛者皆见佛接引吗?

Question: Will all see the Buddha come to receive them when they practise mindfulness of Buddha as they approach the end of life?

Answer: The answer is in the verses above, and as further explained below.

[1] Although the Contemplation Sūtra’s《观经》section on the Nine Grades (九品) of birth did not mention the appearing of the Buddha to receive those Lowest of the Low Grade of birth (下品下生), it also does not say the Buddha will not appear after the golden lotus flower appears. Also, for the Lowest of the Middle Grade of birth (中品下生), there was also no mention of the Buddha appearing. Yet, for the next higher grade (which is the Middle of the Middle Grade) (中品中生), and the next lower grade (which is the Highest of the Low Grade) (下品上生), both mentioned that the Buddha will appear. This means not mentioning the Buddha appearing need not mean the Buddha will surely not appear.

[2] In the Mindfulness Of Buddha’s Perfect Penetration’s Section《念佛圆通章》, Great Power Arrived Bodhisattva (大势至菩萨) taught clearly that, ‘[With] recollection [or] mindfulness [of the] Buddha, [there will] definitely [be] seeing [of the] Buddha.’ (忆佛念佛,必定见佛). This is a definitive assuring statement.

[3] In the Amitā[bha] Sūtra《阿弥陀经》, which can be regarded as a universal teaching, including for the average (or general) person, as chanted at all wakes for guiding the deceased, this is taught – ‘[W]hen these persons approach life’s end, Amitā Buddha, with many [in his] noble assembly [will] appear before them. When these persons’ [lives are] ending, [their] minds [will] not [be] inverted, [and they will] immediately attain rebirth [in] Amitā Buddha’s Land [Of] Ultimate Bliss.’ (其人临命终时,阿弥陀佛,与诸圣众,现在其前。是人终时,心不颠倒,即得往生阿弥陀佛极乐国土。) Note that the Buddha is stated to come to receive and guide.

[4] In the Immeasurable Life Sūtra《无量寿经》, in the Three Grades’ (三辈) system taught, all who practise to reach Pure Land will see the Buddha, even those of the Low Grade (下辈).

[5] It is not easy to encounter a person who has created the Five Heinous Transgressions and the Ten Evils together. Even in the classic and very extreme case of Zhāng Shànhé (张善和), his main evil done was ‘only’ killing (of many cows), one of the Ten Evils. Despite having more than 10 karmic creditors tormenting him, with him learning at the last minute to be mindful of Buddha, he still saw the Buddha come to receive him. As it is not easy for the average person to do more more evil than him in one lifetime, there is no need to worry that the Buddha might not come to receive those with much less negative karma.

[6] If suggesting the average person to look out for a lotus flower when approaching death, it can be more confusing than helpful, since the Buddha will come, due to the reasons above. It might accidentally lead to mindfulness of a lotus flower (念莲华) instead, which is not mindfulness of Buddha (念佛). Thus, instructing straightforwardly to, ‘Be mindful of the Buddha’s name to see the Buddha, and to follow the Buddha’ (念佛见佛跟佛) will generally do.

相关文章
Related Articles:

《观经》第十六观:下辈生想:下品下生  
The Sixteenth Contemplation: Low Grade’s Births’ Contemplation (Of Contemplation Sūtra): The Low Grade’s Low Births
https://purelanders.com/2020/05/23/16-3-the-sixteenth-contemplation-low-grades-births-contemplation-of-contemplation-sutra-the-low-grades-low-births

《念佛圆通章》
Mindfulness Of Buddha’s Perfect Penetration Section
https://purelanders.com/yuantong

《阿弥陀经》
Amitā[bha] Sūtra  
https://purelanders.com/sutra

《无量寿经》三辈往生第二十一  
Twenty-First Chapter On Three Grades’ Rebirths (Of Immeasurable Life Sūtra)
https://purelanders.com/2020/05/03/21-twenty-first-chapter-on-three-grades-rebirths 

张善和往生记  
Record Of Zhāng Shànhé’s Rebirth
https://purelanders.com/2019/03/20/record-of-zhang-shanhes-rebirth

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