Translations

If Abandoning This One Dharma Door, It Is Absolutely Without Hope 若舍此一法,绝无希望

如来圣教,法门无量,随依一法,以菩提心修持,皆可以了生死,成佛道。然于修而未证之前,大有难易疾迟之别。 

[The] Thus Come [One’s] noble teachings, [are with] Dharma Doors immeasurable. Accordingly relying [on] one Dharma [Door], with [the] Bodhi Mind [i.e. Bodhicitta] cultivating [and] upholding, all can [be] liberated [from the cycle of] birth [and] death, [to] accomplish [the] Buddha’s path. However, for [those] cultivating, and yet [to have] realisation before, [there] are great differences of difficulty [and] easiness, swiftness [and] slowness.

求其至圆至顿,最简最易,契理契机,即修即性,三根普被,利钝全收,为律教禅密诸宗之归宿,作人天凡圣证真之捷径者,无如信愿念佛求生西方一法也。

[For] seeking that utmost complete [and] utmost sudden [awakening, the] most simple [and] most easy [method, that] accords [with] principles [and] accords [with spiritual] capacities, [that] is [to be] cultivated [and] is [of our] nature, [with the] three [low, medium and high] roots universally covered, [the] sharp [and] dull completely gathered, as [the] home [to] return [to], of [the] Vinaya, Sūtra, Chán [and] Esoteric, all [these] traditions, as [the] shortcut of human [and] heavenly [beings], ordinary [and] noble [beings to] realise [the] truth, none [are] like [with] Faith [and] Aspiration mindful [of the] Buddha[‘s name (Āmítuófó: 阿弥陀佛) to] seek birth [in his] Western [Pure Land, this] one Dharma [Door].

良以一切法门,皆仗自力。念佛法门,兼仗佛力。

[It is] really with all Dharma Doors, all relying [on] Self-power. [The] Dharma Door [Of] Mindfulness [Of] Buddha, simultaneously relies [on the] Buddha’s [Other-]power.

仗自力,非烦惑断尽,不能超出三界。仗佛力,若信愿真切,即可高登九莲。

Relying [on] Self-power, [if] not [with] afflictions [and] confusions severed completely, [one is] not able [to] transcend [and] exit [the] three realms [of desire, form and formlessness]. Relying [on the] Buddha’s power, if [with] Faith [and] Aspiration true [and] sincere, immediately can [there be] ascent [of the] nine lotus [grades].

当今之人,欲于现生了生死大事者,舍此一法,则绝无希望矣。

Of people nowadays, [in this Dharma-Ending Age, if there are] those desiring [to, in this] present life, [accomplish the] great matter [of] liberation [from the cycle of] birth [and] death, [if] abandoning this one Dharma [Door], then [is it] absolutely without hope.

须知净土法门,法法圆通。如皓月丽天,川川俱现。水银堕地,颗颗皆圆。

[It] must [be] known [that the] Pure Land Dharma Door, [is with every] Dharma [Door] perfectly penetrated. Like [the] bright moon magnificent [in the] sky, [in every] river together reflected. [Like] mercury falling [to the] ground, [every] drop [of that reflected is] equally round.

不独于格物致知,穷理尽性,觉世牖民,治国安邦者,有大裨益。

Not only for those investigating things [to] arrive [at] knowledge, [for thoroughly] studying principles [for] complete [understanding of human] nature, [for] awakening [the] world [and] enlightening people, [for] ruling countries [and bringing] peace [to] regions, [it] has great benefits.

即士农工商,欲发展其事业,老幼男女,欲消灭其疾苦者,无不随感而应,遂心满愿。

Even [for] scholars, farmers, artisans, merchants [and others, who] desire [to] develop their undertakings, [the] old [and] young, males [and] females, those desiring [to] eliminate their sicknesses, [they are] without [those who do] not accordingly connect and [have] response, [to their] liking, fulfilling [their] aspirations.

[Note: It is already extremely difficult, or as the Great Master put it, in this era, impossible to rely on only Self-Power (自力) for self-liberation in this lifetime, what more to attain Buddhahood. As all Dharma Doors rely upon Self-Power, the Two-Powered (二力) Pure Land path does too. However, it combines our limited Self-Power with the great Other-Power (他力) or Buddha Power (佛力) of Āmítuófó for the crucial connection and support to reach his Pure Land, thus enabling swiftest progress towards Buddhahood there. With interconnection to all other Buddhas, this Other-Power is all Buddhas’ united power of blessings too.]

净土宗十三祖印光大师
《无锡佛教净业社年刊序》

Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
(Wúxī Buddhist Pure Land Practice Society‘s Annual’s Preface)

Namo Amituofo : Translation and note by Shen Shi’an

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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