Translations

How Buddhas And Bodhisattvas Use Innumerable Manifestation Bodies To Deliver Sentient Beings At The Same Time 佛菩萨如何以千百亿化身同时度众生

观世音菩萨于无量劫前,久成佛道,号正法明。但以度生念切,救苦心殷,不离寂光,垂形六道。

Guānshìyīn [i.e. Contemplator (Of The) World’s Sounds] Bodhisattva in immeasurable kalpas [i.e. world cycles] before, [had] long accomplished [the] Buddha’s path, named Right Dharma’s Brightness [Thus Come One (正法明如来)]. However, with deliverance [of] sentient beings’ thought earnest, [and] saving [from] suffering’s mind ardent, not departing [from] stillness’ light, [she] approaches [with skilful] forms [in the] six paths [of hell-beings (地狱), hungry ghosts (饿鬼), animals (畜生), human beings (人), asuras (阿修罗) and heavenly beings (天人)].

遍于十方微尘佛国,普现色身,度脱众生。非独止现菩萨之身,而二乘六道,无身不现。法华所谓应以何身得度者,即现何身而为说法。

Everywhere in [the] ten directions’ [i.e. the four cardinal, four intermediate, below and above directions] dust motes’ [number of] Buddha lands, universally appearing [with] physical bodies, [to] deliver [and] liberate sentient beings. Not only stopping [at] appearing [with the] body of [a] Bodhisattva, and [also with that of the] Two Vehicles [of Voice-Hearers (声闻) and those by Conditions Awakened (缘觉), and the] six paths’ [beings, with] no bodies not appearing. [This is the Wonderful] Dharma [Lotus] Flower [Sūtra’s] (妙法莲华经) so-called ‘[for] those [who] should, with whatever body attain deliverance, immediately appearing [with] whatever body then, for speaking [the] Dharma’.

虽则遍入十方佛国,而于娑婆因缘,甚深甚深。虽则普现十法界身,而世人据迹而论,止云菩萨而已。

Although then everywhere entering [the] ten directions’ Buddha lands, yet with [this] Sahā [World’s] cause [and] conditions [i.e. karmic affinity], [they are] extremely profound, extremely profound. Although then universally appearing [with the] ten Dharma realms’ bodies [of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, those by Conditions Awakened, Voice-Hearers and those of the six paths], yet [the] world’s people, according [to] signs then discussing, [often] stop [at] speaking [of her appearing as a] Bodhisattva only.

以其彻证唯心,圆彰自性,故得悲运同体,慈起无缘。由本高而体大,故迹广而用宏。

With her completely realising mind-only, perfectly manifesting [her] self-nature, thus attaining compassion applied [for those of the] same body, [with] loving-kindness arising [for those] without conditions. Due [to the] original [nature being] high, and [with its] essence great, thus [are her] signs vast, and [with their] functions great.

其随类逐形,寻声救苦,有感即应,无愿不从之迹,喻如月丽中天,影现众水。

She, according [to different] types [of beings, has] individual forms, seeking [their] sounds [to] save [them from] suffering. [Once] having connection immediately responding, without [those] aspiring [to connect] not following them [to] manifest [accordingly. As an] analogy, like [the] moon magnificent [and high in the] sky within, [with its] reflections appearing [in] many waters.

不但江湖河海,各现全月。即小而一勺一滴,无不各各皆现全月。又江湖河海中月,一人观之,则其月与己相对。即百千万人于百千万处观之,亦皆各各与己相对。

Not only [in] rivers, lakes, streams [and] seas, [in] each appearing [with the] complete moon. Even [in] as small [as] one spoon’s one drop [of water], without [that] not, [in] each [and] every one, all appearing [with the] complete moon. Also, [of the] moon within rivers, lakes, streams [and] seas, [when] one person sees it, then [will] this moon and oneself match. Even if [a] hundred thousand [of] ten thousand persons in [a] hundred thousand [of] ten thousand places see it, likewise [will] all, each [and] every one and oneself match.

人若东行,月则随之而东。人若西行,月则随之而西。人若安住不动,月则不离当处。

[A] person, if [to the] East walks, [the] moon thus accordingly then [goes to the] East. [A] person, if [to the] West walks, [the] moon thus accordingly then [goes to the] West. [A] person, if peacefully standing [does] not move, [the] moon then [does] not leave that place.

一人乃至百千万人,悉皆如是。菩萨于一念中,遍法界感,遍法界应。感应道交,无少差殊。与此一月普现众水,随人随地各见全月,了无有异。  

[For] one person, and even [a] hundred thousand [of] ten thousand persons, [for] all thus. [The] Bodhisattva, in one thought within, pervades [the] Dharma realm [to] connect, [and] pervades [the] Dharma realm [to] respond. [With] connection [and] response [for] mutual interaction, not [in the] least [with any] faults. And [with] this one moon universally appearing [in] many waters, according [to the] person [and] according [to the] place, [with] each seeing [the] complete moon, completely without having differences.

良由菩萨心包太虚,量周沙界。以众生之心为心,以众生之境为境。故得不谋而合,无缘而应。

[This is] truly due [to the] Bodhisattva, [whose] mind embraces vast emptiness, [with] magnanimity universal [in] sands’ [number of] worlds. With [the] minds of sentient beings as [her] mind, [and] with [the] realms of sentient beings as [her] realm. Thus attaining [that] without consulting yet conforming, without conditions yet responding.

净土宗十三祖印光大师
《石印普陀山志序》

Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
(Lithographic Prints [Of] Mount Pǔtuó Record’s Preface)

[Note: The above principles of manifestation apply to other Great Bodhisattvas and all Buddhas too, including Āmítuófó (阿弥陀佛: Amitābha Buddha).]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and note by Shen Shi’an

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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