Translations

(Great Master Yìnguāng’s) Answers To Learner Huànxiū’s Questions (On Mindfulness Of Buddha)《答幻修学人问》

印光大师对六个念佛问题的解答
Great Master Yìnguāng’s Answers [For] Six Questions [On] Mindfulness [Of] Buddha

【一】如何得念佛三昧?
[1] How [To] Attain Samādhi [From] Mindfulness [Of] Buddha?

问:专修持名,愿得「念佛三昧」,期生净土,云何用功。

Question: [On] focused cultivation [of] upholding [the] name [of Āmítuófó (阿弥陀佛)], aspiring [to] attain ‘Samādhi [From] Mindfulness [Of] Buddha’, hoping [to be] born [in] Pure Land, how [should I be] diligent?

答:以深信愿念佛。「念佛三昧」,亦不易得。然须常发此心。所谓取法乎上,仅得其中耳。

Answer: With profound Faith [and] Aspiration [be] mindful [of the] Buddha. ‘Samādhi [From] Mindfulness [Of] Buddha’, [is] also not easy [to] attain. However, [there] must [be] frequent giving rise [to] this mind [to do so. This is] so-called, [to] comply with [that] higher, [to] only attain that [in the] middle.

【二】可以专持一个念佛法吗?
[2] Can [There Be] Focused Upholding [Of] One Method [To Be] Mindful [Of] Buddha?

问:有云出声念追顶持,有云金刚持,有云默持,有云记数,有云随息等。欲得「一心不乱」,可是专持一法否?

Question: [There] is speak [of] verbal recitation [with loud or soft recitation, with] chasing peak upholding [i.e. quick recitation without gaps], [there] is speak [of] vajra upholding [i.e. semi-verbal and semi-silent recitation], [there] is speak [of] silent upholding [i.e. only mental recitation], [there] is speak [of] noting [of] number [i.e. counting of recitations], [there] is speak [of] following breathing [i.e. for pacing of recitation] [and] others. [If] desiring [to] attain ‘wholeheartedness without [being] scattered’, can [there] be focused cultivation [of] one method or not?
 
答:追顶易受病。大声,小声,金刚,默念,随自己精神调停而用。何可死执一法,以致受病乎?随息不如静听。以随得不好,也会受病。静听,不会受病。

Answer: Chasing peak [upholding] easily receives sickness [as it is exhausting if practised long]. [Of] loud, soft, vajra [or] silent recitation, [this is] according [to] oneself’s vitality, [with] arbitrating then used. How can [there be] inflexible attachment [to] one method, such that [there is] receiving [of] sickness? Following breathing [is] not as good as silent listening [as this conserves energy and further focuses the mind]. With following [that is] not well [practised, this] also can receive sickness. [With] silent listening, [this] will not receive sickness.

【三】改变念佛法会有障碍吗?
[3] Will Changing Methods [Of] Mindfulness [Of] Buddha Have Obstacles?

问:时而金刚,时而默持,时而记数,时而随息等,不知于一心有碍否?

Question: Sometimes [with] vajra [recitation], sometimes [with] silent upholding, sometimes [with] noting [of] number, sometimes [with] following [of] breathing [and] others, not knowing [if this], for wholeheartedness, has obstacles or not?

答:一心在念,不在念的声音。何可云碍?记数,亦只可动时记。静坐时,只可默念。不可掐珠。掐珠必受伤。

Answer: [With] wholeheartedness in recitation, [this is] not in [the] sound [or volume] of recitation. How can [this be] said [to have] obstacles? [On] noting [of] number, [there] likewise can only [be with the] moving [of] time noting. [i.e. To use duration instead of number to measure quantity of practice.] When quietly sitting, [there] can only [be] silent recitation [to further still the body and focus the mind.] [It] cannot [be with] clutching [of] beads. [With] clutching [of] beads, [there] definitely [will be] receiving [of] harm [as it depletes energy and distracts].

【四】什么是甚好的念佛法?
[4] What [Is An] Extremely Good Method [To Be] Mindful [Of] Buddha?

问:学人现在于静坐时,出声持四字洪名,摄心切念,以心口分明,清楚执持,用耳谛听之法,稍觉轻安,欲修「一心不乱」,专行此法,可能达到否?

Question: Learner now, when sitting quietly, verbally upholds [the] four-worded great name [of Āmítuófó], gathering [in the] mind [with] sincere recitation, with [the] mind [and] mouth distinct [and] clear, [with] clear [and] firm upholding, using [the] method of [having the] ears attentively listening. Slightly feeling tranquility, desiring [to] cultivate ‘wholeheartedness without [being] scattered’, [if] focusing [on] practising this method, can [this be] able [to] reach [it] or not?

答:此法甚好。静坐宜默持。出声亦可。「一心不乱」,在心专注与恳切耳。

Answer: This method [is] extremely good. Silent sitting [is] suitable [for] silent upholding. Verbal [upholding is] likewise possible. ‘Wholeheartedness without [being] scattered’, [is] in [the] mind’s focused attention with earnest sincerity.

【五】如何随息念佛?
[5] How [To] Follow Breathing [To Be] Mindful [Of] Buddha?

问:随息一法,尊钞颇极提倡,但未说明如何念法。《宝王论》云,此法「大有恃怙」,亦只云「称佛名号,随之于息」,仍未详如何念法。惟《饬终津梁》云,「随息念佛,用呼不用吸,一呼,或一句,或二字均可。」

Question: [Of] following breathing, [this] one method, [your] honoured Collected Writings《文钞》[are with] rather utmost promoting [of it], however yet [to] speak clearly [on] how [to] recite [with this] method. [The] Treasure King [Of Samādhi] Treatise《宝王三昧论》says, this method ‘has great reliability’, likewise only saying ‘reciting [the] Buddha’s name, following it with breathing’, still yet [to] detail how [to] recite [with this] method. Only Bridge [With] Admonitions [For The] End says, ‘Following breathing [to be] mindful [of] Buddha, use [the] exhaling [breath, and] not use [the] inhaling [breath. In] one exhaling [breath], perhaps [with] one line [of Āmítuófó], perhaps [with] two words, [this is] also possible.’

学人疑吸息不念,岂非间断,每每试练一呼一句,颇觉吃力,且念得不甚清楚。惟有随吸时,念阿弥,随呼时,念陀佛,既不间断,且能清楚,又不吃力,不知如此念法,可否?抑或吸时,不能用否?

Learner doubts [that with the] inhaling [breath, there should] not [be] recitation, [for] how [can this] not [have] interruption? Often trying [to] practise [with] one exhaling [breath with] one line, [this] feels rather strenuous, moreover [with] recitation [that is] not extremely clear. Only when having following [of the] inhaling [breath], reciting Āmí, [and] when following [the] exhaling [breath], reciting Tuófó, since uninterrupted, moreover able [to be] clear, also not strenuous. Not knowing [if] like this, [with this] recitation method, can [it be done] or not? Could it be [that] when [with the] inhaling [breath, it is] not able [to be] used, or not?

答:吸息不念,此中何可云间断?一呼念一句,吸则不念。呼吸俱念,必伤气。若只念二字,则一呼一吸念佛一句,则无碍。

Answer: [With the] inhaling breath not reciting, [in] this within, how can [it be] said [to have] interruption? [With] one exhaling [breath] recite one line, [and with the] inhaling [breath] not recite. [With the] exhaling [and] inhaling [breaths] together reciting, [this] definitely [will] harm vitality. If only reciting two words, then [with] one exhaling breath [and] one inhaling breath reciting one line [of the] Buddha’s [name, this is] then without obstacles.

【六】如何都摄六根,净念相继?
[6] How [To] Gather [In The] Six Roots, [For] Pure Mindfulness [In] Continuous Succession?

问:「都摄六根,净念相继」,云何行持?

Question: ‘[To] gather [in the] six roots, [for] pure mindfulness [in] continuous succession’, how [is this] cultivated?

答:念佛的宗旨,是生真信(即信),发切愿(即愿),专持佛号(即行)。信愿行三,为念佛宗旨。念佛用功最妙的方法,是「都摄六根,净念相继」。

Answer: [The] main purpose of mindfulness [of] Buddha, is [to] give rise [to] true Faith ([which] is Faith], [and] give rise [to] sincere Aspiration ([which] is Aspiration), [to have] focused upholding [of the] Buddha’s name ([which] is Practice). [To have] Faith, Aspiration [and] Practice, [these] three, [this is] for [the] main purpose [of] mindfulness [of] Buddha. [For] diligent mindfulness [of] Buddha, [the] most wonderful method, is [to] ‘gather [in the] six roots, [with] pure mindfulness [in] continuous succession’.

「都摄六根」者,即是念佛之心,专注于佛名号,即摄意根。口须念得清清楚楚,即摄舌根。耳须听得清清楚楚,即摄耳根。此三根摄于佛号,则眼决不会乱视。

That [on] ‘gather [in the] six roots’, is the same as [the] mind [of] mindfulness of [the] Buddha. [To be] focused on [the] Buddha’s name, is gathering [of the] mind root. [With the] mouth [that] must recite clearly, is gathering [of the] tongue root. [With the] ears [that] must hear clearly, is gathering [of the] ear root. [With] these three roots gathered by [the] Buddha’s name, then [will the] eyes definitely not randomly look.

念佛时眼宜垂帘,即放下眼皮,不可睁大。眼既摄矣,则鼻也不会乱嗅,则鼻亦摄矣。身须恭敬,则身亦摄矣。六根既摄而不散,则心无妄念,唯佛是念,方为净念。

When mindful [of the] Buddha, [the] eyes should [be like] drooping curtains, [that] is [to] let down [the] eyelids, [that] should not [be] opened wide. [With the] eyes since gathered, then [is the] nose also not randomly smelling, then [is the] nose likewise gathered. [With the] body [that] must [be] reverent [by being unmoving], then [is the] body likewise gathered. [With the] six roots gathered and not scattered, then [with the] mind without false thoughts, only [with the] Buddha as thought, then [is this] as pure mindfulness.

六根不摄,虽则念佛,心中仍然妄想纷飞,难得实益。若能「都摄六根」而念,是名「净念相继」。能常常「净念相继」,则「一心不乱」,与「念佛三昧」,均可渐得矣。

[If the] six roots [are] not gathered, although then [with] mindfulness [of] Buddha, [with the] mind within still [having] false thoughts fluttering about, [it is] difficult [to] attain true benefits. If able [to] ‘gather [in the] six roots’ and [be] mindful, [this] is named ‘pure mindfulness [in] continuous succession’. [If] able [to] frequently [be with] ‘pure mindfulness [in] continuous succession’, then [are] ‘wholeheartedness without [being] scattered’, and ‘Samādhi [From] Mindfulness [Of] Buddha’, also possible [to be] gradually attained.

祈注意。但祈「都摄六根,净念相继」,则业消智朗,心地开通。何愁不解经义乎哉?祈勉力。

[I] implore [you to] pay attention [to this]. Only imploring ‘[to] gather [in the] six roots, [for] pure mindfulness [in] continuous succession’. Then [will negative] karma [be] eliminated [and] wisdom [be] bright, [with the] mind’s ground open [and] clear. Why worry [about] not understanding [the] sūtras’ meanings [then]? [I] implore [you to] strive [to] do [your] best.

净土宗十三祖印光大师
《答幻修学人问》
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
(Answers [To] Learner Huànxiū’s Questions)

Namo Amituofo : Translation by Shen Shi’an

相关经典
Related Sūtra:

《大佛顶首楞严经大势至菩萨念佛圆通章》
The Great Buddha Crown’s Śūraṅgama Sūtra’s Section On Great Power Arrived Bodhisattva’s Perfect Penetration With Mindfulness Of Buddha
purelanders.com/yuantong

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