[18] Why Did The Amitābha Sūtra Speak Of The Buddha Appearing At Life’s End Only? 《阿弥陀经》为何只言临终佛现?With Faith, Aspiration And Practice Accomplished, Rebirth In Pure Land Is Naturally Without Doubt 信愿行成就,往生自无疑


Question: [If for] determination [and] aspiration seeking proof, [it is] exactly [when] in ordinary times, why [did the Amitā(bha)] Sūtra《阿弥陀经》stop [at] speaking [of] approaching [life’s] end, [then with the] Buddha appearing?


Answer: Practitioners seeing [of the] Buddha, [are] according [with their] pure karma [being] shallow [or] deep. [As the] sūtra explains [about] rebirth, thus [does it] speak [of when] receiving [and] guiding [to Pure Land] only.

[Note 1: Pure karma refers to Pure Land practice, especially the Main Practice (正行) of upholding Āmítuófó’s name (阿弥陀佛) with profound Faith (深信) and sincere Aspiration (切愿).]


Now only in [the] aspect [of] firmly upholding [Āmítuófó’s] name striving hard, ‘increasing lashes’, regardless [of] seeing and yet seeing [the Buddha], only attain accomplishment [of] Faith, Aspiration [and] Practice, [and] rebirth [in Pure Land] naturally can [be] without doubt. Be careful not [to] give rise [to the thought of being] ‘lucky’, [to] retrogress [from the] tranquil mind.

[Note 2: To definitely reach Pure Land, practitioners should only focus on wholehearted (i.e. sincere) and diligent Practice (行) upholding Āmítuófó’s name with Faith (信) and Aspiration (愿), without bothering about experiencing any auspicious signs (瑞相), such as seeing the Buddha. (To not believe this is to still lack Faith.) Such craving will distract the mind from being tranquil. Not being wholehearted, this makes it even less likely to experience any auspicious sign. Only wholehearted practice leads to experience of genuine auspicious signs naturally, sooner or later. Even if some auspicious sign was once or occasionally experienced in everyday life, there should not be thinking that one will definitely reach Pure Land, to thus become complacent. True practitioners do not become lax in their practice, as they know that they have yet to reach Pure Land, thus needing to have continual practice, for possibly attaining higher grades of birth too.]

Pure Land Tradition’s 9th Patriarch Great Master Ǒuyì
《灵峰宗论》卷第三之一:答问一 /
Spirit Peak Tradition’s Treatise: First [Part] Of Scroll Three: First Answers [For] Questions /
Great Master Ǒuyì’s Pure Land Collection: 9th [Section]: Answers [For] Questions: Answers [For] Zhuō Zuǒchē’s Thirty-Two Questions [On The] Commentary [On The Sūtra In Which The Buddha Speaks Of A]mitā[bha Buddha] [#18]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Related Teachings:

[15] How Does Sincere Mindfulness Of Buddha Eradicate So Many Transgressions And Attain Non-Retrogression?
One Thought Powerful Surpasses Hundred Years’ Leisureliness

[19] How To Know In Advance The Time Of Arrival In Pure Land?
Those Not Valuing Advance Knowing Enable Their Minds To Not Be Inverted

[20] Are There Differences Between The Ten Thoughts In The Greater Sūtra And The Contemplation Sūtra?
With The Sincere Mind Of Joyful Faith, How Profound And Clear!

[23] Why Speak Of Rebirth In Pure Land In A Future Life Too?
Those With True Mindfulness Of Buddha Are Definitely Without Those Not Born In Pure Land

[26] How To Transform Definite Negative Karma To Be Not Definite?
A Thousand Years’ Darkened Room With One Lamp Is Able To Be Destroyed

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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