[5] Mistakes Of Impractically Speaking Of The Profoundly Wonderful While Denying There Is Pure Land 高谈玄妙拨无净土之失

Fifth [Essay For] Arising [Of] Faith [In] Pure Land

[5] Mistakes Of Impractically Speaking [Of The] Profoundly Wonderful [While Denying There Is] Pure Land


[The] world has those [who] focus on Chán contemplation [i.e. Self-powered meditation (自力禅)] saying, ‘[With] mind-only Pure Land, how can it be [that there] also is [the physical] Pure Land? [With] self-nature Ami[tābha Buddha (i.e. Buddha-nature [佛性]), with] no need [to] also see Ami[tābha Buddha].’ These words are as if true yet not [so]. Why thus?


[The] Western Pure Land, has [that in] principle, [and] has [that with] manifestation. Discussing [on] that principle, then able [to] purify this mind, thus [with] all purified, [this is] truly as mind-only Pure Land. Discussing [on] that manifestation, then truly having [the] Land [Of] Ultimate Bliss, [as Śākyamuni] Buddha [释迦牟尼佛] instructed carefully [and] insistently. Detailedly [and] repeatedly speaking of [it], how can [he have] false speech?


[As] everyone can accomplish Buddhahood, that so-called self-nature Ami[tābha Buddha, is] certainly not false. However, [of] sudden [attainment, they are] still not able [to] reach this. For example, good timber can [be] carved [into a] Buddha image, then utmost [with] its splendid beauty. [It] must [be] added with [the] skill of carving, after that, [then] able [to be] accomplished. [One] cannot swiftly point [to the] good timber and thereupon call [it to be a] Buddha image of utmost splendid beauty. [On] those [with] this so-called ‘mind-only Pure Land, then without again also having Pure Land, [with] self-nature Ami[tābha Buddha, with] no need [to] also see Ami[tābha Buddha,’ this is] not [so].


Also, [there are] those perhaps believing [there] is Pure Land, yet stubbornly constrained [with] speaking of mind-only, also saying [that of the] Western [Pure Land, there is] no need [for] birth [there], saying those [with] Chán contemplation [for] awakening [self-]nature, ‘surpass’ [the] Buddhas [and] ‘exceed’ [the] Patriarchs, [of] Ami[tābha Buddha, with] no need [to] see [him], all lose this [opportunity]. Why thus? This saying [is] extremely impractical, with due respect feared [to be] not easy [to] arrive [at in practice].


[While] that Western Pure Land [is] without greed [and] without attachment, without aversion [and] without delusion, [are] our minds able [to be] without greed [and] without attachment, without aversion [and] without delusion? [While] that Western Pure Land [is with] thinking [of] clothing attaining clothing, thinking [of] food attaining food, desiring silence then [with] silence, desiring [to] go then going, our thinking [of] clothing [is] yet without clothing, then [with] cold disturbing this mind, [with] thinking [of] food yet without food, then [with] hunger disturbing this mind, desiring silence yet not attaining silence, then [with] all kinds [of] movements disturbing this mind, desiring [to] go yet not going, then [with] connections binding disturbing this mind, those [with] this so-called mind-only Pure Land, [are] truly not easy [to] arrive [at it in practice].


That Amitā[bha] Buddha’s blessings [are] heavy [like the] mountains [and] oceans, [with the] power [to] lift [the] sky [and] earth, [to] change hell to [be with] lotus flowers, [as] easily [as] turning over [one’s] palm, contemplating inexhaustible worlds like before [one’s] eyes. Our power [of] blessings [are] still not able [to] personally change [it, thus] constantly fearing past [negative] karma [to be] deep [and] heavy, [to] fall into hell, moreover then, [to] change [it to be with] lotus flowers? With next door’s matters also not able [to be] known, moreover then, [to] see inexhaustible worlds? [On] those [with] this so-called self-nature Ami[tābha Buddha, this is] truly not easy [to] arrive [at in practice].


In contrast, [although] our minds can become Pure Land, yet [they are] still not able [to] suddenly become Pure Land, [and] our nature can become Ami[tābha Buddha], yet [it is] still not able [to] suddenly become Ami[tābha Buddha]. How [can there be] allowing [of] neglecting Pure Land, and not cultivating [to reach it], abandoning [of] Ami[tābha Buddha], and not desiring [to] see him?


Thus cultivating [to reach the] Western [Pure Land to] see [the] Buddha and [to] attain [the] path [there is] then extremely easy. If stopping in this world, [at] desiring [to have] Chán contemplation [to] awaken [to self-]nature, [to] ‘surpass’ [the] Buddhas [and] ‘exceed’ [the] Patriarchs, [this is] as [that] extremely difficult. Moreover, [as] those cultivating [to reach] Pure Land [do] not obstruct Chán contemplation, why must those [with] Chán contemplation disdain Pure Land and not cultivate [to reach it] too?


[The] Great[er] Amitābha Sūtra says, ‘[The] ten directions have immeasurable Bodhisattvas reborn [in] Amitā[bha] Buddha’s land.’ [If] those Bodhisattvas still desire [to be] reborn [there], who [am] I, [to] not desire [to be] born there? Is [my spiritual] fruit superior to all [these] Bodhisattvas?


Due to this speaking, those [‘with’] mind-only Pure Land, self-nature [A]mitā[bha Buddha, are with that] great yet not essential, high yet not practical. Those [with] cultivation yet [to] arrive [at it in practice, they] confuse, [hinder and/or harm] many! [This is] not as good as [having] feet standing [firmly on] the ground, [to] uphold recitation [of the Buddha’s name (i.e. Āmítuófó: 阿弥陀佛) to] cultivate practice. Then [with] everyone definitely born [in] Pure Land, [to be] directly liberated [from] rebirth. With those [having] false words without truth, [they are like the] sky [and the] earth, far [apart from] each other!


Sòng [Dynasty’s] Wáng Rìxiū
Lóngshū’s Pure Land Text:
First Scroll: Nine Essays [For] Arising [Of] Faith [In] Pure Land

Namo Amituofo : Translation by Shen Shi’an

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[4] Similarities And Differences Between Buddhist And Confucian Teachings

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[6] Why Seek Birth In Pure Land And Not Be ‘Immortals’?

Nine Essays:

Lóngshū’s Pure Land Text:
[1] First Scroll: Nine Essays On Arising Of Faith In Pure Land, etc.

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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