Translations

[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

净土起信五
Fifth [Essay For] Arising [Of] Faith [In] Pure Land

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

世有专于参禅者云:「唯心净土,岂复更有净土?自性阿弥,不必更见阿弥。」此言似是而非也。何则?

[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?

西方净土,有理有迹:论其理,则能净其心,故一切皆净,诚为唯心净土矣;论其迹,则实有极乐世界,佛丁宁详复言之,岂妄语哉?

[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?

人人可以成佛,所谓自性阿弥者,固不妄矣,然猝未能至此。譬如良材,可以雕刻佛像而极其华丽,必加以雕刻之功,然后能成,不可遽指良材而遂谓极佛像之华丽也。是所谓「唯心净土,而无复更有净土;自性阿弥,不必更见阿弥」者,非也。

[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].

又或信有净土而泥唯心之说,乃谓西方不足生者,谓参禅悟性,超佛越祖,阿弥不足见者,皆失之矣。何则?此言甚高,窃恐不易到。

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].

彼西方净土无贪无恋、无瞋无痴,吾心能无贪无恋、无瞋无痴乎?彼西方净土思衣得衣,思食得食,欲静则静,欲去则去,吾思衣而无衣则寒恼其心,思食而无食则饥恼其心,欲静而不得静则群动恼其心,欲去而不得去则系累恼其心,是所谓唯心净土者,诚不易到也。

[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].

彼阿弥陀佛福重山海,力挈天地,变地狱为莲华易于反掌,观无尽之世界如在目前,吾之福力尚不能自为,常恐宿业深重,坠于地狱,况乃变作莲华乎?隔壁之事犹不能知,况乃见无尽世界乎?是所谓自性阿弥者,诚不易到也。

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].

然则吾心可以为净土而猝未能为净土,吾性可以为阿弥而猝未能为阿弥,乌得忽净土而不修、舍阿弥而不欲见乎?

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?

故修西方见佛而得道则甚易,若止在此世界,欲参禅悟性、超佛越祖为甚难。况修净土者不碍于参禅,何参禅者必薄净土而不修也?

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?

《大阿弥陀经》云:「十方有无量菩萨往生阿弥陀佛国。」彼菩萨尚欲往生,我何人哉,不欲生彼?是果胜于诸菩萨乎?

[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?

由此言之,唯心净土、自性弥陀者,大而不要,高而不切,修未到者,误人多矣。不若脚踏实地,持诵修行,则人人必生净土,径脱轮回,与虚言无实者,天地相远矣。

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!

宋‧王日休
《龙舒净土文》
第一卷:净土起信九篇

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

上篇
Previous Essay:

佛教与儒教之同异
[4] Similarities And Differences Between Buddhist And Confucian Teachings
https://purelanders.com/2021/10/4-similarities-and-differences-between-buddhist-and-confucian-teachings

下篇
Next Essay:

为何求生净土不做仙?
[6] Why Seek Birth In Pure Land And Not Be ‘Immortals’?
https://purelanders.com/2021/10/6-why-seek-birth-in-pure-land-and-not-be-immortals

九篇
Nine Essays:

《龙舒净土文》
第一卷:净土起信九篇(等)
Lóngshū’s Pure Land Text:
First Scroll: Nine Essays On Arising Of Faith In Pure Land, etc.
https://purelanders.com/longshu1

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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