Translations

[20] Are There Differences Between The Ten Thoughts In The Greater Sūtra And The Contemplation Sūtra? 《大经》与《观经》之十念有分别吗?With The Sincere Mind Of Joyful Faith, How Profound And Clear! 志心信乐,何等深切!

问:《大本》十念,不言临终。此与《观经》,为同为别?

Question: [The] Greater Version’s ten [mindful] thoughts [or recitations, does] not speak [of when] approaching [life’s] end. This with [the] Contemplation Sūtra’s [ten thoughts (which speak of when approaching life’s end), is] as [the] same [or] as different?

[Note 1: The ‘Greater Version’ of the Amitā(bha) Sūtra《大阿弥陀经》(or the ‘Greater Sūtra’《大经》) refers to the Immeasurable Life Sūtra《无量寿经》, which says in Dharmākara Bodhisattva’s (法藏菩萨) (who became Āmítuófó [阿弥陀佛]) Eighteenth Great Vow (第十八大愿), ‘If I attain Buddhahood, of the ten directions’ sentient beings, with the sincere mind of joyful Faith, desiring birth in my land, and even with ten thoughts, if there are those not born there, I shall not obtain Right Awakening. Only excluded are those with the Five Heinous Transgressions, who slandered the right Dharma.’

(设我得佛,十方众生,至心信乐,欲生我国,乃至十念,若不生者,不取正觉。唯除五逆,诽谤正法。)

Note 2: The Contemplation Sūtra《观经》says, ‘For those of Low Grade’s Low Births (下品下生), perhaps are sentient beings, who did unvirtuous karmas, the Five Heinous Transgressions and the Ten Evil Karmas, complete with all the unvirtuous. These such foolish persons, with evil karma thus, should fall into evil paths, to pass through many kalpas, with receiving of suffering without end. These such foolish persons, when approaching their lives’ end, meet good-knowing friends, offering all kinds of comfort, for them speaking the wonderful Dharma, teaching to enable them to be mindful of Buddha. Those persons, if by suffering bothered, too flustered to be mindful of Buddha, a good friend speaks these words, “If you are those not able to be mindful of that Buddha, you should recite ‘Immeasurable Life Buddha’. Thus with the sincere mind, enable its sound to not be interrupted, to complete ten thoughts, reciting ‘Námó Āmítuófó’ (南无阿弥陀佛).” Reciting the Buddha’s name thus, in thought to thought within, eradicating eighty koṭis’ kalpas’ transgressions of births and deaths. When their lives are ending, they will see golden lotus flowers, similar to the sun disc, abiding before these persons. As if in one thought moment, they will immediately attain rebirth in the Land Of Ultimate Bliss.’

(下品下生者,或有众生,作不善业,五逆十恶,具诸不善。如此愚人,以恶业故,应堕恶道,经历多劫,受苦无穷。如此愚人,临命终时,遇善知识,种种安慰,为说妙法,教令念佛。彼人苦逼,不遑念佛。善友告言:『汝若不能念彼佛者,应称「无量寿佛」。如是至心,令声不绝,具足十念,称「南无阿弥陀佛」。』称佛名故,于念念中,除八十亿劫生死之罪。命终之时,见金莲华,犹如日轮,住其人前。如一念顷,即得往生极乐世界。)]

答:《大本》云:「志心信乐,乃至十念。」

Answer: [The] Greater Version says, ‘[with the] sincere mind [of] joyful Faith, and even [with] ten thoughts.’

[Note 3: Refer to Note 1 for the full teaching. ‘志心’ has the same meaning as ‘至心’, with ‘志’ also referring to ‘Aspiration’ and ‘至’ also referring to the ‘utmost’ and ‘sincere’, together referring to the ‘utmost sincere mind, that is with the Aspiration of reaching Pure Land.’]

观「志心信乐」,何等深切!不必在临终时,实与临终同一猛利。

Contemplating ‘[with the] sincere mind [of] joyful Faith’, how profound [and] clear! Not necessarily when at approaching [life’s] end, truly with [when] approaching [life’s] end, [the] same one powerfulness.

[Note 4: When there is this utmost sincere mind of joyful Faith with the Aspiration to reach Pure Land in the moment, be one sick and dying, or well and alive, this is when it can be reached. However, it is natural that most practitioners have the utmost sincerity to reach Pure Land when sick and dying, thus knowing that they are approaching life’s end then, more so than those having this same mind when well and alive.]

后世祖师,因立晨朝十念行门,毕生不缺,亦决往生。

Later generations’ Patriarchs, because [of this] established Early Morning’s Ten Recitations’ Practice Door. [If for] all [of this] life not breaking [it], likewise [will there] definitely [be] rebirth [in Pure Land].

[Note 5: As taught by the Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng (净土宗十三祖印光大师), ‘In the Method Of Early Morning’s Ten Recitations, exhausting one breath is as one recitation. Regardless of the Buddha’s name’s number being many or few, this is with one line of the Buddha’s name as one recitation. That practised only in early morning for ten recitations, is thus suitable. If for twenty or thirty recitations, this thus harms the vitality (i.e. qì: 气) to become sickness. This thus is with reciting one line of the Buddha’s name, with the mind knowing it as one line. Reciting ten lines of the Buddha’s name, with the mind knowing them as ten lines.

From one reaching ten lines, from one reaching ten lines again, even if in one day reciting several tens of thousands of lines, all like this counting. Not only ridding false thoughts, this is most able to rest the mind. Accordingly fast and accordingly slow, without obstruction. From dawn till dusk, this is without when not suitable. Comparing that with those clutching beads to count, the benefits are as different as the earth from the sky. That thus, is with the body toiling and the mind moving. This thus, is with the body leisurely and the mind peaceful.

However, when doing matters, perhaps difficult to count then, then sincerely and directly recite. With doing of matters then finished, yet again gather in the mind with counting. Thus, of those continuously going and coming, friends can accompany one another with focused attention upon the one realm of the Buddha’s name within.’

(晨朝十念,尽一口气为一念。不论佛数多少,此以一句佛为一念。彼唯晨朝十念则可,若二十三十,则伤气成病。此则念一句佛,心知一句。念十句佛,心知十句。从一至十,从一至十,纵日念数万,皆如是记。不但去妄,最能养神。随快随慢,了无滞碍。从朝至暮,无不相宜。较彼掐珠记数者,利益天殊。彼则身劳而神动,此则身逸而心安。但作事时,或难记数,则恳切直念。作事既了,仍复摄心记数。则憧憧往来者,朋从于专注一境之佛号中矣。)

If there is lifelong practice of the above, with the sincere mind, that is as ‘utmost’ as possible in each moment, readying for when approaching life’s end, whether it arrives gradually or suddenly, Pure Land will surely be within reach, sooner or later, as aspired.]

净土宗九祖蕅益大师
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 /

《蕅益大师净土集》第九:答问:答卓左车《弥陀疏钞》三十二问【第二十】
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] [#20]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

相关教理
Related Teachings:

十念记数法与晨朝十念法
The Method Of Ten Recitations With Counting And The Method Of Early Morning’s Ten Recitations
https://purelanders.com/2019/08/the-method-of-ten-recitations-with-counting-n-the-method-of-early-mornings-ten-recitations

至心念佛如何灭除如此多罪而得不退?
[15] How Does Sincere Mindfulness Of Buddha Eradicate So Many Transgressions And Attain Non-Retrogression?
一念猛利过百年悠悠
One Thought Powerful Surpasses Hundred Years’ Leisureliness
https://purelanders.com/2021/09/how-does-sincere-mindfulness-of-buddha-eradicate-so-many-transgressions-and-attain-non-retrogression

如何预知时至?
[19] How To Know In Advance The Time Of Arrival In Pure Land?
不贵预知者,令心不颠倒
Those Not Valuing Advance Knowing Enable Their Minds To Not Be Inverted
https://purelanders.com/2021/09/19-how-to-know-in-advance-the-time-of-arrival-in-pure-land

《阿弥陀经》为何只言临终佛现?
[18] Why Did The Amitābha Sūtra Speak Of The Buddha Appearing At Life’s End Only?
信愿行成就,往生自无疑
With Faith, Aspiration And Practice Accomplished, Rebirth In Pure Land Is Naturally Without Doubt
https://purelanders.com/2021/09/18-why-did-the-amitabha-sutra-speak-of-the-buddha-appearing-at-lifes-end-only

为何也说来世生净土?
[23] Why Speak Of Rebirth In Pure Land In A Future Life Too?
真念佛决无不生净土者
Those With True Mindfulness Of Buddha Are Definitely Without Those Not Born In Pure Land
https://purelanders.com/2021/09/why-speak-of-rebirth-in-pure-land-in-a-future-life-too

如何把定业转成无定业?
[26] How To Transform Definite Negative Karma To Be Not Definite?
千年暗室一灯能破
A Thousand Years’ Darkened Room With One Lamp Is Able To Be Destroyed
https://purelanders.com/2021/09/how-to-transform-definite-negative-karma-to-be-not-definite

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