With The Bodhi Mind, As Blessing And As Good Root 以菩提心,为福为善根

With [The] Bodhi Mind, As Blessing [And] As Good Root


[Commentary]: Question: For what reason [is the] Contemplation Sūtra [with ‘to] give rise [to the] Bodhi Mind’ as [the] Third Blessing?

答: 以福有事理,不专事故。

Answer: With blessings having [those in] practice [and] principle, [they do] not focus [only on] practice thus.


[On the] Contemplation Sūtra’s Three Blessings, ‘First, [is to have] filial support [of their] fathers [and] mothers, attend [to their] teachers [and] seniors, [with] loving-kindness’ mind not kill, [and] cultivate [the] Ten Good Karmas. Second, [is to] accept [and] uphold [the] Threefold Refuge, [be] complete [with] all precepts, [and] not violate majestic conduct. Third, [is to] give rise [to the] Bodhi Mind, [have] profound faith [in] cause [and] effect, study [and] recite [the] Great Vehicle’s [sūtras, and] encourage progress [of] practitioners.’


[Those] having difficulty [with this might] say, ‘Why [is “to] give rise [to the] Bodhi Mind”, then with those two above similarly named [as] blessings? Now explaining [on] blessings having [those in] practice [and] principle, this Bodhi Mind is [with] prajñā within, like blessings of [an] inconceivable quantity, not [of] Bodhidharma, those reproached human [and] heavenly [beings’] blessings [that] have outflows too. Thus, [with the] previous two blessings also together ordinary [and] small, this alone [is] independently [of the] Great Vehicle. However, now, [the] commentary [is] not with [this] matching blessings, then how [does it] belong [to] that of good roots?’


[This is] really because [of] those good [roots] and blessings, distinguishing them, [they are] then [as] two, generalising them, [they are] then [as] one, thus [does the] Bodhi Mind particularly belong [to] good roots. Generally then speaking of [it], thus can [the] Bodhi Mind likewise [be] called [a] blessing. [As the] Contemplation Sūtra [is] generally raising, [it] speaks [of] blessings without obstacles.


Question: [The Great] Treasures’ [Collection Sūtra《大宝积经》, and the] Greater Version say, ‘Those desiring [to] see Immeasurable Life Buddha, should give rise [to the] unsurpassable Bodhi Mind, [and] again should [have] focused mindfulness [of] that land, [to] accumulate [and] collect good roots.’ Thus, [the] Bodhi [Mind and] good roots, seem to be as two matters, now, why [is it] directly with good roots [as] belonging [to the] Bodhi Mind?


Answer: That [was] only speaking [about] good roots, [while] this then [is] speaking [about] much good roots. Of ‘much’, [this] one word, [if] not [with the] Bodhi Mind, with what [else] should this [be]?

Pure Land Tradition’s 8th Patriarch Great Master Liánchí
(Collected Writings [On] Commentary [On The] Sūtra [In Which The] Buddha Speaks [Of] Amitā[bha Buddha])

Namo Amituofo : Translation by Shen Shi’an

Previous Teaching:

With Good Roots As Cause, And With Blessed Virtues As Condition

Following Teaching:

With Good Roots As Cause, And With Blessed Virtues As Condition

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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