Translations

[3] Elder Zhé In His Later Life With Much Worries And Suffering 喆老后身多忧苦

喆老后身多忧苦
[3] Elder Zhé [In His] Later Life [With] Much Worries [And] Suffering

有喆老者,住京师大刹,四十年不睡,坐禅精苦如此。

[There] was that [case of] Elder Zhé, [who] abided [in] Jīngshī’s great monastery, [for] forty years not sleeping, sitting [in] meditation, striving diligently like this.

坐化后,纸袄亦烧出舍利。中官有以三十千买一纸袄者,以其有舍利故也。其效验已如此。

After [he] sat [and] departed, [his] paper outer garments also burnt [to] produce śarīra. Within [the] palace, [there] was [an official who wished to], with thirty thousand, buy one [of] those paper garments, with it having śarīra thus. His effects [of] efficacy [were] already like this.

若修西方,必为不退转地菩萨,即生死自如矣。却来此世界济渡众生,有何不可?

If cultivating [to reach the] Western [Pure Land], definitely becoming [a] non-retrogressible ground’s Bodhisattva, immediately [with] birth [and] death with ease. Coming back [to] this world [to] aid [and] deliver sentient beings, [this] has what [that] cannot [be done]?

不知修此,乃生大富贵处,一生多受忧苦,可哀也哉!

Not knowing [to] cultivate this, then born [in a] place [with] great wealth [and] honour, [for all of] one’s life receiving much worries [and] suffering, how pitiable!

纵使受大富贵,亦终有尽,依旧轮回。

Even if receiving great wealth [and] honour, also [in the] end having [their] exhaustion, as before, [still with] rebirth.

或云:「以喆老之精修,今生多受忧苦,何也?」

[A] question asks, ‘With [the] diligent cultivation of Elder Zhé, [yet in this] present life receiving much worries [and] suffering, why [is this so]?

答云:「佛言,假令百千劫,所作业不亡;因缘会遇时,果报还自受。」

[To] answer, ‘[The] Buddha said, [even] if [for a] hundred thousand kalpas, that created karma [does] not perish. When causes [and] conditions meet, [the] fruits [of] retribution still [have to be] personally received.’

永嘉大师亦云:「了则业障本来空,未了应须还宿债。」

Great Master Yǒngjiā likewise said, ‘[With] understanding then, karmic obstacles [are realised to be] fundamentally empty. Yet [to] understand [then, there] should [still be] need [to] repay past [karmic] debts.’

以喆老不曾了得生死大事,今世生于大富贵处,乃前生愿心也。

With Elder Zhé not yet attaining understanding [of the] great matter [of] birth [and] death [yet, in this] present life born [in a] place with great wealth [and] honour, then [being] past life’s wish [in] mind too.

多受忧苦者,乃因缘会遇,而还千百世之宿债也。

[Of] those receiving much worries [and] suffering, then [when] causes [and] conditions meet, [they] still [have to] repay [their] past debts of [a] thousand hundred lives.

若生西方,则宿债不须还矣。何则?

If born [in the] Western [Pure Land], then [will] past debts not need [to be] repaid. Why thus? 

生死自如故。虽入一切众生生死界中,大作济渡,一性已不昧,而超脱三界。岂须还宿债哉?

[With] birth [and] death with ease thus, although entering all sentient beings’ realms [of] birth [and] death within, greatly aiding [and] delivering, [of] this one [Buddha-]nature, already not ignorant [of it], then transcending [and] liberating [from the] three realms. How [can they still] need [to] repay past debts?

且以喆老之精修,犹不能超脱三界,岂非三界之岸极高,其苦海极深,其波涛极急,故不易超脱乎。

Moreover, with [the] diligent cultivation of Elder Zhé, still not able [to] transcend [and] liberate [from the] three realms, how [can this] not [be that the] shore of [the] three realms [is] extremely high, [that] its suffering ocean [is] extremely deep, [and that] its great waves [are] extremely rapid, thus not easy [to be] transcended [and] liberated [from]?

修西方而超脱者,仗佛力也。有佛力而不倚仗,犹穷贱饿人见富贵者而不倚仗,哀哉!

Those cultivating [to reach the] Western [Pure Land], then liberated, rely [on the] Buddha’s power. Having [the] Buddha’s power, yet not relying on [it], is like poor, lowly [and] hungry persons, seeing those [with] wealth [and] honour, yet not relying on [them. How] pitiable!

Namo Amituofo : Translation by Shen Shi’an

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上篇
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戒禅师后身东坡
[2] Chán Master Jiè [In His] Later Life Becoming Dōngpō
https://purelanders.com/2021/12/28/2-chan-master-jie-in-his-later-life-becoming-dongpo

下篇
Next Essay:

古老后身耽富贵
[4] Elder Gǔ In His Later Life Indulging In Wealth And Honour

https://purelanders.com/2021/12/28/4-elder-gu-in-his-later-life-indulging-in-wealth-and-honour/

七篇
Seven Essays:

《龙舒净土文》
第七卷:指迷归要七篇
Lóngshū’s Pure Land Text:
[7] Seventh Scroll: Seven Essays On Essentials For Pointing Out To The Lost For Their Return
https://purelanders.com/longshu7

相关教理
Related Teaching:

真如喆禅师公案
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https://purelanders.com/2021/06/04/is-it-wise-to-aspire-to-return-to-seek-good-teachers-here/

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