Translations

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

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

有惠古长老,先住舒州太平,次住浙东大刹,亦名行尊宿也。

[There] was [the] Elder [Master] Huìgǔ, [who] first abided [at] Shūzhōu’s Tàipíng [Chán Temple (太平禅院)] [i.e. at today’s Ānhuī Qiánshān (安徽潜山)], [who] next abided [at a] big monastery [at] Zhèdōng, [who was] also named [as a] travelling senior monastic.

死而生于宰相家,后生登高科,世固以为荣矣。然此甚失计也。何则?

[After] death, [he was] then born in [the] prime minister’s family, later [as a] student climbing high [in an] imperial exam. [The] worldly [are] certainly with [this] as glorious. However, this [is] extreme loss [of his] plan [to attain Buddhahood]. Why thus?

前世斋戒,今世食肉,必以食肉为美矣;前世清修,今生近色欲,必以色欲为美矣;前世恬静,今生享富贵,必以富贵为美矣。

[In his] past life [with] purification precepts, [in this] present life eating meat, definitely with eating meat as delicious. [In his] past life [with] pure cultivation, [in this] present life with sexual desires, definitely with sexual desires as pleasing. [In his] past life peaceful, [in this] present life enjoying wealth [and] honour, definitely with wealth [and] honour as satisfactory.

譬如大象入泥,一步深如一步,奈之何哉?

For example, like [an] elephant entering mud, [with] one step, [going] deep like one step, what can be done?

《楞严经》云:「闻所闻尽,尽闻不住;觉所觉空,空觉极圆。」

[The] Śūraṅgama Sūtra says, ‘[With] hearing [and] that heard ended, [with] ending [of] hearing not abided [upon], awareness [and] that aware [of “become”] empty, [with] emptiness’ awakening utmost [and] complete.’

盖谓所闻之事尽矣,尽闻其不住也。故世间虽享快乐,其如不住何?

Because [what] called [the] matter of that heard [has] ended, [with] ending [of] hearing, it not abided [upon] too. Thus, [in the] world, although enjoying happiness, how [can] that [be] as good as not abiding?

不住则过去,过去则不能久也。又觉其所觉者,皆归于空,空则无实矣。诚能于此空而觉之,则真觉之性极圆,而无复坠堕也。

Not abided [upon], then passing, passing then, not able [to last] long. Also [with] awareness [and] that aware [of], all returning to emptiness, [with] emptiness then, without [that] true. [If] truly able [to], of this emptiness, then awaken [to] it, then [will] true awakening of nature [be] utmost [and] complete, then without again falling too.

使古老而悟此理,必不生宰相家。纵未能悟明真性,且修西方以脱去轮回可也。

If Elder Gǔ [had] then awakened [to] this principle, [he] definitely [would] not [be] born [in the] prime minister’s family. Even though yet able [to] awaken clearly [to] true nature, moreover cultivating [to reach the] Western [Pure Land, this is] with liberating from rebirth possible too.

《楞伽经》谓:「世间修行人,如澄浊水,澄之虽清,未去浊脚,搅之复浊。」古老之谓也。

[The] Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra says, ‘[The] world’s practitioners, [are] like [those] purifying defiled water, [with] purification of [it], although clear, yet [to] remove [their] defiled legs, stirring it, [it will] again [become] defiled.’ [This is] speaking of Elder Gǔ too.

如生西方,见佛得道,复来生此世界,则若刷去浊脚,纯为清水,虽搅之,不复浊矣。故虽名行尊宿,亦不可不修西方。古老足以鉴矣。

If born [in the] Western [Pure Land], seeing [the] Buddha [to] attain [the] path, again coming [to be] born [in] this land, [this] then [is] like brushing away defilements [from the] legs, [with that] purely as clear water, although stirring it, [it will] not again [become] defiled. Thus, although named [as a] travelling senior monastic, [he] also cannot not cultivate [to reach the] Western [Pure Land]. Elder Gǔ[‘s case is] sufficient [for] reflecting [on this].

Namo Amituofo : Translation by Shen Shi’an

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