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

[4] Elder Gǔ [In His] Later Life Indulging [In] Wealth [And] Honour


[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.


[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?


[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.


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


[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.’


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?


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.


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.


[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.


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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[3] Elder Zhé In His Later Life With Much Worries And Suffering

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[5] Birth In The Western Pure Land Is Like Presently Receiving An Official Post

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