[9] Verses Of Virtue Foremost Bodhisattva On Approaching Life’s End With Praise Of Mindfulness Of Buddha 贤首菩萨临终赞念佛偈

[9] Verses [Of] Virtue Foremost Bodhisattva [On] Approaching [Life’s] End [With] Praise [Of] Mindfulness [Of] Buddha


[1] ‘Also, [with] emitting [of] bright light [seen, is] named [as] seeing [the] Buddha, [with] this light awakening those going [to] depart. Causing [the] following [of the one] recollected [and] mindful [of, with] seeing [of the] Thus Come [One, at] life’s end, attaining birth [in] his Pure Land.


[2] Seeing [those] approaching [life’s] end, encourage reciting [of the] Buddha[‘s name], and show [the] Honoured [One’s] image, [to] enable [it to be] looked up [to]. So that of [the] Buddha, whom [there is] profound refuge [and] Faith [in], therefore attain accomplishing [of] this bright light [of the Buddha too].’


India’s Repentance Master Cíyúnshì said, [1] ‘[The] first four lines praise [the] Buddha’s emitting [of] light, [with] those seeing his light named as [those] seeing [the] Buddha, [who is] able [to] enable [those], when approaching life’s end, [to be in his] Pure Land [be] reborn.


[2] [The] later four lines praise [the] cause of [the] Buddha’s cultivation [of] this bright light, [with] that cause only [for] encouraging persons approaching [life’s] end, [to] recite [the] Buddha[‘s name]. Also [on] showing [of] that Buddha’s image, [this is to] enable them [to, upon] seeing [it] already, give rise [to] Faith, thus when accomplishing Buddhahood, attaining this bright light [too].’


Now with [these] verses, universally encourage [them to be] faithfully received. All [who] meet family members and all people, when [they are] approaching [life’s] end, [they should] first at [their] beds’ front, arrange [to] place this [Buddha’s] image, [to] enable their eyes [to] see [it, to] encourage [and] enable recitation [of the] Buddha[‘s name].


[i] If [there are] those [with] pain [and] suffering, [by] those compelled, perhaps first without [the] faithful mind, not willing [to] recite [the Buddha’s name], also needed [are] all kinds [of] skilful means, [for] encouraging [and] enabling reciting [of the] Buddha[‘s name. [With] down to ten recitations, attaining elimination [of] heavy transgressions, [there will be] birth [in the] Buddha’s Pure Land. This one benefit [is] inconceivable.

[Note 1: As taught by the Buddha in the Contemplation Sūtra《观经》, ‘Reciting the Buddha’s name thus, in thought to thought within, eradicates eighty koṭis’ kalpas’ transgressions of births and deaths.’ (称佛名故,于念念中,除八十亿劫生死之罪。) Thus, even reciting the Buddha’s name once eradicates much evil karma (业障), including that which might obstruct rebirth in Pure Land in the last moments when dying. However, there is usually encouraging of reciting more with support-chanting (助念), beyond ten recitations if possible, so as to more fully express profound Faith (深信) and sincere Aspiration (切愿) for birth in Pure Land, and to eliminate possibly more evil karma that might be ripening. In fact, there should be recitation until Pure Land is reached.]


[ii] If encouraging [and] attaining one person’s birth [in] Pure Land, even if personally not cultivating Practice, [one is] also suitable [for] attaining birth [in] Pure Land, moreover [in the] future accomplishing [as a] Buddha, able [to] emit bright light, [to] illuminate all sentient beings [when they are] approaching [life’s] end, [to] see [the] Buddha too.

[Note 2: When one manages to encourage another to be born in Pure Land successfully, this is also expression of one’s profound Faith (深信) and sincere Aspiration (切愿), with this as a form of Practice (行), especially if there was also support-chanting (助念) with the Buddha’s name. Thus are all Three Provisions (三资粮) present. Thus, one is also aligned for birth in Pure Land, agreeable accordingly, especially with the support of great meritorious virtues (功德) created by connecting another to Pure Land. Such a person is also extremely likely to naturally again personally express the Three Provisions when approaching life’s end later, thus also successfully reaching Pure Land. Of course, one truly keen on reaching Pure Land will not be complacent, to purposely be without Practice in everyday life, although if there happens to be little time for much Practice, perhaps due to old age or sickness, due to the above, one is still likely to reach Pure Land.]


Often seen [are the] world’s people, because of [those with] love [and] affection thus, getting together [and] crying aloud, not contemplating saving [and] delivering [the dying ones, these] are named [as] evil-knowing [‘friends’]. What suffering! What suffering!


[By] those [with] love [and] affection led, falling [into] evil paths, without liberation’s date, although [with] loving relatives [and] filial children, [they] also [can]not deal with [this]. With this contemplating that, [how] can [this] not [be] encouraged? [This] can [be] called universally wishing all drowning sentient beings, [to] quickly [be] reborn [in] Immeasurable Light Buddha’s land.

Lúshān’s Lotus Tradition’s Treasure Mirror: Eighth Scroll [On] Right Tips [On] Mindfulness [Of] Buddha [For] Rebirth
[By] Great Master Yōután Pǔdù Compiled

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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