Translations

[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

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

「又放光明名见佛,
此光觉悟将终者。
令随忆念见如来,
命终得生其净国。

[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.

见有临终劝念佛,
及示尊像令瞻仰。
俾于佛所深归信,
是故得成此光明。」

[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].’

天竺慈云式忏主云:「前四句赞佛放光,见其光者名为见佛,能令临命终时净土往生;

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.

后四句赞佛修此光明之因,其因者只是劝临终人念佛,并示其佛像,令彼见已生信,故成佛时得此光明。」

[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].’

今以偈普劝信受,凡遇眷属及一切人临命终时,先于床前安置此像,令彼眼见,及劝令念佛。

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].

若痛苦所逼,或先无信心,不肯念者,亦须种种方便,劝令称佛,下至十念,得灭重罪,生佛净土。此一利益不可思议。

[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.]

若劝得一人生净土,纵自不修行,亦合得生净土,况当来成佛,能放光明,照一切众生临终见佛也。

[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.]

多见世人为恩爱故,聚头哭泣,不思救度,是名恶知识也。苦哉!苦哉!

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!

恩爱所牵,堕落恶道,无解脱期,虽慈亲孝子,亦不奈何。以此思之,可不勉哉!可谓普愿沉溺诸众生,速往无量光佛刹。

[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.

《庐山莲宗宝鉴》:念佛往生正诀卷第八
Lúshān’s Lotus Tradition’s Treasure Mirror: Eighth Scroll [On] Right Tips [On] Mindfulness [Of] Buddha [For] Rebirth
优昙普度大师编
[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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