[166] Once And Constantly, Reciting And Hearing Āmítuófó’s Name, All Have Meritorious Virtues 一念常念,一听常听,阿弥陀佛,皆有功德

[166] Once And Constantly, Reciting And Hearing Āmítuófó[‘s Name], All Have Meritorious Virtues


[On] mindfulness [of] Buddha, [this] one practice, [if] restricting [to, in this] present life attaining benefits, [there] must be earnestness [with] utmost sincerity, constantly reciting [the Buddha’s name: Āmítuófó (阿弥陀佛)].

[Note 1: ‘Constantly’ here refers to ‘regularly and frequently, as often as possible’, which includes having scheduled (i.e. committed) practice and ‘random’ practice, which is whenever the mind is free.]


If planting good roots, although playing around, then reciting one line, also in [a] future life definitely has, because [of] this good root, those then giving rise [to] practice.

[Note 2: Even reciting the Buddha’s name once in jest, with little or no reverence creates karmic affinity with the Buddha and his related Dharma practice.]


Thus, ancient people greatly built pagodas, desiring all people [who] see them, [to] then plant good roots. This one line [of the] Buddha[‘s name], within [the] eighth consciousness’ field, [is] everlasting [and] indestructible.

[Note 3: Among other purposes, such as storing the relics and remains of Dharma practitioners (including the Buddha) for reverence and commemoration, stūpas serve as reverent reminders of the reality and possibility of reaching the peak of enlightenment.]

[Note 4: The eight consciousnesses include the first six consciousnesses (六识) of the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind (眼识、耳识、鼻识、舌识、身识、意识), the seventh mānas consciousness (末那识) and the eighth ālaya consciousness (阿赖耶识). The sixth consciousness has cognition of that sensed via the first five consciousnesses, while the seventh consciousness has thought (or mental processing) about that cognised. The seventh consciousness habitually localises experiences with thinking, while universalising experiences with intuitively but subjective perception based on the eighth consciousness. The eighth consciousness stores all our experiences and karmic seeds, and is what takes rebirth. Functioning as a to and fro buffer (or bridge) between the first six consciousnesses and the eighth, the seventh consciousness creates the illusion of ‘self’ that is attached to.)]

[Note 5: The karmic seed of the Buddha’s name once experienced is planted stored in the eighth consciousness’ field forever. When with supportive conditions (助缘), it will grow to bear fruit in the future, sooner or later, including by inspiring further mindfulness of the Buddha, for rebirth in his Pure Land.]


[It should] be known [that being] willing [to be] mindful [of the] Buddha[‘s name is] certainly good. [If] not willing [to be] mindful, for others speaking, [for] others [to] attain hearing [of the] Buddha’s name, also plants good roots. [Having] heard [it for] long, then also has great meritorious virtues.

[Note 6: The more hearing there is, of the Buddha’s name, the more firmly planted will the seed of affinity with the Buddha be, thus with greater assurance that it will grow to bear fruit, sooner than later. Of course, when conditions are available, there should be skilful and gradual guiding of those hearing the Buddha’s name to understand the principles of mindfulness of Buddha too. This will offer supportive conditions for their seeds to sprout more efficiently.]

Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
Dharma Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings (Third Compilation): Reply Letter [To] Zhāng Cháojué;
Record [Of] Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence (166th Short Section): 3rd [Chapter]: Guidance [On] Practice Methods: Fifth, Reviews [On] Practices’ Each Method (29th Short Section)
[Ref: #166 / 3.5.29]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

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Related Text:

Record Of Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence

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