Mindfulness [Of] Buddha [With] Faith [And] Aspiration Attains These Great Benefits
All Dharma Doors, must all rely [on the] path’s power of precepts, concentration [and] wisdom, [to] sever [the] afflictions [and] confusions [of] greed, anger [and] ignorance. If arriving [at] concentration [and] wisdom [with] power profound, afflictions [and] confusions [will be] gone completely, then having [a] part [in] liberation [from the cycle of] birth [and] death.
[Note 1: Precepts, concentration and wisdom (戒定慧) form the Threefold Learning (三学) needed for liberation. Greed, anger and ignorance (贪瞋痴) form the Three Poisons (三毒) that prevent liberation, by giving rise to afflictions and confusions (烦惑).]
If afflictions’ [and] confusions’ severance [is] yet [to be] complete, even if you have great wisdom, have great eloquence, have great supernormal [powers, are] able [to] know [the] past [and] future, wanting [to] go then going, wanting [to] come then coming, [you are] also not able [to be] liberated. Moreover, how [can] those below? Relying [on] Self-power’s difficulty of liberation [from the cycle of] birth [and] death, truly [is as] difficult as ascending [the] heavens!
[Note 2: It is extremely difficult to, with Self-power (自力) alone, sever afflictions and confusions completely, to be liberated.]
If relying [on the] Dharma Door [Of] Mindfulness [Of] Buddha, giving rise [to] Faith [and] Aspiration, reciting [the] Buddha’s sacred name [Āmítuófó (阿弥陀佛)], [to] seek birth [in his] Western [Pure Land], regardless [of those who have] left [the] household [life or] at home, scholars, farmers, artisans [and] merchants, [the] old [and] young, males [and] females, honoured [and] lowly, virtuous [and] foolish, [if] only willing [to] rely [on the] teachings [to] practise, all can rely [on the] Buddha’s loving-kindness’ power, [to] bring [their evil] karma [to be] reborn [there].
[Note 3: When with the Practice of mindfulness of the Buddha’s name with Faith and Aspiration, thus connecting to the Buddha’s great blessings, one’s limited evil karma (恶业), even if much, will be suspended, for rebirth in his Pure Land. Even when brought to Pure Land, only with progress towards Buddhahood there, this remnant evil karma will be disabled forever. Faith, Aspiration and Practice (信愿行), as above, form the Three Provisions (三资粮) for reaching the Pure Land.]
Once attaining rebirth, then [with] concentration [and] wisdom, not expecting attainment yet [with] self-attainment, [with] afflictions [and] confusions, not expecting severance yet [with] self-severance. Personally taught by Amitā[bha Buddha and his] noble assembly, walking [and] swimming, on gold ground [and in] treasure ponds. [With] reliance [on] these supreme conditions, [for] supporting accomplishment [of the] path’s undertakings, so that those bringing [their evil] karma [to be] reborn, [will] directly ascend [to] non-retrogression, [and] those severing confusions reborn, [will] quickly realise non-birth.
[Note 4: With supreme conditions (胜缘) of the Pure Land, all there will naturally advance without spiritual backsliding, to attain what to be attained (i.e. self-liberation and Buddhahood), and to sever what to be severed (i.e. afflictions and confusions).]
These completely rely [on] Amitā[bha] Buddha’s great compassion [and] vows’ power, and [the] power of those persons’ power of mindfulness [of] Buddha [with] Faith [and] Aspiration, [with] connection [and] response [for] mutual interaction, [to] attain these great benefits. Comparing [with] those [who] focus [on] relying [on] Self-power, their difficulty [and] easiness [is like the] sky [and] ground, far apart.
[Note 5: Once Self-power connects with Amitābha Buddha’s Other-power (他力), there is complete reliance on him to reach his Pure Land, and to receive its benefits there. With only Self-power for self-liberation and Buddhahood, this is the Difficult Practice Path (难行道). With Other-power too, this is the Easy Practice Path (易行道).]
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
Dharma Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings (Second Compilation): Preface [For] ‘Sincere Words [On] Mindfulness [Of] Buddha’;
Record [Of] Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence (12th Short Section): 1st [Chapter]: Praise [Of The] Pure Land [Dharma Door Being] Transcendental [And] Supreme (12th Short Section)
[Ref: #12 / 1.12]
Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an
Record Of Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence
Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!