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22925.03.10 : The Three Provisions of Faith, Aspiration & Practice

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  • NamoAmituofo
    Mar 23, 2010
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      Hi Purelanders, this Friday (25.03.10), we'll continue our session on 'The Essence of the 48 Great Vows of Amituofo', focusing on the very important Vows #18/19 (based on the notes below), which enable us to be born in Pureland. Group practice is from 7.30-8.05pm, followed by Dharma discussion from 8.05-9.30pm. If you have not joined us before, please drop me an email with your name and contact number. Thank you :-] (We'll also discuss on the Pureland talks some of us attended over the weekend.) Amituofo, shi'an

      If you are unable to view the Chinese text, please click > View > Encoding > Unicode UTF-8/ Chinese simplified

      The Three Provisions of Faith, Aspiration & Practice
      (Teachings from the 9th & 13th Pure Land Patriarchs)



      What is Faith?


      云何为信?

      一信阿弥陀佛愿力,
      二信释迦文佛教话,
      三信六方诸佛赞叹。

      此而不信,真不可救,故须先深信,勿起疑惑。- 藕益大师

      What is meant by Faith?

      1. Faith in the power of Amitabha Buddha’s Vows
      2. Faith in Shakyamuni Buddha’s spoken teachings
      3. Faith in the praises of all Buddhas of the six directions [of Amitabha Buddha]

      Lacking such Faith, one cannot be truly rescued [by Amitabha Buddha].
      Therefore, one should first give rise to deep Faith, and not give rise to doubts. - Great Master Ou Yi

      What is Aspiration?


      云何为愿?

      一切时中,厌恶娑婆生死之苦,欣慕净土菩提之乐 ,随有所作,
      若善若恶,善则回向求生,恶则忏愿求生,更无二志,是名为愿。- 藕益大师

      What is meant by Aspiration [Vow]?

      During all times, loathe the suffering of [cyclical] birth and death in the Saha world, adore and envy [and thus yearn for] the bliss of enlightenment in [Amitabha Buddha’s] Pure Land. For all that is done, be it good or evil, if it is good, the merits should be dedicated for rebirth in Pure Land, if it is evil, there should be repentance for Aspiring rebirth in Pure Land. Furthermore, without a secondary ambition, this is called Aspiration. - Great Master Ou Yi

      What is Practice?

      信愿既具,念佛方为正行,改恶修善皆为助行。- 藕益大师

      With Faith and Aspiration already complete, recitation of [Amitabha] Buddha’s name [Amituofo] is correctly called the Main Practice, while correction of evil and cultivation of good are all called Auxiliary [Supportive] Practices. - Great Master Ou Yi

      What is the Relationship of Faith, Aspiration and Practice?  

      得生与否,全由信愿之有无。
      品位高下,全由持名之深浅。- 藕益大师

      Whether or not one obtains rebirth in [Amitabha Buddha’s] Pure Land depends completely on the presence or absence of Faith and Aspiration. Whether the grade of one’s rebirth is high[er] or low[er] depends completely on the depth or shallowness of upholding [reciting] the name [of Amitabha Buddha]. - Great Master Ou Yi

      念佛法门,注重信愿,有信愿,未得一心,亦可往生。
      得一心,若无信愿,亦不得往生。
      世人多注重一心,不注重信愿,已失其要,
      而又生既未得一心,恐不得往生之疑,则全与真信切愿相反矣。
      由此而益加信愿,以致一心,则是好想念。
      若由因不得一心,常存一不能往生之心,则成坏想念矣。
      不可不知!- 印光大师

      In the Practice of reciting the Buddha’s name, our Faith and Aspiration [Vow] are emphasised. If one has Faith and Aspiration, even if one has not attained single-mindedness (in Practice) yet, one can still obtain rebirth in [Amitabha Buddha’s] Pure Land. However, if one has attained single-mindedness, and yet lacks Faith and Aspiration, one will not be reborn in Pure Land. Many worldly people emphasise being single-minded, not emphasising Faith and Aspiration, thus missing what is essential. Furthermore, when they have yet to attain single-mindedness, they doubt and fear not being able to obtain rebirth in Pure Land, which is completely opposite of true Faith and profound Aspiration. Therefore, it is beneficial to increase Faith and Aspiration, till single-mindedness is achieved. This is good mindfulness. If we fail to achieve single-mindedness and thus always doubt whether we can be reborn in Pure Land, this becomes bad mindfulness. This should not be not known! - Great Master Yin Guang

      凡我有情,闻是净土法门者,
      当信娑婆极苦,西方极乐;
      当信多生以来业障深重,非凭佛力,骤难出离;
      当信求生决定现生得生;
      当信念佛定蒙慈悲摄受。

      由是坚定一心,愿离娑婆,如囚之欲出牢狱,绝无系恋之心;
      愿生西方,如客之思归故乡,岂有因循之念。
      从此随分随力,至心持念阿弥陀佛圣号。
      无论语默动静,行住坐卧,迎宾送客,穿衣吃饭,务令佛不离心,心不离佛。- 印光大师

      All sentient beings who hear of the Pure Land Dharma method should believe thus now: the Saha world is extreme suffering, while the Western Pure Land [of Amitabha Buddha] is ultimate bliss; our karmic obstacles of many lifetimes are deep and heavy, and without [Amitabha] Buddha’s power to help us, it will be extremely difficult to transcend the Saha world; if we seek rebirth in Pure Land, we shall be reborn there in this very life; and if we recite the Buddha’s name [Amituofo], he will definitely receive and gather us in with loving-kindness and compassion.

      Therefore, with resolute single-mindedness, Vow [Aspire] to transcend the Saha world, just like a prisoner desires to leave jail without the slightest fondness or attachment towards it; Vow to be reborn in the West[ern Pure Land], just like a guest longs to return to one’s homeland. How can there be any thought of procrastination? From now on, as your time and ability allow, with utmost sincerity, you should single-mindedly uphold [recite] the sacred name of Amitabha Buddha [Amituofo]. Whether speaking or silent, moving or still, walking, standing, sitting or reclining, greeting or serving guests, putting on clothes or eating, ensure that the Buddha never leaves your mind, and that your mind never leaves the Buddha. - Great Master Yin Guang

      - Re-translated to English with reference to various sources by Shen Shi’an: moonpointer@...