22925.03.10 : The Three Provisions of Faith, Aspiration & Practice
- Mar 23, 2010Hi 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
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The Three Provisions of Faith, Aspiration & Practice
What is Faith?
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?
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?
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?
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
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
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@...