Home » Excerpts » [4] Why Particularly Seek One Pure Land?

净土十疑论
The Treatise On Ten Doubts About Pure Land

隋天台智者大师著
Written by Sui Dynasty’s Tiantai Tradition’s Great Master Zhizhe (538–597 CE)
优婆塞沈时安英译
Translated to English by Upāsaka Shen Shi’an (2014 CE)
[This improved version replaces previous versions]

疑: 偏求一土疑
The Fourth Doubt: Doubt Of Particular Seeking Of One Land

问:「等是念求生一佛净土,何不十方佛土中,随念一佛净土,随得往生?何须偏念西方弥陀佛耶?」

Question: Equal to mindfully seeking birth in one Buddha’s Pure Land, why not, within the ten directions’ Buddha Lands, as wished, be mindful of any one Buddha’s Pure Land, to accordingly attain rebirth there? Why is there need to be particularly mindful of the Western [Pure Land’s] Amitā[bha] Buddha [Amituofo]?

答:「凡夫无智,不敢自专。专用佛语,故能偏念阿弥陀佛。

Answer: Ordinary beings without wisdom should not dare to act arbitrarily on their own. Focusing on following the Buddha’s words, thus should there be particular mindfulness of Amitā[bha] Buddha [Amituofo].

云何用佛语?释迦大师一代说法,处处圣教,唯劝众生,专心偏念阿弥陀佛,求生西方极乐世界。

How should we follow the Buddha’s words? Our Great Teacher Śākyamuni Buddha, for all his life, spoke the Dharma, giving sagely teachings everywhere, only encouraging sentient beings to focus their minds on particular mindfulness of Amitā[bha] Buddha [Amituofo], to seek birth in his Western [Pure] Land Of Ultimate Bliss.65

如《无量寿经》、《观经》、《往生论》等,数十余部经论文等,殷勤指授,劝生西方,故偏念也。

As the Immeasurable Life Sūtra,66 Contemplation Sūtra,67 Rebirth Treatise68 et cetera, numbering more than ten sūtras,69 treatises,70 essays et cetera enthusiastically and thoughtfully guide and teach, encouraging birth in the West[ern Pure Land], thus is there this particular mindfulness.

又弥陀佛别有大悲四十八愿,接引众生。

Moreover, Amitā[bha] Buddha [Amituofo] specially has forty-eight great compassionate vows, to receive and guide sentient beings.

又《观经》云:『阿弥陀佛有八万四千相。一一相有八万四千好。一一好放八万四千光明,遍照法界。念佛众生,摄取不舍。若有念者,机感相应,决定得生。 』

Moreover, the Contemplation Sūtra says, ‘Amitā[bha] Buddha [Amituofo] has eighty-four thousand forms. Each form has eighty-four thousand excellences. Each excellence radiates eighty-four thousand bright lights, which universally illuminate the Dharma realm.71 Sentient beings mindful of [Amitā(bha)] Buddha [Amituofo] will thus be gathered and not be forsaken. If there are those mindful, there will be correspondence of potential and response,72 and they will definitely attain birth [there].’73

又《阿弥陀经》、《大无量寿经》、《鼓音王陀罗尼经》等云,释迦佛说经时,皆有十方恒沙诸佛,舒其舌相,遍覆三千大千世界,证成一切众生念阿弥陀佛,乘佛大悲本愿力故,决定得生极乐世界。

Moreover, the Amitā[bha] Sūtra,74 Great Immeasurable Life Sūtra,75 King Of The Sound Of Drum Dhāraṇī Sūtra76 et cetera say, that when Śākya[muni] Buddha spoke these sūtras, there were all Buddhas of the ten directions, numerous as grains of sand in the Ganges River, who extended their forms of tongues, that covered the three-thousand-great-thousand worlds77 everywhere, bearing testimony that all sentient beings who are mindful of Amitā[bha] Buddha [Amituofo], thus riding on the Buddha’s great compassionate power of his fundamental vows, will definitely attain birth in his [Pure] Land Of Ultimate Bliss.

当知阿弥陀佛与此世界,偏有因缘。何以得知?

It should be known that Amitā[bha] Buddha [Amituofo] and this world have particular[ly great connections of] causes and conditions.78 How is this known?

《无量寿经》云:『末世法灭之时,特驻此经,百年在世,接引众生,往生彼国。』故知阿弥陀佛与此世界极恶众生,偏有因缘。

The Immeasurable Life Sūtra says, ‘When it is the last period of the Dharma-Ending Age,79 [I80 will] specially retain this sūtra, for one hundred [more] years in this world, to receive and guide sentient beings, for rebirth in that [Pure] Land [of Amitā(bha) Buddha (Amituofo)].’ Thus is it known that Amitā[bha] Buddha [Amituofo] and this world’s extremely evil sentient beings have particular[ly great connections of] causes and conditions.

其余诸佛,一切净土,虽一经、两经,略劝往生,不如弥陀佛国,处处经论,殷勤叮咛,劝往生也。」

On the rest of all other Buddhas, and all their Pure Lands, although one sūtra or two sūtras briefly encourage rebirth in them, this is not equal to Amitā[bha] Buddha’s [(Amituofo) Pure] Land, that sūtras and treatises everywhere, enthusiastically and thoughtfully instruct, carefully and repeatedly, encouraging rebirth there.

Notes

65 Sukhāvatī: Amitā(bha) Buddha’s (Amituofo) Pure Land
66 Amitāyus Sūtra: Discourse On Immeasurable (Infinite) Life
67 Amitāyur Dhyāna Sūtra 观无量寿佛经: Discourse On Contemplation Of Amitāyus (Buddha)
68 Amitāyus Sūtra Upadeśa (Instructions) 无量寿经优波提舍
69 About 290 sūtras currently archived in the Tripiṭaka mention Amitā(bha) Buddha (Amituofo)
70 Śāstras or commentaries
71 Universe
72 Alignment of our Buddha-Nature (potential for Buddhahood) with Buddha’s compassionate protection and wise guidance
73 … in his Pure Land
74 Discourse On Immeasurable (Light); On Amitā(bha) Buddha (Amituofo)
75 Amitāyus Sūtra: Discourse On Immeasurable (Infinite) Life
76 Amitā Dundubhi Svara Rāja Dhāraṇī Sūtra 阿弥陀鼓音声王陀罗尼经: Discourse On The King Of The Sound Of Amitā’s Drum Dhāraṇī
77 Great trichiliocosm with 1,000,000,000 world-systems
78 Karmic affinity
79 This period of 1,500 to 11,500 years after Śākyamuni Buddha’s Parinirvāṇa, when the quality of the Dharma taught, learnt, practised and realised generally declines due to increasing defilements of sentient beings.
80 Śākyamuni Buddha

For The Other Nine Doubts, get the book @ thedailyenlightenment.com/store

Tags:

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

Name (required please)

Email (required, will not be published)

Website (optional)



× 8 = 64

(B) (^) (P) (@) (O) (D) (C) (&) (E) (~) (K) (I) (L) (8) (T) (G) (U) (W) (F) (N) (Y) :-[ :-S ;-( :-$ :-O :-( (H) :-) (*) :-D :-P ;-) :bloody: :cool: :choler: :love: :oups: :aie: :beurk: :canny: :go: :miam: :neo: :ueue: :nose: :oh: :oups2: :prud: :yo: :sadd: :bloody2: :cache: :rose: :spd: :dream: :sure: :yes: :sweat: :kiss: :creve: :what: :pff: :hm: :bobo: :aie2: :aie3: :ciao: :dribble: :gene: :pp 88) :loll: =(( :88 ;)) ::(( :oo: :[[ :)) :DD :-|| :-[)) :alien: :angel: :angry: :blink: :blush: :cheerful: :getlost: :cry: :dizzy: :ermm: :face: :biggrin: :happy: :kissing: :lol: :pinch: :sad: :shocked: :sick: :sideways: :silly: :sleeping: :smile: :tongue: :unsure: :w00t: :wassat: :whistle: :wink: :wub: :lovey: :pouty: :bandit: :sb: :ninja: :ninjaa: :666: :devil: :heart: