Home » Excerpts » [10] How To Cultivate To Reach 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]

第十疑: 如何修行疑
The Tenth Doubt: Doubt Of How To Cultivate

问:「今欲决定求生西方,未知作何行业,以何为种子,得生彼国。又凡夫俗人,皆有妻子,未知不断淫欲,得生彼否?」

Question: Now that there is desire and decision to seek birth in the West[ern Pure Land of Amitā(bha) Buddha (Amituofo)], yet to know is what practice should be done, with what seed to sow, to attain birth in that [Pure] Land. Moreover, as ordinary beings and lay persons all have wives,142 yet to be know is if by not severing sexual desire,143 can they attain birth there or not.

答:「欲决定生西方者,具有二种行,定得生彼。一者,厌离行。二者,欣愿行。

Answer: Those with desire and decision to seek birth in the West[ern Pure Land], who complete two kinds of practices, will definitely attain birth there. First, is the practice of Revulsed Renunciation. Second, is the practice of Joyful Aspiration.

言厌离行者,凡夫无始已来,为五欲缠缚,轮回五道,备受众苦。不起心厌离五欲,未有出期。

Speaking of the practice of Revulsed Renunciation, ordinary beings have, since beginninglessness, been entangled in and bound by the five desires, reborn in the five paths,144 to fully endure all kinds of suffering. Not giving rise to Revulsed Renunciation of the five desires, yet to be there is the date of departure.

为此,常观此身脓血屎尿,一切恶露不净臭秽。

Due to this, constantly contemplate this body to be with pus, blood, faeces, urine, and all foul fluids, which are impure, smelly and filthy.

故《涅槃经》云:『如是身城,愚痴罗刹止住其中。谁有智者当乐此身?』

Thus, the Nirvāṇa Sūtra145 says, ‘Thus is this body [like a] castle, that ignorant rākṣasaḥs146 stop to live within. Who with wisdom would take joy in this body?’

又经云:『此身众苦所集,一切皆不净。扼缚痈疮等,根本无义利。上至诸天身,皆亦如是。』

Moreover, the sūtra says, ‘This body is where all kinds of suffering gather, with all that is impure. Grasping at, and being bound to ulcers, boils et cetera, is essentially without meaning or benefit. Up to all heavens, all bodies are likewise thus.’

行者若行、若坐、若睡、若觉,常观此身唯苦无乐,深生厌离。纵使妻房不能顿断,渐渐生厌,作七种不净观。

Practitioners, if walking, if sitting, if sleeping, if awake, should constantly contemplate this body to only be with suffering and without joy, to deeply give rise to Revulsed Renunciation. Even though sexual activity is not able to be immediately severed, they can gradually give rise to revulsion, by practice of seven kinds of contemplations on impurity.

一者,观此淫欲身,从贪爱烦恼生,即是种子不净。

First, contemplate this body of lust, to be born from attachment and afflictions, which are seeds that are impure.

二者,父母交会之时,赤白和合,即是受生不净。

Second, when one’s father and mother had intercourse, the red147 and the white148 merged, which is the receiving of birth that is impure.

三者,母胎中在生藏下,居熟藏上,即是住处不净。

Third, within one’s mother’s womb, one is below the stomach, and stays above the big intestines, which is a dwelling place that is impure.

四者,在母胎时,唯食母血,即是食啖不净。

Fourth, when in one’s mother’s womb, to only feed on the mother’s blood, is eating that is impure.

五者,日月满足,头向产门,脓血俱出,臭秽狼藉,即是初生不净。

Fifth, when the days and months are full and sufficient, the head goes towards the birth canal. Pus and blood that flow out together is smelly, filthy and messy, which is the newborn body that is impure.

六者,薄皮覆上,其内脓血,遍一切处,即是举体不净。

Sixth, with thin skin covering above, that within has pus and blood pervading everywhere, which is the whole body that is impure.

七者,乃至死后,胮胀烂坏,骨肉纵横,狐狼食啖,即是究竟不净。

Seventh, and even after death, the body swells and decays, with its bones and flesh in length and breadth, by foxes and wolves eaten, it is after all impure.

自身既尔,他身亦然。所爱境界,男女身等,深生厌离,常观不净。若能如此观身不净之者,淫欲烦恼渐渐减少。

One’s own body is so, with others’ bodies likewise so. Of the conditions attached to, with male and female bodies et cetera, we should deeply give rise to Revulsed Renunciation, by constant contemplation of their impurities. If able to thus contemplate bodies to be impure, lust and afflictions will gradually lessen.

又作十想等观,广如经说。

Moreover, practise the Ten Thoughts149 and other contemplations, extensively, as the sūtras teach.

又发愿:『愿我永离三界杂食,臭秽脓血不净,耽荒五欲男女等身。愿得净土法性生身。』此谓厌离行。

Moreover, give rise to this aspiration, ‘May I forever renounce [this body sustained by] the three spheres’ mixed foods, that is with smelly and filthy pus and blood that is impure, that indulges deludedly in the five desires, with male, female and other bodies. May I attain Pure Land’s body born of Dharma-Nature.’ This is the meaning of the practice of Revulsed Renunciation.

二,明欣愿行者。复有二种。

Second to understand is the practice of Joyful Aspiration. Again, there are two kinds.

一者,先明求往生之意。

First, understand the meaning of seeking rebirth [in the Pure Land of Amitā(bha) Buddha (Amituofo)].

二者,观彼净土庄严等事,欣心愿求。

Second, contemplate that Pure Land’s magnificence and its other matters, and with a joyful mind, aspire for birth there.

明往生意者,所以求生净土,为欲救拔一切众生苦故。

Those who understand the meaning of rebirth [in Pure Land know] the reason to seek birth in Pure Land, is thus for the desire to save all sentient beings from suffering.

即自思忖:『我今无力。若在恶世,烦恼境强,自为业缚,沦溺三途,动经劫数。如此轮转,无始已来,未曾休息,何时能得救苦众生?

This is to be self-reflected, ‘I now am without power. If, in this evil period, when the conditions of afflictions are powerful, with myself bound by evil karma, I will sink and drown in the three paths, to pass through innumerable kalpas. Thus reborn, since beginninglessness, I have not rested. When then, will I be able to save suffering sentient beings?

为此求生净土,亲近诸佛。若证无生忍,方能于恶世中救苦众生。』

Due to this, I seek birth in [the] Pure Land [of Amitā(bha) Buddha (Amituofo)], to be close to all Buddhas. If the Patience Of Non-Birth is realised, then will I be able to, within this evil period, save suffering sentient beings.’

故《往生论》云:『言发菩提心者,正是愿作佛心。愿作佛心者,则是度众生心。度众生心者,则是摄众生,生佛国心。』

Thus, the Rebirth Treatise says, ‘Speaking of giving rise to Bodhicitta, it is precisely the aspiration to become a Buddha. The aspiration to become a Buddha, is thus the aspiration to deliver sentient beings. The aspiration to deliver sentient beings, is thus the aspiration to gather sentient beings, for birth in the Buddha Land [of Amitā(bha) Buddha (Amituofo)].’150

又愿生净土须具二行。

Moreover, to aspire for birth in Pure Land, one must complete two practices.

一者,必须远离三种障菩提门法。

First, one must leave far away, three kinds of dharmas that obstruct the Bodhi Door.151

二者,须得三种顺菩提门法。

Second, one must attain three kinds of dharmas that accord with the Bodhi Door.

何者为三种障菩提法?

What are the three kinds of dharmas that obstruct Bodhi?

一者,依智慧门,不来自乐,远离我心贪著自身故。

First, rely on the Door Of Wisdom, to not seek self-happiness, thus leaving far away the mind of self with greed and attachment to oneself.

二者,依慈悲门,拔一切众生苦,远离无安众生心故。

Second, rely on the Door Of Loving-Kindness And Compassion, to uproot all sentient beings’ suffering, thus leaving far away the mind of not bringing peace to sentient beings.

三者,依方便门,当怜愍一切众生,欲与其乐,远离恭敬供养自身心故。

Third, rely on the Door Of Expedient Means. One should have compassion for all sentient beings, desiring to give them happiness, thus leaving far away the mind of seeking reverence and offerings for oneself.

若能远三种菩提障,则得三种顺菩提法。

If able to leave far away, these three kinds of Bodhi obstacles, it is thus to attain the three kinds of dharmas that accord with Bodhi.

一者,无染清净心,不为自身求诸乐故。菩提是无染清净处,若为自身求乐,即染身心,障菩提门。是故无染清净心,是顺菩提门。

First, is the undefiled pure mind, thus not for oneself seeking all kinds of happiness. As Bodhi is the undefiled pure abode, if for oneself seeking happiness, this defiles the body and mind, and obstructs the Bodhi Door. Thus, the undefiled pure mind accords with the Bodhi Door.

二者,安清净心,为拔众生苦故。菩提心是安隐一切众生清净处,若不作心拔一切众生,令离生死苦,即违菩提门。是故安清净心,是顺菩提门。

Second, is the peaceful pure mind, thus for uprooting sentient beings’ suffering. As Bodhicitta is the pure abode for bringing peaceful tranquillity to all sentient beings, if not aspiring to save all sentient beings, to enable their departure from the suffering of birth and death, this goes against the Bodhi Door. Thus, the peaceful pure mind accords with the Bodhi Door.

三者,乐清净心,欲令一切众生得大菩提涅槃故。菩提涅槃是毕竟常乐处,若不作心令一切众生得毕竟常乐,即遮菩提门。

Third, is the blissful pure mind, thus desiring to enable all sentient beings to attain the Great Bodhi Of Nirvāṇa.152 As the Bodhi Of Nirvāṇa is the abode of ultimate and eternal bliss, if not aspiring to enable all sentient beings to attain ultimate and eternal bliss, this obstructs the Bodhi Door.

此菩提因何而得?要因生净土,常不离佛。得无生忍已,于生死国中,救苦众生。悲智内融,定而常用,自在无碍,即菩提心。此是愿生之意。

Of this Bodhi, with what cause is it attained? The essential cause is birth in [Amitā(bha) Buddha’s (Amituofo)] Pure Land, to constantly be with, and never leave Buddha[s]. After attaining the Patience Of Non-Birth, be within the lands of birth and death, to save suffering sentient beings. With compassion and wisdom harmonised within, to be in Samādhi, and yet constantly use it, with ease and without obstruction, this is Bodhicitta. This is the meaning of aspiration for birth there.

二,明欣心愿求者,希心起想缘弥陀佛,若法身、若报身等。

Second to understand, is the joyful mind to aspire for birth [in Amitā(bha) Buddha’s (Amituofo) Pure Land], which is to, with the mind of aspiration and reverence,153 give rise to contemplation of the characteristics of Amitā[bha] Buddha [Amituofo], be it his Dharma Body,154 or Reward Body155 et cetera.156

金色光明八万四千相,一一相中八万四千好,一一好放八万四千光明,常照法界,摄取念佛众生。

His golden bright light ‘has eighty-four thousand forms. Within each form are eighty-four thousand excellences. Each excellence radiates eighty-four thousand bright lights’, constantly illuminating the Dharma realm, to gather sentient beings who are mindful of [Amitā(bha)] Buddha [Amituofo].

Notes

144   Realms of hell-beings, hungry ghosts, animals, humans, (asuras) and gods
145   Mahā Parinirvāṇa Sūtra 大般涅槃经: Discourse On The Great Final Enlightenment
146   Violent demonic ghosts who might cause sickness and disaster (or harmful parasites here)
147   Egg
148   Sperm
149   Ten Thoughts (of body): (1) death (2) swelling (3) bruising (4) rotting (5) blood spilling and smearing (6) pus oozing with decay (7) being eaten by worms (8) breaking up (9) becoming bones (10) being cremated
150   … as Buddhahood is most swiftly attained via Pure Land for one and all
151   … to full awakening; supreme enlightenment; Buddhahood
152   Full awakening; supreme enlightenment; Buddhahood
153   … with utmost sincerity (wholeheartedness and single-mindedness)
154   Dharmakāya: The universal body of truth of all Buddhas that pervades all space and time
155   Magnificent and pure body from immeasurable merits (meritorious virtues)
156    … such as his immeasurable Manifestation Bodies

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

Share This:
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)


error: Content is protected !!