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设我得佛,十方众生,
至心信乐,欲生我国,
乃至十念,若不生者,不取正觉。

唯除五逆,诽谤正法。

– 释迦牟尼佛
《佛说无量寿经》
阿弥陀佛第十八大愿

If I, [Dharmākara Bodhisattva] attain Buddhahood, [the] ten directions’ sentient beings, [whom with] utmost sincere hearts (minds) [of] joyful Faith, desire birth [in] my [Pure] Land, even with ten [mindful] thoughts, if [they should] not [be] born [there, I shall] not attain right awakening [as Amitābha Buddha].

Only excluded [are those who with the] Five Heinous Transgressions [of killing father, mother, Arhat, injuring Buddha, breaking the Saṅgha, who] slandered [the] right Dharma.

– Śākyamuni Buddha
(Sūtra [In Which The] Buddha Speaks [Of] Immeasurable Life:
Amitābha Buddha’s 18th Great Vow)

The Three Provisions (三资粮) for reaching Amitābha Buddha’s [Āmítuófó] Pure Land are profound Faith (信), sincere Aspiration (愿) and true Practice (行). As summarised from the Pure Land Tradition’s 9th Patriarch Great Master Ǒuyì’s (净土宗九祖藕益大师) ‘Spirit Peak [School’s] Essential Treatise’ (灵峰宗论), Faith is in the power of his Vows to receive and guide us, as taught in Śākyamuni Buddha’s related teachings, and as praised and recommended by all other Buddhas too.

Aspiration is to have healthy aversion to the suffering of birth and death here, to thus rejoice in, and yearn for the bliss of liberation via Pure Land. All good done is thus dedicated for birth in Pure Land, while evil done is repented, both for the Vow of reaching Pure Land. With Faith and Aspiration above, being wholeheartedly mindful of the name of Āmítuófó is called the ‘Main Practice’ (正行), with all other correction of evil and cultivation of good called ‘Supportive Practices’ (助行).

Through his great compassion, wisdom and tremendous efforts, these Three Provisions were realised by Āmítuófó when he was Dharmākara Bodhisattva (法藏菩萨), to be the absolute minimum yet crucial criteria, to connect to him, for him to share his meritorious virtues as blessings, and to guide us to enter his Pure Land. Yet, as general principles, we need some form of the provisions to accomplish anything else too, including both spiritual and worldly goals.

For easier secular understanding of the structure of the Three Provisions, they can be rephrased as the 3C’s of Conviction, Commitment and Connection. Faith is deep Conviction, from which arises confidence that a goal can be realised. Aspiration is deep Commitment, to firmly want to realise this goal. Practice is the very action to deepen Connection to this goal, by advancing towards it. Without Faith that a goal is attainable, there will be no Aspiration towards it, what more Practice to attain it.

Even getting out of bed requires the provisions. We must have Faith that there is the worthy in this life to wake up to, Aspiration to do the necessary to work towards the worthy, and Practice to exert efforts to accomplish the worthy. These principles continue to apply to all other matters throughout the rest of life, and as we approach its end, we should fully ‘pump up’ our Three Provisions, as formally defined, to reach Pure Land – to accomplish the most worthy goal of Buddhahood.

诸有众生,闻其名号,
信心欢喜,乃至一念至心回向,
愿生彼国,即得往生,住不退转。

唯除五逆,诽谤正法。

– 释迦牟尼佛
《佛说无量寿经》

All sentient beings, [who] hear [i.e. are mindful of] his name [i.e. Āmítuófó], [have] Faith [and] rejoice, even with [for] one [mindful] thought sincerely dedicating, [with the] Aspiration [to be] born [in] that [Pure] Land, [will] immediately attain rebirth [there, to] abide [in] non-retrogression [for Buddhahood].

Only excluded [are those who with the] Five Heinous Transgressions [of killing father, mother, Arhat, injuring Buddha, breaking the Saṅgha, who] slandered [the] right Dharma.

– Śākyamuni Buddha
(Sūtra [In Which The] Buddha Speaks [Of] Immeasurable Life)

Related Article:
The Three Provisions 三资粮
https://purelanders.com/2018/02/08/the-three-provisions

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