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念佛四十八法 37) 即教即佛持名 Sutras are Buddha
 
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37) 即教即佛持名

Sutras are Buddha

The entire Buddhist canon comes from the M ind; if the Mind is not Buddha, the teachings are just a waste. However, is there anyone’s mind which is not Buddha? [If so], it is only because he does not stop and think.

Mahayana cultivators who have studied the Dharma must have read the Surangama Sutra, and among them there are some who belittle the Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprapta while praising the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. A tiny bit of attachment on this point is enough to plant a seed of Birth and Death. All their learning, farsighted views and profound understanding serve merely to strengthen the seeds of suffering; they are of no help at all toward the goal of escaping Birth and Death. I urge you to let go quickly, let go of everything and concentrate on Buddha Recitation, seeking rebirth in the Pure Land and the company of Amitabha Buddha.

Otherwise, if you cannot let go of these attachments immediately, then dedicate the virtues of studying and explaining the sutras toward rebirth in the Pure Land and fulfillment of the Four Great Vows. This will bring rebirth in the Pure Land. If, moreover, you can spread the Pure Land teachings, making others understand the benefits of Buddha Recitation, then even a wink or a thought will adorn the Pure

Land. Thus, there is no doubt that your rebirth will be at the highest Lotus Grade!(22)

一大藏经,皆从心起,心若无佛,教亦徒然。然心中亦何人无佛哉?自不念耳!教下 未有不看楞严者也,看楞严未有不轻势至而重观音者也。即此一见已成生死根本,纵 学遍种种知能,不过滋润苦芽,生死关头总不得力,愿速放下,往生西方亲观弥陀。 若不能放下,即将此学经演说功德回向西方,发四宏愿,亦不唐捐。若弘扬净土一 门,详说念佛功德,则举目动念,皆是庄严西方,上品往生,更复何疑?

Commentary

In the Surangama Sutra, the Bodhisattva Mahasthama cultivates the samadhi of Buddha Recitation to achieve omniscience, while the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara cultivates the faculty of hearing and also achieves omniscience. Both Bodhisattvas achieve the same state of omniscience. However, when asked by Buddha Sakyamuni to choose among the different methods of cultivati on, the Bodhisattva Manjusri selected the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara’s practice as supreme. To misunderstand or become attached to this teaching, and think that Avalokitesvara is above Mahasthama, is contrary to the spirit of the sutra. It is because of this attachment that discrimination arises – the thought that this Bodhisattva is higher and that Bodhisattva is lower. This attachment stems [ultimately] from attachment to self, which has existed since time immemorial. Such attachment clouds the mind, making it easy for deluded views to develop. It thus creates suffering in the Self-Mind and this suffering lasts for-ever, time without end. How dangerous, indeed!

If you study, understand and lecture well but are limited to that study and understanding, with the m ind divided, attached to language, words and phrases, how different are you from a silkworm stuck in its cocoon, ultimately dy ing within that very cocoon!

Is it not better to make every effort to adorn the Pure Land, or to fo low the true and earnest approach of Buddha Recitation, rather than discourse pompously upon the pros or cons of this method or that? The latter can only entangle your pure thoughts and is of no help in the Great Matter of Birth and Death.

Moreover, if you exercise all your understanding and abilities to propagate Pure Land, or to extol the merits of Buddha Recitation far and wide – using skillful means to

urge people of all capacities to practice the Buddha Recitation Samadhi – then, truly, your rebirth in the Pure Land will not be that far off!


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