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念佛四十八法 27) 布施持名 Practicing Charity through Buddha Recitation
 
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27) 布施持名

Practicing Charity through Buddha Recitation

If you see someone suffering, you should first help him with the necessities of life and then comfort him and counsel him to recite the Buddha’s name. To relieve suffering temporarily, charity is the urgent thing. How-ever, to relieve the suffering of many lifetimes, the Pure Land method is more urgent still. If you see a person or an animal in danger but cannot help, immediately recite the Buddha’s name, dedicating all the merits and virtues to his soul.(13) Moreover, during a serene night, you might recite a sutra or the Buddha’s name, wishing that all sentient beings may escape suffering and disaster. In time of war or epidemic, recite the Buddha’s name throughout the night, wishing that all the wrongs and suffering of sentient beings may be eliminated. While reciting the Buddha’s name, you should visualize that each recitation is bringing benefits to all sentient beings – from the heavens above to the cosmic winds below. Such charitable practice is truly inconceivable.(14)

凡见苦恼者,先安其身,然后开导其心,劝之念佛,所谓救一时之苦布施为急,救历 劫之苦念佛为要。或见人有难力不能救,当急为彼念佛安其魂识。或清夜朗诵,以施 鬼神。凡大兵大疫之年,五更持诵佛名,能消冤厉。当思我此一声阿弥陀佛,上穷有 顶,下极风轮,尘刹众生,一时受益,其布施不可思议也。

Commentary

We should first help others with the necessities of life to relieve their physical suffering and then counsel them to recite the Buddha’s name to rescue their souls. In those instances where we cannot help, we should singlemindedly recite the Buddha’s name, concentrating all our good thoughts on the sufferer, that he may escape his present condition and be reborn peacefully in an auspicious realm.

One utterance of the Buddha’s name
Eliminates injustices and wrongs from time immemorial…(15)


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