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念佛四十八法 23) 愧奋持名 When Ashamed, Recite the Buddha’s Name
 
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23) 愧奋持名

When Ashamed, Recite the Buddha’s Name

In this life or in previous ones, once ev il karma has matured, suffering fo lows in its wake. Each bit of suffering in this life is due to a bit of evil karma. You cannot blame fate for being uneven; you can only be ashamed for not having cultivated sooner. Each time you think of the Buddha, you should be so moved that every hair on your body stands on end and, overcome with emotion, you are completely drained… Each utterance of the Buddha’s name, each sy lable, then comes from your liver, your marrow – this is the true state of Buddha Recitation.

Nowadays, when laymen or monks and nuns recite the Buddha’s name, they do so with their lips, while their minds are scattered, or else they concentrate the m ind only during recitation. When recitation is over, the m ind is again clouded. Others engage in mundane conversation while reciting. (11) Thus, even if they recite all their life, they obtain no response. People who witness this may think that seeking rebirth in the Pure Land through Buddha Recitation is just an illusion, but this is assuredly not the Buddha’s fault!

凡今生前世,恶果成就,苦报必来,故一切苦,即一切恶也,不可诿于命运之不齐, 但当愧其修行之不早,每一想佛,身毛皆竖,五内若裂,悲伤感奋,痛不欲生,如此 则字字从肝髓中流出,方是念佛真境。今之僧俗念佛者,或口念而心驰,或念时心 摄、歇即心昏,又有正念佛时,间以杂语,如此虽念到终身,绝无灵感,人见之者, 遂谓念佛往生,终成虚语也,岂佛之咎哉!

Commentary

Sentient beings and the Buddhas have the same pure Self-Nature, not two different ones. However, the Buddhas have attained Enlightenment and abandoned the false for the true. We, on the other hand, always take the false for the true, “abandoning Enlightenment to merge with the dusts,” resigned to wandering aimlessly in the cycle of affliction and grief. There is no greater shame than this! We should therefore try

our utmost to cultivate singlemindedly until death, seeking to escape Birth and death. Let us abandon mundane thoughts filled with affliction, so that we may be spared wallowing for many lifetimes in the river of delusion and the ocean of suffering!


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