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念佛四十八法 21) 许愿持名 Vow to Recite the Buddha’s Name
 
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21) 许愿持名

Vow to Recite the Buddha’s Name

The real aim of Buddha Recitation is rebirth in the Pure Land. However, the compassionate power of the Buddhas is unfathomable: if you recite their names, your wishes will be fulfilled. For this reason, the sutras teach that Buddha recitation can bring ten major benefits. [On the other hand], worshiping and bowing down before deities and repenting [before their altars], engaging in sundry practices, taking non-Buddhist vows, or foolishly believing in divination, fortune-telling and horoscopes – none of these activities can be compared to reciting Amitabha Buddha’s name and seeking His assistance.

Some people might ask: what if we fail to obtain a response after reciting the Buddha’s name?

Answer: you have not yet recited and are already worried about not obtaining a response. This doubt is the very cause that will bring the result of non-response. Cause and result cannot differ. Is this doubt not something you should fear?

持名原为往生,然诸佛威光,不可思议,念彼名号,所愿从心,所以经言念佛有十种 利益也,与其祈祷鬼神,杂修事忏,广许恶愿,旁信巫师,不如以念佛期许之也。或曰:如其不应何如?答曰:子未念佛,先忧不应,即此不应之因,必招不应之果,如是因,如是果,可畏哉!

Commentary

The Buddhas represent great mercy, great compassion, great wisdom, great virtues. They are honored as supreme teachers of gods and men along the Six Paths. Therefore, when in need of help, why not seek it from the Buddhas! It is strange indeed that many people are more in awe of demons and ghosts than of the Buddhas! Could it be because the Buddhas are com-passionate while demons and ghosts are evil? Or is it because their minds are not pure but tormented by transgressions and evil, twisted actions? Thus, they disregard the true and fear the false. Practitioners should ponder the matter carefu ly, lest, though sons and daughters of the Buddhas, they unwittingly act as disciples of the demons!


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