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念佛四十八法 16) 尊贵持名 Practicing Buddha Recitation When Rich and Renowned
 
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16) 尊贵持名

Practicing Buddha Recitation When Rich and Renowned

Merits and virtues in this life all stem from cultivation in past lifetimes. This is true of those who presently enjoy honors and esteem, as well as of high-ranking monks whose goal is to rescue humanity. However, honors and esteem cannot last; if because of them ev il karma is created, it will be difficult to escape the ocean of Birth and Death.(10)

I ask you to ponder this: what can a Pure Land cultivator carry with him when death comes and he closes his eyes forever? It is, of course, the virtues generated by Buddha Recitation. This is no different from a boat that sails thanks to the currents

of the river. Thus, the path of cultivation for all sentient beings should be to organize Pure Land retreats, or invite monks and nuns to provide guidance in Buddha Recitation, or publish and distribute Pure Land sutras and commentaries, or com- mission Buddha images for veneration and recitation of the Buddha’s name. Such activities may be limited in scope but should be sustained and accompanied by a strong determination to be reborn in the Pure Land. This is a path of cultivation for everyone. What can be more honorable than to serve as the envoy of the King of the Dharma – the Buddha Himself!

今世之福从前世修来,尊贵一辈,大半苦行高僧转世,但虽有荣华,不能长久,设再 造孽必致沉沦,当自思维,与其带业归去,不如借水行舟,或置念佛堂,或选念佛 僧,或刻净土书,或置弥陀像,登高而呼事半功倍,更宜决志往生,为富贵贫贱一切 人修行榜样、法王使者,尊胜如何?

Commentary

Although we may enjoy wealth and honors thanks to merits and virtues sown in previous lifetimes, all these are temporary. Once the last breath leaves the body, everything is left behind. Why become attached to these false, fleeting images? You should clearly realize this and endeavor to accumulate merits and virtues through Buddha Recitation. Strive with all your might to do so, just as you strive to acquire wealth in this life. Those lacking in wisdom take the false for the true, chasing forms and realms, honors and wealth – vain and external as these may be. Although you may enjoy a few pleasures, these are fleeting, lasting but a moment. Life is evanescent, the body is fast decaying. Only virtues and morality endure, true and free of external hustle and bustle, not subject to fleeting pleasures. The sage Confucius once said: “Eating left-over rice, drinking rainwater, with my arms as a head-rest, I still feel happy inside.” Such happiness is the happiness of the wise.


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