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念佛四十八法 2) 戒口业持名 Watch the Mouth during Buddha Recitation
 
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2) 戒口业持名

Watch the Mouth during Buddha Recitation

Having decided to practice Buddha Recitation, do not be reckless or inconsiderate with words, nor let your speech be tainted by the bad karma of killing, stealing, sexual misconduct and dishonesty. (4) If you have erred, remind yourself immediately that Pure Land practitioners should not utter inconsiderate words, and then recite the Buddha’s name aloud a few times to quell the m ind and immediately wash away the unclean words.

既以此口念佛,凡一切杀、盗、淫、妄之事,不可任口头播弄。若一涉及,当自思 维,念佛之人,不当如是,猛念佛数声,以提醒而涤荡之。

Commentary

As disciples of the Buddha practicing Buddha Recitation, we should naturally watch our tongues. If we inadvertently utter meaningless or inconsiderate words, we should reflect upon them and repent. I refer not just to words which do not benefit anyone, but even more to those which cause suffering and resentment in others – in which case not a single word should cross our lips. The Buddha is purity itself – what good can come out of reciting His name with an impure tongue? The Brahma Net Sutra(5) teaches that day after day, we give rise to the three ev il karma of body, speech and mind; the instances of evil speech karma are incalculable.

The mouth is the door to myriad karma, ev il or good. Therefore, we should think carefu ly before speaking. Furthermore, for those who practice Buddha Recitation, speech has to be purer still. In other words, a careless word, a wicked word, must be eradicated in its gestation stage, before it has taken form – it should never be allowed to escape our lips. To cultivate body and m ind but not speech is a great mistake!


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