Treatise on Ten Doubts about Pure Land (Part 3)
As Taught by Great Master Zhi Zhe of Sui Dynasty (581-618)
(Translated to English by Shen Shi'an 沈时安)
问。十方诸佛。一切净土。法性平等。功德亦等。行者普念一切功德。生一切净土。Doubt of Particular Mindfulness of One Buddha
Question 3: All the Buddhas of ten directions, and all their Pure Lands have Dharma-nature [qualities] that is equal, with their merits likewise equal. Practitioners should be universally mindful of all their merits, to be born in all Pure Lands.
今乃偏求一佛净土。 与平等性乖。 云何生净土。
Now then, to particularly aspire for birth in one Buddha’s Pure Land, this contradicts with the nature of equality [equanimity]. Why speak of birth in [that] Pure Land?
答曰。 一切诸佛土。 实皆平等。 但众生根钝。 浊乱者多。 若不专系一心一境。 三昧难成。 专念阿弥陀佛。 即是一相三昧。 以心专至。 得生彼国。
Answer: All Buddhas’ Pure Lands are in reality all equal. But sentient beings' [good] roots are dull, and those confused [polluted and scattered] by [the Five] Corruptions are many.
If one does not focus on fastening one’s mind to one subject [to develop single-pointedness], Samadhi is difficult to accomplish.
专念阿弥陀佛。 即是一相三昧。 以心专至。 得生彼国。
Focus on mindfulness of Amituofo is Single Mark [Form] Samadhi. With the mind focused sincerely, birth in Pure Land is attained.
As the 'Sutra of Rebirth According to One's Vows' states, Universal Greatness Bodhisattva asked the Buddha, 'The ten directions all have Pure Lands. Why does the World-honoured One particularly praise the Western Pure Land of Amituofo, focusing on urging to be reborn there?'
The Buddha answered Universal Greatness, 'Sentient beings of Jambudvipa have minds much [polluted and scattered] confused by the [Five] Corruptions.
To hereby particularly praise the Western Pure Land of one Buddha will enable all sentient beings to focus their minds on one subject [for single-pointedness], and to easily attain rebirth.
If collectively mindful of all Buddhas, as the scope of mindfulness of Buddhas is broad, the mind is thus scattered [undisciplined], and Samadhi is difficult to be accomplished. Therefore, one is not able to attain rebirth.'
又求一佛功德。与一切佛功德无异。 以同一佛法性故。为此念阿弥陀佛。即念一 切佛。
Furthermore, to seek one Buddha’s merits and all Buddhas’ merits has no difference. As all Buddhas have one common Dharma-nature, to thus be mindful of Amituofo is to be mindful of all Buddhas.
To be born in one Pure Land is to be born in all Pure Lands.’
Thus, the Avatamsaka Sutra states: ‘All Buddhas’ bodies are one Buddha’s body. They are of one mind and one wisdom. Their [ten] powers and fearlessness is likewise so.’
‘For example, like a pure full moon, which reflects universally in all waters, though its reflections are immeasurable, the original moon has never become two. As such is the unobstructable wisdom attained in [Unsurpassable; Supreme Equal] Right Awakening: 无上正等正觉: 阿耨多罗三藐三菩提: Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi: Buddhahood]. Responding and manifesting in all worlds, the Buddha body has no second.’
The wise attain understanding via this metaphor. If the wise can reach the understanding that all the moon reflections are one moon's reflection, that one moon's reflection is all the moon reflections, that the moon and the reflections are not two, this is how [one understands] that one Buddha is all Buddhas, and all Buddhas are one Buddha, as the Dharmakaya is not two. Therefore, being earnestly mindful of one Buddha, is to be mindful of all Buddhas.http://sgforums.com/forums/2954/topics/437536