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POPULAR BUDDHISM

Second Course

(Khóa Thứ Hai)

 

The Divine Buddhist Vehicle

(Thiên Thừa Phật Giáo)

 

Lesson 1

Duties of a Household Dweller (Layperson)

 Lesson 1: Duties of a household dweller, explained by Minh-Quang Nguyễn Lê Đức on Sunday October 8, 2006, at 10am, at Chùa Hải-Đức, Jacksonville, Florida. mp3 stereo, 29MB, 1 hr.

Summary

 

 

A- Introduction: Having a position is having duties, in society as in Buddhism.

 

B- Main Subject:

1- What are these duties: to self, to family/acquaintance, to society, cf Sigalovada Sutta

1- To self: purify mind, keep precepts, exercice compassion.

2- To family:

1- Parents to children (East), 5: teach good, avoid bad friends, push to study, get married, consult with family matters. Children to parents, 5: take care of household, assure foods, take chores for old ones, repay while still alive, when sick.

2- Husband to wife (West), 5: be cheerful, simple manners, buy clothings/jewelry for wife, give wife duties, be faithful. Wife to husband, 5: be cheerful, prepare then eat meals together, be faithful, do not talk back/quarrel, assure security before sleeping..

3- To relatives & friends (North), 5: counsel to avoid bad actions, helpful with ones in needs, do not disclose secrets, regular visits, sharing among friends/relatives..

4- Boss to servant (Nadir), 5: be aware of health/strength, take care when sick, punish fairly, help with savings, reward impartially. Servant to boss, 5: be puntual, fulfill duties, do not waste, respect and be cheerful, do not bad-mouth.

3- To out of family:

1- Student to teacher (South), 5: respect like parents, obedience, help when in needs, strive to study, keep in touch. Teacher to student, 5: be diligent, help student to thrive, to the point, explain clearly theories, aspire for student to be better.

2- Layperson to ascetics (Zenith), 5: good deeds, nice words, good thoughts, open house to them, supply material needs. Ascetics to layperson, 5: restrain him/her from evil, persuade to do good, kind heart, clarify thoughts, point out path.

 4- Miscellaneous: call monk “teacher”, leave shoes/hats outside of hall, bowing to the earth, respect sutras.

           

C- Conclusion: Buddhism is a way of life, so try to apply ideals into daily life.

 

 

Second Course

(Khóa Thứ Hai)

 

The Divine Buddhist Vehicle

(Thiên Thừa Phật Giáo)

 

Lesson 2

Ullambana (Vu Lan Bồn)

 Lesson 2: Ullambana, explained by Minh-Quang Nguyễn Lê Đức on Sunday October 15, 2006, at 10am, at Chùa Hải-Đức, Jacksonville, Florida. mp3 stereo, 25MB, 53 min.

Summary

 

 

A- Introduction: Parents’ good deeds toward children are unbelievable; filial piety utmost virtue in society.

 

B- Main Subject: Ullambana is most rewarding method to repay parents’ gratitude.

1- Definiton: Ullambana means untying the ones being tied upside down (ulla = hang upside down, bana = bowl).

2- Reasons for teaching: Moggalana wanted to see mother in hell; food offered turned to fire due to greed; asked Buddha how to save her from hell; Buddha taught the Sutra.

3- The Ullambana: method of help: sole filial piety can’t change greedy/evil mind; needs collective power of Sangha. On pravarana (自恣, tự tứ), Sangha out of 3-month summer retreat, confesses offenses & repents; Buddhas happy. Making offerings to Sangha on that day gathers power to help deliverance. Moggalana obeys.

4- Buddha says all Buddhists can make same offerings, to gather merits for their parents, of this life as well as of previous ones.

5- True and full meaning of Filial Piety: not only on Ullambana Day; 2 sides: material: take care of needs (still in samsara), spiritual (deliverance): believe in karma, Triple Gems, good deeds, avoid evil.

6- Clarification:

1- How can deliverance happens just from Sangha praying? Power of mind, cooperation of Buddhas & Bodhisattvas.

2- How can poor people make offerings? Trust and diligence are more important than material offerings.

3- Mogallana has utmost psychic power, yet couldn’t save his mother, so how can the simple monks save her? The mother suffered because of her wicked mind; now, seeing her son making offering to the monks, her mind changed, also wanted to offer, thus delivered herself from greed and wicked mind.

 

C- Conclusion: Follow Mogallana in his good deeds and offerings for the sake of ourselves and our parents..

 

Second Course

(Khóa Thứ Hai)

 

The Divine Buddhist Vehicle

(Thiên Thừa Phật Giáo)

 

Lesson 3

Impermanence (Vô Thường)

 Lesson 3: Impermanence, explained by Minh-Quang Nguyễn Lê Đức on Sunday October 22, 2006, at 10am, at Chùa Hải-Đức, Jacksonville, Florida. mp3 stereo, 23MB, 49 min.
 

Summary

 

 

A- Introduction: Greed induces attachment which gives false impression that things are permanent.

 

B- Main Subject:

1- Definiton: Impermanence signifies the nature of non lasting of everything. Whatever has been created will decay then eventually disappear.

2- Body is impermanent: Body grows, changes, ages; there’s birth and death of tissues every moment. The corpse in the casket not same body of newborn baby. Parable of the black and white demons. Yet people wants body everlasting, thus commits unthinkable sins.

3- Mind is impermanent: Mind changes every second. Illusion of permanence is due to the quickly changing of thoughts which arise constantly. The self is the illusionary permanence of the thought stream, and origin of evils (and good deeds).

4-  Situations are impermanent: Everything is impermanent, even the whole world, the conditions. Universe is changing every second. History is a record of changing events. Parable of the greedy king.

5- Determination: Is impermanence of Buddhism cause of pessimism? Buddhist impermanence is the Truth, the Fact to help people see the real nature of things, thus avoid evil doing. Illusion of impermanence also due to the fleeting nature of things. Glimpse into the Buddha nature.

 

C- Conclusion: Impermanence is the law governing everything, including body, mind, conditions. Understanding Impermanence is the key to solve greed, love of self, ignorance; it helps us to stay calm in changing situations, in separations, in disasters. Meditation on Impermanence helps in revealing the Buddha nature.

 

Second Course

(Khóa Thứ Hai)

 

The Divine Buddhist Vehicle

(Thiên Thừa Phật Giáo)

 

Lesson 4

Less Want & Sufficiency (Thiểu Dục & Tri Túc)

 Lesson 4: Less Want & Sufficiency, explained by Minh-Quang Nguyễn Lê Đức on Sunday October 29, 2006, at 10am, at Chùa Hải-Đức, Jacksonville, Florida. mp3 stereo, 25MB, 53 min.

Summary

 

 

A- Introduction: Poor and rich people all want more. Greed is bottomless. Buddha taught us to want less and to know what is enough, for peace of mind.

 

B- Main Subject:

1- Definiton: To want less is to want only needy things. To know what is sufficient is to know what is enough.

2- What do people want: The Five Wants: Wealth: money & properties; Attractiveness: beauty & sex; Fame: power & position; Foods: parties & selfishness; Sleep: dreaming & laziness. Also: Form, Sound, Smell, Taste, Touch.

3- Dangers of excessive desire: Loss of self-control: root of evil doing (blame others, deception). Anger. Killing.

4-  The way to counteract excessive desire: want less & know what’s enough. Since greed is bottomless, the more we get the more we want, the more we’re unhappy, which is suffering. Buddhism and Confucianism taught us be sufficient, not to look up, not to envy. Buddha said: the wealthiest man and the poorest without want are equally rich. Shaping our life is our mind, rich or poor only temporary; if we can control our desire, we’re rich; if we can’t, we’re always poor.

5- Benefits of less want and be sufficient: Desire begets suffering, Less Want & Sufficiency brings happiness. Wanting Less makes the ghost of desire impotent, Be Sufficient makes the monster of greed powerless. Once a person is freed from the slavery to material things, this person’s mind is liberated, thus becomes qualified as grand brother of all things. Since time immemorial, no philosopher/religious founder fit to that name has not disdain material wealth. Also, peace to family and society.

6- Question: Does such teaching impedes progress of humanity? No, Buddhism teaches less want & sufficiency to hold back human greed, never teaches abstinence from material world. This Middle Way provides us with peace and happiness while letting us and the material world sustain each other.

 

C- Conclusion: To avoid suffering, people must know own capacity. For lasting peace on earth, each one must practice Less Want and Be Sufficient.

 

Second Course

(Khóa Thứ Hai)

 

The Divine Buddhist Vehicle

(Thiên Thừa Phật Giáo)

 

Lesson 5

Cause and Effect (Nhân Quả)

 Lesson 5: Cause and Effect, explained by Minh-Quang Nguyễn Lê Đức on Sunday November 5, 2006, at 10am, at Chùa Hải-Đức, Jacksonville, Florida. mp3 stereo, 28MB, 59 min.
 

Summary

 

 

A- Introduction: Universe works following an universal law which is cause and effect. Humans act irresponsibly because of ignorance. Buddha promoted that law.

 

B- Main Subject:

1- Definiton: Cause is the origin, Effect is the result; Cause is the sprout, Effect is the Fruit; Cause is the Action, Effect is the Consequence. Without cause, there’s no effect.

2- Characteristics of Cause and Effect:

1- Effect related to Cause: such cause, such effect; orange seed brings up orange plant; studying guitar enables playing guitar.

2- A sole Cause can’t produce Effect: many grounds needed to produce a result; a sole seed can’t bring up a plant. Unique Cause is a bad theory.

3- There’s Effect in Cause, Cause in Effect: Cause is what hasn’t shown Effect, Effect is what hasn’t shown Cause; but Cause and Effect are interralated in time, endlessly.

4- Different progression from Cause to Effect: fast or slow: rice, planets…

3- Analyzing behavior of Cause and Effect in real life: present in inanimated things (water heated/frozen/shaken…), in plants (such seed such fruit…), in animals (birds and eggs…), in humans (bodily, spiritually).

4- Cause and Effect in spiritual aspect: in bad behavior (greed, anger, ignorance, doubt, conceit, gambling…), in good behavior (reverse of the previous acts). Basically, we reap what we sow.

5- Benefits of applying the C & E law: avoid superstition and wrong belief, increase trust in self, avoid disappointment and reproach.

6- Query: If C&E universal and just, how come good people still miserable, bad people still opulent? Different progression, different state of mind. C&E says such cause such effect, why people suffer from other’s mistake? Individual karma and Common karma.

 

C- Conclusion: Try to apply C&E law into our daily life, esp spreading good seeds.

 

Second Course

(Khóa Thứ Hai)

 

The Divine Buddhist Vehicle

(Thiên Thừa Phật Giáo)

 

Lesson 6

Metempsychosis (Luân Hồi)

 Lesson 6: Metempsychosis, explained by Minh-Quang Nguyễn Lê Đức on Sunday November 12, 2006, at 10am, at Chùa Hải-Đức, Jacksonville, Florida. mp3 stereo, 27MB, 57 min.
 

Summary

 

A- Introduction: Existence, life & death are important queries. 2 theories: death is final (nihilism), soul is eternal (eternalness). Both unproven. Buddhism proposes reincarnation.

 

B- Main Subject:

1- Definiton: Reincarnation, recycling. Accepting Cause & Effect law, we can’t denies reincarnation since it is unending C&E.

2- Reincarnation in Things and Humans: Everything is reincarnated:

            1- Earth reincarnated: clay becomes pottery, soil feeds plants ... to humans.

            2- Water reincarnated: clouds, rain, water or ice …

            3- Wind reincarnated: movements of air, incessant.

4- Fire reincarnated: heat, energy, in transformation of matters.

5- Worlds reincarnated: all pass through 4 stages: birth, growth, regression, death.

6- Human reincarnated: body is destroying and rebuilding itself every moment.

7- Spirit reincarnated: mind or spirit doesn’t die, only transform into another appearance through the law of karma, or C&E.

3- Reincarnation through six realms according to the C&E law: whatever Cause has been created, whatever Effect will be inherited, brought along by the Karma:

            1- Hell: caused by anger, evil doing, hurting self and others.

            2- Hungry Ghosts (Petā): caused by greed, avarice, not helping self and others.

            3- Animals: caused by ignorance, drowning in sensual pleasures.

            4- Asuras: caused by equally good and evil doing, still impulsive, ignorant.

            5- Humans: caused by respecting the 5 precepts.

            6- Gods: caused by practicing the 10 good wills.

To escape from reincarnation into these six realms, we have to practice the deliverance ways of the Hearer, the Pratyekabuddha, the Bodhisattva, the Buddha.

4- Many stories about reincarnation: countless stories of reincarnation have been told, in the past as well as present (eg Dr Brian Weiss) …

6- Question: How come humans and animals increase in number? Because of the transmigration. How can animal become human? Karma is not soul, but an energy imbued with the action of sentient beings.

 

C- Conclusion: Metempsychosis doctrine helps destroy nihilism & eternalness, explains the continuity of the mind and the universe through the law of Cause and Effect, and the possiblity of changing the karma.

 

Second Course

(Khóa Thứ Hai)

 

The Divine Buddhist Vehicle

(Thiên Thừa Phật Giáo)

 

Lesson 7

Ten Good Deeds (Thập Thiện Nghiệp)

 Lesson 7: Ten Good Deeds, explained by Minh-Quang Nguyễn Lê Đức on Sunday November 19, 2006, at 10am, at Chùa Hải-Đức, Jacksonville, Florida. mp3 stereo, 27MB, 58 min.

Summary

 

 

A- Introduction: Ten good karmas (deeds) are the roots of all good actions. They are like lower rungs of the ladder to progress further .

 

B- Main Subject:

1- Definiton: Karma means action, feat, accomplishment; it can be good (benefitial), bad (harming), indifferent (not good nor bad).

2- Roots of Good and Bad Karma: body (killing, stealing, fornication), speech (lying, exaggeration, deceiving, cussing), mind (greed, anger, ignorance).

3- Effect of Ten Good Deeds: according to the Sutra of Ten Good Deeds:

1- Do Not Kill: avoid killing future Buddhas, relatives. 10 good consequences.

2- Do Not Steal: practice equality, avoid harming people, have peace.

3- Do Not Fornicate: have happy family, avoid harming others. 4 benefits.

4- Do Not Lie: avoid illicit profit/harming people. 5 benefits.

5- Do Not Exaggerate: avoid duping/vanity. 3 benefits.

6- Do Not Insinuate: avoid separating friends, harming relations. 4 benefits.

7- Do Not Cuss: avoid exposing misfortune, only good speech. 3 benefits.

8- Do Not Be Greedy: avoid 5 desires, maintain peace. 4 benefits.

9- Do Not Be Angry: maintain calm, avoid burning self & others. 8 benefits.

10- Do Not Be Ignorant: clear in judment, avoid clinging to delusion, get wisdom. 10 benefits.

 

C- Conclusion: Ten good/bad deeds all originated from body, mind, speech. Bad deeds are like weeds, good deeds are like rice, all growing in same field. Weeds prevent rice growing well. To get good rice crop, weeds must be eliminated. To get good karma, bad karma must be eliminated. 4 benefits:
                      - improving body & mind.
               
      - improving circumstances.
                      - seeding for rebirth as gods.
                      - originating for Buddhahood.

 

Second Course

(Khóa Thứ Hai)

 

The Divine Buddhist Vehicle

(Thiên Thừa Phật Giáo)

 

Lesson 8

Four Methods of Conversion (Tứ Nhiếp Pháp)

Lesson 8: Four Methods of Conversion, explained by Minh-Quang Nguyễn Lê Đức on Sunday November 26, 2006, at 10am, at Chùa Hải-Đức, Jacksonville, Florida. mp3 stereo, 25MB, 53 min.
 

Summary

 

A- Introduction: To benefit sentient beings is the practice of Bodhisattvas. No better method than the Four Methods of Conversion. 

B- Main Subject:

1- Definiton: 4 practical methods to bring people to Buddha teachings: giving, kind words, profit, work together.

2- Aspects of 4 Methods:

1- Donation. Troubles in society arises usually from selfishness. Buddhism is a religion of compassion, and the greatest sufferings of humans are material inadequacy, spiritual obscurity and the fears of death, of misfortune… 3 ways:

                        1- Wealth: money, foods, clothing, medicine, shelter…

                        2- Dharma: teachings, practices, redirecting people to goodness.

                        3- Fearlessness: material and spiritual.

Highess form of Donation is Dana Paramita (giving for deliverance): not knowing the giver, the receiver, the donation (3 species of still and void of giving)

            2- Kind words: adapt speech according to level of listener. Avoid criticizing

3- Profitable actions: thought, speech or action bebeficial to sentient beings. Stories of Keeping Earth Bodhisattva. Help find job, building bridge, vocational schools…

4- Working together: better contact, sharing. At home, school, temple…

3- Benefits of the Four Methods of Conversion:

1- Individual: transfom self, sowing good seeds, easily accepted and adapted to circumstances.

            2- Familial: family becomes peaceful, happy, kind, lovely..

3- Social: transfom society for better; erase misconception of pessimism among Buddhists.

           

C- Conclusion: most efficient method to improve society and social life, based on benefiting sentient beings, aimed for their happiness:
                  1- Giving out material for the needy, teachings for the ignorant, courage for the fearful.
                  2- Speaking nicely, avoid criticizing harshly.
                  3- Benefiting sentient beings.
                  4- Blending in work, in action with others.
                  Without this method, we can’t practice loving-kindness and compassion.

 

Second Course

(Khóa Thứ Hai)

 

The Divine Buddhist Vehicle

(Thiên Thừa Phật Giáo)

 

Lesson 9

The Six Harmonies (Lục Ḥa)

 Lesson 9: Six Harmonies, explained by Minh-Quang Nguyễn Lê Đức on Sunday December 3, 2006, at 10am, at Chùa Hải-Đức, Jacksonville, Florida. mp3 stereo, 25MB, 55 min.
 

Summary

 

 

A- Introduction: Discordance is utmost danger in life, root of separation and suffering, in family, society. Accordance is basis for success, happiness. Buddha taught the six ways.

 

B- Main Subject:

1- Definiton: Six Harmonies are six methods of interaction to bring peace and happiness while living in society, eliminating self and other.

2- The Six Harmonies:

1- Harmony in Body, Living Together: living together under one roof, one organization, one country, one world. Discordance brings separation, hate. Harmony brings peace, avoid war.

2- Harmony in Speech, No Quarrelling: guard speech, avoid quarrel. Kind speech, argue with respect. Do not listen to bad speech.

3- Harmony in Thought, Pleasing Together: mind is the master, controlling body and speech. A pleasant thought brings kind speech/action. Evil thought is cause of hate/anger. To cultivate Harmony in Thought, we must practice Equanimity & Detachment.

4- Harmony in Precepts, Practice Together: precepts are rules observed in communities. Rules bind community members together; disobedience disintegrates communities

5- Harmony in Vision, Explaining Together: educate/explain members of communities. People of same level of knowledge/understanding communicate better with each other. Need of study Buddhist teaching.

6- Harmony in Benefit, Balancing Together: inequalities are roots of envy, hate, anger, evil thought. In society, inequality is root of war. Minimizing the difference in wealth brings lasting peace to society.

 

C- Conclusion: To maintain peace in society, remember to practice the six harmonies: in body: living together; in speech: no quarrelling; in thought: pleasing together; in precepts: practicing together; in vision: explaining together; in benefit: spreading together.

 

Second Course

(Khóa Thứ Hai)

 

The Divine Buddhist Vehicle

(Thiên Thừa Phật Giáo)

 

Lesson 10

Pure Land (Tịnh Độ)

 Lesson 10: Pure Land, explained by Minh-Quang Nguyễn Lê Đức on Sunday December 17, 2006, at 10am, at Chùa Hải-Đức, Jacksonville, Florida. mp3 stereo, 26MB, 56 min.

Summary

 

A- Introduction: From the unthinkable number of worlds in the universe, only the Sukhavati (Pure Land) world of Amita Buddha is the purest and most peaceful. 

B- Main Subject:

1- Name & Appearance of Pure Land: Buddha Sakyamuni once told Sariputra in the Sukhavati Sutra about the Pure Land world of Amita, which is the most peaceful with all the amenities, the nicest people, the Dharma-speaking birds, without darkness/suffering. Everyone in that world has all the opportunities to practice and get enlightenment.

2- Requisites to be reborn in Pure Land: 3 conditions:

1- Unmovable Faith. 3 aspects:

                        1- Faith in Buddha: out of compassion for saving beings from birth & death.

                        2- Faith in the Dharma: true and just; if followed, will get best results.

                        3- Faith in our power: believe in our Buddha-to-be and practice.

            2- Unshakable Determination: without determination, result can’t be attained.

3- Unstoppable Practice: recite Buddha name until one-mind state.

3- Methods of Practice to be Reborn in Pure Land: 4 ways of Memorizing Name:

1- Keeping Name: saying or thinking “Namo Amita Buddha”.

            2- Studying Name: in the mind, exploring the come and go, without distraction.

3- Meditating Name: meditating appearance & qualities of the Buddha.

4- True Nature Name: true origin from the mind; appearances are unreal. Our nature is Buddha nature, our mind is Pure Land.

The 3 first methods belong to Form, last one belong to Meaning.

4- Importance of Memorizing Name when Dying: keep peaceful mind, remember Buddha; do not cry or be sad. Near-death Karma very important in determining rebirth. Help the dying to leave in peace.

5- Memorizing Name is Easy and Fruitful: practice is easy, universal, bringing practitioner to Dhyana with intense practice.

6- Proofs: in some Sutras. Stories of peaceful deaths.

7- Benefits of Memorizing Name in Daily Life: avoid evil thoughts, sadness, anger.

8- Queries: Why Amita Buddha? Not one Buddha, but all Buddhas, since Buddhas are of same nature. Why Sukhavati? Because it has been described clearly; avoid distractions.

           

C- Conclusion: easiest way to practice; fruitful if diligent to one-mind state.

 

Second Course

(Khóa Thứ Hai)

 

The Divine Buddhist Vehicle

(Thiên Thừa Phật Giáo)

 

Lesson 11

48 Vows of Amida Buddha (48 Nguyện  Phật A Di Đà)

 

48 Bodhisattva Vows of Pháp Tạng
Who Later Becomes Amida Buddha
Translated from Chinese by Inagaki Hisao
http://www.ne.jp/asahi/pureland-buddhism/amida-net/48vows.htm


As told in the Infinite Life Sutra, Pháp Tạng (Dharamakara) Bodhisattva made 48 Great Vows promising to create a Pure Land (the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss), and guaranteed rebirth in the Pure Land to anyone who would recite his name with utmost sincerity, particularly at the time of their death. Dharamakara fulfilled his 48 vows and thereafter attained Buddhahood and became Amida (Amitabha) Buddha.

  1. If, when I attain Buddhahood, there should be in my land a hell, a realm of hungry spirits or a realm of animals, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  2. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should after death fall again into the three evil realms, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  3. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not all be the color of pure gold, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  4. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not all be of one appearance, and should there be any difference in beauty, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  5. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not remember all their previous lives, not knowing even the events which occurred during the previous hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of kalpas, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  6. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not possess the divine eye of seeing even a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddha-lands, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  7. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not possess the divine ear of hearing 268a the teachings of at least a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddhas and should not remember all of them, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  8. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not possess the faculty of knowing the thoughts of others, at least those of all sentient beings living in a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddha-lands, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  9. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not possess the supernatural power of travelling anywhere in one instant, even beyond a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddha-lands, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  10. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should give rise to thoughts of self-attachment, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  11. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not dwell in the Definitely Assured State and unfailingly reach Nirvana, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  12. If, when I attain Buddhahood, my light should be limited, unable to illuminate at least a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddha-lands, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  13. If, when I attain Buddhahood, my life-span should be limited, even to the extent of a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of kalpas, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  14. If, when I attain Buddhahood, the number of the shravakas in my land could be known, even if all the beings and pratyekabuddhas living in this universe of a thousand million worlds should count them during a hundred thousand kalpas, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  15. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should have limited life-spans, except when they wish to shorten them in accordance with their original vows, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  16. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should even hear of any wrongdoing, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  17. If, when I attain Buddhahood, innumerable Buddhas in the land of the ten quarters should not all praise and glorify my Name, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  18. If, when I attain Buddhahood, sentient beings in the lands of the ten quarters who sincerely and joyfully entrust themselves to me, desire to be born in my land, and call my Name, even ten times, should not be born there, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment. Excluded, however, are those who commit the five gravest offenses and abuse the right Dharma.
     
  19. If, when I attain Buddhahood, sentient beings in the lands of the ten quarters, who awaken aspiration for Enlightenment, do various meritorious deeds 268b and sincerely desire to be born in my land, should not, at their death, see me appear before them surrounded by a multitude of sages, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  20. If, when I attain Buddhahood, sentient beings in the lands of the ten quarters who, having heard my Name, concentrate their thoughts on my land, do various meritorious deeds and sincerely transfer their merits towards my land with a desire to be born there, should not eventually fulfill their aspiration, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  21. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not all be endowed with the thirty-two physical characteristics of a Great Man, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  22. If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the Buddha-lands of other quarters who visit my land should not ultimately and unfailingly reach the Stage of Becoming a Buddha after One More Life, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment. Excepted are those who wish to teach and guide sentient beings in accordance with their original vows. For they wear the armor of great vows, accumulate merits, deliver all beings from birth-and-death, visit Buddha-lands to perform the bodhisattva practices, make offerings to Buddhas, Tathagatas, throughout the ten quarters, enlighten uncountable sentient beings as numerous as the sands of the River Ganges, and establish them in the highest, perfect Enlightenment. Such bodhisattvas transcend the course of practice of the ordinary bodhisattva stages, manifest the practices of all the bodhisattva stages, and actually cultivate the virtues of Samantabhadra.
     
  23. If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in my land, in order to make offerings to Buddhas through my transcendent power, should not be able to reach immeasurable and innumerable kotis of nayutas of Buddha-lands in as short a time as it takes to eat a meal, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  24. If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in my land should not be able, as they wish, to perform meritorious acts of worshipping the Buddhas with the offerings of their choice, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  25. If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in my land should not be able to expound the Dharma with the all-knowing wisdom, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  26. If, when I attain Buddhahood, there should be any bodhisattva in my land not endowed with the body of the Vajra-god Narayana, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  27. If, when I attain Buddhahood, sentient beings should be able, even with the divine eye, to distinguish by name and calculate by number all the myriads of manifestations provided for the humans and devas in my land, which are glorious and resplendent and have exquisite details beyond description, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  28. If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in my land, even those with little store of merit, should not be able to 268c see the Bodhi-tree which has countless colors and is four million li in height, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  29. If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in my land should not acquire eloquence and wisdom in upholding sutras and reciting and expounding them, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  30. If, when I attain Buddhahood, the wisdom and eloquence of bodhisattvas in my land should be limited, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  31. If, when I attain Buddhahood, my land should not be resplendent, revealing in its light all the immeasurable, innumerable and inconceivable Buddha-lands, like images reflected in a clear mirror, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  32. If, when I attain Buddhahood, all the myriads of manifestations in my land, from the ground to the sky, such as palaces, pavilions, ponds, streams and trees, should not be composed of both countless treasures, which surpass in supreme excellence anything in the worlds of humans and devas, and of a hundred thousand kinds of aromatic wood, whose fragrance pervades all the worlds of the ten quarters, causing all bodhisattvas who sense it to perform Buddhist practices, then may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  33. If, when I attain Buddhahood, sentient beings in the immeasurable and inconceivable Buddha-lands of the ten quarters, who have been touched by my light, should not feel peace and happiness in their bodies and minds surpassing those of humans and devas, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  34. If, when I attain Buddhahood, sentient beings in the immeasurable and inconceivable Buddha-lands of the ten quarters, who have heard my Name, should not gain the bodhisattva's insight into the non-arising of all dharmas and should not acquire various profound dharanis, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  35. If, when I attain Buddhahood, women in the immeasurable and inconceivable Buddha-lands of the ten quarters who, having heard my Name, rejoice in faith, awaken aspiration for Enlightenment and wish to renounce womanhood, should after death be reborn again as women, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  36. If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the immeasurable and inconceivable Buddha-lands of the ten quarters, who have heard my Name, should not, after the end of their lives, always perform sacred practices until they reach Buddhahood, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  37. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in the immeasurable and inconceivable Buddha-lands of the ten quarters, who having heard my Name, prostrate themselves on the ground to revere and worship me, rejoice 269a in faith, and perform bodhisattva practices, should not be respected by all devas and people of the world, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  38. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not obtain clothing, as soon as such a desire arises in their minds, and if the fine robes as prescribed and praised by the Buddhas should not be spontaneously provided for them to wear, and if these clothes should need sewing, bleaching, dyeing or washing, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  39. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not enjoy happiness and pleasure comparable to that of a monk who has exhausted all the passions, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  40. If, when I attain Buddhahood, the bodhisattvas in my land who wish to see the immeasurable glorious Buddha-lands of the ten quarters, should not be able to view all of them reflected in the jewelled trees, just as one sees one's face reflected in a clear mirror, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  41. If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the lands of the other quarters who hear my Name should, at any time before becoming Buddhas, have impaired, inferior or incomplete sense organs, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  42. If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the lands of the other quarters who hear my Name should not all attain the samadhi called 'pure emancipation' and, while dwelling therein, without losing concentration, should not be able to make offerings in one instant to immeasurable and inconceivable Buddhas, World-Honored Ones, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  43. If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the lands of the other quarters who hear my Name should not be reborn into noble families after their death, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  44. If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the lands of the other quarters who hear my Name should not rejoice so greatly as to dance and perform the bodhisattva practices and should not acquire stores of merit, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  45. If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the lands of the other quarters who hear my Name should not all attain the samadhi called 'universal equality' and, while dwelling therein, should not always be able to see all the immeasurable and inconceivable Tathagatas until those bodhisattvas, too, become Buddhas, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  46. If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in my land should not be able to hear spontaneously whatever teachings they may wish, 269b may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  47. If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the lands of the other quarters who hear my Name should not instantly reach the Stage of Non-retrogression, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
     
  48. If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the lands of the other quarters who hear my Name should not instantly gain the first, second and third insights into the nature of dharmas and firmly abide in the truths realized by all the Buddhas, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment."
     

Bibliography

bullet H. Inagaki, The Three Pure Land Sutras: A Study and Translation, Nagata Bunshodo, 2000; pp. 241-249
 
bullet H. Inagaki, The Three Pure Land Sutras, BDK English Tripitaka 12-II, III, IV, Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, 1995, pp. 32-39
 

            Minh Quang posted February 2, 2007

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