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Essentials of Pure Land Buddhism-English Subtitles淨修法要

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时间:2019-03-20 22:22

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简要说明 2017.12.31 啟講於 台灣台南極樂寺(節錄自32-258 台南極樂寺餐後開示) / 編號:29-509_EN / 共 14 集 Essentials of Pure Land Buddhism—How to attain Buddhahood during the D..[详细]

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Essentials of Pure Land Buddhism-English Subtitles淨修法要


2017.12.31 啟講於 台灣台南極樂寺(節錄自32-258 台南極樂寺餐後開示) / 編號:29-509_EN / 共 14 集

Essentials of Pure Land Buddhism—How to attain Buddhahood during the Declining Age of the Dharma?
(Episode 1)2017/12/31No:29-509-0001_en 
During the Declining Age of the Dharma, there is no way to attain Buddhahood except by reciting "Amitabha". 
Just think it through, you will realize how hard it is to sever yourself from desires. 
Reciting "Amitabha" is the only way that enables people to attain Buddhahood by going to Amitabha's Pure Land after death so long they succeed in suppressing their desires. 
Without that way, we will not be able to make it. 
You have got to weigh the pros and cons carefully, If you cannot sever yourselves from all desires, then you should take the easier way by reciting "Amitabha" wholeheartedly. 
This will definitely set you on the course to success. 
So, if you can sever yourselves from all your desires, fine. 
But if you cannot do that, then following any other way will be a dangerous course, full of pitfalls for you to fall into, and you will not succeed attaining Buddhahood. 
We must understand well that only this way can save the sentient beings of the Age of Declining Dharma. 
Devoted to taking this approach by practising and introducing to others the recitation of "Amitabha", you will then succeed one day. 


Essentials of Pure Land Buddhism—Where should we start learning to become a Buddha?
(Episode 2)2017/12/31No:29-509-0002_en 
To be a person is to learn to be humble. 
If you learn to respect others, then you will succeed. 
As the saying goes, "As you respect others, they will also respect you". 
Being arrogant is the worst. 
Once you are full of yourself, you are finished, you have no future. 
You must learn to be humble no matter how great you are. 
Why? 
Because all sentient beings and the Buddhas are one, they are equal, there is no difference. 
There is no difference. 
If you insist on differentiating, then you are wrong. 
Being equal is to teach you to be humble and to respect others. 
This is real equality. 
It does not manifest itself in arrogance. 
Every Buddha, every Bodhisattva, is humility itself. 
I often talk about humility. 
As Professor Thome H. Fang put it, "Studying Buddhism is the greatest pleasure in life". 
Have you experienced the greatest pleasure in life? 
I have. 
That is why I believe what he said. 
What is the greatest pleasure? 
Be humble and respect others, that is the greatest pleasure. 
Praise others to the sky and bring yourself down, that is the greatest happiness, the greatest pleasure. 
Buddha respects others. 
Buddha Amitabha praises all other Buddhas. 
Definitely, those who are arrogant, those who sing their own praises, and those who destroy others will never attain peace and happiness. 
The Bible of Christianity also promotes humility. 
If you can achieve hating no one in your life, then you are almost there; but if you still have enemy or foe, or people you dislike or people you are unhappy with, then you are rather far away from your goal. 
Where should we start learning to become a Buddha? 
By letting go. 
What should we let go of? 
Letting go of your arrogance, letting go of your many bad habits. 
Start from right here, so you won't be wasting your efforts. 
Learn to be humble and to respect others, and you will find real happiness and spiritual joy.


Essentials of Pure Land Buddhism—Who makes you suffering?
(Episode 3)2018/1/2No:29-509-0003_en 
What is so good about the Diamonds Sutra? It is simple and clear, nothing verbose. It tells the truth that “everything with form is unreal”. 
You allow your mind to be stirred in every situation, you start thinking and keep thinking. Poor you, torturing yourself! Who gives it to you? You yourself, you ask for it. How to practise Buddhism on seeing things with your eyes? By keeping the mind from being stirred, by not starting to think. You see them clearly and you understand what you see. But you keep your mind in a quiet state without thinking. This is genuine practice. The eyes achieve samadhi on seeing things. Mahaprajnaparamita Sutra explains the principle to enable you to understand the facts and the truth, and to let go. Letting go is the realm of the Buddha. Otherwise, you remain trapped in the Six Paths of Rebirth of the sentient beings. 


Essentials of Pure Land Buddhism—How do we practise Buddism?  
(Episode 4)  2018/1/2  No:29-509-0004_en 
That is how we get to know everything, just as the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas do. They know because they are not lost. We don’t know because we are lost. What is getting lost? Thinking is getting lost. When we see fruits on the table, it is awareness that enables us to see them. Once we start thinking about wanting to eat them, we are lost. It takes great skills to eat them without thinking about them. How do we practise Buddhism? We practise it in everyday lives. We should learn not to start thinking, but to keep our mind in a quiet state. So by practising meditation, wisdom will come naturally. Orientals emphasise mental tranquility, that state of the mind is the “pure mind”. This is the core of learning. Once your mind is stirred, you are lost. Whenever and wherever you are, you should strive to keep your mind in a quiet state. Not to think results in the pure mind; to think, the impure mind. We should keep the pure mind, not the impure mind. Those who keep the pure mind are the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas. Those who keep the impure mind are the sentient beings on the Six Paths of Rebirth. 

Essentials of Pure Land Buddhism—How do we live in the same state as the Buddha's?  
(Episode 5)  2018/1/2  No:29-509-0005_en 
How to tell whether it is true or false? As quantum theory puts it, everything from a mind stirred is false. With the whole universe in front of me, it is false once my mind is stirred and I start thinking. It is true once I keep my mind in a quiet state and do not think. Trueness and falseness is the same. Trueness is falseness, and falseness is trueness. Why? Because trueness does not entail birth and death, but falseness entails birth and death. That is why there is birth and death once you stir your mind and start thinking, but there is neither birth nor death once you keep your mind in a quiet state and do not think. This is fascinating. You must be determined not to hurt yourself. Who saves you? You save yourself. Does the Buddha save you? No. The Buddha merely explains the facts and the truth. Once you manage to understand it and you follow the Buddha’s Teachings, then you will have proven yourself and be in the same state as the Buddha’s.  

Essentials of Pure Land Buddhism—How to make the communities thrive?  

(Episode 6)  2018/1/2  No:29-509-0006_en 

If people praise one another, the communities will thrive. If people mistrust and suspect one another, the communities have no future. However glorious they may shine is only an illusion. To study the sutras is to sing praises. You must study the sutras. Without studying them you are lost. To study the sutras is to connect with the Buddhas, the Bodhisattvas and the saints. Not to study them is to connect with the mortals. Connecting with mortals brings us problems and a hard life. 

By connecting with the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas, you will live happily. From morning to night and from the first day of the year to the last day of the year you will have no worries. This is the way to attain ultimate freedom from our being. 


Essentials of Pure Land Buddhism—What is religion?  

(Episode 7)  2018/1/2  No:29-509-0007_en 

Europe did experience a peaceful and prosperous age in the past, though it didn’t last very long. What led to that peaceful and prosperous age? Religion. After all, people who believe in religion, the gods or God would think twice before doing anything bad so that they would not go too far. The past century saw great progress in science. Scientists have been telling people that God and religion are unreal. So people gave up religion and no longer believed in it. This resulted in social disorder.  How can society return to peace that reigned? Only by reviving religion can society be saved. This is because, unlike the Chinese, they do not have Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. They rely on religion. This is why we have to discuss this issue in depth. How to revive religion? By bringing it back to education. It is necessary to understand clearly what religion in fact is. What is religion? It is education. Religion preceded civilisation in history. It bred civilisation. Without religion as the basis of civilisation, no civilisation would last longer than three hundred years. 


Essentials of Pure Land Buddhism—What is superstition?  

(Episode 8)  2018/1/2  No:29-509-0008_en 

In the past three thousand years there used to be more than twenty different cultures. Now, there is only one, the Chinese culture. Chinese culture still exists, but the others no longer exist. Why? Because science caused the foundation of religion to collapse. Scientists told people that religion is an illusion, it is unreal. So, religion collapsed. Although some religions survive, yet they are superstitions, their beliefs are unfounded. There are believers who can recite religion texts led by a clergyman in church, just like the Chinese in Buddhist devotional gathering that is ceremonial and ritualistic in nature. So, this is a crisis. What should be done about religion? We support the view that religion is education, not superstition. That is why we must return religion to the basics. We hope that Religion Instructors can clearly and precisely explain the religion classics. This will show that religion is not superstition. If you can only recite the religion text but you do not understand its meaning, then that is superstition. Unfounded belief must revert to founded belief.  


Essentials of Pure Land Buddhism—How to accumulate blessings?  

Episode 9)  2018/1/3  No:29-509-0009_en

To accumulate virtue is the first merit in Buddhism. If you follow the instructions correctly, you are accumulating blessings and saving Buddhism. If you pursue personal fame and profits, you will fall into Hell. You will never know the truth until you fall into Hell. This is too torturing and unworthy to try.  How to accumulate blessings? No one knows. Everyone knows. Everyone doesn’t know. By reciting “Amitabha”. What is the greatest blessing? Reciting “Amitabha” to attain rebirth in Amitabha’s Pure Land is the greatest blessing. So I say everyone knows and doesn’t know. They know when they learn the truth, but they don’t if no one tells them. 


Essentials of Pure Land Buddhism—How to deal with the person who is abusing us, whether it's physically or mentally?  

(Episode 10)  2018/1/3  No:29-509-0010_en 

It is good to bear some hardship in this mundane world because it eliminates your sins. You shouldn’t think that you are insulted, bullied, cheated, or harmed. Instead, you need to see them as good things because they help eliminate your sins. If you don’t appreciate and make enemies of them, you will never know when your sins can be eliminated. It is blessing when your mind remains pure, but it is sin if your mind is stirred by desires and afflictions. Does your mind generate afflictions, happiness, or the intention to recite “Amitabha” more every day? To stir your mind by these wandering thoughts is all committing sin. 


Essentials of Pure Land Buddhism—What is greatest pleasure?  

Episode 11)  2018/1/10  No:29-509-0011_en

I don’t want fame, and I don’t want power. My greatest pleasure in life is what Professor Fang Dongmei taught me “Learning Buddhism is the greatest pleasure in the life”. You understand, don’t you? What is greatest pleasure? The greatest pleasure is to not manage people, money, and things. I did it, so I am very happy. I don’t hate or make enemy with anyone in my life. I only lecture. Depending on my physical condition, I can lecture one hour per day when I am well. If I am not well, I lecture once per week. Mr. Lee had lectured once per week for 38 years in Taichung. You must understand this. The greatest pleasure is to be free and unoccupied.  


Essentials of Pure Land Buddhism—How not to fall into hell?  

(Episode 12)  2018/1/10  No:29-509-0012_en 

We must keep in mind that we shouldn’t learn Buddhism in the wrong ways that lead to Hell. The door to Hell is just next to the one to Buddhism. If you open the wrong door, you will fall into Hell. That is horrifying! Following 5 Precepts and practicing 10 Virtues, you will not fall into Hell.  When Pure Land Association was established in the U.S, we proposed 5 subjects, which is to follow precepts 

The first clause of Three Blessings of the Pure Land Doctrine: to show filial piety to parents, follow teachers’ instructions, be merciful and avoid killing, and practice 10 Virtues. To respect and follow teachers’ instructions is very important. We must carry out this. 


Essentials of Pure Land Buddhism—Views on the rises and falls of a community practicing Buddhism.  

(Episode 13)  2018/1/10  No:29-509-0013_en 

What causes rise or decline of a community where people practice Buddhism? If people get along with one another, the community will thrive. If people criticise one another, the community will decline. This is true no matter how big the community is. You must observe carefully.  People must learn to praise instead of making enemy with others. Finally, we select Ten Great Vows of Samantabhadra. Samantabhadra proposes Ten Great Vows in Avataṃsaka Sūtra, from respecting Buddhas, praising Buddhas, to dedicating merits to all sentient beings. Dedicating merits to all sentient beings helps broaden one’s mind. All sentient beings are past parents and future Buddhas, so we need to see them as Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.   Everything in this world is false. Nothing is real. We commit guilt when doing false things. We attain rebirth in Pure Land when we do right things.  


Essentials of Pure Land Buddhism—How to attain rebirth in Pure Land?  

Episode 14)  2018/1/10  No:29-509-0014_en

Can we attain rebirth in Pure Land? This is a good question. If you cannot attain rebirth after learning Buddhism, you accomplish nothing in this life. Whether you can attain rebirth or not depends on yourself. You can attain rebirth if you have firm belief and vow. If you see it as a joke and don’t learn Buddhism seriously, you cannot attain rebirth in Pure Land. The conditions of attaining rebirth in Pure Land are belief, vow, and practice. The first condition is to believe that Pure Land truly exists. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas never lie. Do not misunderstand them. If you think Buddhas and Bodhisattvas would cheat people, you are totally wrong.

The second condition is taking vow to attain rebirth in Pure Land. The place is fantastic. Why don’t you go? With firm belief and vow, you are qualified to and will definitely attain rebirth in Pure Land.  

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