净土 – Chinese philosophy and culture

jìngtǔ 净土

Sukhāvatīvyūha / Pure Land

诸佛所居处的远离烦恼的地方。净土的概念从“佛国”(buddhakṣetra)而来,指某一成道者所在的世界。一佛一化土,是大乘佛教思想的重要标志。由于佛心清净,他所处的世界亦清净庄严,与凡夫所处的被烦恼染污的世界相对。净土宗的重要法门是通过念诵净土中的某一佛陀名号,如“阿弥陀佛”,然后通过后者的誓愿而得往生其国。

Pure land refers to a buddha’s field free of contamination and suffering. The idea derives from the notion of buddhakṣetra (literally buddha-field), which is the dwelling place of an Enlightened One. That the multiple worlds each shelters a buddha is a key doctrine in Mahayana Buddhism. Such a pure and welldecorated field is guaranteed by the pure mind of the buddha therein – pure as opposed to the mundane world of the contaminated sentient beings. The Pure Land School focuses on the way to achieve liberation through chanting a buddha’s name, for example, Amitabha (literally unmeasured splendour), and taking rebirth in his pure land with the help of the buddha’s gracious vows.

引例 Citations:

◎设我得佛,国中菩萨随意欲见十方无量严净佛土;应时如愿,于宝树中皆悉照见,犹如明镜睹其面像。若不尔者,不取正觉。(《佛说无量寿经》卷一)

(若我成佛时,我佛国中的菩萨将随心所见处处是清净佛土,无边无际;当我实现誓愿的时候,宝石做的树也都能映照出净土,好比明镜能够看清面目。如果不是这样,我就不算获得真正的觉悟。)

When I have become Buddha, the bodhisattvas in my land will see immeasurable Buddha lands in the ten directions, adorned and pure, as far as they wish. When all my vows were fulfilled, the bejeweled trees would reflect this auspicious place, like a bright mirror reflecting one’s face. If it is otherwise, it will prove my failure to realize the Buddhahood. (The Larger Sukhāvatīvyūha Sutra)

◎若菩萨心净,则佛土净者,我世尊本为菩萨时,意岂不净,而是佛土不净若此?……舍利弗!众生罪故,不见如来佛土严净,非如来咎。舍利弗!我此土净,而汝不见。(《维摩诘所说经·佛国品第一》)

(如果菩萨的心识澄净,其国土便清净,那么释迦牟尼成佛前,难道是因为他心意不净,所以我们的世界染污若此?……舍利弗!这是由于众生的罪业,无法见证佛土的庄严清净,而并非如来的过失。舍利弗,我的国土严净,只是你看不到罢了。)

If a bodhisattva succeeds in purifying his own mind, his land becomes a pure one. Then why was the world still full of foulness, before Shakyamuni (once a bodhisattva) attained the Buddhahood? Could it be that his mind was impure?… Sariputra! It is all due to the evil deeds of sentient beings that they fail to witness the splendor of the Buddha’s field. It is not Tathāgata’s (an epithet of the Buddha) fault. Sariputra! My land is pure, yet you fail to see it. (The Teaching of Vimalakīrti)

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