A must to fully understand Buddha recitation

Update: 15/11/2008
Today is the great teacher An Quang’s 12nd Commemoration. We may be his students, and it is said that let every man praise the bridge he goes over (expressing the gratitude to the ones we feel grateful), so you gather here and celebrate our great teacher’s commemoration. In Buddhism, the teacher is considered as Buddhists’ Dharma parents, hence, celebrating the teacher’s commemoration is similarly to remind expressing our filial piety to our Dharma parents. Compared to common piety, the commemoration is much more meaningful.

A must to fully understand Buddha recitation

Once I met the great teacher An Quang for the first time in Pho Da mountain, in the year of 20thQuang Tu. At that time, my master invited him to deliver a sermon of Amitabha sutra in Quang Te pagoda. After that, he stayed at the pagoda and read three canons. He sedentarily lived and practiced in the mountain for 20 years. Despite his perfect understanding about Dharma, his method to practice every day is to recite Amitabha. He never appreciated himself and disregarded Dharma sect of Buddha recitation. Buddha’s teaching is the miracle to ease living beings’ pains, and dharma sect of Buddha recitation is called Agada medicines (efficacious medicines that can cure any hurts).

Indeed, no matter what method practitioners do, they should firmly believe in this method, preserve it, and practice more and more effectively, and as the result, they eventually gain the enlightenment. If the belief of theirs is firm enough, practitioners will succeed in chanting mantras, doing meditation, or reciting Buddha’s name. Whoever do not sincerely believe in the methods they practice, pretend that they are good enough, and blab and comment foolishly will worsen themselves and make religious mistakes. Despite talking about life and death, they face to hindrances. What a pity!

We are An Quang’s students. We ought to laud his sincere practice in his commemoration today. He is a truly admirable monk following the older masters, and he fully understood the chapter of Mahasthama Prapta Boddhisattva (the Boddhisattva whose wisdom and power reaches everywhere and representing Buddha-wisdom of Amitabha)1succeeds in Buddha recitation. He followed the sutra and succeeded in the Samadhi Buddha method (in which the one wholeheartedly thinks of the appearance of the Buddha). From then on, He propagated the sect of Buddha recitation, doing good things for living beings no matter how difficult he had to faced. At the present, hardly is there someone like him practices sincerely following Buddha recitation without doubt or discrimination. From the morning to the evening, in every step, every action, during all day and night, he never forgot recitation. Silently, skillfully, and gradually, the Pure Land crossed into his mind and he himself gained the enlightenment.

Most importantly, there is not any success if practitioners do not build strong belief. Suppose one day a practitioner is said that first, meditation is much better; then, his or her belief changes, neglect the former, and he or she practices meditation without any knowledge. Due to lack of mindfulness, he or she faces to hindrance. However, he or she thinks that Dharma is not true and Buddha tells lies to living beings, he or she looks down on Dharma and makes religious mistakes. Therefore, I advise the mass to build firm belief in Buddha recitation, following the great teacher An Quang to “truly reciting Buddha’s name”, and determine to be born in the Pure Land in life.

In terms of the beginning practitioners, meditation and Buddha recitation are a bit different. However, two methods are the same for the intermediate or advanced ones. Thanks to strong belief, regulations are established at the beginning of meditation against life and death. If regulations are broken, he or she cannot succeed in meditation. If he or she builds strong belief, he or she can obey regulations. Practitioners do not know they, themselves, are eating and drinking, they get away from normal life, succeed in practice Buddha recitation. To that level, practitioners’ and Buddha’s mind are the one that is stable. Two minds is the same as one; one is immovable. It is always true. You follow Buddha recitation, and I hope you all rely on the method to practice sincerely.

At the time of great teacherAn Quang’s12nd Commemoration in 1952

Most Venerable Hu Van

Translated into Vietnamese: Thich Hang Dat

Translated into English: Nguyen Hoang Thoai

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