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 INFINITE LIFE SUTRA COMMENTARY

EXCERPT THIRTY-SEVEN

You should uproot all attachments and desires, and put an end to all sources of evil. Then you will be able to travel freely among the Three Realms without any obstruction.



“You should uproot all attachments and desires.” “Attachments and desires” are karmic obstacles. One may be diligent in learning Buddhism but if one does not eliminate even a small amount of karmic obstacles, at the end of one’s life, one’s obstacles will obstruct one from attaining rebirth in the Western Pure Land. Therefore, if one truly wants to succeed in cultivation, one should “uproot all attachments and desires.” If one’s attachment to wealth, sex, fame, food, and sleep is reduced, the karmic obstacles will also decrease.

“Put an end to all sources of evil.” The sources of all evils are greed, anger, ignorance, arrogance, doubt, and wrong views. These six are the primary afflictions.

How do we “uproot all attachments and desires, and put an end to all sources of evil”? By mindfully chanting “Amituofo,” having deep belief and a sincere vow, and constantly thinking of attaining rebirth in the Western Pure Land. In all these, we must not be lax. Attachments, desires, and sources of evil will naturally diminish and will gradually stop arising.

Although we cannot completely eradicate them, as long as they do not arise and our Buddha-name chanting practice is effective, we will be able to attain rebirth in the Western Pure Land, carrying along our residual karmas.

The Diamond Sutra says: “How does one subdue one’s mind?” The mind here refers to wandering and distracting thoughts. We mindfully chant the Buddha-name to subdue and control our wandering and distracting thoughts. This method is extremely amazing!

“Then you will be able to travel freely among the Three Realms without any obstruction.” This is saying that the bodhisattvas appear in the Six Paths to universally help all beings without being obstructed. We should learn this ability. When we come into contact with people to help them, our minds should be on Amituofo.

When we achieve in Buddha-name chanting practice and no wandering thoughts, discriminations, or attachments arise, we will be able to “travel freely among the Three Realms.” When we come into contact with people, we will not be hindered or affected by them. In the Six Paths, we use the profound and supreme Pure Land method to help all beings—urging them to learn and practice together so that they can attain rebirth in the Western Pure Land and, without retrogression, attain Buddhahood.







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