^Let Amida’s virtues be praised for a hundred thousand kotis
of nayutas of kalpas, by tongues a hundred thousand countless kotis
of nayutas in number, each tongue producing countless voices,
and still those virtues could not be exhausted.
^The Sutra of Praise of the Pure Land
Translated by Tripiṭaka Master Hsüan-tsang
Hymn of the Two Gateways of
Entrance and Emergence
COMPILED BY GUTOKU SHINRAN,
DISCIPLE OF ŚĀKYAMUNI
^On the Treatise on the Sutra of Immeasurable Life, one fascicle, translated by the Indian Tripiṭaka Master Bodhiruci during the Wei dynasty.
^This treatise is by Bodhisattva Vasubandhu (P’o-sou-p’an-tou).
“P’o-sou-p’an-tou” is a transliteration of the Sanskrit.
In old translations, his name was translated T’ien-ch’in, which is inaccurate;
in later translations, it is given as Shih-ch’in, which is correct.
The Upadeśa in a Gatha of Aspiration for Birth
has been named Treatise on the Pure Land by Master Shan-tao.
This treatise is also called the Treatise on Birth.
The “two gateways of entrance and emergence” come from this work.
^Bodhisattva Vasubandhu, relying on the true
And real virtues taught in the Mahayana sutras,
^With the mind that is single, took refuge
In the Tathagata of inconceivable light filling the ten quarters.
^Unhindered light is great compassion;
This light is the wisdom of all the Buddhas.
^In contemplating that world [of the Pure Land], it is boundless,
And vast and infinite, like space.
^The fifth of the five inconceivabilities is the power of Buddha-dharma,
Which includes the Buddha-land’s inconceivability.
^In it, there are two kinds of inconceivable power,
Which manifest the supreme virtues of that land of happiness.
^The first is karmic power; [the land] has been fulfilled
By the karmic power of Dharmākara’s great Vow.
^The second is the power of the good of Amida,
The perfectly enlightened Dharma-king, by which [the land] is embraced.
^Women, the disabled, and those of the two vehicles
Are never born in the Pure Land of happiness as they are;
^The sages of the Tathagata’s pure lotus
Are born transformed from Dharmākara’s lotus of perfect enlightenment.
^Although there are initially nine grades among practicers,
Now [in the Pure Land] there are no distinctions whatever;
^For all are the same in saying the nembutsu, following no other way.
It is like the rivers Tzu and Sheng becoming one taste on entering the sea.
^Contemplating the power of the Tathagata’s Primal Vow,
One sees that no foolish being who encounters it passes by in vain.
^When a person single-heartedly practices the saying of the Name alone,
It brings quickly to fullness and perfection [in that person] the great treasure ocean of true and real virtues.
^[Dharmākara] Bodhisattva, having practiced the five gates of entrance and emergence,
Has fulfilled the practice of both self-benefit and benefit of others.
^Through inconceivable billions of kalpas,
He has gradually fulfilled the five gates.
^What are the “five gates of mindfulness”?
Worship, praise, aspiration, discernment, and directing virtue.
^How is worship accomplished? He performed worship with bodily acts,
For Amida Buddha, the perfectly enlightened one,
^Guiding all beings with skillful, compassionate means,
Brings them to aspire to be born in the land of happiness.
^This is called the first gate of entrance;
Further, it is called entering the gate of approach.
^How is praise accomplished? He performed praise with verbal acts,
For [Amida Buddha] brings beings to say the Name in accord with the Name’s significance,
^And to practice in accord with reality,
In correspondence with the Tathagata’s light, the embodiment of wisdom;
^This comes about through the Primal Vow in which the Tathagata of unhindered light
Selected and adopted the nembutsu.
^This is called the second gate of entrance;
It is attaining entry into the great assembly.
^How is aspiration accomplished? He aspired constantly in his mind,
For [Amida Buddha] brings beings to practice single-heartedly the saying of the Name and aspire to be born in the Pure Land.
^Attaining entry into the lotus-held world,
They are led to practice samatha in accord with reality.
^This is called the third gate of entrance;
Further, it is called entering the grounds.
^How is discernment accomplished? He discerned with wisdom;
For [Amida Buddha] brings beings to contemplate that land with right-mindedness
^And practice vipasyana in accord with reality.
^On reaching that land,
^They are led to enjoy the delights of the various tastes of dharma.
This is called the fourth gate of entrance;
^Further, it is called entering the residence.
^Concerning the bodhisattva’s fulfillment of practice,
^Know that he has fulfilled the virtues of the four kinds of entrance
And thereby fulfilled the practice for self-benefit.
^Fifth, he has fulfilled the virtues of emergence.
Concerning the bodhisattva’s fifth gate of emergence,
^How is directing virtue accomplished? He aspired in his heart;
Never abandoning any sentient being in suffering,
^He took the directing of virtue as foremost, and has fulfilled
The mind of great compassion; thus he bestows virtues.
^On being born in that land, one is able swiftly and rapidly
To fulfill samatha and vipasyana
^And gain the power of compassionate means; thereupon,
One enters the gardens of birth-and-death and the forests of blind passions,
^And assuming various transformed bodies to guide beings, freely sports there with transcendent powers;
Attaining the state of teaching and guiding, one benefits beings.
^This is called the fifth gate of emergence,
Which is entering the state of sporting in the gardens and forests.
^Know that because of the directing of virtue through the power of the Primal Vow,
He has fulfilled the practice of benefiting others.
^The Buddha of unhindered light, when in the causal stage,
Awakened his aspiration and established the universal Vow.
^The bodhisattva has already attained the mind of wisdom,
Attained the mind of skillful means and the unobstructed mind,
^Fulfilled the wondrous, joyous, excellent, and true mind,
^And quickly realized supreme enlightenment.
^The virtues of self-benefit and benefiting others have thus been fulfilled;
Vasubandhu taught this as the gates of entrance and emergence.
Master T'an-luan of Ta-yen Temple
^Our teacher, Master T’an-luan, wrote a commentary
On the Treatise of Vasubandhu Bodhisattva [in which he states:]
^It is the fulfillment of the power of the Vow that is taught as the five kinds of mindfulness.
From the standpoint of the Buddha, the term “benefiting others” should be used;
^From the standpoint of sentient beings, we use “Other’s benefiting;”
Know that it is the Buddha’s power that is being discussed.
^To practice fully in accord with reality
Is to be in correspondence with the significance of the Name and with the Buddha’s light;
^This is shinjin, which is called “the mind that is single.”
^Foolish beings possessed of blind passions
^Attain nirvana without severing blind passions;
This is the virtue of the land of happiness, which is the spontaneous working [of the Vow].
^Concerning “blossoms from the muddy ponds,” the [Vimalakīrti] Sutra states:
“The lotus does not grow in the solid ground of lofty plateaus,
^But in the muddy ponds of lowland marshes.”
This is an analogy meaning that foolish beings, while in the mud of blind passions,
^Put forth the blossoms of the Buddha’s perfect enlightenment;
^This indicates the inconceivable power
^Of the Tathagata’s universal Primal Vow.
Thus, the two gates of entrance and emergence are taught as Other Power.
Master Tao-ch’o of Hsuan-chung Temple
^Master Tao-ch’o explains:
^The Great Collection Sutra states that in the last dharma-age,
^Out of all sentient beings who seek to perform practices and accomplish the way,
Not one will gain realization.
^To awaken aspiration and perform practices in this world
Is the Path of Sages and is termed self-power.
^The present is the last dharma-age; it is the world of the five defilements;
The Pure Land way alone affords passage.
^Wrongdoing and evil acts in the present age
Are incessant and are like violent winds and torrential rains.
^Through the universal Primal Vow we are brought to say the Name;
This Name is for the sake of the sentient beings of defilement and evil;
^Hence, the Buddhas all encourage us to follow the Pure Land path.
^Though we may commit evil all our lives,
^Shinjin of three aspects in correspondence [with the Name] is the mind that is single;
The mind that is single is the genuine mind and is in accord with reality.
^Any assertion that we will not be born is clearly baseless.
^We necessarily attain birth in the land of happiness,
^And thereupon realize that birth-and-death is itself great nirvana.
^This is the path of easy practice; it is termed Other Power.
Master Shan-tao of Kuang-ming Temple
^Master Shan-tao explains:
^Attaining Buddhahood through the nembutsu: this is the true essence of the Pure Land way.
^It is called the ocean of the One Vehicle;
It is also called the bodhi[sattva]-pitaka.
^It is the consummate teaching among consummate teachings,
The sudden teaching among sudden teachings.
^It is hard to encounter the true essence of the Pure Land way, hard to realize shinjin.
This is the most difficult of difficulties; nothing surpasses it.
^Śākyamuni and all the other Buddhas
Are truly our compassionate father and mother.
^With various compassionate means they lead us to awaken
Supreme shinjin that is true and real.
^The foolish person possessed of blind passions,
Through the power of the Buddha’s Vow, comes to be grasped.
^Such a person does not belong to the group of ordinary beings;
Such a person is a white lotus among people;
^This person of shinjin is the finest and most rare among human beings;
This person is wondrous, excellent, the best among the best.
^On reaching the land of happiness, necessarily, by the spontaneous working [of the Vow],
Such a person immediately attains the eternal bliss of dharma-nature.