劝发菩提心文 An Essay of Exhortation to Bring Forth the Bodhi Resolve

古杭梵天寺沙门实贤撰
By Shramana Shixian of the Brahma Heaven Monastery in Ancient Hangzhou

宣公上人讲1985年1979年合并版
Explained by the Venerable Master Hua in 1985 and 1979

国际译经学院记录翻译
Translated by the International Translation Institute


正文 Text

不肖愚下凡夫僧实贤,泣血稽颡,哀告现前大众,及当世净信男女等,惟愿慈悲,少加听察。
I, the unworthy Shr Syan, a lowly, ordinary Sanghan, weeping blood and bowing to the ground, exhort the great assembly and present-day men and women of pure faith: please listen and consider what I am about to say.


尝闻入道要门,发心为首;修行急务,立愿居先。
We have heard that resolving the mind is foremost among the essential doors for entering the Path, and that making vows is first among the crucial matters in cultivation.

愿立则众生可度,心发则佛道堪成。
By making vows, we can save living beings. By resolving our minds, we can realize the Buddhas’ Path.

苟不发广大心,立坚固愿,则纵经尘劫,依然还在轮回;虽有修行,总是徒劳辛苦。
If we do not make our resolve great and our vows firm, we will remain on the turning wheel throughout as many kalpas as there are particles of dust. Any cultivation will be only bitter toil done in vain.

故华严经云:「忘失菩提心,修诸善法,是名魔业」。
忘失尚尔,况未发乎?
As the Flower Adornment Sutra says, “If you forget your resolve upon Bodhi, your cultivation of even wholesome practices becomes the karma of demons.”
This it is clear that forgetting our resolve upon Bodhi is even worse than having never made the resolve. 故知欲学如来乘,必先具发菩萨愿,不可缓也。
Thus we know that anyone wishing to study the vehicle of the Thus Come Ones must first make the vows of a Bodhisattva without delay.



然心愿差别,其相乃多;若不指陈,如何趋向?
今为大众略而言之。相有其八:所谓邪正真伪大小偏圆是也。云何名为邪正真伪大小偏圆耶?
But resolves and vows are various and they have many aspects. If they are not pointed out, how can we know what direction to take? I will now explain them in general for the great assembly. There are eight aspects of a resolve: deviant, proper, true, false, great, small, partial, and complete. What is meant by deviant, proper, true, false, great, small, partial, and complete?
世有行人,一向修行,不究自心,但知外务。或求利养,或好名闻,或贪现世欲乐,或望未来果报。如是发心,名之为邪。
A cultivator’s resolve is deviant if in his practice he does not investigate his own mind but knows only about external matters. Perhaps he seeks benefit and offerings, likes fame and a good reputation, is greedy for objects of pleasure in the present, or he may hope for reward in the future. A resolve such as this is deviant.
既不求利养名闻,又不贪欲乐果报,唯为生死,为菩提。如是发心,名之为正。
When a cultivator seeks neither gain nor fame and has no greed either for pleasure or for rewards, but wishes only to settle the matter of birth and death, and to attain Bodhi, then his resolve is proper.

念念上求佛道,心心下化众生。闻佛道长远,不生退怯;观众生难度,不生厌倦。如登万仞之山,必穷其顶;如上九层之塔,必造其颠。如是发心,名之为真。
If, in moment after moment, he seeks the path of the Buddhas above; in thought after thought, he transforms living beings below; if he hears that the road to Buddhahood is long and far, yet does not retreat in fear; if he observes that beings are hard to transform, yet does not become weary; if he proceeds as though climbing a ten-thousand-foot mountain, determined to reach the summit or proceeds as though ascending a nine-storied stupa, fixed upon advancing to the top, then his resolve is true.
有罪不忏,有过不除,内浊外清,始勤终怠。虽有好心,多为名利之所夹杂;虽有善法,复为罪业之所染污。如是发心,名之为伪。
If he commits offenses but does not repent of them; if he has faults but does not change them; if he is turbid inside but makes a show of purity; if he is diligent at the start but lax later on; if he has good intentions but mixes them with a quest for name and gain; if he does wholesome practices, but defiles them with the karma created by committing offenses, then his resolve is false.

众生界尽,我愿方尽;菩提道成,我愿方成。如是发心,名之为大。
“When the realm of living beings has come to an end, then my vows will end. When the Bodhi Way is realized, then my vows will be fulfilled.” Such a resolve is great.
观三界如牢狱,视生死如怨家;但期自度,不欲度人。如是发心,名之为小。
If he views the Triple Realm as a prison; if he treats birth and death as an enemy; if he intends to save only himself and has no wish to save others, then his resolve is small.


若于心外见有众生,及以佛道,愿度愿成;功勋不忘,知见不泯。如是发心,名之为偏。
If he sees living beings as existing outside of his mind; if he does wish to save others and to realize Buddhahood, but does not forget his own accumulation of merit and does not get rid of his worldly knowledge and views, then his resolve is partial.

若知自性是众生,故愿度脱。自性是佛道,故愿成就。不见一法,离心别有。 ;以虚空之心,发虚空之愿,行虚空之行,证虚空之果,亦无虚空之相可得。如是发心,名之为圆。
If he knows that his own nature is the same as living beings and, therefore, vows to save them; if he knows that his own nature is the same as the Buddha Path and, therefore, vows to realize it; if he does not see even one thing as existing apart from the mind; if his mind is like empty space; if he makes vows that are like empty space; if he cultivates practices that are like empty space; if he attains a fruition like empty space, and yet does not grasp at the characteristic of empty space, then his resolve is complete.

知此八种差别,则知审察;知审察,则知去取;知去取,则可发心。
Having understood these eight different aspects of a resolve, we should know how to investigate and contemplate them. Knowing how to investigate and contemplate them, we know which to keep and which to discard. Knowing which to keep and which to discard, we can then resolve our minds.

云何审察?谓我所发心,于此八中,为邪为正?为真为伪?为大为小?为偏为圆?云何去取?所谓去邪、去伪、去小、去偏,取正、取真、取大、取圆。如此发心,方得名为真正发菩提心也。  
What does it mean to “investigate and contemplate them?” We must ask ourselves, “Which of these eight aspects does my resolve have? Is my resolve deviant or proper, true or false, great or small, partial or complete?” What does it mean to “keep or discard?” It means that we discard the deviant, the false, the small, and the partial, and that we keep the proper, the true, the great, and the complete. To make a resolve in this way is truly and properly to resolve upon Bodhi.



此菩提心,诸善中王;必有因缘,方得发起。今言因缘,略有十种。何等为十?一者念佛重恩故,二者念父母恩故,三者念师长恩故,四者念施主恩故,五者念众生恩故,六者念生死苦故,七者尊重己灵故,八者忏悔业障故,九者求生净土故,十者为令正法得久住故。
The resolve upon Bodhi is the foremost among all good things. It can arise only due to certain causes and conditions. In general, there are ten causes and conditions, which will now be discussed. What are the ten? The first is mindfulness of the Buddhas’ deep kindness. The second is mindfulness of our parents’ kindness. The third is mindfulness of our teachers’ and elders’ kindness. The fourth is mindfulness of donors’ kindness. The fifth is mindfulness of living beings’ kindness. The sixth is mindfulness of the suffering in birth and death. The seventh is reverence for our own spiritual nature. The eighth is repenting of karmic obstacles and reforming. The ninth is the wish for rebirth in the Pure Land. The tenth is the wish to cause the Proper Dharma to remain in the world for a long time.


  云何念佛重恩?谓我释迦如来,最初发心,为我等故,行菩萨道,经无量劫,备受诸苦。我造业时,佛则哀怜,方便教化,而我愚痴,不知信受。我堕地狱,佛复悲痛,欲代我苦,而我业重,不能救拔。我生人道,佛以方便,令种善根,世世生生,随逐于我,心无暂舍。佛初出世,我尚沉沦,今得人身,佛已灭度。何罪而生末法?何福而预出家?何障而不见金身?何幸而躬逢舍利?如是思惟,向使不种善根,何以得闻佛法?不闻佛法,焉知常受佛恩?此恩此德,丘山难喻。自非发广大心,行菩萨道,建立佛法,救度众生,纵使粉身碎骨,岂能酬答?是为发菩提心第一因缘也。
What is mindfulness of the Buddha’s deep kindness? After our Thus Come One Shakyamuni first made his resolve, he walked the Bodhisattva Path for our sakes and passed through an infinite number of kalpas, enduring all manner of suffering. When I create bad karma, the Buddha pities me and with expedient means teaches and transforms me. I, however, remain ignorant and do not know how to accept the teaching with faith. When I fall into the hells, the Buddha again compassionately feels the pain and wishes to undergo suffering on my behalf. But my karma is heavy, and I cannot be pulled out. When I am reborn as a human, the Buddha uses expedient means to cause me to plant roots of goodness. In life after life, he follows me and does not forsake me in his thoughts for an instant. When the Buddha first appeared in the world, I was still sunk in the lower realms. Now that I have a human body, the Buddha has already passed into still quietude. What are my offenses that have caused me to be born in the Dharma Ending Age? What are my blessings that have made it possible for me to leave the home and family life? What are my obstacles that have prevented me from seeing his golden body? What good fortune has made it possible for me to encounter his sharira? I contemplate in that way. If I did not plant good roots in the past, how else could I be able to hear the Buddhadharma? And if I had never heard the Buddhadharma, how could I know that the Buddha is always kind to me? His kindness and his virtue are greater than the highest mountain. If I fail to make a vast and great resolve to cultivate the Bodhisattva Path and to establish the Buddhadharma in order to save living beings, even to the point that in making this effort my bones wear away and my body is wrecked, then how can I possibly hope to repay his kindness? This is the first cause and condition for making the resolve to attain Bodhi.


云何念父母恩?哀哀父母,生我劬劳。十月三年,怀胎乳哺;推干去湿,咽苦吐甘,才得成人。指望绍继门风,供承祭祀。今我等既已出家,滥称释子,忝号沙门。甘旨不供,祭扫不给;生不能养其口体,死不能导其神灵。于世间则为大损,于出世又无实益。两途既失,重罪难逃。如是思惟,惟有百劫千生,常行佛道;十方三世,普度众生。则不惟一生父母,生生父母,俱蒙拔济。不惟一人父母,人人父母,尽可超升。是为发菩提心第二因缘也。
What is mindfulness of our parents' kindness? Alas for my parents! I was born through much toil. I was nurtured nine months in the womb and was suckled three years at the breast. My bottom was dried and my diapers were changed. I was fed delicacies while my parents toiled bitterly. Only then was I able to grow up. They hoped only that I might glorify and carry on the family name and continue the ritual offerings to our ancestors. But now I have left the home and family, and am gratuitously called a disciple of Shakyamuni and have dared to assume the title of Shramana. I neither offer delicacies to my parents nor sweep the ancestral graves. While they live, I cannot take care of their physical needs; after they depart, I cannot guide their souls. In this world, I have thereby hurt them greatly, and as they leave this world, I am of no real help. To cause them such a double loss is a serious offence. How can I possibly avoid the consequences!

I contemplate in this way: I must always cultivate the Buddha's Path through hundreds of kalpas and in thousands of lives and save living beings everywhere throughout the ten directions and three periods of time. I will rescue not only my parents of this life but will do the same for my parents of every life. I will save not only one person's parents but everyone's parents.

This is the second cause and condition for making the resolve to attain Bodhi.


  云何念师长恩​​?父母虽能生育我身,若无世间师长,则不知礼义;若无出世师长,则不解佛法。不知礼义,则同于异类;不解佛法,则何异俗人?今我等粗知礼义,略解佛法,袈裟被体,戒品沾身。此之重恩,从师长得。若求小果,仅能自利;今为大乘,普愿利人,则世出世间二种师长,俱蒙利益。是为发菩提心第三因缘也。
What is mindfulness of our teachers' and elders' kindness? My parents bore me and raised me, but if not for educators and elders, I would know nothing of propriety or righteousness. If not for spiritual teachers and elders, I would understand nothing of the Buddhadharma. One who knows nothing of propriety of righteousness may be considered a mere animal. One who understands nothing of the Buddhadharma is no different than an ordinary person. Now we know the rudiments of propriety and righteousness and have a rough understanding of the Buddhadharma.

The kashaya sash covers our bodies; the various precepts permeate our being. We have obtained these through the deep kindness of our teachers and elders. If we seek a small accomplishment, we can benefit only ourselves. Within the Great Vehicle our wish is to benefit all people. In that way, we can benefit both secular and world-transcending teachers and elders.

This is the third cause and condition for making the resolve to attain Bodhi.
云何念施主恩?谓我等今者,日用所资,并非己有。二时粥饭,四季衣裳,疾病所需,身口所费,此皆出自他力,将为我用。彼则竭力躬耕,尚难糊口;我则安坐受食,犹不称心。彼则纺织不已,犹自艰难;我则安服有余,宁知爱惜?彼则荜门蓬户,扰攘终身;我则广宇闲庭,悠游卒岁。以彼劳而供我逸,于心安乎?将他利而润己身,于理顺乎?自非悲智双运,福慧二严,檀信沾恩,众生受赐,则粒米寸丝,酬偿有分,恶报难逃。是为发菩提心第四因缘也。
What is mindfulness of donor's kindness? None of the materials we use in our daily lives belong to us. Porridge and rice for our two meals, clothing for the four seasons, medicines for our illnesses - all the expenses for our physical needs - come through the strength of others. In order to provide for us, they work hard to plow the fields, yet can barely provide for themselves, while we sit comfortably to receive our food and still feel dissatisfied. Our donors spin and weave without cease and still suffer hardship, while we are comfortable, with more clothes than we can wear. We are even unaware that we should cherish what we have.

They live to the ends of their days in poor and humble dwellings amid nerve-wracking clamor, while we dwell among vast courtyards and in vacant halls amid refinement and ease throughout the year. They offer the fruits of their labors to supply our idleness; how can our hearts be at peace? Is it reasonable to use others' goods to nourish our own bodies? If we fail to be both compassionate and wise and to adorn ourselves with both blessings and wisdom, so that the faithful donors are blessed with kindness and living beings receive bounty, then even one grain of rice or one inch of thread will incur a debt. It will be hard to escape an evil retribution.

This is the fourth cause and condition for making the resolve to attain Bodhi.


云何念众生恩?谓我与众生,从旷劫来,世世生生,互为父母,彼此有恩。今虽隔世昏迷,互不相识,以理推之,岂无报效?今之披毛带角,安知非昔为其子乎?今之蠕动蜎飞,安知不曾为我父乎?每见幼离父母,长而容貌都忘,何况宿世亲缘,今则张王难记。彼其号呼于地狱之下,宛转于饿鬼之中,苦痛谁知?饥虚安诉?我虽不见不闻,彼必求拯求济。非经不能陈此事,非佛不能道此言,彼邪见人,何足以知此?是故菩萨观于蝼蚁,皆是过去父母,未来诸佛,常思利益,念报其恩。是为发菩提心第五因缘也。
What is mindfulness of living beings' kindness? In life after life, from distant kalpas onwards, every living being and I have been each other's father and mother. We have been kind to one another. Now although the passage of time has separated us, and in our confusion we do not recognize each other, it is only logical that we repay them for their toil. How do we know that we were not sons in lives past of those who are now fur-bearing and capped with horns? How do we know that those who now crawl on the ground and fly in the air were not our fathers in lives past?

Our parents constantly look after us, but we left them when we were young; we have grown up and have forgotten their faces. Even less do we remember our family and friends of lives past, and now it is difficult to remember if we were once named Smith or Jones. As our ancestors wail and cr out in the hells, or are born over and over again as hungry ghosts, who can know of their suffering and pain? They are starving; to whom can they appeal? I cannot sea or hear them, but they must be seeking rescue and release. The sutras reveal this situation with exceptional clarity. Only the Buddhas could have spoken these words. How could people with deviant views know of this?

For these reasons, Bodhisattvas observe that even grubs and ants were their parents in lives past and have the potential to be Buddhas in the future. They always think of benefiting them and remmeber to return their kindness.

This is the fifth cause and condition for making the resolve to attain Bodhi.


  云何念生死苦?谓我与众生,从旷劫来,常在生死,未得解脱。人间天上,此界他方,出没万端,升沉片刻。俄焉而天,俄焉而人,俄焉而地狱、畜生、饿鬼。黑门朝出而暮还,铁窟暂离而又入。登刀山也,则举体无完肤;攀剑树也,则方寸皆割裂。热铁不除饥,吞之则肝肠尽烂;烊铜难疗渴,饮之则骨肉都糜。利锯解之,则断而复续;巧风吹之,则死已还生。猛火城中,忍听叫嗥之惨;煎熬盘里,但闻苦痛之声。冰冻始凝,则状似青莲蕊结;血肉既裂,则身如红藕华开。一夜死生,地下每经万遍;一朝苦痛,人间已过百年。频烦狱卒疲劳,谁信阎翁教诫?受时知苦,虽悔恨以何追?脱已还忘,其作业也如故。鞭驴出血,谁知吾母之悲?牵豕就屠,焉识乃翁之痛?食其子而不知,文王尚尔;啖其亲而未识,凡类皆然。当年恩爱,今作怨家;昔日寇仇,今成骨肉。昔为母而今为妇,旧是翁而新作夫。宿命知之,则可羞可耻;天眼视之,则可笑可怜。粪秽丛中,十月包藏难过;脓血道里,一时倒下可怜。少也何知,东西莫辨;长而有识,贪欲便生。须臾而老病相寻,迅速而无常又至。风火交煎,神识于中溃乱;精血既竭,皮肉自外干枯。无一毛而不被针钻,有一窍而皆从刀割。龟之将烹,其脱壳也犹易;神之欲谢,其去体也倍难。心无常主,类商贾而处处奔驰;身无定形,似房屋而频频迁徙。大千尘点,难穷往返之身;四海波涛,孰计别离之泪?峨峨积骨,过彼崇山;莽莽横尸,多于大地。向使不闻佛语,此事谁见谁闻?未睹佛经,此理焉知焉觉?其或依前贪恋,仍旧痴迷;只恐万劫千生,一错百错。人身难得而易失,良时易往而难追。道路冥冥,别离长久;三途恶报,还自受之。痛不可言,谁当相代?兴言及此,能不寒心?是故宜应断生死流,出爱欲海;自他兼济,彼岸同登。旷劫殊勋,在此一举。是为发菩提心第六因缘也。
What is mindfulness of the suffering of birth and death? From distant kalpas onwards, living beings and I have always been involved in birth and death and have not attained liberation. Whether we have been among people or in the heavens, in this world or in another, we have risen and fallen uncountable times. We ascend or fall in an instant - suddenly a god, suddenly a human, suddenly an animal, a hungry ghost, or a denizan of the hells.

We leave the black gate at dawn but return at night. We climb out of the pit of iron briefly but then fall back in again. As we ascend the mountain of knives, our bodies are slashed until not a bit of flesh remains. As we climb the tree of swords, our hearts are slit open. The hot iron does not cure hunger; swallowing ir roasts the liver and intestines. The broth of boiling copper does not quench thirst; drinking it dissolves the flesh and bones. Sharp saws dismember the body; once cut, it comes back together again. Clever breezes fan the body; it dies but quickly returns to life. In the city of raging fire, we endure the sounds of bloodcurdling screams and wails. In the pot of boiling oil, we hear only cries of excruciating pain. The body begins to freeze and harden and resembles a blue lotus forming a bud. Then the flesh and veins crack open and the body looks like a red lotus in bloom.

In a single night, the denizens of the hells pass through ten thousand births and deaths. In a single morning, the sufferings in the hells are what humans would go through in a hundred years. The harried wardens of the hells become weary. Who believes that King Yama is not teaching us with this warning? Yet only while actually experiencing suffering do we know its biterness, but our regrets come too late. Once free, we forget again, and then we create the same karma as before. We whip the mule until it bleeds; who could know that it is our mother in anguish? We lead the pig to slaughter; who could know that it is our father in agony? We eat our own sons without being aware, just like King Wen. And we gulp down our own relatives without recognizing them. This is the way of all ordinary people.

The loved ones of yesteryear are now sworn enemies. Rivals of days past are now our blood relatives. Our mothers of past lives are our wives of the present. Our fathers-in-law of old are now our husbands. Those with knowledge of past lives recognize these changes; they feel shame and embarrassment. Those with Heavenly Eye see these situations; they find them ridiculous and pathetic.

Amid excrement and filth we pass nine difficult months. We emerge from the path of pus and blood in a pitiable state. When young, we know nothing and cannot tell east from west. As adults, we become more aware, but our greed and desire arises. In an instant, old age and illness overtake us; sudden;y death arrives. Amid the blaze of wind and fire, our spirit becomes disordered; our vital energies and blood are exhausted. Our flesh and skin wither and dry up. We feel as if iron needles are piercing our every pore and as if knives are hacking our every orifice.

When the spirit leaves the body at death, it feels more pain than does a live turtle having its shell ripped off before it is thrown in the pot.

The mind has no fixed purpose. It flits hurriedly from place to place like a travelling peddler. Our bodies have no fixed shapes. We continually exchange them as if we were moving from room to room in a house. We have had and lost more bodies than there are particles of dust in a billion worlds. We have cried more tears at parting than all the water in the billows of the four seas. The stacks of bones rise higher than mountain peaks. The heaps of corpses are vaster than the earth.

If the Buddha had not spoken of this, who would have recognized or even imagined these things? If we do not read the Buddha's sutras, how can we know and be aware of these truths? If we continue our hankering for love and pleasure, we will forever remain stupid and confuse.

Then the grave concern is that one mistake has led to another for ten thousand kalpas, through thousands of lives. A human body is hard to obtain and easy to lose. Good times soon pass and cannot be brought back. The road is dark and gloomy, and separations last a long time. I must endure evil retribution in the Three Paths alone. The pain is unspeakable; who would stand in for me? Even discussing this subject chills my heart.

We, therefore, must halt the flow of birth and death, get out of the ocean of love and desire, save ourselves and save others, and together reach the other shore. Of all things from the beginning of time onward, this is the most extraordinary achievement, yet one only needs to begin.

This is the sixth cause and condition for making the resolve to attain Bodhi.


  云何尊重己灵?谓我现前一心,直下与释迦如来无二无别,云何世尊无量劫来早成正觉,而我等昏迷颠倒,尚做凡夫?又佛世尊则具有无量神通智慧,功德庄严,而我等则但有无量业系烦恼,生死缠缚。心性是一,迷悟天渊,静言思之,岂不可耻?譬如无价宝珠,没在淤泥,视同瓦砾,不加爱重。是故宜应以无量善法,对治烦恼。修德有功,则性德方显,如珠被濯,悬在高幢,洞达光明,映蔽一切。可谓不孤佛化,不负己灵。是为发菩提心第七因缘也。
What is reverence for our own spiritual nature? It is that in the present, single thought, I can immediately be one with the Thus Come One, Shakyamuni, without any difference at all. Why is it, then, that the World Honored One realized proper enlightenment an infinite number of kalpas ago, yet we are still muddled, confused, and upside down? Why are we still only ordinary people?

The Buddha, the World Honored One, has also perfected infinite spiritual penetrations, wisdom, and the adornments of merit and virtue, while we only have an infinite number of karmic ties and afflictions and are bound to birth and death. Our minds and natures and his are one, but our confusion and his enlightenment are as far apart as the sky and the abysmal deeps. In stillness, contemplate this matter: how can we not be ashamed?

It is as if we had dropped a priceless pearl into a mud puddle, considering it as worthless as a broken tile, neither cherishing nor esteeming it. We should, therefore, use an infinite number of wholesome methods to serve as antidotes to our afflictions. By cultivating virtue, we gain merit, and the virtue of our nature can then appear. Thus we wash the pearl and set it up high, where it releases a penetrating radiance that outshines everything. Then we can say that we have not been ungrateful to the Buddha's teaching and have not failed to uncover our own spiritual nature.

This is the seventh cause and condition for making the resolve to attain Bodhi.


  云何忏悔业障?经言:犯一吉罗,如四天王寿五百岁,堕泥犁中。吉罗小罪,尚获此报,何况重罪,其报难言!今我等日用之中,一举一动,恒违戒律;一餐一水,频犯尸罗。一日所犯,亦应无量,何况终身历劫,所起之罪,更不可言矣。且以五戒言之,十人九犯,少露多藏。五戒名为优婆塞戒,尚不具足,何况沙弥、比丘、菩萨等戒,又不必言矣。问其名,则曰我比丘也;问其实,则尚不足为优婆塞也,岂不可愧哉!当知佛戒不受则已,受则不可毁犯;不犯则已,犯则终必堕落。若非自愍愍他,自伤伤他,身口并切,声泪俱下,普与众生,求哀忏悔,则千生万劫,恶报难逃。是为发菩提心第八因缘也。

  云何求生净土?谓在此土修行,其进道也难;彼土往生,其成佛也易。易故一生可致,难故累劫未成。是以往圣前贤,人人趣向;千经万论,处处指归。末世修行,无越于此。然经称少善不生,多福乃致。言多福,则莫若执持名号;言多善,则莫若发广大心。是以暂持圣号,胜于布施百年;一发大心,超过修行历劫。盖念佛本期作佛,大心不发,则虽念奚为?发心原为修行,净土不生,则虽发易退。是则下菩提种,耕以念佛之犁,道果自然增长;乘大愿船,入于净土之海,西方决定往生。是为发菩提心第九因缘也。

  云何令正法久住?谓我世尊,无量劫来,为我等故,修菩提道,难行能行,难忍能忍,因圆果满,遂致成佛。既成佛已,化缘周讫,入于涅槃。正法像法,皆已灭尽,仅存末法,有教无人。邪正不分,是非莫辨;竞争人我,尽逐利名。举目滔滔,天下皆是。不知佛是何人?法是何义?僧是何名?衰残至此,殆不忍言;每一思及,不觉泪下。我为佛子,不能报恩。内无益于己,外无益于人;生无益于时,死无益于后。天虽高,不能覆我;地虽厚,不能载我。极重罪人,非我而谁?由是痛不可忍,计无所出。顿忘鄙陋,忽发大心。虽不能挽回末运于此时,决当图护持正法于来世。是故偕诸善友,同到道场,述为忏摩,建兹法会。发四十八之大愿,愿愿度生;期百千劫之深心,心心作佛。从于今日,尽未来际,毕此一形,誓归安养。既登九品,回入娑婆,俾得佛日重辉,法门再阐。僧海澄清于此界,人民被化于东方;劫运为之更延,正法得以久住。此则区区真实苦心。是为发菩提心第十因缘也。

  如是十缘备识,八法周知,则趣向有门,开发有地。相与得此人身,居于华夏。六根无恙,四大轻安;具有信心,幸无魔障。况今我等,又得出家,又受具戒,又遇道场,又闻佛法,又瞻舍利,又修忏法,又值善友,又具胜缘。不于今日发此大心,更待何日?惟愿大众,愍我愚诚,怜我苦志,同立此愿,同发是心。未发者今发,已发者增长;已增长者,今令相续。勿畏难而退怯,勿视易而轻浮;勿欲速而不久长,勿懈怠而无勇猛。勿委靡而不振起,勿因循而更期待;勿因愚钝而一向无心,勿以根浅而自鄙无分。譬诸种树,种久则根浅而日深;又如磨刀,磨久则刀钝而成利。岂可因浅勿种,任其自枯?因钝弗磨,置之无用?又,若以修行为苦,则不知懈怠尤苦。修行则勤劳暂时,安乐永劫;懈怠则偷安一世,受苦多生。况乎以净土为舟航,则何愁退转?又得无生为忍力,则何虑艰难?当知地狱罪人,尚发菩提于往劫;岂可人伦佛子,不立大愿于今生?无始昏迷,往者既不可谏;而今觉悟,将来犹尚可追。然迷而未悟,固可哀怜;苟知而不行,尤为痛惜。若惧地狱之苦,则精进自生;若念无常之速,则懈怠不起。又须以佛法为鞭策,善友为提携;造次弗离,终身依赖,则无退失之虞矣。勿言一念轻微,勿谓虚愿无益;心真则事实,愿广则行深。虚空非大,心王为大;金刚非坚,愿力最坚。大众诚能不弃我语,则菩提眷属,从此联姻;莲社宗盟,自今缔好。所愿同生净土,同见弥陀,同化众生,同成正觉。则安知未来三十二相,百福庄严,不从今日发心立愿而始也。愿与大众共勉之。幸甚幸甚!