Means of Salvation

Yutang Lin

Arbitrary actions out of ignorance add to confusion and sorrow;
Even having learned to repent, still could not change the course.
Sutras repeatedly advice on making offerings to improve merits;
Teaching us means of salvation is profound grace of Tathagatas.


Due to heavy and deep-rooted karma of sentient beings, they are tightly bound by entanglements and restrains. As they struggle blindly the situation only gets worsen. Some are lucky enough to have come across and accepted the teachings. Even though they have realized that repentance is due, their virtuous efforts are so meager that the resulting merits could hardly match their karmic predicaments. Out of great compassion Buddhas and Bodhisattvas taught repeatedly, as recorded in Sutras, that there are certain types of activities that could help accumulate much merits. Such means of salvation are, for example, repetition of the name of a Buddha or Bodhisattva, recitation of sutras, having images of Buddhas or Bodhisattvas made for the purpose of worship, saluting them, exclaiming praises to them, and making all sorts of offerings to them. Through engaging in such activities, one would accumulate incomparably much more merits than what one puts into them. When we practice such means of salvation, we should realize the profound grace of Buddhas that is inherent in revealing such ways that are convenient to us and within our reach. Prior to obtaining such knowledge, there seemed to be no hope of ever escaping from sufferings. Now that the path is known, all we need do is to make efforts to advance the progress, and ultimate liberation from suffering could be expected.

Written in Chinese and translated on September 14, 2002
El Cerrito, California

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