Master Jingzong; English translation by Foying, edited by Jingxin
There is no question, however tough, that can stump an Amitabha reciter. He may not find the right words for a perfect answer or may even run out of ammunition to defend his case. But he remains resolute. This is because he is blessed by the amazing power of Amitabha Buddha.
Imagine that a man of superhuman strength is carrying a tree forward in the face of a strong headwind. The branches and leaves of the tree are being blown backward, giving the impression that they are going in the opposite direction. In fact, they are being carried forward steadily in the embrace of this mighty person.
In this analogy, the tree represents the Amitabha-reciter, while the headwind stands for the endless trials and tribulations in his life. The branches and leaves that are blown backward symbolize the trifles which he sweats over, and the man of superhuman strength is Amitabha Buddha.
On the surface, Amitabha-reciters may not be smart enough to deal with all the nitty-gritty of daily life. Under certain circumstances, they may even do wrong, and create bad karma and suffer hardship as a result. However, they are moving forward steadily, in accordance with the Fundamental Vow of Amitabha Buddha, all the way to the Land of Bliss, the realm of ultimate truth.
If we do not practise Amitabha-recitation, we are like a tree lying on the ground. This tree cannot travel an inch, even if its branches and leaves desperately stretch out against the fierce winds. Those who do not recite the name of Amitabha Buddha never find the truth despite their painstaking efforts.
Most learned people in this world fall into this category. In their quest for ultimate truth, they are far inferior to the foolish men and women who achieve perfect enlightenment by reciting Amitabha Buddha’s name.
In the Infinite Life Sutra, the Buddha says, “May I quickly achieve perfect enlightenment in this world so as to remove the roots of afflictions of birth-and-death for all.”