Buddhism as an Education

The path to Enlightenment



Namo Amitabha


Why is it that after relying on wisdom, we should still put our complete Faith in the teachings of the sages? It is because the Pure Land method, belonging as it does to the Mahayana tradition, is concerned with many transcendental realms beyond human knowledge or wisdom. Therefore, there are many realities that ordinary sentient beings cannot readily understand.
Why is it that after relying on wisdom, we should still put our complete Faith in the teachings of the sages? It is because the Pure Land method, belonging as it does to the Mahayana tradition, is concerned with many transcendental realms beyond human knowledge or wisdom. Therefore, there are many realities that ordinary sentient beings cannot readily understand.


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Buddhism of Wisdom & Faith: Pure Land Principles and Practice

Dharma Master Thich Thien Tam
Translated and edited by the Van Hien Study Group
Sutra Translation Committee of the United States and Canada



Acknowledgements


We acknowledge our debt to numerous good spiritual advisors, who through their comments, corrections, encouragement and sometimes gentle prodding, have mad this translation possible. Special thanks go to Dharma Master Lok To of the Sutra Translation Committee for his generous sponsorship of the fourth revised edition and his continuous moral support; Dharma Master Thich Duc Niem for his incisive observations and clarification of crucial points of doctrine; Dharma Master Thich Phuoc Bon for his patient and thorough explanation of many difficult passages; Dr. C.T. Shen for kindly reviewing the manuscript of the first edition in 1990, during the busy Christmas/New Year season, in between two major retreats; and Mr. Lee Tsu-ku, without whose crucial initiative and timely follow-up this book could never have achieved the worldwide dissemination it now enjoys.

We would also like to thank the following Dharma friends, in the order of our association with them on this project: Mr. D. Bakhroushin (for his prodigious comments and late night exchange of ideas); Ms. Tomoe Arai (for spotting a Dharma friend and providing materials on Jodo Shinshu); Mr. Nguyen Duc Hoang (now Rev. Thich Minh Hanh of Chicago); Mr. Duong Dinh Hy (our consulting sinologist-cum-Zen expert, who cheerfully went over the fine print of all our translations); Rev. Mitsuye Kamada; Mr. Vinh Nguyen (a most prolific and enthusiastic writer of Dharma books); Mr. Thomas Leung; Dr. Thien Hue; Ms. Jean Kames; Mrs. Nguyen Thanh Dieu (whose assistance with the "Micro-Dictionary of the Avatamsaka Sutra" made this translation possible); Mr. Le Quang Thong (for his extensive and discerning comments at extremely short notice); Ms. Minh-Tam Le and Ms. Lien Smith (ever generous in their support of the Dharma).

Last but not least, we wholeheartedly acknowledge our great debt to Prof. A.J. Prince for his incisive observations and pertinent comments on the early chapters; Prof. J.C. Cleary, whose thoughtful ideas and pointed suggestions concerning aspects of the Dharma were deeply appreciated; and Prof. Forrest G. Smith -- his incisive comments and observations could fill book in themselves!

As this book was being readied for printing, we learned of the passing of Dr. Tran Vy as well as the grave illness of Mrs. Y. Tashiro. May they always dwell, together will [sic] all sentient beings, in the Pure Land of their own mind.


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Namo Amitabha

Life’s most awesome event is death, and death comes to all without regard to wealth, beauty, intelligence or fame. Death is inevitable, but how you die—terrified and confused, or with confidence and spiritual mastery—is within your control.
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