A Poem on Longing for Home｜May I Grow Old Gracefully in the Buddha’s Light
By Master Jueyue
Lustful men and envious women, desiring a lifetime together
Entwined in passion, how long will it last?
Though sworn to grow old together,
part they must when their affair has passed.
Sweet talk only gives a moment’s joy,
No one knows what lies ahead, true love rarely stays.
The say their bond is deep and strong,
When love is gone a heartache alone remains.
Vows of everlasting love we made,
Till death do us part.
The impermanence of life leaves our wants in vain.
Life and death flow headlong in life’s torrent.
Life is just a dream, an illusion in which we drift,
Debauchery and pleasures in which we indulge.
Once I look back on those years,
I see that they are all but a mirage.
Time flies and we all age fast,
Rushing around just trying to survive;
Where to find the sincere one amid a million faces,
Struggling in the mortal world leaves all in sorrow and tribulations.
All the life’s paths I have plodded,
Seeking and searching for
All the world’s buzz and glamour, but
Ultimately they are not life’s pillar.
Slaves to joys and sorrows, traumatised by losses,
Never unentangled from animosity issues,
Where is the hope for a carefree life?
Birth, ageing, sickness, and death,
Life’s so fragile and fleeting,
When can there be a knowing smile?
Let’s devote this life to reciting the Buddha’s name,
In exchange for a life of peace and tranquillity;
Breaking free from the bondage of samsara, and
Entering the subtle and serene world of the Pure Land.
How many lifetimes of practice before the Buddhas
Have led to the ripening of the karmic conditions
For reciting Amitabha’s name in this lifetime,
Day and night, never ceasing.
How I age gracefully,
In the Buddha’s light.
The most beautiful and tender thing in the world is,
None other than that
I recite your name in the mundane world, and
You await me in your name.
I recite your name for my entire life, while
You have waited for me for ten kalpas long.
(Translated by the Pure Land School Translation Team;
edited by Householder Fojin)
- Recitation of Amitabha’s name, relying on his Fundamental Vow (the 18th)
- Rebirth of ordinary beings in the Pure Land’s Realm of Rewards
- Rebirth assured in the present lifetime
- Non-retrogression achieved in this lifetime
The 18th Vow of Amitabha Buddha
If, when I achieve Buddhahood, sentient beings of the ten directions who sincerely and joyfully entrust themselves to me, wish to be reborn in my land and recite my name, even ten times, should fail to be born there, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. Excepted are those who commit the five gravest transgressions or slander the correct Dharma.
Faith in, and acceptance of, Amitabha’s deliverance
Single-minded recitation of Amitabha’s name
Aspiration to rebirth in Amitabha’s Pure Land
Comprehensive deliverance of all sentient beings