Striking a Bell as a Metaphor for the Buddha’s Unconditional Deliverance
A bell does not ring by itself if not struck; Amitabha cannot deliver us if we do not entrust ourselves to him.
Striking the bell results in its ringing; reciting Amitabha’s name results in rebirth in the Land of Bliss.
“A bell does not ring by itself if not struck”: A large strike produces a large sound; a small strike produces a small sound; likewise, no strike produces no sound. For it is the nature of the bell, without contrivance, just like flames always go upward and water always flows downward.
“Amitabha cannot deliver us if we do not entrust ourselves to him”: Those who follow good are born in a good realm, while those who follow evil are born in an evil realm. As long as we entrust ourselves to Amitabha, we will be reborn in the Land of Bliss; if we don’t, we won’t. Just as with the bell, it is the nature of Amitabha, without contrivance.
Amitabha is present all the time and everywhere, compassionate without limit, and all-knowing. All we have to do is recite his name, and he will respond like the bell that rings after it is struck.
(Translated and edited by the Pure Land School Translation Team)
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