THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS

Our Parents' Kindness

What is mindfulness of our parents' kindness? Alas for my parents! I was born through much toil. I was nurtured nine months in the womb and was suckled three years at the breast. My bottom was dried and my diapers were changed. I was fed delicacies while my parents toiled bitterly. Only then was I able to grow up. They hoped only that I might glorify and carry on the family name and continue the ritual offerings to our ancestors. But now I have left the home and family, and am gratuitously called a disciple of Shakyamuni and have dared to assume the title of Shramana. I neither offer delicacies to my parents nor sweep the ancestral graves. While they live, I cannot take care of their physical needs; after they depart, I cannot guide their souls. In this world, I have thereby hurt them greatly, and as they leave this world, I am of no real help. To cause them such a double loss is a serious offense. How can I possibly avoid the consequences!

I contemplate in this way: I must always cultivate the Buddhas' Way through hundreds of kalpas and in thousands of lives and save living beings everywhere throughout the ten directions and three periods of time. I will rescue not only my parents of this life but will do the same for my parents of every life. I will save not only one person's parents but everyone's parents.

This is the second cause and condition for making the resolve to attain Bodhi.

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