[Of this] one Śūraṅgama Sūtra, [when] those [who do] not know [the] Pure Land [path] read [it, they] thus [see it as the] principal proponent [for] refuting [the] Pure Land [path, if they focus on the twenty-four perfect penetrations without Other-power].
[When] those [who] know [the] Pure Land [path] read [it, they] thus [see it as a] good guide for propagating [the] Pure Land [path, as they focus on the twenty-fourth practice, which is the ‘Section On Great Power Arrived Bodhisattva’s Perfect Penetration With Mindfulness Of Buddha’ (大势至菩萨念佛圆通章), for reaching Āmítuófó’s Pure Land].
Why [is it] said [so]? [As] with [only] Self-power, awakening [to the] path [is] difficult, [while] Pure Land’s rebirth [is] easy [to attain with Other-power’s support].
[There, of the] ten dharma realms’ causes [and] effects [in the realms of hell-beings (地狱众生), hungry ghosts (饿鬼), animals (畜生), humans (人), asuras (阿修罗), devas (天人), Śrāvakas (声闻), Pratyekabuddhas (辟支佛), Bodhisattvas (菩萨) and Buddhas (佛陀)], each and every one [will then be seen] clearly, [thus swiftly attaining Buddhahood].
If not relying [upon] Buddha’s power, although [of the Five] Aggregates [of form, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness, perhaps] breaking [free from] one [or] two, [it is] still possible [to become] possessed [by] demons [to] go mad, [with this] as hell’s seed, [as detailed in the sūtra’s ‘Section On The Fifty Aggregates’ Demon(ic States)’ (五十阴魔章)].
Furthermore, [on] skills [needed for the] twenty-four perfect penetrations [without Other-power’s support, of] today’s people [in this Dharma-Ending Age], who [are] able [to] cultivate [their] practices?
[It is] only [with this Pure Land practice], like [a] child recollecting [the] Mother, [being] mindful [of the] Buddha, [that of] all those [who] have [sincere] minds, all [are] able [to] practise.
Only [needing to] attain pure mindfulness [of Buddha with continuous] succession [with profound Faith (深信) and sincere Aspiration (切愿)], oneself [is] able [to] personally realise [or advance towards] samādhi [for attainment of wisdom].
[When] those [who] know [the] good from [the] ‘bad’ read [this, how can] they [be] willing [to be with] only oneself’s Self-power, [and] not rely [upon the] Buddha’s power [too]?
Those [who do] not know [the] good from [the] ‘bad’ [are the] opposite [of] this.
With them stopping [at the] desire [to be known] as ‘experts’ [in many teachings, but] without [the] intention [to be] liberated [from the cycle of] birth [and] death.
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
7th reply letter to a certain Yǒngjiā layperson
 The Śūraṅgama Sūtra is the first sūtra to disappear in this Dharma-Ending Age, while the Immeasurable Life Sūtra (无量寿经) will be the last, to be specially safeguarded by the Buddha, as it contains the last feasible path to liberation.
 Some of the reasons why the Śūraṅgama Sūtra will be the first to disappear are due to its emphasis on [i] morality, in its ‘Section On Four Kinds Of Definitive Clear And Pure Instructions’ (四种决定清净明诲章), [ii] the dangers of unqualified meditative practice, in its ‘Section On The Fifty Aggregates’ Demon(ic States)’ (五十阴魔章), [iii] and its connection to the last possible path to liberation in this era, in its ‘Section On Great Power Arrived Bodhisattva’s Perfect Penetration With Mindfulness Of Buddha’ (大势至菩萨念佛圆通章).
 When these three sections are misunderstood and/or neglected respectively, there will be [i] rampant evil, (with many becoming immoral; being without precepts), [ii] much spiritual chaos, (with evil ‘concentration’ [邪定]; without right concentration [正定]) and [iii] no way out, (with much delusion; without essential wisdom). With these fundamental aspects, [i] Precepts, [ii] Concentration and [iii] Wisdom (戒定慧) of the Threefold Learning (三学) increasingly ruined worldwide, this is ending of the Dharma‘s essence, thus deepening the Dharma-Ending Age.
 The main Pure Land practice, although seemingly simple, contains the profound essence of Threefold Learning. [i] With sincere mindfulness of Āmítuófó’s sacred name, that tunes to one’s Buddha-nature, evil is avoided, thus upholding morality. [ii] With increasingly focused practice, thus does concentration deepen. [iii] With the mind becoming more calm, it will also become more clear, as the innate wisdom of one’s Buddha-nature blossoms.
Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an
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