[I] only wish [that] your brothers and [the] whole family’s family members, earnestly for your Mother, [be] mindful [of Amitā(bha)] Buddha[‘s name: ‘Āmítuófó’, which will] not only enable [your] Mother [to] attain benefits, [this] truly thus, [is with] even greater meritorious virtues, compared [with only] your [personal] mindfulness [of] Buddha.
[The] Buddha therefore taught people, [that] all meritorious virtues created [from] recitation [of] sūtras, upholding [of] mantras [and] mindfulness [of] Buddha, [should] all [be] for [the] Dharma realm’s sentient beings dedicated.
[If] in normal times, even for [the] Dharma realm’s unrelated sentient beings dedicating, what more [with your] Mother’s death, yet not [with your utmost] sincere mind, for [your] Mother [being] mindful [of Buddha]?
With [being] able [to], for all sentient beings dedicate [meritorious virtues, this] is with [the] Buddha’s Bodhi[citta] vows conforming, like one drop [of] water, thrown into [the] great ocean, [it] is with [the] great ocean, [the] same, [in] its depth and breadth.
If yet [to] reach [the] ocean, thus not speaking [of] one drop, even [if it is the] great Chángjiāng [i.e. Yangtze] river, [it is] indeed, with [the] great ocean, [are like the] sky [and] ground, [still] far apart.
[This] is [it] known, [that] all those [with practices of] giving to [their] parents, and [to] all people, all [these] belong [to] self-cultivation [of] personal blessings.
Knowing [what] this means, those with filial hearts, [their] filial hearts [should] grow even more, [and] those without filial hearts, also should give rise [to] filial hearts. [Note: Remembering that all beings had been reborn as our Mothers and Fathers in our past lives can motivate even more filial piety.]
Inviting monastics [to] recite seven seven [days (i.e. 49 days) of] Buddha[‘s name is] very good, [but] when reciting, you [and your] brothers must have someone [to follow] accordingly, together reciting. [Note: This is to express sincerity in guiding your Mother to follow your example, to also sincerely recite and reach Pure Land.]
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
(Reply letter to Zhōu Mèngyóu’s brothers)
Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an