This picture of Great Master Yìnguāng about to enter a Niànfó retreat is perhaps the only photo of him smiling… slightly. While still retaining his famous sternness, it also expresses gentle kindness for all, with firm personal resolution.
Worthlessly [having] passed [more than] seventy [years],
[my] coming days [are] without many.
Like [a] prisoner going [to the] city [to face execution],
step by step nearing death.
Thankfully declining all [visitors],
[to] focus [upon] cultivating [to reach] Pure Land.
[Those] if reflecting [on my] heartfelt sincerity,
are [my] true lotus friends.
By Shì Yìnguāng sincerely stated
(Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng)
(Sūzhōu’s Bàoguó Monastery’s Retreat Room’s Verse Written For Wall: 24th Year of Republic of China; 1935 C.E, 5 years before departure for Pure Land in 1940 at age of 80)