[Part 4]: [For] entering [the] path’s essential door, Faith [is] as [the] foremost.
[Note 1: Without Faith, there will be no motivating interest to even begin entering the door to reach the essential.]
[Even for] evil matters, [if] not [with unwholesome] faith, [they] still cannot [be] accomplished, moreover [for] good matters?
[Note 2: From right Faith arises right Aspiration to have right Practice.]
For example, like [the] world’s thieves, at that time, [when they] fail [and are] exposed, [if] official authorities [do] not with extreme punishment restrain them, until later [when] released [to be] spared, [they will] as before, not regret. How [is] that [so]?
They still [have unwholesome] faith [that] this channel, [that does] not [need to] give one coin [as] capital, self-obtains benefits [that are] incalculable. Therefore, prepared [to] receive suffering [and] pain, [they] definitely [will] not shrink back [and] regret.
Now[adays, of] people mindful [of] Buddha, if not willing [to be] truly sincere [with] added efforts, [this] only is [due to] never deeply contemplating, [to] truly [have] Faith.
[Note 3: Those who might have heard a little of the Pure Land teachings, but remain uninterested are all those who need further learning and contemplating, so as to give rise to Faith, as the first of the Three Provisions (of Faith, Aspiration and Practice).]
Not [yet] speaking [of] not [having] Faith [in the] Pure Land [teachings], just like [that the] World-Honoured [One] said, [that] ‘human life [is] at exhaling [and] inhaling, [in] between’, [of] this one saying, of [its] meaning [and] principle, [they] are not difficult [to] explain.
[Note 4: What the Buddha meant is that life is extremely fragile, impermanent and precious. With an exhaling breath and without the next inhaling breath, or vice versa, death would have arrived.]
[With] your eyes within personally seeing, ears within personally hearing, passing by [are] many examples.
Nowadays, wanting you [to have] faith [in] this saying, [since] a long time ago, [this] is not able [to be] enough.
You, if truly [having] faith [in] this saying, then [of] mindfulness [of] Buddha’s Dharma Door, [you] need not me [to] completely spend [my] energy, [with a] thousand exhortations [and] ten thousand instructions. Thus naturally like water going [into a] gully [or pit], ten thousand bulls [will] not [be] able [to] pull [you] back [from its teachings]!
[Note 5: There are some essential teachings that are so important, that they are often reiterated by good teachers in many ways, so that they can be grasped, for there to be true spiritual progress.]
Such as [the] day before yesterday, when tending [to and] sending [off a] deceased monastic, you [have] seen this example, being sorrowful-looking thus [with] unhappiness, [with a] painful expression admonishing, saying, ‘Great assembly! I with you, [am] only today, sending off [a] certain monastic, [but] tomorrow, [am] sending off [yet another] certain monastic. [When] unconsciously becoming oneself’s turn, this moment [is then with] regret [and] remorse not in time. [Thus, we] must quickly [be] mindful [of] Buddha, [with every] moment, [it] must not [be] let slip off, [this is only] then good.’
[Note 6: Every time someone is sent off, it should be a grave reminder that one’s turn is coming ever closer, using this to motivate oneself to be more spiritually diligent, immediately and constantly.]
I see you [to your own] self also saying it is a pity, to others also saying it is a pity, [yet when] reaching in [the] hall within appraising [and] chanting, [still] as before, speaking [and] laughing at ease.
[Note 7: There might be seeing of another’s death as sombre at first, but soon losing mindfulness of it, even in its midst.]
[This is because] you only [do] not [have] faith [that] ‘human life [is] at exhaling [and] inhaling, [in] between’!
[Note 8: If we truly know and see the significance of the Buddha’s teaching, we would not be spiritually complacent even for a moment, and always be diligent.]
Pure Land Tradition’s 8th Patriarch Great Master Liánchí
(Collection [Of] Yúnqī’s Pure Land Sayings: Eight Articles [As] Warnings [For The] Masses)
Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an
 Do Not Make Light Of And Slight People
 With Mindfulness Of Buddha Sever Deluded Thoughts
All Eight Articles:
Great Master Liánchí’s Eight Articles Of Warnings For The Masses