[The] both [of you, for your] esteemed Mother [still] healthy [and] alive, should with [the] Pure Land Dharma Door, [its’] achievements [of] connections [with] responses, often explain [them, to] enable her [to] give rise [to the] joyful mind, [to] faithfully accept [and] practise [it].
[Note 1: The sharing of practitioners’ auspicious connections with Āmítuófó (阿弥陀佛) is a great skilful means for nurturing the listener’s Three Provisions (三资粮) of Faith (信), Aspiration (愿) and Practice (行). This is teaching using ideal effects to attract interest first, before teaching the causes for attaining these effects. To avoid sounding ‘superstitious’, there should be explanations of their principles when needed. This will prevent the listener from giving rise to doubt, which is the absence of Faith. This is important as without Faith, there will be no Aspiration and Practice. Correspondingly, with more or less Faith, there will be more or less Aspiration and Practice.]
If not with this as filial piety, then even if able [to] exhaust that [of] so-called worldly filial piety, in the end, for [your] Mother, what [lasting] benefits are [there]?
[Note 2: Expressions of worldly filial piety have no lasting benefits, at best with them ending upon death. This is while enabling reach of Pure Land will lead to immeasurable spiritual benefits, culminating in the ultimate bliss of Buddhahood. This is why guidance to reach Pure Land expresses filial piety completely.]
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
(Reply Letter [To A] Certain Yǒngjiā Layperson [And His] Brother)
Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an