Translations

Encourage Mindfulness Of Buddha To Complete Great Filial Piety 劝念佛尽大孝

二位令亲在堂,宜以净土法门,感应事迹,常时解说,令其发欢喜心,信受奉行。

[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.]

若不以此为孝,则纵能尽世之所谓孝者,究竟于亲有何利益。

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.]

净土宗十三祖印光大师
《复永嘉某居士昆季书》

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

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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