Translations

One Letter As A Common Reply 《一函遍复》

《一函遍复》
One Letter As A Common Reply

净土宗十三祖印光大师著
By The Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng

About This Letter(关于此函): Teaching mainly through his writings (in pre-Internet days), before ‘One Letter As A Common Reply’ was written, Great Master Yìnguāng was already renowned for his dedicated and succinct replying of every letter with Dharma queries sent to him. These letters from local and overseas Buddhists eventually became so numerous that they would arrive by the sack. With rich experience of answering all kinds of questions over two decades, and with many teachings shared through these letters, they were also compiled into a series of books.

In 1932, just eight years before the Great Master departed for Pure Land at the age of 80, he declared that he was already too old and weak to reply to every letter. However, still wishing to offer some form of reply to incoming letters, his skilful solution was to mass-print the titular letter, as a default general reply to all letters, to continue addressing common concerns of the day, which are still relevant today. Wide-ranging in nature, they cover ‘worldly’ issues, such as family problems, to the great matter of liberation. For other queries not covered, some words would be added in reply.

Out of great compassion, though well-versed in classical writing, the Great Master wrote the letter in plain language to reach out to more. Although his books already answered many frequently asked questions, not all read them in detail. Thus was there the need to highlight key Dharma pointers in the letter. In a sense, it is the ‘quintessential’ letter of all his letters, as if a ‘final’ summary, through which he speaks of essential matters that all should note, for the betterment of self and society, while never losing his main focus of exhorting all to reach Pure Land. (For this, the letter also highlights one of his most important essays, on the ‘Three Great Essentials When Approaching Life’s End’.)

Although deeply knowledgeable in various Buddhist traditions’ teachings, as can be seen in his more complex writings, and despite his popularity as a learned teacher, the Great Master did not portray himself to be a great expert in the Dharma, always skilfully directing all to pay particular attention to the precious Pure Land teachings instead, with the practice of which, all of the Dharma will be realised through reach of Pure Land in this lifetime. This contrasts with being buried in many profound teachings only in theory, while not being capable of practically utilising them for liberation before this life ends.

With no wasted words, to give us confidence, and urge us to pay attention, the Great Master opened the letter by assuring that its instructions are all from the Buddha’s teachings, with the practice of which, there will surely be great benefits. Even his signing off with the humble pen name of ‘Constantly Repentant Monk’, dating it on the beginning of winter, is perhaps a subtle hint that he was already in his winter years, with this as a solemn reminder for us, to treasure the little time we have left, to more diligently learn and more sincerely practise the Pure Land teachings.

目录
Contents

引言:
述信愿行
[0] Introduction:

Brief Description Of Faith, Aspiration And Practice
https://purelanders.com/2021/10/introduction-of-one-letter-as-a-common-reply

第一条原则:
敦伦尽分,心与道合
[1] The First Principle:

With Harmonious Human Relationships, To The Utmost Fulfil Responsibilities, With The Mind And The Path Together
https://purelanders.com/2021/10/1-the-first-principle

第二条原则:
劝进行者,念佛消灾
[2] The Second Principle:

Encourage Progress Of Practitioners, With Mindfulness Of The Buddha To Eradicate Disasters
https://purelanders.com/2021/10/2-the-second-principle

第三条原则:
种种功德,回向净土
[3] The Third Principle:

With All Kinds Of Meritorious Virtues, Dedicate For Birth In Pure Land
https://purelanders.com/2021/10/3-the-third-principle

第四条原则:
专修净业,自得心开
[4] The Fourth Principle:

With Focused Cultivation Of Pure Karma, By Oneself Attaining Mind’s Awakening
https://purelanders.com/2021/10/4-the-fourth-principle

第五条原则:
明辨伪经,念佛最善
[5] The Fifth Principle:

Clearly Distinguish Forged ‘Sūtras’, With Mindfulness Of Buddha Being The Best
https://purelanders.com/2021/10/5-the-fifth-principle

第六条原则:
慈心不杀,戒荤茹素
[6] The Sixth Principle:

With The Mind Of Loving-Kindness To Not Kill, Abstain From Meat And Eat As Veg(etari)ans
https://purelanders.com/2021/10/6-the-sixth-principle

第七条原则:
临终助念,化解障难
[7] The Seventh Principle:

When Approaching Life’s End, With Support-Chanting, Dissolve Obstacles And Difficulties
https://purelanders.com/2021/10/7-the-seventh-principle

第八条原则:
临产助念,观音圣号
[8] The Eighth Principle:

When Approaching Birthing Have Support-Chanting, With Guānyīn Bodhisattva’s Sacred Name
https://purelanders.com/2021/10/8-the-eighth-principle

第九条原则:
女子礼诵,恭敬圆融
[9] The Ninth Principle:

On Women Prostrating And Reciting, With Reverence Interpenetrating
https://purelanders.com/2021/10/9-the-ninth-principle

第十条原则:
称念观音,改恶修善
[10] The Tenth Principle:

Recite Mindfully Guānyīn Bodhisattva’s Name, Correct Evil And Cultivate Good
https://purelanders.com/2021/10/10-the-tenth-principle

第十一条原则:
恪守妇道,孝敬慈爱
[11] The Eleventh Principle: 

Strictly Complying With Women’s Path, Of Filial Respect And Kindly Love
https://purelanders.com/2021/10/11-the-eleventh-principle

第十二条原则:
儿童教育,谨之于始
[12] The Twelfth Principle:

For Children’s Education, With Cautiousness Then From The Beginning
https://purelanders.com/2021/10/12-the-twelfth-principle

结语
[13] Concluding Remarks
https://purelanders.com/2021/10/13-concluding-remarks-of-one-letter-as-a-common-reply

Suggestions for improvement are welcomed. More translations are available at amituofo.com, purelanders.com and TheDailyEnlightenment.com.

Namo Amituofo : Translation by Shen Shi’an (First Edition: 14 October 2021)

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Content is protected !!