Aspire [To] Encourage Immeasurable Beings Everywhere [To] Reach Pure Land
You gave rise [to the] aspiration of [using an] outdoor school, [for establishing an] outdoor lotus society, originally for reducing work. However, [this is] also not as good [as teaching at] any place, according [to] conditions, [with] this as skilful means, [which is] easier [for] practice too.
[Note 1: A lotus society functioning at a fixed location, although convenient as a centre, is not better than having it function without any fixed location, at wherever (more) appropriate, whenever (more) appropriate.]
[From the] above then, [at] clean temples [and] bright halls, [to the] below then, [at] riversides [and on] forest floors, gaining those persons [who] can [be] spoken [to], immediately with this [Pure Land] practice encouraging one another.
[Note 2: It is better to not be attached to any one place, thus being able to teach and practise at various places, to reach more people with different locations’ affinities. Practice would include support-chanting (助念) for the dying, which is all the more difficult to be done at one fixed place only. Teaching and practice can be done communally as members of a lotus society, or as individuals, if skilful enough.]
Wén Lùgōng gave rise [to the] aspiration of [encouraging a] hundred thousand persons [to practise] mindfulness [of] Buddha, [to] seek birth [in the] Western [Pure Land Of Ultimate Bliss], with [them] forming [a] lotus society.
[Note 3: This is certainly a great aspiration. However, the below should be further reflected too.]
[As] I say, [if] one person, up to immeasurable persons, together should [be] enabled [to be] born [in the] Western [Pure Land], why restrict [to be] limited with [a] hundred thousand [only]?
[Note 4: The immeasurably greater aspiration to give rise to, arising from the Bodhi Mind (菩提心), is to encourage sentient beings to reach the Pure Land without limit, in this life, and in future manifested lives, after returning from training in Pure Land. Although Great Master Yìnguāng did not exactly manage a lotus society, he certainly did inspire the rise of many lotus societies. In way, his teachings continue to encourage many among the immeasurable, certainly more than a hundred thousand people, to reach Pure Land.]
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
Dharma Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings (Third Compilation): Reply Letter [To] Táng Dàyuán;
Record [Of] Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence (18th Short Section): 1st [Chapter]: Praise [Of The] Pure Land [Dharma Door Being] Transcendental [And] Supreme (18th Short Section)
[Ref: #18 / 1.18]
Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an
Record Of Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence
Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!