Second [Of ‘The] Pure Land [Tradition’s] Ten Essentials’: Appendix
Formation [Of] Lotus Society’s Universal Encouragement Text
Thus is [as] I [have] heard, [that in the] Western direction is [a] Buddha, named Amitā [i.e. 无量]. Also named Immeasurable Light [i.e. Amitābha], also named Immeasurable Life [i.e. Amitāyus].
Also having Contemplator [Of The World’s] Sounds [and Great] Power Arrived, [these] two Bodhisattvas, supporting [the] Buddha [in] propagating [the Dharma to] transform. All with great Vows’ power, aiding [and] delivering all sentient beings.
Its land [is] with seven treasures’ adornments, pure [and] natural, without all mixed defilements, thus named [a] Pure Land.
Its people [are] all [from] lotus flowers [with] transformed births, [with] lifespans immeasurable. Clothing [and] food received [for] use, according [to] thought then arrive. Also without all suffering, also without rebirth, thus also named [the] Land [Of] Ultimate Bliss.
With this, return [to] contemplate that of our presently received bodies, [and] those dwelling [places] of [this] land. Comparing [them with] that land, [of their] purity [and] defilements, lifespans, suffering [and] bliss, births [and] deaths, how [are they] only [like the] sky [and] earth, [that] far [apart from] one another?
Yet those ignorant [do] not know, or know, yet [do not] believe, [and] self-create obstacles. Inverted, attached [and] confused, not contemplating liberation, leaving this life [to be] born [in] another, how [is this] not pitiable? Thus [am] I now, encouraging all having affinity, [to] form this lotus society.
If difficult [to] know [and] difficult [to] do [practice, all] still should exert efforts diligently. Moreover, [the] Buddha’s name [is] extremely easy [to] uphold, [and his] Pure Land [is] extremely easy [to be] reborn [in. Beyond this, the] eighty-four thousand Dharma Doors, [are] without such a quick [and] direct [path] [i.e. shortcut].
[If] only able [to] stop [in the] early morning [(and/or evening), in] spare time lowering [and] raising [the] head [i.e. to practise sincere mindfulness of Buddha], thereupon can [there] for long kalpas, [be] those indestructible provisions. Even though [with] exerting [of] efforts extremely little, yet [with] receiving [of] merits, thus without having exhaustion. Why [then, do] sentient beings also [seek] suffering [by] abandoning themselves [to despair (自暴自弃)], and not do [practice]?
Alas! [Like a] dream [and] illusion [which are] not real, [with] lifespans [having] premature deaths, [life is] difficult [to] preserve. [In a] moment of exhaling [or] inhaling, immediately is [the] future life. Once losing [this] human body, [for] ten thousand kalpas not again [attaining it. If at] this time not awakening [to this], how should [the] Buddha [help] sentient beings? May [there be] deep mindfulness of impermanence, [to] not only [be] left with regrets later.
Jìnglè Layperson Zhāng Lūn’s Encouragement [For Those With] Affinity.
Namo Amituofo : Translation by Shen Shi’an
The Pure Land Tradition’s Ten Essentials