[163] Those Cultivating The Pure Land Path Should Study The Pure Land Tradition’s Five Sūtras More 修净土者应多读《净土五经》

[163] Those Cultivating [The] Pure Land [Path] Should Study [The] Pure Land [Tradition’s] Five Sūtras More


[As] you [are] joyful [with] reciting [the] Vajra [i.e. Diamond] Sūtra, [you] should with these meritorious virtues, dedicate [for] rebirth [in Pure Land], then [is it] as Pure Land’s Supportive Practice.

[Note 1: With mindfulness of Buddha as the Main Practice (正行), all other good and purifying practices are considered as Supportive Practices (助行). Being the Main Practice, the most time and efforts should be spent practising it.]


However, [of The] Pure Land [Tradition’s] Five Sūtras, their meritorious virtues [are] also not less than [those of the] Vajra Sūtra.

[Note 2: The fact that these five sūtras have teachings that express the swiftest path to Buddhahood means they have immeasurable meritorious virtues. The Pure Land Tradition’s Five Sūtras《净土五经》can be read at]


Of those mailed sūtra books, [you] should completely read those prefaces written [by Yìn]guāng. Then [of] their great meanings, [they] can all [be] known.

[Note 3: The various prefaces (序) can also be read at]


Again extinguishing [distracting] thoughts [to] reverently study them, then [of their] boundless benefits, [you] can personally attain [them].

[Note 4: Studying the sūtras (读经) in detail to ensure their meanings are as completely understood as possible is a deeper practice than just reciting them (诵经), perhaps perfunctorily at times, only with cursory understanding of what they really mean. Although insight can eventually arise during recitation, deliberate learning also facilitates the rise of insights.]


Compiler’s [Layperson Lǐ Jìngtōng (李净通居士)] respectful note: I, in [the] Republic [Of China’s] twenty-fourth year’s autumn [i.e. in 1935], following [that to Mount] Pǔtuó [普陀山], [a] written letter [to] Sūzhōu’s Bàoguó [i.e. Repayment Of Country] Monastery’s Great Master Yìn[guāng], seeking refuge, [in] return, received [a] reply, [and] obtained [the] Dharma name Zōngjìng, also receiving [the] gifts [of The] Pure Land [Tradition’s] Five Sūtras and Mèngdōng Chán Master’s Bequeathed Collection, [with] more than ten other kinds [of books].


[The] reply letter has [this] said, ‘[As the] Vajra Sūtra’s parts that express clearly [on the] Pure Land [teachings are] extremely little, every day reverently reciting [it] one time [is] already enough [i.e. if it is already currently being recited]. You, other [than] with focused diligence [practising] mindfulness [of] Buddha, can [be] with [The] Pure Land [Tradition’s] Five Sūtras, [like a] river flowing without ending, study them.’ I, until now follow [to] observe [this], not daring [to] forget [this].

Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
Dharma Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings (Third Compilation): First Reply Letter [To] Táng Ruìyán;
Record [Of] Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence (163rd Short Section): 3rd [Chapter]: Guidance [On] Practice Methods: Fifth, Reviews [On] Practices’ Each Method (26th Short Section)
[Ref: #163 / 3.5.26]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Related Text:

Record Of Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence

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