How To Easier Attain True Benefits [From] Mindfulness [Of] Buddha
[Of] mindfulness [of] Buddha, [this] one Dharma [Door], only those [able to] sever, [to] attain elimination [of their] arrogant ‘knowledge’ [and] views, [are] then able [to] attain [its] benefits.
[Note 1: Those who imagine themselves to be learned tend to belittle the Dharma Door Of Mindfulness Of Buddha (念佛法门), which seems ‘too simple’, while not having learnt adequately about it being profound, as the swiftest path to Buddhahood. Thus with arrogance, they are not able to learn and practise it humbly and sincerely, to truly attain its benefits.]
[Even] despite [having] wisdom [that is the] same [as] noble persons, [one] should [be with] all set aside from consideration, [and] with this one line [of the] Buddha’s name [i.e. Āmítuófó (阿弥陀佛)], regarded as this life’s original destiny [for realising self-nature], vow [to] seek rebirth [in his Pure Land].
[Note 2: Even Buddhas and Great Bodhisattvas cannot offer a more skilful path to Buddhahood. Even the latter vow to reach the Pure Land to expedite their progress towards Buddhahood. If so, we too should learn to practise the Pure Land path accordingly.]
Even if enabled [to], with death met [and] compelled, enabling you [to] change [your course of] action, also not able to attain [so, by remaining steadfast]. Such [are] then considered [to] be intelligent people, [who are] then able [to] attain true benefits. Otherwise, due [to having] much ‘knowledge’ [and] many views, [yet] not able [to] resolve doubts, instead not as good [as] those earnest persons without any knowledge, for easier attaining [of] benefits [via mindfulness of Buddha (念佛)].
[Note 3: With the above understood clearly, even if with life threatened, there should not be giving up of the Pure Land path. This contrasts with those who really cling to their arrogance, even to the end of their lives, who refuse to learn, what more to practise the path. Since they cling to their misguided views, they actually have doubtful views, but are unable to see them as so clearly, what more to clarify them, to transform them to be true Faith, the first of the Three Provisions (三资粮) of Faith, Aspiration and Practice (信愿行) for reaching Pure Land. As a result, in their next life, they will remain trapped in the cycle of birth and death, with everything learnt forgotten. This contrasts with those born in Pure Land, who will be able to recollect all past lives’ knowledge, and build upon it to expedite progress towards Buddhahood.]
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
Dharma Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings (Third Compilation): Reply Letter [To] Zhuō Zhìlì;
Record [Of] Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence (161st Short Section): 3rd [Chapter]: Guidance [On] Practice Methods: Fifth, Reviews [On] Practices’ Each Method (24th Short Section)
[Ref: #161 / 3.5.24]
Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an
Record Of Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence