Attaining One Good Saying, Receiving Benefits Endlessly
Ancient [ones] say, ‘Of gentlemen [with] energetic practice, [when] attaining one good saying, [they will have] lifelong receiving [of] benefits [that are] endless.’ Not devoting [to] personal practice, even if studying all [of the] world’s books, for oneself, [this is] still without those benefits.
[Note 1: With sincere learning (闻), even with the hearing of just one piece of advice aligned with the Right Dharma (正法), it will spur one to deeply contemplate (思) upon it, and to cultivate (修) it for life, thus receiving benefits inexhaustibly. These aspects of learning, contemplation and cultivation are called the Three Wisdoms (三慧). Otherwise, even if with much theoretical learning, but without adequate reflective contemplation and practical cultivation, there will be no actual benefits received.]
Like [a] real dragon, [when] attaining one drop [of] water, can everywhere rain [in] one world. [A] mud dragon, even if within [one] bubble of water, also cannot avoid [the] misfortune of losing [his] life.
[Note 2: To practise with the Three Wisdoms diligently is to become spiritually powerful, like the real dragon. To be corrupted by even one ‘minor’ but seriously wrong teaching, (which is that not aligned with the Right Dharma), can spell the end of spiritual life. This is like the trapped mud dragon. This is why there must be proper learning of the Right Dharma from qualified Dharma teachers, who are open to reasonable questions, and only teach according to the Buddha’s scriptural teachings and the relevant Patriarchs’ explanations in their commentaries (佛言祖语).]
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
Dharma Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings (Second Compilation): Reply Letter [To A] Certain Layperson;
Record [Of] Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence (174th Short Section): 3rd [Chapter]: Guidance [On] Practice Methods: Sixth, Encouragement Of Practitioners To Strive Diligently (5th Short Section)
[Ref: #174 / 3.6.5]
Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an
Record Of Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence