Death [Is] Able [To Be] Lamentable, Also Able [To Be] Fortunate
Ancient ones say, ‘[As] deaths [and] births [are] too great, how [are they] not lamentable?’ With due respect saying, [if] only lamenting, in the end, [this] has what benefits? [There] must [be] knowing [that] birth [and] death, [are] great matters. [With] Faith [and] Aspiration mindful [of the] Buddha[‘s name (Āmítuófó: 阿弥陀佛), this is the] great Dharma.
[Note 1: There should not be endless lamenting on impending death with uncertain rebirth, which serves no useful purpose, while wasting time (i.e. life) and energy. There should be diligent learning and sincere practice of the Dharma Door Of Mindfulness Of Buddha (念佛法门) instead, so as to be reborn in Pure Land (净土), to be liberated from otherwise endless saṃsāric rebirths.]
Since knowing [the] lamentablity of death, [there] should be, [when] before, yet [to] die, cultivation [of] this great Dharma.
[Note 2: With life being unpredictable, while death is always approaching and able to occur suddenly, there should be swift learning and practice of mindfulness of Buddha in time – now.]
Then [is] death, not only without [that] lamentable, moreover definitely can [there be good] fortune. Why is [this] thus? With pure karma ripening, relying [on the] Buddha’s loving-kindness’ power, directly reborn [in his] Western [Pure] Land [Of] Ultimate Bliss.
[Note 3: Pure karma (净业) is mainly from the Main Practice (正行) of mindfulness of Buddha.]
Transcending [the] ordinary [to] enter [the] noble, liberating [from the cycle of] birth [and] death. To be able to forever depart [from] all [kinds of] suffering, [and] only receive all [kinds of] bliss. Gradually advancing [in] cultivation, directly until accomplishing Buddhahood thereafter.
[Note 4: This graduated advance is actually still the swiftest possible, as this Pure Land, having the best teachers, learning environment and means, is the most efficient Dharma school in the universe.]
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
Dharma Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings (Third Compilation): Afterword [Of] ‘Bridge [With] Admonitions [For The] End’;
Record [Of] Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence (178th Short Section): 3rd [Chapter]: Guidance [On] Practice Methods: Sixth, Encouragement Of Practitioners To Strive Diligently (9th Short Section)
[Ref: #178 / 3.6.9]
Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an
Record Of Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence