[With] Karmic Power Great [Or] Little, All Can Rely [On The] Buddha’s Power, [For] Rebirth [In His] Pure Land
[As] we [have been] reborn within [the cycle of] birth [and] death [for a] long time, passing long kalpas, [our] those created evil karmas, [are] immeasurable [and] boundless. If relying [on the] power of one’s practice [only], desiring [to] attain eradication [and] exhaustion [of] afflictions, confusions [and evil] karmas, for liberation [from the cycle of] birth [and] death, its difficulty [is] even more [than that of] ascending [to a] heaven.
[Note 1: From Universal Virtue Bodhisattva’s Practices’ And Vows’ Chapter《普贤菩萨行愿品》, as taught by Universal Virtue Bodhisattva (普贤菩萨), ‘I, in past beginningless kalpas within, due to greed, anger and ignorance, gave rise to body, speech and mind, to create all evil karmas, immeasurable and boundless. If these evil karmas have that of substantial forms, exhausting empty space’s realms, they are not able to contain and receive them.’ (于过去无始劫中，由贪瞋痴，发身口意，作诸恶业，无量无边。若此恶业有体相者，尽虚空界不能容受。)]
If able [to] believe that [which Śākyamuni] Buddha spoke of [the] Pure Land Dharma Door, with true Faith [and] sincere Aspiration, mindful [of] Amitā[bha] Buddha’s name [Āmítuófó], [to] seek birth [in his] Western [Pure Land Of Ultimate Bliss (西方极乐世界)], regardless [of one’s] karmic power [being] great, [or] karmic power [being] little, all can rely [on the] Buddha’s loving-kindness’ power, [to be] reborn [in his] Western [Pure Land].
For example, one grain [of] sand, [when] entering water immediately sinks. Even if [there] are numerous rocks [of] ten million jīns [each], loaded within [a] great fire[-powered] steamship, [they] immediately can [be made to] not sink, and [be] transported to another place, with [them] according [to] wishes [for] use. [The] rocks [are an] analogy [for] sentient beings’ karmic power, [that is] deep [and] heavy, [and the] great fire[-powered] steamship [is an] analogy [for] Āmítuófó’s loving-kindness’ power’s vastness [and] greatness.
[Note 2: As one jīn (or catty) is half a kilogram, ten million catties is five million kilograms (or five thousand tonnes). The grain of sand by itself, only with limited Self-power (自力), lacks the power to float and be transported to the destination wanted. The ship, offering great Other-power (他力), has the power of flotation and transport.]
If not mindful [of the] Buddha, relying [on] one’s power of practice [only], desiring [to be] liberated [from the cycle of] birth [and] death, [one] needs [to] reach [the] position [of evil] karmas’ exhaustion [with realisation of] passions’ emptiness. Then can [this be done]. Otherwise, even if enabling afflictions, confusions [and evil] karmas [to be] severed until [there] is only one slightest bit [left, one is] also not able [to be] liberated. [As an] analogy, like [an] extremely small [grain] of sand, [it will] also definitely sink within [the] water, definitely not able [to, by] oneself exit from [the] water [to the] outside.
Your excellency [must] only give rise [to the] faithful mind, [to be] mindful [of the] Buddha [to] seek birth [in his] Western [Pure Land, and] must not again give rise [to] other kinds [of] thoughts.
If able [to do] thus, [when your] lifespan, [if] yet [to] exhaust, then [will you] quickly attain complete healing. With focused sincere [and] wholehearted mindfulness [of] Buddha’s meritorious virtues, then able [to] eliminate past lives’ evil karmas, similar to [the] morning sun [once] already out, [having] frost [and] snow immediately melting.
If [your] lifespan [is] already exhausting, then [will you be] able [to be] reborn [in the Pure Land]. With [your] mind without different thoughts, immediately attaining connection [and] response [for] mutual interaction with [the] Buddha, thus receiving [the] Buddha’s kind reception [and] guidance, [to be] reborn [there].
Your excellency, if [with] Faith [in] these words in time, then [will you, if to] live, also attain great benefits, [and if to] die, also attain great benefits.
Anger’s mind [is] thus [from the] habitual nature of past lives. Now having [the] thought [that] ‘I [am] already dead’, [just] let that knife cut, [if there is injury, surgery or autopsy, and that] incense [be] applied, [if being cleaned after death, as these] have nothing to do with me.
[For] all situations that [are] not agreeable [with your] wishes, [when] having [the] thought [that] ‘I [am] already dead’, [perhaps being sincerely mindful of the Buddha next], then [will you] not [be] able [to] give rise [to] anger.
This then [is] that Thus Come [One’s] transmitted samādhi Dharma water, [which] universally washes [away] those fettering karmas of all sentient beings, not [from Yìn]guāng, personally [coming] up [with] ideas falsely spoken.
If not mindful [of] Buddha [to] seek birth [in his] Western [Pure Land], even if born [to] reach [the] very respected [highest] Heaven [Of] No [Perception And No] Non-Perception, once heavenly blessings exhaust, [one will] still again [be] reborn [in the] six paths.
If complete [with] sincere [and] wholehearted mindfulness [of] Buddha, even [if] going to fall [into] Avīci Hell [which is the worst place to be reborn, one is] still able [to] receive [the] Buddha’s receiving [and] guiding, [to be] reborn [in his] Western [Pure Land].
[You] absolutely must not consider yourself [as spiritually] inferior [and lowly], saying [that ‘As] my [evil] karmas [are] heavy, [I] fear not [being] able [to be] born [there].’ If having this thinking, then definitely [will you] not [be] able [to be] born [there, as this is being without profound Faith and sincere Aspiration, even if being mindful of the Buddha]. Why [is this so]? With [the] mind without true Faith [and] sincere Aspiration, unable [to] connect [to the] Buddha thus.
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
Dharma Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings (First Compilation): Second Reply Letter [To] Qiú Pèiqīng;
Record [Of] Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence (186th Short Section): 4th [Chapter]: Discussion [On] Births’ [And] Deaths’ Great Matter: Second, Teachings [On] Focusing [On] Relying [On The] Buddha’s Power (2nd Short Section)
[Ref: #186 / 4.2.2]
Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an
Record Of Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence
How Can Niànfó Prevent The Worst Rebirth To Attain The Best?