With Sūtras [And] Images Seen As [The] Buddha For Me Personally Preaching
Now [that the] Thus Come [One has entered] Parinirvāṇa, that [which] remains [are] only [his] sūtras and images. If with clay, wood, metal, paintings [and] other images, seeing [them] as [the] true Buddha, [this is] immediately able [to] eliminate karmic obstacles and destroy afflictions [with] confusions, [to] realise samādhi and exit [from the cycle of] birth [and] death.
[Note 1: Using Buddha images to support giving rise to utmost reverence will create much meritorious virtues (功德), to remove the causes and effects of suffering.]
If with clay, wood, metal [and as] paintings seeing them, then [are they] also clay, wood, metal [and] paintings only, with] nothing more. Also [as] clay, wood, metal [and] paintings [only], disrespecting them [is] then without faults. If with disrespecting [them as] Buddha images of clay, wood, metal [and as] paintings, then [will] its faults fill [the] sky.
[Note 2: Seeing images as of the Buddha, while giving rise to the opposite of reverence will create much evil karma (恶业), the causes and effects of suffering.]
[When] studying [and] reciting [the] Buddha’s sūtras [and the] Patriarchs’ words, directly regarding [them] as [the] presently manifested Buddha [and] Patriarchs for me personally peaching [them, do] not dare [to] slightly sprout laziness [and] negligence. [Of] those able [to do] thus, I say these persons [will] definitely [be] able [to] immediately [have] births [that] highly ascend [the] nine grades, [to] completely realise [the] One True [Dharma Realm (一真法界)].
[Note 3: With great reverence, diligence and attention learning the Dharma, while sincerely practising to reach Pure Land (净土), there will be attainment of a high grade (上品) of birth there. See the nine grades of lotus flowers (九品莲华) at https://purelanders.com/guanjing. To realise the One True Dharma Realm (一真法界) is to awaken to the truth of all Dharma realms (法界), which is everything.]
Otherwise, [it] is [just] playing [with] Dharma Doors, [with] its benefits not exceeding [having] much knowledge [and] much views, [being] able [to] speak [with] understanding clearly, [yet of] one thread not attaining [their] true benefits, thus [with the] ability of [being on the] path, hearing [that on the] way spoken [only].
[Note 4: Without reverence, learning of the Dharma will only be superficial, with it not put into practice reverently, thus not receiving its actual benefits.]
Ancient people, of [the] Triple Gem’s parts within, [for] all retain true reverence, not only superficially thus, [with their] mouths discussing [them] only. Nowadays’ people, [with their] mouths still not willing [to] discuss one word [of] reverence, much less [do they have] true practice.
[Note 5: In terms of the Triple Gem (三宝), of the Buddhas, Dharma and Saṃgha (佛法僧), there should only be thoughts, words and deeds of reverence.]
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
Dharma Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings (First Compilation): Reply Letter [To] Yóu Xīyīn;
Record [Of] Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence (210th Short Section): 5th [Chapter]: Encouragement [Of The] Mind [To] Dwell [In] Sincerity [And] Reverence (5th Short Section)
[Ref: #210 / 5.5]
Namo Amituofo : Translation and note by Shen Shi’an
Record Of Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence