Teachings from Pure Land Buddhism's 13th Patriarch

Great Master Yin Guang

Based on wisdom, morality, and truth, one strives to harmonize the relationships among humans and then among all beings; faithfully fulfil one's responsibilities; be disciplined and keep away from evil; have only sincere thoughts; be sincerely and steadfastly mindful of Buddha Amitabha, and seek one's birth into the Western Pure Land.

The Great Master explained that it is necessary for everyone to fulfil his or her responsibilities, which are the normal human relationships between political leaders and the public, parents and children, husbands and wives, siblings, and friends. If we can harmonise these five kinds of relationships, then families, society, and nations will be stable.

The relationship between political leaders and the public is similar to the relationship between employer and employee, or between leader and subordinate. The leader is to treat the public with respect and the public is to support their leader with loyalty. An employer is to respect and care for his employees, and employees are to be loyal to their employer s instructions.

For parents and children to meet their obligations, parents are to guide their children by setting a proper example. Parents are to care for, discipline, and educate their children in their childhood years, and help them to become virtuous adults. Children are to be grateful to their parents for the love, care, and guidance they received from childhood. With thoughts of gratitude, children will naturally be filial and dutiful to their parents.

A husband and wife are to be the key to a happy family and the basis for a stable society. When there is harmony between a husband and wife, the family will be happy, and the descendents will be outstanding and loyal. A husband is to meet his responsibility to his family, and to love, care for, and be loyal to his wife. A wife is to accord, be gentle, assist her husband, and be a teacher and tutor for her children. She is to set an example as a good wife, good daughter-in-law, and good mother.

The relationship of siblings is to love and care for one another. It is a way of expressing filial piety to their parents. If one associates with good friends, is trustworthy and sincere, one will have lasting friendships.

These five human relationships are the essentials of humanity. They are the key to building a happy and prosperous family, and bringing stability to society and nations.

Be disciplined and keep away from evil. Have only sincere thoughts and purity of mind. When sitting quietly, we should always reflect upon ourselves as to whether we have committed any faults. We should avoid any evil corruption, and always preserve a loyal and sincere mind and nature. When we interact with people and deal with situations, we should do so respectfully. This will bring forth the true sincerity within us, and we will be sincere in our words and behaviour. In return, people will sincerely honour and respect us.

When we have strong faith in Buddha Amitabha, we will be reborn in his Land of Ultimate Bliss. Upon our rebirth, we will see Buddha Amitabha and he will be our guide in our learning. We will be accompanied by the virtuous people and enlightened beings there, and become students of Buddha Amitabha.