Caption: Venerable Master Hai Xian (1901-2013)
Lotus Lagoon Assembly Prayer (蓮池讚) :
There upon the Lotus Lagoon Assembly, Amita Tathagata sits atop the lofty Lotus Dais—flanked by Avalokitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta—inviting you to ascend the golden steps while pronouncing great vows ; resolute in leaving all defilements and dusts forever behind.
The Buddha spoke the Infinite Life Sutra several times during the course of his 49 year ministry. Thus, there were several translations of the Infinite Life Sutra in existence at the time of the modern era, the most popular being the Three Kingdoms Era Cao Wei (220-265) translation. During the 20th century, the eminent Upasaka Xia Lian Ju compiled the five main extant versions into a grand consolidated edition: The Mahayana, Infinite Life, Adornment, Purity, Impartiality and Enlightenment Sutra.
He did it without changing or discarding a single character! The eloquence and beauty of the prose and poetry found within is simply peerless. Thus, this version is now the official and most popular in use. However, there existed no English translation of Upasaka Xia’s magnum opus until very recently. Below are two available translations I know:
My free and Public Domain translation of key chapters with case study:
Essence of the Infinite life Sutra (translation of Ven. Master Chin Kung’s profound commentary on the Sutra by the AMTB):
Moreover, Upasaka Xia’s magnum opus was further endorsed by the Venerable Master Hai Xian (1901-2013), who attained verified Pure Land rebirth during the wee hours of Jan 17 2013. His most significant act before his Pure Land rebirth was to be pictured with a copy of If Buddhism is to Prosper, Practitioners Must Praise Each Other by Master Hong Lin (pictured above). An excellent book that decisively neutralized recent libel against Upasaka Xia’s magnum opus by using time honored principles of the proper Dharma.
Master Hai Xian’s life of cultivation is extraordinary and I recommend everyone watch his biographic documentary:
He has also been nominated by the Venerable Master Chin Kung as the 14th Patriarch of the Pure Land School, who praised that the example he has set with his life will influence the world for thousands of years to come!
Lastly, I would like to recommend again the Path to Pure Land prayer compiled by Upasaka Xia:
This profound and poetic work is the final teaching of Upasaka Xia and is highly praised by many esteemed masters such as Upasaka Huang Nien Tsu and Master Chin kung. The above translation is also free and in the Public Domain.