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 Eliminating Bad Karma From Duck-Hunting

My name is Peng Chucai. I'm 68 years old. When I was young I did not work seriously and regularly hunted wild ducks.

I live in the central area of Lake Dongting. Decades ago, a large number of wild ducks would gather there every day to forage for food.

At dusk, I would drive a boat to search for wild ducks. I carried a long-barreled gun fully loaded with small metal pellets. After taking aim, I lit the fuse and shot. The metal pellets fanned out in all directions, killing ducks that could not dodge them quickly enough. I returned with a big haul every time.

Once, however, the gun went off accidentally: Instead of hitting the ducks, I hit myself in the left arm. The pellets went through my clavicle, and the pain made me scream. Fortunately, it was not a fatal injury. Since then I have not dared hunt wild ducks.

In October 2002, my past karmic offenses caught up with me and the left half of my body suddenly became paralyzed. I remembered a book that a Buddhist monk gave me when I made a pilgrimage to Mt. Nanyue ten years ago. (I had never opened it.) Curious, I opened the book and found a paragraph describing the benefits of Amitabha-recitation. I began to recite the name of Amitabha Buddha, according to the instructions given. Recalling the wild ducks I had killed, I felt terribly guilty!

After several days of recitation, I began to feel better. The paralyzed left half of my body gradually resumed its functions. I was very happy and vowed to recite Amitabha's name for the long term.

Every time Master Zongdao came home to visit his family, I would go and ask him to explain the significance of Amitabha-recitation. Since taking refuge in the Three Gems in July 2003, I have had an inexplicable experience. My right ear, deaf for more than a year, suddenly began to hear the faint whisperings of a voice. At 5 o’clock every morning, it would urge me, “Recite, recite, Amitabha, Amitabha ...” The voice did not stop until I finished my morning recitations at 7 o'clock.

Before the dusk, the voice would come again, urging me to recite. It was like that every day – truly unfathomable.

I think if it weren’t for the positive karmic circumstances I have encountered, I would never have been able to settle accounts with the karmic creditors from my previous and present lives.

Now, having listened to the Dharma masters, I understand Buddhism’s basic principles and believe that I am an iniquitous ordinary being, subject to the cycles of birth and death. Only by having faith in the power of Amitabha's vows, relying on his deliverance and reciting his name single-mindedly, can we reborn in the Land of Bliss and leave suffering behind for happiness.

Namo Amituofo!

- Recounted by Peng Chucai, Beida Village, Yuanjiang, Hunan Province
(English translation by Foxin, edited by Jingtu)

Characteristics

  • Recitation of Amitabha’s name, relying on his Fundamental Vow (the 18th)
  • Rebirth of ordinary beings in the Pure Land’s Realm of Rewards
  • Rebirth assured in the present lifetime
  • Non-retrogression achieved in this lifetime

Amitabha Buddhas

The 18th Vow of Amitabha Buddha

If, when I achieve Buddhahood, sentient beings of the ten directions who sincerely and joyfully entrust themselves to me, wish to be reborn in my land and recite my name, even ten times, should fail to be born there, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. Excepted are those who commit the five gravest transgressions or slander the correct Dharma.

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Guiding Principles

Faith in, and acceptance of, Amitabha’s deliverance
Single-minded recitation of Amitabha’s name
Aspiration to rebirth in Amitabha’s Pure Land
Comprehensive deliverance of all sentient beings