Exclusive Amitabha-Recitation Keeps Vengeful Spirits at Bay
There was a monk from Sichuan named Xianzhen, also known as Xigui. Before he took vows, he long headed a county as its magistrate. He killed many bandits during this time. Not long after becoming a monk, he lived in Wulei Monastery at Cixi in the city of Ningbo.
Every night, he dreamt that a pack of angry bandits, bloody and disfigured, was trying to kill him with a host of weapons. He was gripped by panic.
As a result, he resolved to recite the name of Amitabha Buddha exclusively, day and night. He became so proficient at his practice that he could recite even while dreaming.
When encountered the bandits again in a dream, he recited Amitabha’s name and persuaded his antagonists to do so as well. They gradually became pacified. After a few months, the bandits disappeared from his dreams.
I shared Xianzhen’s quarters for the longest time. He often told me his stories and praised the inconceivable merits and virtues of Amitabha-recitation.
(From Pure Land Buddhism: Questions and Answers, by Master Hongyi)
A single ray is enough to light up a long-dark chamber;
A single command from a Buddha suffices to dispel all ghosts and demons.
The single-minded and exclusive recitation of Amitabha’s name
Disperses resentments and enables rebirth in the Pure Land.
Amber can trap dust and magnets attract iron.
Our evil karma is like dust and iron,
While Amitabha’s name is akin to amber and magnets.
We should keep this in mind, and recite his name often.
– English translation by Householder Guoshu,
Edited by Householder Jingtu
- 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
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.
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