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 Discourse for Those Nearing Life's End

 

       (Name of the person), Namo Amituofo. (Name of the person),Namo Amituofo. (Name of the person), Namo Amituofo.

       I am (your name). I am going to recite the name of Amitabha Buddha on your behalf, and to help you gain rebirth in the Western Land of Bliss.

       (Name of that person), you are now leaving this human world at the end of your life. All the scenes that you see are illusory. They aren't real, so don't be alarmed and don't be deluded. Please join me in reciting Amitabha's name. You can then see Amitabha Buddha shining his golden light on you. He will comfort you and welcome you to his Pure Land. Namo Amituofo … (a certain number of times)

       (Name of the person), there is a saying, “The Buddha's grace begins when our life comes to an end." This saying is most appropriate to your current situation. That's because at the end of this life, Amitabha Buddha is standing here to welcome us. Our life does not end here. On the contrary, this is the beginning of a new life – one given to us by Amitabha Buddha. So we needn't be worried or afraid. Instead, we should be happy.

       Amitabha Buddha is the Buddha of the Western Land of Bliss. He knows the suffering of sentient beings in our world. So he accomplishes the Land of Bliss, and delivers us there to enjoy the blessings of rebirth and to achieve Buddhahood. Why does Amitabha Buddha deliver us? Because he is a Buddha, who has great compassion! Are there any conditions attached to his deliverance? None at all! If there were, he would not be a Buddha, nor would he be compassionate. Amitabha Buddha tells us, “As long as you recite my name, I will come deliver you. So long as you recite my name, you will be saved." All right. Let's now recite Amitabha's name together. Namo Amituofo … (a certain number of times) 

       Does Amitabha Buddha hold our karmic offenses against us? Not at all! If he did and bargained with us, he would be no different from an ordinary being and could not be called a Buddha. Amitabha Buddha treats us immeasurably better even than parents treat their children. Not only does he not hold our offenses against us, he purifies and clears them as well. It is Amitabha's basic intention to deliver iniquitous sentient beings from suffering. He knows well that we have karmic offenses, sufferings, wounds and pains. That's why he wants to extinguish our offenses, relieve our suffering, heal our wounds and ease our pain. By merely reciting his name, we will feel Amitabha's great compassion and love. (Name of the person), please follow me; let's recite Amitabha's name together. Namo Amituofo … (a certain number of times)

       (Name of the person), our world is full of suffering. Aging is suffering; illness is suffering; death is, of course, suffering. We have to part with our loved ones. We must leave behind all the things we like; we can't even keep our bodies. We have to let go forever of everything in the world. Only our lifetime's karma propels us forward, alone. Our parents, wife and children cannot take care of us, as we are entirely alone as we face death. How lonely life is. If everything were to end with death, that would be all right. But after we die, the greater suffering of reincarnation awaits us – falling into hell realms, becoming hungry ghosts and transforming to animals. Over countless eons, we have not be able to escape from the cycle of rebirth. Even if we were reborn in a celestial realm, we would eventually fall and reincarnate again. So life is suffering, and the sea of suffering is boundless. Now Amitabha Buddha wants to pull you out of the sea of suffering, and you can rely on him. He will not only stand by you and save you from the netherworld as well as the clutches of King Yama, but also lead you to the Land of Bliss, where you will become a Buddha. How fortunate you are! Let's recite Amitabha's name together, and take refuge in Amitabha's deliverance. Namo Amituofo … (a certain number of times)

       (Name of the person), the Land of Bliss is where Amitabha Buddha and Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Guanyin) reside. It contains the best elements of the pure lands of all Buddhas. Its seven-jeweled ponds are filled with the water of eightfold virtues. There, lotus flowers in four colors blossom. Among the seven-jeweled trees fly precious birds of many hues, making countless wonderful sounds. In the Land of Bliss, food and clothes appear when you think of them. There is no aging, illness or death. The inhabitants' appearance is forever youthful and pleasing, and their bearing is dignified. Their bodies are adorned with a light brighter than the sun and the moon. Their mental capacity exceeds that of space. They have special powers and move freely everywhere. They experience no suffering at all, only infinite joys. They have extinguished all afflictions and have immeasurable wisdom. Their every thought is enlightened, and they achieve Buddhahood naturally. They subdivide into countless bodies and deliver sentient beings comprehensively. Now Amitabha Buddha is coming to deliver and welcome you to the Land of Bliss. He is asking your acceptance; you only need to agree. (Name of the person), I think you will be wise enough to accept this favorable karmic cause. It is so rare that one may not encounter it even once in uncountable eons. You must be willing to be reborn in the Land of Bliss, and unwilling to be reincarnate here again. Let us recite Amitabha Buddha's name together. Namo Amituofo … (a certain number of times) 

 

Excerpted from "Information on the Final Moments and Discourse During Assisted Recitation"

(English translation by the Pure Land School Translation Team)

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Master Huijing

Master Huijing

Master Jingzong

Master Jingzong

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