Does Amitabha Buddha Know When We Recite His Name?
If we recite Amitabha's name for the rest of our lives, whether that be thirty or forty years, but the entire time, he ignores us, and we can't see or feel him, without this manifestation of his all-embracing function, our hearts will not be at ease. Now that we do recite, we also know, "Although I didn't see it, this is just that 'afflictions are blinding, but the compassionate one embraces tirelessly.' Even though my karmic obstructions and afflictions are heavy, Amitabha's spiritual power is unobstructed; I am slow-witted and blind, without the ability to see or grasp, but he is always here, never to abandon me with his unobstructed light. I may have forgotten about Amitabha, but he will never forget about or leave me." Wouldn't this give you peace of mind? "Every recitation of his name, every thought I have of him, he will embrace and protect me with his unobstructed light, never to leave my side. When my time comes, I will return to the Pure Land with ease and peace of mind."
Therefore, we take this vow to be our primary cause starting now, not just when death approaches; with each recitation, he will appear before us instantaneously and stay by our side. This is the relationship between reciters and him.
As the saying goes, "If we don’t recite [his name], then there’s nothing more to be said; but if we do, we rely on the power of his vow and are all reborn without exception."
This is the arrangement of the easy path. If you don't recite at all, then there's nothing further to discuss; but as long as you do, you will immediately receive Amitabha's all-embracing light and rely on the power of his vow, thereby becoming close and intimate. Given these circumstances, who can't be reborn? Therefore, the saying goes, "are all reborn without exception."
Here, we can discuss two types of "in all cases": first, all who are reborn rely on Amitabha's vow as the cause; second, all rely on his vow by reciting his name. Conversely, all who recite his name rely on his vow-power; all who rely on his vow-power are reborn.
Those who recite his name but still worry that they can't be reborn, thinking, "What am I going to do when I am about to die?", don't know about the benefits of Amitabha's vow. They don't understand or believe in the functions of his all-embracing light (from reciting his name) and vow-power. This is called scaring and limiting themselves.
(Translated by the Pure Land School Translation Team; edited by Eddie Cao)
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