Which is More Meritorious, Participating in An Assisted Recitation or Attending a General Dharma Service?
It can be said that the merits of helping others to recite Namo Amituofo are a hundred times greater than those of participating in a general Dharma service, because the former is done when one is both in pain and in need of help the most. Just like when playing soccer, the ball may be passed among players countless times, but the kick that scores the goal is what matters.
Therefore, all those general Dharma services are like passing the ball from player to player, while helping others go to the Western Pure Land is like the goal-scoring kick. On the one hand, we recite Amitabha's name diligently and, on the other, bring enormous comfort to our lotus friends and the dying.
All good deeds, such as providing food, clothing, and shelter, or even a whole lifetime's worth of all wealth on Earth, are incomparable to performing assisted recitation to help someone attain rebirth and, eventually, Buddhahood. Not only that, but the difference is beyond any ability to quantify.
Being truly blessed and compassionate in performing assisted recitation is not easy. Some elders pass away at night, especially in the wintertime because of the lack of vital energy and blood flow during cold weather. As a result, many volunteers are dispatched in the middle of the night. Think about how difficult this must be, even if they do so during the Grand New Year celebration.
Therefore, we praise and thank our lotus friends who volunteer to participate in assisted recitation.
They are not ordinary people but great Bodhisattvas whose own rebirths have been assured. This is because without faith in the Pure Land teachings, one cannot develop the aspiration and compassion to help others. Not only that, but it requires time and energy. As said before, people with these qualities are hard to come by.
So, I truly pay tribute to those of you who do so, as you are Bodhisattvas among Bodhisattvas.
(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