Question: If the wish is to guide the deceased at a wake to reach Amituofo’s Pure Land with Nianfo (practice of mindfulness of the name of Amitabha Buddha – ‘Amituofo’), is there any difference in placing an image of a Bodhisattva versus that of Amituofo (Amitabha Buddha)?
Answer: All great Bodhisattvas, having great compassionate skilful means, will guide the deceased, who are sincerely mindful of them with the same necessary Three Provisions (of Faith, Aspiration and Practice), to reach Amituofo’s Pure Land. However, it might be confusing on one hand, to persuade the deceased to be mindful of Amituofo, while on the other hand having a image of a Bodhisattva, that the deceased might not relate to directly. As such, it is best to use an image of Amituofo to streamline guidance.
In case the undertaker employed runs out of Amituofo images, it might prove useful to have an Amituofo image of a good size on standby at home for such cases. Note that the undertaker who lacks understanding while running out of Amituofo images might insist that using another image makes no difference at all, which might not be the case, as explained above.