Question: My old Mother has been chanting Om Mani Padme Hung daily for some months. For reaching Amituofo’s Pure Land, I am thinking of encouraging her to chant Amituofo too, in the evening, with Om Mani Padme Hung in the morning, or vice versa. Is it a good idea to chant both?
Answer: If not so receptive to change, she can stick to Om Mani Padme Hung all the way, though there might not be support-chanting groups practising it, where she lives? Perhaps, for easier transition, you can first encourage her to chant both as proposed, before focusing on just one.
If receptive, for the clear and eventual purpose of reaching Amituofo’s Pure Land, it is easier and thus better to focus directly on Amituofo’s name, which is shorter too. There is no need to chant both, as long as the same Three Provisions (Faith, Aspiration and Practice) to reach Pure Land are given rise to. Then again, if she prefers to chant both, it is alright too, so long as she sees one as a Main Practice, for which she focuses the most efforts in practice.
Om Mani Padme Hung is the heart mantra of Guanyin Bodhisattva, who also guides beings to Amituofo’s Pure Land. She is also the leading assistant Bodhisattva of Amituofo. However, Amituofo’s name is also an unsurpassable mantra: http://purelanders.com/2011/12/16/the-name-of-amituofo-is-the-supreme-mantra In this sense, its benefits are equal to that of Om Mani Padme Hung.