I am a novice in the Dharma but I would like to share my recent experience. I had attended Shi’an’s 10th run of the ‘Understanding Amituofo Via The Amitabha Sutra’ course in 2012, and I am glad that I did as I learnt much from his lessons. I put what he taught into good use for my beloved dog when he passed away on 12 June 2013. (You can look out for information about the 12th run of the course to be held in September 2013, to be updated at http://thedailyenlightenment.com/category/06 soon.)
My dog had severe skin infection for many years and lost his sight a few years ago. I knew Shi’an said that such suffering could be due to the negative karma built up in the (present or) previous lives. If so, I think he should have expended much of this pent up negative karma in this lifetime. I wanted to help free him from samsaric suffering. Although uncertain if animals can reach Pure Land, I nevertheless tried to guide him along.
I remembered clearly that Shi’an told us to chant sincerely. My Sister and I chanted for him for several hours on the day he died. The next day, we noticed that his limbs were still fairly supple when he was put him into a box for cremation staff to pick him up.
In the afternoon, I heard music of Amituofo’s name. I thought it was from some wake downstairs or from my handphone, as I had been playing Amituofo’s name for my dog in the past few months when he was bedridden. But my Mum said there was no wake. Neither was my phone playing any music. I could still hear the music as I walked to my dining room. When I asked my Sister if she heard the nice music, she shook her head. I don’t think it was hallucination as I was eager to guide my dog to go Pure Land and the music was fairly clear.
Those who keep pets will share the same feeling – ‘once a pet, always a pet’. Though a dog, he was an important member of our family. I am glad I did what I could to help him have a good rebirth. I am sure he is now relieved from his long suffering.
- Indeed, animals can reach Pure Land too, when they are guided to give rise to the Three Provisions (Faith, Aspiration & Practice) in time.
- There are more inspiring cases to share at : https://purelanders.com/2011/12/16/can-animals-reach-pure-land/
- Having supple limbs is a good sign, aligned with Amituofo’s vow #33 of being able to share his merits with those mindful of him to have tenderness (ease and blissfulness) of body and mind (身心柔软).
- Hearing Amituofo’s name (天乐盈空) is a good sign too. As there was enough presence of mind to check with others if they heard it, it was unlikely to be unmindful hallucination. Often, it is those with stronger affinity with Amituofo who hear such sacred music as a sign of assurance, while those with less connection are not sufficiently aligned to hear it yet.
- With these auspicious signs, it is very likely that your dog reached Pure Land. Even if not, there is definitely a good rebirth. Amituofo.