Question: Is observation of precepts required for reaching Pure Land?
Answer: With Nianfo (Practice of sincere mindfulness of Amitabha Buddha’s name – ‘Amituofo’ with the right Faith and Aspiration) done sincerely, the basic precepts will naturally be upheld. In the midst of sincere Nianfo, it is impossible to break the precepts to do the unwholesome. If this is not the case, Nianfo is simply not practised sincerely enough yet.
With the precepts observed well in everyday life, one’s mind will more easily peacefully abide upon Amituofo’s name. With the precepts not observed well, more negative karma might manifest to obstruct fruitful Nianfo. Despite this, Nianfo should be continued to express repentance for the negative karma, to connect to Amituofo, to create meritorious virtues to eradicate such karma.
Along with Nianfo, if there is diligent committing to upholding of the precepts, ranging from at least the Five Precepts… to Eight Precepts, Bodhisattva Precepts, Monastic Precepts, the grade of birth attained will be accordingly higher. If no precepts were observed diligently in everyday life, there must be, at least on the deathbed, sincere repentance and no breaking of precepts during sincere Nianfo.