Question: Can reciting the name [of Amituofo] with a scattered mind, also eradicate transgressions?
Answer: As the name [of Amituofo] has meritorious virtues that are inconceivable, how can it not eradicate transgressions? However, it does not definitely [lead to] rebirth [in Pure Land if recited with a scattered mind]. With drawn out and scattered goodness, it is thus difficult to rival beginninglessly accumulated transgressions.
It should be known that accumulated transgressions, if with physical form, exhausting the realms in empty space, they will not be able to contain or receive them. Although for a hundred years’ days and nights reciting Amituofo’s name ten thousand times, with each recitation eradicating 80 kotis [i.e. 10 million each] of kalpas’ [i.e. world cycles of about 1.3 trillion years each] births’ and deaths’ transgressions, however, the eradicated transgressions are like earth in one’s fingernails, [while] yet to be eradicated transgressions are like the great Earth’s earth.
Only reciting to reach wholeheartedness without being scattered, is thus like a strong person breaking out of an enclosure to escape, not again by three armies [from the left, middle and right] able to be subdued.
Essential Explanation On The Amitabha Sutra As Spoken By The Buddha
The Pure Land Tradition’s 9th Patriarch Great Master Ouyi
Namo Amituofo : Translation by Shen Shi’an