As for others [practising] support-chanting, [for the severely sick and possibly dying], how can [it be] with mindfulness [of] Guānyīn [Bodhisattva’s name], also for [them] praying [for] longevity?
[Being] mindful [of Amitābha] Buddha[‘s name: Āmítuófó, if] lifespan [is] yet [to] exhaust, likewise [is] able [to] extend life.
[Being] mindful [of] Guānyīn [Bodhisattva’s name], thus [is often] without mindfulness of seeking rebirth [in Āmítuófó’s Pure Land, as she is more often associated with saving from suffering, including from death].
If lifespan [is] already exhausting, [this] thus bungles [the] matter [of reaching Pure Land].
[It is] not that [those being] mindful [of] Buddha definitely [will] die, [or that those being] mindful [of] Guānyīn [Bodhisattva] definitely [will] not [be] able [to be] reborn [in Pure Land, as it depends on whether there is the corresponding Aspiration]. [Note: Guānyīn [Bodhisattva is also one of the key Bodhisattvas who receives and guides beings to Āmítuófó’s Pure Land.]
However, ignorant persons [are] without mindfulness of seeking rebirth [in Pure Land], thus also only accomplishing a kind of [negative] karmic result, [by] bungling [the] matter [of reaching Pure Land].
[The blessings from Āmítuófó’s] immeasurable light, are [able to] eradicate disasters, [be it in this life by healing, or by attaining immeasurable well-being (from lasting healing) when reaching his Pure Land].
[The blessings from Āmítuófó’s] immeasurable life, are [able to] extend life, [be it in this life by healing, or by attaining immeasurable life when reaching his Pure Land] .
[If being] mindful [of] Āmítuófó, [with the] ultimate skills, [is] even able [to] accomplish Buddhahood, how can it be not able [to] extend life, but enable swift death? [Note: Only if lifespan is already exhausting, will there be swift rebirth in Pure Land, so as to be free from needless pain and suffering.]
(Within [the] master’s reply, [by the] side [of the] two words ‘ignorant persons’, [he] draw three strokes as [a] warning. Those dying later, must not personally [make this] mistake.)
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
(Answer to layperson Zhuō Zhìlì’s question)
Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an