[Explanation]: Question: When approaching [the] end [of life, with the] Buddha appearing, how [can it be] guaranteed [that he is] not [a] demon?
Answer: [When] persons cultivating [their] minds [are] not doing Buddha [mindfulness or] contemplation, yet [with the] Buddha suddenly appearing, not [being] originally who expected, thus [is this] named [a] demonic matter.
[Note 1: For example, if mindful of breathing, yet seeing a Buddha appearing, with such cause and effect not matching, this is considered a demonic matter. Some of these matters are not caused by external demons, but inner demons, in terms of false (or stray) thoughts arising from the Three Poisons of greed, hatred and delusion.]
[When] mindful [of the] Buddha, seeing [that] Buddha, [this] then is correspondence [with the Buddha].
[Note 2: As taught in the ‘Śūraṅgama Sūtra’s Section (On) Great Power Arrived Bodhisattva’s Perfect Penetration (With) Mindfulness (Of) Buddha’《大势至菩萨念佛圆通章》:
‘If sentient beings’ minds, recollect (the) Buddha (and/or are) mindful (of the) Buddha, now (or in the) future (e.g. when approaching the end of life), (they) will definitely see (the) Buddha.’]
Moreover, when approaching [the] end [of life with mindfulness of Buddha that is the cause for having protection, thus with] no cause [for] demonic [matters], where [is there] need [for] doubt [and] worry?
[Note 3: When mindful of Buddha, there will be the mindful protection of all Buddhas. Also, the demonic will disappear when there is mindfulness of Buddha, and the Buddha will appear. As taught in the Amitā(bha) Sūtra《阿弥陀经》:
‘(I)f (there) are good men (and) good women, (who) hear this sūtra, accept (and) uphold (it), and hear all these Buddhas’ names (which includes that of Āmítuófó), all these good men (and) good women (will), by all Buddhas, (be) mindfully protected’]
– Pure Land Tradition’s 9th Patriarch Great Master Ǒuyì
(Essential Explanation [Of The] Sūtra [In Which The] Buddha Speaks [Of] Amitā[bha] Buddha)
Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an
Next Section: When To Have Wholehearted Mindfulness Of Buddha?