Should The Deceased Be Guided To Do Anything Besides Niànfó? 应当引导亡者做念佛以外的事吗?What Should Be The Focus Of Guidance Offered To The Deceased? 给与亡者的开示该专注什么?

Question [1]: Before offering support-chanting (助念) for a relative who recently passed away, what should I recite as guidance text (开示文)?

Answer: You can use the below.

Question [2]: What if she has yet to let go of someone?

Answer: Although in essence already in the above guidance text, you can add the below for emphasis.

From Pure Land, you can still look after everyone you care about. If not reaching Pure Land, you will soon be reborn elsewhere, forgetting all your past relations. Thus, please Niànfó (念佛) as sincerely as you can, until you see Āmítuófó (阿弥陀佛) come, and follow him to reach his Pure Land, where we will all meet later.’

Question [3]: As she has an estranged child she still cares about, is it alright to add his address to the guidance text, so that she can visit him one last time for reconciliation?

Answer: Do NOT share the address. Do NOT alter the guidance text, which should be shared in its entirely too. Just remind her as above, that she can look after everyone in Pure Land, and that all will be truly well if she reaches Pure Land swiftly.

If she is in the (intermediate) bardo state (中阴) and is disturbed upon seeing that he is not doing well, there might be distress and attachment, preventing sincere Niànfó. Being in the bardo state is already very dangerous, able to be swept away by the winds of karma (业风) to elsewhere at any time.

Thus, there is no more time to send the deceased on a worldly errand. It was precisely due to not having let go of worldly matters in time in our past lives, that we were reborn to reach this life, remaining trapped. Especially if already deceased, there should only be wholehearted Niànfó to reach Pure Land. This must be the only focus.

Related Articles:

What Should Be Chanted During And After Funerals?

Guidance Texts Before Support-Chanting

How I Guided My Beloved Grandma To Niànfó Sincerely

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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