[194] Let Go Of All When Old And Sick, Only Picking Up The Buddha’s Name 老病皆放下,只提起佛号

[When] Old [And] About [To] Die, What Should [Be Done]?


You [are] already more [than] seventy years [old]. Not long [later, you] will [be] dying. Now, [you] must have all matters, all settled well.


In [your] mind, besides mindfulness [of] Buddha, without another one matter worrying [and] hanging, then when approaching [life’s] end, then can [you be] without worries [and] without obstacles.


If now, [you] still are [with] all kinds [of things] not put down, not seen [through] clearly, then when approaching [life’s] end, [for] all having [the] mind of greedy attachment, [to] clothing, jewellery, house, children [and] grandchildren, [with] all manifesting [in the] present, how [can you be] able [to be] reborn [in the] Western [Pure Land Of Ultimate Bliss]?


Since not able [to be] born [in the] Western [Pure Land], then [will] your one life’s steadfastness [in] integrity [with] mindfulness [of] Buddha, and those all kinds of matters having benefits done, totally become blessed rewards completely.


You now [are] still without wisdom, although constantly diligent [with] mindfulness [of] Buddha, [your] mind within still [does] not definitely seek birth [in the] Western [Pure Land]. Reaching [the] future life, when enjoying blessings, definitely by blessings those confused, [you] will then create many evil karmas.


Since [having] created evil karmas, [you] definitely will fall into [the paths of] hell[-beings], hungry ghosts [and] animals within [to] receive suffering. These kinds [of] great suffering, all are [from this] present life’s mindfulness [of] Buddha, not knowing [to] definitely seek birth [in the] Western [Pure Land], by that attracted.


[194] Let Go [Of] All [When] Old [And] Sick, Only Picking Up [The] Buddha’s Name


[Of] your mind within, other [than] mindfulness [of the] Buddha[‘s name (Āmítuófó: 阿弥陀佛)], [do] not enable [it to] have one bit of other [kinds of] thoughts. Even [of] your this body, also not [needing to] plan in advance [about] after death, [on] what [to] do [to] settle [it]. Even [of your] grandchildren, great-grandchildren [and] others, all must [be] regarded as people formerly not acquainted with, not paying attention [to] them [at] length [and in] brief. Only pay attention [to] my mindfulness [of the] Buddha, wholeheartedly hoping for [the] Buddha [to] come, [to] receive [and] guide] me, [to be] reborn [in his] West[ern Pure Land Of Ultimate Bliss (西方极乐世界)].

[Note 1: These are teachings for someone already very old, and probably very sick too, who should only be focused on sincere practice for reaching Pure Land then. If there is time, there can be instructions on how to handle the body, aiming for little hassle and low cost. However, since the body will be useless after departure, how it will be handled eventually should not be a matter of great concern. Family members especially already attached to should not be further attached to. This is for the greater good of all, so as to be more wholeheartedly mindful of the Buddha, to reach his Pure Land, to be better equipped to help them later.]


You, [if] able [to] accord [with] that I [have] said [to] do, [of] all matters entirely letting [them] go, when reaching, approaching life’s end, [you will] naturally connect [to the] Buddha, [who will] personally approach, [to] receive [and] guide [you, to be] reborn [in his] Western [Pure Land]. If still greedily attached [to] all ‘good’ things, and silver money, house, jewellery, clothes, also sons, daughters, grandchildren, great-grandchildren [and] others, [you will] thus absolutely also not [be] able [to be] born [in his] Western [Pure Land].

[Note 2: No matter where reborn in, none of the above worldly things can be brought along. Even worldly relationships will be forgotten, unless reborn as a ghost or god who can recollect past lives for a while. Upon reaching of Pure Land, none of the worldly ‘good’ things will be needed, while there will be spiritually best versions available, that best express the Dharma. All past lives’ relationships will be remembered, which will motivate further sincere Dharma practice, so as to have skilful means to guide them to Pure Land too.]


[In the] Western [Pure Land] since not born, then [in the] next life, definitely having deluded blessings [that] can [be] enjoyed. Because [of] enjoying blessings, then creating [evil] karmas. [As a] definite rule, [with] one breath not coming, falling [into the] three [lower] realms.

[Note 3: The above sequence of ‘rise’ and fall is due to the problem of three lifetimes’ grievances (三世怨):]

Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
Dharma Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings (Second Compilation): Dharma Words [Of] Guidance [For] Zhōu-Yú Zhìlián;
Record [Of] Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence (194th Short Section): 4th [Chapter]: Discussion [On] Births’ [And] Deaths’ Great Matter: Third, Guidance [On] When Approaching [Life’s] End’s Definite Essentials : (4th Short Section)

[Ref: #194 / 4.3.4]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Related Text:

Record Of Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Alert: Content is protected !!