Have [The] Thought [Of Being] About [To] Die, Recite [The] Buddha[‘s Name To] Seek Reception [And] Guidance
[There] should be [with] all family matters, also [with] one’s physical body, all [of the] whole body let go [of]. With one [mote of] dust not defiling [the] mind within, upholding [the] ten thousand virtues’ great name’s sacred name (Āmítuófó: 阿弥陀佛), have [the] thought [that you are] about [to] die. Other [than] reciting [the] Buddha[‘s name to] seek [his] reception [and] guidance, [do] not enable [the] giving rise [of] one mixed thought.
[Note 1: These instructions are for those possibly about to depart, who should not be attached to their bodily pains and discomfort, and other thoughts of attachment, aversion and delusion (贪嗔痴). When there is wholehearted mindfulness of the Buddha (一心念佛) only, thinking that it is time to depart, all these physical and mental distractions will naturally fall away.]
[Of] those able [to do] thus, [if their] lifespans [are] already ending, [they will] then definitely [be] reborn [in the] Western [Pure Land Of Ultimate Bliss (西方极乐世界), to] transcend [the] ordinary [and] enter [the] noble.
[Note 2: As there is mindfulness of the Buddha with the Three Provisions (三资粮) of Faith, Aspiration and Practice (信愿行): https://purelanders.com/2018/02/08/the-three-provisions, there will be exiting of all ordinary beings’ (凡夫) realms to enter and become noble beings (圣者) in his Pure Land (净土).]
[If their] lifespans [are] yet [to] end, [they will] then definitely [have their] ‘fixed’ karma eliminated [and] sicknesses healed, [with] wisdom bright [and] blessings high.
[Note 3: With the great meritorious virtues (功德) from mindfulness of the Buddha, even otherwise ‘fixed’ karma (定业) or heavy karma (重业) can be eliminated or lightened to effect healing, if this is still possible in this life. If not, there will be complete and lasting healing in the next life, in his Pure Land.]
[Note 4: With mindfulness of the Buddha, connecting to him, his wisdom light (智慧光) can shine through the darkness of our delusion to awaken our wisdom, and his blessings can be shared to increase our blessings.]
If not thus having mindfulness, foolish thus, only seeking quick healing, [they will] not only [be] not able [have] quick healing, instead increasing [with] more sicknesses. Even if [their] lifespans end, [they will] definitely accord [with their] karma, drifting [and] sinking, and for [a] long time without [the] date of exiting this suffering Sahā [World].
[Note 5: There should not be pining for healing when very sick and possibly dying, for if healing is not longer possible here, such pining in vain will worsen (mental and) physical health. Since there is no Aspiration (愿) for birth in Pure Land when dying thus, one will only be karmically reborn elsewhere, still within ordinary beings’ realms, including lower realms. Thus, those very sick and dying should only be wholeheartedly mindful of the Buddha for reaching his Pure Land.]
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
Dharma Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings (First Compilation): Letter For Fāng Shèngyìn;
Record [Of] Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence (193rd Short Section): 4th [Chapter]: Discussion [On] Births’ [And] Deaths’ Great Matter: Third, Guidance [On] When Approaching [Life’s] End’s Definite Essentials : (3rd Short Section)
[Ref: #193 / 4.3.3]
Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an
Record Of Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence
Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!