[With] Complementary Support-Chanting [Of The] Buddha[‘s Name, Be] Even More Capable
All people [who] have sicknesses, can [be] those [using] medicine [for] treatment, also not needing [to] not use medicine at all. [However], those [who] cannot [be] with medicine treated, although [with an] ‘elixir’, [it is] also without usefulness, moreover [with] worldly medicine?
[Note 1: While sicknesses arise from evil karma, having appropriate medicine available arises from good karma, which can be used to counter or treat the sicknesses, if they are still treatable. If there are very serious sicknesses, even with very good medicine, they cannot be treated, as the evil karma is too strong. If available, it is sensible to also use physical medicine to complement spiritual medicine, as below, to expedite possible healing.]
Regardless [of having] sicknesses that [are] able [to be] treated [or] not able [to be] treated, all should take [the] Āgada medicine [with sincere mindfulness of the Buddha’s name (Āmítuófó: 阿弥陀佛)]. This medicine absolutely [will] not harm people, [with the] taking [of it], perhaps [with the] body or mind, definitely immediately seeing [its] efficacy.
[Note 2: Āgada medicine (阿伽陀药) refers to the Ten Thousand Virtues’ Great Name (万德洪名) of Āmítuófó (阿弥陀佛), which is a panacea or cure-all. With sincere mindfulness of the Buddha’s name, if physical or mental healing is still possible here, there will be swift healing here. Otherwise, there will be complete and lasting healing upon reaching his Pure Land, as there will be no more sicknesses there, while having immeasurable life (无量寿) too.]
However, [in this] human life’s world, regardless [of for] long [or] temporarily, [in the] end has a death. This death [is] not worth pitying, [while for] this death then, that place of ‘return’, [how can there be] not in advance for [it having] peaceful settlement?
[Note 3: Even when healing is still possible here, there can never be complete and lasting healing, since it is in the universal karma of all ordinary beings (凡夫) to have eventual departure here. Thus, healing here should not always be pined for, especially when already very old and/or seriously sick. There should only be sincere practice of mindfulness of Buddha with Aspiration (愿) to reach his Pure Land then.]
Those [who] have strength, [if are with] themselves in advance for peacefully settling [themselves] properly, then [when] approaching [life’s] end, [they] certainly [do] not need other people for [offering] them complementary support. However, [if] able [to have] complementary support, then [will they be] even more capable. Those without strength, should enable family members [to] represent [them] with reciting [of the] Buddha[‘s name]. Then [will they] definitely [be] able [to] give rise [to] Right Mindfulness, not likely [to be with] affection [and] love entangled, [to] still [be] those by love bound, [to] dwell here [and] not exit.
[Note 4: While it is best to not need complementary support, it is always better to have complementary support than not, if available, to boost one’s efforts. Those who need support should have family members and good-knowing friends (善知识) offering guidance (开示) and support-chanting (助念). When loved ones do so sincerely, knowing their kind intentions to help them be focused on mindfulness of Buddha to reach his Pure Land, this also helps to lessen worldly attachment to them.]
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
Dharma Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings (First Compilation): First Reply Letter [To] Huáng Hánzhī;
Record [Of] Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence (192nd Short Section): 4th [Chapter]: Discussion [On] Births’ [And] Deaths’ Great Matter: Third, Guidance [On] When Approaching [Life’s] End’s Definite Essentials : (2nd Short Section)
[Ref: #192 / 4.3.2]
Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an
Record Of Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence