[191] Only Emphasising Attaining Settlement Of The Consciousness, Not Caring About The Scene Looking ‘Good’ 只重神识得所,不在场面好看

[191] Only Emphasising Attaining Settlement [Of The] Consciousness, Not Caring [About The] Scene Looking ‘Good’


[When] approaching [life’s] end, [at this] one pass, [it is the] most important.

[Note 1: This is so as how one takes rebirth will determine the nature of the next life, which in turn affects subsequent lives, for better or worse, to remain trapped for many more lives, or be liberated in the next.]


[The] world has foolish people, for [their] fathers, mothers [and] family members, when approaching [life’s] end, always for [them] sorrowfully crying, washing [their] bodies [and] changing [their] clothes [in advance]. Only seeking [the] world’s people’s [attention, to] look ‘good’, not regarding harms [for the] deceased persons.

[Note 2: Be it in the dying or newly post-death state, if the consciousness is still in the body or around, loud weeping can create attachment, while touching and moving the body can create aversion, as there will be great pain from magnified sensitivity. With both, as the mind and body will be severely disturbed, it will be difficult to have a good rebirth, what more the best rebirth in Pure Land. As the consciousness of the departed will be able to read the minds of those grieving to know if their emotions are genuine or not, pretense of grief due to ‘attachment’ can create aversion instead.]


[Of] those not mindful [of the] Buddha, temporarily set aside, not discussing [about them, even if [with the] Aspiration [for] rebirth [in Pure Land, when] approaching [life’s] end, meeting these family members, most [will] destroy [their] Right Mindfulness, [thus] still remaining [in] this realm.

[Note 3: Family members who distract us from sincere mindfulness of Buddha function like our karmic creditors (冤亲债主) in effect. Thus, with advanced guidance, it is important to ensure that immediate caregivers and visitors will not function like karmic creditors, while those who are likely to function like so should be kept away, perhaps by not informing them of the dying person’s condition too soon.]


[When] approaching [life’s] end, support-chanting [is], for example, like [when a] cowardly person [is] ascending [a] mountain, [with] personal strength not enough, fortunately having [those in] front pulling [and] behind pushing, [those on the] left [and] right [offering] strength of support. Then can [one] ascend [the] peak [to] reach [the] utmost.

[Note 4: Family members should function like good-knowing friends (善知识) instead, by offering guidance (开示) and support-chanting (助念) to encourage the one departing, to also be mindful of the Buddha (念佛), to connect to him, for reaching his Pure Land Of Ultimate Bliss (极乐世界).]


(Of all persons [who are] usually mindful [of the] Buddha[‘s name] [Āmítuófó: 阿弥陀佛], perhaps these persons’ children [and] grandchildren [who have] faith [in the] Buddha, when approaching life’s end, [with their] invitation [of] many laypersons [for] support-chanting, its benefits [will be] extremely great. See [the] Second Compilation’s Second Reply Letter [To] Yáng Huìchāng.)

[Note 5: These persons who come to offer support-chanting should have proper understanding of the Three Great Essentials When Approaching Death《临终三大要》:]


[When] approaching [life’s] end [with] Right Mindfulness revealed, by those demonic family members [with] ‘love’ moving, touching [and] others destroyed [is], for example, like [when a] brave person [is] ascending [a] mountain, [with] personal strength abundant, yet [with] relatives [and] friends, each with their objects, enabling them [to be] taken on. Taking on too many, [with] strength exhausted [and] body weary, gazing [at the] precipice then retreating.

[Note 6: Attachment in the name of ‘love’ can thus become demonic in effect, sabotaging the departing person with physical and emotional burdens, that make it difficult to remain sincerely focused on mindfulness of the Buddha.]

Of these gains [and] losses, although due [to] others arising, [they] truly belong [to] one’s past kalpas within, [from] helping [to] accomplish [and] destroy [other] persons’ good [and] evil karma’s power as [the] causes. All those [who] cultivate pure karma, should help people [to] accomplish their Right Mindfulness, and in advance for family members, guide [on] those benefits [and] harms [at stake].

[Note 7: We are always our own primary karmic creditors, with us having created destructive causes, for secondary karmic creditors to arise, as destructive conditions. If we support others to accomplish Right Mindfulness (正念), karmically speaking, others will support us to accomplish it too.]


If each knows that [there should be] emphasis on attaining settlement [of the] consciousness, not caring [about the] ways [of the] world, [for the] scene [to] look ‘good’, hopefully [all] can [be] without worries.

[Note 8: The worldly ways of looking ‘good’, by appearing ‘filial’ with crying, moving and washing in advance are the opposite of what is spiritually good. The Three Great Essentials When Approaching Death should be learnt. In brief, they are: ‘First, skilfully inspire, guide and console the dying person, to enable giving rise to right Faith. (第一,善巧开导安慰,令生正信者。) Second, everyone should take shifts to recite the name of Buddha, so as to support pure mindfulness. (第二,大家换班念佛,以助净念者。) Third, you must avoid (touching or) moving the body and crying, so as to prevent bungling the matter (of reaching Pure Land). (第三,切戒搬动哭泣,以防误事者。) For their details, see]

Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
Dharma Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings (First Compilation): Chén Lecháng’s Rebirth’s Hidden [And Profound Meaning] Elucidated;
Record [Of] Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence (191st Short Section): 4th [Chapter]: Discussion [On] Births’ [And] Deaths’ Great Matter: Third, Guidance [On] When Approaching [Life’s] End’s Definite Essentials : (1st Short Section)

[Ref: #191 / 4.3.1]

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!

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