Can Karmic Creditors Manifest As Āmítuófó To Deceive The Dying? 冤亲债主能化成阿弥陀佛蒙骗临终者吗?

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Question [1]: How should the dying (or just deceased) prevent being deceived by karmic creditors (冤亲债主) to follow them, if they manifest as familiar or endearing ones beckoning?

Answer: With faithful recitation of Āmítuófó’s name (阿弥陀佛), such karmic creditors, if present, will retreat. If with sincere Aspiration (愿) to be reborn in his Pure Land (净土) too, he will manifest to receive and guide (接引) the dying to reach it swiftly.

Question [2]: Can a karmic creditor manifest as Āmítuófó if the dying person’s Faith (信) is weak?

Answer: Since it is not always easy to know if the dying person’s Faith is strong enough, there should be ample guidance (开示) and support-chanting (助念) offered to educate and motivate his/her Practice (行) of mindfulness of Buddha (念佛) respectively, thus strengthening the Faith.

Once there is more Faith than doubt (疑), no karmic creditor will be able to manifest as Āmítuófó. Every ongoing recitation is the expression and assertion of Faith, that can increase with sincere Aspiration with each recitation, as encouraged by sincere support-chanters.

When there is sincere mindfulness of Āmítuófó’s name, there will be connection to the bright light of his blessings. As taught by the Pure Land Tradition’s 9th Patriarch Great Master Ǒuyì (净土宗九祖蕅益大师) in his ‘Spirit Peak Tradition’s Treatise’《灵峰宗论》, ‘[O]nce reciting the Buddha’s name, from your chest, suddenly extends five-coloured (i.e. varicoloured) light, that radiates for more than 10 zhàngs (33.3 metres), that dazzles… [ghosts’] minds and eyes, to not be able to again come near… [G]hosts who did not plant good roots, not having heard the Buddha’s name before, thus become surprised and fearful.’ (一念佛,胸辄舒五色光十余丈,眩[鬼]心目,不能复近… 鬼不种善根,不闻佛名,故惊怖。) Thus, karmic creditors with ill intentions will stay away.

Also, with ‘live’ support-chanting of those with Right Faith (正信), karmic creditors will not be able to come near. External aids such as a consecrated Rebirth Blanket (往生被), having many protective mantras (咒), can also be put on to prevent karmic creditors from approaching.

However, with or without support-chanting, the dying must still personally be sincerely mindful of Āmítuófó’s name with Faith and Aspiration (信愿念佛) to connect to him, to see (见佛) and follow him (跟佛) to his Pure Land. With all the above done, no fake Āmítuófó can appear.

There should be reciting of Āmítuófó’s name all the way until he appears and his Pure Land is reached. Anything that distracts from this should be ignored. When anyone uncertain appears, reciting of Āmítuófó’s name should all the more continue. If he is not his manifestation, he will disappear.

Question [3]: If the dying follows a karmic creditor, where will he or she be reborn?

Answer: There will usually be rebirth in the ghost (鬼) or animal (畜生) realm as the ones able to manifest to deceive are usually ghosts, including those of deceased animals. If the three poisons (三毒) of greed, hatred (or fear) and delusion (贪嗔痴) are stirred up to be very intense, there might even be fall into the hells (地狱). (For ‘great’ but non-Pure Land practitioners, heavenly demons [天魔] might manifest to tempt and mislead.)

Karmically, the one mindful of right before rebirth will lead to that one’s realm accordingly. While an animal’s ghost is actually a ghost and not an animal, if the thought right before rebirth is that of an animal, there can be rebirth in the animal realm, as a corresponding animal.

Related Articles:

Mindfulness Of Āmítuófó Protects From Evil Ghosts & Ferocious Beasts

How To Avoid Supernatural Disturbances And Curses?

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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