As the nature of our last thought
leads to a corresponding rebirth,
we should nurture the purest thought now,
via mindfulness of Buddha,
to be like Buddha, to be with Buddha.
Once, in times past, there were two monks who cultivated together. One liked the high mountain scenery, while the other built himself a hut on the banks of a brook, near a forest. Years went by. The monk who resided by the brook passed away first. Learning the news, his friend went down to visit his grave. After reciting sutras and praying for his friend’s liberation, the visiting monk entered samadhi and attempted to see where his friend had gone–to no avail. The friend was nowhere to be found, neither in the heavens nor in the hells, nor in any of the realms in between.
Emerging from samadhi, he asked the attending novice, ‘What was your Master busy with every day?’ The novice replied, ‘In the last few months before his death, seeing that the sugar cane in front of his hut was tall and green, my Master would go out continually to apply manure and prune away the dead leaves. He kept close watch over the cane, and seemed so happy taking care of it.’ Upon hearing this, the visiting monk entered samadhi again, and saw that his friend had been reborn as a worm inside one of the stalks of sugar cane. The monk immediately cut down that stalk, slit it open and extracted the worm. He preached the Dharma to it and recited the Amitabha Buddha’s name (Amituofo), dedicating the merit to the worm’s salvation. (Master Tam)
Thus Have I Heard: Buddhist Parables & Stories
Understanding Amituofo Via The Amitabha Sutra