— 防魔偈 (1)
Not with the Precepts,
to subdue the Three Poisons,
is to personally connect and call upon
the Fifty Aggregate Demons.
— Verses On Prevention Of The Demonic (1)
The following is the summary of a public case (公案) (with expanded notes), as originally recounted by Dharma Master Rùchuān (入川法师) during Lúshān Dōnglín Monastery’s (庐山东林寺) ‘Support-Chanting’s Practical Explanation’s《助念实操讲解》third talk in 2015, as part of the ‘First Lotus Tradition’s Support-Chanting Talk Series’ (首届莲宗助念系列讲座).
Sìchuān’s (四川) Tiāndì Shèng Yuàn Funeral Service (天地圣苑) is a funeral parlour and crematorium. One day, the ghost of someone who had a sudden death possessed a young worker there, who was tall, big and strong. Unable to control his own body, he wanted to jump down a building. There were quite many other young workers there, who were brave, and wanted to press him down. But as they could not control the possessing ghost, this was useless.
They later called 120 for medical personnel to come for emergency rescue. When they came, upon seeing the situation, they gave him a ‘tranquiliser’ injection, but it was also useless. Therefore, this is a real possession. Although a human’s body can be injected, as the possessing ghost has no flesh body, the ghost cannot be injected. If it was a false possession, because there is no possessing ghost exerting further control of the body, once injected, the person will naturally and directly become unconscious.
They thought that as his build was big, they gave him another shot, but it was also useless. They said, ‘Whatever you have brought, you can inject them all!’ The doctor said, ‘If injecting further, he will die! This is not in our scope of supervision. You all should call 110 for the police!’ When 120 left and 110 came, they said they were causing ‘trouble’, ‘This is not under our management! We are in charge of catching criminals. How do we catch this “thing”?‘
After 110 also left, they finally thought of finding a young laywoman who once practised support-chanting (助念) there, although she had also never handled this kind of matters before. They said, ‘It does not matter if you had handled these matters before. You should just come!’ She said she does not know any other method, only knowing to be mindful of the Buddha’s name. They said, ‘It does not matter what you chant. Just see if you can solve the problem!’
When she came, she only chanted ‘Āmítuófó’ (阿弥陀佛: Amitā[bha] Buddha’s name in Chinese) once, and the problem was immediately solved! Upon waking, because of the medication taking effect, the possessed worker became unconscious. Upon waking again a few days later, he did not know what happened. When others told him what happened, he became afraid, and now recites the Buddha’s name daily. Finally, all of the parlour’s workers took refuge in the Triple Gem together, and also learnt to practise mindfulness of Buddha together.
As the Pure Land Tradition’s 9th Patriarch Great Master Ǒuyì (净土宗九祖蕅益大师) wrote in the ‘Spirit Peak Tradition’s Treatise’《灵峰宗论》, ‘”When you once recite the Buddha’s name, from your chest, suddenly extends five-coloured (i.e. varicoloured) light, that radiates for more than 10 zhàngs (i.e. 33.3 metres), that dazzles my (ghostly) mind and eyes, to not be able to again come near you!” … As the ghost did not plant good roots, not having heard the Buddha’s name before, he thus became surprised and fearful.’「『汝一念佛，胸辄舒五色光十余丈，眩我[鬼]心目，不能复近汝矣！』… 鬼不种善根，不闻佛名，故惊怖。」This is the great protective power of mindfulness of Buddha with deep faith!
— 防魔偈 (2)
To guard the precepts diligently and strictly,
to eradicate greed, hatred and delusion,
is [o personally drive away
all inner and outer demons.
— Verses On Prevention Of The Demonic (2)
Mindfulness Of Āmítuófó Protects From Evil Ghosts And Ferocious Beasts