Why Is Guidance And Support-Chanting Crucial?

Photo by 祐任 鄭: https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-monk-praying-in-front-of-an-altar-10269145/

Question: Why is offering of guidance (开示) and support-chanting (助念) crucial for the dying?

Answer: Without instructional guidance given, the dying might not know or remember how to position their minds, and their last thoughts, if unskilful in nature, will lead to rebirths in a lower realms with more suffering.

Without support-chanting using Buddha’s name (e.g. 阿弥陀佛: Āmítuófó), this most skilful thought is difficult to arise and sustain, for connecting to him, so as to have the best rebirth, in his Pure Land (净土).

Question: Is there a simple example of a worst-case scenario if the dying lack guidance and support-chanting?

Answer: If the dying have very evil karmas (恶业) ripening, karmic creditors (冤亲债主) might appear to ‘force’ them to be ‘mindful’ of them, as malevolent ghosts. With their last thoughts being of ghosts (instead of the Buddha), they can die from fear suddenly and become malevolent ghosts too. This is how easily and quickly they can fall to become restless and suffering spirits.

Related Teachings:

What To Chant When Dying, After Death, During And After Wakes

The Three Great Essentials When Approaching Death

Related Testimony:

[78] How I Guided My Gugu To Reach Pure Land

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