The Basic Mindset of Amitabha Name Reciters
From sensing the suffering in the Saha world, we recite Amitabha’s name naturally and continuously.
One whose aspiration for rebirth is sincere does not need to be prodded or encouraged by others to recite, but wants to, because he knows that the Saha world is false and upside down. Only the Land of Ultimate Bliss and Amitabha Buddha are real and worthy of pursuit and contemplation. Under such circumstances, reciting Amitabha’s name is the most valuable thing in his life, not a successful career, high societal status, or a happy family. All the glory and wealth in the world are only the results of people’s karma, while the pain and pleasure are all temporary. So, the Saha world is considered essentially a place of suffering, even with happiness. Therefore, Amitabha name reciters decide to completely forgo suffering and attain happiness in the Land of Ultimate Bliss. With such a mindset, he will naturally recite Amitabha’s name, which is the right karma of assured rebirth in his land; such a person will be reborn for sure.
Even more, he does not need to wait until death, for his rebirth is assured now. As stated just before, no matter what causes his death, whether it may be illness, suicide, or accident in a disaster, he will not have the slightest doubt about his rebirth because he is confident that Amitabha has great wisdom, supernatural powers, compassion, and vow-power, therefore knowing the karma of each name reciter, when his life will end, and the circumstances under which he will be reborn, and the Buddha will definitely come to greet him.
From knowing the Buddha’s mind, one has great calm.
Since he knows the Buddha's mind, he has no doubt or fear about his death, because according to the sutra, "The Buddha's light shines in all worlds of the ten directions, embracing sentient beings never to forsake them." A reciter of Amitabha's name is embraced by Amitabha's light at all times from now to the end of his life, like water in a glass will never flow out. As the Amitabha Sutra says, "At the end of his life, Amitabha Buddha, Avalokiteshvara, Mahasthamaprapta, and a vast ocean assembly of Bodhisattvas will appear before him."
Because Amitabha appears before the moment of our death, our mind is undisturbed, and we are reborn for certain. We reciters see him appear on our deathbed, even if we are in a coma or our pain is so miserable that uttering his name is impossible. We simply wait quietly and patiently, knowing that he will arrive when the time comes. Therefore, this gives us great peace of mind, joy, and enthusiasm, knowing that all our sufferings (samsara, physical body, worldly existence) are already going to end, and we will be granted the bliss of Amitabha's Pure Land.
A reciter who does not understand the principle of Amitabha’s deliverance will still be distressed, feeling a sense of unease and worrying at the end of his life, even making others worry as well, about whether or not he will gain rebirth. On the other hand, one who DOES understand will feel relief and peace when facing death, even if he is so sick as to be unable to recite the name. No matter how he recites, his mind is firm without the slightest doubt. Therefore, regardless whether our roots are strong or inferior and whatever happens in the world, we simply try to recite Amitabha’s name persistently. This is the fundamental mentality that every Amitabha name reciter should adopt.
(Translated by the Pure Land School Translation Team; edited by Eddie Cao)
Faith in, and acceptance of, Amitabha’s deliverance
Single-minded recitation of Amitabha’s name
Aspiration to rebirth in Amitabha’s Pure Land
Comprehensive deliverance of all sentient beings