Q: Master Lu, if elderly people are not capable of reciting sutras, can they just recite “Namo Amitabha” (Na Mo A Mi Tuo Fo) or “Namo the Greatly Merciful and Greatly Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva” (Na Mo Da Ci Da Bei Guan Shi Yin Pu Sa), and record these recitations of Buddha names on a piece of yellow paper, then burn these yellow paper records at the end of their lives? Would this have the same effect as having someone perform the “end-of-life chanting” for them?
- There is no effect if you just recite the holy names of Amitabha Buddha or Guan Yin Bodhisattva and record the recitations on a piece of yellow paper.
- It is best to recite the Amitabha Sutra, or other sutras and mantras, and record these recitations for self-cultivation purposes, that is, to record them on a Self-Cultivation Record Form. A sample Self-Cultivation Record Form can be found in here.
- Burning Self-Cultivation Record Forms at the end of someone’s life has the same effect as inviting Amitabha Buddha to come and lead them to a higher spiritual realm. Based upon their virtues and their level of spiritual development throughout their lives, it will be determined whether they can go to heaven, and whether Bodhisattvas will come and lead them to a higher spiritual realm. Therefore, people with great virtue will smell the fragrance of sandalwood, see Bodhisattvas, and hear heavenly music on their deathbed.
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