Q: Dear Master Lu, on your radio program, a listener shared that she helped her deceased family member ascend to the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss by reciting the Amitabha Sutra along with Little Houses. How should we go about doing it in terms of the number of recitations, prayers and procedures? Please kindly advise.
- The example on the radio program is a special case. Reciting Little Houses for the deceased remains the principal method of helping them ascend to a higher realm.
- If a deceased person had a relatively solid foundation for attaining Buddhahood, practised Buddhism, cultivated their minds while they were still alive, performed good deeds and accumulated merits and virtues, and is in heaven now, then one can also recite the Amitabha Sutra along with reciting and burning Little Houses for them. Say the following prayer: “May the Greatly Merciful and Greatly Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva have compassion on <full name of the deceased>’s foundation for attaining Buddhahood, and help him/her ascend to the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss.” In doing so, the deceased is more likely to be reborn into the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss.
- If the deceased person’s foundation is not solid enough, has a great deal of karmic obstacles or is currently in the underworld, it is very difficult to help them ascend to the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss by reciting the Amitabha Sutra. Therefore, this method is not recommended. The key to helping the deceased ascend to a higher spiritual realm still is continuously reciting and burning Little Houses for them.
- If the deceased person has a certain foundation for attaining Buddhahood, you can recite the Amitabha Sutra for them once a day within the 49 days following their passing, while following the instructions of Guan Yin Citta Dharma Door to burn a large quantity of Little Houses for them. In the meantime, recite the Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance for them 3 to 5 times per day to help the deceased quickly eliminate their karmic obstacles.
- If a deceased person with a certain foundation has passed away for a long time, and you still wish to help them ascend to the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss, then you can recite the Amitabha Sutra once after burning every 3 Little Houses for them (complete this within the same day).
- When reciting the Amitabha Sutra for the deceased, you do not need to record the number of recitations on Self-Cultivation Record Forms. Simply recite the sutra for them directly.