The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Nine: Sending on Spirits in Transition


The Founding Master continued, “When patients who are on their deathbed realize that the moment of nirvāṇa is near, they should let go of all thoughts about everything and collect and concentrate their spirits. If for unavoidable reasons they have to make a will, they should take care of it in advance and not think about it so that it does not become an obstacle to their concentration, for at this moment, there is nothing more crucial. Also, if on thinking back on your life, there are incidents where you have been holding a grudge or have become an enemy to someone, ask that person to come and do your best to eliminate those previous enmities. Should that person not be available, you ought to try hard, if only by yourself to let go of your resentment. Unless you manage to resolve the resentment in your own mind, it will become a seed of an unwholesome cause and fruition in your next life. Also, if on thinking back on your life, you see that you have been attached to certain cravings in your daily life and have not been able to sever those attachments, then try hard to let go of those thoughts even if you have to force yourself. If you do not sever that attachment, naturally you will not attain true nirvāṇa, and those attachments will forever become a cause for transmigration in baleful destinies. Let the departing spirit of the dying, after they have assiduously attended to all these provisions, leave at the final moment as an even purer spirit, utterly putting away all unrighteous thoughts and relying on meditation or recitation of the Buddha’s name. This way, even people who did not have clear understanding of the truth of birth and death will be able to avoid baleful destinies and return to salutary destinies. However, this dharma is not just something one should observe and practice when one is about to die. For people whose lives are already equipped with fundamental faith and practice, that dharma enjoins that they must try even harder in their final hours; for those lacking faith and practice, things will not work out well even if they tried at the moment of death. Thus, you must have a solemn understanding of this in advance and avoid having regrets about your failure at the decisive moment. Always bear every one of these provisions in mind so there will be no serious mistake in the comings and goings of the spirit. The matter of birth and death is so important that you cannot be too careful about it.”