承天禪寺助念教學。人生最大的一件事 Please Note:
Contains graphic images of death; not suitable for children.
This YouTube video instructs on preparing for death and
rebirth. In Mandarin Chinese.
the 12th month of the year Ren Shen (1932), the Buddha Recitation
Association of Miao Shi Monastery in Amoy asked me to give a talk,
the transcription of which formed the basis for this article.
At that time, Vinaya Master Liao Shi was ill in bed. He was
miserable day and night. When he saw this article, he suddenly felt
a mixture of joy and sorrow. He ignored his body and mind, forgot
about his medicines, and vigorously recited the Buddha's name. Even
though he was sick, he still got out of bed and bowed the Great
Compassion Repentance. He sang praises and recited Sutras loudly and
knelt for hours. His perseverance and vigor surpassed that of
Those who saw him or heard about it were surprised and pleased.
They commented on what a great inspiration this article provides.
So I thought that although this article is only a few pages long,
still it is the excerpts of the inspired words of the past and
present, plus some of my own experiences. Those who are happy with
simplified materials might prefer this. That is why I compiled this
material so that it can be printed for distribution.
- Hong Yi, Yan Yin
Section 1: Introduction
quote the classic poem:
"As I watch other people
My heart burns like
It's not burning for
It's 'cause I see my own
turn coming soon."
How could we forget even for an instant the very last moment of
our life which is the most important part? So I'm going to discuss
it in the following six sections:
When you are critically ill,
you should put down all family matters and any concerns for your own
body. Single-mindedly recite the Buddha's name. With all your heart,
yearn to be reborn in the West. If you can do this, when your time
is up, you will be certainly be reborn there.
But if your time is not
up, although you seek rebirth, your sickness will be cured quicker.
Because your mind is so sincere, you can eradicate the evil karma
from many lives past.
Suppose you fail to put everything down and have not concentrated on
reciting the Buddha's name. Then when your time is up, you certainly
won't be reborn in the Western Land. Since you only concentrated on
trying to recover from your illness, and you didn't seek rebirth in
the West, there is no cause for you to be reborn there.
your time is not up, yet you have wholeheartedly wished to recover
from your illness, to the point that you have become deeply worried
and frightened; then not only will you not recover quickly, you will
also add further misery to your illness.
If your illness is not critical, you can take medicine, but you
should still vigorously recite the Buddha's name. You shouldn't
think of recovering through taking medicine. If your illness becomes
critical, you may stop taking medicine.
When I was sick and lying in a stone hut, some people advised me
to see a doctor and take medication. I thanked them with a verse:
Amitabha Buddha is
The Unsurpassed King of
To renounce him and not
seek from him,
Is to be a fool!
One recitation of "Amitabha"
Is an agada*;
To ignore it and not
Is to make a big
Although I am sick, why would I forsake the Dharma-door of the
Pure Land, which I ordinarily believe in and explain to others, and
instead, ask for other medicine? Wouldn't that be a huge foolish
When the sickness becomes fatal and you are in intense pain and
suffering, you should never be panic. The illness and suffering may
be your karmic obstacles from past lives. Or, it could be the future
suffering of the Three Evil Paths which you are now encountering in
this life in a lighter form. In this way the debts get paid off
You should also give away
all your clothing and personal belongings when you are critically
ill. It's best if you can offer Sutras and images, such as is
mentioned in the "Chapter of the Praise of the Thus Come One" in the
If a person's
consciousness is still clear when he is fatally ill, someone should
invite good and wise advisors to speak the Dharma to him. Use your
best effort to soothe and pacify the dying person. Enumerate all the
good deeds that he has done throughout his entire life. Detail and
praise each one of them. Make the dying person happy so he will have
no doubts and worries. Give him confidence that through the strength
of his good deeds, he surely will be reborn in the Western Land.
At the moment of death, never ask the dying
person for his will or indulge in small talk and unnecessary
conversations. These could trigger the dying person's passions of
loving to stay in this world, and thus hinder his rebirth in the
Pure Land. Those who wish to leave a will should write it up
while they are still healthy and give it to someone for safekeeping.
If the dying person asks
to be washed and to have his/her clothing changed, then you can try
to comply with his/her wishes and do it. If he
doesn't want to, or is unable to talk, don't force the issue. If you
have to forcefully move a dying person to bathe and change his
clothes, you will only increase his pain which, usually at the time
of death is already intense.
In the world there have
been many, many cases of people who had made vows to be reborn in
the West, yet because of the family members'
disturbance by moving them at the time of death, their proper
mindfulness got broken, so they failed to be reborn in the West.
There are also cases
where the dying person would have been reborn in a good path,
but someone accidentally touched him;
whereupon the dying person became angry and fell into an evil path
instead. A similar story is recorded in the Sutra where King
Agnidatta died and was degraded to a snake's body. Isn't that
At the time of death,
follow the dying person's wishes as to whether they want to sit or
lie down. Don't force them. If the
dying person feels that his strength is failing, he can certainly be
allowed to lie in bed. Do not force him to sit
up just for appearance's sake.
If the dying person lies
down, he should lie facing the West on his right side . If the dying
person is in pain, they can lie on their back or on their left side,
facing East. Everything should be done naturally, and
not with force.
When everyone has
gathered to recite the Buddha's name, an image of Amitabha Buddha
welcoming beings should be placed in the person's room so he can see
It doesn't matter how
many people there are to recite. If there are many, they can recite
in shifts so the recitation never stops. You should find out from
the dying person beforehand how he/she usually recited the Buddha's
name; with six or four syllables, fast or slow. If you follow the
tune that the dying person usually uses, he will at this time be
more easily able to follow along in his mind.
Nowadays, I see that those who help recite at the time of death
follow their own whims as to what music to use without asking the
dying person. How can we expect him to follow along since what we do
is different from his usual habits or taste? I hope that from
now on those who assist in reciting will pay attention to this
Further, those who help with the recitation sometimes use a hand
bell and small wooden fish.
From my experience, I have seen that those who
are nervous and hysterical find the sound of the hand bell and small
wooden fish frightening when they are ill, because the high pitch
stimulates their nerves, making their minds unsettled. In my
opinion, it is best to use only your voice to help the recitation;
forget about the hand bell or the small wooden
Or you can use the big bell, the big gong, and the big wooden
fish, since their tones are more sonorous. Those who hear these
instruments become more respectful and solemn. That is much better
than the small hand bell or the small wooden fish. Everyone's liking
You should really ask the
dying person in detail beforehand what he would prefer and then go
ahead and follow that. However, if it turns out to be inappropriate,
it can be changed anytime. Don't be obstinate.
Once the person has died,
the most important thing is not to hastily
move the body. Even if it has been soiled with excrement, you
shouldn't wash it right away. You must wait for at least
eight hours before washing the body or changing the clothes.
Although this is very important, often people do not pay
attention to it. Please advise others to observe these instructions
Before and after death, the family members should not cry. What is
the point of crying? The dead person truly benefits if
everyone puts his effort into reciting the Buddha's name.
If there are people who really need to cry,
they should wait until at least eight hours after the death.
Don't become attached to the idea about the warmth at the crown
of the head though it may be evident.
If the person usually had
true faith and vows and, at the time of death, was properly mindful
and clear, then his rebirth in the Pure Land can be verified with
After the person has died and after the Buddha's name has been
recited, immediately lock the door to the room to avoid someone
coming and unintentionally touching the body.
may wash the body and change the clothes no sooner than eight
hours after death. Though it has been mentioned before, I
want to reaffirm that. Please remember it. If
you move the body within this eight hour period then,
although the dead person cannot speak, he can still feel pain and
After eight hours, it is permissible to change the clothing. If
rigor mortis has set in and the joints are not limber, you may
sponge down the body with warm water. Wrap a warm cloth around the
elbows and knees to loosen them up. Soon you will be able to move
the limbs as though the person were still alive.
Dress the body in old
clothes; don't use new ones. Give away
the new ones to others, so that the dead person may receive some
Don't use an expensive coffin and don't bother with an outrageous
tomb. None of these extravagant expenses are of any benefit
to the deceased.
Section 5: Ceremonies For The Deceased
When the Sangha is
invited to perform transcendent ceremonies for the deceased within
49 days after death, keep recitation of the Buddha's name as the
Although reciting sutras, bowing repentance, performing the
"Flaming Mouth Ceremony" , and the "Water and Land Assembly" , etc.
carry inconceivable merit and virtue, yet because most of today's
Sangha regard these as formalities, the ceremonies they perform are
done in a very perfunctory manner. There is no actual benefit when
ceremonies are not performed in accord withDharma.
In the Collected Writings of Dharma Master Yin Guang,
several times he comments on this point, saying that if the
performance of ceremonies is just to make an impressive show, it's a
trick without value.
If you emphasize the
recitation of the Buddha's name, then everyone can participate, and
it is something concrete with lot of benefits for all.
If you invite the Sangha to recite the Buddha's name, then the
whole family should join in the recitation, too. The women should
sit behind a screen or in a separate room to avoid criticism and
All the merit and virtue from the recitation of the Buddha's name
should be transferred to all living beings throughout the Dharma
Realm. This will enable the merit and virtue to be extensive. The
transference will also increase the benefit to the deceased.
If you hold memorial
services for the deceased, the meals should be vegetarian and
everyone should abstain from eating meat,
since the killing involved in meat is totally non-beneficial to the
Don't be ostentatious in the funeral ceremonials, making it look
good for the living. It should be done in such a way as topreserve
the blessings of the deceased.
After the 49 days are
over, you should still often perform ceremonies as an act of filial
remembrance. Great Master Lian Chi said that throughout the year we
should frequently pray for blessings on behalf of the dead. It is
not the case that since they are already liberated, we don't have to
do anything for them any longer.
Section 6: Advice Others to Organize
Associations To Help Recite At The Time of Death
This is a very
important matter. As many of these associations as possible should
be set up in towns and villages everywhere. For detailed
regulations, one may read about them in the "Guiding Instructions
for the Management of Death."
The year is close to an end, soon it will be the 30th of the
twelve month, which is the last day of the year. If you have not
managed your finances well, debt collectors may come knocking at
your door. How are you going to shut them out? When our life is
close to an end, it is like the thirtieth day of the twelve lunar
month, the last day of our lifetime. If we haven't prepared our
provisions well for the Pure Land, we will be totally disoriented
and crying to our parents for help. When the evil karma from many
lives past appears all at once, how are we going to get out of it?
Although at the point of death, we may rely on others to help
recite and carry out everything the right way, yet
daily cultivation, practiced
during ordinary days, will allow us to be in control at the time of
death. I exhort all of you, Virtuous Ones, it is better to be
prepared in advance!
Revision made in the tenth month of draft material (A) from a
talk in the ninth month of the year Ren Shen
Death is the greatest tragedy in the world and yet no one on earth
can avoid it. Thus if you wish to help both yourself and others, you
need to plan and prepare for it in advance.
"Death" is nothing more than
a fake name. At death, as the retribution from past lives which
brings about this one life-term ends, one's consciousness leaves
this body and takes on another body. Those who do not know
Buddha-dharma have no way to deal with this problem, and must simply
endure the process and be reborn according to their karma.
Since we heard about the Thus Come One's (tathagata) Pure
Land practice that can save all living beings,
we should recite Amitabha
Buddha's name with faith and determination, so as to make
appropriate provisions for our rebirth in the Pure Land. Then, when
the time comes, we will be able to avoid the illusory suffering of
the revolving cycle of birth and death and can realize the true
bliss of eternal Nirvana.
When your father, mother, brothers, sisters, or other family members
contract a serious illness and cannot be cured, you should be filial
and compassionate and exhort them to recite Amitabha Buddha's name
to seek rebirth in the Western Pure Land. Moreover, you may help
them recite with a Recitation Assistance Group. When the sick person
dies in this situation, he or she can be reborn in the Pure Land.
How can we ever give a name to this kind of benefit!
will state three essentials as guidelines for a person near death to
gain rebirth in the Pure Land. Although my writing lacks literally
elegance, the principles are originated from the Buddha's sutras.
Having met these causes and conditions, let's all put them into
The Three Essentials are:
First: Tactfully comfort the
critically-ill person and lead him/her to right belief.
Second: Recite the Buddha's name in
shifts to help the dying one keep pure mindfulness.
Third: Refrain from crying and from
moving the body of the dying one, so as not to ruin any chance for
rebirth in the Pure Land.
If you can follow these
three points, then you can definitely get rid of past karma,
increase pure causes, be welcomed by Amitabha Buddha, and be reborn
in the West .
have attained rebirth there, you will transcend the ordinary and
enter the state of sage and end the cycle of birth and death with
gradual progress in cultivation. Eventually you will accomplish the
fruition of Buddhahood.
All these benefits come from
the effort of your family who assists you in reciting the Buddha's
name. If you can practice, then you are being truly filial to your
parents; you are being truly friendly to your brothers and sisters;
you are truly kind to your sons and daughters; and you are truly
loyal and helpful to your friends or other people.
By doing that, you are
nurturing your own causes towards purity, and aiding other people to
develop faith. Gradually, with everybody practicing in this way, it
will soon become the accepted custom.
Now I will
discuss each essential in detail, so that you don't have to worry
about what to do at that moment.
The First Essential:
Tactfully comfort the critically-ill person
and lead him/her to right belief
You should exhort the dying
person to renounce everything and recite the Buddha's name.
If the dying person has something to say, tell him to do it quickly.
Once everything is
assigned, he/she must not think about those things any more. He/she
should simply contemplate: I am now following the Buddha and am
going to be reborn in the Buddha's Land.
All the states in this
mundane world, such as worldly riches, pleasure and one's family are
obstacles and bring calamity and harm. For that reason, we should
not entertain even one thought that clings to these attachments.
One should understand that the mind of one's true nature does not
die. What we call death is
the renouncing of this body and taking on a different kind of body.
If you do not recite the Buddha's name, then you will be reborn in a
good or an evil destiny according to the strength of your good or
(Good destinies are the realms of humans and heavens. Evil
destinies are realms of animals, hungry ghosts, and hells. Asuras
are found in all destinies, both good and evil, because they mix up
in the practice of good and evil deeds, so it reflects on the
effects of their causes.)
If at the time of death
you single-mindedly recite Namo A Mi Tuo Fo (Namo
then that recitation of the Buddha's name done with deepest
sincerity will certainly move Amitabha Buddha, to show his great
kindness and compassion. He will personally come and take you to
rebirth (in his land).
Do not have doubts like this, "I'm an ordinary person who must
bear the consequences of the power of karma. How can my brief
recitation of the Buddha's name transcend birth and death and help
me gain rebirth in the West?"
You should know that the
Buddha has great kindness and compassion. Suppose a serious offender
committed the Ten Evils Deeds and Five Rebellious Acts, but when he
is close to death and the hells have already appeared before him, a
Good and Wise Advisor teaches him to recite the Buddha's name. He
may recite 'ten times' , or even only once, he will be welcomed by
the Buddha and gain rebirth in the West.
If such a person can gain rebirth by reciting even a few phrases,
then why should you have doubts about rebirth because of your own
karma being heavy, or the fact that you have recited the Buddha's
name only a few times?
You should know that we
are all endowed with the true nature which is no different from the
Buddhas'. It is only because of heavy delusion and karma that we are
unable to make use of it. Now that we have taken refuge with the
Buddha, we are like sons going to our father and returning to our
native village. How could we not have a share in this matter?
Moreover, in the past,
Amitabha Buddha made this vow, "There may be living beings who hear
my name, devotedly believe and rejoice in it. If they were to recite
it even ten times and yet were not to gain rebirth, then I will not
attain Proper Enlightenment."
Thus the Buddha will not
fail to compassionately welcome any living being who, at the time of
death, sincerely recites the Buddha's name and seeks to be reborn in
the Western Land. Do not doubt it at all. Doubts will hinder you and
the harm will not be slight.
Moreover, the happiest
thing that can happen is to leave this world of suffering and to be
born in that World of Bliss. You should be happy. You really should
not fear death. Fear of death does not help you escape it. It just
ruins your chances of being reborn in the West. If your mind denies
the Buddha, then even though he is compassionate, he will have no
way to help those who do not follow the Buddhist teachings.
Amitabha Buddha's great
name, endowed with myriad virtues, is like a huge smelting furnace.
The many karmic offenses that we, living beings, commit are
like snow flakes falling through the air.
When ordinary beings laden
with karma recite the Buddha's name, their karma melts away without
a trace, just like snow flakes near a furnace disappear.
Moreover, since the power of karma is melted away, all the good
roots naturally flourish. Why doubt that you cannot be reborn there
or that the Buddha will not come to welcome you?
Instruct dying ones,
teach and comfort them with skillful, tactful exhortations such as
these, so that they will bring forth their proper belief. These are
instructions for the sick person.
Your duty of filial piety
and sincerity will also be fulfilled in this way. Don't
follow customary practices and seek medicine from the spirits. When
a person's life is about to end, how can the medicines of ghosts and
spirits help keep him from dying?
If you put your hopes in
such fruitless things, then the sincerity of your recitation of the
Buddha's name will lose its focus, and you will get no response from
When the time of death of parents approaches, many people often
will pay any amount in exorbitant fees for medical specialists. This
is called "buying filial piety." They seek the reputation of being
filial to parents. They are
unaware that the ghosts and spirits on earth and in heaven can
detect their actual intentions.
Thus people who make
ostentatious funeral arrangements for their deceased parents may in
fact bring on either natural disasters or personal misfortunes. Sons
and daughters should be concerned about the destiny of their
parents' souls. Those who seek praise from the world will not
draw as much as a smile from the wise.
Seeking desperately to be
known as a devoted child is actually making the grave mistake of
The Second Essential: Recite
the Buddha's name in shifts to help the dying one sustain pure
We have already exhorted the patient to bring forth the proper
belief, but the dying person's mind may be too weak to maintain
concentration. Not to
mention someone who ordinarily does not recite the Buddha's name
having trouble reciting continuously,even those who constantly
take recitation of the Buddha's name as their daily business will
need the strength of others' assistance to make things successful.
Therefore, family members
should exercise filiality and compassion by reciting the Buddha's
name at the side of the dying one.
Prior to the event of
death, divide the recitation groups into shifts. Make three shifts,
and assign certain people to each shift. The first shift recite
aloud while the second and the third shifts recite silently. After
one hour, the second shift takes over, then the first and the third
shifts recite silently.
If someone has things to take care, he can go during the periods
of silent recitation. When your shift is on duty, you must not
leave. When the second shift is over, the third shift picks up the
recitation. Thus alternating, from the first shift to the last,
everyone recites aloud for one hour, and then silently for two
hours. So everyone can continue day and night and still not feel
You know that if you can
aid a person to obtain rebirth in the West with pure mindfulness,
you yourself will also receive the reward of being aided in the
future. Do not say that this is done only when fulfilling
one's filial duty to one's parents, for if you help others in this
way, you are nurturing your own field of blessings. You are
increasing your own good roots as well. This not only benefits
others, in fact, it also helps you along.
Helping someone to be
reborn in the Pure Land ultimately helps one living being to
accomplish Buddhahood. Imagine how inexpressibly great this merit
and virtue is!
As the three shifts
alternate, the Buddha's name is being recited without stopping. If
the dying person has enough strength, he can join in the recitation
with a soft voice. If he cannot recite, then he should listen
attentively and single-mindedly. In that way, he will gain a
response from the Buddha.
Do not make the pitch too high when reciting the Buddha's name.
If it is too high, it will hurt people's breathing, and make it
difficult to recite for long.
On the other hand, if the pitch is too low, then the dying person
will not hear it clearly.
Make it neither too fast nor too slow. If it is too fast, the
dying person will be unable to follow along, and it will be hard for
him to hear it clearly. If it is too slow, the sound will be broken
and it will be hard for the recitation to work.
It must be neither too
high nor too low, neither too fast, nor too slow. Recite every word
distinctly and every phrase clearly, so that the dying person can
hear every word and every sentence and take it through the ears into
his consciousness. Then it is easy to be effective.
The hand-bell is the only Dharma-instrument to use when reciting
the Buddha's name. Do not play other instruments. The sound of the
hand bell is sharp, and when people hear it, their mind-ground
becomes pure. The sound of the wooden fish is heavy, and unsuitable
to accompany the recitation at the time of death.
It is more appropriate to recite the four syllables of the
Buddha's name. First, start
by reciting the six syllables, Namo A Mi Tuo Fo several times, and
then switch to reciting the four syllables, A Mi Two Fo (Amitabha
omitting "Namo". The fewer the words, the easier the recitation will
be. The dying person can
either join in the recitation or listen while gathering it into his
or her mind. In either case, everybody saves energy.
Family members should recite like this, and if other good friends
are invited, they should also recite in this way. No matter how many
or how few people there are, everybody should recite in this way.
must not all recite for a while, and then slack off and then recite
again. That will interrupt the dying person's
mindfulness of the Buddha.
People should eat in
shifts, so that the recitation of the Buddha's name is continuous.
When the dying person is
just about to take his last breath, it is appropriate for everyone
in the three shifts to join together and recite aloud. After the
breathing stops, everyone can again divide into shifts, recite for
three more hours and then stop, so as to make funeral arrangements.
While the Buddha name is
being recited, tell the relatives and
friends not to approach the dying person to offer their regards, or
to chat with him, or to speak words to comfort him.
If they really want to express their feelings of fondness for the
dying one, they should follow along and recite the Buddha's name
for a certain time. That is genuinely offering true
affections to the dying person, and it will truly help him/her.
they use the layman's customary sentiments, they are like pushing a
person into the deep waters.
Their emotions may be touching, but such actions cause irrevocable
harm. The person in charge of the
household should understand this principle and make it clear to
everyone beforehand, so that they will not be embarrassed. Thus they
will not cause harm to the dying person by distracting him, making
him unable to gain rebirth in the West.
The Third Essential: Refrain from crying
and from disturbing the body of the dying one so as not to ruin any
chances of rebirth in the Pure Land.
It is decided at the time
near death whether a dying person will become a common person or a
sage, a human or a ghost. It is the most critical time: the moment
when his destiny hangs by a thread.
The only thing you should
do is to recite the Buddha's name in order to guide that person's
consciousness. Do not bathe the person, change
his clothes, or move the bed where he is lying.
Leave him in whatever position he
is in, sitting or lying down.
Do not move him, or display grief or weep in his presence.
At that time, he is not
in control of his body. If you move him, his
hands andhis feet or his body would experience excruciating pain.
The pain will vex his mind, and mindfulness of the Buddha will
cease. If the dying person dies with hatred in heart, he may fall
into the realm of poisonous creatures upon rebirth. How
the dying person sees others grieving and weeping over him, he could
become emotional, and his mindfulness of the Buddha would cease.
With emotion and feelings of love on his mind, the dying person
might not be able to get liberated life after life.
The most beneficial thing
to do at this moment is to recite Buddha's name single-mindedly.
The most harmful thing to do is to move his
body without reason or to weep.
Then the person would not have one chance in a million of gaining
rebirth in the West because of the hatred or passion that arose in
his/her mind due to your moving him/her or crying over him/her.
Furthermore, when a person dies, if the warmth leaves the lower
part of his body first and the upper part of his body last, then
that is a sign of higher rebirth.
If the warmth leaves the head first and the toe last, then that
is a sign of rebirth in the lower regions.
(It is said that if the final warm spot is on the top of the
head, the dead person will be reborn as a Sage; on the eyes
indicates rebirth in the heavens; on the heart, indicates rebirth as
a human; on the belly, indicates rebirth as a hungry ghost; on the
knees indicates falling into the path of animals; on the feet
indicates falling into the hells).
But if everyone sincerely
recites to aid the dying person, he can straight away be reborn in
Therefore, do not keep trying to find the warm spot before the dying
person's consciousness has left, for
that will only cause him/her to become angry, vexed or hurt and thus
prevent him/her from gaining rebirth in the West. The offenses
incurred by doing such a thing would be infinite.
So I hope all relatives
and friends will sincerely recite the Buddha's name and not search
for the warm spot or the place on the body ends up cold last. To pay
close attention to this point with regard to one's own parents is to
be truly filial.
you follow worldly sentiments, then you are deliberately pushing
your parent into the sea of suffering. Such behavior
earns you praise for being "filial" only from people lacking in
knowledge and understanding.
Such "filial piety" is not at all different from the love
displayed by rakshasa women. The Sutras tell us that while a
rakshasa woman devouring a person, she will say, "I love you,
that's why I have to eat you."
Ignorant people who practice filial piety in the above way
destroy their parent's chances of attaining bliss and destine them
to suffering instead. Isn't that the same as the rakshasa
woman's love towards a human being?
I don't want to sound inhumane by saying these things.
I only want people to do
what is practical, so that the deceased will be reborn in the West
and the living will receive blessings. Hoping that the utmost
sincerity of the filial children and worthy grandchildren will not
be in vain, I may be too unintentionally over exuberant in my
speech. People who truly love their parents will surely understand
The matter about the warm spot on the top of the head or on the
eyes or other places to verify rebirth for sages and heavenly
beings, etc. is to ascertain that once the breathing has stopped, if
the whole body is cold but the top of the head is warm, then the
dead has certainly transcended the ordinary and become a Sage,
ending birth and death.
As for birth in the Heavens based on the eyes, this means that if
his eyes and forehead are still warm, then he will be reborn in the
heavens. If the warm spot is on the heart, then he will be in the
human destiny. If only the belly is warm, then he will be born as a
hungry ghost. If only his knees are warm, then he will be reborn as
an animal. If only the bottom of his feet are warm, then he is in
This is a manifestation
of good and evil karma that people create during their lives. It is
not something that one can fabricate or force.
mindfulness of the Buddha at the time of deat--aided by the
recitation of his relatives and friends--will certainly deliver the
dying person to the West, carrying his karma along with him. He can
transcend the mundane world and enter the realm of Sages.
Do not experiment to prove this or you will make mistakes! This
is my advice and my wish!