Amitabha buddha - a personal experience

Amitabha buddha - a personal experience

Postby goobers » Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:56 am

Anyone with experience in seeing or feeling the presence of amitabha buddha in particularly after the death of a love one?
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Re: Amitabha buddha - a personal experience

Postby plwk » Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:51 am

Dear Admin, Mods: maybe this thread is served better in the Pure Land Forum?

Sorry, what I can offer here are 'testimonies' which I have heard on youtube by some Buddhist societies and below are two accounts that I have heard which were told in the chinese cantonese dialect and hope the below are as nearest to what I can recall. I have some personal encounters of my own but will not divulge them on a public fora unless that person is known personally well to myself.

From what I have heard based on one curious case where a Christian had a Buddhist mother who passed on and he had heard about the mother's Pure Land Buddhist society which had organised a seven day retreat chanting session and he joined out of curiosity and chanted for his own late mother who had passed on only a short time back. Before the end of the first day, he was seen leaving and people asked him on his early departure and he related that his 'task' was already done as whilst he was reciting the Buddha's Name for his late mother, he had 'seen' a luminous figure which he identifies as 'Amitabha' along with some other luminous figures coming to escort his mother on a lotus dias and the entire scenario disappeared.

Another tale I have heard on youtube vid was also how a non Buddhist woman in Hong Kong was reciting the Buddha's Name for her mom who had just passed on and she witnessed a luminous figure of 'Amitabha' appeared before her smiling. At first she kinda like froze thinking that 'Amitabha' had come for her and in a childish fervor, implored 'Amitabha' to take her mom and not her LOL. Then she saw how lotus diases appeared and with that her mom and the luminous figure of 'Amitabha' with several other luminous figures escorted her and disappeared.

And the story of Honen, the founder of the Japanese Jodo Shu...
http://www.ymba.org/parable/parabfr3.htm
PARABLE 019: DEATH OF HONEN, FOUNDER OF JAPANESE PURE LAND
"At the hour of the serpent (10 a.m.), on the day of his death, his disciples brought him an image of Amida, three feet high, and as they put it on the right side of his bed, asked him if he could see it.
With his finger pointing to the sky he said, 'There is another Buddha here besides this one. Do you not see Him?'
Then he went on to say, 'As a result of the merit of repeating the Sacred Name, I have, for over ten years past, continually been gazing on the glory of the Pure Land, and the very forms of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, but I have kept it secret and said nothing about it. Now, however, as I draw near the end, I disclose it to you.'
The disciples then took a piece of cord made of five-colored strands, fastened it to the hand of the Buddha's image, and asked Honen to take hold of it."
(Honen, the Buddhist Saint: His Life and Teaching, p.636.)

Note: It is an ancient practice in northern India (and later China and Japan) to exhort a dying person to face west, holding onto a thread attached to the finger of an Amitabha Buddha statue. This practice, which stems from a samadhi ("light") in the Avatamsaka Sutra, is meant to remind the dying of their vow to be reborn in the Pure Land.
"To exhort the dying to remembrance of Buddha, / And show them icons for them to behold,/ Causing them to take refuge in the Buddha,/ Is how this light can be made." (T. Cleary, Flower Ornament Sutra/Avatamsaka Sutra, v.I p.350)
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Re: Amitabha buddha - a personal experience

Postby Tenso » Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:01 am

plwk, those are some very inspirational stories. Thank you for sharing. :)
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Re: Amitabha buddha - a personal experience

Postby goobers » Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:43 am

Thank you for sharing and referring me to the right forum.
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Re: Amitabha buddha - a personal experience

Postby purple rose » Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:01 am

plwk wrote:Dear Admin, Mods: maybe this thread is served better in the Pure Land Forum?


Topic has been relocated to the Pure Land forum.

Regards,
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Re: Amitabha buddha - a personal experience

Postby goobers » Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:40 pm

I wish to share my experience whilst searching for better understanding as to what it really means that the following events took place on the first anniversary of my mother's passing.

When my mother passed away suddenly last year whilst still seeking treatment for metastatic lung cancer, I was devastated. I didn’t get to her on time for her last breath (so did four other siblings). It was a 12 hours flight home, the longest journey I ever felt. This pain will stay with me for the rest of my life as I love my mother dearly and there were so much more remained unsaid. I have always cherished our wonderful time together, the reason for my fierce independence (to relieve her burden as a single mother of six) or even thanked her for fighting for my education, etc.

Remembering the last time mum stood by the door to wave goodbye. I was afraid to give her the hug (as we never hugged) that she would feel it was her last. I wanted to give her the confidence that everything was going to be okay and that I would be back soon after seeking medical expert opinion but this was to be the last time I talked to her.

On her first anniversary this year, same thing happened. There was a thunderstorm and the electrical circuit was cut. However this time round, our CCTV revealed three large balls of luminous light descended on our backyard (west), radiating and gradually increasing in size. There were trails of smaller ones too. They were all in stationary position for about 10minutes before circling the back door and window of my mother’s bedroom. CCTV on another side of the house revealed more trails of luminous light and an obvious large figure seen looking into our house through the window. By the same window lies the altar of three large Buddhas and other deities. There was also a large picture of Amitabha, Avalokitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta. The large luminous figure could be seen walking himself into the wall gently back and forth before suddenly turning, walking straight to the CCTV (as if he just seen the camera). The next second, the CCTV recording stopped. It was obvious that the luminous figure radiating light was too large to be my mother. The gait was obviously of a male figure. Who could this large gentle figure be?

These lights caught on our CCTV were so beautiful and everyone who saw the recording was speechless. Coincidentally, the recorded stopped time was the time my mother lost her breath last year. Whilst this was happening this time round, I was sitting in the living room near that same window the large luminous figure was looking into. My other two sisters were at home and none of us seen anything with our naked eyes. We were busy getting the candles out and checking our electric main.

This account was just a small part of what took place on the first anniversary of my mother’s passing. The series of events that happened that day took place same time and same day last year. My brother’s friend explained that with faith came reenactment. Why were we chosen to live through the series of events again? The only difference was that I was home this time. I was busy cleaning mum’s house before attempting to leave the house (despite the thunderstorm) to have a shower at my brother’s place. All my belongings were at my brother’s and I wanted to get myself clean up before other siblings were back for reunion on that special day. One close strike of lightning on the doorstep stopped me from leaving the house and I decided to remain indoors until the storm subsided. Perhaps, it was mum’s way of asking me to stay as she was on her way back?

All of us were fighting so hard to keep mum comfortable and alive, and four (out of six siblings) of us missed her last breath. I have stopped work, restarted work, changed jobs, etc to be near my mother. No matter how hard I try to make sure I was around I still missed her last breath. I felt terrible, not knowing she was dying, still busy chasing the best treatment for her. On that faithful day, my second brother was rushing home in thunderstorm and severe traffic jam. This year, he missed that time again for the same reason. As the series of events were clearly predictable over the day we got emotional and cried. The reenactment has allowed us to move on and that it was mum’s time to go. There is nothing anyone could have done to change it. I am honoured to be taken through and witnessed the series of events I missed whilst being the only person overseas. It has given me closure and allowed me to let go of the guilt that I wasn’t there on time. On the other hand, the three large balls and trails of luminous lights gave us comfort that perhaps mum has taken the hands of Amitabha and Boddhisattvas.

I have read testimonies of others ‘seeing’ Amitabha standing before them but what I saw was those beautiful luminous lights radiating on the CCTV. I wonder if anyone out there has witnessed similar event.
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Re: Amitabha buddha - a personal experience

Postby ksitiputra » Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:55 pm

goobers wrote:Anyone with experience in seeing or feeling the presence of amitabha buddha in particularly after the death of a love one?

I have been a chinese pureland buddhist since 1999, I remembered that on 7 March 2002, just a few days before my father was about to pass away due to cancer, I was reciting Amitabha next to him, my father couldn't speak at that time, but I realize that he was looking at a particular corner in his ward, so I asked him, "did you see Amitabha?" he nodded his head for a couple of times, pointing his figure to the Amitabha picture that I was holding and then pointed to that particular corner again. In the next two days, similar phenomena happened. Although I kept on reciting before he took his last breath, his last moments (few hours before his death) was in coma, so I was not sure that he could reach the pureland afterwards, especially when he had no auspicious signs such as relaxed muscles, special scents surround the room etc, but tight muscle and sweat.

One thing to be noted was that my father had never been a buddhist and had no knowledge of pureland buddhism prior to my introduction jz a few days before his death. That's probably what made him unable to go to the pureland since without the necessary background knowledge, his faith was not strong enough, and might not have vowed for going there. But what I learned from his case is that Amitabha really exists, just as his sutra describes (in the 18th vow), anyone who think of him, for as least as 10 thoughts, he will appear in front of him before he dies. Since my father knew nothing about amitabha and never practiced recitation before, the revelation couldn't be made up by previous experience.

There are many other cases like mine among Pureland buddhists, I have personally heard a number of cases from my dharma friends in Taiwan, which were their own or their relative's personal experience. There are many books written in Chinese that record stories of pureland buddhists who believed to have gone to the pureland, including cases as far as 1600 years ago to recent cases, however, I am not sure whether there are any translated versions in English. Maybe you could find some cases from the english translated talks of ven. master Chin Kung, a renowned figure in contemporary chinese pureland sect.
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Re: Amitabha buddha - a personal experience

Postby goobers » Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:36 pm

Many thanks for sharing your experience. I too did not see or smell anything.

One sister was by my mother's side when she was gasping her last few breath. My sister said that mum pushed the nebuliser away (a mask to help her breathe). She clearly didn't want it and was trying to tell her something. She cries every time she recalls it wondering what mum was trying to tell her. She said as if someone was in the room and mum could see what she couldn't. Mum could no longer speak for days before she passed away although she was still very alert.

It's the three large balls of luminous light and the trails of light around which made this experience unheard of. I have searched through the net but failed to find anything similar. The closest I got was a picture of Amitabha, Boddhisattvas and other deities receiving the dying on google image (type 'amitabha buddha receiving dying' on google image and see (r16nh.jpg on buddhasdharma.blogspot.com).

I was shocked when I saw the picture as if I have seen it again from the cctv. If I would to imagine Amitabha and all the deities in that picture as in the shape of balls on the same trails of luminious lights, conincidentally, that was how it looks like on the cctv. It was a surprise find. I am not sure of the origin of the picture and have trouble pasting it here.

Mum has prayed to Buddha, Goddess of Mercy and other deities all her life. In recent years following her diagnosis, she started meditation and learnt the Pureland and Goddess of Mercy mantras. I now recite the mantras in the hope of transferring merits to her and all other beings.
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Re: Amitabha buddha - a personal experience

Postby Nosta » Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:09 pm

ksitiputra wrote:
goobers wrote:Anyone with experience in seeing or feeling the presence of amitabha buddha in particularly after the death of a love one?

I have been a chinese pureland buddhist since 1999, I remembered that on 7 March 2002, just a few days before my father was about to pass away due to cancer, I was reciting Amitabha next to him, my father couldn't speak at that time, but I realize that he was looking at a particular corner in his ward, so I asked him, "did you see Amitabha?" he nodded his head for a couple of times, pointing his figure to the Amitabha picture that I was holding and then pointed to that particular corner again. In the next two days, similar phenomena happened. Although I kept on reciting before he took his last breath, his last moments (few hours before his death) was in coma, so I was not sure that he could reach the pureland afterwards, especially when he had no auspicious signs such as relaxed muscles, special scents surround the room etc, but tight muscle and sweat.

One thing to be noted was that my father had never been a buddhist and had no knowledge of pureland buddhism prior to my introduction jz a few days before his death. That's probably what made him unable to go to the pureland since without the necessary background knowledge, his faith was not strong enough, and might not have vowed for going there. But what I learned from his case is that Amitabha really exists, just as his sutra describes (in the 18th vow), anyone who think of him, for as least as 10 thoughts, he will appear in front of him before he dies. Since my father knew nothing about amitabha and never practiced recitation before, the revelation couldn't be made up by previous experience.

There are many other cases like mine among Pureland buddhists, I have personally heard a number of cases from my dharma friends in Taiwan, which were their own or their relative's personal experience. There are many books written in Chinese that record stories of pureland buddhists who believed to have gone to the pureland, including cases as far as 1600 years ago to recent cases, however, I am not sure whether there are any translated versions in English. Maybe you could find some cases from the english translated talks of ven. master Chin Kung, a renowned figure in contemporary chinese pureland sect.



Thanks to all of you for sharing these experiences.

Ksitiputra, only people with Faith and vowing to reborn on PureLand, can reach it. If your father didnt even knew the existence of Pureland, how is it possible for him to saw Amithaba? But its good to know that even no believers can see Him!
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Re: Amitabha buddha - a personal experience

Postby ksitiputra » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:13 am

Nosta wrote:
ksitiputra wrote:
goobers wrote:Anyone with experience in seeing or feeling the presence of amitabha buddha in particularly after the death of a love one?

I have been a chinese pureland buddhist since 1999, I remembered that on 7 March 2002, just a few days before my father was about to pass away due to cancer, I was reciting Amitabha next to him, my father couldn't speak at that time, but I realize that he was looking at a particular corner in his ward, so I asked him, "did you see Amitabha?" he nodded his head for a couple of times, pointing his figure to the Amitabha picture that I was holding and then pointed to that particular corner again. In the next two days, similar phenomena happened.………



Thanks to all of you for sharing these experiences.

Ksitiputra, only people with Faith and vowing to reborn on PureLand, can reach it. If your father didnt even knew the existence of Pureland, how is it possible for him to saw Amithaba? But its good to know that even no believers can see Him!


An ordinary Chinese would normally heard of Amitabha and His Pureland, since they are frequently mentioned in folklore, however presented in wrong ways, describing him like a god and his land as heaven, etc. My father had heard of Amitabha but without any buddhist knowledge, maybe that's why it still made him able to see him.

My buddhist friend just called me up, which reminded me two days ago, she told me another revelation story regarding her grandmother, which I think I should share here, we helped to recite Amitabha next to her a few hours after she passed away on last October 4 (2011) in Hong Kong. She was 91 years old suffering from intestine cancer, about three years before that, she heard of Amitabha and his story through my friend, from then on, she's been practising Amitabha name recitation, at first she was not that diligent, and always thought of her families and past memory, so my friend kept on reminding and encouraging her, since my friend lives in Macau and couldn't be with her most of the time, her grandma's practice was fluctuant, sometimes good and sometimes bad, so my friend did lots of almsgiving for her, and kept visiting her in HK. Around late June or early July 2011, one night grandma had a special dream, she saw three huge luminous figures, telling her that on the 14th of July (lunar calendar, mid-August in western calendar), they would come and bring her to pureland. She hadn't a clue whats going on at that time, but after she saw my friend, she identified that one of the figure looked exactly the same as the Amitabha picture that she presented her. We both thought that she would go on the date that she told us, so we went to join a seven day Amitabha recitation retreat in HK hosted by the Pureland Association around that period, in the hope that we could be ready to stay by her once she passed, however, she didn't go on the date prdicted. We guess that's probably because she was still attached to her daughters and grand children as well as not faithful enough.

Until early October, we were in HK again to join a five day rependance retreat organized by DRBA, on the 4th day morning, we received an urgent call from our buddhist friend that she passed away at 5am that morning, we immediately went to her house, our friends were already there reciting Amitabha next to her. Her body looked like asleep, you may see her picture in the below link, one was taken in last August, the other on Oct 4.

http://www.zenheart.hk/viewthread.php?t ... a=page%3D2

After her death, none of us had dreamt of her, but few days ago, on June 23 around 4am (HK time), my friend's auntie (her grandma's daughter) dreamt of her, in the dream, grandma looked young and bright, so auntie asked her whether she was reborn in the pureland, she replied a definite yes, and told her that she couldn't leave her place as she wanted to, that day was a holiday for her that she could go and visit her, life there was not free. We guess probably she's been reborn to the outskirt of Amitabha's pureland, which the sutra describes as a place full of unblossomed lotuses, with people who are doubtful of Amitabha living inside, it seemed to match her conditions before she died, having attachments yet reciting the buddha's name.

From this strory, now I learned that there are holidays for those who stay in these lotus "jail". :tongue:
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Re: Amitabha buddha - a personal experience

Postby Nosta » Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:22 pm

Thank you again for such great story!

About she saying that she was not free (life was not free), thats a little depressing. What would she mean by that? Maybe its related with her rebirth on the outskirts of Pure Land as you said. And why would she visit someone on Earth so early? Thats something that creates attachment. Even so, its a beautiful story indeed!

Namo Amitabha Buddha!
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Re: Amitabha buddha - a personal experience

Postby GarcherLancelot » Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:25 pm

Hmm,i don't know but in other religions,I am pretty sure that there are people seeing visions of their own deity etc.? Is seeing those images a good enough proof of pureland being real?
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Re: Amitabha buddha - a personal experience

Postby Nosta » Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:42 pm

Thats a good point and i would also like to hear other opinions.
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Re: Amitabha buddha - a personal experience

Postby ksitiputra » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:36 am

Nosta wrote:Thank you again for such great story!

About she saying that she was not free (life was not free), thats a little depressing. What would she mean by that? Maybe its related with her rebirth on the outskirts of Pure Land as you said. And why would she visit someone on Earth so early? Thats something that creates attachment. Even so, its a beautiful story indeed!

Namo Amitabha Buddha!


In the larger Sukhavati Sutra, the Buddha mentioned a parable describing those people who live in the outskirt or "dwelling within the calyx" used in the English version:

http://web.mit.edu/stclair/www/larger.html

'And, O Ajita, there might be a dungeon belonging to an anointed Kshatriya king, inlaid entirely with gold and beryl, in which cushions, garlands, wreaths and strings are fixed, having canopies of different colors and kind, covered with silk cushions, scattered over with various flowers and blossoms, scented with excellent scents, adorned with arches, courts, windows, pinnacles, fire-places, and terraces, covered with nets of bells of the seven kinds of gems, having four angles, four pillars, four doors, four stairs; and the son of that king having been thrown into the dungeon for some misdeed is there, bound with a chain made of the Jambunada gold. And suppose there is a couch prepared for him, covered with many woollen cloths, spread over with cotton and feather cushions, having Kalinga coverings, and carpets, together with coverlids, red on both sides, beautiful and charming. There he might be then either sitting or resting. And there might be brought to him much food and drink, of various kinds, pure and well prepared. What do you think, O Ajita, would the enjoyment be great for that prince?'

Ajita said: 'Yes, it would be great, O Bhagavat.'

The Bhagavat said: 'What do you think, O Ajita, would he even taste it there, and notice it, or would he feel any satisfaction from it?'

He said: 'Not indeed, O Bhagavat; but on the contrary, when he had been led away by the king and thrown into the dungeon, he would only wish for deliverance from there. He would seek for the nobles, princes, ministers, women, elders (rich merchants), householders, and lords of castles, who might deliver him from that dungeon. Moreover, O Bhagavat, there is no pleasure for that prince in that dungeon, nor is he liberated, until the king shows him favor.'


That’s probably why she said life is not free there.
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Re: Amitabha buddha - a personal experience

Postby sinweiy » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:52 am

faith can be a last minute thingy where they meet a good advisor of Pureland during their deathbed, and they accept and believe. they will still be reborn in PL. i have seen nuns liberating a female ghost (possessing on a lady) into PL. the ghost was also a first time believer, right on the spot, she accepted Amitabha.

check Contemplation Sutra.
Starting from the lowest level of the middle grade to the middle level of the lowest grade. i am sure it's not the the lowest level of the lowest grade. :)

http://www12.canvas.ne.jp/horai/contemplation-sutra.htm
6) the lowest level of the middle grade

[27] "Those who attain birth on the lowest level of the middle grade are good men and women who are dutiful to and care for their parents and do benevolent deeds for others. When such a person is about to die, he may meet a good teacher, who fully explains to him the bliss of the land of Amitayus and the Forty-eight Great Vows of the Bhiksu Dharmakara. Having heard this, he dies and in the short time it takes a strong man to bend and straighten his arm, he attains birth in the Western Land of Utmost Bliss. Seven days after his birth there, he meets Avalokiteshvara and Mahasthamaprapta, rejoices at hearing the Dharma from them and so reaches the Stage of a Stream-Winner. After one smaller kalpa, he becomes an Arhat. Such a person is called one who attains birth on the lowest level of the middle grade. These three together are known as the contemplation of the middle grade of aspirants and the fifteenth contemplation. To practice in this way is called the correct contemplation, and to practice otherwise is incorrect."


7) the highest level of the lowest grade

[28] The Buddha said to Ananda and Vaidehi, "Those who attain birth on the highest level of the lowest grade are the sentient beings who commit various evil acts but do not slander the Mahayana sutras of greater scope. When a foolish person such as this, who has committed much evil but feels no remorse, is about to die, he may meet a good teacher, who praises the titles of the twelve divisions of the Mahayana scriptures. By hearing these sutra-titles, he is released from the burden of evil karma which he has accumulated during a thousand kalpas. Furthermore, this wise teacher advises him to join his palms and call, 'Homage to Amitayus Buddha' [Na-mo-o-mi-t'o-fo].' Calling the name of the Buddha extinguishes the evil karma that the dying person has committed during fifty kotis of kalpas of Samsara.
"The Buddha then sends his transformed body and those of Avalokiteshvara and Mahasthamaprapta to the aspirant; they praise him, saying, 'Well done, man of good deeds! By calling the Name of the Buddha your evil karma has been extinguished, and so we have come to welcome you.' When these words are uttered, the aspirant sees a flood of light from that transformed Buddha fill his room. Having seen this, he rejoices and dies. Seated on a jewelled lotus-flower, he follows the transformed Buddha and is born on a jewelled pond.
In seven weeks the lotus-bud opens and Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion, and Mahasthamaprapta appear before him, releasing great floods of light, and explain to him the extremely profound teachings of the twelve divisions of the scriptures. Having heard these, the aspirant accepts them in faith, and awakens aspiration for the highest Enlightenment. After ten smaller kalpas, he acquires clear understanding of the one hundred dharmas and enters the First Stage of Bodhisattvahood. Such a person is called one who attains birth on the highest level of the lowest grade. Thus he is born by hearing the Name of the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha -- that is, the Three Treasures."


8) the middle level of the lowest grade

[29] The Buddha said to Ananda and Vaidehi, "Those who attain birth on the middle level of the lowest grade are the sentient beings who violate the five precepts, the eight precepts or the complete precepts of a monk or a nun. A foolish person such as these steals from the Sangha or takes the personal belongings of monks, or preaches the Dharma with impure motives but feels no remorse. Thus he [346a] defiles himself by evil karma, and because of this he will fall into hell.
"When he is about to die and the flames of hell suddenly close in on him, he may meet a good teacher, who compassionately explains to him the ten supernal powers of Amitayus, fully describing the majestic power of the light of that Buddha, his virtues in the observance of the precepts, meditation, wisdom, emancipation and knowledge of emancipation. When he has heard this, the evil karma which he has committed during eighty kotis of kalpas of Samsara are extinguished; thus, the fierce flames of hell turn into cool and refreshing breezes, wafting heavenly flowers. On each flower is a transformed Buddha accompanied by bodhisattvas welcoming him.
"In an instant, he attains birth within a lotus-bud on a seven-jewelled pond. After six kalpas the lotus-bud opens, and then Avalokiteshvara and Mahasthamaprapta comfort him with their noble voices and teach him profound Mahayana sutras. Upon hearing these, he immediately awakens aspiration for the highest Enlightenment. Such a person is called one who attains birth on the middle level of the lowest grade."


--------------

so, also, it is not necessary people reborn in the outskirt of PL are still in lotus-bud.
Asaik, seeing Amitabha at deathbed and predicting one's departure are very very good sign of a person reborning in PL.
much better than having (flower) shariras in cremation. having soft body are quite good too.
let's contemplate further....whether mara can display as Amitabha to trick the dying, who is a beginner in Amitabha believe. i think it's much difficult for mara to do so for a first time believer, as they do not have much confusion. it's more for long time practitioner who practice multiple Buddhas and got themselve confuse with whom to follow.
:namaste:
_/\_
Amituofo!

"Enlightenment is to turn around and see MY own mistake, Other's mistake is also my mistake. Others are right even if they are wrong. i'm wrong even if i'm right. " - Master Chin Kung
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Re: Amitabha buddha - a personal experience

Postby ksitiputra » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:58 am

GarcherLancelot wrote:Hmm,i don't know but in other religions,I am pretty sure that there are people seeing visions of their own deity etc.? Is seeing those images a good enough proof of pureland being real?


Seeing the Buddha(s) or Bodhisattva(s) might not necessary be a good or real thing because we believe that Mara could also do that to seduce people to the wrong path.

However, when someone who is dying, who had never been a buddhist before, after reciting the Buddha's name for a few minutes or few days, being able to see the Buddha and predict the date s/he will leave this world seem to be evident that show the existence of the Pureland, there are several reasons that I found these stories as corroborative proofs:

1) it matches with what's described in the Sukhavati sutra, which states that Amitabha would come and bring "dying people" to his land (vow no.18, 19 & 20);
2) an ordinary being wouldn't have the power to foresee his/her death, which in many cases matched with the prediction;
3) zero or little knowledge of Amitabha before death seems to prove that the incident couldn't be a result of imagination.
4) thousands of cases recorded in China, Japan, Singapore and other countries have shown many similar incidents in the past, some of them were recorded as far as one thousand five hundred years ago when information didn't travel as quick as today.

If the same phenomenon was perceived by many in regardless of regions, ethnicity or background, it seems to imply that there is some sort of "reality" (the existence of Sukhavati) behind all these, at least it does exist among those believers like me. :twothumbsup:
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Re: Amitabha buddha - a personal experience

Postby Tenso » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:16 am

GarcherLancelot wrote:Hmm,i don't know but in other religions,I am pretty sure that there are people seeing visions of their own deity etc.? Is seeing those images a good enough proof of pureland being real?

From a Buddhist view point, for Christians for example Jesus and heaven do exist but the heaven these believers go to are not some sort of eternal realms as they are within the six realms of samsara (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desire_realm). The beings there are also subject to birth and death like here on earth. Pure lands on the other hand are created by fully enlightened Buddhas for the purpose to train beings to become Buddhas themselves. Buddhas such as Amitabha are very distinctive compared to figures in other religions.

Buddhas: A Nirmāṇakāya Buddha (physically manifesting Buddha) is classified higher than a deva(god) so Buddha is not a deva, as the right conditions for attaining supreme enlightenment do not exist in the deva-worlds. A Sambhogakāya Buddha has the form of a very high-ranking deva, but does not exist within the universe, subject to birth and death, as all the devas do. The Cosmic Dharmakāya is beyond all worlds and limitations.
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Re: Amitabha buddha - a personal experience

Postby Tenso » Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:33 am

Here's a link to some more amazing stories. May all your faith deepen in Amida Buddha and his pure land.
http://www.freesangha.com/forums/genera ... d-stories/
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Re: Amitabha buddha - a personal experience

Postby Nosta » Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:36 pm

I will read such stories.

Thank you for giving us that link. :namaste:
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Re: Amitabha buddha - a personal experience

Postby Kaji » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:50 am

I have learned that there is another sign to see if the deceased person has been reborn to the Pure Land: 8 hours after the person has stopped breathing if the top of the body's head is still warm it is indication that the person has been reborn (or is on the way) to the Pure Land. This has to be done very gently and carefully, to avoid the risk of disturbing the body and upsetting the person's bardo.

The idea is that the part of the body through which the bardo leaves the body after death can indicate the path the bardo will move to. That part of the body will turn cold last.

Of course, this probably does not work if the person goes to the Pure Land too long after that timeframe. For example, the bardo leaves the body during the 8 hours after death and then wanders around for days, before being helped by monks/nuns, family and friends to migrate to the Pure Land. The body would have probably turned all cold by then.
Namas triya-dhvikānāṃ sarva tathāgatānām!
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