助念 Blessings during deathbed


#1

Recently, a friend shared with me that while her uncle was in a coma, his friends of different faiths came to pray for him. .
She asks me if her uncle will receive the blessings from all the different faith? Will it affect the faith that he has if he has one?


#2

I remember a discourse by a Venerable (probably 如得法师). If I recall correctly, the question addressed was whether if we chant Buddhist rites to a person who is not a buddhist, would the person receive any benefits?

I think the gist is that if we think the person at this deathbed is receptive to the rites or blessing, we can continue.
Otherwise, if we think the person will likely reject them and affect his mental state negatively, we should refrain.

At the same time, we can request the friends to think of the good deeds of the patient and with that also do more good deeds in his name during this period - essentially doing 回向.

:pray:


#3

I think I found the relevant video by 如得法师


#4

Hi Adrian

Thank you for the video.

As this friend’s uncle is in a coma stage, i think he would more likely to be in the stage as in the - Lamrim P-- 308 - 309 : Dying with an ethically neutral mind.
Quote: Those who are currently cultivating neither virtue nor non virtue or who have done neither, do not remember virtue and nonvirtue either on their own or at the urging of others. At death they have neither pain nor pleasure.

Therefore that karma that would ripen first would be during his coarse state of mind:
Quote Lamrim P242: The way in which the many virtuous and nonvirtuous karma that exist in your mind stream ripen is as follows:
(1) Whichever karma is weightiest will ripen first
(2) If weights are equal, whatever karma is manifest at the time of death will ripen first
(3) If this also is the same, whatever karma you have predominantly become habituated to will ripen first.
(4) If this also is the same, whatever karma you have done first will ripen earliest.

In summary, to train the mind to engage in virtue at all times becomes important. It is challenging as our mind loves doing otherwise. Therefore, to continue to strive to be with teachings and an environment with VFFS definitely helps keep us off from engaging in non virtues.

Let’s continue to strive to be:
Happy to learn the lamrim
Persevere to learn the lamrim
Diligent to learn the lamrim

Cheers!


#5

thank you @SharonLim for bringing up the portion in the Lamrim on which karma ripens first.

I used to take an indifferent attitude towards funerals and people near their death - thinking that it is just a natural part of life and that it doesn’t help anyone by making a big deal out of it.

I only changed my thinking after I learned the Lamrim from Master Ri-Chang and understood the value of contemplating death and karma.

I have since experienced the early deaths of a few of my friends due to accidents and illness. These occurrences became strong reminders to myself on the truth of impermanence and made me realise more clearly the need to be better prepared when my time comes.

And for this valuable lesson, I dedicate the merits back to the departed and hope that they have the chance to encounter the Lamrim and a good teacher in their next life.

Let’s continue to strive to be:
Happy to learn the lamrim
Persevere to learn the lamrim
Diligent to learn the lamrim

Separately, what does VFFS mean? I am in the Chinese Lamrim class so I am not familiar with this acronym. :smile:


#6

Hi Adrian
Apologies on the short form. VFF is Virtuous Friends Forever. Rejoice on your efforts !

Now that age is catching up w me, i hv started to contemplate more on how well prepared i am for death. I started w the external - to learn to be less attached to external things. It is not easy to let go of things. It takes time & needs to be gradual. The difficult part is the internal especially things & people not to your liking. It really need exerted efforts. After much striving i hv started to be more mindful of the afflictions & to take remedy.


#7

For myself, I try to use my fear of death to motivate myself to study and practice Buddhism.

Master Sheng Yen says it much better here in his discourse:


#8

Hi Adrian- Rejoice! Thanks for sharing!