Why are we blessed by chanting Buddha’s name?

Update: 21/03/2023
When we chant Buddha’s name, it means that in our minds there is an image of Buddha, or Buddha’s virtue, or Buddha’s knowledge, or Buddha’s name.

Why are we blessed by chanting Buddha’s name?


Chanting Buddha’s name includes “Thinking recollection of mind” and “Thinking recollection of target”, The first one directs to the mind of the person that means being virtuous. The second one means the target of chanting (image, virtue, knowledge, or title of Buddha) that refers to 'right'. Therefore, chanting Buddha’s name means the right mindfulness. This also means good dharma. The mind of which chants Buddha’s name always focused on the target of chanting, leads to no chaos. No chaotic mind means abstract meditation. Fixed mind on the chanting’s target means seeking, also means “Fixed object”. After that, joy, satisfaction and a fixed mind appear in the mind of those chanting Buddha’s name. At this time, the mind of the Buddhist achieves five parts (seeking, fixed object, joy, satisfaction, fixed mind). This is the status called basic meditation. This happens when we leave lust behind, with five enough parts. Who can obtain basic meditation can reach Bramà's world after death, which belongs to Rùpadhàtu. If chanting Buddha’s name isn’t good, how can we reach heaven? It means that chanting Buddha’s name is good).

In Devàkaya’s Story, belonging to Khuddaka-nikàya, there is a story: Once upon a time, Buddha saw an old woman was about to die, and she would be sinked into an evil world due to her evil actions in the past. Lokajyestha appeared in front of her, making her overwhelmed with joy. She knelt before Buddha with five of her body parts on the floor. Then Buddha turned away from her. Death came right after. She died and resurrected in the thirty-three leveled heaven, in a golden castle. By reading this story, we know that when the old woman saw Buddha, her mind chanted Buddha’s name (remembering Buddha’s name), which made her happy (joy). In that very short moment, she created a good karma which helped her to heaven. There are many kinds of karma. In this essay, I would like to talk about four kinds of karma: very severe karma, nearly death karma, re-occurred karma and gained karma. Very severe karma is a very deep karma, which directs to Pancànantarya. Nearly death karma happens when the death is near. Re-occurred karma is repeating karma in daily life. Gained karma is karma we gain from life to lives. When a person is about to die, these kinds of karma take turns in helping the spirit go into resurrection. In the story of the old woman, good karma brought her to heaven. 

The Sutra of Amitabha Buddhasays: when the Buddha used to be Bodhisattva, he prayed 48 prayers. Among these prayers, there is one said: if there is anyone within ten worlds chanting Buddha’s name, that person will be with him in his world, if not, he shall not become Buddha. The Interior Amitbaha Sutra, said: if someone chants Buddha’s name with a calm mind, that person shall be in Nirvana’s world. One calm mind means a stable mind. In Mahãcattãrĩsaka Suttdỷ belongs to The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha said: “Right thought, monks, arises from right view. Right speech arises from right thinking. Right action arises from right speech. Right livelihood arises from right action. Right effort arises from right livelihood. Right mindfulness arises through right effort. Right concentration arises from mindfulness. Right wisdom arises from right concentration. Right enlightenment arises from right wisdom.”Right view means to understand the words of Amitabha Sutra. Right thought means when we chant Buddha’s name without lust (thought of desires, thought of anger, thought of damage). Right speech means we don’t say any evil words. Right action means we don’t kill, steal or lust. Right livelihood means our jobs are legal. Right effort means we usually chant Buddha’s name in our minds. Right mindfulness means we always remember “Namo Amitabha”. Right concentration means we chant Buddha’s name with a calm and undisturbed mind. Therefore, we chant Buddha’s name, we must listen to the sutra, to have the right views, right thought. We must keep the Five Precepts: no killing, no stealing, no sexual misbehaviour, no harmful sayings, no use of intoxicants). We must chant the Buddha’s name as a usual habit until we achieve a calm mind. If we have enough conditions like that, the day we resurrect to Sukhàvati is not too long to come.

Chanting Amitabha’s name is easy but difficult. It’s easy to practice, to practice everywhere, whenever we chant it out loud, whatever we are doing, no matter who we are. Difficulties means that it’s hard to keep our faith and patience. 

Why do we need to be reborn in Sukhàvati (The World of Utmost Joy? Because that world is a kind world, without any cruel things to pollute our minds. In our world, almost everyone is attracted to mobile phones. The earth, water and the air are also polluted. Human beings are stressed by work. Materials make human beings greedy, angry and want to fight everyone. Our lifespan is shortened. There are catastrophes and accidents… 

On the contrary, the Impure Land means Sukhàvati. There are no accidents, no catastrophes here. The citizens live to eternity. The views there are beautiful and respectful. The land is golden, and everything is precious. In this world, we grow greedy when we see gold, not land, because land is everywhere, but gold is rare.  It is the same as gold in Sukhàvati, it is everywhere so we have no greed. There is Amitabha, Bodhisattva and Saints, all the kind ones. Our minds become peaceful and kind when we are with Saints, because of the kind aura from them. This is a proven example, when we get close to a monk, our mind becomes peaceful, unlike when we come to a bar, our mind becomes chaotic.

The people there were blessed by Amitabha’s holiness, making them healthy and unaged. Especially, there is no hell and evil in Sukhàvati. The people there listened to Buddha’s sutra and practiced meditation everyday. Their studying path has only improved everyday. Our world is being disturbed by evils everyday so we cannot move forwards. Annoyance is built when our minds meet polluted images. For example: when a man’s eyes see a beautiful body of a woman, he feels lust. This doesn’t happen in Sukhàvati. The views are peaceful, the minds are the same, this applies to people in Sukhàvati. They always listen to the Sutra (develop their minds) and meditate so their sadness is quickly dissolved; therefore, they are quickly enlightened. After being enlightened, these persons can pray to come back to the normal world, resurrect to the womb, to leave home and become a monk, study, and help the humankind. 

Previously, there was the most venerable monk called Jìngkōng, who specialized in chanting Sutra and “propagating the Pure Land”. After passing away, he left behind the relics. The most venerable monk, Hsing Yun, the Abbot of Buddha's Light monastery (Taiwan), who prayed to the Buddha’s name for 55 years, after he passed away, left behind relics. There are also many monks in the world who study Buddha’s sutra, who know their last minute, and to leave relics behind. These kind ones prove that Dharmaparyàya chanting Buddha’s name helps in rescuing humankind. Therefore, we should not hesitate and doubt when it comes to praying and chanting Buddha’s name in order to resurrect Sukhàvati.

Tâm Huỳnh

Translated into English by Nguyen Thi Mai Thảo

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