Dying means near death. There are many synonyms for this state such as dying, near-death time, near death … Degree here means transformation, helping people overcome, teaching people.
There is a central sutta titled Anāthapiṇḍikovāda suttaṃ translated by the Venerable Thich Minh Chau as the Sutta of the Teachings of Loneliness (1). The equivalent of this sutra in the Chinese Tripitaka, belonging to the Sangha-First A-Ham, is also translated by the Most Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh as the Sutra of the Dying (2).
In fact, in the Sangha-First A-Ham, the equivalent of this Central Sutra does not have a sutra name, but is marked by the editors of the Mahayana Sutras by number (3). In the Middle A-ham Sutra, there is also a scripture equivalent to the Central Business, when translated into Vietnamese, the Venerable Tue Sy kept the title as the Sutra of Teaching and Transforming Disease (教化病) (4).
Here, according to the original Pāli or Chinese canon of this sutta, the similarity of the terms teaching and precepts of the two translations mentioned above, perhaps literally the word vāda, has the root vad, meaning speak, preach (5).
It should be seen that, in The Nikāyas, there are many suttas related to the teaching of the dying, from laypeople to monastics, and from here have opened many ways to support the dying. Therefore, adding the title of the dying man to a text in the Sangha of A-functions belonging to the Chinese system, which is equivalent to the Ānathapiṇḍikovāda suttaṃ, is easy to create misunderstandings about the limits of the solutions for human salvation. repent. This will be clarified further in the monograph below.
Buddhist Rituals for the Dying
1. The important role of purity of mind at the time of death
Except for those who have self-control of life and death, most living beings do not know the time of their death, so it is difficult to control their thoughts when dying. Therefore, there have been cases of dying with joyful devotion and also cases of having to give up the body in a state of damnation. According to the Parable of Cloth Sutra, the Buddha taught that with a defiled mind, one will be reborn in an evil realm, and a good realm will open with a pure and peaceful mind (6). Examining a few special cases recorded in the Nikāya canon, showed that the attitude of the dying person has a special relationship with the place to be reborn.
First, that was the case with Venerable Pukkusāti. For a long time, Pukkusāti turned to the Buddha and ordained himself, although he had not officially met him, not even once. On a trip, the two stayed in the house of the potter Bhaggava. Here, Pukkusāti first met the Buddha, heard the Buddha preach and the Venerable made a request to ask for the Dharma precepts. During the time of searching for robes and bowls to act as a dharma practitioner to receive the Bhikkhu-stilts precepts, a mad cow ran away, taking away the Venerable’s life (7). In this case, the Buddha confirmed that Pukkusāti had attained the third noble fruit (8).
Second, there was a poor woman who was roasting rice, knowing that Venerable Kassapa had just emerged from samadhi after seven days of intensive meditation, she had developed the heart to offer her meager portion of rice to him. After finishing the offering and happily returning home with the good deeds she had just done, on the way, the believer was suddenly bitten to death by a poisonous snake. Because of her death in faith, plus the good deeds she had just done, she was immediately reborn in the Thirty-three heaven with the new name of the goddess Lājā (9).
Third, Venerable Soṇa’s father, formerly a hunter, retired from killing in old age and became a monk. When he was dying, his past evil deeds took place in horror, making him extremely afraid. Seeing this, Venerable Soṇa had his father carry his father near a stupa, cut flowers and asked him to direct his mind to offer flowers to the Buddha image and the Bodhi tree. At that moment the horrors disappeared and he was later reborn in Heaven (10).
Fourth, according to the Central Sutra, the Brahmin Dhānañjāni is a person who, both dependent on the king, exploits the Brahmin householders, relies on the Brahmin householders, exploits the king (11). ). This brahmin had sympathized with Venerable Sāriputta in the previous lecture, although he had not yet taken refuge in the Three Jewels, at the time of his death, the Brahmin Dhānañjāni had invited Venerable Sāriputta to come. visit yourself. At the Brahmin Dhānañjāni residence, Venerable Sāriputta pondered: This Brahmin was very attached to the Brahma world. So let us preach the path of coexistence with Brahma (12), so that right there, the Brahmin Dhānañjāni passed away and was reborn in the Brahma world (13).
Fifth, in the Great Bowl of Nirvana, it is noted that there are four holy relics, called the Four Heart Movements (saṃvejanīyāni ṭhānāni cattāri), that is where the Tathagata was born, where the Tathagata attained Supreme Enlightenment, where the Tathagata first preached the Dharma and where the Tathagata entered Nirvana (14). If anyone, while admiring the relics, dies with a heart full of faith and joy, in those days, after the breakup of the body, after death, they will be reborn in a good destination, in the realm of the gods (15). This is a conditional sentence, with the important note that, while contemplating the Holy Relics (Cetiyacārikaṁ āhiṇḍantā) (16), but dying (kālaṁ) with a heart of faith and joy (pasannacittā), will one be reborn in the new world. realm of gods (saggaṃ lokaṃ) (17).
Thus, the nature and movement of the mind at the time of death have an important meaning in the birth of life. In addition to the five sources mentioned above, the work of Thang Phap Collected Compendium also clearly confirms this (18). Here, keeping the near-death mind resting in the Dharma, besides the main efforts of the individual, relatives and friends, depending on specific circumstances, can still help people, make people happy. Lam death has a peaceful place to be born. The Nikāyas have recorded many cases, as well as many ways of saving the dying.
2. Methods of dying people
Depending on the leading karma, each person has a different dying state. We will generalize and review the typical dying methods.
Dissolving wishes at death
For some people, sometimes they hold a wish that they can’t fulfill until the end of their life, and that wish is suddenly blown up at the moment of death. In our role of supporting the dying, depending on the type of aspiration, depending on the actual situation, we seek to help the dying person to release these wishes. Dismantling does not mean fulfilling all kinds of aspiration, but can help the dying person to realize that good wishes should be maintained, and wrong wishes should be abandoned.
First of all, for lay people, due to the characteristics of life, there are also many worries at the end of life. The story of Nakula’s family who helped her husband solve his worries when he was seriously ill and thought he was about to die, is a case worth pondering. The peculiarity of this dialogue is that the wife assumes her husband’s concerns, and also comes up with a solution herself. Briefly summarize that comforting story as follows:
1- Dear householder, the householder may think: “The female householder, Nakula’s mother, after my death, will not be able to raise the children and maintain the house”.
“My lord, I am skillful at weaving and combing sheep’s wool. Dear householder, after the death of the owner, I can raise the children and maintain the house.
2- Dear householder, the householder might think as follows: “The housewife, Nakula’s mother, after I die, will go to another family”.
– Master, don’t think like that! Dear householder, you also know, in the sixteen years we have lived as a householder, how I have lived and practiced the holy life.
3- Dear householder, the householder might think as follows: “The female householder, Nakula’s mother, after my death, will no longer want to see the Blessed One, will no longer want to see the Sangha.”
– Master, don’t think like that! After the householder’s death, I will want to see the Blessed One more, I will want to see the Sangha more often.
4- Dear householder, the householder can think as follows: “The female householder, Nakula’s mother, after my death, will not fully observe the precepts”.
– Master, don’t think like that! Householder, as long as the female disciples of the householder wearing the white robes of the Blessed One can still achieve inner serenity, I will be one of them.
5- Householder, the householder may think as follows: “The householder, the mother of Nakula, in this Dhamma and Discipline does not attain penetration, does not attain abiding, does not attain comfort, does not transcend. doubts, can’t let go of hesitation, can’t achieve fearlessness, must rely on others to live in the Master’s teachings.”
– Master, don’t think like that! Householder, as long as the female disciples of the householder, wearing the white robes of the Blessed One, in this Dharma and Discipline attain incarnation, attain abiding, attain comfort, overcome doubt, be able to leave participate, achieve fearlessness, not because of someone else living in the Guru’s teachings, I would be one of them (19).
After the words of encouragement and consolation conveying the loving-kindness material of the spouse, especially the seven repetitions of the Buddha’s words: The Blessed One rebuked him when he was dying and still wished for love, Nakula’s father was surprised. healing and overcoming death. Upon learning of this story, the Buddha praised Nakulamātā, considering her as one of the ten female lay disciples who spoke in a supremely cordial manner (20).
Longitude of the dying person
In other cases, the person supporting the dying person depends on the wishes of the dying person for consolation. Such as:
– If he says, “I still have compassion for my parents,” then he should say to him as follows: “Venerable sir, you must die anyway. Even if he has compassion for his parents, he will also die. Even if the venerable does not have compassion for his parents, he will also die. So it would be better for the venerable one to give up his compassion for the venerable’s parents.”
– If he says: “I have compassion for my wife and children”, then he should be said as follows: “The venerable one will die anyway. Even though the venerable has compassion…