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As a monk who had many deeply rooted bad habits and could not control himself, Venerable Yingke broke the precepts. Fortunately, he knew the law of cause and effect, and so he realized he would fall into the hells because of this. Terrified, he asked if there was any method that could save him. He was given a copy of Biographies of Those Who Attained Rebirth in the Western Pure Land and advised to read it. As he read, Venerable Yingke began to cry. He became determined to let go of all worldly concerns, to mindfully chant “Amituofo,” and to seek rebirth in the Pure Land.
Secluding himself, he mindfully chanted “Amituofo” for three days and three nights. Neither eating nor sleeping, he became exhausted but his resolve did not weaken. As if yearning to go home, he was determined to attain rebirth in the Pure Land.
His sincerity was so profound that it brought a response—Amitabha Buddha appeared before him. Telling Venerable Yingke that he still had ten years to live, Amitabha said he would return at the end of those ten years to guide Venerable Yingke to the Pure Land if the monk continued to mindfully chant “Amituofo.”
Venerable Yingke replied that he had many bad habits; he doubted he would be able to control himself for such a long time! He feared he would commit many negative karmas and fail to attain rebirth in the Pure Land. He pleaded with Amitabha Buddha to bring him to the Pure Land right away, saying that he did not want to live for ten more years. Amitabha Buddha agreed and promised to return in three days.
Joyous, Venerable Yingke told everybody that he had mindfully chanted “Amituofo” for three days and three nights without sleeping, and that Amitabha Buddha had come and agreed to return for him in three days. No one believed Venerable Yingke, thinking that it could not be this easy for someone like him. So they decided to wait and see what happened.
On the third day, Venerable Yingke asked everyone to mindfully chant “Amituofo” to see him off. They began to chant as he requested. Within fifteen minutes, he said that Amitabha Buddha had come and that he was leaving with Amitabha. And with that, Venerable Yingke passed away.
Venerable Yingke had been terrified that if he failed to attain rebirth in the Western Pure Land, he would surely fall into the hells and suffer greatly. His eagerness to attain rebirth in the Pure Land was his driving force. With this force impelling him to practice, he mindfully chanted “Amituofo” and secured his rebirth in the Pure Land in just three days time.
~ Translated by Pure Land College Translation Team ~