Mind King Bodhisattva addresses the Bodhisattvas. One kalpa in this land is a single day and night in Amitabha Buddha’s Land of Ultimate Bliss.
He speaks of other lands and Buddhas to reveal the differing life spans in an increasing sequence.
One eon in this Saha world is only a day and night in Amitabha Buddha’s Land of Ultimate Bliss. The life spans of the Thus Come Ones are limitless. Amitabha Buddha has an especially deep affinity with the living beings in the Saha world. He is also known as ‘Amitayus,’ that is ‘Limitless Life.’ ‘Amitabha’ means ‘Limitless Light.’
Uncountable eons ago, Bhikshu Dharma Treasury made forty-eight inconceivable vows before Lokesvaraja Buddha. The vows say that Bhikshu Dharma Treasury’s Buddhaland will be a most blissful pure place of cultivation and that all the humans, gods and Sages who are born there will definitely advance irreversibly toward Buddhahood. Bhikshu Dharma Treasury is now Amitabha Buddha.
The two Great Bodhisattvas who help to gather in living beings and guide them to the Land of Ultimate Bliss are Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva (also known as Gwan Shr Yin Pu’sa, the Contemplator of the World’s Sounds) and Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva (also known as Da Shr Jr Pu’sa, Great Strength Bodhisattva.) Great Strength Bodhisattva obtained perfect penetration through cultivating Mindfulness of the Buddha. Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva will appear in the final chapter of the Avatamsaka Sutra.
In the Buddha speaks the Amitabha Sutra, it says that if a good person is able to uphold the recitation of Amitabha Buddha’s name for seven days very single-mindedly, then when that good person’s life comes to an end, Amitabha Buddha will guide that good person to the Land of Ultimate Bliss.
Some people may think that seeking rebirth in the Western Pureland is a selfish aim. But, making a vow to be born in the Western Pureland does not mean abandoning the suffering living beings of the Saha world. On the contrary, it means that one would like to first master the art of perfecting one’s samadhi, wisdom, and compassion so that one can then turn around and enter the Saha World to teach and save living beings without being turned or confused by them. For instance one may wish to help living beings by becoming a doctor. However, one has to first spend a considerable amount of time studying the medical arts, become very familiar with the various kinds of medicine and actually graduate from a medical institute before one can diagnose and treat a patient. If one does not have the required medical expertise and skills, how can one help the sick people? An incompetent doctor can harm his patients and ruin his own medical career.
Being a good Dharma doctor is even more difficult. The Buddhas are the Great Physician Kings. We would like to go to the Land of Ultimate Bliss to learn how to be good doctors so that we can then universally save and benefit all sentient beings.
Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua explained the four methods of being mindful of the Buddha. They are:
- Mindfulness of the Buddha through reciting his name.
- Mindfulness of the Buddha through contemplating his image.
- Mindfulness of the Buddha through contemplation.
- Mindfulness of the Buddha’s real appearance.
The Elder Master Yin Kuang says,
‘Although Buddha Recitation is simple, it is very deep and encompassing. The most important thing is to be utterly sincere and earnest, for only then will your thoughts merge with those of Amitabha Buddha and will you reap true benefits in this very life.’
Shakyamuni Buddha, Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua, the Buddhist Patriarchs and Ch’an Masters urge us repeatedly to seek for rebirth in Amitabha Buddha’s Pureland. How can we ignore their compassionate exhortations? How can we reject Amitabha Buddha’s Great Kindness?
Great Master Hsing An says,
Of all blessings, none equal holding the name of Amitabha. Of all goodness none compares with bringing forth a vast, great resolve…Therefore, plant the Bodhi seeds. Till them with the plough of Buddha-recitation, and the fruits of the Way will naturally grow…With the Pure Land as our Ship’s bearing, how can we worry over retreating? With the Unproduced as the strength of our patience, how could we fret about difficulty?
The Elder Master Yin Kuang says,
Buddha Recitation is the panacea for all diseases.
To miss knowing about such a wonderful remedy
would be a cause for great suffering and regret!
To be aware of but not practice it,
or to practice it but not in earnest,
is to have even greater cause for suffering and regret!
In the final chapter of the Avatamsaka Sutra, Universal Worthy Bodhisattva Mahasattva vows to be born in Amitabha Buddha’s Pureland.
If one can purify one’s mind,
© 2000 Soo Hoong Liung. All Rights Reserved.
then just that is the Pureland.