Author Topic: A Question on Pure Lands, or Paradises  (Read 17094 times)

hope rainbow

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Re: A Question on Pure Lands, or Paradises
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2012, 05:25:47 PM »
Pure land is definitely a place that we all aspire to go after this life.............

How do we ensure a ticket to this pureland while we are in samsara?

My thoughts on this:

Simple, create the merit for it.

If you have a Guru, look no further and follow ALL your guru's instructions with faith and following the "9 attitudes". This is the most powerful practice.
If you don't have a Guru, make aspirational prayers to find a Guru, to recognize your guru, and to have unshakable faith in your Guru and abide by the "9 attitudes".


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Re: A Question on Pure Lands, or Paradises
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2012, 06:48:14 PM »
Sometimes when we get too mentally wary of samsara and we just cannot recover or pick ourselves up from the sufferings of Samsara, the pure land is a place to help us recuperate. It is like a hospital of sorts in a spiritual sense. If I am not mistaken, this is what the Buddha implied, when he taught the Amithaba sutra to King Bimbisara who was tortured by Ajatashu till he was almost dead, and had gone through much physical suffering and even more mental suffering to have been killed by the son he loved so much.

But having said that, many Buddhists seem to have the impression that pure lands are like a Buddhist spiritual resort where there will be no suffering and everyone will be happy there for a long time and they pray to be reborn there as a respite from their sufferings in samsara….based on the example that the Buddha has given in the Amithaba sutra. Somehow they think it is like the Buddhist version of Bali or something.

In reality, pure lands allow a practitioner to prepare themselves for the next incarnation on benefitting others, or repairing damaging faults, or emotional scars that remain in the mind that they could not repair in time when they are alive. Repairing them in a pure land helps prevent the same problems from reoccurring again in their next incarnation. Most masters will stop by a pure land before taking on the next incarnation…as in the case of Chongyam Trungpa.

Going to a pure land just because we want to run away from samsara the wrong way is the wrong reason to go there and with this motivation in mind, it is pretty logical that we will never reach the pure lands. If there is a reason to go there, it is to find ways to train more intensely to benefit all beings.


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Re: A Question on Pure Lands, or Paradises
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2012, 03:11:22 PM »
To answer Hope Rainbow's question, terms like "pure land", "paradise", "heaven" and "Buddhafield" are synonymous. "Merit field" can be defined as "the object of one's offering, devotion, etc., through which one can accumulate merit and wisdom. The term usually refers to refuge deities, one's guru in the guru yoga etc.

Pure lands are really fascinating. There are millions of them. Some books give their approximate locations, for example in the Amitabha Sutra, the Buddha said that the pure land of "Ultimate Bliss" (Sukhavati) is more than a hundred thousand million Buddha lands to the west of the saha world.

From my reading, I discovered that there are also different types of pure lands: the distinctive pure lands of the Mahayana School (eg. Sukhavati), the pure land of the Three Vehicles, the pure land of the Five Vehicles (eg. Tushita Pure Land) and the pure land on Earth.

The last heaven is really interesting because it is what we can aspire to immediately. It is said in the Vimalakirti Sutra, that although Vimalakirti lived in the saha world, his state of mind was that of the Pure Land. Both heaven and hell are in one's mind. As we are still in samsara at this moment, the way we can be close to the Buddha is to work to transform the saha world into a pure land on Earth. Once Sariputra asked the Buddha, "The Buddha lands of the ten directions are all very pure. Why is our saha world so corrupt and filthy?" The Buddha replied, " You cannot comprehend the world in which I live." With this, the Buddha pressed the earth with his toe. Immediately, the world became brilliant, pure and magnificent. The Buddha then continued, "This is the world in which I live."


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Re: A Question on Pure Lands, or Paradises
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2012, 05:45:09 PM »
It is the wish of many Buddhist practitioners to ascend a pureland of a Buddha.  There are many advantages of going to the pureland as clearly shared by many of you above.  To attain any pureland, we must generate the right causes for it.  Attaining a pureland is a means to gain Buddhahood.  It is one of the most skilful ways because when we attain a pureland, we are completely out of the bounds of samsara though we still have karma to be purified.  It is impossible for our spiritual practice to degenerate in a pureland.  Due to the excellent and favourable conditions in a pureland, our attainment of enlightenment is accelerated.  We will be under the guidance and care of the Buddha of that pureland we have taken rebirth in.  It is like a guaranteed passport to Enlightenment once we attain a pureland.

Hence in degenerate times where spiritual practice is difficult, many Chinese Mahayana Buddhist Masters advocate the practice of reciting Buddha Amitabha’s name.  In the Pure Land School, one aspires to be reborn in the Pure Land of Bliss or the Western Pure Land of Buddha Amitabha.  There are 9 grades of rebirths in Pure of Land of Bliss.  And the lowest of all is to be reborn in a lotus which has not yet blossomed.  The highest grade is the level where the practitioner is considered a highly developed bodhisattva on the verge of becoming a Buddha e.g. the tenth ground bodhisattva.

The above is an example of a pureland.  And there are countless purelands in existence.

When one’s mind is completely pure and free from any obscuration of karmic imprints, one attains a pureland of our own.  It is when we accomplish Buddhahood, we attain our own pureland.