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Why Is Āmítuófó’s Pure Land The Most Interesting Place? 为何阿弥陀佛的净土是最有趣之处?Why Is Pure Land Not Boring At All 为何净土一点都不无聊

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令我作佛,国土第一。其众奇妙,道场超绝。

— 过前法藏菩萨;现在阿弥陀佛
《无量寿经》法藏因地第六

If I become a Buddha, my [Pure] Land will be the foremost. Its assembly will be unique and wonderful, in a place for realising the path surpassing.

— Previous Dharma Treasury Bodhisattva; Present Amitābha Buddha (Immeasurable Life Sūtra: Sixth Chapter On Dharma Treasury’s Causal Ground)

Where is the most interesting place possible? The unequivocal answer is the Western Pure Land Of Ultimate Bliss (西方极乐世界). This is qualified by Amitābha Buddha’s (阿弥陀佛) six great vows, as taught in the Immeasurable Life Sūtra’s《无量寿经》Seventh Chapter On Giving Rise To [Forty-Eight] Great Vows (发[四十八]大誓愿第七) below.

[1] Ability To Experience Immeasurable Excellent Adornments: According to the ‘Twenty-Seventh Vow Of Ten Thousand Things All Being Excellent And Special‘ (第二十七:万物悉皆殊特愿), ‘all its [i.e. the Pure Land’s] ten thousand things, will be majestic and pure, brilliant and magnificent, with appearances and colours excellent and special, exhausting fineness and utmost wonders, that are not able to be stated and measured.’ (一切万物,严净光丽,形色殊特,穷微极妙,无能称量)

In other words, there will be attainment of life with immeasurable beautiful and excellent adornments. With this ability to see such splendid forms, this Pure Land is definitely the most interesting place possible.

[2] Ability To See Unsurpassable Treasures: According to the ‘Thirty-Second Vow Of Majestic Adornments Surpassing Those Of All Heavenly Beings‘ (第三十二:严饰超诸天人愿), ‘from the ground to above, reaching to the sky, palace halls, high towers, ponds, streams, flowers, trees, and all those ten thousand things in the [Pure] Land, will all be with immeasurable varied treasures, and a hundred thousand kinds of fragrances, thus together composed. These majestic adornments are unique and wonderful, surpassing those of all heavenly beings… Those Bodhisattvas who smell them, will all cultivate Buddha practices.’ (自地以上,至于虚空,宫殿楼观、池流华树,国土所有一切万物,皆以无量杂宝百千种香而共合成。严饰奇妙,超诸天人。… 菩萨闻者,皆修佛行。)

In other words, there will be attainment of inspiration through many treasures to cultivate Buddha practices. With this ability to see such unsurpassable treasures, this Pure Land is definitely the most interesting place possible.

[3] Ability To See All Places: According to the ‘Sixth Vow Of All Attaining Heavenly Eye With Pervasive Sight‘ (第六:皆得天眼彻视愿), all in the Pure Land will ‘attain the heavenly eye, to at least see a hundred thousand koṭis of nayutas of all Buddha lands.’ (得天眼,下至见百千亿那由他诸佛国)

In other words, there will be attainment of sight of innumerable Buddha lands. With this ability to see all defiled and pure lands while in it, this Pure Land is definitely the most interesting place possible.

[4] Ability To See All Places Very Clearly: According to the ‘Thirty-First Vow Of Pure Land With Illumination And Sight Of The Ten Directions‘ (第三十一:净国照见十方愿), ’all of it [i.e. the Pure Land] illuminates for seeing the ten directions’ all immeasurable, innumerable and inconceivable all Buddha worlds, similar to in bright mirrors, seeing their faces’ images. (皆悉照见十方一切无量无数不可思议诸佛世界,犹如明镜,睹其面像)

In other words, there will be attainment of clear sight of all lands. With this ability to see every land with such clarity, this Pure Land is definitely the most interesting place possible.

[5] Ability To See All Places Instantly: According to the ‘Fortieth Vow Of Seeing All Buddha Lands Accordingly As Wished‘ (第四十:随意见诸佛国愿), all in the Pure Land will ‘accordingly as wished, with desires to see the ten directions’ immeasurable majestic and pure Buddha lands, they will immediately as aspired, within the treasure trees, all be illuminated and seen.’ (随意欲见十方无量严净佛土,应时如愿,于宝树中,皆悉照见)

In other words, there will be attainment of immediate sight of all Pure Lands. With this ability to see all magnificent lands, this Pure Land is definitely the most interesting place possible.

[6] Ability To Reach All Places: According to the ‘Ninth Vow Of All Attaining Supernormal Flight‘ (第九:皆得神足飞行愿), all in the Pure Land will ‘attain supernormal feet, in one thought moment… able to surpass a hundred thousand koṭis of nayutas of all Buddha lands.’ (得神足,于一念顷… 能超过百千亿那由他诸佛国)

In other words, there will be attainment of swift travel to innumerable Buddha lands. With this ability to reach all lands through it, this Pure Land is definitely the most interesting place possible.

To summarise, having reached Amitābha Buddha’s Pure Land, we will be able to [1] experience immeasurable excellent adornments there, such as [2] see unsurpassable treasures, [3] see all places [4] very clearly and [5] instantly, and even [6] reach these places, going to-and-fro with ease. Surely, this makes it the most interesting place possible, both in itself, and due to it allowing access and experience of all other (less) interesting places.

This should most adequately debunk the misconception that the Pure Land is ‘nice but boring’, or that those who have reached it are obliged to stay ‘stuck’ in it. For more features of Amitābha Buddha’s Pure Land, the Pure Land Tradition’s Three Sūtras《净土三经》, which are the Amitābha Sūtra《阿弥陀经》, Contemplation Sūtra《观经》and Immeasurable Life Sūtra《无量寿经》) should be studied in detail.

建此愿已,一向专志庄严妙土。所修佛国,开廓广大,超胜独妙。

— 释迦牟尼佛
《无量寿经》积植德行第九

Having established these [forty-eight] vows already, he [i.e. Dharma Treasury Bodhisattva] wholeheartedly focused on his aspirations to adorn a wonderful [Pure] Land. That cultivated Buddha land, is open and wide, vast and great, surpassingly excellent and uniquely wonderful.

— Śākyamuni Buddha (Immeasurable Life Sūtra: Ninth Chapter On Accumulating And Planting Virtuous Practices)

《净土三经》
The Pure Land Tradition’s Three Sūtras:

《佛说阿弥陀经》
The Sūtra In Which The Buddha Speaks Of Amitābha Buddha
https://purelanders.com/sutra

《佛说观无量寿佛经》
The Sūtra In Which The Buddha Speaks Of Contemplation On Immeasurable Life Buddha
https://purelanders.com/guanjing

《佛说无量寿经》
The Sūtra In Which The Buddha Speaks Of Immeasurable Life
https://purelanders.com/dajing

Related Article:

Why Is Āmítuófó’s Pure Land The Land Of All Lands, The Land Of Your Dreams?
为何阿弥陀佛的净土即是国中国,您的理想国
https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2021/10/why-is-amituofos-pure-land-the-land-of-your-dreams

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