Pure land

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When the mind is pure, the Buddha land will be pure. ~ Gautama Buddha

A pure land is the celestial realm or pure abode of a buddha or bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism. The term "pure land" is particular to East Asian Buddhism (Chinese: 淨土; pinyin: Jìngtǔ) and related traditions; in Sanskrit the equivalent concept is called a "buddha-field" (Sanskrit buddhakṣetra). The various traditions that focus on pure lands have been given the nomenclature Pure Land Buddhism. Pure lands are also evident in the literature and traditions of Taoism and Bon.

Quotes[edit]

  • Ratnākara, the various kinds of living beings are in themselves the Buddha lands (buddhakṣetra) of the bodhisattvas. Why so? Because it is by converting various beings to the teachings that the bodhisattvas acquire their Buddha lands. It is by persuading various beings and overcoming their objections that the bodhisattvas acquire their Buddha lands. It is by inducing the various living beings to enter into the Buddha wisdom in such-and-such a land that they acquire their Buddha lands. It is by inducing the various living beings to develop the capacity for bodhisattva practices in such-and-such a land that they acquire their Buddha lands.

    Why is this? Because the bodhisattva's acquisition of a pure land is wholly due to his having brought benefit to living beings. Suppose a man proposes to build a mansion on a plot of open land. He may do so as he wishes without hindrance. But if he tries to build it in the empty air, he will never be successful. It is the same with the bodhisattvas. It is because they wish to help others to achieve success that they take their vow to acquire Buddha lands. Their vow to acquire Buddha lands in not founded on emptiness.
  • Ratnākara, you should understand that an upright mind is the pure land of the bodhisattva. When the bodhisattva attains Buddhahood, then beings who are free of flattery will be born in his country.
    A deeply searching mind is the pure land of the bodhisattva. When he attains Buddhahood, beings who are endowed with blessings will be born in his country.
    A mind that aspires to bodhi or enlightenment is the pure land of the bodhisattva. When he attains Buddhahood, beings dedicated to the Great Vehicle will be born in his country.
    Almsgiving is the pure land of the bodhisattva. When he attains Buddhahood, beings who are capable of casting away everything will be born in his country.
    Keeping of the precepts is the pure land of the bodhisattva. When he attains Buddhahood, beings who fulfill their vow to carry out the ten good actions will be born in his country.
    Forbearance is the pure land of the bodhisattva. When he attains Buddhahood, beings who are adorned with the thirty-two features will be born in his country.
    Assiduousness is the pure land of the bodhisattva. When he attains Buddhahood, beings who strive diligently to acquire all manner of blessings will be born in his country
    Meditation is the pure land of the bodhisattva. When he attains Buddhahood, beings who can regulate their minds and keep them from disorder will be born in his country.
    Wisdom is the pure land of the bodhisattva. When he attains Buddhahood, beings who are correct and certain in understanding will be born in his country.
    A mind devoted to the four immeasurable qualities is the pure land of the bodhisattva. When he attains Buddhahood, beings perfect in the exercise of pity, compassion, joy, and indifference will be born in his country.
    The four methods of winning people are the pure land of the bodhisattva. When he attains Buddhahood, beings who are regulated by the emancipations will be born in his country.
    Expedient means are the pure land of the bodhisattva. When he attains Buddhahood, beings who can employ all manner of expedient means with complete freedom will be born in his country.
    The thirty-seven elements of the Way are the pure land of the bodhisattva. When he attains Buddhahood, beings will be born in his country who are proficient in the four states of mindfulness, the four types of correct effort, the four bases of supernatural power, the five roots of goodness, the five powers, the seven factors of enlightenment, and the eightfold holy path.
    A mind intent on transferring merit to others is the pure land of the bodhisattva. When he attains Buddhahood, he will acquire a country endowed with all manner of blessings.
    Teaching others to avoid the eight difficulties is the pure land of the bodhisattva. When he attains Buddhahood, his country will be free of the three evils and the eight difficulties. Observing the precepts himself but not taxing others with their shortcomings is the pure land of the bodhisattva. When he attains Buddhahood, no one in his country will be called a violater of prohibitions.
    The ten good actions are the pure land of the bodhisattva. When he attains Buddhahood, beings will be born in his country who suffer no untimely death, possess great wealth, are pure in action, sincere and truthful in word, ever mild in speech, never alienated from kin or associates, skillful in solving disputes, invariably speaking profitable words, never envious, never irate, and correct in understanding.
    Therefore, Ratnākara, because the bodhisattva has an upright mind, he is impelled to action. Because he is impelled to action, he gains a deeply searching mind. Because he has a deeply searching mind, his will is well controlled. Because his will is well controlled, he acts in accord with the teachings. Because he acts in accord with the teachings, he can transfer merit to others. Because he transfers merit to others, he knows how to employ expedient means. Because he knows how to employ expedient means, he can lead others to enlightenment. Because he leads others to enlightenment, his Buddha land is pure. Because his Buddha land is pure, his preaching of the Law is pure. Because his preaching of the Law is pure, his wisdom is pure. Because his wisdom is pure, his mind is pure. And because his mind is pure, all the blessings he enjoys will be pure.
    Therefore, Ratnākara, if the bodhisattva wishes to acquire a pure land, he must purify his mind. When the mind is pure, the Buddha land will be pure.

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