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The Amitabha Sutra - Innumerable Arhats and Bodhisattvas

Moreover, this Buddha has innumerable disciples, all of whom are Arhats, whose numbers are incalculable. Amitabha also has a following of innumerable Bodhisattvas.



Amitabha Buddha’s innumerable arhat and bodhisattva students in the Pure Land came not just from our world, but also from the worlds in the ten directions. In those worlds, they listened to and followed the teachings of the Buddhas who were their fundamental teachers, just like we follow the teachings of our fundamental teacher, Sakyamuni Buddha.


And just like Sakyamuni Buddha, all those Buddhas introduced the Western Pure Land and taught the Amitabha Sutra, the Infinite Life Sutra, and the Visualization Sutra to many beings. Their students who sincerely practiced the Pure Land method were born in the Western Pure Land.


So numerous were these sincere students that their number is “incalculable.”


We know that bodhisattvas dwell in the Pure Land, but how is it that arhats are also there?


Although arhats do not practice the Pure Land method, if they generate the bodhi mind and vow to be born in Amitabha’s land when approaching death, they will be able to achieve that birth. Once in the Pure Land, they will continue their progress by learning and practicing the Pure Land method.


— Chapter 27, "Pure Mind, Compassionate Heart: Lessons from the Amitabha Sutra", Venerable Wuling


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