The Amitabha Sutra - One Lifetime Away from Buddhahood

Many among them have only one more

lifetime to go before Buddhahood. Their

number is incalculable: they can be spoken

of as innumerable.

Here we learn that “many among them have only one more lifetime to go before Buddhahood.” These are equal-enlightenment bodhisattvas, awakened beings just one level below buddhahood! And there are so many equal-enlightenment bodhisattvas in that land that “their number is incalculable.” In our world, we cannot find even one equal-enlightenment bodhisattva, but in the Western Pure Land they are everywhere. Avalokitesvara, Mahasthamaprapta, Manjusri, Samantabhadra, and Maitreya are all equal-enlightenment bodhisattvas. When we are with such bodhisattvas every day, how could we regress!

Where else can we have Amitabha Buddha and the Buddhas in the ten directions as our teachers? Where else can we have bodhisattvas waiting to succeed Buddhas as our fellow practitioners? Where else can we find such a good learning environment?

If we truly understand all this, we will realize that our world fails completely in comparison to the Western Pure Land. With such understanding, we will not attach to anything in this world. Nothing will be able to keep us here. We will not want to be here. We will let go of all attachments and practice diligently and wholeheartedly to go to the Land of Ultimate Bliss. This is where we want to go. The sooner we go, the better off we will be. And the better off the beings still trapped in samsara will be. For once we are in the Pure Land we can help them as well, just as we vowed.

But if there is just one thing that we cannot let go of, we will not be able to go there.

We must let go of everything.

— Chapter 30, "Pure Mind, Compassionate Heart: Lessons from the Amitabha Sutra", Venerable Wuling

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