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  • Writer's pictureAMTB NSW

The Amitabha Sutra - The Wonderful Adornments and Virtues

The Land of Ultimate Bliss is complete

with all these adornments and virtues.

Why does Sakyamuni Buddha keep telling Sariputra that the land “is complete with all these adornments and virtues”? It is done to reinforce the importance of the attributes in that land. A significant attribute is Amitabha Buddha’s support, which all beings there receive. Thanks to this support, the abilities, wisdom, good fortune, and enjoyments of these beings are almost the same as Amitabha’s.

How can this be? We can begin to see how this works with an analogy of a young man who was born to impoverished parents. Although the young man works very hard, he just can’t seem to get ahead. His parents aren’t able to help him because they too are struggling financially. However, he has an aunt who is extremely wealthy. Appreciating how hard her nephew works and understanding his difficult circumstances, she thoughtfully invites him to live with her in her house. By moving in, he gets to enjoy the same luxurious life she does. He does not own anything he enjoys; rather, he shares his aunt’s good fortune.

We will be in similar circumstances when, thanks to our belief, vow, and constant mindfulness of Amitabha, we are born in the Pure Land. And likely, we will be born in the Land Where Sages and Ordinary Beings Dwell Together. Even though we will not yet have accrued our own great good fortune, we will be able to share in and enjoy that of Amitabha Buddha.

Great Master Ouyi said that such a situation could happen only in the Western Pure Land and is not to be found anywhere else in the universe. Without Amitabha Buddha’s support, we will not be able to transcend the cycle of rebirth in one lifetime. It will just be too difficult for us. This situation of sharing Amitabha’s good fortune is therefore of the utmost importance for us.

— Chapter 28, "Pure Mind, Compassionate Heart: Lessons from the Amitabha Sutra", Venerable Wuling

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