The bottom of each of the ponds is pure golden sand, and the stepped walkways that lead up from all four sides of each of the ponds are made of gold, silver, lapis lazuli and crystal. Above the ponds there are towers which are adorned with silver and gold and lapis lazuli and crystal and mother of pearl, red agate and carnelians.
On Earth, the bottom of ponds is mud; the walkways and buildings are constructed from bricks, concrete, and stone. Whereas in the Pure Land, “the bottom of each of the ponds is pure golden sand” and the walkways around the ponds “are made of gold, silver, lapis
lazuli, and crystal.” Knowing that we are already familiar with the beauty of precious metals and stones, Sakyamuni Buddha used these four gems as examples. In reality, the infinite gems in the Pure Land are far superior to those here on Earth.
The Infinite Life Sutra describes how the towers and pavilions, which serve as both dwellings and places of learning, are in the sky as well as on the ground. Like the walkways and ground, the buildings are made of gemstones, with colors and brightness varying from one to the next.
Amitabha Buddha has adorned the land with such beauty for everyone: for the well-being of those already dwelling there and for those yet to be born there. Everything in the Pure Land is done to help beings there progress in their practice. With our confidence in
the marvelous aspects of that land thus strengthened, we will be even more determined to be born there.
— Chapter 11, "Pure Mind, Compassionate Heart: Lessons from the Amitabha Sutra", Venerable Wuling