The Buddha Speaks 
of Amitabha Sutra

Commentary translated by Disciple Bhiksuni Heng Yin
Text Translated by Disciple Upasaka I Kuo Jung
Edited by Disciple Upasika Tun Kuo Hsun

At that time the Buddha told the Elder Sariputra, "Passing from here through hundreds of thousands of millions of Buddha-lands to the West, there is a world called Ultimate Bliss. In this land a Buddha called Amitabha right now teaches the Dharma."


At that time refers to the time when all the gods, Bodhisattvas, Sravakas, Bhiksus, Bhiksunis, Upasakas, and Upasikas gathered together to listen to Sakyamuni Buddha. He said to the most wise Elder Sariputra, "If you travel westward from here, from the pure abode in the Jeta prove in the Garden of the Benefactor of Orphans and the Solitary, Sravasti, India, and go through hundreds of thousands of millions of Buddha-lands, you will find a world system called 'The Land of Ultimate Bliss.' This is the happiest, happiest universe there is. Nothing surpasses the happiness there', it is ultimate."

In this land, there is a Buddha. What is his name? Amitabha, "limitless light." He is also called Amitayus, "limitless life." His light is measureless, illumining the lands of the ten directions everywhere without obstruction, and his lifespan extends for hundreds of thousands of tens of thousands of millions of great kalpas without end. After realizing Buddhahood, this Buddha did not rest, but right now he speaks the Dharma. He is not an unemployed Buddha. Teaching the Dharma is the Buddha's job. Whoever teaches the Dharma does the Buddha's work; whoever doesn't, does the demons' work. So it’s said,

"Unless I teach the Dharma to save living beings,

I will have passed through my entire life in vain."

If you don't teach the Dharma and convert living beings, you have wasted your lifetime and obtained no benefit, nothing.


"Sariputra, for what reason is this land called Ultimate Bliss?"


"Sariputra!" said the Buddha, "Why is this land called Ultimate Bliss?"

Although he had great wisdom, Sariputra didn't know enough to ask this question, and so the Buddha asked it himself. This is like yesterday when I asked you if you had any questions and you didn't speak because you didn't know what to ask. So I said, "Very well, I have a question for you. Do you like the rain?" Thieves hate the rain. Why? If they go out to steal, they get all wet. "I want to steal something," they say, "but it's raining. I'll have to carry an umbrella. How inconvenient!" Travelers say, "I came here for a vacation and I haven't seen a thing. Detestable rain!" So travelers and thieves don't like the rain.

But farmers say, "Rain! My flowers will sell for thousands of dollars.   Isn't this fine?" The fruit-growers say, "This rain will make my apples big, fat, and sweet--my oranges, too." Now, would you say that lecturing on the Sutras and speaking the Dharma is a good thing or not? Those who believe in the Buddhadharma say it is good, but those who are Jealous of it say it is not. What can you do?

Why is this land called Ultimate Bliss? Basically Sariputra should have asked this question, but he didn't, and so Sakyamuni Buddha said, "Sariputra, why is Amitabha's country called Ultimate Bliss? Speak up!" The Buddha waited for about five minutes. Sariputra said nothing; such great wisdom and yet he didn't know what to say. He just stared blankly, like you do when I ask you a question. But time is precious. Sakyamuni Buddha waited until he could wait no more. "All right," he said, "I'll answer it myself."


"All living beings of this country endure none of the sufferings, but enjoy every bliss. Therefore it is sailed 'Ultimate Bliss.'"


In Amitabha's land, living beings are born by transformation from lotus flowers. Their birth is pure. It is not one of desire and love. Born pure, their bodies are not the result of sexual desire and the lustful thoughts of men and women. This is why they endure none of the sufferings. Why do we suffer? We suffer because our bodies are created from the filth of the father's semen and the mother's blood and so all day long we think of unclean things. Men usually think of women, women of men. They eat their fill and, since there's nothing else to do, this is foremost. When the time comes, men and women want to marry. If they don't, they feel as if they have a great illness, which has not been cured. Because the basis, the seed, is impure, the thoughts are impure, and those impure thoughts bring about all kinds of suffering. Why is there suffering? It is just because of this. Sutras are lectured and Dharma is taught for no other reason than to teach you this; have no unclean, filthy thoughts of sexual desire. Without sexual desire you are one of the clear, pure ocean-wide assembly of Bodhisattvas. With sexual desire, you are a ghostly living being of the five turbid realms. Cultivation of the Way and non-cultivation are right here. If you can purify your mind, your merit and virtue are unlimited. If you cannot purify your mind, your offenses are limitless. Offenses are created because your thoughts are impure. Such causes planted in your own self-nature result in the manifestation of offenses and evil. But if your own self-nature is pure, outwardly there will be no evil karmic retribution.

Therefore, you may study the Buddhadharma for several tens of thousands of great kalpas, but unless you understand the genuine doctrine you won't get off the revolving wheel. One who understands the essential message of the Buddhadharma, however, says, "Oh! It's simply a matter of purifying one's mind and will."

The Buddhadharma teaches you to purify your mind and will. If you understand the Buddhadharma you can become enlightened, and once enlightened, you will never have unclean thoughts again. Why do we suffer? We suffer because of our impure thoughts. Why is there no suffering in the Land of Ultimate Bliss? It is because the people there have no impure thoughts.  Thus, they endure none of the sufferings, but enjoy every bliss.

As we recite "Namo Amitabha Buddha" we each create and adorn our own Land of Ultimate Bliss. We each accomplish our own Land of Ultimate Bliss, which is certainly not hundreds of thousands of millions of Buddha-lands from here, and yet it actually is hundreds of thousands of millions of Buddha-lands from here. Although it's that far, it doesn't go beyond one thought of the mind. Because it doesn't go beyond one thought of the mind, is not as far as hundreds of thousands of millions of Buddha-lands away. It's just right in our hearts. The Land of Ultimate Bliss is the original true heart, the true mind, of every one of us. If you obtain this heart, you will be born in the Land of Ultimate Bliss. If you do not understand your own original true heart, you will not. The Land of Ultimate Bliss is within our hearts, not outside. This land is clear, pure, and undefiled, and so is that one thought of the mind and nature. It is just that now, as common people, we are defiled by attachment. If you can empty your attachments, you will immediately see Amitabha Buddha; and that is the Land of Ultimate Bliss. Amitabha Buddha and living beings—do not discriminate between this and that. Thus, the Land of Ultimate Bliss is not far away. In one thought, turn the light inwards, know that originally you are Buddha and your original Buddhahood is just the Lend of Ultimate Bliss.

Therefore, you should cast out your defiled thoughts, your lustful desire, your confusion, jealousy, contrariness, and selfish thoughts of personal gain. Be like the Bodhisattva who benefits people and enlightens all living beings. Just that is the Land of Ultimate Bliss manifest. Don't you agree that the absence of confusion and false thoughts is the Land of Ultimate Bliss? If it isn't, then what is? Don't seek it outside.

Good Knowing Advisors, you are all ones of great wisdom, great intelligence. You are all more clever than I, and in the future you will explain the Dharma better than I do. But now, because you don’t understand Chinese, I am introducing you to this old-fashioned tradition. In the future you'll transform it and make it unspeakably wonderful.


Moreover, Sariputra, this Land of Ultimate Bliss is everywhere surrounded by seven tiers of railings, seven layers of retting and seven rows of trees, all formed from the four treasures and for this reason named 'Ultimate Bliss.'"


After explaining why this land is called Ultimate Bliss, Sakyamuni Buddha waited for Sariputra to ask about the limitless principles, which remained, but as intelligent as he was, Sariputra simply didn't know enough to ask. Why? It was because the Pure Land Dharma Door is simply too wonderful. He still had no way to ask about such an unthinkable, ineffable Dharma Door.

      Unable to wait any longer, the Buddha said, "Sariputra, I'll tell you. In the most happy land there are seven tiers of railings which run horizontally like fences and are arranged vertically in seven tiers. The railings represent the precepts, the seven layers of netting represent concentration, and the seven rows of trees represent wisdom. The number seven is used for the "Seven Classes" which is the classification of the Thirty-Seven Wings of Enlightenment into seven groups:

1. The 4 Applications of Mindfulness

2. The 4 Right Efforts

3. The 4 Bases of Psychic Power

k. The 5 Roots

5. The 5 Powers

6. The 7 Limbs of Enlightenment (Bodhi Shares)

7. The 8 Fold Path (Sagely Way Shares)

                   37 Wings of Enlightenment

The tiers of railings, layers of netting, and rows of trees represent the seven classes of Thirty-Seven Wings of Enlightenment.

How do the tiers of railings represent the precepts? Precepts control evil and prevent error. Morality is simply:

All evil not done

All good respectfully practiced.

Once you have taken the precepts, you cannot have confused false thinking. You must purify your mind and will. If you have false thinking, rub your head and say, "Hey! I have left home; I'm hairless, I'm not a layman and so I can't casually think unclean thoughts. I must stop." In this way, the precepts are like a fence. It's illegal to jump it; you have to go through the gate. So the seven tiers of railings represent the precepts.

How do the seven layers of netting represent concentration? One does not enter or leave concentration, for in Dragon concentration, Naga Samadhi, there is no time of non-concentration. If you have true concentration you don't need to meditate because no state will move your heart. You're always in concentration.

Suppose you see something good to eat, and think, "Not bad. I'll 'try it out." This is to have no concentration power, to say nothing of stealing food, which breaks a precept!

"Oh, it's not important," you say.

It's just because you transgress on a minor point that, when something major comes along, you slip up. People who transgress in little matters will transgress even more easily in big ones. It may be a small matter, but it's just the small matters, which are difficult to change. If you change your small 'faults, that is concentration powers Always in concentration:

The eyes see forms outside, but inside there is nothing;

The ears hear dust affairs, but the mind does not know.

Concentration is not being moved by situations. For example, when a woman sees a handsome man but has no thoughts of sexual desire, that is concentration. When a man sees a beautiful woman but has no thoughts of sexual desire, that is concentration. Seeing as if not seeing and hearing as if not hearing:

The eyes see forms outside, but inside there is nothing;

The ears hear dust affairs, but the mind does not know.

So the seven layers of netting represent concentration. Now do you understand the Amitabha Sutra! If you don't totally understand, perhaps you may understand a little. That's why I am explaining it.

...and seven rows of very tall trees. Their tallness represents wisdom.   If you have wisdom, you're high; without it you're short. It's not a question of how tall or short your body is. With wisdom, you have seven rows of trees; without wisdom you have seven rows of grass! The grass has smothered your heart and you grow stupider and stupider. You do something once and you don't understand. Someone explains it once, but you don't understand.

...all formed from the four treasures and for this reason named 'Ultimate Bliss.' The four treasures are gold, silver, lapis lazuli, and crystal.

You say, "The Land of Ultimate Bliss is made out of only four treasures?"

Ah, the treasures in the Land of Ultimate Bliss are limitless and measureless; nothing in this world compares to them. We in this world have never seen anything like the treasures, which fill that land.

"Then why do you only mention four kinds?" you ask.

The four treasures represent the four kinds of virtuous practices, that is, the Four Virtues of Nirvana; permanence, bliss, (true) self, and purity.

1. Permanence. Amitabha Buddha's lifespan is limitless. Not only does Amitabha have limitless life, but when we are born in the Land of Ultimate Bliss, we will too. If you would like a limitless life, seek rebirth in the Pure Land. Everyone there has limitless life; this is the virtue of Permanence.

2. Bliss. Those born in this land endure none of the sufferings, but enjoy every bliss.

3. (True) Self. Amitabha Buddha has Eight Great Freedoms, eight functions, eight kinds of strength, and eight spiritual penetrations; these are just eight kinds of wonderful function.

Eight Great Freedoms of the Self

a. One body can manifest limitless bodies. If a hundred people invite you to lunch, you can accept all their invitations and go to every Dharma Protector's house to eat. So one Dharma Protector says to another, "I invited him to eat with us on such and such a day," and the other replies, "I also invited him on that day. How can that be?"  They hadn't yet realized that on one day he...could respond to limitless offerings.

b. One body the size of a dust-mote can completely fill the great thousand world systems. Isn't this wonderful? In one mote of dust, Buddha-fields appear; in a Buddha-field, motes of dust appear. One country becomes as small as a mote of dust and one mote of dust becomes as large as a country.

c. The great body can lightly float to a distant place. It can fly, fly to another place. The body is big and awkward, but now it can gently float far away.

d. Manifesting limitless kinds of living beings, which always dwell together in one land. We see mountains as mountains when actually they contain the palaces of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. You see mountains and oceans but do not see the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas within them who are teaching the Dharma. Kuo Ti has mentioned such a place where there are many people cultivating the Way; he can see it and you can't. This is to take limitless kinds of living beings and cause them to dwell in one place.

e. All the organs are used interchangeably. The eyes can speak; the ears can see: the nose can eat. Why? The six sense organs, eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind, are interchangeable and so each of them has the function of the other five. Sages who have given proof to the fruit of Arhatship may speak with the Bodhisattvas but-you would not know because they would be talking with their ears!

"I don't believe it," you say.

Of course you don't. If you did, you'd have this talent yourself. But because you don't believe, you don't have it. How can you obtain what you don't even believe in?

f. Obtaining the suchness of all dharmas without the thought of dharmas. Although he obtains all dharmas, he has no thought of attainment.  This is spoken of in the Heart Sutra as "No wisdom and no attainment.1

1 T. 251, p.848c:10.

g. The meaning of one gatha may be explained throughout limitless kalpas. The meaning of a single line, a single word, cannot be fully explained even in limitless kalpas. Why? Because he has free and unobstructed eloquence so that speaking horizontally, it's Dharma, speaking vertically, its dharma. Speaking Dharma in Buddha-fields and in motes of dust, any dharma he selects contains limitless meanings. Having rightly attained the Eight Great Freedoms of the Self, he does what tie pleases and says what he likes.  He can scold people, but they still like to hear it. "He scolds very well," they say. He may teach Dharma by doing nothing but scolding people, and yet they say it's very nice to hear, very pleasant. Why? Because he has rightly attained the Eight Great Freedoms of the Self, and because he is free. When you hear him speak you, too, feel free.

h. The body pervades all places like space. One body fills Buddha-fields in number as dust motes, but like empty space, there's really nothing there. Although there's nothing there, it fills Buddha-fields in number as dust motes. What doctrine is this? That of freedom, the Eight Great Freedoms of the Self.

The Sutra text below says, "...and throughout the clear morning each living being of this land, with sacks full of the myriads of wonderful flowers, makes offerings to the hundreds of thousands of millions of Buddhas of the other directions. At mealtime they return to their own country and having eaten they stroll around." They are able in the space of one morning to go everywhere in the ten directions making offerings to all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas because they have the Eight Great Freedoms of Self.

4. Purity. This land is pure. It is adorned with the four treasures in unobstructed interpenetration, which represents the Four Virtues of Nirvana, and is for this reason named 'Ultimate Bliss.'


"Moreover, Sariputra, this Land of Ultimate Bliss has pools of the seven jewels, filled with the eight waters of merit and virtue. The bottom of each pool is pure, spread over with golden sand. On the four sides are stairs of gold, silver, lapis lazuli, and crystal; above are raised pavilions adorned with gold, silver, lapis lazuli, crystal, mother-of-pearl, red pearls, and carnelian.

"In the pools are lotuses as large as carriage wheels: green colored of green light; yellow colored of yellow light; red colored of red light; white colored of white light; subtly, wonderfully, fragrant and pure.

"Sariputra, the realization of the Land of Ultimate Bliss is thus meritoriously adorned."


The previous passage of text described the subtle, wonderful, exquisite beauty of the grounds of the Land of Ultimate Bliss. This passage praises the subtle wonder of its water pools. Having spoken of the seven rows of trees, the seven layers of netting, and the seven tiers of railings, Sakyamuni Buddha was waiting for Sariputra to ask him further about the situation in that land, but the Great Wise Sariputra, the Buddha's most intelligent disciple, still did not know where to begin. He probably hesitated for several minutes and so the Buddha himself said, "Moreover, Sariputra, this Land of Ultimate Bites has 'pools of the seven jewels." There are pools in the Saha world, but they are made of mud or cement. No one makes pools out of gold, silver, lapis lazuli, crystal, mother-of-pearl, red pearls, or carnelian.

The Seven Jewels are:

1. Gold,

2. Silver,

3. Lapis lazuli, is an (opaque) green-colored gem. It also means "not far," because this gem could be found near the country of Magadha, in Central India.

4. Crystal, is also called "water Jade."

5. Mother-of-pearl has what looks like cart tracks running across it.

6. Red pearls,

7.  Carnelian.

These pools of the seven Jewels were not man-made. On the contrary, they appeared naturally.  Within the pools one finds the eight waters of merit and virtue:

1. Warm and Cool.

It's warm and yet cool. In other words, once you get in the pool, if you want it a little warmer, it becomes so. If you think, "It's too hot. A little cooler, please," then it becomes cooler. This kind of quality is inconceivable.

2. Pure.

No matter how many times you wash with this water, it doesn't get dirty.  Unlike the water in our world, the more you wash with the water In the Land of Ultimate Bliss, the cleaner it gets. It feels like milk running over your body, smooth, comfortable, and extremely subtle and fine to the touch. The more you wash with it, the nicer you feel; there's no better feeling than this.

3.  Sweet.

You don't have to drink it. Just wash with it, and you'll know that It is very, very sweet. This is like my disciple She Kuo Man in Hong Kong. When she came to Kuan Yin Cave where I was living, I invited her to eat noodles and drink the spring water. "Ah!" she said, "This water is so sweet! Does it have sugar in it?"

"No," I replied, "it's just plain water."

"But it's so sweet!" she said.

"Perhaps Kuan Yin Bodhisattva has given you some sweet dew," I said.

"Oh!" she exclaimed, and was really delighted. At that time I was wearing rags and you could see my flesh through the holes in them. What do you think she did? She made me two sets of clothing, because she liked the sweet water. The water in the Land of Ultimate Bliss is also sweet and delicious.

4. Soft. The water is not hard. It's very light and soft.

5. Moistening. When dirty people wash with it, they turn white.  This water will wash any filth right off your body and leave you bright and clean.

6. Harmonizing. If you wash with this water, your heart and mind will be at peace, without the slightest trace of bad temper. Without a hot temper, without the fire of ignorance, and without affliction, you will harmonize with everyone. If they scold you, you won't get angry. If they knock you down, it's no problem. "So what if they hit me?" you'll say.  You'll be at peace with everyone. See how fine this is.

7. Banishes hunger and thirst. This is most important: after bathing in the eight waters of merit and virtue in the Land of Ultimate Bliss, you're not hungry when it's time to eat, and when it's time to drink, you're not thirsty. No milk and no bread and yet no hunger or thirst—the Land of Ultimate Bliss is unspeakably wonderful.

8. Nourishes all organs. It nourishes 911 your sense organs.   Your eyes become bright and light. If your ears were deaf, now they can hear.   If your nose is stopped up, wash with the water of merit and virtue; it will go to work again. No matter what you eat, it tastes good, and your hands and feet can work without feeling tired. Not only that, the water also nourishes your good roots and gets rid of your bad karma. How great would you say this merit and virtue is?

Therefore, we should quickly seek rebirth in the Land of Ultimate Bliss so that we may bathe in the pools of the seven jewels and have all our organs nourished. This is a general explanation of the eight waters of merit and virtue. Were I to speak in detail, I wouldn't finish to the end of a great kalpa. These eight waters have eight independent merits and virtues, eight happy merits and virtues, eight subtle, wonderful, inconceivable merits and virtues.

The bottom of Saha pool is pure, spread over with golden sand. No matter what karmic obstacles you have, once you get in these pools, they all dissolve.

What are karmic obstacles? They are just the things, which your mind dislikes, the things, which cause you to become afflicted. Without karmic obstacles there is no affliction—-your karmic obstacles help you give rise to afflictions. So when we go to the Land of Ultimate Bliss in the pools of the seven jewels we can melt away our karmic obstacles.

On the four sides are stairs of gold, silver, lapiz lazuli, crystal, mother of pearl, red pearls, and carnelian. Why adorn them with so many treasures? To make them beautiful to look at all these treasures used to make the pavilion are the realization of Amitabha Buddha's ten thousand virtues.  Because his virtuous practices are so great, the adornments are also great.  Without virtuous practice, one has no seven-jeweled adornments. The seven jewels represent the perfected practice of Amitabha Buddha's virtue.

In the pools are lotuses as large as carriage wheels: There are flowers in the pools. And how big are the pools? As big as a hundred great seas. One great sea is big indeed; how big would you say a hundred great seas are?

The lotuses in these pools are as large as carriage wheels, much bigger than automobile tires. They are as large as the carriage wheels oh the chariot of the Wheel Turning Sage King, which are one yojana in diameter. A small yojana is 40 miles in diameter, a middle-sized one is 60 miles, and a large one is 80 miles. This lotus, then, is 80 miles in diameter. Lotuses growing in pools as large as a hundred great seas would have to be at least that big. Little tiny flowers in such big pools wouldn't look right.

Now, a song:

Amita, great sage and master

Sedate, subtle, wonderful beyond all others,

Pools of seven gems with

Flowers of four colors and waves of solid gold...

Amitabha Buddha is the great sage and master. His countenance is sedate, serene, and very wonderful. There is no image as fine as that of Amitabha Buddha.

The flowers in the pools are green colored, of green light, yellow colored of yellow light: red colored of red light: white colored of white light. Light, bright light--subtly, wonderfully, fragrant and pure. The water is subtle and soft. It looks like water, but when you reach out to touch it, it feels as if nothing were there. When you put your hand in our water it has the feel of water, but this water is very fine; you can't grab a hold of it. It looks like water and yet when you stick your hand in it, it is as if there were nothing there, even though there is nothing there, your hand still gets wet. It's just that subtle.

"Wonderful" means "unspeakable." There's no way you can even think about it. The water is also fragrant: once you come upon it you won't want to leave it. It will cause you to bring forth the Bodhi mind. As soon as you smell the fragrance you absolutely want to cultivate. In this world, we chase after good smells. In the Land of Ultimate Bliss, the fragrances cause one to say. "Oh! Too fine! I'd better hurry up and cultivate the Way."

The smells of this world cause you to think. "Not bad...It's really bitter at the Temple. Cultivation isn't as good as..." But smells are defiled dharmas: forms, sounds, smells, tastes, tangible objects, are the five sense objects and cultivators of the Way must certainly see through and break all attachment to them. First of all, do not attach to beautiful form. Beauty is just skin deep; beneath the skin there's just flesh and blood. In the Surangama Sutra we read of Matangi’s daughter who couldn't give up her love for Ananda.1 She saw that Ananda was extremely handsome and she couldn't let him alone. The Buddha asked her, "What is it about Ananda that you love?"

"I love his eyes," she said.

"All right" said the Buddha, "I'll poke out his eyes and you can have them."

"Oh no!" she said. "If you do that, they won't be of any use."

"If they are of no use, then what are you doing loving them?" asked Sakyamuni Buddha. Hearing this, Matangi immediately certified to the fruit of Arhatship.

So one should not be attached to forms. In order to cultivate, one must borrow forms and sounds and yet not become attached to them. Don't say, "Ah, this music is so beautiful. When I hear this music, I...get all confused and don't know what I'm doing!" If you must sing, sing in praise of Amitabha Buddha. Don't become attached to smells, either.

When I was in Hong Kong people used to follow me around. They said that I smelled good. I really disliked this and so I put some foul-smelling stuff on myself to keep them away. Everything is made from the mind alone. If one has samadhi power, then fragrances aren't fragrant, and bad smells don't stink, good sounds aren't good sounds and bad sounds aren't bad. Beauty isn't beautiful and ugliness isn't ugly. Samadhi power is the skill one derives from cultivation. If one has this skill, when people are good, one is not happy and when they are bad one has no affliction. With samadhi power, one is not turned by the states of the six sense objects.

If one has samadhi power, one won't listen to the talk of one's tongue.  One won't think, "I'll take a taste of this and see if it tastes better than..." I often tell you that when I eat, I don't know if the food is good or not. It's not that I don't know, if I didn't know I would be like wood or stone, but I am just not affected by the taste. I eat the same amount, whether it tastes good or not—no discrimination.

Touchables; greed for touch indicates you lack samadhi power and are turned by states.

The lotuses of four colors of the Land of Ultimate Bliss shine with four colons of light, which represent the Four Applications of Mindfulness, the Four Right Efforts, and the Four Bases of Psychic Power. In reciting and studying the Amitabha Sutra, we should cultivate samadhi power. If you have samadhi power, then the Land of Ultimate Bliss is right here; if you don't, even if you went to the Land of Ultimate Bliss you'd run right off to the Land of Ultimate Misery. With samadhi power the Land of Ultimate Misery is the Land of Ultimate Bliss. Without afflictions, you can say, "Everything is O.K." If that's not the Land of Ultimate Bliss, what is?

1 T. 945, p. 106c:9


"Moreover, Sariputra, in that Buddha-land there is always heavenly music and the ground is yellow gold. In the six periods of the day and night a heavenly rain of Mandarava flowers falls, and throughout the clear morning each living being of this land, with sacks full of the myriads of wonderful flowers makes offerings to the hundreds of thousands of millions of Buddhas of the other directions. At mealtime they return to their own country and having eaten they stroll around.

"Sariputra, the realization of the Land of Ultimate Bliss is thus meritoriously adorned."


Sakyamuni Buddha told Sariputra. "In Amitabha's country the gods play music all day and all night, in the six periods, the beginning of the day, the middle of the day, the end of the day, and in the beginning of the night, the middle of the night, and the end of the night.

Mandarava, a Sanskrit word, may be interpreted as "according to your wish"1, and "large white flower."2 However you would like them to be that's the way these flowers are. White flowers falling from the sky...

At dawn, when the sun is just beginning to rise, the living beings of this land, with sacks full of the myriads of wonderful flowers, make offerings to the hundreds of thousands of millions of Buddhas of the other directions. How long does it take? Not long, just the time it takes to eat a meal, half an hour or so. In Taiwan, when you took the precepts, they only gave you ten minutes a day to eat. These living beings can travel to billions of Buddha-lands in a very short space of time because they have obtained the Eight Great Freedoms of the Self. This kind of state is independent, and everything accords with their wishes. They have obtained the "as you will" spiritual penetration. If they want to go somewhere they arrive there immediately.

When we bow to the Buddha we should contemplate and think of our bodies as filling the limitless Buddha-lands of the ten directions, and personally bowing to all the Buddhas. If you can contemplate the Dharma Realm then your body is just as big as the Dharma Realm. So the Avatamsaka Sutra says,

"If one wishes completely to understand

The Buddhas of the three periods of time,

He should contemplate the nature of the Dharma Realm:

Everything is made from the mind alone."

At mealtime they return to the Land of Ultimate Bliss and, having eaten, they go for a walk.

-shih yi hua.

-pai hua.