「然彼佛土」：然，就是說一說前邊那個意思；前邊藥師琉璃光如來發的十二大願。地的國土是那麼樣莊嚴妙好；可是這個佛土，「一向清淨」：從來是清淨的，沒有染污的，猶如琉璃那麼光明透徹的。「無有女人」：在琉璃世界那兒也沒有女人，現在這個 women's liberation（婦女解放）提倡女權的，就反對阿彌陀佛極樂世界，說：「那兒沒有女人！那麼他是不是看不起女人啊？是不是男女不平等啊？是不是重男輕女呢？」
"Manjusri, these are the twelve sublime and wonderful vows that the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, One of Proper and Equal Enlightenment, made while cultivating the Bodhisattva Way."
Sakyamuni Buddha calls out to the wisest of Bodhisattvas,
Manjusri, whose name means "Wonderfully Auspicious." His Bodhimanda is on China's Mount Wutai, which is snow-covered all year round and is extremely cold. He probably chose Mount Wutai because he likes to cultivate in cold places. Mount Wutai was also mentioned with regard to the
Flower Adornment Sutra.
Sakyamuni Buddha addresses this wise Bodhisattva, Manjusri, because only a very wise person can understand the great vows of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata; his vows are beyond the understanding of most ordinary people.
These are the twelve sublime and wonderful vows that the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, One of Proper and Equal Enlightenment, made while cultivating the Bodhisattva Way. "World Honored One" and "One of Proper and Equal Enlightenment" are two of the ten titles of Buddhas. Although twelve vows are not very many, these vows can solve the problems of all living beings, whether they are suffering or happy, wise or ignorant. The vows are called "sublime" because they are extremely important and can rescue all beings.
"Moreover, Manjusri, if I were to speak for an eon or more about the great vows made by the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, when he practiced the Bodhisattva Way, and about the merit, virtue, and adornments of his Buddhaland, I could not finish."
"Moreover, Manjusri," Sakyamuni Buddha continues.
"If I were to speak for an eon or more about the great vows made by the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, when he practiced the Bodhisattva Way and about the merit, virtue, and adornments of his Buddhaland, the Vaidurya Land in the East,
I could not finish. Even if I spoke continuously for a great eon or more, I still could not finish in that long a time."
"That Buddhaland is completely pure; there are no women, no evil destinies, and no sounds of suffering. The ground is made of vaidurya, with golden cords lining the roads. The city walls, towers, palace pavilions, studios, windows, and latticework are all made of the seven treasures. The merit, virtue, and adornments of this land are identical to those of the Western Land of Ultimate Bliss."
That Buddhaland is completely pure. It is always clean, pure, and undefiled, as bright and clear as lapis lazuli.
There are no women in the Vaidurya Land. Some women's rights activists object to Amitabha Buddha's Land of Ultimate Bliss, saying, "Why are there no women in that land? Does Amitabha Buddha look down on women? Does he favor men over women?" Not at all. We should realize that the Saha world, in which men and women engage in lust, is filled with all kinds of evil and suffering. There is nothing worthwhile here. Everything is unclean.
The Saha world is known as the World of the Five Turbidities. Our time is very impure—that's the
turbidity of the eon. The things we see with our eyes are also unclean—that's the
turbidity of views. We all have incredibly many afflictions—that's the
turbidity of afflictions. Living beings are all born from emotional desire, and they are differentiated into males and females—that's the
turbidity of living beings. Not only human beings, but all beings with blood and breath are this way—born from sexual desire and dying from sexual desire. Even germs are imperceptibly brought into existence by this kind of desire. As long as there is desire, one is impure. The
turbidity of life comes about because beings in the Saha world live in an extremely unclean environment. The things we see, hear, smell, taste, touch, and think about are all unclean. Thus, this is known as the Evil World of the Five Turbidities.
In contrast to our dusty, defiled world, there is no dirt in the heavens; nor in the Western Land of Ultimate Bliss, where the ground is paved with gold; nor in the Eastern Vaidurya Land, which has ground made of
The people in the Land of Ultimate Bliss are born transformationally as a result of the vows of Amitabha Buddha, and they are free of desire. The Vaidurya Land is created from the vows of Medicine Master Buddha. Because these Buddha lands are completely free of desire and birth occurs by transformation, not by sexual reproduction, there are no women in these lands.
No evil destinies and no sounds of suffering. The hells, hungry ghosts, and animals do not exist in the Vaidurya Land. There aren't any heart-breaking sounds of pain, sorrow, or distress.
The ground is made of vaidurya, with golden cords lining the roads. The Vaidurya Land is so named because it has
vaidurya for soil. Ropes and railings made of gold are used to mark the sides of the roads.
The city walls overlook the moat of the city.
Towers are lookout towers above the city gate, or openings in the city wall.
Palace pavilions refers to two-story buildings inside the palace.
Studios refer to individual rooms. The
windows are clear, and everything is very clean.
And latticework. There are seven rows of trees and seven layers of netting. They
are all made of the seven treasures—gold, silver, lapis lazuli, crystal, mother of pearl, red pearls, and agate.
The merit, virtue, and adornments of this land are identical to those of the Western Land of Ultimate Bliss. They are exactly the same. As the saying goes, "Aksobhya in the East, Amitabha in the West." Aksobhya (Medicine Master) Buddha, the teaching host of the Vaidurya Land, leads the Vajra Division. Amitabha Buddha, the host of the Land of Ultimate Bliss, leads the Lotus Division.
To be continued