Q&A

Why Do Pure Lands Differ If All Buddhas Have Perfect Compassion?

Question: Amituofo’s Pure Land is said to to be the best of the best Pure Lands. Since all Buddhas are equally perfect in their compassion and wisdom, shouldn’t their Pure Lands be equally perfect?

Answer: According to the Infinite Life Sutra, the Buddha Lokeshvararaja (in Dharmakara Bodhisattva’s time) explained in detail the natures of the beings in 210 kotis (millions) of other lands to him (who represent the wide ‘target market’ of beings who can be benefited), after which the latter made 48 great vows and adopted the pure practices which led to the establishment of the excellent lands of these 210 kotis of Buddhas. In short, he shaped his Pure Land with the advantages of all these Pure Lands.

As each Buddha-to-be (Bodhisattva) could have made different vows on their causal grounds of practice to shape their Pure Lands in order to more specifically help the kinds beings they encountered in their worlds, their Pure Lands might be shaped differently, as based on different causes. Each Pure Land is perfect for its original intention. What Dharmakara Bodhisattva (who became Amituofo) did instead was to survey the different Pure Lands to learn to create the best one, in terms of being the most universally embracing one.

It is true that all Buddhas have perfect compassion and wisdom. It is such that once one reaches a Pure Land, one can easily have access to other Pure Lands as they exist on the same plane or ‘dimension’ of mind and refined form. In this sense, it all ‘equalises’ out in terms of interconnection, even while each Buddha maintains his own Pure Land accordingly due to the original vows they made, as they are promises to be upheld. The perfect compassion of every Buddha is still valid as they can easily guide beings in their Pure Lands to reach or visit the most excellent Pure Land of Amituofo.

Also out of perfect compassion, all Buddhas urge beings who are not yet born in any Pure Land to be born in Amituofo’s Pure Land. This is in fulfilment of Amituofo’s Vow #17 to be praised by all Buddhas (due to the excellence of his Pure Land). It is also out of perfectly compassionate skilful means that each other Buddha’s Pure Land does not outshine Amituofo’s Pure Land in excellence, so that those who are ambivalent about which Pure Land to go to will know it is the best choice by default, even in the eyes of all Buddhas.

Related Article:
The Two Popular Pure Lands: How East Meets West
http://purelanders.com/2009/11/11/the-two-popular-pure-lands-how-east-meets-west/

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