Q&A

Does Amituofo’s Pure Land Offer The Fastest Way To Buddhahood?

Question: What is the simplest way to affirm that practice of mindfulness of Amituofo (Amitabha Buddha) is the swiftest path to Buddhahood?

Answer: As below, there are three general possibilities of speed when it comes to the Pure Land practice of Nianfo (mindfulness of Amituofo) to reach Pure Land, to facilitate training towards Buddhahood. However, only one of them, which is the last, is true –

  1. Super Slow Speed:
    If the path of Pure Land practice for spiritual progress is super slow, all Buddhas would be sabotaging all by universally encouraging practice of Nianfo to be born in Amituofo’s Pure Land. This cannot be true as all Buddhas have perfect compassion and wisdom for all, and do recommend all to do so, in compliance with the 17th great vow of Amituofo.*
  2. Super Average Speed:
    If the path of Pure Land practice for spiritual progress is of average speed, not even a single Buddha would be strongly encouraging practice of Nianfo to be born in Amituofo’s Pure Land. This cannot be true as all Buddhas have perfect compassion and wisdom for all, and do recommend all to do so, in compliance with the 17th great vow of Amituofo.*
  3. Super Fast Speed:
    If the path of Pure Land practice for spiritual progress is super fast, all Buddhas would be greatly helping all by universally encouraging practice of Nianfo to be born in Amituofo’s Pure Land. This has to be true as all Buddhas have perfect compassion and wisdom for all, and do recommend all to do so, in compliance with the 17th great vow of Amituofo.*

* The 17th great vow of Amituofo, as introduced by Sakyamuni Buddha (释迦牟尼佛) in the Immeasurable Life Sutra (无量寿经) is as follows –

第十七诸佛称名赞叹愿:

设我得佛,
十方世界无量诸佛
悉咨嗟称我名者
不取正觉。

The 17th Vow Of Name Being Proclaimed And Highly Praised By All Buddhas:

If, [when] I [Dharmakara Bodhisattva; 法藏菩萨] attain Buddhahood [by becoming Amitabha Buddha; Amituofo], all immeasurable Buddhas in the worlds of the ten directions [should] not all praise and proclaim my name [Amituofo][I] shall not attain right awakening.

This vow expresses the great aspiration of Dharmakara Bodhisattva (now Amituofo) to have all Buddhas universally recommend the practice of mindfulness of his name (Amituofo) to all beings, so that they will come to know of, have the greatest confidence in this practice, and to benefit from using it to reach his Pure Land.

Later in the same sutra, Sakyamuni Buddha verifies that all Buddhas are indeed together proclaiming and praising the name of Amituofo, which means the 17th vow above has been fulfilled, that Dharmakara Bodhisattva has become Amituofo, and that all Buddhas are complying with his vow to universally recommend mindfulness of his name to all beings

第十七愿成就文:

十方恒沙,
诸佛如来,
皆共赞叹,
无量寿佛,
威神功德,
不可思议。

The 17th Vow’s Verse Of Accomplishment:

The ten directions’ Ganges’ sand[-like number], of all Buddha Tathagatas, all together proclaim and praise, that Immeasurable Life [Amitayus] Buddha [Amituofo], whose awe-inspiring meritorious virtues, are inconceivable.

The Amitabha Sutra (阿弥陀经) also has teachings that verify the accomplishment of the 17th vow as all Buddhas of the six directions (who are similar to those of the ‘ten directions’, with the ‘six directions’ abbreviating ‘all directions’), as numerous as the Ganges River’s sands, and represented by 38 of them, likewise urged all beings to have faith in the praises of Amituofo’s inconceivable meritorious virtues taught by Sakyamuni Buddha in the sutra, which all Buddhas mindfully protect –

诸佛称赞劝信言:

东/南/西/北/下/上亦有___ [三十八尊]佛,如是等恒河沙数诸佛,各于其国,出广长舌相,遍覆三千大千世界,说诚实言:『汝等众生,当信是称赞不可思议功德一切诸佛所护念经。

All Buddhas’ Words Of Praise & Exhortation Of Faith:

In the eastern/ southern/ western/ northern/ below/ above direction[s], there are ___ [38] Buddha[s], and all other such Buddhas, as numerous as the Ganges River’s sands, each in his land, extending the form of broad and long tongue [representing universal truthfulness and importance], that covers his three-thousandfold great-thousandfold world [Buddha land] everywhere, speaking these truthful words, ‘You and other beings, should have faith in this “Sutra With Praises Of Inconceivable Meritorious Virtues And All Buddhas’ Mindful Protection”.

Q: Are there other ways to affirm that practice of mindfulness of Amituofo is the swiftest path to Buddhahood?

A: Yes, of course. Among many other points to note, there are these –

  1. Causes:
    Amituofo is the most popular Buddha in the universe due to all Buddhas living up to his 17th vow to publicise his name. This is not simply because he vowed to become well known, but because his 48 great vows for shaping and leading to his Pure Land and Buddhahood are indeed so excellent, that all Buddhas agree on the worth and importance of letting all beings know about his Pure Land path. Being the result of detailed surveying and synergising of all benefits of 210 kotis (1 koti is 10 million or 10 billion) pure and defiled lands while doing away with any faults, it is superior to all lands. This is why Amituofo’s Pure Land is clearly the most efficient Dharma school.
  2. Conditions:
    Amituofo’s Pure Land is universally recommended by all Buddhas for seeking birth in as it is a perfect Dharma school with a perfect principal (Amituofo), perfect leading teachers (Amituofo, Guanyin and Dashizhi Bodhisattvas), perfect schoolmates (with similar great spiritual aspirations), perfect facilities and perfect empowerment of skills. This is why Amituofo’s Pure Land is clearly the most efficient Dharma school.
  3. Effects:
    As stated in the Amitabha Sutra by Sakyamuni Buddha, Amituofo’s Pure Land was established merely 10 kalpas (world cycles) ago. Yet, not only are all there bound for Buddhahood without obstacles, many have already reached the last stage before Buddhahood, as they survey where to manifest it –

众生生者,皆是阿鞞跋致,其中多有一生补处,其数甚多,非是算数所能知之,但可以无量无边阿僧祇说。

Beings born there are all Avaivartikas [with non-backsliding progress assured of Buddhahood]. Among them, many are in the Stage Of One Life To Replacement [of other Buddhas (being Eka-jai-prati-baddhas), as they are about to attain Buddhahood]. Their number is extremely great, which cannot be known by counting, and can only with immeasurable and boundless asamkhyeya [innumerable; incalculable] kalpas be spoken of.

With such immeasurably fast speed of training immeasurable future-Buddhas, this is why all Buddhas and all great Bodhisattvas (such as Guanyin {Avalokiteshvara}, Manjusri, Ksitigarbha and Samantabhara) universally recommend and guide all beings to be born there. Great Bodhisattvas, such as Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, whose 10 Great King Of Vows (And Practices) represent that of all Bodhisattvas and Buddhas, not only aspire to guide all beings there, they aspire to personally be there too. Thus, indeed, as above, Amituofo’s Pure Land is clearly the most efficient Dharma school.

Related Article:
The Fastest Way To Buddhahood Is Via Birth In Pure Land (With Time Calculation)
http://purelanders.com/2011/12/10/the-fastest-way-to-buddhahood-is-via-birth-in-pure-land

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Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!