Question: Some only learn and practise the Pure Land teachings for a short while. Is this because their karma is not yet ready, and will they be more diligent when their karma ripen?
Answer: The only skilfully productive way to look at this is that they either lack motivation in learning or lack instruction by a good teacher. Motivation should be increased by seeking instruction via a good teacher. Often, it is simply laziness at play. We should not excuse ourselves vaguely with karma, by thinking, ‘Well, my karma is not ready for this.’ Karma is what we actively create in the present too; not just what happens to us according to what done in the past. Challenges that obstruct Dharma learning and practice should be overcome, by reflecting, ‘I will create pure karma by diligent learning and practice!’
Life is short and unpredictable. Without learning and practising to reach Pure Land, one will be stuck in Samsara for indefinite time to suffer due to the repetitive problem of three lifetimes: http://
[Sakyamuni] Buddha told Maitreya [Bodhisattva], ‘[If] those who attain hearing of that [Amitabha] Buddha’s name [“Amituofo”], with joyful enthusiasm, even if for one [mindful] thought, it should be known that these persons, will attain great benefits, which thus are complete with unsurpassable meritorious virtues [as they will progress to Buddhahood].
Therefore, Maitreya! If there is a great fire, that fully fills the three-thousand great-thousand world, [one should and] must cross it, to hear this sutra’s Dharma, and with joyful faith and understanding, receive, uphold, read and recite it, to cultivate the practices as said.
Why is that so? There are many Bodhisattvas, who desire to hear this sutra, yet not able to attain it. If there are sentient beings, who hear this sutra, of the unsurpassable path [to Buddhahood], they will to the end never retrogress. Therefore, you should, with focused minds, faithfully accept, uphold, recite, speak and practise this. I now for all sentient beings, speak this sūtra’s Dharma, enabled sight of Immeasurable Life Buddha [Āmítuófó: 阿弥陀佛], and all that exists in his [Pure] Land [净土]. With that which should be done, all can seek it. You must not, with my Parinirvana after, again give rise to doubts and confusions.
In the world of the future, when sutras’ paths are destroyed completely, I, with loving-kindness, compassion and empathy, will specially retain this sutra, to abide and dwell for one hundred years [longer]. If there are sentient beings, who encounter this sutra, accordingly as wished, with that aspired, all attain deliverance.
The Buddha told Maitreya, ‘The Thus Come Ones’ arisings in the world, are difficult to encounter, and difficult to see. All Buddhas’ sutra paths, are difficult to attain, and difficult to hear. Of Bodhisattvas’ excellent Dharma, and all Paramitas, to attain hearing of them is likewise difficult. Encountering good-knowing friends, to hear the Dharma and be able to practise it, this likewise is difficult. If hearing this sutra, with joyful faith accepting and upholding it, this is the most difficult of difficulties within, without that surpassing this difficulty. Therefore, is my Dharma, thus done, thus spoken, and thus taught. It should be faithfully followed, according with this Dharma, for cultivation of practice.’