Question: Can one who has broken a precept be reborn in Pure Land?
Answer: Reach of Pure Land does not require perfect observation of the Five Precepts, as the Three Provisions (of Faith, Aspiration and Practice) are key. If we are perfect morally already, we ought to be Buddhas already, with no need to reach Pure Land for further practice.
Of course, for swifter spiritual progress here, we should observe the precepts best we can, which helps us to attain higher grades of birth in Pure Land, for even swifter spiritual progress there. Better observation of the precepts also minimises creating of negative karma, that can give rise to obstacles such as afflictions and pain which obstruct otherwise smoother Nianfo (practice of mindfulness of Amitabha Buddha’s name – ‘Amituofo’) for reaching Pure Land.
Question: Can Nianfo help overcome these obstacles?
Answer: Yes, as sincere Nianfo also can serve as a repentance practice, as a corrective measure to express remorse, with resolution to not repeat the mistakes of breaking precepts, and to create merits linked to Amituofo, to dilute the negative karma created. Thus, with more sincere Nianfo, there will be less obstacles, and less precepts broken in future, due to further tuning to one’s Buddha-nature with Amituofo’s blessings.