[40] Why Meet Together In The Land Of Ultimate Bliss? 为何在极乐世界俱会?


C2: Special Exhortation


[Sūtra]: Śāriputra, those sentient beings [who] hear [this], should vow [i.e. give rise to Aspiration], vowing [to be] born [in] that land. Why [is] that [so? To] attain [being] with all such superior good persons, together meeting [in] one place.

【解】: 前「罗汉」、「菩萨」,但可云「善人」。

[Explanation]: [The] preceding ‘Arhats’ [and] ‘Bodhisattvas’ only,  can [be] called ‘good persons’ [here].


Only [those in the] Replacement Position, [who] dwell [in the] ultimate of causative positions, [are] thus called ‘superior’. [As] their number [is] extremely many, [they are] thus called ‘all’.


‘Together meet [in] one place’, [is] to] say [being in the] Ordinary [And] Noble [Beings’] Together Dwelling [Land].


Usually, due [to] True Noble [Ones (on the path to Arhathood or as Arhats) in the] past having karma [with] outflows, [and] Expedient Noble [Ones (on the path to Buddhahood or as Buddhas) having] vows [with] great loving-kindness [and] compassion, thus [are] ordinary beings [able to], with [these] noble persons together dwell.


Until True Noble [Ones have] ash bodies [upon departing when afflictions of body and mind are severed, and] Expedient Noble [Ones’] opportunities exhaust, [ordinary beings] then [karmically] rise [and] sink [with] big differences, [having] suffering [and] bliss [with] great disparity, [being] only temporarily together [with the Noble Ones], not ultimately together.


Also, of heaven [and] earth between, those [who] see [and] hear [them are] few.


[If] fortunate [to] obtain seeing [and] hearing [of them], those [who] go close [with] steps towards [them are even] few[er]. 


Also, [when the] Buddha [was in this] world, noble persons although many, [were] like treasures [and] like [that] auspicious, not able [to] fully pervade [the] land, like many stars [which are like scattered] dust motes.  


Also, dwelling although together [with them], yet that become [and] that done, thus [are] vastly not the same.


Now, together with inconceivable karma without outflows, inducing birth, [to] together meet [in] one place, as teachers [and] friends, like ocarinas [and] like flutes [playing in harmony], together exhausting ignorance, together ascending [towards] wonderful awakening [as Buddhas].


[They] are thus lower ordinary sentient beings, with Mindfulness’ Non-Retrogression within, transcending completely forty-one causative positions.

[Note: If counting from Complete Teaching’s (圆教) First Abode (初住), the forty-one positions are the Ten Abodes (十住), Ten Practices (十行), Ten Dedications (十回向), Ten Grounds (十地) and Equal Awakening (等觉).]


If saying [they] are ordinary beings, yet not passing through [a] different life, [they will] definitely replace Buddhas’ posts, with Contemplator [Of] Sounds, [and Great] Power Arrived [Bodhisattvas] without difference.


If saying [they] are [at] One Life [To] Replace [Buddhas’] Position, yet [they] can [be] named [as] ‘ordinary beings’, [and] cannot [be] named [as] ‘Equally Awakened Bodhisattvas’.


These [are] all that [the] teachings’ net [are] not able [to] gather together, that [all other] lands’ nets [are] not able [to as] exceptions.    


[It] should [be] known [that for] our great matter’s cause [and] condition [to attain Buddhahood, the] one barrier [of being ‘trapped’ in a limiting] Together Dwelling [Land like ours, is the] most difficult [to be] thoroughly liberated [from].


Only [the Land Of] Ultimate Bliss’ Together Dwelling Land, transcends [the] ten directions’ places [with] Together Dwelling Lands.  

– 净土宗九祖澫益大师

– Pure Land Tradition’s 9th Patriarch Great Master Ǒuyì
(Essential Explanation [Of The] Sūtra [In Which The] Buddha Speaks [Of] Amitā[bha] Buddha)

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

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Complete English Translation Of ‘The Essential Explanation On The Amitābha Sūtra As Spoken By The Buddha’

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