Why Share Pure Land Testimonies And Learn From Them?
Faith is the origin of the path [to Buddhahood], the mother of meritorious virtues, that nurtures all good Dharma [teachings].
– Virtue Foremost Bodhisattva (Flower Adornment Sūtra)
Since ancient times, for inspiring others, and to offer confidence, sincere Pure Land practitioners have spoken and recorded to share testimonies based on their experiences. Publication for circulation as books (and putting them online) help to pass them down, for benefitting future generations too. Despite variations in personal but reliable accounts, as there are consistent principles throughout, they continue to verify the authenticity of the Pure Land teachings.
Testimonies of successfully guiding the dying and deceased to reach Pure Land are especially important. Sharing them helps to remind us of the key principles needed for ourselves to reach Pure Land too. The proof of the pudding is after all in the eating. As these cases based on real life persons and experiences detail practice processes and their fruits, may their conviction expressed infect us, to have greater conviction in the Pure Land teachings too.
There are two ways to learn about reaching Pure Land. First, is by learning the principles, before putting them into practice, to learn further. Second, is by learning through others’ practice, with the principles expressed within. With little or much learning, guiding one another to Pure Land should always be our key focus. Thus, Pure Land testimonies are not only ‘no small things’, they are great indeed, crucial for affirming our understanding, and for preparing to help others.
Since every testimony offers unique lessons, the more there are learnt from, the more complete our learning becomes, on applications of key principles in various situations when needed. We thus become as if more ‘experienced’ through others’ experiences, with none wasted. To further the tradition of sharing such precious testimonies, purelanders.com has archived hundreds of them, in English and Chinese here. All are welcomed to write in, to share your testimonies too.
Attaining birth [in Āmítuófó’s Pure Land] or not, completely depends on Faith and Aspiration being present or absent. The grade [of birth] being high or low, completely depends on [the Practice of] upholding [i.e. mindfulness of] the name [of Āmítuófó] being deep or shallow.
– Pure Land Tradition’s 9th Patriarch Great Master Ǒuyì (Essential Explanation Of The Amitābha Sūtra As Spoken By The Buddha)
Ancient And Modern Pure Land Practice Testimonies