Without Doubt

Some teachers hold, “Because ordinary persons are not found in Sukhavati (the Pure Land), the present ordinary persons in this world will not be born there, despite their efforts.” This will harm sentient beings, for it gives rise to error and doubt where these are not appropriate. 

Among the Bodhisattva Dharmakara’s vows, the eighteenth rightly dispels such doubts. How so? Because it makes clear that when individuals reach the time of death, the Buddha Amideva, together with His retinue, will appear before them, whereupon with joyful confidence, those individuals will go to  the Pure Land. 

As the Buddha Shakyamuni has declared this, such persons will come to be called exalted individuals (arya) during the intermediate state, at the moment of death. This is also stated in the Buddhavatamsaka sutra: 

When I come to the time of my death,

may all obscurations be removed,

and seeing Amideva directly,

may I go to the Pure Land of Bliss. 

—Kunchen Dolpopa, Commentary on the Larger Sukhavativyuha sutra

About Tashi Nyima

I am a Dharma student, and aspire to be a companion on the path. I trust that these texts can offer a general approach and basic tools for practicing the Buddha's way to enlightenment. ||| Soy un estudiante del Dharma, y aspiro a ser un compañero en el sendero. Espero que estos textos ofrezcan a algunos un mapa general y herramientas básicas para la práctica del sendero a la iluminación que nos ofrece el Buda.
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1 Response to Without Doubt

  1. UsnisaSitaTara says:

    Sukhavati is both sublime and subtle and also gross and present at the same time.
    Ordinary means cannot and will not reach Sukhavati and there’s a reason for it. It is true that the hard facts is entering Sukhavati is difficult and thus those who have entered Sukhavati in both the mind’s consciousness, the subtle states and physically would not be of ordinary people.

    Like a bowl of pure milk poured into a bowl that have not been washed and cleaned for ages and yet stubbornly refuses to be cleaned, how can the wonderful pure milk be used to the full potential ?

    Just like the pure vows of Amideva and his merits, if a person is always obscured and stubbornly refuses to transform themselves in order to accept Amideva’s pure milk, how can they receive the pureland of Sukhavati ?

    The words “Because ordinary persons are not found in Sukhavati (the Pure Land), the present ordinary persons in this world will not be born there, despite their efforts” is true to a great extend as it presents the facts. But it also inspires people to want to seek out the ways to enter Sukhavati by practice. The words would at the same time also discourage those who do not have the will to seek out the path to Sukhavati. The words have it’s merits in bringing the facts and inspiring those with strong will to seek out for Sukhavati but it discourages people who simply want to enter at a whim (which is also good and also bad).

    If an individual has a will to enter Sukhavati near the time of death but he / she also stubbornly wants to be trapped by the senses and not focus the mind purely on Amideva and Sukhavati, then he / she possibly will not be able to enter Sukhavati.

    The words as quote above has it’s use depending on which angle you want to approach it.

    If one truely wants to enter into the heart of Amideva and his pureland, even an uninitiated individual into “his” practices with a single mind without distractions, can recite his name, see or imagine his brilliant image, put all his last remaining will and faith without a single lapse of concentration, can enter into Amideva’s heart and Sukhavati.

    If one simply has the thought of entering into “his” pureland but prefers to indulge in delusions during the last moments of death … then he may probably not enter into Sukhavati unless someone who has great merits can shine a light … but that … the dying one must want to follow the path because no one can walk on your behalf to “his” pureland.

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