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