Questions and Answers about the Amitabha Sutra - Q2: Why is Amitabha Buddha’s land called "World of Ultimate Bliss"?A: The Western Pure Land (Sukhavati in Sanskrit) literally means "land of bliss", in recognition of the fact that the World of Ultimate Bliss is the land of bliss of Amitabha Buddha-- free from all human suffering. In addition, its bliss is incomparable to the happiness of human and god realms, so it is aptly named the World of Ultimate Bliss.
In his book "Pure Land and Chan", Master Yin Shun explained that sentient beings cannot easily attain liberation from the cycle of birth and death in the muddy soil of suffering. Therefore, to save all sentient beings, Amitabha Buddha created the World of Ultimate Bliss with his compassionate vows forming a ladder through which both self and others can be liberated from the cycle of birth and death.
Master Yin Shun believed that the World of Ultimate Bliss described by the Lord Buddha was to adapt to the socio-cultural environment of India at that time. He summarized three characteristics of the World of Ultimate Bliss, in accordance with the content of the Amitabha Sutra: 1. the richness of the natural world: that is, the land is flat and the necessities of life inexhaustible, unlike this mundane world inhabited by sentient beings which contains natural disasters and scarce resources; 2. the harmony and happiness in life: in the World of Ultimate Bliss, sentient beings live a life of equality and happiness, all are virtuous men and women, and there is neither conflict nor hatred; 3. the purity of body and mind: in the World of Ultimate Bliss all are reborn by spontaneously manifesting in lotus blossoms, free from all mental afflictions, and there is no old age, illness, death, or suffering.
The World of Ultimate Bliss is opposite to this mundane world of the five defilements. Furthermore, those who are able to go to this world are all endowed with wholesome roots and merits, have aroused the Bodhi Mind, and have engaged in bodhisattva practice. However, upon arriving there, they still need to continue practicing with fellow virtuous people.
The Amitabha Sutra (the Shorter Sukhavativyuha Sutra)
Practice Method of Amitabha Buddha
Questions and Answers about the Amitabha Sutra - Q1: Why did the Buddha expound the Amitabha Sutra without being asked?
Questions and Answers about the Amitabha Sutra - Q2: Why is Amitabha Buddha's land called "World of Ultimate Bliss"?
Questions and Answers about the Amitabha Sutra - Q3: Why are the teachings expounded by the Lord Buddha in the Amitabha Sutra difficult to believe?
Questions and Answers about the Amitabha Sutra - Q4: Why is it possible to be reborn in the Pure Land by reciting a single Buddha's name?
Questions and Answers about the Amitabha Sutra - Q5: Why is "Amitofuo" considered a phrase for blessing?
Questions and Answers about the Amitabha Sutra - Q6: Is the "Amitabha Sutra" a sutra chanted exclusively for the deceased?
Resource: Issue 344 of Life Magazine, Dharma Drum Publishing Corporation
Photos: Issue 344 of Life Magazine, Dharma Drum Publishing Corporation
Translation: Glen Sha
Editing: YKL, Keith Brown