The so-called ‘’shorter’’ Amitabha Sutra has been and is a foundation of spirituality for millions of Buddhist believers throughout the ages. The Sutra describes the magnificent Buddhist “heaven,” the Pure Land, where conditions are perfect for the practice of the Buddhist path. The sutra also describes the method for being reborn to that land, namely mindfulness of its Buddha, Amitabha. Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua’s accompanying commentary amplifies the text and explains its main concepts by providing many interesting anecdotes involving the Buddha and his disciples. This volume, combining the Sutra with Master Hua’s commentary, succeeds not only in introducing the practice and thought of Pure Land Buddhism, also referred to as Mahayana Buddhism, but effectively presents a lucid introduction to this Buddhism as it is practiced today.
This Sutra, which was spoken by the Buddha without having been formally requested as Sutras usually were, explains the causes and circumstances for rebirth in the Land of Ultimate Bliss of Amitabha (Limitless Light) Buddha. The commentary includes extensive information on common Buddhist terminology and stories about many of the Buddha's foremost disciples. Of the five great schools of Buddhism - the Ch'an (Zen) School, the Secret School, the Teaching School, the Vinaya School, and the Pure Land School, the Pure Land Dharma door of Buddha-recitation is the most suited for living beings of the Dharma-ending Age. Spoken for us who live in this age that is beset by external disasters and internal obstacles, this teaching is extremely direct and encompasses beings of all dispositions.
A General Explanation of the Buddha Speaks of Amit bha S tra
Of all the forms of Buddhism currently practiced in Asia, Pure Land has been the most widespread for the past thousand years. At the core of this school is a text of great beauty and poetry, the Amitabha Sutra.