Brief History and Benefits of Practicing Pure Land Buddhism

Namo Maha Guru Amitahba Yi

 

Here is a brief description of Pure Land Buddhism and the benefit of practicing Pure Land Buddhism and how one can be born in the land of bliss. The path to the land of bliss is explained in the Sutra, where it states that every living being can reach the realm of pure land by following Amitabh’s teachings. It is important to apply our knowledge internally. The Buddha attained enlightenment in this way. The pure lands are internal; the mental afflictions are internal. The crucial factor is to recognize the mental afflictions. Only by recognizing their nature can we attain Buddhahood. Practitioners have claimed that there is evidence of dying people going to the pure land such as knowing the time of death, reciting name of Buddha Amitabh, and seeing the Buddha Amitabh before dying. In the Highest Yoga Tantra class of the Tibetan Vajrayana Amitabha is considered one of the Five Dhyāni Buddhas (together with Akṣobhya, Amoghasiddhi, Ratnasambhava, and Vairocana), who is associated with the western direction and the skandha of saṃjñā, the aggregate of distinguishing (recognition) and the deep awareness of individualities. His consort is Pandava, his realm is called either Sukhāvatī (Sanskrit) or Dewachen (tibetan). As his two main disciples, similar as the Buddha Shakyamuni had two, are seen the Bodhisattvas Vajrapani and Avalokiteshvara, the former to his left and the latter to his right. In Tibetan Buddhism, there exist a number of famous prayers for taking rebirth in Sukhavati (Dewachen). Je Tsongkhapa wrote one of these on the request of Manjushri, who appeared to him in different visions. The Tibetan Panchen Lamas and Shamarpas are considered to be incarnations of Amitabha. He is frequently invoked in Tibet either as Buddha Amithaba - especially in the Powa practices or as Amitāyus - especially in practices relating to longevity and preventing an untimely death. In Japanese Vajrayana, or Shingon Buddhism, Amitabha is seen as one of the thirteen Buddhist deities practitioners pay homage to. Shingon, like Tibetan Buddhism, also uses special devotional mantras for Amitabha, though the mantras used differ. Amitabha is also one of the Buddhas featured in the Womb Realm Mandala used in Shingon practices, and sits to the west, which is where the Pure Land of Amitabha is said to dwell.

 

Tibetans and Buddhist believers in the greater New York Community voluntarily founded Dechen Shindrup Chokhor Ling Buddhist Center with respect to advice from His Holiness the Dalai Lama that we should preserve rich Tibetan tradition and profound religion alive at aboard. Our mission is to preserve precious Tibetan religion and tradition alive by raising awareness about greatness of Tibetan Buddhism and to help others in the process. Buddhism teaches non-violence and compassion as method of achieving world peace. We believe our center can be an important agent that will bring peace and happiness to each and every one of you, whether you believe in Buddhism or not. In addition, we hope to raise awareness about importance of keeping our environment clean for sake of every living being in this world and for our future generations.

As most Tibetans are Buddhists since birth, Buddhism is core of our identity and traditions in Tibet. That is why it is our moral duty to promote and keep our religion and traditions alive at this critical stage in our country's history. In the end, Buddhism teaches us to be kind and to help others. Thus, we believe that through our Buddhist Center we can collectively take the steps that are crucial towards helping others and promoting a peaceful society through teachings of the Lord Buddha.

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