Pure Land Buddhism
Welcome to the Pure Land Buddhism website. It contains a collection of Pure Land Buddhism teachings in English (translations).
What is Pure Land Buddhism?
Pure Land Buddhism is a broad branch of Mahāyāna Buddhism and one of the most widely practiced traditions of Buddhism in East Asia. The teachings are focused on Amitabha Buddha. The three primary texts of the tradition, known as the “Three Pure Land Sutras”, are the Infinite Life Sutra, the Amitabha Sutra and the Amitayurdhyana Sutra.
Gautama Buddha (also known as Siddhārtha Gautama, Shakyamuni Buddha), whose teachings Buddhism was founded, predicted the people in future will have so many worries and afflictions that achieving Buddhahood in one’s lifetime is extremely difficult. It may take many lifetimes to achieve such state. Gautama Buddha knew help from another Buddha is needed: Amitabha Buddha.
Gautama Buddha, in the Great Collection Sutra, said that one could succeed in cultivation by learning the Pure Land method.
… [Gautama] recounted how the Bodhisattva Dharmakara, after witnessing the suffering of sentient beings, spent five eons (an incredibly long period of time) studying all the Buddha lands. Dharmakara then made forty-eight vows, the fulfillment of which would create the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss. He declared that he would not attain Buddhahood unless his vows for a perfect pure land, where all beings would advance along the Buddhist path and never again fall back into samsara [the continual repetitive cycle of birth and death that arises from ordinary beings], were accomplished. Once these vows were accomplished, Dharmakara Bodhisattva became Amitabha Buddha.
With help from Amitabha, we do not have to rely solely on ourselves to attain enlightenment as we would with other methods.