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Sukhavati Sutra

Infinite Life Sutra

amitabha chenrezig sukhavati sutra

Sukhavati Vyuha, or Infinite Life Sutra is not unlike many Christian texts a matter of interest to Wayists even though it properly belongs to another tradition, Mahayana Buddhism. We place these texts high ontibetan thanka amitabha god our father our list of interests because it forms an important backdrop to the world in which Wayism came to light.

Sukhavati Vyuha has Buddha Sakyamuni describe Amitabha and Sukhavati. Even though Sukhavati Vyuha, like the Lotus Sutra arrived in history in the second half of the 1st century, Sakyamuni Buddha (who lived on earth 500BCE) here gives his seal of approval for the new awareness that is our Father in Heaven, Avalokiteshvara, Sukhavati and Tara. This is imensely important because without that holy sanction, nether Mahayana nor Theavada would have accepted Avalokiteshvara and Sukhavati into their approved teachings.

It is in this, he Infinite Life Sutra that the Sukhavati Dharani, or Nectar Dharani is first mentioned in Scripture.

In the Longer Sukhāvatīvyūha Sūtra, Buddha Sakyamuni begins by describing to his attendant Ānanda a past life of the Buddha Amitābha. He states that in a past life, Amitābha was once a king who renounced his kingdom, and became a bodhisattva monk named Dharmākara ("Dharma Storehouse"). Under the guidance of the Buddha Lokeśvararāja ("World Sovereign King"), innumerable buddha-lands throughout the ten directions were revealed to him. After meditating for five eons as a bodhisattva, he then made a great series of vows to save all sentient beings, and through his great merit, created the realm of Sukhāvatī ("Ultimate Bliss"). This land of Sukhāvatī would later come to be known as Spirit Heaven to western Wayists and Pure Land (Ch. 淨土) in Chinese translation.

The sūtra describes in great detail Sukhāvatī and its inhabitants, and how they are able to attain rebirth there. The text also provides a detailed account of the various levels and beings in the Mahāyāna Buddhist cosmology.