Illustrations from the Amida Sutra Mandala
|Why the Buddha is called 'Amida'
 For what reason, Shariputra, do you think
that Buddha is called 'Amida'? Shariputra,
the Buddha's light shines boundlessly and
without hindrance over all the worlds of
the ten quarters. It is for this reason that
he is called 'Amida' (Amitabha). Again, Shariputra,
the lives of the Buddha and the people of
his land last for immeasurable, unlimited
and incalculable kalpas. It is for this reason
that the Buddha is called 'Amida' (Amitayus).
Shariputra, ten kalpas have passed since
Amida Buddha attained Enlightenment. Moreover,
Shariputra, he has an immeasurable and unlimited
number of shravaka disciples, all of them
arhats, whose number cannot be reckoned by
any means. His assembly of bodhisattvas is
similarly vast. Shariputra, that Buddha-land
is filled with such splendid adornments.
Immeasurable life of Amida and the inhabitants
|Those born in the Land meet holy sages.
|Why one should aspire to be born there
 "Again, Shariputra, all sentient beings
born in the Land of Utmost Bliss dwell in
the Stage of Non-retrogression. Many of them
are in the Stage of Becoming a Buddha after
One More Life. Their number is so great that
it is beyond reckoning; it can only be described
as innumerable, unlimited and incalculable.
"Shariputra, those sentient beings who
hear of that land should aspire to be born
there. Why? Because they will be able to
meet such sages of supreme virtue. Shariputra,
one cannot attain birth in that land with
few roots of goodness or a small stock of
merit. Shariputra, if a good man or woman
who hears of Amida Buddha holds fast to his
Name even for one day, two days, three, four,
five, six or seven days with a concentrated
and undistracted mind, then, at the hour
of death, Amida Buddha will appear before
them with a host of holy ones. Consequently,
when their life comes to an end, the aspirants'
minds will not fall into confusion and so
they will be born immediately in the Land
of Utmost Bliss of Amida Buddha. Shariputra,
perceiving these benefits, I say: All sentient
beings who hear this teaching should aspire
to birth in that land.
Amida and holy sages welcoming the devotee.
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