Amida Sutra

Illustrations from the Amida Sutra Mandala

Why the Buddha is called 'Amida'

[4] 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

[5] "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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