Illustrations from the Larger Sutra Mandala
 "Again, the halls, monasteries,
palaces and pavilions are spontaneous apparitions,
all adorned with the seven jewels and hung
with curtains of various other jewels, such
as pearls and moon-bright mani gems.
"Inside and out, to right and left,
are bathing pools. Some of them are ten yojanas
in length, breadth and depth; some are twenty
yojanas, others, thirty, and so on, until
we come to those measuring a hundred thousand
yojanas in length, breadth and depth. They
are brimful of the water of eight excellent
qualities, clear, fragrant and tasting like
"There are golden pools with beds of
silver sand; silver pools with beds of golden
sand; crystal pools with beds of beryl sand;
beryl pools with beds of crystal sand; coral
pools with beds of amber sand; amber pools
with beds of coral sand; agate pools with
beds of ruby sand; ruby pools with beds of
agate sand; white-jade pools with beds of
purple-gold sand; purple-gold pools with
beds of white-jade sand. Others are composed
of two to seven jewels.
"On the banks of these pools are sandalwood
trees, whose flowers and leaves hang down
and diffuse perfumes everywhere. Heavenly
lotuses of blue, pink, yellow and white bloom
profusely in various tints and tones, completely
covering the surface of the water.
"If bodhisattvas and shravakas in that
land enter the jewel-ponds and wish the water
to rise to their ankles, it rises to their
ankles. If they wish it to rise to their
knees, it rises to their knees. If they wish
it to rise to their waists, it rises to their
waists. If they wish it to rise to their
necks, it rises to their necks. If they wish
it to pour over their bodies, it spontaneously
pours over their bodies. If they wish it
to recede, it recedes. Its temperature is
moderate, cool or warm, according to their
wishes. The water comforts the body and refreshes
the mind, washing away their mental defilements.
Clear and pure, the water is so transparent
that it seems formless. The jewel-sand shines
so brightly that even the depth of the water
cannot prevent its brilliance from being
seen. The rippling water forms meandering
streams, which join and flow into each other.
Their movement is peaceful and quiet, neither
too fast nor too slow, and their ripples
spontaneously produce innumerable wonderful
sounds. One can hear whatever sound one wishes.
For example, some hear the sound 'Buddha,'
some hear the sound 'Dharma,' some 'Sangha,'
others hear 'tranquillity,' 'emptiness and
non-self,' 'great compassion,' 'paramita,'
'ten powers,' 'fearlessness,' 'special qualities,'
'supernatural powers,' 'non-activity,' 'neither
arising nor perishing,' 'insight into the
non-arising of all dharmas,' and so on until
the various sounds of the wonderful Dharma,
such as 'the sprinkling of nectar upon the
head of a bodhisattva,' are heard. As one
hears those sounds, one attains immeasurable
joy and accords with the principles of purity,
absence of desires, extinction, and reality.
One is in harmony with the Three Treasures,
the Buddha's powers, fearlessness and special
qualities, and also with supernatural powers
and other methods of practice for bodhisattvas
and shravakas. Not even the names of the
three realms of suffering are heard there,
but only Nirvanic sounds of bliss. For this
reason, that land is called 'Peace and Bliss'."
Meals to be enjoyed in the palace.
|Bodily appearance of the inhabitants and
the pleasures they enjoy
 "Ananda, those born in that Buddha-land
are endowed with such bodies of purity and
provided with various exquisite sounds, supernatural
powers and virtues. The palaces in which
they dwell, their clothing, food and drink,
the wonderful flowers, and the various kinds
of incense and adornments are like those
naturally provided in the Sixth Heaven of
the world of desire.
"At mealtimes, plates made of the seven
jewels -- namely, gold, silver, beryl, agate,
ruby, [271c] coral, and amber, and also moon-bright
pearl -- spontaneously appear, filled with
food and drink of a hundred tastes, according
to one's wishes. Although the food is offered,
no one actually eats it. Once it has been
seen and smelt, one naturally feels that
it has been eaten, and so is satisfied; thus
one feels relaxed in mind and body, free
from attachment to the sense of taste. When
the meal is over, everything disappears,
but reappears at the next mealtime.
"That Buddha-land, like the realm of
unconditioned Nirvana, is pure and serene,
resplendent and blissful. The shravakas,
bodhisattvas, heavenly beings and humans
there have lofty and brilliant wisdom, and
are masters of the supernatural powers. They
are all of one form, without any differences,
but are called 'heavenly beings' and 'humans'
simply by analogy with the states of existence
in other worlds. They are of noble and majestic
countenance, unequaled in all the worlds,
and their appearance is superb, unmatched
by any being, heavenly or human. They are
all endowed with bodies of Naturalness, Emptiness,
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