Contemplation Sutra


Illustrations from the Taima Mandala

Two aspirants of the highest level of the highest grade welcomed by Amida and many bodhisattvas.

Those born on the lotus-flowers;
some enjoying boat-riding

Those newly born, joined by bodhisattvas, offering dance and  music  to the Buddha. 
Benefits gained by the audience

[31] As the Buddha delivered these words, Vaidehi and her five hundred female attendants listened to his teaching. Having envisioned the boundless features of the Land of Utmost Bliss, the Buddha (Amitayus) and the two bodhisattvas, Vaidehi rejoiced in her heart. Wonder-struck at this revelation, [346b] she attained great awakening with clarity of mind and reached the insight into the non-arising of all dharmas. Her five hundred female attendants awakened aspiration for the highest, perfect Enlightenment and desired to be born in that land. The World-Honored One gave all of them assurances that they would be born there and that they would then attain the Samadhi of Being in the Presence of All the Buddhas. Innumerable devas also awakened aspiration for the highest Enlightenment.

Names of this sutra

[32] Then Ananda rose from his seat, stepped forward, and said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, what should we call this sutra and how should we receive and retain the essentials of its teaching?"
The Buddha answered, "Ananda, this sutra is called the Visualization of the Land of Utmost Bliss, of the Buddha Amitayus, and of the Bodhisattvas Avalokiteshvara and Mahasthamaprapta. It is also called the Purification and Elimination of Karmic Hindrances for Attaining Birth in the Presence of All the Buddhas. Hold fast to this sutra and do not forget it. Those who practice this samadhi will be able to see, during their lifetime, the Buddha Amitayus and the two Mahasattvas. If good men or women simply hear the Name of this Buddha or the names of those two bodhisattvas, the evil karma which they have committed during innumerable kalpas of Samsara will be extinguished. And so, how much more merit will they acquire if they concentrate on them! You should know that all who are mindful of that Buddha are like white lotus-flowers among humankind; the Bodhisattvas Avalokiteshvara and Mahasthamaprapta become their good friends. They will sit in the place of Enlightenment and be born into the family of the Buddhas."
The Buddha further said to Ananda, "Bear these words well in mind. To bear these words in mind means to hold fast to the Name of the Buddha Amitayus."
When the Buddha had spoken thus, the Venerable Mahamaudgalyayana, Venerable Ananda, Vaidehi and all the others greatly rejoiced to hear the Buddha's discourse.


[33] Then the World-Honored One returned to the Vulture Peak through the air. There Ananda fully explained to the assembly what had happened. Innumerable humans, devas, nagas, yaksas and all the other beings greatly rejoiced to hear the Buddha's teaching. Having worshipped the World-Honored One, they departed.

The end of
The Sutra on Visualization of
the Buddha of Infinite Life

delivered by Shakyamuni Buddha

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