Illustrations from the Taima Mandala
The Buddha showed Vaidehi many Buddha-lands,
of which she wished to be born in Amida's
land. The Buddha taught the method of contemplating
the Pure Land.
|Vaidehi wishes to be born in Amida's Pure
 "I beseech you, World-Honored One,
to reveal to me a land of no sorrow and no
affliction where I can be reborn. I do not
wish to live in this defiled and evil world
of Jambudvipa where there are hells, realms
of hungry spirits, animals and many vile
beings. I wish that in the future I shall
not hear evil words or see wicked people.
World-Honored One, I now kneel down to repent
and beg you to take pity on me. I entreat
you, O Sun-like Buddha, to teach me how to
visualize a land of pure karmic perfection."
Then the World-Honored One sent forth from
between his eyebrows a flood of light, which
was the color of gold and illuminated
the innumerable worlds in the ten quarters.
Returning to the Buddha, the light settled
on his head and transformed itself into a
golden platform resembling Mount Sumeru.
On the platform appeared the pure and resplendent
lands of all the Buddhas in the ten quarters.
Some of these lands were made of seven jewels,
some solely of lotus-flowers; some resembled
the palace in the Heaven of Free Enjoyment
of Manifestation by Others, while some were
like a crystal mirror in which all the lands
in the ten quarters were reflected. Innumerable
Buddha-lands like these, glorious and beautiful,
were displayed to her.
Vaidehi then said to the Buddha, "O
World-Honored One, these Buddha-lands are
pure and free of defilement, and all of them
are resplendent. But I wish to be born in
the Land of Utmost Bliss of Amitayus. I beseech
you, World-Honored One, to teach [341c] me
how to contemplate that land and attain samadhi."
|Emitting of light from Shakyamuni's smile
 The World-Honored One smiled, and from
his mouth came five-colored rays of light,
each shining on King Bimbisara's head. Although
the old king was confined, with his unhindered
mind's eye he saw the World-Honored One in
the distance. He knelt down in homage to
the Buddha and effortlessly made spiritual
progress until he reached the Stage of a
|Three acts of virtue for attaining birth
in the Pure Land
 Then the World-Honored One said to Vaidehi,
"Do you know that Amitayus is not far
away? Fix your thoughts upon and contemplate
that Buddha-land, then you will accomplish
the pure acts. I shall describe it to you
in detail with various illustrations, so
that all ordinary people in the future who
wish to practice the pure karma may
also be born in that Western Land of Utmost
Bliss. Whoever wishes to be born there should
practice three acts of merit: first,
caring for one's parents, attending to one's
teachers and elders, compassionately refraining
from killing, and doing the ten good deeds;
second, taking the three refuges, keeping
the various precepts and refraining from
breaking the rules of conduct; and third,
awakening aspiration for Enlightenment, believing
deeply in the law of causality, chanting
the Mahayana sutras and encouraging people
to follow their teachings. These three are
called the pure karma."
The Buddha further said to Vaidehi, "Do
you know that these three acts are the pure
karma practiced by all the Buddhas of
the past, present and future as the right
cause of Enlightenment?"
|Vaidehi asks how to visualize the Pure Land
 The Buddha said to Ananda and Vaidehi,
"Listen carefully, listen carefully
and ponder deeply. I, the Tathagata, shall
discourse on pure karma for the sake of all
sentient beings of the future who are afflicted
by the enemy, evil passions. It is very good,
Vaidehi, that you have willingly asked me
about this. Ananda, you must receive and
keep the Buddha's words and widely proclaim
them to the multitude of beings. I, the Tathagata,
shall now teach you, Vaidehi, and all sentient
beings of the future how to visualize the
Western Land of Utmost Bliss. By the power
of the Buddha all will be able to see the
Pure Land as clearly as if they were looking
at their own reflections in a bright mirror.
Seeing the utmost beauty and bliss of that
land, they will rejoice and immediately attain
the insight into the non-arising of all dharmas."
The Buddha said to Vaidehi, "You are
an unenlightened, and so your spiritual powers
are weak and obscured. Since you have not
yet attained the divine eye, you cannot see
that which is distant. But the Buddhas, Tathagatas,
have special ways to enable you to see afar."
Vaidehi said to the Buddha, "World-Honored
One, through the Buddha's power, even I have
now been able to see that land. But after
the Buddha's passing, sentient beings will
become defiled and evil, and be oppressed
by the five kinds of suffering. How then
will those beings be able to see the Land
of Utmost Bliss of Amitayus?"
The Amida trio surrounded by many bodhisattvas.
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