Ananda’s Request

The Larger Pure Land Sutra tells us that after Buddha Shakyamuni taught the crowd at Vulture Peak about Amida Buddha and His Pure Land, his cousin and disciple Ananda made a request.

World-Honored One, I wish to see that Buddha, his Land of Peace and Bliss, and its hosts of bodhisattvas and shravakas.

Here’s what the Larger Sutra records next:

As soon as Ananda had said this, Amida Buddha emitted a great light, which illuminated all the Buddha-lands. The Encircling Adamantine Mountains, Mount Sumeru, together with large and small mountains, and everything else shone with the same (golden) color.

That light was like the flood at the end of the period of cosmic change that fills the whole world, when myriads of things are submerged, and as far as the eye can see, there is nothing but a vast expanse of water.

Even so was the flood of light emanating from Amitayus (Amida Buddha).

All the lights of shravakas and bodhisattvas were outshone and surpassed, and only the Buddha’s light remained shining bright and glorious.

At that time Ananda saw the splendor and majesty of Amitayus (Amida Buddha) resembling Mount Sumeru, which rises above the whole world.

There was no place which was not illuminated by the light emanating from his body of glory. The four groups of followers of the Buddha (Shakyamuni) in the assembly saw all this at the same time. Likewise, those of the Pure Land saw everything in this world.

Then the Buddha (Shakyamuni) said to Ananda and the Bodhisattva Maitreya, “Have you seen that land filled with excellent and glorious manifestations, all spontaneously produced, from the ground to the Heaven of Pure Abode?”

Ananda replied, “Yes, I have.”

The Buddha asked, “Have you also heard the great voice of Amitayus expound the Dharma to all the worlds, guiding sentient beings to the Way of the Buddha?”

Ananda replied, “Yes, I have.

I, along with so many others, have been made to understand that this is not myth, not metaphor, but a true event that happened in space-time history.

Amida Buddha, who transcends space-time as we know it, made himself, his world, and dharma known to Ananda and thousands of other non-Buddhas on that fateful day.

What can I say to all this but the Nembutsu of gratitude that leaps of its own accord out of my heart - and my mouth.

NamuAmidaButsu -

Paul R.

WordPress database error: [Table 'netpaul.wp_comments' doesn't exist]
SELECT * FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_post_ID = '48' AND comment_approved = '1' ORDER BY comment_date

Leave a Reply