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Buddha land

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Buddha land
仏国土 (Skt Buddha-kshetra; Jpn bukkoku-do ) Buddha-land (buddhaksetra, Fojing, dag zhing): A paradise reigned over by a particular Buddha where conditions are perfect for the attainment of enlightenment. See also the Western Paradise of Ultimate Bliss (Sukhavati) of Amitabha Buddha and The World of Wonderful Joy (Abhirati) of Akshobhya Buddha. It is where Buddhas live. Very fortunate ordinary beings live in these places together with Buddhas and other holy or enlightened beings. In these realms there is only happiness and no suffering because consciousness transforms everything, as compared to our world where everything is manifested through effort. One who lives in such a place cannot revert to lower states of existence, but still may experience karmic retribution if he or she reincarnates to help living beings. Also called pure lands, paradises, or Buddha fields.
 
    Also, Pure land, Land of Tranquil Light, or Land of Eternally Tranquil Light. In Buddhism, a land where a Buddha dwells after having vowed to save living beings, completed his own practice, and attained Enlightenment. The Sanskrit word kshetra means land. According to the Sarvastivada school, a major Hinayana school, the saha World, or the World in which Shakyamuni Buddha appeared, is the only Buddha land. In contrast, Mahayana Buddhism makes reference to numerous Buddhas and their lands; it describes, for instance, Akshobhya Buddha's Land of Joy located in the east, Amida Buddha's Land of Perfect Bliss in the west, and Medicine Master Buddha's Pure Emerald World in the east.

Mahayana Buddhism developed the concept of the three bodies of a Buddha: the Dharma Body, the reward Body, and the manifested Body. It was taught that each Buddha possessed one of these three bodies— hence The Buddha of the Dharma Body, The Buddha of the reward Body, and The Buddha of the manifested Body—and that each Buddha had his own Buddha land. The Pure land teachings regard the Land of Perfect Bliss as the land where Amida, The Buddha of the reward Body, was reborn as a reward for his many Kalpas of Buddhist practice. Because of the Buddhist view that the land or environment is an element of one's entire being, however, the term Buddha land also refers to the Enlightened state or absolute Happiness that Buddhas enjoy, and does not necessarily indicate a paradise or Pure land removed from the real World.

Source

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