Many forms of Buddhism
The word Buddha means the enlightened one.
Although Buddhism has over 100 versions, two forms of Buddhism rule the roost.
They are Theravada and Mahayana forms of Buddhism.
Mahayana Buddhism has followers in countries like Japan, China, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and Burma.
In some parts of Burma, Ceylon, and India people follow the Theravada form of Buddhism.
We shall focus on the concept of Pure Land, a concept within Mahayana Buddhism.
The concept of Pure Land practice has become as popular as the Zen Buddhism practices within Mahayana Buddhism.
Yet this practice does not find many followers in the West.
The Pure Land Practice
The ancient form of Sanatana Dharma considers the “Name of Bhagawan (Lord)” as the Supreme force.
This can bring about mind-boggling changes within an individual.
Similarly, the Pure Land Practice of Buddhism, considers the “Name of Buddha”, the recitation of the Name of “Amitabha Buddha”, as one of the topmost practices.
By chanting thus, one prepares to enter the “Pure Land” of the Buddha, a transcendental dimension.
One also knows this process as “Buddha Remembrance”.
A person should recognize Amitabha Buddha, a transcendental form of the Buddha as the “Infinite Light of Life.”
The Pure Land is the everlasting Spiritual Dimension, the Dimension available to one and all through the Pure Land recitation practice.
Awakening our Buddha Nature
Our very nature of Buddha rests deep inside the shackles of our own minds.
We should strive to awaken the Buddha within us.
Those who recite the name of Buddha, according to the Sutras of the Pure Land Practice shall return to their own Buddha Nature and enter the Pure Land.
Characteristics of the Pure Land
The simplicity of the Pure Land Practice contributes to its popularity.
Following are some of the highlights for qualifying into the Practice.
Pure Land practice and Compassion
Compassion drives the Pure Land Practice.
One’s faith in the compassion of Amitabha Buddha serves as an unerring guide.
It welcomes one and all of the sentient beings into the Pure Land of the Buddha.
No prior Qualifications to Enter Pure Land
Entry into the Pure Land serves as a stepping stone towards attaining Buddhahood.
Cultivation of the practices of Pure Land does not require any special qualifications or conditions.
One can practice it at any time or at any place.
One can enter the Pure Land process without any elaborate means.
Destroying the impurities of the Mind
The Pure Land practice, by design, cures the mind.
All of us are diseased by the mind in more than one way.
Our own likes and dislikes have become our obsession.
Our preferences make us lopsided.
The mind creates distortions and we have an extremely skewed worldview.
Hence we have strained and perverted relationships within this world.
The only reason for this is just one, our own minds.
Some of the most powerful forms of meditation form the basis of the Pure Land practice.
One should meditate every day for a half-hour on corpses or decayed dead bodies.
Such meditation helps conquer deep-rooted lust.
The auxiliary practice of concentrating on the breath and counting the breath helps arrest the wandering mind.
Pseudo-Science and Pseudo-Spirituality
Science relies on facts.
Yet it does not answer the deeper questions of life and life processes.
Psychiatry or even Psychology has no answers to the many mental conditions that one goes through.
Medicines although useful, do not offer long-term solutions.
Spirituality helps here but that too comes with its set of “usage problems.”
Spiritual people often hallucinate about vibrations or get into “imagined reasons” for certain problems in life.
There are ample examples in the Shastra that serve as proofs for the Karma theory.
However overrated spiritual fail to detect the nuances of Karma.
A so-called spiritual man can give preposterous reasons for a certain success or certain failure.
Basing his thoughts on his own illusory reasoning, spiritual men con a commoner with hallucinatory reasoning and prophecies.
Thus, even spirituality comes with its own set of flip sides.
Mediators and Agents have destroyed the sanctity of spirituality in recent years.
Spirituality comes with its own set of challenges.
Pure Land Practice can be the answer to Spiritual jingoism
No religion has contributed more than Buddhism in the field of Human Suffering.
The Pure Land Practice is another practice aimed at ending Suffering.
In the Pure Land Practice, one relies on ultra-simple practices free of all spiritual reasoning that leads to disillusionment.
Here, the practitioner travels all by himself into the Pure Land.
Sincerity of purpose and Truthfulness become the only qualification for one to enter the Pure Land.
Thus he escapes Birth and Death and attains the Bodhi Mind or Buddhahood.
Name of Amitabha Buddha is everything
Whenever one recites continuously the Name of the Amitabha Buddha with surrender and abandon, one shall finally experience the Amitabha Buddha.
This, the Sutras guarantee.
After associating with a certain perfume, the entire body of the person starts becoming fragrant.
Similarly on attaining the vision of Amitabha Buddha, one shall automatically attain divine compassion.
This is the preliminary step, before one completely attains Buddhahood.
Buddha Recitation and the Mind
Here are some recommendations before one even begins the Pure Land practices.
These notes are similar to the pre-qualification of Yamas and Niyamas that one takes up before entering into the authorized practices within Sanatana Dharma.
Consciously avoiding bad thoughts and actions
One should avoid or become aware, through force and avoid doing bad or thinking bad.
Unless awareness or consciousness is cast upon spurious thoughts and actions, taking up the Pure Land practices shall yield no results.
Of course, it is easier said than done.
Yet, intentions always drive the results.
Such is the science of spiritual practices.
One should carry out everyday duties and responsibilities and stop dwelling on results.
They should do the work and let go.
One should inculcate the virtue of letting go as the fundamental preliminary practice before taking up the Pure Land practice.
Reason why we fail through thoughts and Action
We have never succeeded in taming our thoughts or actions because we live an unaware life.
People do not give importance to the inner discipline.
Practicing the continuous chanting of the Buddha’s name carries a lot of weight.
It shall clear up our inner compulsions and also break inner rigidity born out of our habit patterns and undisciplined reactions to everyday life events.
Reversing this process shall be the first step towards living a conscious life.
When inner compulsions clear up, automatically discipline happens with the least effort.
Such a mind shall have no room for waywardness.
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