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Pure Land

Pure Land Buddhism is a sect of Mahayana Buddhism. Mahayana Buddhists believe that along with The Buddha (the founder of Buddhism) there also exist Dhyani Buddhas (lesser deities that help humans). Pure Land Buddhists concentrate their worship on the Buddha Amitabha.

Amitabha Buddha is said to have lived eons before Siddartha Gautama (The Buddha) and Amitabha is described in The Buddha’s teachings (The Sutras).

Pure Land Buddhists worship Amitabha Buddha in the hopes that they will be reborn into the ”Pure Land” (also known as the Western Paradise or the Land of Ultimate Bliss).

Before attaining Buddhahood Amitabha vowed to create a beautiful, paradisiacal realm where inhabitants would be able to enjoy stunning surroundings and the company of various Buddhas and Bodhisattvas (in the Mahayana school of Buddhism, a Bodhisattva is a profoundly compassionate figure who has already attained enlightenment but has not yet attained Buddhahood. Bodhisattvas postpone their own entrance into Nirvana in order to help others in attaining enlightenment).

In the Pure Land Amitabha Buddha promised that people would not suffer, age or die and freed from this never-ending cycle of birth and death inhabitants of the Pure Land would be able to focus entirely on attaining enlightenment. The environment in the Pure Land is believed to be such that inhabitants should be able to easily achieve Nirvana.

Amitabha is believed to have successfully created this otherworldly realm and he is also believed to grant people entrance if they show a genuine interest in being reborn in the Pure Land. Pure Land Buddhists believe that by regularly reciting the name of Amitabha Buddha and cultivating a sincere desire to reach the Pure Land they will be reborn after death in this utopian realm. After reaching the Pure Land one is able to attain enlightenment and escape all earthly suffering.