Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Visit of Bodhisattvas from other worlds to Sukhavati and prediction for attaining Buddhahood for them and all beings – commentary on section 26 – 27 of the Larger Sutra

 As we have already seen in section 22 (“all Buddha Tathagatas in the ten directions, as numerous as the sands of the Ganges River, together praise the inconceivable, supernal virtue of Amitayus”[1]), Shakyamuni mentions again the praising of Amida and His virtues, in section 26:

“The Buddha said to Ananda, ‘The majestic virtue of Amitayus is boundless. All the innumerable, countless, and inconceivable Buddha Tathagatas in the worlds of the ten directions praise Him.’”[2]

Whenever we read about such praise by all Buddhas we should know it also means praising Amida’s method of salvation which, among the methods invented by all Buddhas, it is the easiest to bring ALL beings, no matter their spiritual evolution, to the attainment of Nirvana. By praising Amida and His merits, they automatically praise His Name as all His merits are manifested into His Name which is easy to pronounce by anybody. All such praising are related with the 17th Vow where Dharmakara promised that when He becomes Amida, all Buddhas will praise His Name.


Not only Buddhas, but also Bodhisattvas praise and worship Amida. As I already explained in the first chapter of my commentary on this sutra, there are two types of Bodhisattvas: 1) Bodhisattvas in aspiration and 2) Bodhisattvas who already attained Buddhahood or perfect Enlightenment. The latter are called Enlightened Bodhisattvas or Buddhas who manifest as Bodhisattvas. I will especially insist more now on the first category because it’s of great importance for this chapter and for sections 26-27.

1. Bodhisattvas in aspiration (sometimes they are called “Bodhisattvas in training”) are those who have made the aspiration to attain Buddhahood for themselves and all beings, but who are still on the path and still unenlightened (not Buddhas yet). In this category of Bodhisattvas can be included all beings, no matter their level of spiritual achievement, as long as they wish to attain Buddhahood and freedom from samsara for themselves and all beings. To have this wish, which is called, the Bodhi Mind, makes everyone a Bodhisattvas in aspiration, even if his spiritual capacities are extremely low or practically non-existent. Thus, every Mahayana Buddhist, including a Jodo Shinshu follower can be called a Bodhisattva in aspiration because shinjin or faith in Amida is in fact, the Bodhi Mind. As Shinran said:

"Shinjin that is the inconceivable working of the power of the Vow
Is none other than the mind aspiring for great Enlightenment".[3]
"The true entrusting heart is adamantine faith. Adamantine faith is the aspiration for Buddhahood. The aspiration for Buddhahood is the desire to save sentient beings. The desire to save sentient beings is the desire to embrace sentient beings and bring them to the Pure Land of Peace and Bliss. This desire is the great Bodhi-mind. This mind is the great compassion, for it arises from the wisdom of Infinite Light[4]".[5]

In our case, the Awakening of the Bodhi Mind – the aspiration to attain perfect Enlightenment or Budhahood for oneself and all beings is impossible to be fulfilled by self-power, as Shinran said:

„The aspiration for Enlightenment through self-power taught in the Path of Sages
Is beyond our minds and words;

We foolish beings ever sinking in transmigration -
How could we awaken it?

Under the guidance of Buddhas who appeared in this world,
Three times the sands of the Ganges in number,
We awakened the aspiration for supreme Enlightenment,
But our self-power failed, and we continued to transmigrate.”[6]

However, this Mind is fulfilled in the Awakening of Faith (shinjin) in the Primal Vow of Amida Buddha. Master Shan-tao said: “awake your Bodhi Mind to Amida’s Compassion”, that is, aspire to your and other beings Liberation by relying on the Compassion of Amida (His Primal Vow).
So, the Awakening of the Bodhi Mind – the obligatory condition in Mahayana of attaining the supreme Enlightenment, appears in Jodo Shinshu in the form of faith (shinjin).
Shinran Shonin said in the Hymns on Patriarchs:

“Faith is One Mind
One Mind is the Diamond-like Mind;
The Diamond-like Mind is the Bodhi-Mind;
This mind is given us by the Other-Power.”


The One Mind (Faith) represents the cause of Enlightenment. Since this is the Bodhi-
Mind, it means to aspire to the attainment of Buddhahood for oneself and others:

"To take refuge, with the mind that is single,
In the Buddha of Unhindered Light filling the ten quarters (Amida)
is, in the words of Vasubandhu, author of the Treatise,
The mind that aspires to attain Buddhahood.

The mind that aspires to attain Buddhahood
Is the mind to save all sentient beings;
The mind to save all sentient beings
Is true and real shinjin, which is Amida's benefiting of others."[7]

"True and real shinjin (faith) is the aspiration for Buddhahood. The aspiration for Buddhahood is the aspiration to save all beings. The aspiration to save all beings is the mind that grasps sentient beings and brings them to birth in the Pure Land of happiness".[8]

Thus, although we are ordinary beings filled with ignorance and blind passions, since we receive faith in Amida Buddha we can be called Bodhisattvas in aspiration. However, there are Bodhisattvas in aspiration that do not have faith in Amida but make great and sincere efforts on various paths of self-power. Many of them are more spiritually advanced than us, perhaps even on the ten bhumis (stages) but still they are not Enlightened and not Buddhas yet.

2. Bodhisattvas who already attained Buddhahood or perfect Enlightenment are any Buddhas who do not remain secluded in their Enlightenment, but continue to manifest in various forms, even taking the appearance of unenlightened beings, to help others. These are in fact, Buddhas who manifest as Bodhisattvas. In this category we find Avalokitesvara, Mahasthamaprapta, Samantabhadra, Manjusri, and many others, including the Bodhisattvas in the audience when the Larger Sutra was taught. In fact, all great Buddhas manifest as Bodhisattvas in various ways which are beyond our capacity to understand and in various places. For a more detailed explanation of such Bodhisattvas in the second category, please go back to the first chapter[9]. 

Visit of Bodhisattvas from other worlds - Larger Sutra mandala
source: http://web.mit.edu/stclair/www/horai/dai-26-27.htm
Now let’s come back to the present discussion. Various Bodhisattvas from both categories visit Sukhavati in order to praise, honor and worship Amida Buddha and His assembly of Enlightened Bodhisattvas and disciples (sravaka):

“Innumerable and countless Bodhisattvas in the Buddha lands of the eastern direction, as numerous as the sands of the Ganges River, all without exception, visit Amitayus (Amida) in order to worship and make offerings to Him and to the assembly of Bodhisattvas and Sravakas.
Having heard the teaching, they expound it to lead people into the path of the Buddha. As in the eastern direction, so it is in the southern, western, and northern, as well in the four intermediate directions and above and below.’”[10]

Again in this case, “sravaka” has the meaning of a disciple who heard with devotion the teaching and entrusted to it. Being now in the Pure Land such a sravaka is also Enlightened, so the assembly of Bodhisattvas and Sravakas mean enlightened beings in the Pure Land.

Enlightened Bodhisattvas visit the Pure Land out of gratitude for the guidance and help they received from Amida (and other Enlightened Ones who dwell there and showed them the path to Amida) when they were still in training, just like a student will always visit and respect his master no matter that now he became a master himself, while the Bodhisattvas in aspiration who are not yet enlightened, but possess the power of  seeing far and traveling through space may visit the Pure Land to receive teachings and surely, they will not limit themselves to a mere visitation but wish to be reborn there and attain Buddhahood, so that they can effectively save sentient beings everywhere.

Shakyamuni explained the visit of Bodhisattvas:

“In the eastern direction there are Buddha lands
As numerous as the sands of the Ganges River;
Bodhisattvas dwelling in those lands
Go to pay homage to Amitayus (Amida), the Enlightened One.

So it is in the southern, western, and northern directions,
The intermediate directions, above, and below;
Bodhisattvas dwelling in those lands
Go to pay homage to Amitayus, the Enlightened One.

All those Bodhisattvas, taking with them
Exquisite heavenly flowers,
Precious incense, and priceless robes,
Make offerings to Amitayus, the Enlightened One.

Playing heavenly music in concert,
Producing harmonious and delicate sounds,
They praise the Most Honored One with hymns saying:

‘You have perfected supernatural powers and wisdom,
With which you freely enter the gates of the profound Dharma;
You also possess stores of merit and virtue
And unparalleled supreme knowledge.

Illuminating the world with the sun of wisdom,
You disperse the clouds of birth and death.’

Having reverently walked round Him three times,
The bodhisattvas pay homage to the Unsurpassed One.”[11]

It is extremely important to notice the words, “all without exception”. So, ALL Bodhisattvas without exception will, sooner or later, visit the Pure Land of Amida and pay homage to Him. This is reinforced by mentioning all the directions of the universe and saying that ALL Bodhisattvas from all places visit the Pure Land. Thus, there is no Bodhisattva in aspiration who reached the power of seeing far and traveling through space that does not go to Amida for worship, instructions and prediction of attaining Buddhahood. The Buddhas themselves who are the Masters of these Bodhisattvas order them to go to Amida so that they can do the following:

-          attain Buddhahood (“realm of purity”):

“The Buddhas tell the Bodhisattvas to go and pay homage
To the Buddha of the Land of Peace and Provision.
‘Listen to His teaching, joyfully receive and practice it,
And then quickly reach the realm of purity.”[12]

-          acquire the same supernatural powers and capacity to help all beings as Amida through His Pure Land:

“‘When you go to His glorious Pure Land,
You will instantly acquire supernatural powers.
Having, without fail, received predictions from Amitayus,
You will attain perfect Enlightenment.”[13]

“Bodhisattvas, if you make vows
That your lands will be like this,
While aspiring to save all beings everywhere,
Your name will be renowned throughout the ten directions”.[14]

-          to be able to visit other Pure Lands, as the Pure Land of Amida is connected to all the enlightened realms and the spheres of activities of various Buddhas:

“In order to serve millions of Tathagatas,
You can assume various forms and fly to those lands;
After worshiping them with joyful hearts,
You will return to the Land of Peace and Provision.’”[15]

So it seems that all those who became Buddhas in the past, are Buddhas of the present and will become Buddhas in the future, are the disciples of Amida, as they all have Amida in common, received or will receive teachings from Him. Nobody attains Buddhahood without Amida, as all Bodhisattvas go to Amida for instructions before they become Buddhas. This is why Rennyo Shonin said:

“Since Amida Tathagata is the original Teacher and Master of all Buddhas of the three periods (past, present and future), how can all the Buddhas who are His disciples not rejoice when we rely on that Buddha who is the Master? You must understand the grounds for this very thoroughly.“[16]

Before attaining Buddhahood, and while they are still Bodhisattvas in aspiration (training), but also after that, when they are Buddhas who manifest as Bodhisattvas, they never forget Amida, and constantly praise and worship Him.

But how is birth there possible for these Bodhisattvas as well as for all sentient beings no matter how high or low are they on the scale of spiritual evolution? The Buddhas say to their Bodhisattva disciples:

“By the power of that Buddha’s Primal Vow[17],
All who hear His Name and desire Birth
Will, without exception, be born in His land
And effortlessly enter the stage of non-retrogression”.[18]

So in fact, the intention of the Buddhas is that their Bodhisattvas in training do not limit themselves to mere visitations, but go further and be reborn there. If we carefully re-read these lines through the eyes of the Primal Vow (like we should read the Larger Sutra in Jodo Shinshu),

“The Buddhas tell the Bodhisattvas to go and pay homage
To the Buddha of the Land of Peace and Provision.
Listen to His teaching, joyfully receive and practice it,
And then quickly reach the realm of purity.”[19]

we realize that listening to Amida’s teaching and joyfully receive it and practice it, means to listen to Amida’s Primal Vow in faith, entrust to Him, say His Name and wish to become a dweller ( be reborn in) of the Pure Land, and not just remain a visitor. This is also the meaning of “hear His Name and desire Birth” from the other stanza above this one.  

By remaining a visitor one cannot benefit from the enlightened transformative force of the Pure Land, so only if he becomes a dweller or inhabitant of the Pure Land, he can reach Nirvana (“the realm of purity”). When a highly advanced Bodhisattva in aspiration visits the Pure Land, he receives the main instruction of Amida Buddha which is basically contained in His Primal Vow – “entrust yourself to me (give up to the reliance on your self-power and rely exclusively and totally on my Power), say my Name in faith and wish to be reborn in my land”. If the Bodhisattva in aspiration does that (“listen to His teaching, joyfully receive and practice it” which also means to “hear His Name and desire Birth”), he automatically enters “by the power of that Buddha’s Primal Vow” in the stage of non-retrogression for attaining supreme Buddhahood – “effortlessly enter the stage of non-retrogression”, thus receiving the prediction for becoming a Buddha. Then he discards his body and is actually reborn in the Pure Land (“will, without exception, be born in His land”), which is also done “by the power of that Buddha’s Primal Vow”, giving up to his state of visitor and becoming a dweller or citizen of this Enlightened realm. Such a Birth is immediately followed by the attainment of Buddhahood, because by becoming part of the Pure Land whose essence is Nirvana or Buddhahood itself, one automatically becomes a Buddha.

For ordinary people like us who may be called Bodhisattvas only because shinjin (faith) is itself the Bodhi Mind, and who do not have the capacity to see and visit the Pure Land by themselves, such a process of entrusting to Amida, saying His Name in faith and wish to be born in His Land is done while we are still here in our present circumstances. Here too, by the Power of Amida’s Primal Vow, we enter the stage of non-retrogression, and we’ll be born in the Pure Land at the end of our samsaric bodies when we attain the same Buddhahood like the other Bodhisattva colleagues who were more advanced than us.

In our case and in this Saha world[20], the Buddha who encouraged us to go to the Pure Land is Shakyamuni and as I said, “visitation” is not an option for us, because we are not so advanced as to travel to the Pure Land first and see with our eyes its marvelous manifestations. Being so limited, we cannot see, but only hear about the Pure Land from the descriptions made by Shakyamuni, and taking His words for true, we aspire to be born there after death.

The advanced Bodhisattvas in training who reached their high spiritual stages through various practices based partially or totally on their own powers can, unlike us, the lowest of the low, see with their own eyes the amazing enlightened qualities of that realm and its capacity to act as a liberating ground for all beings:

“Having seen the glorious Pure Land,
Wonderfully resplendent,
They are led to awaken supernal aspiration
And wish their lands to be like His”.[21]

In section 27 of the Larger Sutra, Shakyamuni describes a visit by such highly advanced Bodhisattvas in aspiration. Before all the visitors gathered there in His Pure Land, Amida manifests an amazing show of Light and gives each one of them the prediction for attaining Buddhahood after they, of course, accept His teachings:

“Then Amitayus, the Enlightened One,
Changes His countenance and smiles;
From His mouth come forth innumerable rays of Light,
Which illuminate the worlds of the ten directions.

These rays of light return, encircle His body
Three times, and enter the crown of His head.
All devas and humans are delighted to see this
And are filled with great joy.

Avalokitesvara, the Exalted Being, having respectfully arranged
His clothes and bowed his head,
Asked the Buddha, ‘Why are you smiling?
Reverently I inquire. Please tell me why.’

The Buddha’s majestic voice was like thunder,
Producing wonderful sounds in the eight qualities of voice:
‘Because I am about to give predictions to the Bodhisattvas.
I shall now explain to you. Listen carefully!

I am fully aware of the vows of the Bodhisattvas
Who come from ten directions;
They seek to glorify their pure lands.
After receiving my predictions, they will become Buddhas.

While realizing that all dharmas  (phenomena) are like a dream,
An illusion, or an echo[22],
They will fulfill their excellent vows
And surely establish pure lands such as this.

Knowing that dharmas are like a flash of lightning or a shadow[23],
They will pursue the Bodhisattva path to its end
And amass a store of merit. After receiving
My predictions, they will become Buddhas.

While thoroughly knowing that the nature of all dharmas
Is empty and without substance[24],
They will single-mindedly seek to produce their pure lands
And will surely establish lands such as this.’”[25]

I am always amazed when reading about the smile of Amida and the Light emanating from His mouth towards all “the worlds of the ten directions”, then coming back to Him, encircling Him three times and entering the crown of His head. There is something very important here because His smile and the Light manifestation is related to the predictions He is about to give for others attainment of Buddhahood.

First of all, that Light was not manifested only in the Pure Land, but sent towards all “the worlds of the ten directions”. This was especially done to show that the salvation offered by Amida is not limited to the spiritual elites who visited His Pure Land, but reaches all sentient beings, no matter where they are born in the samsaric “worlds of the ten directions”.  Thus, although Amida is shown giving predictions to the Bodhisatvas visiting His Pure Land, there is another more profound meaning here – that all beings in the ten directions, not only those who are able to visit His Pure Land, also receive the prediction that they will attain Buddhahood if they accept the Light that is sent to them, emanating from Amida’s mouth. To accept the Light emanating from Amida’s mouth means to hear His voice or His Primal Vow, as the Primal Vow is, in fact, Amida’s Call and Amida’s command for us. This Light (representing Amida’s main wish, His Primal Vow and His Call) goes to all sentient beings in “the worlds of the ten directions”, and it comes back to Him, surrounds Him three times, then enters the crown of His head, which means that those who accept this Light or entrust to Him and say His Name in faith, thus answering His Call, are people who worship Him in the perfect way as the Light they receive in their hearts goes back to Amida and surrounds Him three times (to encircle a Buddha image or statue three times is a well-known gesture of worship). They are also in agreement with Amida’s Mind which is represented by the fact that this Light enters the “the crown of His head”. 
Again, the deeper meaning is that ordinary beings from all the ten directions, no matter how low they are on the scale of spiritual evolution can receive this prediction of attaining Buddhahood if they too accept Amida’s Light in their heart and mind, that is, if they entrust to Him and say His Name in faith. By having a simple faith and by being in accord with His Primal Vow, they become practitioners who perfectly worship Amida and who accord with Amida’s Mind and Amida’s wish.

Also the deep meaning of the verse “all devas and humans are delighted to see this (Amida’s Light) and are filled with great joy” is that all beings (not only highly advanced Bodhisattvas ) who entrust to Amida know they are saved from samsara and assured of the attainment of Buddhahood in the Pure Land. “Seeing” in this verse is not an ordinary seeing with the eyes of flesh, but seeing in the spiritual sense of accepting, understanding and entrusting, coming in accord with the goal of Amida’s Light. Their joy is like escaping a great burden, and if one is truly aware of what samsara really is, and truly wishes to escape it, he will feel relief at knowing he is finally assured of liberation. This is why the mention of “all devas and humans” is used here immediately after describing Amida’s Light which emanates from His mouth and goes to all directions. It is to show that all beings (“all devas and humans” is a generic title for all sentient beings) can receive this Light and benefit from it, receiving prediction for attaining Buddhahood, not only Bodhisattvas who visit the Pure Land and appear to be the main characters of sections 26 and 27.

As I have always said, those who entrust to Amida Buddha have various degrees of spiritual evolution. They may be the lowest of the low, very close to Enlightenment like Bodhisattvas who are able to visit the Pure Land, or somewhere in between.
Some entrust to Amida while in human form, others in deva (gods) or spirit form, etc. Some hear the teaching about Amida while in their own realms (like us), while some, like highly advanced Bodhisattvas[26] can entrust to Amida after visiting His Pure Land and listening more to the teaching there.
No matter what practices they followed to reach the highly advanced stages they are in now, they will all sooner, or later, entrust to Amida Buddha, say His Name in faith and worship Him. And they all will be helped by the Power of Amida to reach Buddhahood or perfect Enlightenment.

Things are very complex and impossible to understand with our limited minds, but contemplating these matters from the perspective of Amida’s Primal Vow, we are sure that all Buddhas had Amida as their teacher at one time or another, entrusted to Him, were helped by Him and attained Enlightenment through His supreme Power and guidance. How can things be otherwise when Amida has the most accessible method for attaining Buddhahood and the best Pure Land where ANYBODY can realize it? Certainly, the Bodhisattvas very close to Enlightenment are capable to appreciate more the technical details of the Pure Land of Amida after visiting it, seeing it with their very eyes and comparing it with other Pure Lands they traveled to until then. This is why they use Amida’s Land as a standard for their own future Pure Land or sphere of activity.

So again, highly advanced Bodhisattvas as well as ordinary beings from all the ten directions can receive the prediction of attaining Buddhahood from Amida if they entrust to Him and say His Name in faith. For us, such a prediction is none other than entering the stage of non-retrogression in this life about which I already talked about in a previous chapter.






[1] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.35
[2] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.36
[3] The Collected Works of Shinran, Shin Buddhism Translation Series, Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, Kyoto, 1997, p.354
[4] Please check the chapter "Faith in Amida Buddha is not the creation of our minds” from The Meaning of Faith and Nembutsu in Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, free online edition on Amidaji website, http://amida-ji-retreat-temple-romania.blogspot.com/2018/07/new-book-meaning-of-faith-and-nembutsu.html#more  
[5] Kyogyoshinsho – On Teaching, Practice, Faith, and Enlightenment, translated by Hisao Inagaki, Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p. 122
[6] Shinran Shonin, Hymns of the Dharma Ages (Shozomatsu Wasan), The Collected Works of Shinran, Shin Buddhism Translation Series, Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, Kyoto, 1997, p.402
[7]  Shinran Shonin, Hymns on the Patriachs , The Collected Works of Shinran, Shin Buddhism Translation Series, Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, Kyoto, 1997, p.365
[8] Shinran Shonin, Passages on the Pure Land Way, The Collected Works of Shinran, Shin Buddhism Translation Series, Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, Kyoto, 1997, p.314
[9] Chapter1 - "’Thus have I heard’ - The time and place of the deliverance of this sutra and the qualities of the audience – commentary on section 1 and 2” . Read from the passage “Now let’s move to the 2nd fragment of the Larger Sutra which describes the qualities of the Bodhisattvas in the audience” until the end of the chapter.
[10] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.36-37
[11] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.37.
[12] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.39
[13] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.39
[14] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.39
[15] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.39-40
[16] Rennyo Shonin Ofumi, letter „On the ‚Loyal Retainer and the Faithful Wife’”, BDK English Tripitaka 105-II, 106-I, Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, 1996, Berkeley USA, p.44
[17] Here I used the translation made by Hongwanji “Primal Vow” - Shin Buddhism Translation Series, volume II of The Three Pure Land Sutras, Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, Kyoto, 2009, p. 57, instead of “Original Vows” made by Zuio Hisao Inagaki
[18] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.39
[19] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.39
[20] Saha world is our universe where Shakyamuni came and turned the Wheel of Dharma.
[21] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.38
[22] When “dharma” is written with small “d” it refers to phenomena. The verse should be understood in the sense that when attaining Buddhahood, they will realize that all phenomena of samsaric existence are illusory like a dream, and then, having no more traces of attachment and ignorance, they will finally be  able to benefit all beings in various ways, including the creation of their own Pure Land if they so wish. I have to mention here that an Enlightened person, especially one who attained Enlightenment in the Pure Land, can manifest other Pure Lands while in the same time, never moving from the Pure Land of Amida.
[23] Phenomena (dharmas) are momentary appearances which may seem to be permanent only for the unenlightened eyes, but not to the all-knowing vision of a fully Enlightened One.
[24] Because phenomena (dharmas) appear due to causes and conditions, they are said to be empty of themselves, or not truly existent. On the contrary, the Buddha nature, having no beginning and no end is truly existent, and so it is empty of other phenomena, but not empty of itself. After discovering this ultimate truth and dwelling in the Buddha nature, they will be able to manifest as many Pure Lands as they wish, without even leaving the Pure Land of Amida. Only one who has reached Buddhahood can manifest enlightened lands or Pure Lands.
[25] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.38
[26] Of course, highly advanced Bodhisattvas can entrust to Amida even while in their own realms, and be born in the Pure Land without the need for a visit there, or they can entrust and also pay a visit, etc. These are matters impossible to understand with our limited minds, so it’s better to not insist on detailed explanations.

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