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Volume 5 no 4

The Voice of Bliss

To some people chanting the name of Buddha is a means to feel calm and relaxed. Its deeper meaning, however, is more serious than that. It is about an after life in a Buddha-Land and thereafter to continue cultivation. But, it takes more than just a simple verbal exercise. Amongst other practices, we must also be able to let go and eliminate all forms of greed. Therefore, start our cultivation early and as young as possible, because when we are able to chant 'Amitabha Buddha' until the mind is not perturbed by thoughts, we can be reborn in.

The Western Pure Land - Be with Buddha

People often wonder about the result of reciting the name of Buddha and reciting the Sutras. The Sutras state that one can be reborn in a Buddha-Land, for example, in the Western Pure Land by sincerely reciting "Amitabha Buddha", or the Eastern Azure Buddha Land by sincerely reciting "Bhaisajya Buddha".

To ask if it is true that a person can be reborn in the Western Pure Land by reciting the name of the Buddha and reciting the Sutras is like asking if we study hard, will we be able to graduate from the university. Since we wish to obtain a certification from the university, we have to enrol in the university, work hard and pass the necessary examinations.

The word 'sutra' means a 'way', that is, a path. For example, the way to go to the Western Pure Land is a path. There are many kinds of paths, and therefore when we recite the sutras, we need to know their principles. After knowing the principles, we need to practise those principles. Since it is stated in the sutra that one can be reborn in a Buddha-Land by reciting the name of the Buddha, then certainly one can be reborn in the Western Pure Land by doing so.

If a person who has been away from home for a long time misses his mother and constantly thinks of her, then he will return to see her at the first opportunity. On the contrary, if he is not filial to his mother and neither does he think nor miss her at all, then it may be that he will avoid her even if she comes to visit him.

1. Buddha-nature: the capacity for enlightenment; it remains in us in the same way as 'wheat-nature remains in all wheat'.
2. Dharma-nature: the nature underlying all things and phenomena.

In the same way, when reciting the name of the Buddha, it should not be just a verbal exercise, the mind must also be reciting the name of the Buddha, as well as be with Buddha. If, in your mind there is no Buddha and you are not with Buddha, then it is futile to think that Amitabha Buddha will come and receive you to the Western Pure Land. Therefore, we must always be with Buddha. If we wish to be reborn in the Eastern Azure Buddha Land, then we must always be with the Bhaisajya (Yao Shi) Buddha.

All humanity as well as all sentient beings possess the Buddha-nature [1], just as every object has its own Dharma-nature [2]. This being the case, we will be on the right track if we are constantly with Buddha.


Copyright 2002.Jen Chen Buddhism Centre