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Ajita, you should know that doubt and delusion will do bodhisattvas great harm and cause them to lose great benefit. Therefore, you should understand and believe the supreme wisdom of all Buddhas.




“Ajita” is Maitreya Bodhisattva. At the discourse on the Infinite Life Sutra, there were two primary beneficiaries: Elder Ananda in the first part of the discourse and Maitreya Bodhisattva in the latter part. The significance of this is very profound. As Maitreya Bodhisattva will be the next Buddha in this world, the Buddha exhorted him, that when he attained Buddhahood in the future, to be sure to speak the Infinite Life Sutra and to urge people to mindfully chant the Buddha-name and seek rebirth in the Western Pure Land.

“You should know that doubt and delusion will do bodhisattvas great harm and cause them to lose great benefit.” “Doubt” refers to having doubts about the Dharma door of seeking rebirth in the Pure Land—of “belief, vow, and mindfully chanting the Buddha-name.” Consequently, this loss is too immense. For example, if a bodhisattva believes in “belief, vow, and mindfully chanting the Buddha-name,” sincerely chants “Amituofo,” and seeks rebirth in the Pure Land, he will attain Buddhahood in one lifetime. He does not need to go through three asamkheya kalpas.[42] This is why here the Buddha said that not believing the Pure Land method is an immense loss.

We usually do not have true confidence in Buddhas and bodhisattvas. We still have doubts. Although we learn Buddhism, we continue to consult with fortune-tellers and feng shui experts. This means that we do not have confidence in Buddhas and bodhisattvas. Our minds are contaminated with impurities. The loss is enormous. The purpose of learning Buddhism is to seek a pure mind—One Mind Undisturbed.

“Therefore, you should understand and believe the supreme wisdom of all Buddhas.” The three Pure Land sutras contain the teachings of being mindful of Buddha and seeking rebirth in the Western Pure Land. We will still not completely understand this even if we have the help of the Buddhas’ causal vows.

In this lifetime, we have encountered the Pure Land method. If we can truly believe and vow to seek rebirth in the Western Pure Land, then this is supreme wisdom. Not only is our wisdom supreme, our good fortune is also supreme. If we do not have the highest wisdom and good fortune, we will not practice this method.

_____________________________________________________________________________________ [42] Since asamkheya means uncountable, exact measurements of time are not known. But some common values are 1051, 1059, and 1063 years.—Trans.


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The Essence of the Infinite Life Sutra