Ever since I heard that Namo H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and Fomu, Holy Mother the Great Mahasattva, entered parinirvana, I felt my dreamy plan shattered. For many years I have thought: I will definitely die before Buddha enters parinirvana, and Buddha will kindly deliver me to the Pure Land — West paradise. Now that Buddha has entered parinirvana, what should I do with the matter of my own death? This woke me up, and I asked myself what Dharma I have learned that can help me on this. I remembered I haven’t listened to the Dharma discourses for a while, and have not touched the Dharma books lying on the altar for several months.
It was time for me to earnestly read the Buddha’s Dharma books and listen to the Buddha’s discourses.
A small booklet, “Learning from Buddha”, I have read many times. We even had a group study on it. And Buddha required every disciple to study it, and to always bring it whenever we have the chance to see Buddha. I thought I completely understood the book, and that I always followed Buddha’s teaching in my daily cultivation. But I was so wrong, for until now I realize that I didn’t even understand what is pure land. In the book, Buddha clearly told us: a member of any of the Buddha-land worlds does not have the slightest dark karma or impure karma in his conduct. That is why those worlds are called Buddha-land worlds of pure karma. For example, the pure land of Amitabha Buddha is the Western World of Ultimate Bliss , which is also called the Pure Land. The Eastern World of Lapis Lazuli is called a Pure Land of Peace and Bliss. It is also a pure land.
There are as many as ten trillion such worlds, which are called the rigorously pure Buddha-lands. What is called “rigorously pure Buddha-lands” means that they are rigorously governed, and pure karma is mandatory. There is not an iota of contamination; only absolutely pure karma. Dark karma is forbidden. The pureness is due to good karma and merit. The pureness is due to the state of holy beings there who have ended cyclic birth and death. Those are called the pure lands.
I felt I was so foolish and ignorant. I had dreamed that Buddha will kindly deliver me to the pure land after I die on this earth. I did not ponder to myself if I was really qualified to be a member of pure land. Do I still have a mind of selfish thoughts, a mind of differentiation, hatred, greed, jealousy, presumptuousness, arrogance, or shamelessness, a mind that considers oneself always in the right, or a mind that deceives others? If evil or bad people carrying impure karma could ascend to a pure land, there would long ago have been nobody left in this world. Everybody would have gone to the World of Ultimate Bliss. The World-Honored One also would not have taught people to practice the Ten Wholesome Behaviors and the Four Limitless States of Mind. The Buddha would simply have come to receive people, sending both the good and the bad ones to a pure land.
I felt ashamed that I have read this book many times before, but failed to introspect and examine myself; I always falsely considered myself as truly following Buddha’s teaching. Yet, indeed I did not. Today I searched deeply for the reason why. It is because I still didn’t attain a state of mind that truly fears impermanence, thus I could not establish a firm mind that gives rise to thoughts of leaving the cycle of reincarnation. I still naively and selfishly wish to rely upon Buddha’s great compassion to re-birth in the pure land, to live a grand, wonderful, blissful life. In pure land I can learn from Buddha and all the holy beings without any worries, struggling, sufferings… only well-being and happiness. I deeply and sincerely repent that I treated Buddha’s teaching so lightly, and didn’t use my mind and heart to think carefully about Buddha’s teachings, let alone to practice Buddha’s teachings correctly.
After this several days continually study the book, I finally understood if I want to go to pure land, I must completely cleanse my own dark karma by being patient under humiliation and adversity and cultivating myself, practicing the Ten Wholesome Courses of Action, practicing the Four Limitless States of Mind and Six Paramitas, and arousing bodhicitta. Following the simple and easy guidance from Buddha in daily life: “Before I went to sleep at night, did I think of anything unbeneficial to living beings? Did I think about doing those things? Did I think of doing something not good to others for the sake of myself, my children, or my relatives? Did I think of doing something not good to my fellow brothers and sisters? Did I crave credit or merit for myself? If I did, I must repent at once, I must correct myself!” By doing that every day, I will naturally and gradually become purified and will become a great holy person.
I have no excuse for not doing “the three daily introspections”, because I want to leave the death and birth cycle. I want to go to the pure land, and when I become a holy being, I will come back to this Saha world to help other people and living beings to reach the liberation. I deeply feel the great compassion of the Buddha. He never tires of repeating the Dharma for us –foolish beings. He never tires of helping us to reach the enlightenment and liberation.
Great compassionate Buddha and Fomu, Holy Mother the Great Mahasattva! Thank you boundlessly for using your life to sound the alarm of impermanence for me. And thank you boundlessly for using your life to bring Buddhist disciples the extraordinary cause and condition to study the Tathagata Dharma. I vow to use my own real actions to wash away my sins, and benefit all beings with compassion and pure goodness in order to repay Buddha’s grace!
Great compassionate Buddha and Fomu, Holy Mother the Great Mahasattva! I, a disciple, still want to hold on to a glimmer of hope and beg you all to return to the Saha world and give us foolish beings another chance!