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For thousands of millions of years, he applied himself earnestly to spiritual practice with the intention of helping sentient beings towards full realisation. He also made a sincere wishing-prayer that, on his attainment of enlightenment, he would manifest a buddha-realm incorporating all the qualities of a million buddha-realms within it. One of his ministers, the brahmin Gyamtso Dul, had a son, Gyamtso Nyingpo, who became ordained and, feeling wearied with samsaric existence, he attained full realisation in that very life, becoming Buddha Rinchen Nyingpo Ratnagarbha.
This world ruler, Zipji Muchee, and his retinue made many offerings and served this Buddha with great respect. Now you are Zipji Muchee, and in a future life you will become Buddha Amitabha. He vowed that he would not achieve buddhahood until every being who prayed to be in his buddha-realm could be born there.
Eventually his wishing-prayer was fulfilled, and he became Amitabha. The Qualities of Dewachen In general, to enter a buddha-realm, one must have removed even the most subtle of obscurations, kept very pure samaya, and have attained the first bodhisattva level.
So, for ordinary beings, it is very difficult to enter a buddha-realm. In brief, these qualities are that the earth is made of precious substances, the ground being as flat as the palm of a hand, not uneven like our world of mountains and valleys. It is vast and spacious, and the light shining from the body of Amitabha, and from the jewels and precious substances, makes it very clear.
The ground is not rough, solid or stony, but soft, smooth and comfortable. If one were to press down on the ground, it would give way and spring back like foam rubber. Whatever one wishes for appears from these trees.
Jewels, tassels and adornments loop from one tree to another. Birds and animals, unlike those of our world, are manifestations of Buddhas and bodhisattvas. Some are the colours of conches, turquoises and corals, and their bird-calls are very enchanting, like the sound of a lute. Within those sounds are taught the vast and deep teachings of the Dharma. The rivers flow softly and gently, carrying the fragrance of camphor and white and red sandalwood.
This water has 8 qualities: its essence is very cool, its taste delicious, its outer appearance light, soft to the touch, very clear and unsullied by stones or pebbles; if drunk, it gives no harm to the throat or stomach.
On the water are buddha-manifestations of geese, ducks and cranes. One can bathe in the many pools, reached by descending flights of 7 steps made of precious stones. Although these pools are deep, as one enters, the depth of the water adapts itself to the size of one's body.
Surrounding these bathing-pools are fragrant utpala and lotus blooms, emanating light-rays. At the tips of the light-rays appear innumerable Buddhas, each surrounded by Arhats. His body is as red as ruby, which symbolises the warmth of his compassion extending to all beings. Amitabha has the 32 principal and 80 secondary marks of a Buddha, like Shakyamuni. As a result, at the time of attaining buddhahood, the head-mound appeared.
Amitabha's 'one face' symbolises that the dharmakaya is free from all conceptual complication. His 2 arms represent means and wisdom, and his 2 hands in meditation gesture signify the unification of means and wisdom. He holds a begging-bowl filled with amrita, symbolising his kindness towards sentient beings by giving vast and deep Dharma teachings. He wears the 3 dharma-robes, denoting gradual instruction of beings through Sravaka, Pratyekabuddha and Bodhisattva Paths.
As he never wavers from resting in the equality of samsara and nirvana, his legs are in vajra-posture. Amitabha sits on a throne that is supported by 8 peacocks. When the sutras and commentaries describe the 5 buddha-families, a particular aspect of wisdom and a specific direction are ascribed to each one, even though they each embrace every aspect of wisdom.
Amitabha is associated with the western direction, and he embodies discriminating wisdom, which arises when thoughts of desire and craving are purified. Within the minds of ordinary beings, all the kleshas are present: anger, desire, ignorance, pride, jealousy and so on. It is believed that birds, in particular, have strong desire and craving, so, as a symbol of craving transformed into discriminating wisdom, Amitabha's throne is supported by peacocks. In other practices, Akshobya is associated with the eastern direction and his throne is supported by horses; Ratnasambhava with the south, his throne supported by elephants; Amoghasiddhi with the north, his throne supported by shang-shang creatures; Vairochana with the centre, his throne supported by lions.
On Amitabha's throne is a petalled lotus, which symbolises that he remains unstained by samsara. Although he has attained liberation, he has not abandoned his body nor entered nirvana, but stays in the world, due to his compassion, in order to benefit beings. His back rests against a bodhi tree, , yojanas high, and its branches, leaves and flowers extend yojanas 1 yojana is approximately 4 miles. It is called a bodhi tree because every Buddha has one, and when one achieves buddhahood, it is obligatory that one must have a bodhi tree to lean against!
The cause for achieving buddhahood is to take the Bodhisattva Vow and to develop bodhicitta. In every sadhana practised, one takes refuge and generates bodhicitta. The bodhi tree symbolises bodhicitta. To Amitabha's right is Chenrezig, with 4 arms, and to his left Vajrapani, with 2 arms. The fact that both are standing symbolises, first, that until samsara has been emptied they will work to liberate sentient beings, and, secondly, that they are disciples of Buddha Amitabha.
They are surrounded by an infinite number of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Arhats all with head-mounds, and wheel-marks on their hands and feet, wearing dharma-robes. Firstly, they are physically 'vivid' Tib. This is due to the proportions and qualities of their major and minor marks of buddhahood. In terms of speech, they are also 'vivid' Tib. For the mind aspect, Amitabha is again described as 'vivid' Tib.
In this world, sometimes men love women, and at other times they are angry with them and quarrel, yet feel great suffering when they die. It is a 'realisation-terma' that arose within his mind, with visions of Amitabha, from whom he received these teachings. There are 13 volumes of these teachings. Next page 2a , there is a verse of supplication to 'The Second Buddha', Padmasambhava, and his 25 main disciples in Tibet, and to the 84 mahasiddhas of India.
These verses supplicate the gurus. After this, one supplicates the Dharma protectors 2b , Palden Lhamo and Mahakala, and the guardians of this practice, the Shingchong protectors. Throughout this prayer, one is praying with faith and devotion. There is no special visualisation. These 4 Causes will be explained below. Imagine Amitabha in space before one, encircled by gurus, buddhas, bodhisattvas, yidams, protectors and dakinis. One imagines oneself and all beings taking refuge in Amitabha. The following 2 lines are the development of the bodhicitta attitude, whereby one thinks: "I'm going to practise this Amitabha sadhana, in order to establish all beings in buddhahood.
They are inexhaustible offerings filling the whole of space. Other tantric practices have an elaborate procedure for developing the self-visualisation, followed by the front-visualisation. This sadhana has just a simple procedure. In the centre of a pond of water, with the 8 special qualities, is an 8-petalled white lotus, its petals almost closed.
In its centre is oneself as Chenrezig, white in colour, with head-mound and 2 arms, hands together at the heart in prayer-gesture, one's lower body hidden within the lotus.
In front of one is a precious throne, supported by 8 peacocks. On it is a thousand-petalled lotus and a moon-disc, on which Amitabha sits, as red as a ruby, with 2 arms, his 2 legs in vajra-posture. A begging-bowl filled with amrita rests on his hands, which are in meditation gesture. His back rests against a bodhi tree. To his right is Chenrezig, white in colour, standing on a moon-disc and lotus, with 4 arms: 2 hands in prayer-gesture at the heart, and the other two holding a lotus and mala.
On Amitabha's left stands Vajrapani, on a lotus and moon-disc. He is blue in colour, with 2 arms, holding a vajra and bell in his right and left hands respectively. When one imagines oneself as Chenrezig, one does not change back into an ordinary being, or into another deity.
It is a changeless commitment. The '-pa' short for 'sempa' or '-sattva' is a hero, or someone with courage. This means that sometimes during meditation the deity can become unclear, but one has great courage and the strength to prevent that from happening, to remain clear. Thus all the faults in the development and completion stages of visualisation are unable to defeat one.
That is why it is termed '-sempa' or 'brave one', 'hero'. Through meditating on the damtsigpa, clinging to the 5 skandhas is purified, and the result of this purification is the attainment of the sambhogakaya state in the bardo. One is free from all these faults or complications. Through meditating on that, the ignorance of one's own mind is purified.
What makes this purification possible is the innate purity of the dharmakaya mind of a Buddha and the purity of the essence of one's own mind. The result of this purification is the attainment of the dharmakaya at the time of death, when the 'ground luminosity' appears, along with the 'clear light of the path'.
In the heart of that small deity is the 'ting-dzin-sempa' skt. So it is slightly different. From oneself as Chenrezig emanate innumerable bodhisattvas exactly the same as oneself. They offer thousands of prostrations and circumambulations to Amitabha in front of one, in this way confessing and purifying the powerful bad karma and obscurations of beings. The 5 Buddhas scatter flowers and recite prayers of good fortune. The 5 consorts hold vases of good fortune full of amrita with which they give empowerment to Amitabha, Chenrezig, and Vajrapani in front.
Amitabha's body fills with wisdom-amrita, and the excess overflows from the top of his head to transform into Amitayus, who remains as his head-adornment. The 5 Buddhas and consorts dissolve into Amitayus. This head-adornment of the master of the relevant buddha-family is customary for all tantric practices.
All deities from the Vajra family have Akshobya as their head-adornment; those from the Ratna family have Ratnasambhava; all from the Lotus family have Amitabha; from the Karma family, Amoghasiddhi; from the Buddha family, Vairochana. For the buddhas themselves, as there is no-one higher than them to become master of their family, they take different aspects of themselves as their head-adornments.
Amitābha and Sukhāvatī Series
In a blink the swift changes of impermanence may arrive, Sentient beings are drifting in the ocean of suffering, This altruistic session born of sober clarity is all too precious, For all beings this sadhana is practiced to realize Amitabha. All things are conditional phenomena, Mutually dependent and coexistent; Renouncing antagonistic discriminations, All appear as original purity in oneness. Visualize the whole Dharmadhatu return to original purity, and appear as boundless sky-blue light. Visualize that all the four classes of saints and the six realms of sentient beings appear from this blue light. Visualize that one's father and mother are to the right and left side, all beings related to one through past karma to the front, and the rest of the sentient beings behind. Among the six realms of sentient beings behind one, those in hells who need salvation most are closest to one, then are the other beings in the order of hungry ghosts, animals, humans, asuras, and finally the heavenly beings. All sentient beings are facing the same direction as the practitioner.
Amitabha Unification Sadhana