Sukhavati

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Sukhāvatī (Sanskrit: सुखावती sukhāvatī) refers to the western Pure Land of the Buddha Amitābha in Mahāyāna Buddhism. Sukhāvatī translates to "Land of Bliss."

In other languages[edit]

In traditional Mahayana Buddhist countries, there are a number of translations for Sukhāvatī. The Tibetan name for Sukhāvatī is Dewachen (བདེ་བ་ཅན་, bde ba can). In Chinese it is called Jílè (極樂, "Ultimate Bliss"), Ānlè (安樂, "Peaceful Bliss"), or Xītiān (西天, "Western Heaven"). In Japanese it is called Gokuraku (極楽, "Ultimate Bliss") or Anraku (安楽, "Peaceful Bliss"). In Korean, it is called '서방 극락정토'(Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss), or '정토' (Pure Land) in abbreviation.

Nine levels of birth[edit]

In the final part of the Amitāyurdhyāna Sūtra, Śākyamuni Buddha discusses the nine levels into which those born into the Pure Land are categorized. The levels are ranked from highest to lowest as follows:[1]

  1. The highest level of the highest grade
  2. The middle level of the highest grade
  3. The lowest level of the highest grade
  4. The highest level of the middle grade
  5. The middle level of the middle grade
  6. The lowest level of the middle grade
  7. The highest level of the lowest grade
  8. The middle level of the lowest grade
  9. The lowest level of the lowest grade

Buddhist Funerals[edit]

In Tibetan Buddhism, the world of Sukhavati is invoked during Buddhist funerals as a favorable destination for the deceased.[2] Such rituals are often accompanied with the tantric technique of phowa ('pho.ba), 'transference of consciousness' to the pure land of Buddha Amitabha performed by a lama on the behalf of the departed.For detailed information on contemporary Tibetan Pure Land teachings see Ayang Rinpoche.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://sfshambhala.org/pdfs/Ceremony_of_Sukhavati-detailed.pdf
  2. ^ http://sfshambhala.org/pdfs/Ceremony_of_Sukhavati-detailed.pdf

External links[edit]