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In other languages
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
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:
- The highest level of the highest grade
- The middle level of the highest grade
- The lowest level of the highest grade
- The highest level of the middle grade
- The middle level of the middle grade
- The lowest level of the middle grade
- The highest level of the lowest grade
- The middle level of the lowest grade
- The lowest level of the lowest grade
In Tibetan Buddhism, the world of Sukhavati is invoked during Buddhist funerals as a favorable destination for the deceased. 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.
- Inagaki Hisao, trans., Stewart, Harold (2003). The Three Pure Land Sutras, 2nd ed., Berkeley, Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research. ISBN 1-886439-18-4
- Tanaka, Kenneth K. (1987). Where is the Pure Land?: Controversy in Chinese Buddhism on the Nature of Pure Land, Pacific World Journal (New Series) 3, 36-45
- The Shorter Sukhāvatīvyūha Sūtra. Lapis Lazuli Texts.