Amitabha’s Buddha-land is built of the sweetest parts of all the other Buddha-lands.
Storytime Visualization Meditation Practice
Let’s attend to Shakyamuni’s story of Amitabha Buddha’s awakening.
He was, at this point, known as Dharmakara. Sitting there for incalculable time, learning from his teacher, the Tathagata Lokeshvararaja.
This is coming from the Larger SUKHÂVATÎ-VYÛHA, here:
‘Then, O Ânanda, the Tathâgata Lokesvararâga, holy and fully enlightened, knowing the good disposition of that Bhikshu, taught for a full kotî of years the perfection of all the excellences and good qualities of Buddha countries belonging to eighty-one hundred thousand niyutas of kotîs of Buddhas, together with the signs, indication, and description, desiring welfare, wishing for benefits, compassionate, full of compassion, so that there might never be an end of Buddha countries, having conceived great pity for all beings. The measure of life of that Tathâgata was forty kalpas.
‘Then, O Ânanda, that Bhikshu Dharmâkara, taking the perfections of all the excellences and good qualities of those Buddha countries, of those eighty-one hundred thousand niyutas of kotîs of Buddhas, and concentrating them all on one Buddha country, worshipped with his head the feet of the Bhagavat Lokesvararâga, the Tathâgata, turned respectfully round him to the right, and walked away from the presence of this Bhagavat. And afterwards, for the space of five kalpas, he thus concentrated the perfection of all the excellences and good qualities of the Buddha countries, such as had never been known before in the ten quarters of the whole world, more excellent, and more perfect than any, and composed the most excellent prayer.
This is a description of a suuper intense practice!
To better understand what Amitabha was up against, we can look to the Hwa Yen Sutra.
Deeper into infinity
The Hwa Yen Sutra (from Buddhist Teaching of Totality: The Philosophy of Hwa Yen Buddhism. Edited by Garma C. C. Chang):
Ten million is a koti, a koti multiplied by a koti is an ayuta, an ayuta multiplied by an ayuta is a niyuta, a niyuta multiplied by a niyuta is a binbara (a number followed by seventy-five zeros).
After a ‘binbara’, the listing continues one hundred and twenty four times until the Buddha describes a number he calls the ‘Indescribable-Indescribable Turning’.
Then there is this mind-blowing poem:
The Indescribable-Indescribable Turning permeates what cannot be described.
It would take eternity to count
All the Buddha’ s universes
In each dust-mote of these worlds
Are countless worlds and Buddhas…
From the tip of each hair of Buddha’s body
Are revealed the indescribable Pure Lands.
Indescribable are their wonders and names,
Indescribable are their glories and beauties,
Indescribable are the various Dharmas now being preached,
Indescribable are the manners in which they ripen sentient beings.
Their unobstructed Minds are indescribable,
Their transformations are indescribable,
The manners with which they observe, purify, and educate sentient beings are indescribable.
The teachings they preach are indescribable.
In each of these Teachings are contained infinite indescribable variations.
Each of them ripens sentient beings in indescribable manners.
Indescribable are their languages, miracles, revelations and kalpas…
An excellent mathematician could not enumerate them, but a Bodhisattva can clearly explain them all.
Dharmâkara took the perfections of “eighty-one hundred thousand niyutas of kotîs of Buddhas” and concentrated them all on his Buddha-realm. That is a huge number of indescribable Buddha perfections!