Welcome to the English-language website of the Pure Land school.Our aim is to introduce to international audiences the teachings and practices of Pure Land Buddhism according to the lineage of Master Shandao (善導大師, 613-681) of Tang Dynasty China.
Master Shandao, long revered in East Asia as an incarnation of Amitabha Buddha, is universally acknowledged as the de facto founder of the Pure Land school of Buddhism. Grounding his teachings in the three Pure Land sutras preached by Shakyamuni Buddha, he urged practitioners to aspire to rebirth in the Land of Bliss by reciting the name of Amitabha Buddha exclusively.
After the Charter, it is necessary to be familiar with the school’s founder, for the former is based on the teachings of the latter.
The founder occupies a preeminent position in the school, unmatched by others. The founder of the Pure Land school was Master Shandao of the Tang Dynasty, widely accepted as an incarnation of Amitabha Buddha. He synthesized and completed the Pure Land teachings and wrote the Five Works in Nine Fascicles, which definitively laid down the thought and practices of the Pure Land tradition.
English translation by Householder Jingtu
A “charter” outlines the principles characteristic of a Dharma school and sets forth guidelines for practice by its adherents.
The Pure Land Charter was drafted by Dharma Master Huijing. It serves as a manifesto for the Pure Land school, summarizing its evolution over more than a millennium, up to the present day. The Charter consists of 18 clauses defining the essential elements of the school and clearly lays out its framework.The Pure Land Charter was drafted by Dharma Master Huijing. It serves as a manifesto for the Pure Land school, summarizing its evolution over more than a millennium, up to the present day. The Charter consists of 18 clauses defining the essential elements of the school and clearly lays out its framework.
Dharma Master HuijingThere was a Brahman, a foolish man, but his wife was a Buddha reciter and very wise. The Brahman liked killing animals and had a voracious appetite for meat. His wife urged him to study Buddhism and recite Buddha’s Name. He said he didn’t have the wisdom needed to recite Buddha’s name. His wife took advantage of his love for her and demanded: “Every night before bedtime, we will recite Buddha’s Name together,” she continued: “if you refuse, how can I consent to any of your requests? Man and wife are like love birds flying wing to wing, sharing likely minds and similar desires, and working together.” Her husband reluctantly agreed; after that, every night, he beat the singing bowl and recited Buddha’s Name.
Dharma Master JingzongEasy” means to effortlessly and leisurely achieve a goal. How can it be easy? Easy in Chinese is made of two words, rong and yi. “Rong” means tolerance, acceptance, or accommodation. “Yi” means change or transformation.
Amitabha Buddha's Appearance and Guidance
03 The Three Patriarchs of the Pure Land School
The Guiding Principle of the Forty-Eight VowsBy Master Zongdao
Let’s talk about the purpose and the guiding principle of the forty-eight vows. These great vows are not scattered without focus; rather, each is like a point on a circle, pointing to the circle’s center. They have one purpose. As Master Shandao states in his Commentary on the Contemplation Sutra: “The forty-eight vows of The Infinite Life Sutra say only one thing: “Rebirth in the Land of Ultimate Bliss by the exclusive recitation of Amitabha Buddha’s name.” It couldn’t be more obvious. While the forty-eight vows layout many things, they serve one purpose: to let us understand, “rebirth by nianfo solely.”more