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 Huijing
There is a Gatha on Impermanence from In Praise of the Rite of Rebirth by Master Shandao, and it says:
Forever busy with all life’s chores,
We fail to see the years unwind;
Like flaming candles in a storm,
Extinguished with no warning sign .
In the six realms our spirits wander,
Never finding any home.
Drowned in the abysmal sea of samsara,
We’re sadly blind to our pending doom.
While sound of mind and fit of body,
That’s the time to learn the Dharma,
Leading us to Sukhavati,
A place of bliss with no more karma.
So waste no efforts while we’re able
To be reborn, forever blissful.
Dharma Master Jingzong
In the Saha world, whether the Buddha’s teachings can be fully absorbed and digested depends on the individual’s roots and capabilities. Iniquitous sentient beings like us can only process the teachings the same way a baby can only drink breast milk. It would choke on, say, a sticky rice dumpling. Even prior to birth, the fetus depends on the mother’s umbilical cord to sustain life.......more
Amitabha Buddha's Appearance and Guidancemore
A03 A General Guide to the Pure Land Schoolmore
Out of Suffering Comes an EpiphanyBy Householder Jingxin
As we know, Shakyamuni Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths during the beginning stages of his Dharma discourses. One of them is on the existence of suffering, of which there are four types: birth, old age, illness, and death, which are what ordinary beings born in the Saha World must experience. When the karmic wind of illness blows our way, how should we face it? How should we bear it? This is an issue much worth pondering.......
- 01. A Wooden Table and Our World
- 02. Is Assisted Recitation Necessary for Rebirth in the Land of Ultimate Bliss?
- 03. The Vow of Having Psychic Power to Know the Past Lives
- 04. Reciting the Buddha’s Name Transcends King Yama’s Judgment
- 05. The Pure Land Path is the Only Way to the Emancipation From Samsara