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 [1] Mahasthamaprata Bodhisattva represents the Buddha-Wisdom of Amitabha. The three sages of the Western Pureland are        Amitabha (center), Avalokitesvara (left) and Mahasthamaprata (right).

 [2] Enlightenment denotes the attainment of Samadhi, i.e. omnipresent wisdom in penetrating the nature/truth of everything.  

 [3] Sramana means Buddhist monk.

 [4] Buddha is called dharmaraja, i.e. dharma king, and bodhisattva is the next to succeed Buddha, and is therefore called        dharma prince.  

 [5] In ancient India, “numberless” was usually described by “the sands of Ganges River”.

 [6] kalpa, sometimes called eon, denotes an inconceivably long period of time. It has three different kalpas, i.e. small, medium and        great. A small kalpa is 16,798,000 years, which is counted in the following formula [(84,000-10) x 100 x 2], i.e. the original        human life is 84,000 years. Because of impurity human’s life decreases one year in every 100 years and such decrease        continues until human’s life is reduced to ten-years only, and thereafter increases one year in every 100 years until human’s life        reaches back to the original 84,000 years. Twenty small kalpas make one medium kalpa, and therefore a medium kalpa is        335,960,000 human years. There are four medium kalpas, which are formation, existence, dissolution, and void, and then the        same process repeats over and over again. Four medium kalpas make one great kalpa, and thus a great kalpa is 1,343,840,000        human years. One great kalpa denotes a life-cycle of a universe (formation, existence, dissolution, and void, and then the same        process repeats again and again).

 [7] Twelve Buddhas were Infinite Light Buddha, Boundless Light Buddha, Irresistible Light Buddha, Unparalleled Light Buddha,        Flaming King Light Buddha, Pure Light Buddha, Joyous Light Buddha, Wisdom Light Buddha, Unintermitting Light Buddha,        Incredible Light Buddha, Unspeakable Light Buddha, and Surpassing-Sun-Moon-Light Buddha.  

 [8] “The Samadhi of mindfulness of the Buddha” means the ways to attain enlightenment through the mindfulness of the Buddha,        such as Buddha’s name chanting; contemplating a Buddha’s image and chanting his name; contemplating a Buddha in the mind        and chanting his name; or Reality Buddha Chanting (which is similar to Zen meditation). Of all of the aforesaid disciplines,        Buddha’s name chanting (especially the name of Amitabha) is the easiest and most popular way to start with.  

 [9] Tathagata is one of the highest titles of Buddha, and is defined as he who comes as do all other Buddhas. Tathagata is called        Ru-Lai in Chinese.

[10] “open … mind” means attain complete enlightenment, i.e. Samahdi.

[11] Because of the mindfulness of the Buddha, people’s mind becomes Buddha and the Buddha adorns the people’s mind. Same as        a perfumer, who has a fragrant body that is derived from the perfume, and the fragrance adorns the perfumer.  

[12] Alamkaraka means adornment, transformation, or solemnity.

[13] “causal ground” means the fundamental cause, i.e. the state of practicing Buddhism, which leads to the resulting Buddhahood.

[14] “patience of immortality” means a state that one will not subject to birth and death, transmigration, or reincarnation, which        connotes the condition of the absolute.

[15] “Return to the Pureland” means reincarnation in the seas of life and death is just like taverns and can never be our final        destination. The Buddha’s Pureland is indeed home to all of us and we need to go home after endless reincarnation. In this        Chapter, Pureland means the Amitabha’s Pureland.

[16] Complete penetration/understanding also denotes a stage of Samadhi. See footnote 2.

[17] Indriyas means roots or sense-organs. Six Roots: eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind.

[18] Pure mind means Buddha’s name. Only when concentrating on the mindfulness of the Buddha, such as chanting a Buddha’s        name, can people focus their mind without being distracted by outside pollutant.


Special thanks to the valuable comments of Master Jian Hu of Chun Tai Zen Center of Sunnyvale.




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