Dharma Teachings

The Whereabouts of Sukhavati

The Whereabouts of Sukhavati-MasterHsinTao “Is Amitabha real?” “Where is Sukhavati?” These are the common questions and doubts of many people. Then, what are the answers?

The Whereabouts of Sukhavati-MasterHsinTaoWhenever I come across an elder Buddhist, I'd encourage them to recite the name of Amitabha 20,000 times at least per day. I hope that when they are in the face of death, they could work through the process peacefully, end up in Sukhavati, and enhance their Dharma practice. Many people wonder if Sukhavati, the Pure Land of Amitabha truly exists? Where would it be? Some people are skeptical and conclude that the Sukhavati is illusory.

As a matter of fact, Sukhavati is not deceit nor a myth. It is completely legitimate. This world that we are in is called the Saha. In terms of conceptual distance, there are numerous Buddha fields in between the Saha and Sukhavati. In cosmological concept, the Sukhavati is made up of the myriads of the galaxy. It is legitimate and substantial because it came to existence by the aspiration of Amitabha. However, there are certain requirements to reach Sukhavati. It is a realm free from all sorts of strife that offers a supreme environment to enhance Dharma practice.  

Some might ask, “How do you prove that it exists?” I’d ask them to observe by reciting sutras or the name of Amitabha for the deceased. When you recite for the deceased, you might see how the stiffening body turns soft and lustrous than before.

The Whereabouts of Sukhavati-MasterHsinTaoIt doesn’t matter if we could see Sukhavati or not, the purpose of Dharma practice is to break through from cyclic existence and afflictions. None of the spiritual achievements can be obtained externally. Just as the Diamond Sutra states, "All conditioned dharmas are like a dream, an illusion, a bubble, a shadow." Everything is illusory like a dream and nothing is of permanent existence. We must contemplate the illusory-like nature to realize emptiness. Through the practice of Amitabha, we can realize our true nature of the mind. Then, we’d be one of the members to be free from samsara.