Travel in the Spiritual Worlds
HEAVEN OF BLISS
Amida's Pure Land
Most people are aware of a view of Christian heaven where choirs of angels surround and sing before the throne of God with Christ sitting at his right hand. All inhabitants of this heaven are exhaulted by God's presence and submit to his will.
Rather than repeat descriptions that are well known, we will choose a different example of a heaven from the East that may be less familiar. Our example shows a world of subtle, surface form that at a more primal level is composed of soft and gentle light using moonlight as an analogy. It also illustrates how heavens can provide a beautiful and blissful environment for those fortunate enough to visit or be admitted following death.
The following poetic work describes Amida's heaven from a form of Buddhism that is popular in Japan - Pure Land Buddhism.
I am Amida, Buddha of the moonlit garden
I welcome those who seek truth and liberation
I offer them the lotus seat of welcome
My paradise is peaceful and tranquil
For true seekers who wish to escape the noise and bondage
Of the worlds of incarnation
Here, they can meditate in peace
Free of passion, and sweat, and debt
Here they are tranquil and compassionate
Walking the jeweled path to freedom
This paradise has pathways scattered with pearls and moonstones
The calling birds chime, and the wind rustles
The leaves of trees with golden fruit.
The mountains shimmer with blue and lavender
In them sit many future buddhas in meditation
Hidden by the shining mists.
It is a garden of moonlight
Where the moon is larger than the sky
And the clouds that hide it sparkle with awareness
The ponds and fountains splash with insight and new ideas
The waterfalls rush down with inspiration
The temple bells chime with liberation.
Here is a paradise for the pure to keep them from falling into karmic bondage
Along its peaceful and beautiful paths,
Come insights falling like dew in the morning
It is a world of light, only taking form,
For those that visit and are still attached to it.
We bless the lonely, encourage the shy, quiet the restless,
And expel the desirous and dishonest
This paradise is not easy to gain
People chant for Amida's grace, but most do not come here
Instead, they come to its lower reflection, the world of grace
Here, the light is muted, the forms more enduring, the flowers brighter
Here people are saved from the results of their sins
In this world, they get a second chance to make right what was wrong
They can fulfill their obligations; apologize to those they have harmed
They can find out their errors and correct them.
Here, they can choose a future
They can stay in the paradise to help others
Or return to Earth to help the suffering
Or they can go on to the higher paradise of moonlight
Or they can incarnate again to complete their works
When their chains are broken, and they are free of bondage
Then they truly have free will
By surrendering totally to the Buddha's grace
I am the Buddha of moonlight, surrounded by rainbows
I sit on a white lotus throne
Its radiance and fragrance fills the worlds.
For those who pray in my name, I say:
Bless all the people that you know
In order to receive the Buddha's blessings,
At death, hold up your bound hands
And I shall release you
By surrender to grace,
You shall gain your freedom.
This Web Site © Copyright 2000-2012, J. Denosky, All Rights Reserved