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 Rebirth in the Land of Ultimate Bliss: Reliance on the Buddha’s Primal Vow


       While a grain of sand is light, when dropped in the water, it sinks to the bottom. Conversely, a boulder, despite its heavy weight, sails securely to the other shore when placed on a boat.

       The outcome of sinking or sailing for both the sand and the boulder does not depend solely on their weight. Lighter weight does not guarantee buoyancy, nor does heavier weight necessarily lead to sinking. With the assistance of a boat, both the sand and the boulder can safely reach the other shore.

       Similarly, our rebirth in the Land of Ultimate Bliss does not depend on the weight of our karma or the depth of the karmic hindrance alone. Without relying on Amitabha Buddha’s vessel of the great vow, even if our karmic hindrance is as slight as a thread of hair, we would still sink to the bottom of the ocean of birth and death. Conversely, even if our karmic hindrance is as heavy as a boulder weighing thousands of kilos, it does not necessarily result in our descent into wretched realms. As long as we recite Namo Amitabha Buddha, we will be reborn in the Land of Ultimate Bliss.

       Despite the lightness of a grain of sand, it cannot float without the aid of a boat. This metaphor signifies that even a person of profound practice whose karma is not completely eradicated, and whose attachments to worldly things are not severed for good, cannot be free from samsara without relying on Amitabha Buddha.

       On the other hand, the boulder, though heavy, can reach the other shore if carried by a boat. This symbolizes that ordinary beings, despite heavy karmic hindrance, can avoid falling into the three wretched realms. Through reciting Namo Amitabha Buddha, they can attain rebirth and nirvana in the Land of Ultimate Bliss as they have boarded Amitabha’s vessel of great vow.


(Translated and edited by the Pure Land School Translation Team)

Master Huijing

Master Huijing

Master Jingzong

Master Jingzong

Guiding Principles

Faith in, and acceptance of, Amitabha’s deliverance
Single-minded recitation of Amitabha’s name
Aspiration to rebirth in Amitabha’s Pure Land
Comprehensive deliverance of all sentient beings