Despite his final words of comfort his followers were devastated at hi
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Despite his final words of comfort, his followers were devastated at his departure.
His favorite disciple Ananda had his body cremated by his friends in Kusinagara. Ten
neighboring rulers demanded that his relics and ashes be divided among them, but they
could not agree on how to do it. The people of Kusinagara refused. The dispute
threatened war, which seems absurd, considering the teachings of Buddha are based on
peace. The crisis soon passed, however, when the relics were divided by a wise man
named Drona. Ten great towers were then built to enshrine the Buddha's relics and ashes
(SPB, pg. 18).
More important than his relics and ashes Buddha left behind his great virtues and
wisdom. Buddha thoroughly understood human nature and had great sympathy for man.
This is why before he died he vowed that he would do everything possible to relieve man
from their fears and sufferings. To do this he took the following ten vows:
1. "Though I attain Buddhahood, I shall never be complete until
everyone in my land is certain of entering Buddhahood and gaining
2. "Though I attain Buddhahood, I shall never be complete until my
affirming light reaches all over the world.
3. "Though I attain Buddhahood, I shall never be complete until my
life endures through the ages and saves innumerable numbers of people.
4. "Though I attain Buddhahood, I shall never be complete until all
the Buddhas in the ten directions unite in praising my name.
5. "Though I attain Buddhahood, I shall never be complete until
people with sincere faith endeavor to be reborn in my land by repeating
my name in sincere faith ten times and actually do succeed in this rebirth.
6. "Though I attain Buddhahood, I shall never be complete until
people everywhere determine to attain Enlightenment, practice virtues,
sincerely wish to be born in my land; thus, I shall appear at the moment
of their death with a great company of Bodhisattvas to welcome them into
my Pure Land.
7. "Though I attain Buddhahood, I shall never be complete until
people everywhere, hearing my name, think of my land and wish to be born
there and, to that end, sincerely plant seeds of virtue, and are thus able to
accomplish all to their hearts' desire.
8. "Though I attain Buddhahood, I shall never be complete until
all those who are born in my Pure Land are certain to attain Buddhahood,
so that they may lead many others to Enlightenment and to the practice of
9. "Though I attain Buddhahood, I shall never be complete until
people all over the world are influenced by my spirit of loving compassion
that will purify their minds and bodies and lift them above the things of the world.
10. "Though I attain Buddhahood, I shall never be complete until
people everywhere, hearing my name, learn right ideas about life and death,
and gain that perfect wisdom that will keep their minds pure and tranquil in the
midst of the world's greed and suffering.
"Thus I make these vows; may I not attain Buddhahood until they are
fulfilled. May I become the source of unlimited Light, freeing and radiating
the treasures of my wisdom and virtue, enlightening all lands and emancipating
all suffering people," (SPB, pg. 202-206).
By making these vows he became known as Amida Buddha, Buddha of Infinite
Light and Boundless Life, and built his own Pure Land. In this Pure Land he lives in a
world of peace, enlightening all people. All who take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, his
teachings, and Samgha, the brotherhood, are protected by Amida Buddha and excepted in
to his Pure Land. The Pure Land has been described as follows:
This Pure Land, wherein there is no suffering, is, indeed most peace-
ful and happy. Clothing, food and all beautiful things appear when those who
live there wish for them. When a gentle breeze passes through its jewel-laden
trees, the music of its holy teachings fills the air and cleanses the minds of all
who listen to it.
In this Pure Land there are many fragrant lotus blossoms, and each
blossom has many precious petals that shines with ineffable beauty. The radiance
of these lotus blossoms brightens the path of Wisdom, and those who listen to
the music of the holy teachings are led into perfect peace
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Indian religions, Buddhism, Religion, Nondualism, Noble Eightfold Path, Four Noble Truths, Gautama Buddha, Buddhist ethics, Buddhahood, Bodhisattva, Pure land, Sacca
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