Pure Land Buddhism

Pure Land (Shin Buddhism) is a system of belief based on pre-Lotus teachings. It promises believers a pure, blissful heavenly realm after death, through invoking the name of Amida (Amitabha), a mythological Buddha of a heavenly Pure Land.

This form of Buddhism is based on duality of the thinking, as Nichiren puts it in his letter “On Attaining Buddhahood in this Lifetime”: There are not two lands, pure or impure in themselves. The difference lies solely in the good or evil of our minds.”

Pure Land Buddhism is based on belief in an outside power or “other power”  - necessary for salvation:

In his interview with Tricycle magazine, Ikeda referred to the difference between Pure Land Buddhism and the Buddhism of the Lotus Sutra:  “.... the chanting of nembutsu, relying on and seeking salvation in Amida Buddha, is representative of the tariki, or “other-power,” approach. Nichiren’s practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo leads us to discover a power and wisdom that exists within us and at the same time transcends us. It embraces aspects of both the self- and other-power practices”.

The doctrine of revealing the Buddhanature in one’s current existence - constitutes a problematic concept for Amida Buddhism,

because: if the potential Buddhanature does exist in each person’s life, then it can be revealed during one’s lifetime, and not after death. 

                        SGI Buddhism                                Pure Land Buddhism

Aim:                  Attain enlightenment                           Rebirth in a Pure Land

                              in this life time                                          after death

Devotion:      Oneness of Person and Dharma           Statue of Amida Buddha, or

                           ( Mandala Gohonzon)                   Trinity Statues of Amida        

Buddha :        an Enlightened being  of                   Three separate Buddhas for

                    Wisdom, Compassion, Action           Wisdom, Compassion, Action


The Origin of Pure Land beliefs              Separation and dualism in Amida beliefs

Amida and Zen Exchange                        Shifting towards the Lotus Sutra


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