The Four Lands

 

The Four Lands are the different spiritual places where the Buddha reaches out to living beings.

A. The Land Where All Equally Reside This is the land where all live side by side, and where there are all ten of the spiritual realms; it has two divisions - the 'impure land' (The Saha World) and the 'pure land'. The pure land is the land of faith, like the western land of ultimate bliss described in the Amitabha Sutras.


B.
The Land of Ways & Means The temporary land where the residents (those of the Three Vehicles) transcend the threefold realm and eliminate false views and motives through cultivation. Those here may be able to eliminate their own personal manifestations of emotional distress but they still need to be reborn into the world distinctly as Bodhisattvas in order to eliminate the unlimited kinds of delusion (known as the dusts & sands) and the fundamental source of ignorance. This is the land described in The Lotus Sutra as the Magic City, a way-station on the spiritual path.


C.
The Land of the Real Reward The land where only the Bodhisattvas dwell, those who create real, lasting benefits for the world that are beyond their own self-benefit. The Realm of the Bodhisattvas who have realized the principle of the middle way and reached the stage of non-regression.


D.
The Land of the Serene Light The land where the Buddhas live, the timeless realm of the Spiritual Body or Spiritual Life (S. Dharmakaya), the land of eternal bliss. The serenity is a reference to their liberation from all things, and the light is a reference to their wisdom of all things. The Buddhas dwell in the Great Nirvana and the Treasury of the Secret Mystery.

 

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