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Great Faith, Great Wisdom: practice and awakening in the Pure Land Sutras of Mahayana Buddhism
Ratnaguna presents a commentary on the three 'Pure Land' texts,works that are of crucial significance to East Asian Buddhists the Shorter and Longer Sukhavati-vyuha Sutras and the Amitayur-Dhyana Sutra. As a practising western Buddhist inspired by these texts, Ratnaguna shows how they describe Sukhavati the archetypal 'land of bliss' presided over by the Buddha Amitabha and explains how they came about (a 'mythical history'). The texts all discuss the aspiration to be reborn in in a literal sense in this ideal world of Sukhavati, but can also be understood metaphorically meaning that rebirth can take place in this very life, and dwelling in Sukhavati as being a description of the Enlightened Mind. These Buddhist texts both ancient and perennial put forward a path of faith and grace, as well as effort and practice. Using a practical and imaginative approach, Ratnaguna explores the main themes, and the 16 meditations outlined by the Buddha. This book will appeal to both practising Buddhists whether from the East Asian Pure Land traditions or not and anyone interested in Buddhism from a practical point of view. Includes translations of the three Pure Land sutras by Buddhist scholar Sraddhapa.