Pure Land Buddhism also sometimes referred to as Amidism is a broad branch of Mahayana Buddhism and currently one of the most popular schools of Buddhism in East Asia, along with Chán (Zen).
In Chinese Buddhism, most monks practise it in combination with Chán or other practices. It is a devotional or "faith"-oriented branch of Buddhism focused on Amitābha Buddha.
Pure Land Buddhism is often found within Mahayana Buddhist practices such as the Chinese Tiantai school, or Japanese Shingon Buddhism. However, Pure Land Buddhism is also an independent school as seen in the Japanese Jōdo Shū and Jōdo Shinshū schools. There is not one school of Pure Land Buddhism per se; rather it is a large subset of the Mahayana branch of Buddhism.
One key concept behind Pure Land Buddhism is that Nirvana has become increasingly difficult to obtain through meditative practices. Pure Land Buddhism teaches that only through devotion to Amitābha Buddha can one be reborn in the Pure Land, a perfect heavenly abode in which enlightenment is guaranteed.
Pure Land Buddhism was popular among commoners and monastics as it provided a straightforward way of expressing faith as a Buddhist. In medieval Japan it was also popular among those on the outskirts of society, such as prostitutes and social outcasts who, though often denied spiritual services in society, could find a form of religious practice in the worship of Buddha Amitābha.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 July 2011 00:13