Main Portion

The main body of the sutra is divided into three parts. The first part presents a full-scale description of the wonders of the Pure Land and of Amitabha in order to arouse our faith. The second part makes a special point of urging sentient beings to seek rebirth in the Pure Land, in order to get them to vow to do so. The third part teaches Pure Land practitioners to recite the Buddha-name in order to establish their practice.

The essential message of the sutra as a whole is to develop faith and vows and recite the Buddha-name. Vows and faith are acts of wisdom, reciting the Buddha-name is an act of practice. Whether we achieve rebirth in the Pure Land depends entirely on whether or not we have faith and vows. How high we rank in the Pure Land depends entirely on how deeply we recite the Buddha-name. Thus, the act of wisdom is the guide, and the act of practice is true cultivation: they go together like eyes and feet.