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What Kind of Supernatural Powers Will We Have in the Land of Bliss?

From phys.org

All living beings are masters of supernatural powers in the Land of Bliss

The Infinite Life Sutra says:

That Buddha-land, like the realm of unconditioned Nirvana, is pure and serene, resplendent and blissful. The sravakas, bodhisattvas, heavenly beings, and humans there possess lofty and brilliant wisdom, and are masters of supernatural powers.

A realm of unconditioned nirvana is supposed to be a place where only buddhas reside. Being reborn in Amitabha’s Land of Bliss therefore implies that all its inhabitants are buddha-like beings, with all of the Buddha’s qualities and powers internally, and bodily appearance and facial countenance externally.

As humans, we have the internal, sensual organs such as our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and brain. Respectively, they capture the external “dusts” of color, sound, smell, taste, touch, and memory.  But what role will these sense organs play if we are born in the Land of Bliss?

Shall the living beings there lose all their memories of their past lives?

A human brain is limited to storing memories of the events in the present life only. However, living beings in the Land of Bliss can remember everything in all of their previous lives, as noted in Amitabha’s Fifth Vow, the Vow of Remembering All Previous Lives:

If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not remember all their previous lives, not knowing even the events which occurred during the previous hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of kalpas, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

Only arhats can remember their previous lives for 80,000 great kalpas, much less than living beings in the Land of Bliss, who can remember all the events that occurred in previous lives for a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of kalpas.

What kinds of eyes and ears will we have in the Land of Bliss?

The vision of living beings in the Land of Bliss is superb and not limited by distance, darkness, or physical obstacles. As stated in Amitabha’s Sixth Vow, the Vow of Having Divine Vision, they can see even a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of buddha-lands:

If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not possess the divine eye of seeing even a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddha-lands, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

In Buddhism, there are five kinds of eyes: human eyes, divine eyes, wisdom eyes, Dharma eyes, and the Buddha’s eyes. However, human eyes are made of tissue and cells, with limited capacities. We can only capture images within the visible light spectrum, between infrared and ultraviolet. The eyesight of a living being in the Land of Bliss is not limited to seeing heavenly realms, but can also see all other realms, from hells to buddha-lands. In this way, the eyes of the denizens of the Land of Bliss are equivalent to a buddha’s eyes.

Similarly, the hearing ability of living beings in the Land of Bliss is superb. They can “hear” thoughts arising in others’ minds and understand countless languages. Their hearing capacity is not restricted to the heavenly realm, but extends to all other realms.

Amitabha’s Seventh Vow, the Vow of Having Divine Ears is as follows:

If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not possess the divine ear of hearing the teachings of at least a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddhas and should not remember all of them, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

Knowing the thoughts of others and traveling anywhere in an instant           

One of the six supernatural powers of an arhat is the ability to know the thoughts of others. Amitabha Buddha made a vow to allow all devas and humans who are reborn in his Land the unsurpassed faculty of reading others’ minds:

If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not possess the faculty of knowing the thoughts of others, at least those of all sentient beings living in a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddha-lands, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

This is Amitabha’s Eighth Vow, the Vow of Mind-Reading. Living beings in the Land of Bliss can communicate with the minds of sentient beings in the Six Realms and are able to know their thoughts and habit energies.

Amitabha’s Ninth Vow, the Vow of Fleetness of Foot reads:

If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not possess the supernatural power of travelling anywhere in one instant, even beyond a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddha-lands, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

With this supernatural power, they can travel anywhere in one instant, pass through barriers and obstacles, change their own and others’ physical forms, and manifest or disappear in one or more forms at many places in an instant. It is truly inconceivable.

No attachment to self: no defilements, no afflictions, and no reincarnation

Last but not least, inhabitants of the Land of Bliss are capable of detaching from all discriminating thoughts, including those of attachment to a physical body. This is a unique supernatural power that enables an arhat to be free from karmic obstructions and afflictions, and thus terminate any further rebirths within the Six Realms. Amitabha’s 10th Vow, the Vow of No Thought of Self-Attachment says:

If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should give rise to thoughts of self-attachment, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

If we deeply believe in Amitabha Buddha’s deliverance, aspire to rebirth in the Land of Bliss, and always exclusively recite “Namo Amitabha Buddha,” we will be reborn in the Pure Land at the time of death. Once there, we will acquire the six supernatural powers, as stated above in Amitabha’s 5th–10th Vows.

Related features from BDG

What Kind of Body Will We Have in the Land of Bliss?
Does Life End upon Rebirth in the Land of Bliss?
The Deep Meaning of Amitabha’s First Vow

More from Teachings of Amitabha by Alan Kwan

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