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Doctrinal Q&A - the king of all the buddhas


Q: Write two quotes from the sutras which affirm that Amida Buddha is the king among all buddhas.

A:

The majestic light of the Buddha of Infinite Life is the most venerable and supreme; the light of other Buddhas cannot compare to it.

(The Larger Sutra of Infinite Life)

Amida Buddha’s light is king among all buddhas’ lights, and is the most venerable among all their lights; among them it is the brightest and supreme. (The Larger Amida Sutra)


Explanation

Quote from The Larger Sutra of Infinite Life

“Amida Buddha’s power is supreme in all the universe. The power of all the countless buddhas in the universe cannot compare to it even when combined; so outstanding is his power.”

The Buddha of Infinite Life

Amida Buddha.

Quote from The Larger Amida Sutra

“Amida Buddha is the king of the countless buddhas of the ten directions. His power is the strongest and most venerable; it is infinite.”

The Larger Amida Sutra

A different translation of The Larger Sutra of Infinite Life.

(Please refer to 2-5 of the doctrine book)

All buddhas are enlightened beings possessed of light and life, wisdom and compassion. However, amongst them Amida Buddha is revered as the “original master and original buddha” and praised as the “king of the countless buddhas.” This is because his light (wisdom) is outstanding amongst all the buddhas’ lights, and the power he has with which to save us is far beyond that of any other buddha. Śākyamuni Buddha categorized different aspects of Amida Buddha’s great light into the “12 Lights.” Master Shinran praises these in Hymn of True Faith.

(1) Infinite Light

The limitless power that saves even the most exceedingly evil of people.

(2) Boundless Light

The power that radiates throughout each and every world in the ten directions.

(3) Unhindered Light

The power that cannot be obstructed by anything.

(4) Incomparable Light

The great power to which nothing else can be compared.

(5) Majestically Flaming Light

The power that made us be born into the human realm so that we could listen to Buddhism.

(6) Light of Purity

The power that purifies us by making us aware of how filthy our bottomless desires are and having us repent.

(7) Light of Joy

The power that makes us aware of how dreadful our anger is, has us repent, and changes our anger into joy.

(8) Light of Wisdom

The power that makes us aware of how ugly our jealousy, envy, and resentment are and has us repent over our foolishness.

(9) Unceasing Light

The power that continues without pause and never fades out.

(10) Inconceivable Light

The power that is beyond human comprehension.

(11) Unnameable Light

The power that very much cannot be expressed in words.

(12) Sun-and-Moon-Transcending Light

The great power that transcends even the sun and the moon.

(from 2-9 of the doctrine book)


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