Buddha Field

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Buddha Field (zhings khams)

  • The operational fields or "paradises" presided over by specific buddhas, which sponteneously arise in consequence of their altruistic aspirations, are known as buddha fields (buddhakṣetra). Such environments are totally free from suffering, both physical and mental, and they transcend the mundane god realms (devaloka) inhabited by sentient beings of the world-systems of desire, form, and formlessness. It is said that when sentient beings, who have not yet been permanently released from the bondage of cyclic existence, have an affinity with a specific buddha and are consequently born into an appropriate pure realm, they do become temporarily free from not only the manifest sufferings of the body and mind but also the pervasive sufferings of past conditioning as well. Among the most significant of the buddha fields are: Akaniṣṭha presided over by Vairocana, Abhirati presided over by Akṣobhya-Vajrasattva, Śrīmat presided over by Ratnasambhava, Sukhāvatī presided over by Amitābha, and Karmaprasiddhi presided over by Amoghasiddhi. Others include Mount Potālaka the abode of Avalokiteśvara, Alakāvatī the abode of Vajrapāṇi, and Tuṣita, the abode of Maitreya. For an analysis of the concept of the buddha field in general, see Paul Williams, Mahayana Buddhism, pp. 224-227. GD (from the Glossary to Tibetan Elemental Divination Paintings)