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Introduction by Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua
The Buddha Speaks of Amitabha Sutra belongs to the class of sutras spoken without formal request. It describes in detail the supremely beautiful adornments of the Western Land of Ultimate Bliss. Living beings of the ten directions need only recite Amitabha Buddha's name, practicing even just the Dharma of Ten Recitations, in order to be assured of rebirth in that land.
When the Buddhadharma becomes extinct in the Saha World, this sutra will be the last to disappear. The first to go will be the Shurangama Sutra, the sutra most feared by heavenly demons and other religions, all of whom would like to see every existing copy of it burned to ashes. The Shurangama Sutra catches the reflections of the “li mei” and “wang liang” ghosts who, unable to hide, hate it with vengeance. Scholars who are without sufficient common sense fall in with the demons. This is truly pitiable.
The Buddha Speaks of Amitabha Sutra may be compared to a great magnet, and the living beings of the ten directions are like iron filings; all the filings, without exception, are drawn to the magnet.
Now, upon the completion of the English translation, I have added these words as a brief introduction.