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Sukhavati (Skt. Sukhāvatī; Tib. བདེ་བ་ཅན་, Dewachen, Wyl. bde ba can or bde ba chen) is the blissful buddha field of Amitabha. One of the buddha fields of the five families, said to be located in the western direction.

Four Causes of Rebirth in Sukhavati

According to Jamgön Ngawang Lekpa, the four causes of rebirth in Sukhavati are:

  1. Generating bodhichitta
  2. Accumulating merit in many ways
  3. Repeatedly bringing the buddha field to mind
  4. Dedicating all one's sources of merit as causes for rebirth in that pure realm

Lala Sonam Chödrup, in his famous commentary on the Prayer of Sukhavati (Tib. བདེ་སྨོན་, Démön; Wyl. bde smon), gives them as:

  1. the support, visualizing the pure realm
  2. accumulating merit and purifying obscurations
  3. the aid, generating bodhichitta
  4. the circumstance, pure prayers of aspiration, dedicating all sources of virtue so that oneself and others may be reborn in Sukhavati



There are three sutras by Buddha Shakyamuni that expound on the pure land of Sukhavati. The Kangyur includes Tibetan translations of two of these texts:

  • Amitabhavyuha Sutra (Skt. Amitābhavyūhasūtra), which is also known as the “longer” Sukhavativyuha Sutra
  • Sukhavativyuha Sutra (Skt. Sukhāvatīvyūhasūtra), which is also known as the “shorter” Sukhavativyuha Sutra

The third is only extant in Chinese:

Prayers to Be Reborn in Sukhavati

Teachings Given to the Rigpa Sangha

Further Reading

  • J. Eracle, La Doctrine bouddhique de la terre pure (Paris: Devry Livres, 1973)
  • Trois Soutras et un traité sur la terre pure (Geneva: Aquarius, 1984)
  • Tulku Thondup, Peaceful Death, Joyful Rebirth (Boston & London: Shambhala, 2005), Ch.7 'The Buddha of Infinite Light and His Blissful Pure Land'.

External Links