In the the Visualization Sutra, we hear how Queen Vaidehi, suffering from terrible family misfortunes, complained to the Buddha, saying, “Life is filled with suffering. Is there not a place without suffering? I wish to live in such a world.”
The, Buddha Shakyamuni was able to show the queen all the worlds, of all the Buddhas in the Universe. After seeing this she vowed to be born into Amitabha Buddha’s Western Pure Land, the world of Ultimate Bliss, and requested that Buddha teach her how to accomplish this.
The Buddha taught her to practice the Three Conditions explaining that they were
“the true causes of pure activities of all Buddhas.” Therefore, they are a crucial part and foundation of your practice. This important statement tells us that all Buddhas of the three time periods of the past, the present, and the future, rely on these Conditions as the foundation for their cultivation and attainment of Buddhahood.
The First Condition is as follows:
- Be filial to and provide and care for parents
- Be respectful to and serve teachers
- Be compassionate and not kill any living beings
- Cultivate the Ten Virtuous Conducts. Which are:
- Physically, (1) killing, (2) stealing, and (3) sexual misconduct.
- Verbally, we are to refrain from (4) false speech, (5) harsh speech,
(6) divisive speech, and (7) enticing speech.
- Mentally, we are to refrain from giving rise to (8) greed, (9) anger, and (10) ignorance.
The Second Condition is as follows:
- Take the Three Refuges
- Abide by the precepts
- Behave in a dignified, appropriate manner
The Third Condition is as follows:
- Generate the Buddha mind
- Believe deeply in causality
- Study and chant the Mahayana Sutras
- Encourage others to advance on the path to enlightenment
For a glossary of any terms above visit the Amitabha Buddhist Retreat website.