Then the Bodhisattva Maitreya said to the Buddha,
"World-Honored One, for what reason are some of the inhabitants of that land in the embryonic state and the others born by transformation?"
The Buddha replied,
"Maitreya, if there are sentient beings who do various meritorious deeds aspiring for birth in that land while still entertaining doubt, such beings are unable to comprehend the Buddha-wisdom, inconceivable wisdom, ineffable wisdom, boundless Mahayana wisdom, and incomparable, unequaled, and unsurpassed supreme wisdom.
Although they doubt these wisdoms, they still believe in retribution for evil and reward for virtue and so cultivate a stock of merits, aspiring for birth in that land.
Such beings are born in a palace, where they dwell for five hundred years without being able to behold the Buddha, hear His exposition of the Dharma, or see
the hosts of bodhisattvas and shravakas. For this reason, that type of birth in the Pure Land is called 'embryonic state.'
"If there are sentient beings who with resolute faith accept these kinds of wisdom, from the Buddha's wisdom to the supreme wisdom, do meritorious deeds and sincerely transfer the merit acquired (to that land), those beings will be born by transformation spontaneously. seated with legs crossed, in the seven-jewelled lotus-flowers, and instantly attain the same glorious forms, wisdom and virtue as those of other bodhisattvas there.
"Further, Maitreya, if great bodhisattvas in the Buddha-lands of other quarters desire to see Amitayus, and revere and make offerings to Him and the hosts of bodhisattvas and shravakas, they will, after death, be born in the land of Amitayus. Spontaneously transformed they will be born from within the seven-jewelled lotus-flowers.
"Maitreya, you should know that those born by transformation are possessed of supreme wisdom, while those in the embryonic state lack that wisdom and must pass five hundred years without being able to see the Buddha, hear His teaching of the Dharma, see the hosts of bodhisattvas and shravakas, make offerings to the Buddha, learn the rules of conduct for bodhisattvas, or perform meritorious practices. You should know that this is because those beings harbored doubt and lacked wisdom in their previous lives."
The Buddha said to Maitreya,
"Let us suppose that a wheel-turning monarch has a special chamber which is adorned with seen jewels and provided with curtained couches and silken banners hanging from the ceiling. If princes have committed offense against the king, they are taken to that chamber and fettered with gold chains. There they are served with food and drink, provided with clothes, couches and cushions, flowers and incense, and can enjoy music. Being treated just like the wheel-turning monarch himself, they have no wants. Do you think that those princes would enjoy living there?"
"No they do not," replied Maitreya. "They would seek various means of approach to ask a man of power to help them escape."
The Buddha said to Maitreya,
"Those beings born within the lotus-buds are like that. Because of their doubt in the Buddha's wisdom, they have been born in palaces.
Although they receive no punishment or ill treatment even for a single moment, they must pass five hundred years there without being able to see the Three Treasures, make offerings to the Buddha, or cultivate a stock of virtue. This is distressing to them. Though there are other pleasures, they do not enjoy living there.
"If those beings become aware of the faults committed in their former lives and deeply repent, they can, as they wish, leave and go to where Amitayus dwells.
Then they can worship and make offerings to him; they can also visit innumerable and countless other Buddhas to perform various meritorious practices.
Maitreya, you should know that the bodhisattvas who allow doubt to arise lose great benefits.
For this reason, you should have resolute faith in the supreme wisdom of the Buddha.
Thanks for sharing.