What and Where are the Pure Lands?

coming from the discussion here:

I thought it good to have a forum thread focusing on the topic of Pure Lands.

Using Master Sheng Yen’s discourse to start it off:


Buddhists will often pray to go to the Western Pure Lands (西方极乐净土).
What is our affinity with the Western Pure Lands and Amitabha (阿弥陀佛) .

Master Sheng Yen explains more:

Did you know that the Western Pure Land is divided into 9 different grades?
And where one is reborn depends on the effort they made!