buddhakṣetra (T. sangs rgyas zhing སངས་རྒྱས་ཞིང་; C. focha 佛刹), or "buddha field," is the realm or domain of a specific buddha. One of the most famous buddha fields is Sukhavati, the realm of Amitabha.
Buddha fields are created as a result of the following activity of the bodhisattva/buddha:
- accumulation of merit (puṇya-saṃbhāra)
- accumulation of wisdom (jñāna-saṃbhāra)
- the vow taken by the bodhisattva when they embark upon the path to buddhahood
From these three activities, the "container" or inanimate part of the buddha field is created. The sentient beings in the buddha field consist of: the buddha who created the field, and the beings who are reborn in that field as a result of the past merit and aspiration prayers.
Two types of buddha fields are identified, based on their level of purity:
- impure buddha fields: these are synonymous with cakravāda, worlds systems
- pure buddha fields: also called pure lands (a translation of the Chinese term jingtu); these are created by a buddha upon his enlightenment, and typically do not include the "lower realms" of animals, hungry ghosts and hell beings.