Then something isn't working, either your theory or his vow.
I actually find this statement really disrespectful and inappropriate for a Mahayana forum. Not the claim that I'm wrong, but the implication that a Buddha well-respected in Mahayana traditions is somehow being deceitful, or the practice surrounding him is illegitimate or based on falsehood. I realize that's not an unusual claim but this board appears to have the aim to be inclusive of all Mahayana traditions. Not saying I find debate of doctrinal differences disrespectful, but considering the context, this is like a troll coming in conversations about Buddhism here with the argument "The Buddha was lying, so your religion is a sham" as their reason for disagreement, not because they
find a Buddhist claim philosophically unsound.
As for everything else:
zsc wrote:In Jodo Shinshu, the progress phase is "instantaneously" realized because of the practitioners openness to the gift of shinjin by Amida.
Its a theory, but it has no support in sutra. In fact Shinran had to take huge liberties. And yes, I have read a lot of Shinran.
It is generally understood that the vows are all-encompassing due to Amida's boundless compassion, so they don't contradict each other, they are open to cover as many sentient beings as possible, including people in their deathbed who do not have the time to accumulate merit.
I don't agree.
Like I touched on in my exchange with Johnny Dangerous, I'm not trying to convince you that my beliefs are true
, but since they may give people a better idea from where I'm coming from, I stated them and provided my own explanations and recommended some sources (plmk did a better job of that though). When it comes to different and divergent Buddhist traditions, I don't play the "who is the real Buddhist?" game, especially not online. I only responded because your assumptions about what Pureland traditions teach
were erroneous. Like this statement:
Of course, it is only in Vajrayāna where women's full spiritual potential is actuality recognized, and the only tradition in which there full fledged female Buddhas like Vajrayogini and so on.
To imply that Pureland traditions in East Asia do not recognize a woman's "full spiritual potential" is painting the situation with too broad a brush.
In reference to Amida Buddha and Kwanseum Boddhisattva, who I believe you are eluding to, "him" and "her" are conventional concepts to help us communicate and better understand. We have no genderless pronoun in English, and "it" would not be respectful, and also it's objectifying by nature. We English speakers also have
to use a pronoun whenever we don't name the subject, but in Asian languages like Korean (which I'm most familiar with), the subject can be implied without using a pronoun, so Amida's "gender" isn't such a solid concept. For example, a phrase that would make perfect sense in Korean would be literally translated to English as "This is zsc. Is student." with no need to say "She is a student" for the second sentence. So we have to say something
In more personal and devotional aspects, it is not unusual for authors to address Amida as "mother and father" or Japanese works to refer to him as "oya-sama" which is a genderless and very affectionate term for a dear parent. Some authors have a little fun with this concept, by switching up "he" and "she" when referring to Amida to reference the belief that Amida is truly limitless, and even our language can't do him justice.
Kwanseum is referred to as "he" in the translation of the acapella performance of the Heart Sutra I listen to sometimes. And it's not like Kwanseum is in a ego-driven competition with Amida for status, nor do we get the idea that she is a lowly, oppressed servant. The more East I seem to go in my reading, the less any one-sided guru-student dynamic is emphasized, so to imply this in teachings about Amida and Kwanseum would be kind of dissonant.
I'm wondering what criteria you are basing that claim on. If it's based on leadership, it seems like that would be like saying mainline Episcopalians don't recognize a woman's full spiritual potential because there are more men in high positions than women. I don't think anyone who knows about the Episcopalians would say this is true (for those who don't know, mainline Episcopalians have female reverends and bishops). If it's based on monastic practice, it's mostly a cultural issue, but generally they are not seen as less able to become a Bodhisattva or Buddha because they are women.
zsc wrote:Again, the vows are meant to be all-encompassing, they don't negate each other. As it stands today, Pureland practitioners are encouraged to direct their faith primarily to the 18th Vow, which is the Primal Vow.
You mean Jodo Sinshu practitioners.
The "Primal Vow" is a Jodo Shinshu term, true, but the 18th vow is important in other Pureland traditions too. And yes, "Pureland practitioners" includes "Jodo Shinshu practitioners".