Provenance of Pure Land Practice

Re: Provenance of Pure Land Practice

Postby futerko » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:04 pm

daverupa wrote:
futerko wrote:Whether it can be sourced to the historical Buddha or not would seem secondary to the following consideration;

daverupa wrote:The important question is whether this or that practice conduces to the arising of clinging due to a delusion that permanence can be found and possessed/dwelt within, or to the cessation of clinging due to developing wholesome conduct, composure, and wisdom.


Yet this consideration is itself sourced to the historical Buddha, whence its authority... and indeed, whence Mahayana Buddhism, neh?


Authority without efficacy is just... (you know the rest). ;)

...but surely you're not claiming that the whole of Mahayana falls into this category?
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Re: Provenance of Pure Land Practice

Postby daverupa » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:34 pm

futerko wrote:Authority without efficacy is just... (you know the rest). ;)

...but surely you're not claiming that the whole of Mahayana falls into this category?


Which category?
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Provenance of Pure Land Practice

Postby futerko » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:44 pm

daverupa wrote:
futerko wrote:Authority without efficacy is just... (you know the rest). ;)

...but surely you're not claiming that the whole of Mahayana falls into this category?


Which category?


Were you suggesting that all Mahayana lacks scriptural authority. or efficacy, or both?
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Re: Provenance of Pure Land Practice

Postby daverupa » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:55 pm

futerko wrote:Were you suggesting that all Mahayana lacks scriptural authority. or efficacy, or both?


None of the above. The topic is the provenance of Pure Land.

I think you are ready to argue against an expectation, rather than against something actually said...
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Provenance of Pure Land Practice

Postby futerko » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:00 pm

daverupa wrote:
futerko wrote:Were you suggesting that all Mahayana lacks scriptural authority. or efficacy, or both?


None of the above. The topic is the provenance of Pure Land.

I think you are ready to argue against an expectation, rather than against something actually said...


For sure. Thanks for clarifying.
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Re: Provenance of Pure Land Practice

Postby TheSpirit » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:41 pm

I don't think anybody can really claim the "only path" or right path. This is like a silly argument between a Christian and a Buddhist or any other religion......putting down others belief. I personally think we all should just respect each other and their belief as long as it isn't hurting anybody. Even if a certain practice or school was recorded in the earlier scripture, that doesn't make it the only path. And who knows if it is even a true path......
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Re: Provenance of Pure Land Practice

Postby Astus » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:42 pm

All Pure Land practices and teachings are Mahayana. Looking at the Agamas and Nikayas is pointless as those are not Mahayana. The exclusive nenbutsu is a teaching of Honen as described in his many writings.

In the Agamas and Nikayas only the sravaka path is taught. Mahayana is about the bodhisattva path. Infinite buddhas and buddha-lands are taught within the Mahayana scriptures, and the methods to establish a connection with various buddhas and attain birth in buddha-lands. Amitabha is one of those buddhas and Sukhavati is one of those buddha-lands. For numerous reasons, as Honen explained, the sole practice of nenbutsu is enough to attain birth in Sukhavati and be assured of reaching buddhahood.

So, what is the origin of Pure Land practice? The Mahayana sutras. Are the Mahayana sutras authentic? Only for Buddhists who follow them. Is authenticity based on verifiable historical findings? No. How could then modern research about the development of Buddhism have any relevance to the validity of Pure Land teachings? Even without all the scholarly arguments there are many past and present Buddhists who don't accept Honen's teachings, otherwise everybody were his followers.
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Re: Provenance of Pure Land Practice

Postby daverupa » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:22 pm

TheSpirit wrote:I don't think anybody can really claim the "only path" or right path.


No one has said anything about this. Is Pure Land something related to the historical Buddha? The answer is a clear "no", and that is all. Astus intimates that Mahayana is unrelated to the historical Buddha altogether, but then so is any given Abhidhamma so that's okey-dokey, too, and no judgments about right/wrong need apply. It's just a matter of provenance, and it was finally clearly stated without woolly phrasing and fence-sitting:

Astus wrote:Looking at the Agamas and Nikayas is pointless as those are not Mahayana.


There it is: asking about the historical Buddha and Mahayana is comparing apples to oranges, and the provenance of Pure Land can be assessed free from vague attempts to tie it to the historical Buddha. A number of Japanese names have been mentioned already, for example.

I'm glad this is getting cleared up.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Provenance of Pure Land Practice

Postby TheSpirit » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:58 pm

Daverupa,

My response was more general and isn't exactly targeting you. But to answer you. Indrajala started criticizing whether or not Pure Land practice can bring people to enlightenment. It didn't started out with whether or not it relates to Gautama. However even if you are discussing whether or not Pure Land path is relate to Gautama, the connotation is that if it doesn't relate to Gautama then it is somehow invalid path that won't yield any benefits, atleast that is what I got from Indrajala as he uses the fact that Pure Land wasn't in earlier text as one of the reason why it is a practice with no result. I am in no position to debate Buddhism because my background is not in Buddhism. However I highly doubt any of us know 100% for sure what was really taught by Buddha given that none of it was ever recorded while the Buddha was alive or even centuries after. For all you know, the earliest text could be full of it. So it is a bold statement you made on Pure Land and its connection to Gautama.

But even if you are just simply arguing whether or not Pure Land related to Gautama, does it matter whether or not it relates to Gautama if it works? But I am under the impression that you don't think it works thus you are arguing its validity and its connection to Gautama.

Like many who supported Pure Land had said including myself. It is only through experience do we know its validity. It is not valid because you somehow can't trace it back to Buddha. It is valid when people seems to find benefits from practicing it.

My humble opinion.
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Re: Provenance of Pure Land Practice

Postby daverupa » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:10 pm

TheSpirit wrote:For all you know, the earliest text could be full of it. So it is a bold statement you made on Pure Land and its connection to Gautama.


This was addressed in the second paragraph here.

TheSpirit wrote: But I am under the impression that you don't think it works thus you are arguing its validity and its connection to Gautama.


Be under any impression that strikes you; I have not made claims about its efficacy, only its relation to the Dhamma taught by the historical Buddha. Further claims about its efficacy with respect to the nibbana taught by the historical Buddha are beyond my ken, as I am a student of that Buddhadhamma, and not Pure Land iterations.

I have not argued over its validity, but only over the presence or absence of historical connections between the sources of Pure Land teachings and the sources of the teachings of the historical Buddha, i.e. provenance. I am surprised there is such pushback on this; it reminds me of speaking with Mormons about their texts on Jesus.

Anyway, no matter. The provenance is cleared up as far as I care to shepherd it.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Provenance of Pure Land Practice

Postby Son of Buddha » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:11 am

daverupa wrote:I have not argued over its validity, but only over the presence or absence of historical connections between the sources of Pure Land teachings and the sources of the teachings of the historical Buddha


would you say that the Mahayana Pure Land resembles the Pali Canons Pure Abodes?
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Re: What has Chinese Buddhism lost?

Postby PorkChop » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:15 am

daverupa wrote:My point is simply that if Pure Land teachings are all one is doing, one is not doing the Dhamma taught by the historical Buddha.


This isn't quite correct, but not for the reasons you think nor the reasons that seem to be used to counter similar statements in this thread. The main Pure Land sutras, summarize large swathes of the Agamas. Take the short Amitabha Sutra for example, in it you'll find the 37 limbs of enlightenment, and many other teachings using various metaphors. The commentary tradition is pretty clear on the meanings behind the metaphors in the cases where the metaphor is not explicitly explained by the sutra. Anyone with a background in the Anguttara Nikaya (for example), would easily pick many of them out without needing to rely on commentary. This is where a statement of tracing to the Dhamma as taught by the historical Buddha is an accurate assessment.
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Re: What has Chinese Buddhism lost?

Postby daverupa » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:35 am

Son of Buddha wrote:would you say that the Mahayana Pure Land resembles the Pali Canons Pure Abodes?


Not prima facie; entry to the Pure Abodes requires jhana to have been attained, while Pure Lands do not.

PorkChop wrote:The main Pure Land sutras, summarize large swathes of the Agamas. Take the short Amitabha Sutra for example


So that we can be on the same page, my source for these will be this .pdf.

in it you'll find the 37 limbs of enlightenment, and many other teachings using various metaphors. The commentary tradition is pretty clear on the meanings behind the metaphors in the cases where the metaphor is not explicitly explained by the sutra. Anyone with a background in the Anguttara Nikaya (for example), would easily pick many of them out without needing to rely on commentary.


So... um, where are the 37 limbs, in that sutra?
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: What has Chinese Buddhism lost?

Postby Son of Buddha » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:48 am

daverupa wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:would you say that the Mahayana Pure Land resembles the Pali Canons Pure Abodes?


Not prima facie; entry to the Pure Abodes requires jhana to have been attained, while Pure Lands do not.

I didn't say they were exactly the same,I asked if they resembled one another.

while it is true Jhana is not a requirement to enter the Pure Land,however Pure Land practice does consist of a kasina meditation and a Chanting meditation(chanting the most commonly done) which do lead to Jhana....... and these are very common Pure land practices.

also the 5 fetters to be eradicated for entry into the Pure abodes can be found in the 5 Burnings to be eradicated in the Pure Land sutras

(note to anyone not fimilar with the topic in the Pali Canon Pure abodes the 5 fetters MUST be eradicated to go to the Pure Abodes it is a requirement,
the 5 Burnings in the Pure land sutras dont have to be eradicated to enter the Pure Land,BUT you are told to do your best to erradicate them)
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Re: Provenance of Pure Land Practice

Postby Nighthawk » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:50 am

Indrajala wrote:
Dodatsu wrote:Well as a Shin Pure Land Buddhist myself it's my "duty" to propagate and practice the Shin Buddhist teachings. Since Amida vowed to liberate sentient beings and lead them to Buddhahood, then why shouldn't i just take it?


You are free to do as you please.

I still reserve the right to criticize.


Maybe you made a mistake and should of became a Theravada monk instead? Afterall, pure lands especially Sukhavati are an integral part of Mahayana.
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Re: Provenance of Pure Land Practice

Postby Son of Buddha » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:53 am

to any Mahayana Pure Land Practictioners if you had not known this quote was from the Pali Canon would you have thought it had come from a Mahayana Pure land Sutra?

This is the Apadana Sutta from the KUNDHYA NIKAYA
1. Now, with a pure mind, attend to .the Tradition of the previous excellent deeds of the Buddhas, the innumerable kings of righteousness, replete with thirty Perfections.

2. To the supreme enlightenment of the best of the Buddhas, to leaders of the world together with their Orders, I bowed down paying homage with joined hands.

3. In the Buddha-realm, as many as are there the numerous jewels, both in the heaven above and on the earth below, I brought all to my mind.

4. There on a silvery ground, I built a palace, many storied, jewelled, raised high to the sky,

5. Having ornamented pillars, well executed, well divided and arranged, costly, a mass of gold, decorated with arched gateways and canopies.

6. The first storey was of lapis lazuli, shining like a bright piece of cloud; there were (the presentations of) lotuses and lilies strewn over in the excellent golden storey.

7. Some (of the storeys) was of corals, some having coral-lustre, some shining red, while others resembling the Indagopaka-colour, illumined the quarters.

8. They had doors, portals and windows well divided and arranged, four net-works of vedikas and a delightful perfumed enclosure.

9. And they were provided with the excellent peaked roofs blue, yellow, red, white and bright black and decorated with seven varieties of jewels.

10. They had (devices of) lotuses of graceful looks, and were beautified by (the figures of) beasts and birds of prey, filled with (the presentations of) planets and stars, and adorned with (those of) the moon and sun.

11. They were covered over with a golden netting joined with the golden tinkling bells, and the lovely golden garlands (on them) sounded musically by the force of the wind.

12. Festoons of banners, raised on them, were made- lovely by various colours crimson, red, yellow and gold-coloured.

13. Diverse, numerous, many hundreds were the slabs, made of silver, of jewels, of rubies, and also of emeralds.

14. The palace was resplendent with various beds, and covered with soft Benares fabrics, rugs, silk made of the Dukula-fibre, China cloth, fine cloth, fibrous garments, whitish garments, and all this manifold covering I spread out there in my mind.

15. Adorned with jewelled peaked roofs in different storeys (the palace) stood firm, bearing torches shining like gems.

16. The wooden posts and pillars and the beautiful golden gates, made of gold brought from the Jambu river, of excellent (adra) wood, and also of silver, shone forth.

17. Divided and arranged into .many breaks 5 and resplendent with doors and cross-bars (the palace had) on both sides many full vases filled with red, white and blue lotuses.

18. All the Buddhas of the past, the leaders of the world, together with their Orders and disciples, I created in their natural beauty and appearance.

19. Entering by that entrance, all the Buddhas together with their disciples - the circle of the elect - sat down on golden seats.

20. The pre-eminent Buddhas that are now in the world, those of the past and present, I brought them all into the mansion.

21. Many hundreds of Paccekabuddhas, self-enlightened and invincible, those of the past and present, I brought them all into the mansion.

22. Many wishing trees, divine and earthly, there were; I procured all garments and covered (them each) with three robes.

23. Filling the beautiful jewelled bowls, I offered (them) ready-made food, hard and soft, eatable and savoury, as well as drink and meal.

24. Procuring divine garments, I provided them with robes of fine cloth; I entertained the whole circle of the elect with best food and (the four) sweet drinks of sugar, oil, honey and molasses.

25. Entering the jewelled chamber, they, like lions lying down in caves, lay down in a lion's posture on costly beds.

26. Mindful they rose and sat down cross-legged; they gave themselves up to delight in meditation on the way of all the Buddhas.

27. Some preached the doctrines, some sported by their supernormal power, some who had gained mastery over and developed the higher psychic perception, applied themselves to it, while others numbering many hundred thousands worked transformations of themselves by their supernormal power.

28. The Buddhas, too, questioned (other) Buddhas on points relating to omniscience, and comprehended by their knowledge matters, deep and subtle,

29. The disciples questioned the Buddhas, the Buddhas questioned the disciples; they questioned each other, to each other did they explain.

30. The Buddhas, the Paccekabuddhas, the disciples and attendants, enjoying thus their delightful pursuits, rejoiced at the palace.

31. 'May they hold over head (each) an umbrella, embroidered with gold and silver nets and gems, and fringed with nets of pearls !

32. May there be awnings, resplendent with golden stars, variegated, and having flower-wreaths spread over (them) ; may they all hold them over head !

33. Be (the palace) laid out with wreaths of flowers, fragrant with rows of perfumes, strewn over with festoons of garments, and bedecked with strings of jewels !

34. Be it strewn over with flowers, much variegated, incensed with sweet perfumes, marked with five-finger marks of perfumes, and covered over with a golden covering.

35. On four sides, be the tanks covered over with lotuses red and white and blue ; be that these having lotus-pollens coming out, appear in golden hue !

36. All trees be blossomed around the palace, and let them drooping themselves sprinkle perfutoed flowers over the mansion.

37. Let the crested (peacocks) dance there, divine swans utter melodious sounds. Let the Karavika birds, too, sing out and the flocks of birds be on all sides .

38. Let all drums be sounded, all lutes be played. Let all varieties of music go on around the palace.

39. As far as the Buddha-realm, and above the horizons of the world, magnificent, lustrous, faultless and jewelled,

40. Let the golden divans be; let candlesticks be lighted, and the ten thousand (worlds) in succession be of one lustre.

41. Let also courtesans, dancers and celestial nymphs dance, and various theatres be staged around the palace.

42. On tree-tops, mountain-tops, or on the summit of the Sineru mountain, let me raise all manners of banners, variegated and five-coloured.

43. Let men, Nagas, Gandhabbas and gods, all approach them paying homage with joined hands, and surround the palace.'

44. Whatever good deed done, ought to be done, or intended to be done by me, I did it well by body, speech and mind in (the abode of) the Thirty.

45. 'The beings who are conscious or unconscious, let all share in the result of the meritorious deed done by me.

46. To (them) whom the result of the meritorious deed done by me has been offered, it is (thus) made well known. And to those who do not know of it, the gods should go and report.

47. In the whole world, the beings that live but for the sake of food, let them obtain all manners of agreeable food by my heart's wish'

48. Mentally I offered the gift, mentally I brought the palace. I did homage to all the supreme Buddhas, Paccekas and disciples of the conquerors.

49. By that meritorious deed, will and resolve, I. abandoning the human body, went up to the Thirty-three.

50. I have come to know (only) of the two existences, divine and human; no other destiny have I experienced this is the fulfilment of my mental wish.

51. I have been superior to the gods, I have become the lord of men. Endowed with beauty and appearance, I am incomparable in the world in respect of wisdom.

52. Food of various kinds and best, jewels not inadequate, and garments of all fashions come to me quickly from above (lit. the sky).

53. On earth as well as mountain, in the air, water and wood, wherever I stretch forth my hand, divine eatables come to me.

54. On earth as well as mountain, in the air, water and wood, wherever I stretch forth my hand, all varieties of jewels come to me.

55. On earth as well as mountain, in the air, water and wood, wherever I stretch forth my hand, all kinds of perfumes come to me.

56. On earth as well as mountain, in the air, water and wood, wherever I stretch forth my hand, all kinds of vehicles come to me.

57. On earth as well as mountain, in the air, water and wood, wherever I stretch forth my hand, all kinds of garlands come to me.

58. On earth as well as mountain, in the air, water and wood, wherever I stretch forth my hand, (all manners of) decorations come to me.

59. On earth as well as mountain, in the air, water and wood, wherever I stretch forth my hand, maidens of all descriptions come to me.

60. On earth as well as mountain, in the air, water and wood, wherever I stretch forth my hand, come (to me) honey and sugar.

61. Oil earth as well as mountain, in the air, water and wood, wherever I stretch forth my hand, all varieties of solid food come to me.

62. To the poor and needy, to the professional and street-beggars, what-ever excellent gift I made, (it was) for the attainment of the Enlightenment par excellence.

63. While making mountains and rocks roar, dense forest thunder, this world and heaven joyous, I have become a Buddha in the world.

64. In this world, tenfold is the direction of which there is no end, and in that direction are the innumerable Buddha-realms.

65. My halo is described as shooting forth rays in pairs; let the blaze of rays between them be of great effulgence.

66. In such world-system, let all persons see me let all be joyful, and let all follow me.

67. Let the drum of immortality be beaten with reverberating sweet-sound; in the midst of it let all persons Hear my sweet voice.

68. While the cloud of righteousness showers, let all be free from the defilements ; let the lowest of beings be (at least) the Stream-winners.

69. Giving away the gift worthy to be given, I fulfilled the precepts entirely, reached perfection in the matter of renunciation, and obtained the Enlightenment par excellence.

70. Questioning the wise, I put forth the best energy, reached perfection in the matter of forbearance, and obtained the Enlightenment par excellence.

71. Intent on truth, I fulfilled the perfection of truth ; reaching perfection in friendliness, I obtained the Enlightenment par excellence.

72. In gain and loss, in happiness and sorrow, in respect and disrespect, being unperturbed under all vicissitudes, I obtained the Enlightenment par excellence.

73. Viewing idleness from fear, and energy from peace, be energetic - this is the command of the Buddha.

74. Viewing dissention from fear, and amity from peace, be united and kindly in speech - this is the command of the Buddhas.

75. Viewing indolence from fear, and diligence from peace, cultivate the eightfold path - this is the command of the Buddhas.

76. Assembled (here) are many Buddhas and Arahants from all quarters; to the supreme Buddhas and Arahants pay homage and bow down.

77. Thus are the Buddhas incomprehensible, and incomprehensible are the qualities of the Buddhas and incomprehensible is the reward of those who have faith in the incomprehensible.

Thus the Blessed One, while developing his own Buddha-life, related the religious discourse, called the Tradition of the previous excellent deeds of the Buddhas.
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Re: Provenance of Pure Land Practice

Postby daverupa » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:26 am

A good find!

The Apadana is in the Khuddaka Nikaya, where early and late materials, largely verse compositions, find a home. (The Dhammapada, for example, may have been composed the way it was in response to the Bhagavad-Gita.) Anyway, the Apadana is probably datable to the 2nd or 3rd Council.

Here are some further details:

The Apadāna is certainly one of the latest works of the Khuddaka Nikāya and of the canon. As B. C. Law has pointed out in his History of Pali Literature (p. 7), the Apadāna is not included as a text of the Khuddaka Nikāya in the Dīghabhānaka list, but it finds mention as the thirteenth book of the Khuddaka Nikāya in the Majjhimabhānaka list. This would lead to the inference that at the time the Dīghabhānaka list was completed the Apadāna was not considered as a text of the Khuddaka Nikāya, and probably also of the canon. Moreover, the reference in the Apadāna to numerous Buddhas presupposes the legend of twenty-four previous Buddhas which is only a later development of the older legend of six Buddhas contained in other parts of the canon such as the Digha Nikāya. B. C. Law also says that one of the Apadānas seems to allude to the Kathāvatthu as an Abhidhamma composition (Ap. I, 37) and Rhys Davids argues that, if it is so, the Apadāna must be one of the very latest books of the canon.


(Now, I know to be on my toes about all this due to the scare quotes around concepts such as scholarship, so any who wish to express skepticism on this front as part of a fuller comment can simply flag that and I will leave it alone in order not to derail the thread.)

---

So, setting that aside, and using the .pdf from earlier, I am as yet unable to find something that we can recognize as among the 37 Limbs.

To be clear: ultimately this text would have been considered within its context, which was once the rest of the Nikayas/Agamas. If we are not going to make reference to this textual layer, such as Astus has indicated, we are picking and choosing from the Nikayas in a piecemeal fashion, which will need to be brought out.

It may comprise part of the context of proto-Mahayana sentiment, which would give a delightfully early provenance for Pure Land ideations, ~250 BCE or so, if the similarity holds up.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: What has Chinese Buddhism lost?

Postby PorkChop » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:41 am

daverupa wrote:
PorkChop wrote:The main Pure Land sutras, summarize large swathes of the Agamas. Take the short Amitabha Sutra for example


So that we can be on the same page, my source for these will be this .pdf.

in it you'll find the 37 limbs of enlightenment, and many other teachings using various metaphors. The commentary tradition is pretty clear on the meanings behind the metaphors in the cases where the metaphor is not explicitly explained by the sutra. Anyone with a background in the Anguttara Nikaya (for example), would easily pick many of them out without needing to rely on commentary.


So... um, where are the 37 limbs, in that sutra?


Before I start, I gotta say your opinion on Saddha is the funniest thing I've heard in a long time. The Buddha frequently encouraged followers to not only recollect & pay homage to former Buddhas but also Pacceka Buddhas, Sangha members, and even Devas. Taking of refuge in a fully Enlightened "cosmic Buddha" (as Indrajala seems fond of saying) somehow disqualifying one from exhibiting true "Saddha" is just a ridiculous, steaming pile of polemics. I can't know either one of them in my current state of existence, so to me they're both mere symbols of enlightened activity.

FYI - I already did an entire thread walking through every verse of this sutra on the Pure Land subforum, quoting major commentaries.
The particular section you're looking for is here:
viewtopic.php?f=60&t=12097&start=100#p166469
Here's another commentary describing the self-same thing, that didn't make it into my walk-through (for that verse):
http://www.ymba.org/books/mind-seal-bud ... -pure-land

I'll give you this one for not knowing how to read Mahayana sutras, but keep up with the dismissive tone and you can do your own homework.
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Re: Provenance of Pure Land Practice

Postby PorkChop » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:52 am

Nighthawk wrote:
Indrajala wrote:
Dodatsu wrote:Well as a Shin Pure Land Buddhist myself it's my "duty" to propagate and practice the Shin Buddhist teachings. Since Amida vowed to liberate sentient beings and lead them to Buddhahood, then why shouldn't i just take it?


You are free to do as you please.

I still reserve the right to criticize.


Maybe you made a mistake and should of became a Theravada monk instead? Afterall, pure lands especially Sukhavati are an integral part of Mahayana.


With all the prohibitions & warnings about disparaging the Mahayana sutras, you would think that would be the logical course of action, wouldn't you?
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Re: Provenance of Pure Land Practice

Postby daverupa » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:55 am

PorkChop wrote:Take the short Amitabha Sutra for example, in it you'll find the 37 limbs of enlightenment


So, I'm to understand that the texts which clearly describe the various components of the 37 Limbs and which are attributed to the historical Buddha can be found elsewise, thus:

"In addition, Sariputra, in that land are various kinds of unusual, wonderful birds of diverse colors, such as white cranes, peacocks, parrots, saris, kalavinkas, and jivajivas. Day and night in the six periods, these birds sing in harmonious, exquisite tones. These tones pronounce Dharmas, such as the Five Roots, the Five Powers, the Seven Bodhi Factors, and the Eightfold Right Path. Sentient beings that hear these tones all think of the Buddha, think of the Dharma, and think of the Sangha. Sariputra, do not say that these birds are born as a form of requital for sins [in their past lives]. Why not? Because, Sariputra, that Buddha Land does not have the three evil life-paths. Sariputra, even the names of the three evil life-paths do not exist in that Buddha Land, much less the actual paths. These birds are all magically manifested by Amitabha Buddha to have the Dharma tones flow everywhere."


I suppose the five roots germinating bodhi seeds conveys something, but it isn't how the 37 Limbs are developed and perfected according to the sources attributed to the historical Buddha, so this is a strike against a positive comparison.

The Eightfold Path covers the whole Path, in fact, yet this is given only a passing mention instead of being expanded on and described in detail, as the other sources are wont to do. The Commentators have done this to an extent, but they make reference to the details from sources other than the text they comment upon, which has only given them in summary, which seems to be a reference to their fuller explication elsewhere.

The dismissive tone is of your making, friend. I did not ever mention "true" saddha, as you did. (This is off-topic)

I am simply confused about the claims that Pure Land provenance can be connected to the historical Buddha.

I assure you, I have done my readings, and disparage no text, no effort to awaken. The point here would be this: if the 37 Wings are taught as a practice, then the Pure Land practice which couches it might very well be skillful. But we will need to recognize that the 37 Wings have provenance with the historical Buddha, while the Pure Land couch does not.
Last edited by daverupa on Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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