True Self in Jodo Shinshu

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Son of Buddha
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True Self in Jodo Shinshu

Postby Son of Buddha » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:28 am

Rev.Nobuo Haneda teachings on True Self
maidacenter.org/docs/Dec2k11.pdf

Jodo Shinshu priest teaching children about the True Self.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZewpurM7D0

True Self teachings in Jodo Shinshu were esablished in the writings of Shinran Shonin. In the Kyogyoshinsho chapter 5 where the Buddha is said to be synonymous with eternity, bliss, self and purity.(the four virtues of Nirvana)

Also the second most quoted Sutra by Shinran in the Kyogyoshinsho is the Nirvana Sutra which is a True Self Sutra.
:anjali:

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Re: True Self in Jodo Shinshu

Postby Astus » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:15 am

The idea of inherent enlightenment (hongaku) was irrelevant for Honen and Shinran, just as the concept of buddha-nature. For the simple reason that ordinary beings have no knowledge of it. Believing that one is already enlightened can easily lead to the misconception that one is not an ordinary being. Believing that there is a buddha-nature can easily lead to the misconception of an eternal soul. The teaching of inherent enlightenment is avoided, since the very first thing to understand an accept on the Pure Land path is that we are deluded ordinary beings incapable of saving ourselves. The teaching of buddha-nature is avoided for the same reason, it has no relevance and easily leads to false views. As for the buddhas and Amitabha Buddha in particular, of course they are perfect, enlightened, wise, and complete with all the great qualities.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: True Self in Jodo Shinshu

Postby Son of Buddha » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:42 am

Astus wrote:The idea of inherent enlightenment (hongaku) was irrelevant for Honen and Shinran, just as the concept of buddha-nature. For the simple reason that ordinary beings have no knowledge of it. Believing that one is already enlightened can easily lead to the misconception that one is not an ordinary being. Believing that there is a buddha-nature can easily lead to the misconception of an eternal soul. The teaching of inherent enlightenment is avoided, since the very first thing to understand an accept on the Pure Land path is that we are deluded ordinary beings incapable of saving ourselves. The teaching of buddha-nature is avoided for the same reason, it has no relevance and easily leads to false views. As for the buddhas and Amitabha Buddha in particular, of course they are perfect, enlightened, wise, and complete with all the great qualities.


Thats actually not true,Shinran was actually big on the attainment Buddha Nature.
Shinran's concluding remark: Buddha-nature is to be realized in the Pure Land
Verse37 We clearly know from the Tathagata's teaching of truth and the masters' commentaries that the Pure Land of Peace and Provision is the true Land of Recompense. Sentient beings with delusion and defilements cannot see Buddha-nature here, because it is covered over by evil passions. The [Nirvana Sutra] [Chapter on Kashyapa] says: "I say that bodhisattvas of the tenth stage see a little of Buddha-nature." Hence, we know that when we reach the Buddha Land of Peace and Bliss, Buddha-nature will certainly be revealed to us -through the Merit-transference by the Primal Vow-Power. It is also stated in the [Nirvana Sutra] [Chapter on Kashyapa] says: "Sentient beings will, in the future, attain and glorify bodies of purity and be able to see Buddha-nature."

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Re: True Self in Jodo Shinshu

Postby Astus » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:22 pm

Occurrences of "buddha-nature" in the KGSS (tr. Hisao Inagaki):

1.6 - in a quote, used for describing the Buddha, in 1.7 Shinran sums up how all the above quotes confirm the Larger Sutra as the ultimate teaching

2.87 - in a quote, identified as the One Vehicle, previously in 2.84 Shinran says that the ultimate One Vehicle is the "One Buddha Vehicle of the Vow"

3.26 - in a quote, used to explain "true" for "true and sincere mind" (shijoshin) of the three minds. It was already explained in 2.13 that shijosin means "We should not show outwardly how wise, virtuous and diligent we are, because, inwardly, we entertain deceitfulness. Being possessed of all kinds of greed, anger, falsity, and crookedness, we can hardly remove our evil nature; we are indeed like snakes or scorpions." The quoted passage containing "buddha-nature" is meant to strengthen Shinran's statement that "the true and sincere mind endowed by the Buddha for our benefit through the inconceivable, indescribable and ineffable ocean-like Vow of great wisdom of the One Vehicle."

3.31 - in a quote, again used to establish that the Joyful Faith is based on Amitabha's compassion and not one's own effort, as introduced in 3.28.

3.105 - in a quote, used to praise nenbutsu practitioners

3.116 - in a quote, to show that the Buddha saves evil beings out of compassion

5.9 - in a quote, stating that the Buddha is not different from the buddha-nature

5.11 - in a quote, used as previously

5.15 - in a quote, used as previously

5.16 - in a quote, used as previously

5.17 - in a quote, icchantikas have buddha-nature, i.e. everybody can attain liberation

5.20 - in a quote, buddha-nature is hard to see

5.21 - in a quote, used as previously

5.37 - Shinran comments, liberation exists in the Pure Land


I wouldn't say he was "big on the attainment Buddha Nature" as he only uses it in one paragraph when not found in various quotes. The quotes are used in various contexts and they are not related to one's practice or anything that one should understand now. Buddha-nature is used as a synonym for various things (buddha qualities, compassion, liberation, potentiality of enlightenment, buddhahood) and not defined as anything central to the doctrine of Jodo Shinshu.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: True Self in Jodo Shinshu

Postby Son of Buddha » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:06 am

I wouldn't say he was "big on the attainment Buddha Nature" as he only uses it in one paragraph when not found in various quotes.

Sure he was big on Buddha Nature,as your notes show almost the entire 5th chapter is based on Buddha Nature and how one will attain Buddha Nature/Enlightenment in the Pute Land,this is to show that the GOAL for going to the Pure Land is to acheive Buddha Nature/Enlightenment.

Also 99% of the Kyogyoshinsho is QUOTES and only 1% is Shinrans commentary on the subject,this is because Shinran let the sutra passages and quotes from other masters speak for themselves,then he only added alittle commentary to clue you in on what the TOPIC was.

The "various" quotes as you say is the actual teaching and the purpose of the Kyogyoshinsho,Shinrans actual commentary was to set up the TOPIC then elaberate on the quotes provided for the topic.

You say that he only used Buddha Nature in one paragraph when not found in actual quotes.......well if you look at chapter 5 Shinran only speaks 3 paragraphs (1) is his presentation and has nothing to do with elaboration on the teachings.
Verse(37) is his teachings on Buddha Nature(confirmation of his numerous quotes)
Verse(39)is on true/provisional buddha/buddha land

So as we can see in the context of his writings on the 5th chapter he only has TWO paragraphs of commentary, and as you said one paragraph concerns Buddha Nature, this means HALF his commentorial writing in chapter 5 concerns Buddha Nature.

And since Shinran taught not through personal commentary but through direct quotes,this means 90% of chapter 5 teachings concerns the establishment of the Buddha Nature teaching and its attainment in the Pure Land(ultimate goal of rebirth in Pure Land) very important things.

The quotes are used in various contexts a are not related to one's practice or anything that one should understand now. Buddha-used as a synonym for various things (buddha qualities, compassion, liberation, potenti enlightenment, buddhahood) and not defined as anything central to the doctrine of Jod Shinshu.
[/quote][/quote]
Sure those quotes and teachings from Shinran are central to the doctrine of Jodo Shinshu....if they wasnt central doctrine then Shinran would of never wrote an entire chapter on the subject in his Kyogyoshinsho to begin with.

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Re: True Self in Jodo Shinshu

Postby Astus » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:01 am

As I also wrote, the expression buddha-nature occurs with various meanings, but mostly as a synonym for buddhahood. To say that the goal of being born in the Pure Land is to attain buddhahood is not an unusual statement at all. So, why do you say it is an important thing that the word buddha-nature occurs among all the other words used?
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: True Self in Jodo Shinshu

Postby Son of Buddha » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:32 am

Astus wrote:As I also wrote, the expression buddha-nature occurs with various meanings, but mostly as a synonym for buddhahood. To say that the goal of being born in the Pure Land is to attain buddhahood is not an unusual statement at all. So, why do you say it is an important thing that the word buddha-nature occurs among all the other words used?


Yes the term Buddha Nature is synoymous with Buddhahood,and the goal of Pure Land or any Buddhist practice is also obvious as you said.

in the context of the Thread the word Buddha Natute is important cause it shows why and where Jodo Shinshu Buddhists scools and groups get the True Self teachings from,also Buddha Nature is very important cause gives the Buddhas final teachings on what Enlightenment is.

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Re: True Self in Jodo Shinshu

Postby DGA » Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:49 am

Is there any evidence that any Pure Land master such as Shinran or Honen taught the existence of a "True Self" or correlated Buddhanature or Buddhahood with such a thing as "True Self" in the sense of an atman?
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Re: True Self in Jodo Shinshu

Postby DGA » Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:26 am

not to put too fine a point on it...

does any Pure Land tradition teach Buddhahood as True Self in any way that corresponds to the radical selfishness as preached in the writings of the 20th century entrepreneur, Ayn Rand?

I'm asking on behalf of a friend.

context:

viewtopic.php?f=47&p=362034#p362029
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Re: True Self in Jodo Shinshu

Postby Wayfarer » Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:29 am

I have a recent Korean Zen/Soen book, No River to Cross, Zen Master Daehaeng

Every page has a reference to true mind, true nature, real self, higher self, and expressions of that kind (see for instance.)

The origin of the criticism of ātman was the conception of a separate self-existent being that transmigrated from life to life.

The 'two extremes' were on the one hand nihilism - no consequences, no fruit of action in future lives -and eternalism - the idea that the being could be reborn 'in perpetuity', being reborn forever. If you have a culture where it is believed that renunciates can recall thousands of previous lives, then that is not an outlandish idea. Speaking in a time where such beliefs were part of the culture, the Buddha was pointing out that this idea of 'eternal' is not the goal of the teaching, which is Nirvāṇa, the ending altogether of suffering.

That principle was then extended to show that there is nothing whatever that is 'self-existent' i.e. that exists in its own right, separate from anything else, whether this is conceived of as a soul, a person, a God, or an atom (per the Lankavatara Sutra). Everything that exists, exists inter-dependently, there is no fixed or immutable essence, self or soul.

However expressions such as 'true self' are still found in sources like the above, but they don't have the same meaning as ātman.

None of this has anything to do with the philosophies of people like Ayn Rand who are wholly and solely concerned with ego.
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Re: True Self in Jodo Shinshu

Postby Admin_PC » Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:21 am

DGA wrote:Is there any evidence that any Pure Land master such as Shinran or Honen taught the existence of a "True Self" or correlated Buddhanature or Buddhahood with such a thing as "True Self" in the sense of an atman?

In a nutshell: not really.
DGA wrote:does any Pure Land tradition teach Buddhahood as True Self in any way that corresponds to the radical selfishness as preached in the writings of the 20th century entrepreneur, Ayn Rand?

In a nutshell: no

Honen
Buddha-nature shows up 3 times in Promise of Amida, which is kind of an anthology of everything but the Senchakushu.
1. The first one is in the Introduction written by the author(s)/translator(s).

2. The second one is Honen's Commentary on the Three Sutras of Pure Land (p 82). He's listing out the various doctrines of all the schools in Japan and how Amida is consistent with all of them. When it comes to Tendai he says:
The Tendai school teaches the theory of the three aspects of truth articulating ultimate reality - the truths of emptiness, temporariness, and the middle path; the doctrine of the three causes leading to buddhahood - the innate buddha nature, the wisdom discerning the ultimate principle, and virtuous deeds that cultivate wisdom; the teaching of the three bodies of a buddha - the Dharma body, the rewarded body, and the transformed body; and the merits possessed by a Tathagata: these theories are all contained in the three characters in the name of Amida. Hence, the merit of the letters is considerable. As illustrated, each school has interpreted the three letters in the name of Amida from its own doctrines' perspective.

Now the essence of our Jodo Shu is the belief that the three characters, A-mi-da, embody the entire Buddhist teachings, including the theory of the Shingon school that the letter "a" in the Sanskrit alphabet indicates the origin of all phenomena and the state of nonproduction; the teachings of the oneness of the three aspects of truth taught by the Tendai school; the theory that the middle path emerges from the eightfold negation taught by the Sanron school; the theory of the five levels of contemplation from the principles of mind-only of the Hosso school; basically, all of the Dharma in the universe. This is because no Buddhist doctrines are excluded from the teaching for birth in the Pure Land.

Neverthless, the heart of the vows of Amida Buddha does not expect one to believe in all of the above. He will come to receive all beings who simply recite nembutsu with deep devotion.

I would not say that this would consist of an endorsement for innate buddhahood or an Atman of any sort.

3. The third one is in "The Statement Sent to Mount Hiei" (p325). The gist of this argument is that every school argues that it's doctrines are superior (innate buddhanature shows up in one of the doctrines listed). He goes on to say that they "are all true teachings expounded in sutras and commentaries; these are the golden words of the Tathagata Sakyamuni. Buddha Sakyamuni delivered his teachings in accordance with the potential an circumstances of the people. Therefore, it would be impossible to determine which is shallow or which is profound. That is his teaching, and this is also his teaching. One must not be obsessed by the teaching of one or another."

I wouldn't say this qualifies as an endorsement for innate enlightenment (hongaku kiso) either.

In the Senchakushu, there is exactly one reference to Buddha-nature. Here, Honen's quoting Tao Cho:
One might ask, "If all sentient beings have the Buddha nature, and as each of them from ancient times to the present must have encountered many Buddhas, why then do they still continue through cycles of birth and death and fail to escape from this burning house?" To such a question, I should answer that according to the holy teaching of the Mahayana, it is actually because they have been unable to cast aside birth and death through exercising one of the two kinds of the excellent Dharma, that they have not been able to escape the burning house.
I don't think this is a ringing endorsement for innate enlightenment.

There are no references to True Self in the translations I have of Honen's writings.

Shinran
Shinran's more difficult because he likes to define & redefine terms. Quoting all of his Buddha-Nature references and anything bordering on innate enlightenment (hongaku shiso) would take way too much time. (I should probably use Astus' guide to references above, but I'm not).

Nirvana Sutra quotes on Buddha-Nature

More Nirvana Sutra quotes on Buddha-Nature, this time with One Vehicle

Hymns of the Pure Land regarding Buddha-Nature

This one's the only one that comes close to an "Atman" with this quote:
In his attainment of highest truth, the Buddha is the one most revered in all the heavens. He has awakened to the truth that Buddha-nature is not void.


This one talks about the original nature of mind:
Karmic evil is from the beginning without real form;
It is the result of delusional thought and invertedness.
Mind-nature is from the beginning pure,
But as for this world, there is no person of truth.


This one states that Shinran feels for himself:
Although I take refuge in the true Pure Land way,
It is hard to have a true and sincere mind.
This self is false and insincere;
I completely lack a pure mind.


This one mentions true and real mind, but it is referring to the first of the 3 minds mentioned in the Visualization Sutra. I'm not sure it qualifies as a "True Self" reference.


Conclusion
There's probably some more stuff that I'm missing. I don't know how they translate "Hongaku Kiso" in the various Shinran translations I have, so I'm having a hard time tracking down anything that talks about it directly. I could've sworn he spent an entire section in the Kyogyoshinsho refuting the idea, but having a hard time tracking it down.

To be sure, neither seems to have stressed Buddha-nature as a capability for enlightenment in this lifetime, neither seems to have stressed Buddha-Nature or Atman as any sort of True Self, and the doctrines of neither would say that we are already enlightened.
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Re: True Self in Jodo Shinshu

Postby DGA » Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:33 pm

Thanks for the super helpful post.

I know only little about Shinran's writings. I'm convinced he's a brilliant and (in the West) underestimated master. what you have said here confirms this.
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