Akshobhya Pure Land end

Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby zamotcr » Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:09 pm

In Mahayana, Pure Land are usually depicted as a Reward Land. Each Buddha, after his enlightenment, create his own Pure Land according to their merits.
In the Trikaya theory, the Enjoyment Body has a beginning, but not an end. Following this logic, an Enjoyment Land, which is Pure in nature, a Realm of the Buddhas, will never decay or become in Impure, because it is created by each Buddha merit and mind.

Different Masters explains this Enjoyment Lands as outside Samsara and Triple Realm, even when Sutras describes the Pure Lands as "earthly" worlds, with beginning and with an end.

The Akshobhya Sutra, explain how will be Decline of the True Dharma in his Pure Land with the following words:

A Treasury of Mahāyāna Sūtras: Selections from the Mahāratnakūta Sūtra pag. 332 wrote:"Sariputra, after the extinction of the true Dharma, there will be a great light illuminating all the worlds in the ten directions, and all the earths will quake, making a great sound. However, [you should know that] the true Dharma cannot be destroyed by the celestial demons, nor will the Tathagata and his disciples pass into oblivion of their own accord. [b]It is because people of that time will lack interest in learning the Dharma that those who can expound the Dharma will go away form them. Hearing little of the true Dharma, the people will become more incredulous, and as a result, they will not strive to practice the Dharma. Seeing the indifference of the people, monks well-versed in the Dharma will naturally withdraw into seclusion and preach the Dharma no more. In this way, the subtle, profound teaching of the Buddha will gradually disappear.[/b]"


Reading this fragment, if the Pure Lands like Amitabha, Medicine Buddha and Akshobhya were described as Outside Samsara and beyond Triple Realm, described as Enjoyment Lands, without death, how can be that the Dharma will decline in such lands? How can it be possible? We are talking about a Buddha Land, a Pure Land created by merits, how can beings there loose faith and contribute to a Dharma end? I can believe in this land a Dharma end is possible, but it's difficult to think in a Pure Land declining.

In the Lotus Sutra it is the same, different Pure Lands are described in this way, with a Dharma ending age.
User avatar
zamotcr
 
Posts: 168
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:11 am
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby plwk » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:19 pm

Not all Pure Lands have the same provisions & conditions, like for instance the provisions and conditions for Sukhavati are not found in Abhirati and vice versa, doesn't mean they need to be equal in content, it goes back to the foundational realised vows of that particular Buddha... and the three periods of the Dharma will manifest at varying degrees respectively.

The Saha World is also known as Sakyamuni's 'Pure Land', with all of its perceived faults, samsaric qualities and already, the Dharma periods are manifesting... so what's so surprising about Akshobya's Abhirati, though differing from ours?
plwk
 
Posts: 2749
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby zamotcr » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:27 pm

plwk wrote:The Saha World is also known as Sakyamuni's 'Pure Land', with all of its perceived faults, samsaric qualities and already, the Dharma periods are manifesting... so what's so surprising about Akshobya's Abhirati, though differing from ours?


Well, because it is said that Pure Lands are beyond Samsara and outside Triple Realm, this means is not part of our human universe, PL are described as Buddha-Realm or Nirvana Realms (Like Master Shandao). Unless Abhirati and other Pure Lands are just "Parallel Universes" each one with his own laws, and this whole and infinite universe that we and science can see is Saha.

Plwk, how do you see Pure Lands, like immense galaxies, I mean, you can travel from here to the East or West and you will find eventually that Galaxy, or you see them as something more subtler, perhaps alternate reality or a parallel universe?
User avatar
zamotcr
 
Posts: 168
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:11 am
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby plwk » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:45 pm

Ah yes the lofty side of the Pure Lands...
Now, do all classes of the Nine Grades of Sukhavati or for that matter everyone in Saha World get to have pure view or only those on the Sages' level reconciling all levels of phenomena and noumena? So the Elder Master Shan Dao sees it as nirvana, what about me, a deluded being?

'Out of the Triple Worlds' may just mean that Sukhavati, Abhirati, Vaiduryanirbhasa Buddha ksetras are not within the scope of the Sahaloka, like Earth is from Mars, for instance, I know I know, poor example just for the sake of an example, and then in terms of conditions, provisions and etc...

As said earlier, each Buddha have own respective accomplished vows, practices and aims for Their Buddha ksetra ... not because one is 'better' than the other like how an impure mind perceives it... I recall reading on the late Elder Master Xuan Hua from the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas who opines before that the 3 Periods of Dharma are all in the mind level, when one's mind upholds the Dharma, then one is operating within the Dharma Perfect Age all the way to the Dharma Ending Age...
plwk
 
Posts: 2749
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby zamotcr » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:58 pm

plwk wrote:Ah yes the lofty side of the Pure Lands...

'Out of the Triple Worlds' may just mean that Sukhavati, Abhirati, Vaiduryanirbhasa Buddha ksetras are not within the scope of the Sahaloka, like Earth is from Mars, for instance, I know I know, poor example just for the sake of an example, and then in terms of conditions, provisions and etc...


So, do you see Pure Lands as locatable on a map, like distant far away galaxies?
User avatar
zamotcr
 
Posts: 168
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:11 am
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby plwk » Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:06 pm

I don't know dear, why don't you share what you think?
plwk
 
Posts: 2749
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby zamotcr » Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:19 pm

plwk wrote:I don't know dear, why don't you share what you think?


Gosh, that's my struggle :crying:

I began to think that Pure Land is outside Samsara, then, I found fragments like the one I shared above. Then, if I see them like distant galaxies, my scientific mind awakes and then I deny it, because our universe is governed by physical laws, which make much of the descriptions impossible.

Sutras describes PL as distant galaxies in our universe, that eventually will "decay". Masters explain them in lofty terms.

I read once from I don't know who, that instead of placing Buddhaksetras in the same spatial universe, putting them in a Multiverse schema, like "Parallel Universes" :shrug:

That's the problem I always have with PL. I don't really know anything :cry:
User avatar
zamotcr
 
Posts: 168
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:11 am
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby plwk » Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:22 pm

That's it. The 'don't know' mind. Best place to start. Before you know it, Sukhavati will manifest before your very eyes, literal ones or not :lol:
plwk
 
Posts: 2749
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby plwk » Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:27 pm

I like this sharing by Padma Von Samba... in another thread...
Malcolm:
Have you met someone who has returned from Sukhavati and reported on it to you?

Padma Von Samba:
There is an excellent translation and commentary on the shorter Amitabha Sutra, by the late Hozen Seki,a minister of the Nishi Hongwanji branch of the Jodo Shinshu sect. His explanation (the book is called Buddha Tells Of The Infinite) is that this Sutra is meant to convey an understanding of the infinite. It is an expedient teaching. Its purpose is to be a quick and effective means to cut through our habitual clinging to finite concepts. For some people, Sukhavati is understood as a literal place, in a literal "western" direction of the universe, which of course is an absurd concept. In fact, there are little battery-operated transistorized boxes (Google search "NianfoJi") that chant "namo Omito Fo" for a dying person. That's how literally people take it, and no doubt proves much of your complaint. I joked with a lama friend that when the batteries die (the batteries did all the work) they go to Sukhavati!

Did anybody ever go there and come back? No one that I ever knew did. But for other people, it is understood that Amitabha means infinite (Buddha of Infinite Light) and just as mind can be said to die and take birth again constantly, every second, that infinity extends to the present time and place. Clinging to the notion of a 'self', one can never see it.

In practice, in the practice of Pure Land recitation, even that kind of literal understanding, for the person whose capacity is for "understanding literally", it has great liberating effects. for the intellectual, the more 'rational' thinker, Pure land recitation is brilliantly stupid, and just as direct. If you look at why you or I want things to square up all nicely and neatly, why we do not want to succumb to superstitious prayer and so forth, it is still grasping at a self. "I" am to smart to be duped by faith. "I" am too rational to fall for that sort of thing. It's just another comfort zone construct.

Pure land practice directs one to quit taking refuge in the habitual, finite mind, and instead to take refuge in mind's infinite luminosity. If you ask me, have I ever met people who went there and came back, the answer is yes.

So, it is more than just a metaphor or a Buddhist version of heaven. It is a kind of meditation tool. So, what you are in essence asking is, have I met someone who left our 'real' world and died and went to this Buddhist Disneyworld and then came back to our 'real' world again, to give me a report that would validate Pure Land practice, and all I can say, is that, unfortunately, that question just misses the mark on so many levels.
plwk
 
Posts: 2749
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby KonchokZoepa » Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:42 pm

zamotcr wrote:In Mahayana, Pure Land are usually depicted as a Reward Land. Each Buddha, after his enlightenment, create his own Pure Land according to their merits.
In the Trikaya theory, the Enjoyment Body has a beginning, but not an end. Following this logic, an Enjoyment Land, which is Pure in nature, a Realm of the Buddhas, will never decay or become in Impure, because it is created by each Buddha merit and mind.

Different Masters explains this Enjoyment Lands as outside Samsara and Triple Realm, even when Sutras describes the Pure Lands as "earthly" worlds, with beginning and with an end.

The Akshobhya Sutra, explain how will be Decline of the True Dharma in his Pure Land with the following words:

A Treasury of Mahāyāna Sūtras: Selections from the Mahāratnakūta Sūtra pag. 332 wrote:"Sariputra, after the extinction of the true Dharma, there will be a great light illuminating all the worlds in the ten directions, and all the earths will quake, making a great sound. However, [you should know that] the true Dharma cannot be destroyed by the celestial demons, nor will the Tathagata and his disciples pass into oblivion of their own accord. [b]It is because people of that time will lack interest in learning the Dharma that those who can expound the Dharma will go away form them. Hearing little of the true Dharma, the people will become more incredulous, and as a result, they will not strive to practice the Dharma. Seeing the indifference of the people, monks well-versed in the Dharma will naturally withdraw into seclusion and preach the Dharma no more. In this way, the subtle, profound teaching of the Buddha will gradually disappear.[/b]"


Reading this fragment, if the Pure Lands like Amitabha, Medicine Buddha and Akshobhya were described as Outside Samsara and beyond Triple Realm, described as Enjoyment Lands, without death, how can be that the Dharma will decline in such lands? How can it be possible? We are talking about a Buddha Land, a Pure Land created by merits, how can beings there loose faith and contribute to a Dharma end? I can believe in this land a Dharma end is possible, but it's difficult to think in a Pure Land declining.

In the Lotus Sutra it is the same, different Pure Lands are described in this way, with a Dharma ending age.


it would be good to understand that the sambhogakaya or the enjoyment body / realm is not a physical realm. it can be experienced while in the physical or samsaric realm in a realized beings mind. enjoyment pure land or body ( sambhogakaya ) is a state of realization. and yes there are sambhogakaya pure lands even in sukhavati, i think, but you need to be more advanced being to so called '' upgrade '' to those different levels before enlightenment.

as to the quote, i think this quote is just describing our world. not akshobyas pure land. it would also be difficult to understand that people in pure lands would have no interest in the Dharma. from that i can come to a conclusion that the quote is not actually talking about a pure land dharma ending age but this worlds dharma ending age.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
KonchokZoepa
 
Posts: 1358
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:50 pm

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby zamotcr » Tue Dec 17, 2013 6:19 pm

KonchokZoepa wrote:it would be good to understand that the sambhogakaya or the enjoyment body / realm is not a physical realm. it can be experienced while in the physical or samsaric realm in a realized beings mind. enjoyment pure land or body ( sambhogakaya ) is a state of realization. and yes there are sambhogakaya pure lands even in sukhavati, i think, but you need to be more advanced being to so called '' upgrade '' to those different levels before enlightenment.


That what was explained to me too and is usually understood in this way.

KonchokZoepa wrote:as to the quote, i think this quote is just describing our world. not akshobyas pure land. it would also be difficult to understand that people in pure lands would have no interest in the Dharma. from that i can come to a conclusion that the quote is not actually talking about a pure land dharma ending age but this worlds dharma ending age.


In the same sutra, one paragraph before mine, it is describing the Akshobhya Paranirvana and it describes each Dharma Period. Lotus Sutra, when describing Pure Lands, has the same description of Dharma Periods.
User avatar
zamotcr
 
Posts: 168
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:11 am
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby pueraeternus » Tue Dec 17, 2013 6:33 pm

As far as I am aware, the sutras that describe the purelands do not indicate if these buddhaksetras are within or without the three realms - they tend to just describe the general, special characteristics, how to get there, etc. The idea that the realms are outside of the triple realms came from the pureland patriarchs (Tanluan, if I recall). Hence I think we should consider this idea carefully and see if it really makes sense to us.

It is also important to consider the seemingly apocalyptic conditions where the pureland movement really started (5th century Northern Wei) - the endless wars and the popular concept of the Dharma-ending age would easily lead people towards a paradisaical soteriology, where there a wondrous land in which everything will be made right.
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

- The Open-Ended Proof from The Panoplia Prophetica
User avatar
pueraeternus
 
Posts: 805
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:10 pm

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby plwk » Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:05 pm

As far as I am aware, the sutras that describe the purelands do not indicate if these buddhaksetras are within or without the three realms ...

Maybe a relook again at the Threefold Sukhavati Sutras / 48 Vows of Amitabha or for that matter Garma CC Chang's Maharatnakuta collection, on Akshobya's Sutra, which is where I believe the OP takes his quotes from, they speak of what is found in our Sahaloka's Triple Realms, both in content, conditions and characteristics and are either absent or undesirable in Sukhavati, Abhirati and etc.. hence refusing to be lumped up together with what the Triple Realms are about.
The Larger Amitayus Sutra even makes a comparison between the heavens and Sukhavati for instance.

Of course, if one has in mind about buddha ksetra in its ultimate sense of the enlightened state... or anywhere near Zhiyi's 'Three Thousand Great Thousand Worlds' thingy...
It is also important to consider the seemingly apocalyptic conditions where the pureland movement really started (5th century Northern Wei) - the endless wars and the popular concept of the Dharma-ending age would easily lead people towards a paradisaical soteriology, where there a wondrous land in which everything will be made right.
Agree but this idea of a Dharma Ending Age is not peculiar to only such considerations but also sourced from early texts like the Nikayas / Agamas...
re: Saddhammapatirupatika Sutta / SN16 and others
plwk
 
Posts: 2749
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby pueraeternus » Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:22 pm

plwk wrote:
As far as I am aware, the sutras that describe the purelands do not indicate if these buddhaksetras are within or without the three realms ...

Maybe a relook again at the Threefold Sukhavati Sutras / 48 Vows of Amitabha or for that matter Garma CC Chang's Maharatnakuta collection, on Akshobya's Sutra, which is where I believe the OP takes his quotes from, they speak of what is found in our Sahaloka's Triple Realms, both in content, conditions and characteristics and are either absent or undesirable in Sukhavati, Abhirati and etc.. hence refusing to be lumped up together with what the Triple Realms are about.
The Larger Amitayus Sutra even makes a comparison between the heavens and Sukhavati for instance.


Could you pinpoint any part of these sutras that specifically state that Sukhavati is outside of the triple realms?

plwk wrote:Of course, if one has in mind about buddha ksetra in its ultimate sense of the enlightened state... or anywhere near Zhiyi's 'Three Thousand Great Thousand Worlds' thingy...
It is also important to consider the seemingly apocalyptic conditions where the pureland movement really started (5th century Northern Wei) - the endless wars and the popular concept of the Dharma-ending age would easily lead people towards a paradisaical soteriology, where there a wondrous land in which everything will be made right.
Agree but this idea of a Dharma Ending Age is not peculiar to only such considerations but also sourced from early texts like the Nikayas / Agamas...
re: Saddhammapatirupatika Sutta / SN16 and others


True, but the pureland movement initialized by Tanluan is quite different from earlier pureland strands. For one, it simplifies the practice and lowers the "barrier to entry" to Sukhavati (full lean towards other-power, focus mainly on nianfo and eschews the difficult visualizations, etc). I think all these changes have to do with geopolitical upheavals going on during that period. Praxis always develops in response to external pressures.
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

- The Open-Ended Proof from The Panoplia Prophetica
User avatar
pueraeternus
 
Posts: 805
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:10 pm

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby KonchokZoepa » Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:29 pm

i think its said in the sutra pretty clearly that 10 utterances with devotion and sincerity is enough to take rebirth in sukhavati. no visualizations are needed. blame it on anything you want but their methods are within the sutras teachings. nembutsu is enough.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
KonchokZoepa
 
Posts: 1358
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:50 pm

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby pueraeternus » Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:07 pm

KonchokZoepa wrote:i think its said in the sutra pretty clearly that 10 utterances with devotion and sincerity is enough to take rebirth in sukhavati. no visualizations are needed. blame it on anything you want but their methods are within the sutras teachings. nembutsu is enough.


Unfortunately this doesn't bear true in real life. It is not so easy.
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

- The Open-Ended Proof from The Panoplia Prophetica
User avatar
pueraeternus
 
Posts: 805
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:10 pm

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby KonchokZoepa » Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:31 pm

says who? and with what evidence?

i think studying the pure land sutras and bardo teachings gives you quite good understanding about bardo and the possibility of going to pure land from there.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
KonchokZoepa
 
Posts: 1358
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:50 pm

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby pueraeternus » Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:11 am

KonchokZoepa wrote:says who? and with what evidence?

i think studying the pure land sutras and bardo teachings gives you quite good understanding about bardo and the possibility of going to pure land from there.


Grew up in a Buddhist environment, surrounded by many pureland practitioners. Have seen and heard accounts of older lifelong pureland practitioners of their dying moments, and many did not pass peacefully or with the usual signs of a good passing. I.e, they all come to the end of their lives like other people, Buddhist practitioner or not. If they are not at peace and beset by health problems, family heartbreaks, etc, they don't go peacefully or happily. Even those who practiced well and had a virtuous life do not necessarily go to the Sukhavati - they might end up in one of the heavens or a good rebirth. I will not discuss the last point since it involves uncommon channels.
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

- The Open-Ended Proof from The Panoplia Prophetica
User avatar
pueraeternus
 
Posts: 805
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:10 pm

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby plwk » Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:22 am

As far as I am aware, the sutras that describe the purelands do not indicate if these buddhaksetras are within or without the three realms ...

Maybe a relook again at the Threefold Sukhavati Sutras / 48 Vows of Amitabha or for that matter Garma CC Chang's Maharatnakuta collection, on Akshobya's Sutra, which is where I believe the OP takes his quotes from, they speak of what is found in our Sahaloka's Triple Realms, both in content, conditions and characteristics and are either absent or undesirable in Sukhavati, Abhirati and etc.. hence refusing to be lumped up together with what the Triple Realms are about.
The Larger Amitayus Sutra even makes a comparison between the heavens and Sukhavati for instance.


Could you pinpoint any part of these sutras that specifically state that Sukhavati is outside of the triple realms?

From the Shorter Amitabha Sutra...
http://www.cttbusa.org/amitabha/amitabha.htm
“Shariputra, do not say that these birds are born as retribution for their karmic offences. For what reason? In this Buddhaland there are no three evil ways of rebirth. Shariputra, in this Buddhaland not even the names of the three evil ways exist, how much the less their actuality!

“Moreover, Shariputra, those living beings born in the Land of the Ultimate Bliss are all avaivartika. Among them are many who in this very life will dwell in Buddhahood. Their number is extremely many; it is incalculable and only in measureless, limitless asamkhyeya kalpas could it be spoken.

From The Larger Amitayus Sutra...
http://buddhistfaith.tripod.com/purelan ... s/id2.html
If, when I attain Buddhahood, there should be in My land a hell, a realm of hungry spirits or a realm of animals, may I not attain Perfect Enlightenment.
If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in My land should after death fall again into the three evil realms, may I not attain Perfect Enlightenment.
If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in My land should not dwell in the Definitely Assured State and unfailingly reach Nirvana, may I not attain Perfect Enlightenment.
If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in My land should have limited life-spans, except when they wish to shorten them in accordance with their original vows, may I not attain Perfect Enlightenment.
If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in My land should even hear of any wrongdoing, may I not attain Perfect Enlightenment.
If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in My land should not all be endowed with the thirty-two physical characteristics of a Great Man, may I not attain Perfect Enlightenment.
If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the Buddha-lands of other quarters who visit my land should not ultimately and unfailingly reach the Stage of Becoming a Buddha after One More Life, may I not attain Perfect Enlightenment. Excepted are those who wish to teach and guide sentient beings in accordance with their original vows. For they wear the armour of great vows, accumulate merits, deliver all beings from birth-and-death, visit Buddha-lands to perform the bodhisattva practices, make offerings to Buddhas, Tathagatas, throughout the ten quarters, enlighten uncountable sentient beings as numerous as the sands of the River
Ganges, and establish them in the highest, perfect Enlightenment. Such bodhisattvas transcend the course of practice of the ordinary bodhisattvas,
manifest the practices of all the bodhisattva stages, and cultivate the virtues of Samantabhadra.
If, when I attain Buddhahood, there should be any bodhisattva in My land not endowed with the body of the Vajra-god Narayana, may I not attain Perfect Enlightenment.
If, when I attain Buddhahood, women in the immeasurable and inconceivable Buddha-lands of the ten quarters who, having heard My Name, rejoice in faith, awaken aspiration for Enlightenment and wish to renounce womanhood, should after death be reborn again as women, may I not attain Perfect Enlightenment.

The Buddha-land which He sought to establish was vast in extent, unsurpassed and supremely wonderful, always present and subject neither to decay nor change.
The Buddha said to Ananda, "Inconceivable indeed are the consequences of karma, and so are the worlds of the Buddhas. By the power of meritorious deeds, sentient beings in that land dwell on the ground of karmic reward. That is why those heavens exist without Mount Sumeru."

The Buddha said to Ananda, "The life of Amitayus is so long that it is impossible for anyone to calculate it.
To give an illustration, let us suppose that all the innumerable sentient beings in the worlds of the ten quarters were reborn in human form and that every one became a shravaka or pratyekabuddha. Even if they assembled in one place, concentrated their thoughts, and exercised the power of their wisdom to the utmost to reckon
the length of the Buddha's life, even after a thousand million kalpas they could still not reach its limit. So it is with the life-span of shravakas, bodhisattvas, heavenly beings and human beings in His land. Similarly, it is not to be encompassed by any means of reckoning or by any metaphorical expression.
Again, the number of the shravakas and bodhisattvas living there is incalculable. They are fully endowed with transcendent wisdom and free in their exercise of majestic power; they could hold the entire world in their hands."

"When a gentle breeze wafts through its branches and leaves, innumerable exquisite Dharma-sounds arise, which spread far and wide, pervading all the other Buddha-lands in the ten quarters. Those who hear the sounds attain penetrating insight into dharmas and dwell in the Stage of Non-retrogression.
Until they attain Buddhahood, their senses of hearing will remain clear and sharp, and they will not suffer from any pain or sickness. Whether they hear the sounds of the Bodhi-tree, see its colors, smell its perfumes, taste its flavors, perceive its lights or conceive of the Dharma in their minds, they all attain profoundly penetrating insight into dharmas and dwell in the Stage of Non-retrogression. Until they attain Buddhahood, their six sense-organs will remain sharp and clear, and they will not suffer from any pain or disease.

"Ananda, when humans and devas of that land see the Bodhi-tree, they will attain three insights:
first, insight into reality through hearing the sacred sounds;
second, insight into reality by being in accord with it; and
third, the insight into the non-arising of all dharmas.
These benefits are all bestowed by the majestic power of Amitayus, the power of His Primal Vow, His perfectly fulfilled Vow, His clear and manifest Vow, His firm Vow, and His accomplished vow."

The Buddha said to Ananda, "A king of this world possesses a hundred thousand kinds of music. From the realm ruled by a wheel-turning monarch up to the Sixth Heaven, the sounds of the music produced in each higher realm are ten million kotis of times superior to those of a lower one.
The thousands of varieties of musical sound produced in the Sixth Heaven are a thousand kotis of times inferior to one sound produced from the seven-jewelled trees in the land of Amitayus. Again, in that land, there are thousands of varieties of natural music, which are all, without exception, sounds of the Dharma.
They are clear and serene, full of depth and resonance, delicate and harmonious; they are the most excellent of sounds in all the worlds of the ten quarters.

"That Buddha-land, like the realm of unconditioned Nirvana, is pure and serene, resplendent and blissful.
The shravakas, bodhisattvas, heavenly beings and humans there have lofty and brilliant wisdom, and are masters of the supernatural powers.
They are all of one form, without any differences, but are called 'heavenly beings' and 'humans' simply by analogy with the states of existence in other worlds.
They are of noble and majestic countenance, unequaled in all the worlds, and their appearance is superb, unmatched by any being, heavenly or human.
They are all endowed with bodies of Naturalness, Emptiness, and Infinity."

The Buddha said to Ananda, "What you say is true. Even though a king is the noblest of all men and has a regal countenance, if he is compared with a wheel-turning monarch, he will appear as base and inferior as a beggar beside a king. Likewise, however excellent and unrivaled the majestic appearance of such a monarch may be, if he is compared with the lord of the Heaven of the Thirty-three Gods, he will also appear incomparably inferior, even ten thousands kotis of times more so.
Again, if this heavenly lord is compared with the lord of the Sixth Heaven, he will appear a hundred thousand kotis of times inferior.
If the lord of the Sixth Heaven is compared with a bodhisattva or a shravaka dwelling in the land of Amitayus, his countenance and appearance will be far from matching those of the bodhisattva or shravaka, being a thousand million kotis of times or even incalculable times inferior."

The Buddha said to Ananda, "Sentient beings who are born in that Buddha-land all reside among those assured of Nirvana.
The reason is that in that land there are neither beings who are destined to adverse conditions nor those whose destinies are uncertain.

When you go to His glorious Pure Land,
You will instantly acquire supernatural powers.
Having, without fail, received predictions from Amitayus,
You will attain perfect Enlightenment.

By the power of that Buddha's Original Vows,
All who hear His Name and desire birth,
Will, without exception, be born in His land
And effortlessly enter the Stage of Non-retrogression

The Buddha said to Ananda, "All the bodhisattvas in the land of Amitayus will ultimately attain the Stage of Becoming a Buddha After One More Life.
Excepted are those who have made original vows for the sake of sentient beings, resolving to cultivate the merit of realizing their great vows to save all sentient beings.
However hard you may practice in this life, it can only be for a short while. In the life to come you will be born in the land of Amitayus and enjoy endless bliss there. Being forever in accord with the Way, you will no longer be subject to birth-and-death and be free of the afflictions caused by greed, anger and stupidity.
If you wish your life to be as long as a kalpa, a hundred kalpas, or ten million kalpas, it will be just as you please. You will dwell in effortless spontaneity and attain Nirvana. You should each diligently seek to realize your aspiration. Do not entertain any doubt or give up your endeavor, lest as a result of that fault you should be born into the seven-jewelled palace in the border region of the Pure Land and be subject to various disadvantages for five hundred years."

From The Contemplation on Amitayus Sutra...
http://buddhistfaith.tripod.com/purelan ... s/id5.html
"I beseech you, World-Honored One, to reveal to me a land of no sorrow and no affliction where I can be reborn. I do not wish to live in this defiled and evil world of Jambudvipa where there are hells, realms of hungry spirits, animals and many vile beings. I wish that in the future I shall not hear evil words or see wicked people. World-Honored One, I now kneel down to repent and beg you to take pity on me. I entreat you, O Sun-like Buddha, to teach me how to visualize a land of pure karmic perfection."

Then the World-Honored One sent forth from between His eyebrows a flood of light, which was the color of gold and illuminated the innumerable worlds in the ten quarters. Returning to the Buddha, the light settled on His head and transformed itself into a golden platform resembling Mount Sumeru.
On the platform appeared the pure and resplendent lands of all the Buddhas in the ten quarters. Some of these lands were made of seven jewels, some solely of lotus-flowers; some resembled the palace in the Heaven of Free Enjoyment of Manifestation by Others, while some were like a crystal mirror in which all the lands in the ten quarters were reflected. Innumerable Buddha-lands like these, glorious and beautiful, were displayed to her.

Vaidehi then said to the Buddha, "O World-Honored One, these Buddha-lands are pure and free of defilement, and all of them are resplendent. But I wish to be born in the Land of Utmost Bliss of Amitayus. I beseech You, World-Honored One, to teach me how to contemplate that land and attain samadhi."

I will follow up with the vows made by Akshobya Buddha in the Maharatnakuta collection when time permits but as one can see, also as per what I have mentioned in my last post, with all these contents, conditions and characteristics, the other Buddha ksetras are not within our Sahaloka Triple Worlds with its karmic retributions of sentient beings versus for instance the realised Vows of Amitabha's Sukhavati, especially with its nirvanic like qualities and ideal conditions for those with an aspiration and on the path for Samyak Sambodhi.

Of course, if one thinks that 'Triple Worlds' have a far greater meaning and intent than that of the usual depiction of the realms of desire, form and formlessness as how our Sahaloka is, then again, that too may need qualification as to what are the exact mechanics and dynamics that one is comparing with. One example I can think of is how Akanistha is viewed in Mahayana/Vajrayana versus the Nikaya/Agamas version of a Pure Abode and oft compared to Sukhavati. Surely, as described on Sukhavati itself as per the above passages, it is clear to me that what Sahaloka has in its threefold realms is what is manifestly absent in Sukhavati and examples of comparison used from the Sahaloka are poor but necessary ones for our comprehension sake. Hence, I agree with the Patriarchs' Sastras that Sukhavati isn't within the scope of Sahaloka's burning Triple Worlds, in content, condition and characteristic.

To answer the OP's bewilderment that Abhirati contains the 3 Dharma Periods and decline of practitioners, here's an answer from The Larger Amitayus Sutra...
The Buddha said to Maitreya,
"If here in this world you are upright in thought and will, and abstain from doing evil, then you will attain the utmost virtue, unsurpassed in all the lands throughout the ten quarters. Why is this so? Devas and humans in the Buddha-lands naturally do good and rarely commit evil, and so, it is easy to teach and train them."


And to the OP, remember in a past thread of yours, we talked about a Sutra that depicts the day that Amitabha manifests Mahaparinirvana and Avalokitesvara then takes over as the new Host of Sukhavati? We have talked about how wonderful the way Sukhavati is structured in such a way that the 3 Dharma Periods & decline of practitioners found in other ksetras are not found here, within the space of time when Amitabha manifests Mahaparinirvana and the same night, Avalokitesvara takes over as 'new management', hence, the unfavourable decline of Dharma Periods and practitioners are manifestly absent from Sukhavati.
This is another feature of why Sukhavati is not found within the Sahaloka's threefold worlds scope.
plwk
 
Posts: 2749
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby pueraeternus » Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:36 am

Great quotes, but still they do not say that it is outside the scope of the Three Realms. They just say that it is a splendid realm, and the idea that the buddhaksetras are outside of the Three Realms are just conjecture of the patriarchs. The Suddhanivasa (pure abodes) are also wonderous worlds to be born into (one can visualize the most sublime godly palaces as befit one's fancy) and one is guaranteed to attain nirvana (since only anagamins can be born there). So does it mean the pure abodes are outside of the triple world? No - it is part of it.

There are many other clues that shows that the writers of the sutras did not really meant the purelands to be perceived as a place beyond the triple world. For example. they are spatially located, have rise and fall, dominion of the land passes to the next Buddha, etc (stuff you mentioned above, and also we discussed it before at e-sangha).
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

- The Open-Ended Proof from The Panoplia Prophetica
User avatar
pueraeternus
 
Posts: 805
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:10 pm

Next

Return to Pure Land

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests

>