Akshobhya Pure Land end

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby rory » Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:12 am

pueraeternus; I agree having read that in the old days it was considered very hard to get to Sukhavati, for that reason great masters such as Jokei of the Hosso school in Japan advocated birth in Kannon's land of Mt. Potalaka since it is located in this world (south of India) and it's easier to get to.
That's one of my practices now: a vow to be born in Kannon's land as well as sutra study chanting Dharani, etc
gassho
rory
User avatar
rory
 
Posts: 723
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 8:08 am
Location: SouthEast USA

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby plwk » Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:23 am

That's ok pueraeternus and just not to hijack this thread further, I shall not pursue this further. Anyhow, like the Quranic maxim on 'unto you, your religion, unto me, my religion' thingy, your assertion is not new to me either and yes I recall those discussions too on the now defunct ES, as far as it applies for myself, it remains my own view as presented since I can only convince myself on like my undying devotion to cats. I guess neither are the 'Patriarchs' under the Chinese Pure Land umbrella are always in agreement with each other on many doctrinal and practice issues which kinda show how egalitarian in one way the tradition is, ranging from the exclusivists to the pan Pure Landers, like myself.
plwk
 
Posts: 2753
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby KonchokZoepa » Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:14 am

pueraeternus wrote:
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.


that does not really prove anything. even 10 days after death in the bardo if you simply remember amitabha you will be reborn in his pure land, so peaceful death or not, with your logic, if someone gets violently killed he/she does not have a chance to be born in sukhavati since he did not die a peaceful death.
it is also said in the ksitigarbha sutra that if you simply hear the name of a buddha at the time of death, you are liberated. although that is a bit offtopic but anyway.
anyway, the bardo is like a dream state, if you just remember sukhavati or amitabha, your consciousness automatically goes there, doesnt matter if it is a peaceful or happy death or not. anyway thats what ive read about bardo teachings.
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 » Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:36 pm

pueraeternus wrote: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).


That's what I get from the sutras. That's why I always have problems with PL doctrines, because you have what Patriarchs said in one hand, and what Sutras said at the other.
A friend of mine said to me that those descriptions of Pure Land in the Sutras are skilful means to describe something indescribable, that maybe a possibility, but seems weird to me.
User avatar
zamotcr
 
Posts: 168
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:11 am
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby zamotcr » Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:39 pm

plwk wrote: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.


I remember that :smile: After Amitabha Paranirvana, Avalokitesvara will take over, but in Abhirati, the sutra describes a Dharma Ending Age where people does not want to hear the Dharma. This does not happen in Sukhavati, because Avalokitesvara will take it immediately.
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 » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:50 pm

KonchokZoepa wrote:
pueraeternus wrote:
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.


that does not really prove anything. even 10 days after death in the bardo if you simply remember amitabha you will be reborn in his pure land, so peaceful death or not, with your logic, if someone gets violently killed he/she does not have a chance to be born in sukhavati since he did not die a peaceful death.
it is also said in the ksitigarbha sutra that if you simply hear the name of a buddha at the time of death, you are liberated. although that is a bit offtopic but anyway.
anyway, the bardo is like a dream state, if you just remember sukhavati or amitabha, your consciousness automatically goes there, doesnt matter if it is a peaceful or happy death or not. anyway thats what ive read about bardo teachings.


If one do not possess an uncommon degree of mindfulness and calm during the course of your daily human life, do not count on any form of liberation in the antarabhava. Without a strong foundation of lifelong or multiple-lives practice, one will not be able to recognize such signs or maintain enough stability to recall the Buddha or Sukhavati. In the intermediate state, can you tell black from white and white from black? Can you figure out if that was a vision of a Buddha or a facsimile conjured by your karmic debtors? Conversely, can you tell if those are yaksa dharmapalas or demons you should run away from (most would anyway, due to unrestrained impulses)? Most people gets swept up by the flood of their karmic tide.

Likewise for the violent death example - it all depends on the person's cultivation. Can he or she maintain or regain composure, mindfulness and dignity in the throes of excruciating death pains?

My point is this: pureland is a great practice, and it is easier because it is a path of faith (sraddha), so its adherents are basically sraddhanusarins relying on buddhasmrti. However, it still takes a lot of dedication and effort for the path to be effective, hence merely 10 Namo Amitabhayas with sincerity is not going to cut it. All the usual limbs of Buddhist practice should be engaged - lead a moral life, listen to and contemplate the teachings, practice the paramitas, develop right view, cultivate calm and insight, etc. And it is okay even if one doesn't make it to Sukhavati after this life - with good imprints left behind by sincere practice, one comes back again and reencounter the teachings. Which is why in the Buddhist circles, you encounter people with a natural affinity for Amitabha - if it were really that easy all of them would have never returned to the human realm after saying ten hail Amitabhas.

Don't take certain aspects of the tradition literally. Strive earnestly.
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 pueraeternus » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:53 pm

rory wrote:pueraeternus; I agree having read that in the old days it was considered very hard to get to Sukhavati, for that reason great masters such as Jokei of the Hosso school in Japan advocated birth in Kannon's land of Mt. Potalaka since it is located in this world (south of India) and it's easier to get to.
That's one of my practices now: a vow to be born in Kannon's land as well as sutra study chanting Dharani, etc
gassho
rory


That's an excellent aspiration, especially coupled with your other practices. Another closer realm for people to consider is Tushita - Maitreya practice was very popular in China for a while.
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 pueraeternus » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:59 pm

plwk wrote:That's ok pueraeternus and just not to hijack this thread further, I shall not pursue this further. Anyhow, like the Quranic maxim on 'unto you, your religion, unto me, my religion' thingy, your assertion is not new to me either and yes I recall those discussions too on the now defunct ES, as far as it applies for myself, it remains my own view as presented since I can only convince myself on like my undying devotion to cats. I guess neither are the 'Patriarchs' under the Chinese Pure Land umbrella are always in agreement with each other on many doctrinal and practice issues which kinda show how egalitarian in one way the tradition is, ranging from the exclusivists to the pan Pure Landers, like myself.


Agreed and we are in alignment - I possess an undying devotion to our feline overlords too. :cheers:
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 pueraeternus » Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:03 pm

zamotcr wrote:A friend of mine said to me that those descriptions of Pure Land in the Sutras are skilful means to describe something indescribable, that maybe a possibility, but seems weird to me.


I think this is a good way to view it. Use the affinity with particular Buddhas as a foci, and practice earnestly. As plwk mentioned, even the patriarchs are not always in agreement with each other, so we should take certain things with a grain of salt.
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 zamotcr » Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:17 pm

pueraeternus wrote:
zamotcr wrote:A friend of mine said to me that those descriptions of Pure Land in the Sutras are skilful means to describe something indescribable, that maybe a possibility, but seems weird to me.


I think this is a good way to view it. Use the affinity with particular Buddhas as a foci, and practice earnestly. As plwk mentioned, even the patriarchs are not always in agreement with each other, so we should take certain things with a grain of salt.


Yes, but if we accept this view, then one question arise: why then, they give so much detail in aspects that may not be true, like those of Buddha's Paranirvana (Shandao said Amitabha paranirvana is just an illusion) or Dharma Ending Age in a Pure Land. If they are just skilful means, is not better to tell the truth? I mean, is not so hard to tell: Pure Land is indescribable.

May I ask, how do you see Pure Lands? I'm interested in your vision.
User avatar
zamotcr
 
Posts: 168
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:11 am
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby KonchokZoepa » Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:50 pm

pueraeternus wrote:
KonchokZoepa wrote:
pueraeternus wrote:
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.


that does not really prove anything. even 10 days after death in the bardo if you simply remember amitabha you will be reborn in his pure land, so peaceful death or not, with your logic, if someone gets violently killed he/she does not have a chance to be born in sukhavati since he did not die a peaceful death.
it is also said in the ksitigarbha sutra that if you simply hear the name of a buddha at the time of death, you are liberated. although that is a bit offtopic but anyway.
anyway, the bardo is like a dream state, if you just remember sukhavati or amitabha, your consciousness automatically goes there, doesnt matter if it is a peaceful or happy death or not. anyway thats what ive read about bardo teachings.


If one do not possess an uncommon degree of mindfulness and calm during the course of your daily human life, do not count on any form of liberation in the antarabhava. Without a strong foundation of lifelong or multiple-lives practice, one will not be able to recognize such signs or maintain enough stability to recall the Buddha or Sukhavati. In the intermediate state, can you tell black from white and white from black? Can you figure out if that was a vision of a Buddha or a facsimile conjured by your karmic debtors? Conversely, can you tell if those are yaksa dharmapalas or demons you should run away from (most would anyway, due to unrestrained impulses)? Most people gets swept up by the flood of their karmic tide.

Likewise for the violent death example - it all depends on the person's cultivation. Can he or she maintain or regain composure, mindfulness and dignity in the throes of excruciating death pains?

My point is this: pureland is a great practice, and it is easier because it is a path of faith (sraddha), so its adherents are basically sraddhanusarins relying on buddhasmrti. However, it still takes a lot of dedication and effort for the path to be effective, hence merely 10 Namo Amitabhayas with sincerity is not going to cut it. All the usual limbs of Buddhist practice should be engaged - lead a moral life, listen to and contemplate the teachings, practice the paramitas, develop right view, cultivate calm and insight, etc. And it is okay even if one doesn't make it to Sukhavati after this life - with good imprints left behind by sincere practice, one comes back again and reencounter the teachings. Which is why in the Buddhist circles, you encounter people with a natural affinity for Amitabha - if it were really that easy all of them would have never returned to the human realm after saying ten hail Amitabhas.

Don't take certain aspects of the tradition literally. Strive earnestly.


good post. yes, i think buddha teaches all the main branches of buddhism in the sutra.
i've read that you will have 7 times more clarity in the bardo of becoming than in normal waking state so i guess it can be quite intense and you get flooded easily away if you encounter negative experiences, but it also enhances your chances of pure thoughts and their power, i think if you can remember amitabha and avalokitesvara everyday and chant their mantras you will encounter them in the bardo. and even better if you can perceive all phenomena as the deity.
ok, i agree that 10 utterances is not enough to go there straight away, but it will be enough to born there at some point when the karma ripens fully.
but with tantric method of deity yoga and phowa either the transference takes place easily or you will have more or less easy time in the bardo with the help of deity yoga experience in former life.

by the way sorry for derailing this thread, its about akshobya and stuff right. :rolleye:
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 3:53 pm

zamotcr wrote:
pueraeternus wrote:
zamotcr wrote:A friend of mine said to me that those descriptions of Pure Land in the Sutras are skilful means to describe something indescribable, that maybe a possibility, but seems weird to me.


I think this is a good way to view it. Use the affinity with particular Buddhas as a foci, and practice earnestly. As plwk mentioned, even the patriarchs are not always in agreement with each other, so we should take certain things with a grain of salt.


Yes, but if we accept this view, then one question arise: why then, they give so much detail in aspects that may not be true, like those of Buddha's Paranirvana (Shandao said Amitabha paranirvana is just an illusion) or Dharma Ending Age in a Pure Land. If they are just skilful means, is not better to tell the truth? I mean, is not so hard to tell: Pure Land is indescribable.

May I ask, how do you see Pure Lands? I'm interested in your vision.


Well, there could be many reasons why they differ and contrast in doctrine. One reason could be that the patriarchs are not of the same calibre and possess different degree of prajna, hence some of their explanations may not be refined. Or maybe because the pureland doctrine, like all other Buddhist paradigms are "work in progress", hence you can tell that the story changes and develop as time marches on. Or perhaps some of things that we read about could be something that a patriarch just happen to pull out of their heads (or where ever) and these writings got stuck in our Taisho collection.

Skillful means are a way to guide sentient beings, and often they can be considered pseudo-truths. A good analogy is when parents spin a story to explain something to their children so as to either encourage them to do something or guide them away from the painful truth in life that they are not yet ready for.

My personal view is that a Buddha, through his inconceivable sovereign powers (acintyaprabhava), can choose to create a domain that serves as a training environment that would be conducive to sentient beings of certain proclivities. Since there are infinite number of sentient beings, their proclivities differ and a good environment for one may be bad for another, hence the Buddha adjusts the conditions accordingly, and hence different purelands have different conditions, aspects, etc. And these domains are not outside of the triple realm - there is no reason and the idea makes no sense for various reasons (for one, samsara and nirvana differs not). However, these lands are not easy to get to, and most have to have a certain degree of stable practice before they can enter. Then even if they do gain rebirth there, they are not bound to remain. It is a conducive environment but it is not a prison. And they may train in one pureland for a while, then go to another, or they may have to leave after a while to continue their rebirths in other realms (any of the six) so as to continue their bodhisattva practice and mission.
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 zamotcr » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:43 pm

pueraeternus wrote:My personal view is that a Buddha, through his inconceivable sovereign powers (acintyaprabhava), can choose to create a domain that serves as a training environment that would be conducive to sentient beings of certain proclivities. Since there are infinite number of sentient beings, their proclivities differ and a good environment for one may be bad for another, hence the Buddha adjusts the conditions accordingly, and hence different purelands have different conditions, aspects, etc. And these domains are not outside of the triple realm - there is no reason and the idea makes no sense for various reasons (for one, samsara and nirvana differs not). However, these lands are not easy to get to, and most have to have a certain degree of stable practice before they can enter. Then even if they do gain rebirth there, they are not bound to remain. It is a conducive environment but it is not a prison. And they may train in one pureland for a while, then go to another, or they may have to leave after a while to continue their rebirths in other realms (any of the six) so as to continue their bodhisattva practice and mission.


Another thing is that, when the these sutras were written the Trikaya doctrine was not so widespread nor accepted, I believe. So, some of this commentaries of the Patriarchs were elaborated with the Trikaya in mind, something not available to sutra writters in that time. So, in some way, the doctrine changed time to time, region to region, that's why each Mahayana Sutra is something different and sometimes contradictory.

I will try to see it as a skilful mean, since Buddha's can't die, then, it's paranirvana is just an illusion. Dharma Ending Age, can be seen as Sukhavati Lotus Buds.
User avatar
zamotcr
 
Posts: 168
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:11 am
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby Aemilius » Thu Dec 19, 2013 4:13 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.


Religions are like icebergs floating in the sea, you can see only one ninth part of them. This means that 89% of the religions remains below the surface of public knowledge, i.e. it is esoteric, inner or secret knowledge and methods. Why Dharma ends belongs to this hidden part of the world religions. In my view all religions are concerned with the enlightenment of Buddha Shakyamuni, but the theistic religions don't admit it. Why Dharma ends has to do with the unseen global spiritual war, -I can't find a better word for it. This event or process is only hinted at in the Lotus of the True Law Sutra, it can't be told or described. Nevertheless You can find something of it in the Kalachakra Tantra literature.
The Three Kayas are inseparable, they are a unity.
svaha
User avatar
Aemilius
 
Posts: 1538
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby pueraeternus » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:17 am

zamotcr wrote:I will try to see it as a skilful mean, since Buddha's can't die, then, it's paranirvana is just an illusion. Dharma Ending Age, can be seen as Sukhavati Lotus Buds.


I always like to imagine that I can view things from the state of anutpattikadharmaksanti, abiding in the certainty (ksanti, usually translated as patience) of the non-arising of dharmas (anutpattikadharma). Here, all things are empty of self-nature, non-arisen, originally calm, naturally abiding in Nirvana, free of marks and in consequence inexpressible, unthinkable and devoid of duality.
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 zamotcr » Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:10 pm

I asked a Chinese correspondence friend about this questions of dharma ending age and such:

Question wrote:Dear Alan,

It is possible for a Pure Land come to an end? I mean, they last eternally?

All my doubts started when I was reading Lotus Sutra, and I read about a Pure Land called Ratnasaṃbhava, and Lotus Sutra said this:

“His land will be called Ratnasaṃbhava in the kalpa called Ratnāva bhāsa. The land will be even and the earth will be made of crystal and adorned with jeweled trees. It will be without pits, pebbles, thorns, or the filth of excrement. The earth will be covered with precious flowers and will be everywhere pure.

“The people in this world will all live in wonderful towers with jeweled terraces. The śrāvakas, the disciples there will be innumerable and limitless, beyond calculation and metaphor, and there will also be innumerable thousands of myriads of koṭis of nayutas of bodhisattvas.

The lifespan of this buddha will be twelve intermediate kalpas. The True Dharma will last in the world for twenty intermediate kalpas and the Semblance Dharma will also last for twenty intermediate kalpas. This Buddha will always dwell in the air, teaching the Dharma for the multitude, and he will save incalculable bodhisattvas and śrāvakas.”

If that is a Pure Land, why True Dharma will has an end? Or that land is not a Nirvana realm like Sukhavati and are a Transformation Land? Almost every description of a Buddha-land has this paragraph, of the end of True Dharma and Semblance Dharma.


And this is what he told me:

Answer wrote:Dear Michael,

It is possible for a Pure Land come to an end? Good question!

Anything that has a beginning must have an end. As a name is given to the Pure Land by the time of its 'birth', there must be an end. With respect to the Land of Bliss, it began ten kalpas ago, but its life time is called Asam!khyeya in Sanskrit. Asam!khyeya is an astromonal number, which is about 10 to the power 104. Asam!khyeya period is so long that it is regarded as 'infinite'. However, Asam!khyeya is still a finite number because it is said to have a beginning.

Sukhavati is an unconditioned realm of nirvana. Literally, nirvana means no-birth and no-death. If it is no-birth, it means it has no beginning, and thus no-death means no end. Nirvana is an unconditioned dharma, which is beyond any conditioned concept, like birth and death, beginning and end. There is an idiom: every exit is an entry to somewhere else. Exit and entry co-exist, it is one, not two. It depends how we see it. However, we are ordinary being and recognize the external phenomena with our discriminative mind, with self as center. Thus, we have to set up an arbitrary point as 'beginning' of a phenomenon, and then when it is changed or transformed to the other, we call it 'end'. However, we know that an end is exactly a beginning of another phenomenon. Nirvana is a state of non-duality, and it won't fall on either side. This is the concept of Middle Way in Buddhism.

In Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha expediently described Ratnāva bhāsa with a period of lifespan, but it does not mean there is a 'beginning' or an 'end'. A Buddha and its pure land is inconceivable, and is beyond our cognitive mind. Don't try to fit it in a framework of time and space, when we talk about Buddha's Pure Land. In order to show the assembly that ancient Buddha does not really extinct, Shakyamuni Buddha called upon Many-Jewel Buddha to appear and emerge from the ground. All the disciples were astonished because they did not expect to see Many-Jewel Buddha again. Therefore, when we say a Buddha extincts, he does not really extinct. A Buddha is eternal / immortal.

Namo Amituofo,
Alan Kwan


I think it's a great answer.
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 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:48 pm

Sukhavati is an unconditioned realm of nirvana.
From The Larger Amitayus Sutra...That Buddha-land, like the realm of unconditioned Nirvana, is pure and serene, resplendent and blissful.
Saying something is and something is like makes a world of difference in my poor opinion... but yes, that's another topic by itself...
It is possible for a Pure Land come to an end? I mean, they last eternally?
Didn't we have a thread here discussing this?

Get some sleep man... turning your head over all these is bad for insomnia :consoling:
plwk
 
Posts: 2753
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am

Re: Akshobhya Pure Land end

Postby zamotcr » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:51 pm

plwk wrote:
Sukhavati is an unconditioned realm of nirvana.
From The Larger Amitayus Sutra...That Buddha-land, like the realm of unconditioned Nirvana, is pure and serene, resplendent and blissful.
Saying something is and something is like makes a world of difference in my poor opinion... but yes, that's another topic by itself...
It is possible for a Pure Land come to an end? I mean, they last eternally?
Didn't we have a thread here discussing this?

Get some sleep man... turning your head over all these is bad for insomnia :consoling:


The idea of Pure Land as nirvana realm comes from Chinese Masters. Shantao taught these, so it's not new nor mine.

The questions I made are old, what I wanted to post was the answer. See what I highlighted. We should not try to accommodate Pure Lands into space and time, Buddha's are eternal, they don't die. So what sutras said about a Pure Land ending is an expedient mean, this actually answer my initial question about Akshobhya Paranirvana and Dharma Ending Age.

Is a way to see it. There are a lot of views about Pure Land. New sutras had new doctrines like Trikaya that changed the view about Pure Land a bit. I don't think the writers of Pure Land sutras and writer of more later sutras thought the same about Pure Lands, there were new ways to see and explain it.
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 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:04 pm

zamotcr wrote:We should not try to accommodate Pure Lands into space and time, Buddha's are eternal, they don't die.

We should be careful with such a view, as it easily tilts towards eternalism. All things are non-arisen, hence in truth there is no birth and death.
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 zamotcr » Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:09 pm

pueraeternus wrote:
zamotcr wrote:We should not try to accommodate Pure Lands into space and time, Buddha's are eternal, they don't die.

We should be careful with such a view, as it easily tilts towards eternalism. All things are non-arisen, hence in truth there is no birth and death.


True, true. I used the wrong words because I was in a hurry
:tongue:

But the idea is what you said, but it is said that Buddhas won't die.
User avatar
zamotcr
 
Posts: 168
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:11 am
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica

PreviousNext

Return to Pure Land

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests

>