Jodo Shinshu and the non-believer's "outcome"

Jodo Shinshu and the non-believer's "outcome"

Postby steveb1 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:20 am

I would like to ask people here who are conversant in Shin:

What is the fate, destiny, final disposition of the "good person" who cannot say the Nembutsu out of lack of belief, or because s/he never learned about Amida in the first place?

Rennyo wrote:

We cannot control the passing away of both young and old alike, but each of us can take refuge in the Buddha of Infinite Life who promises to embrace, without exception, all beings who recite his Holy Name - Namo Amida Butsu. This you can do here and now, freeing yourself of any worries concerning your future life.

I have read that, from the human end, the primary factor is the adherent's aspiration to Buddhahood, out of which arises his or her passion for being embraced by Amida.

In my life I have known people who are certainly aspiring to Buddhahood, whether or not they know it by this terminology. That is, they meet the first standard that, when exposed to it, inspires people to adopt Shin as their own. However, if none of them consciously encounter Shin teachings, does this necessarily mean that they are excluded from Amida's grace? Might they at least be entrants into "lesser" Buddha lands? Or are they doomed to as many karmic incarnations as it takes until, in one or another lifetime, they at last run into Amida's grace and Shin teachings?

That is, in the Renny quote above, the master observes our helplessness in the face of death, notes that those who take refuge in Nembustu are forever embraced - but does not address the fate of all those others who are dying without benefit of Shin and Nembutsu. My concern is with these people, and if they might still manifest somewhere in the net of Amida's grace.

Thanks in advance for any advice on this matter.
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Re: Jodo Shinshu and the non-believer's "outcome"

Postby Gary » Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:32 pm

I think Shinran addresses your concerns quite clearly in The Preface to The Kyogyoshinsho. He states, "Ah, hard to encounter, even in many lifetimes, is the decisive cause of birth, Amida's universal Vow! Hard to realize, even in myriads of kalpas, is pure shinjin that is true and real! If you should come to realize this practice and shinjin, rejoice at the conditions of the distant past that have brought it about. But if in this lifetime still you are entagled in a net of doubt, then unavoidably you must pass once more in the stream of birth-and-death through myriads of kalpas."

At the end of the day, there is still a great amount of work to be done. If in doubt, recite more Nembutsu.

-Gary
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Re: Jodo Shinshu and the non-believer's "outcome"

Postby Arjan Dirkse » Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:21 pm

I think the light of Amida works in many ways, its workings are not limited to the nembutsu or the Pure Land movement.
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Re: Jodo Shinshu and the non-believer's "outcome"

Postby santa100 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:57 pm

steveb1 wrote:That is, in the Renny quote above, the master observes our helplessness in the face of death, notes that those who take refuge in Nembustu are forever embraced - but does not address the fate of all those others who are dying without benefit of Shin and Nembutsu. My concern is with these people, and if they might still manifest somewhere in the net of Amida's grace.

Well, we need to be clear on how exactly to "take refuge" in Nembutsu in order to be forever embraced. For one who recites Nembutsu all day long and yet engaging in misconducts of the body, speech, and mind, has s/he truely taken refuge in Nembutsu and be guaranteed a spot in the Pure Land? The Contemplation Sutra clearly states:
Contemplation of Amitabha Sutra wrote:The World-Honored One said: 'I now proceed to fully expound them for you in many parables, and thereby afford all ordinary persons of the future who wish to cultivate these pure actions an opportunity of being born in the Land of Highest Happiness (Sukhavati) in the western quarter. Those who wish to be born in that country of Buddha have to cultivate a threefold goodness. First, they should act filially towards their parents and support them; serve and respect their teachers and elders; be of compassionate mind, abstain from doing any injury, and cultivate the Ten Virtuous Actions". Second, they should take and observe the vow of seeking refuge with the Three jewels, fulfill all moral precepts, and not lower their dignity or neglect any ceremonial observance. Third, they should give their whole mind to the attainment of perfect wisdom, deeply believe in the principle of cause and effect, study and recite the Mahayana doctrine, and persuade and encourage others who pursue the same course as themselves.
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Re: Jodo Shinshu and the non-believer's "outcome"

Postby PorkChop » Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:56 pm

Well, it also clearly states...

Meditation Sutra wrote:'Finally, there are the beings who will be born in the lowest form of the lowest grade. If there is any one who commits evil deeds, and even completes the ten wicked actions, the five deadly sins and the like; that man, being himself stupid and guilty of many crimes, deserves to fall into a miserable path of existence and suffer endless pains during many kalpas. On the eve of death he will meet a good and learned teacher who will, soothing and encouraging him in various ways, preach to him the excellent Dharma and teach him the remembrance of Buddha, but, being harassed by pains, he will have no time to think of Buddha. Some good friend will then say to him: "Even if you cannot exercise the remembrance of Buddha, you may, at least, utter the name, "Buddha Amitayus." Let him do so serenely with his voice uninterrupted; let him be (continually) thinking of Buddha until he has completed ten times the thought, repeating the formula, "Adoration to Buddha Amitayus" (Namah Amitabha Buddhayah, Namu Amida Butsu). On the strength of his merit of uttering that Buddha's name he will, during every repetition, expiate the sins which involved him in births and deaths during eighty million kalpas. He will, while dying, see a golden lotus-flower like the disk of the sun appearing before his eyes; in a moment he will be born in the World of Highest Happiness. After twelve greater kalpas the lotus-flower will unfold; thereupon the Bodhisattvas Avalokitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta, raising their voices in great compassion, will preach to him in detail the real state of all the elements of nature and the law of the expiation of sins. On hearing them he will rejoice and will immediately direct his thought toward the attainment of the Bodhi -- such are the beings who are to be born in the lowest form of the lowest grade to Buddhahood. The perception of the above three is called the meditation of the inferior class of beings, and is the Sixteenth Meditation.'


So perfect conduct is definitely not a prerequisite; but apparently hearing the teachings (and 10 recitations) is.
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Re: Jodo Shinshu and the non-believer's "outcome"

Postby santa100 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:36 pm

PorkChop wrote:'Finally, there are the beings who will be born in the lowest form of the lowest grade. If there is any one who commits evil deeds, and even completes the ten wicked actions, the five deadly sins and the like; that man, being himself stupid and guilty of many crimes, deserves to fall into a miserable path of existence and suffer endless pains during many kalpas. On the eve of death he will meet a good and learned teacher who will, soothing and encouraging him in various ways, preach to him the excellent Dharma and teach him the remembrance of Buddha, but, being harassed by pains, he will have no time to think of Buddha. Some good friend will then say to him: "Even if you cannot exercise the remembrance of Buddha, you may, at least, utter the name, "Buddha Amitayus." Let him do so serenely with his voice uninterrupted; let him be (continually) thinking of Buddha until he has completed ten times the thought, repeating the formula, "Adoration to Buddha Amitayus" (Namah Amitabha Buddhayah, Namu Amida Butsu). On the strength of his merit of uttering that Buddha's name he will, during every repetition, expiate the sins which involved him in births and deaths during eighty million kalpas. He will, while dying, see a golden lotus-flower like the disk of the sun appearing before his eyes; in a moment he will be born in the World of Highest Happiness. After twelve greater kalpas the lotus-flower will unfold; thereupon the Bodhisattvas Avalokitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta, raising their voices in great compassion, will preach to him in detail the real state of all the elements of nature and the law of the expiation of sins. On hearing them he will rejoice and will immediately direct his thought toward the attainment of the Bodhi -- such are the beings who are to be born in the lowest form of the lowest grade to Buddhahood. The perception of the above three is called the meditation of the inferior class of beings, and is the Sixteenth Meditation.'

You forgot to highlight the most important part above. Combine that with the excerpt from the Amitabha Sutra:
Śāriputra, those with few good roots and the causes of merit, may not attain birth in this land. Śāriputra, if there is a virtuous man or virtuous woman who hears and speaks ‘Amitābha Buddha,’ holding and maintaining his name for one, two, three, four, five, six, or seven days single-mindedly without confusion, then at the end of his or her life, Amitābha Buddha will appear with the multitude of holy beings. At the end of this person’s life, with a mind unconfused, he or she will quickly attain rebirth in Amitābha Buddha’s land of Sukhāvatī.

So, don't mean to give the bad news, but doesn't seems like the odds of someone who committed the ten wicked actions, the five deadly sins and yet able to recite the Buddha's name serenely with his voice uninterrupted or single-mindedly without confusion is very high. Afterall, even if right at this moment when our mind is sober and healthy and we still have trouble doing it, what do you expect someone on their death bed when their mind is muddled with pain, confusion, and the haunting images of all the bad things they've done thruout their life? It wouldn't be wise to live a life doing unwholesome thing and then bet on the chance of seeing a good teacher and the ability to recite the Buddha's name flawlessly at the very last moment of life.
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Re: Jodo Shinshu and the non-believer's "outcome"

Postby steveb1 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:05 pm

Thanks to all who are replying to my question :)
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Re: Jodo Shinshu and the non-believer's "outcome"

Postby Astus » Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:11 pm

Amida is not some kind of deity to enforce anything on beings. Everybody is a victim of their own doings. Therefore, only if one has the proper connection with the Vow it is possible to be born in the Pure Land. And that connection is faith itself.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Jodo Shinshu and the non-believer's "outcome"

Postby PorkChop » Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:18 pm

santa100 wrote:You forgot to highlight the most important part above.

I didn't forget anything: "perfect conduct is definitely not a prerequisite; but apparently hearing the teachings (and 10 recitations) is." I think encountering that spiritual friend & actually being able to practice those 10 recitations would require the fruition of some rather good karma.

santa100 wrote:Combine that with the excerpt from the Amitabha Sutra:

Depends which one you take as authoritative I guess, the Amitabha Sutra's more of an overview, the Visualization is much more specific. More importantly, given the fact that this is a Jodo Shinshu thread, it really depends which one Jodo Shinshu takes as authoritative. ShanTao, Honen, and (by extension) Shinran were adamant that the 3 fold entrusting heart-mind was necessary for Pure Land birth (which is straight from the Meditation Sutra). ShanTao and Honen taught specifically that this 3 fold heart-mind would arise naturally out of the continued practice of nembutsu/nianfo (the Amitabha sutra stresses entrusting through practice as well). Shinran warned against "poisoned practices" (ie practices with impure motivations - which would violate the 1st of the 3-fold heart-mind, the genuine heart), but still followed ShanTao's recommendation of "nembutsu without ceasing". Honen & Shinran both taught that one should have faith as if one recitation were enough to achieve Pure Land birth, and yet still recite throughout one's life. ShanTao's quote was basically to the effect of "how dare you not practice with every waking moment." :) So in that sense, yes teachings of the Amitabha sutra are held true in the teachings of Jodo Shinshu (and Jodo Shu).

santa100 wrote:It wouldn't be wise to live a life doing unwholesome thing and then bet on the chance of seeing a good teacher and the ability to recite the Buddha's name flawlessly at the very last moment of life.


Totally agree, this is something Honen & Shinran repeatedly warned against, especially in condemning the Once-Calling school of Kosai (who taught that one need do nothing their whole life and only recite once at death). A famous quote from Shinran is "Do not take a liking to poison just because there is an antidote." On the other hand, when it came to ethics, Honen & Shinran were accommodating to those who couldn't lead perfect lives. Honen recommended following precepts, bodhisattva vows, and hard work; but was adamant that even those living unwholesome lives (prostitutes, fishermen, samurai) could work towards liberation. Shinran felt that most precepts and vows were too easily corrupted by impure motivations like pride and greedy self-interest. Shinran stressed gratitude, faith in the vow, and naturalness - with the idea that through such thoughts one would be less inclined towards unwholesome acts. Like I said though, neither Honen nor Shinran recommended rejoicing in unwholesome acts. Honen was able to turn around the lives of at least one famous prostitute and one famous samurai.

Sorry if this is any stuff you've already heard, just thought I'd clarify my position.
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Re: Jodo Shinshu and the non-believer's "outcome"

Postby santa100 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:45 pm

PorkChop wrote:I didn't forget anything: "perfect conduct is definitely not a prerequisite; but apparently hearing the teachings (and 10 recitations) is." I think encountering that spiritual friend & actually being able to practice those 10 recitations would require the fruition of some rather good karma.

Well, if faith alone is all one needs to get to the Pure Land, then at this very moment, our Christian brothers, Muslim brothers, Hindu, and many others will make the same exact argument as you're doing. Afterall, if Jesus says "I am the way, the truth, and the life" and faith in him is all that's needed, then that's bad news for Pure Land followers and anyone who are not hearing Jesus' teachings and recitations, they will have zero chance to get to sit to the right of his throne when they die. Same thing the Muslims gonna say with their Allah, the Hindus with their Brahma, and many many others. Now if we carefully read the Contemplation Sutra and the Amitabha Sutra, while the Buddha didn't say that "pefect" conduct is a prerequisite, He did say that certain conditions will have to be met beside mere recitation in order to be reborn in the Pure Land. That is the logical way to see it. Just like any reasonable Christians will say that one will need to "not covet thy neighbors' wife" and observe the rest of the Ten Commandment in order to be with Christ and any mere talk of simply "believing" in him is not gonna cut it. Similar thing for Muslims and others. Looking at things this way will create harmony instead of division among religions. It's the concrete actions of the Buddhists' "abstain from sexual misconduct" or the Christians' "thou shall not covet thy neighbor's wife" that matter at the end, not the "you gotta believe in My Amitabha" or "My Jesus" or "My Allah", etc. and you're screwed if you don't.
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Re: Jodo Shinshu and the non-believer's "outcome"

Postby PorkChop » Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:42 am

santa100 wrote:Well, if faith alone is all one needs to get to the Pure Land, then at this very moment, our Christian brothers, Muslim brothers, Hindu, and many others will make the same exact argument as you're doing.


Different kind of faith. It's an entrustment in a vow, rather than an a priori belief and it has 3 characteristics not shared by devotional faiths. The Meditation Sutra is rather specific about the 3 fold heart of entrustment, which is defined as the following:
1. The genuine heart - being honest about one's practice and earnestly being mindful of one's thoughts, words, deeds, and capacities that are based in the 3 poisons.
2. The profound heart - the heart that realizes one's limited capacities and a settled entrusting in the vow that we'll receive teachings in the perfect environment to learn & practice, thus leading to liberation.
3. The heart that dedicates merits of oneself and others towards Pure Land birth (for everyone) - the "Other Power" version of bodhicitta & the 4 brahma viharas.

santa100 wrote:Afterall, if Jesus says "I am the way, the truth, and the life" and faith in him is all that's needed, then that's bad news for Pure Land followers and anyone who are not hearing Jesus' teachings and recitations, they will have zero chance to get to sit to the right of his throne when they die.


Yeah, but Pure Land birth is just the beginning. The 48 vows are pretty clear that those born in the Pure Land make progress on the bodhisattva path. Shinran happened to think this occurs very quickly; but still the common idea is that anybody can go to the Pure Land, but nobody stays there. They're all too busy engaging in enlightened activity to benefit other sentient beings.

santa100 wrote:He did say that certain conditions will have to be met beside mere recitation in order to be reborn in the Pure Land.


Actually no, this is against the teachings of Shan Tao, Honen, Shinran, and the 2 sutras we just quoted- it was very clearly written in the quotes we just gave. The masters I mentioned go into this in great detail, complete with quotes from various sutras and other masters. You may point out the line in the Amitabha Sutra that says "no small good roots" but according to the Sanskrit original, this line originally read "common acts of merit are not enough".

This is not Christianity, these comparisons aren't adding anything to the conversation. If the sutras are not plain enough, you may want to read some of the commentaries I've mentioned, as this thread is on the school of Jodo Shinshu and not some Christianity-inspired interpretation of the sutras.
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Re: Jodo Shinshu and the non-believer's "outcome"

Postby santa100 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:53 am

PorkChop wrote:Actually no, this is against the teachings of Shan Tao, Honen, Shinran, and the 2 sutras we just quoted- it was very clearly written in the quotes we just gave. The masters I mentioned go into this in great detail, complete with quotes from various sutras and other masters. You may point out the line in the Amitabha Sutra that says "no small good roots" but according to the Sanskrit original, this line originally read "common acts of merit are not enough".

No, what you're saying is directly against what were said by the Buddha in the Contemplation Sutra and the Amitabha Sutra, specifically the quotes I just gave. I have specifically pointed out the 2 sutras important messages that reciting "alone" is NOT enough. It's the "serenely with voice uninterrupted", the "continually thinking of the Buddha", the "single-mindedly without confusion", and the "threefold goodness" conditions that have to be met to qualify.
PorkChop wrote:This is not Christianity, these comparisons aren't adding anything to the conversation. If the sutras are not plain enough, you may want to read some of the commentaries I've mentioned, as this thread is on the school of Jodo Shinshu and not some Christianity-inspired interpretation of the sutras.

The comparisons have everything thing to do with the conversation. If our reasoning is not sound, our Christian, Muslim, Hindus brothers could use the same exact arguments on their side. And this only does more harm to the already heavily divided state of existence we're in.
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Re: Jodo Shinshu and the non-believer's "outcome"

Postby steveb1 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:02 am

Having started this thread, I feel the need to stick my big nose into it again, for clarification -

I think my motivation was to invite reflection on something I've read and is part of the series of Amida's great Vows - namely, that "His" work will not be completed until "ALL" sentient beings have been rescued from samsara and become Buddhas in the Pure Land.

So, it would at least seem that even those who die without believing in Shin-Amida and not reciting the Nembutsu, still have a future certainty that this will come about - by Amida's omnipresent grace. Is this a legitimate conclusion?
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Re: Jodo Shinshu and the non-believer's "outcome"

Postby PorkChop » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:07 am

santa100 wrote:No, what you're saying is directly against what were said in the Contemplation Sutra and the Amitabha Sutra, specifically the quotes I just gave.


Then we're at an impasse because your reading of those sutras goes against not only mine but the readings of the Jodo Shinshu school. For the third time, this is a thread on Jodo Shinshu doctrine, not your own made up readings.

santa100 wrote:I have specifically pointed out the 2 sutras important messages that reciting "alone" is NOT enough. It's the "serenely with voice uninterrupted", the "continually thinking of the Buddha", and the "single-mindedly without confusion" conditions that have to be met to qualify.


Those are all qualities of recitation; in fact I don't know how one can recite Nembutsu without thinking of the Buddha. Single-mindedness comes naturally as a result of recitation; this was the teaching of ShanTao and Honen - both of whom realized Buddha-Recitation Samadhi (Samadhi through Buddha name recitation) and both of them formed the basis of Shinran's doctrine (along with the other Shin Shu patriarchs).

santa100 wrote:The comparisons have everything thing to do with the conversation. If our reasoning is not sound, our Christian, Muslim, Hindus brothers could use the same exact arguments on their side. And this only does more harm to the already heavily divided state of existence we're in.


No they don't. I gave specific reasons for the legitimacy of this Buddhist path - pointing it back to liberation from suffering; the aim of all Buddhist paths, and the goal of enlightenment to help alleviate the suffering of other sentient beings which is the goal of the Mahayana paths. You're clinging too hard to any similarities to other faiths without reading the doctrine on its own terms.

The original question was what happens to people who don't encounter Pure Land teachings on death according to the school of Jodo Shinshu. The standard Buddhist answer is that they will arise in another location based on their karma, but that they likely won't achieve birth in the Pure Land of Sukhavati. Why it matters what other faiths teach and their supposed similarity to what Jodo Shinshu teaches is something I don't understand. I do not see how it adds to the conversation.

If you're going to compare it to anything, it has more parallels with the modern phenomena of young adults who get in trouble and are faced with the choice of jail or entering the military. In the case of the original post, if the person did not encounter a lawyer (spiritual friend), who knew about the option to serve the military (enter the Pure Land of Sukhavati to progress towards Enlightenment for the sake of helping other sentient beings), then he's probably not going to get the deal.
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Re: Jodo Shinshu and the non-believer's "outcome"

Postby PorkChop » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:12 am

steveb1 wrote:Having started this thread, I feel the need to stick my big nose into it again, for clarification -

I think my motivation was to invite reflection on something I've read and is part of the series of Amida's great Vows - namely, that "His" work will not be completed until "ALL" sentient beings have been rescued from samsara and become Buddhas in the Pure Land.

So, it would at least seem that even those who die without believing in Shin-Amida and not reciting the Nembutsu, still have a future certainty that this will come about - by Amida's omnipresent grace. Is this a legitimate conclusion?


If their karma lets them encounter the teachings and they sincerely vow to be born there (hence "normal good deeds are not enough"), then the door's always open. Remember though, following the 5 precepts is almost a guarantee of a pretty high level of heaven according to standard Buddhist cosmology, so if they were decent people they shouldn't worry too much about states of woe (at least in the short term).
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Re: Jodo Shinshu and the non-believer's "outcome"

Postby steveb1 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:14 am

PorkChop wrote:
steveb1 wrote:Having started this thread, I feel the need to stick my big nose into it again, for clarification -

I think my motivation was to invite reflection on something I've read and is part of the series of Amida's great Vows - namely, that "His" work will not be completed until "ALL" sentient beings have been rescued from samsara and become Buddhas in the Pure Land.

So, it would at least seem that even those who die without believing in Shin-Amida and not reciting the Nembutsu, still have a future certainty that this will come about - by Amida's omnipresent grace. Is this a legitimate conclusion?


If their karma lets them encounter the teachings and they sincerely vow to be born there (hence "normal good deeds are not enough"), then the door's always open. Remember though, following the 5 precepts is almost a guarantee of a pretty high level of heaven according to standard Buddhist cosmology, so if they were decent people they shouldn't worry too much about states of woe (at least in the short term).


Okay, thanks for the information, pork chop :)
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Re: Jodo Shinshu and the non-believer's "outcome"

Postby santa100 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:32 am

PorkChop wrote:Then we're at an impasse because your reading of those sutras goes against not only mine but the readings of the Jodo Shinshu school. For the third time, this is a thread on Jodo Shinshu doctrine, not your own made up readings.

Is it my own made up readings or your own made up readings? By the way, notice the forum is East Asian Buddhism > Pure Land. So if you don't acknowledge the authority of the 3 Pure Land Sutras, including the Amitabha Sutra, then you are the one who should watch what you're saying. Jodo Shinshu is Pure Land. And Pure Land is the teaching of the Buddha.
PorkChop wrote:No they don't. I gave specific reasons for the legitimacy of this Buddhist path - pointing it back to liberation from suffering; the aim of all Buddhist paths, and the goal of enlightenment to help alleviate the suffering of other sentient beings which is the goal of the Mahayana paths. You're clinging too hard to any similarities to other faiths without reading the doctrine on its own terms.

Yes they do. You're the one who are clinging too hard to just a particular teaching without keeping in mind the global picture, the global environment all sentient beings are sharing, which is the earth. By the way, using your analogy, that young adult won't get very far without doing his or her own homework even after getting the advise from the lawyer.
PorkChop wrote:in fact I don't know how one can recite Nembutsu without thinking of the Buddha. Single-mindedness comes naturally as a result of recitation

Not true. A distracted mind can make one think about lots of stuff even when s/he is reciting Nembutsu. If everyone here think that's not the case then I'll shut up. And if single-mindedness came "naturally" as a result of recitation ONLY, then the Buddha wouldn't have emphasized the importance of practicing the threefold-goodness in the Contemplation Sutra.
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Re: Jodo Shinshu and the non-believer's "outcome"

Postby PorkChop » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:48 am

santa100 wrote:Is it my own made up readings or your own made up readings?

Fairly certain their your's...
If you'd ever read the Kyogyo Shin Sho; Shinran's magnum opus, then you'd understand the way Shinran interpreted those passages.
You could also read the Ichimai Kisshomon (1 Page Document) from Honen which states everything I said explicitly, or Shan Tao's Commentary on the Meditation Sutra; which all take the same standpoint, which is the idea that everything that you mentioned as separate from recitation & establishing the 3-fold heart-mind of entrusting is in fact a natural result of recitation.
Don't take my word for it, read the documents. They source the sutras and explain the passages.

Yes, it is a Pure Land subforum, Jodo Shinshu is a Pure Land school, and they are entitled to their own interpretations of specific passages. The doctrines of other Pure Land schools on this thread are actually off topic as this thread was explicitly about Jodo Shinshu.

santa100 wrote:Yes they do. You're the one who are clinging too hard to just a particular teaching without keeping in mind the global picture, the global environment all sentient beings are sharing, which is the earth. By the way, using your analogy, that young adult won't get very far without doing his or her own homework even after getting the advise from the lawyer.


I'm offering on-topic advice. You don't seem to be capable of that. Nowhere in the initial post were other religions asked about. Neither was a global environment mentioned. A very specific question was asked. I answered it.

I think you're a little confused about the advice from the lawyer. It is not typically an expectation to have to do one's own legal research when one is on trial, in fact, that is the whole point for hiring legal counsel. The "homework" comes when it's time for the actual service (manifesting skillful means to help alleviate the suffering of sentient beings after one has achieved Pure Land birth).
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Re: Jodo Shinshu and the non-believer's "outcome"

Postby PorkChop » Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:02 am

santa100 wrote:Forgive me if I take the words of the Buddha in the 3 Pure Land sutras over your own speculation in regards to the doctrinal standpoint & meditative practices; especially considering the 3 sutras mentioned are the recognized as the goto source for all Pure Land practitioners.


We're talking about Jodo Shinshu I'm giving their doctrinal standpoint. It's not my speculation, it's their research and frankly, they're more well read than you are. They know which statements by the Buddha are provisional and which are true. Unlike you, they've experienced the fruits of the path.

santa100 wrote:Are you saying your masters and commentary have a higher authority over the sutra?


Yes, but the sutra has both statements and given the fact that the one I posted was the bare minimum and the one you posted was just a general guideline, I think I'll take the one specifically designated the bare minimum as the bare minimum.
Plenty of sutras talk about recognizing the provisional and following the real.

Amida's vow is considered the most authoritative...
(18) If, when I attain Buddhahood, sentient beings in the lands of the ten quarters who sincerely and joyfully entrust themselves to me, desire to be born in my land, and call my Name, even ten times, should not be born there, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment. Excluded, however, are those who commit the five gravest offences and abuse the right Dharma.
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Re: Jodo Shinshu and the non-believer's "outcome"

Postby Son of Buddha » Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:47 am

Santa100
Śāriputra, those with few good roots and the causes of merit, may not attain birth in this land. Śāriputra, if there is a virtuous man or virtuous woman who hears an speaks ‘Amitābha Buddha,’ holding and maintaining his name for one, two, three, four, five, six, or seven days single-mindedly without confusion, then at the end of his or her life, Amitābha Buddha will appear with the multitude of holy beings. At the end of this person’s life, with a mind unconfused, he or she will quickly attain rebirth in Amitābha Buddha’s land of Sukhāvatī.


. When my effort and merits are perfected, my majestic light will shine brilliantly in all the ten directions. Outshining both thesun and the moon and far surpassing in brightness all the lights in the heavens. I will open thestorehouse of the Dharma for the masses and generously transfer to them all my wealth of merit, always being amongst the assembly, I will preach the Dharma with the lion’s roar.
--larger sutra

The merit is provided to us throught Amitabha's merit transference,so it cannot be said that those with Shinjin have few good roots or lack merit to enter the pure land.

As far as the exclusions in the 18th vow,those who fall under that will end up in the (boarderland)
For 500 yrs.....

Also note the exclusions are not permanent,if they were then that would be equivilant to eternal damnation.

The lowest class
The Buddha said to Ananda,”Thoseof thelowest class are the gods and humans from theworlds in theten directions who sincerely wish to be reborn into his land, and although they are unable to do many meritorious actions, they still aspire to attain unsurpassed Enlightenment, and single mindedly concentrate on Buddha Amitabha, even if it is for only ten brief moments of thought, with the desire to be born into his land. When they hear the profound Dharma, they joyously accept it with faith without entertaining any doubts, even if they only remember the Buddha just once,
sincerely resolving to be reborn into his land, when they are about to die, they will see this Buddha in a dream, and upon dying they will be reborn into his pure land. Their merits and wisdom being below those of the middle class.”
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