Images of descending Amida

Images of descending Amida

Postby wishing » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:41 am

Hello all, first post here so please be gentle. :)

I'm sure many people here are familiar with the image of Amida Buddha descending from the sky surrounded by rays of light and attending Bodhisattvas, which is (was) a popular subject for paintings in Japan. What I am wondering is whether this image is based on a specific sutra passage? Looking over the shorter and longer Sukhavativyuha Sutras, I've only noticed descriptions of the glories of Sukhavati itself - not of the image of Amida descending to earth. Any ideas?
wishing
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:34 am

Re: Images of descending Amida

Postby Astus » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:58 am

It's Amita Buddha greeting the deceased to escort them to the Pure Land. I guess.
"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)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“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; T2076p461b24-26)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4238
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Images of descending Amida

Postby wishing » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:34 am

Indeed. What I'm wondering is what text or story the image is based on, if any.
wishing
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:34 am

Re: Images of descending Amida

Postby Astus » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:25 pm

"When an aspirant is about to be born in that land through dedicated and undaunted practices, the Tathagata Amitayus arrives together with Avalokiteshvara, Mahasthamaprapta, innumerable transformed Buddhas, a great assembly of a hundred thousand monks and shravakas and innumerable devas in seven-jewelled palaces. The Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, carrying a vajra-seat, together with the Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprapta, approaches the aspirant. Amitayus releases a great flood of light which illuminates the aspirant's body and, along with the bodhisattvas, extends his hands in welcome. Avalokiteshvara and Mahasthamaprapta, together with innumerable bodhisattvas, praise and encourage the aspirant. Seeing this, the aspirant rejoices so greatly as to dance. Then he sees himself sitting on the vajra-seat, and following the Buddha, is born into that land in the time it takes to snap one's fingers."
(Contemplation Sutra, tr. H. Inagaki)
"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)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“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; T2076p461b24-26)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4238
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Images of descending Amida

Postby plwk » Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:57 pm

What I am wondering is whether this image is based on a specific sutra passage?

The image is based on the Primal Vow of Amitabha Buddha. Consider this excerpt....(Vow #18)
http://www.ymba.org/BWF/bwf83.htm
In the realm of the ten directions, there are innumerable beautifully and purely adorned Buddha lands, such as the Pure Lapis Lazuli Land mentioned in the Medicine (Healing) Buddha Sutra, or the Land of Many Fragrances and Sublime Joy found in the Vimalakirti Sutra. This being so, why should we restrict ourselves to seeking rebirth in the Western Pure Land? There are basically three reasons, namely:
2. Because Amitabha Buddha has adorned the Western Pure Land with Forty-Eight lofty Vows. These Vows [particularly the Eighteenth Vow of "welcoming and escorting"] embrace all sentient beings, from Bodhisattvas to common beings full of evil transgressions.

The Primal Vow of Amitabha Buddha...
http://web.mit.edu/stclair/www/larger.html
"O Bhagavat, 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 Offenses and abuse the Right Dharma.

And others...
http://buddhistfaith.tripod.com/purelan ... s/id2.html
If, when I attain Buddhahood, sentient beings in the Lands of the Ten Quarters, who awaken aspiration for Enlightenment, do various meritorious deeds and sincerely desire to be born in My Land, should not, at their death, see Me appear before them surrounded by a multitude of Sages, may I not attain Perfect Enlightenment.
http://www.drba.org/dharma/amitabhasutra.asp
Shariputra, if there is a good man or good woman who hears of Amitabha and holds his name whether for one day, two days, three, four, five days, six days, as long as seven days with one mind unconfused, when this person nears the end of life, before him will appear Amitabha and all the Assembly of Holy Ones.
plwk
 
Posts: 2733
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am

Re: Images of descending Amida

Postby wishing » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:31 pm

That's fantastic, thank you. :)

南無阿弥陀仏
wishing
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:34 am

Re: Images of descending Amida

Postby sinweiy » Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:09 am

noted from Master Chin Kung that to a good cultivator, one do not die here and go there. we go there while we are ALIVE (when Amitabha and all come and get us), then the body dies. not so much the other way around, that we die first before we go there.

/\
_/\_
Amituofo!

"Enlightenment is to turn around and see MY own mistake, Other's mistake is also my mistake. Others are right even if they are wrong. i'm wrong even if i'm right. " - Master Chin Kung
User avatar
sinweiy
 
Posts: 271
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:18 am
Location: Singapore

Re: Images of descending Amida

Postby rory » Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:11 am

Gassho & welcome wishing;
people in this forum are extremely kind & helpful, I've known many of them for years from e-sangha; so please ask anything, No worries; we're here to help one another along the pure land path!
rory
Dharani of Amoghapasa Avalokitesvara:

Om amogha-padma-pasa-krodhakarsaya praveshaya maha-pashupati-yama-varuna-kuvera
brahma-vesa-dhara padma-kula-samayan hum hum

heart mantra: Om amogha vijaya hum phat
User avatar
rory
 
Posts: 710
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 8:08 am
Location: SouthEast USA


Return to Pure Land

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: jaidyncasey and 3 guests

>