No Auspicious Signs = No affinities with Amitabha?

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Nosta
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No Auspicious Signs = No affinities with Amitabha?

Postby Nosta » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:38 pm

Here you have 2 questions:

1) Have you ever had any auspicious sign thast confirm your next rebirth in Pure Land?

2) If not, do you think that means you may not rebirth there and/or that you dont have affinity with Amitabha?

The reason for this last question is this sentence i found:
If you recite
Amitabha Buddha’s name in earnest, without interruption, it is very
easy to see Him. Otherwise, it is very difficult. If you do not see the
Buddha, you do not have affinities with Him. Without affinities, it is
certainly difficult to achieve rebirth in the Pure Land. If you are not
reborn in the Pure Land, sooner or later you will descend into the Evil
Realms. Thus, a single thought of interrupting recitation is precisely
the karma of rebirth on the Three Evil Paths. You should bear this in
mind and ponder it carefully! (Master Tien Ju).

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Re: No Auspicious Signs = No affinities with Amitabha?

Postby steveb1 » Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:09 am

The verse is unfamiliar to me and so is the theory. I'm Jodo Shinshu, where the idea is that Amida supplies one's own Shinjin without signs. Amida issues the Call, and provides its echo in us. Since we cannot conceive of the Call and/or provide its response through self-power, the Call and its reply are attributed to Amida's Other Power. So in a sense, the experienced Call and reply are in themselves "auspicious signs". I know it might sound circular, but I think this is how it works in Jodo Shinshu - Amida issues the Call, and replicates it in us. Seeing this Other Power operating in us without involvement of our self-power is a kind of "sign" that Another is operating in our lives, and which causes affinity with Amida, which we express by saying "Thank you" via the Nembutsu.

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Re: No Auspicious Signs = No affinities with Amitabha?

Postby plwk » Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:53 am


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Osho
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Re: No Auspicious Signs = No affinities with Amitabha?

Postby Osho » Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:35 pm

Auspicious signs are predicated on jiriki. A self power. Unless I have seen signs then I will not succeed, so I must try harder.
Pure Land on the other hand is a simpler path for 'foolish beings of wayward passion' [bombu], self included.
Tariki is other power, naught of ourselves. No signs just trust.
And chant.
Namo Amida Bu
Try it.
What's to lose?
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Re: No Auspicious Signs = No affinities with Amitabha?

Postby cheondo » Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:39 pm

I think it's unfortunate this was recorded by Tienju. I thought this over for a while. First, Amita has affinity with all sentient beings, as recorded in the sutras. The sutras obviously trump a human being's utterance, therefore give precedence to the sutras.

Second, much of these "writings" are dialogues remembered by disciples, written down much later. You cannot take a statement out of context and apply to everyone, all the time.

Finally, he may have been talking to a monk who's been doing nienfo dilligently for a long time. I doubt any of us have done this practice one-pointedly for a long time like a monk. We're not monastics living in rural China. This, again, relates to context.

The fact that you do have an interest in Amita means karmic affinity -- Amita has an interest in you -- and everyone, especially those who practice.
Amitoufu.

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purelandway.wordpress.com

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Re: No Auspicious Signs = No affinities with Amitabha?

Postby Osho » Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:19 am

[quote="cheondo"]I think it's unfortunate this was recorded by Tienju. I thought this over for a while. First, Amita has affinity with all sentient beings, as recorded in the sutras. The sutras obviously trump a human being's utterance, therefore give precedence to the sutras.

Second, much of these "writings" are dialogues remembered by disciples, written down much later. You cannot take a statement out of context and apply to everyone, all the time.

Finally, he may have been talking to a monk who's been doing nienfo dilligently for a long time. I doubt any of us have done this practice one-pointedly for a long time like a monk. We're not monastics living in rural China. This, again, relates to context.

The fact that you do have an interest in Amita means karmic affinity -- Amita has an interest in you -- and everyone, especially those who practice.
Amitoufu.
............................

:good:
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Re: No Auspicious Signs = No affinities with Amitabha?

Postby sinweiy » Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:50 am

_/\_
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

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Re: No Auspicious Signs = No affinities with Amitabha?

Postby Nosta » Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:19 pm

Thanks for the posts so far.

CHEONDO: In fact you pointed something important: the opinion of someone, even a monk, is not best than what is written in a Sutra.

SINWEY: So, not everybody will see Amitabha before death? But still, they will reborn on Pure Land correct? I mean, do we really need to have a rebirth sign in order to reborn on Pure Land, or even without any sign one may get a rebirth there?

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Re: No Auspicious Signs = No affinities with Amitabha?

Postby Osho » Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:39 pm

Chanting is sufficient.
Rebirth in Pure Land is not predicated on signs seen before or at the point of death.
Nor is it necessayy to be chanting at the point of death.
It is the Intention during or when not chanting that matters.
Hearts to Amida Buddha plus chanting with intention when possible assures our ultimate arrival in the Pure Land.
Namo Amida Bu
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Re: No Auspicious Signs = No affinities with Amitabha?

Postby Mr. G » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:06 am


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Re: No Auspicious Signs = No affinities with Amitabha?

Postby sinweiy » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:35 am

Last edited by sinweiy on Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
_/\_
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

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Re: No Auspicious Signs = No affinities with Amitabha?

Postby sinweiy » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:41 am

why i said seeing is at the time of death is exactly what Amitabha Sutra Stated:-

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. When the end comes, his mind will not be utterly confused, and in Amitabha's Land of Utmost Happiness he will quickly be reborn.

there's nothing we can ask anyone to proof on the seeing, as it's right before the point of death. if one never see Amitabha at death point, then i am sorry, no rebirth yet. however, i believe in the bardo period, there can be another chance for one to recall back the practice. even in ghosts realm, there are still chance to be liberated, by recalling or by the help of others.
it is like the methods in the Tibetan Vajrayana that can help to influence one's future rebirth and block unfavorable rebirths but that require deep familiarisation prior to death. Also, if the family creates merits for the deceased and he is aided by realised masters, he can obtain a positive rebirth.
Deep familiarisation with PL practice is very good. create merits like taking the 8 precepts is very very good too, in the example of the Queen in Contemplation Sutra.
_/\_
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

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Re: No Auspicious Signs = No affinities with Amitabha?

Postby Nosta » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:17 pm

So, from what I understand about your sayings, is that at least each one of us will see Amitabha before death. If not, Sukhavati will be achieved, at least in this life. Other auspicious signs besides that are like bonus: if you have them, thats ok, if not, thats ok too, regarding that you can see Amitabha in the very moment of death.

If i can take a lesson from here, is this: do not be to much crazy about signs, but make a strong effort (do recitations daily and firm your Faith) to have Amitabha escorting you to Pure Land.

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Re: No Auspicious Signs = No affinities with Amitabha?

Postby sinweiy » Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:29 am

"Amitabha escorting you to Pure Land" :twothumbsup:

ok, in Contemplation Sutra of Amitabha, other than the last lowest level of the lowest grade, which only see golden lotus-flower, the rest are seeing Amitabha, or Avalokiteshvara, Mahasthamaprapta, or Transformed Buddha, coming to escort.

Contemplation Sutra of Amitabha:-
http://www12.canvas.ne.jp/horai/contemplation-sutra.htm

Nine grades of birth:
1) the highest level of the highest grade
"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.

2) the middle level of the highest grade
"When such an aspirant is about to die, Amitayus appears before him, surrounded by Avalokiteshvara, Mahasthamaprapta and innumerable sages and attendants, carrying a purple-gold lotus-seat.

3) the lowest level of the highest grade
"When such an aspirant is about to die, Amitayus, together with Avalokiteshvara, Mahasthamaprapta and a host of attendants, come to welcome him, bringing a golden lotus-flower and manifesting five hundred transformed Buddhas.

4) the highest level of the middle grade
"When such a person is about to die, Amitayus appears before him, surrounded by a host of monks and radiating a golden light.

5) the middle level of the middle grade
"When such an aspirant, perfumed by the virtue of observing the precepts, is about to die, he sees Amitayus coming towards him with his attendants, radiating a golden light and carrying a seven-jewelled lotus-flower.


6) the lowest level of the middle grade
Seven days after his birth there, he meets Avalokiteshvara and Mahasthamaprapta, rejoices at hearing the Dharma from them and so reaches the Stage of a Stream-Winner.

7) the highest level of the lowest grade
Having seen this, he rejoices and dies. Seated on a jewelled lotus-flower, he follows the transformed Buddha and is born on a jewelled pond.

8) the middle level of the lowest grade
On each flower is a transformed Buddha accompanied by bodhisattvas welcoming him.

9) the lowest level of the lowest grade
When he comes to die, he sees before him a golden lotus-flower like the disk of the sun, and in an instant he is born within a lotus-bud in the Land of Utmost Bliss. After twelve great kalpas the lotus-bud opens. When the flower opens, Avalokiteshvara and Mahasthamaprapta teach him with voices of great compassion the method of extinguishing evil karma through the realization of Suchness of all dharmas.
_/\_
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

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Re: No Auspicious Signs = No affinities with Amitabha?

Postby Osho » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:20 pm

These are wise and auspicious postings indeed and it is joyous to see these interests aired here proving Amida affiliation.
The gracious attribute of Pure Land path is that of a road designed for simple men and women to travel on.
We can travel assured of the 18th Vow, chanting with intention and living each day in trust that we shall arrive in Pure Land.
Others may believe that they need to know how many Devas exactly can dance on the head of a pin. Some think that learning Tibetan language in order for textual analysis of Sutras will bring success but devotees of Pure Land path who chant with intention for others and self, just trusting... for them the way to Amitabha Rewarded Land is joyfully simple.
Chant is both pathway and signpost.
Namo Amida Bu.
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Re: No Auspicious Signs = No affinities with Amitabha?

Postby Nosta » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:08 pm

Osho, indeed it is a great thing sharing these ideas; auspicious signs for sure. Thats a good and very interesting observation you made :thumbsup:

Sinwey, thanks for the link and for the explanations :thanks:

From the link you gave, here are some observations, questions, commentaries, etc:
1) "After twelve great kalpas the lotus-bud opens." - this is regarding the birth in the lowest grade of all. My commentary here is that it must be someting very stressing to be inside a lotus flower (whatever that means) for 12 great kalpas (15 360 000 000 000 years! roughly 1000x times the ae of the universe!). Isnt that something bad too?

2) "the evil karma which he has committed during eighty kotis of kalpas of Samsara are extinguished"- this is regarding the lowest and middle levels of the lowest grade - it is hard to believe that one can extinguish the karma of such great lenght of time (its even bigger than the number i gave before if I am not wrong: 10 280 000 000 000 000 years!!). Even so i think thats very possible: we are talking about an action (recitation) made in the time of death, where things have more strenght than in life (Tibetan Book of Dead, for example, says that emotions, concentration, confusion, etc, whatever you find in the bardo, are MUCH more powerful). Doing recitations while dying means that you are opening the door to Sukhavati, so its natural that right in that moment you "explode" with you all that karma. Its like cleaning your shoes before entering in the beautiful house of a rich person. Just my opinion of course.

3) Nevertheless: "fifty kotis of kalpas " is the karma you extinguish while entering directly to the highest level of the lowest grade. Its an higher level than the others, so why do you extinguish less karma (or karma of less years)? My opinion is that the factors that make you enter in that higher level imply that you have already less bad karma, so when you recitate (and you are in the verge of reaching that level) you dont need to extinguish so much bad karma.

4) Its curious to see that, for example, people reaching the lowest level of the middle grade dont see anyone (Amitabha, Monks, Boddhistavas, etc) while dying.

5) We find often, in that sutra, this: "When such a person is about to die, he may meet a good teacher, who fully explains to him the bliss of the land of Amitayus...". I hope that this doesnt mean that we necessarily need to have a teacher, especially at the time of death. Being so, i wouldnt have any chance to reborn on Pure Land since i live in Portugal :D. I think that what the sentence means is that someone not knowing about Amitabha, even so can reach Pure Land if, at the time of his death, finds a teacher speaking about Amitabha.

6) Something i dont get: in the lowest level of the middle grade you need 1 small kalpa to become an Arhat. In the middle level of the middle grade (so, a better level) you need half a kalpa: "After half a kalpa, he becomes an Arhat.", and thats much bigger than a small kalpa. Could that be an error? Maybe the translation should be "After hald a small kalpa..."

7) In the same way, having rebirth in the highest level of the middle grade means seeing the lotus bud opening right away, but the rebirth in lowest level of the highest grade means seeing the lotus bud opening only after a day and a night.

8) Why in some levels your flower open early than others or why you see perfectly the body of Buddha while in some levels you cant do it? Is Buddha rewarding/punishing you? I dont think so. I think that altought Karma "stays at door" when you reach Pure Land, i think that there still exists a residue. I mean, reaching a lower level for example, means that you have more mental obstructions that stops you from seeing the Buddha right away.

9) Reading the levels and comparing then to my own life, i think that if i reacch Pure Land (i hope so!!!) my level may be, at the best, the highest level of the lowest grade or maybe the lowest level of the middle grade. What about you? :)

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Re: No Auspicious Signs = No affinities with Amitabha?

Postby Osho » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:53 pm

If we were to discuss the defilements and hindrances of sentient beings, then it would certainly be difficult for them to aspire [to the Pure Land]. It is precisey because of the reliance upon the Buddha's vow as efficient cause that those of the five vehicles are all able to enter [the Pure Land].

Taisho shinshu daizokyo
1753.37
p.213a 8-9
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Re: No Auspicious Signs = No affinities with Amitabha?

Postby sinweiy » Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:06 am

_/\_
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

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Re: No Auspicious Signs = No affinities with Amitabha?

Postby Music » Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:08 pm

I feel a little lost. What exactly is a pure land? And I didn't know Buddhism had gods people can pray to?

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Re: No Auspicious Signs = No affinities with Amitabha?

Postby steveb1 » Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:31 pm



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