Amitabha dies?

Amitabha dies?

Postby gingercatni » Wed May 16, 2012 11:32 pm

This is an excerpt from the Heart sutra, via a commentary of said sutra, can someone explain this?

A. Amitabha dies?
B. Avalokitesvara becomes Ratnasambhava buddha?

Good sons, after the period of the true dharma of Amitabha
Buddha has vanished, when a bright star [that might be Venus]
appears after midnight, Avalokite$vara Bodhisattva, sitting
cross-legged under the bodhi-tree decorated with the seven
treasures, will attain perfect supreme enlightenment and will be
called the ‘Jewel Sign-Buddha (Ratnaketu Tath2gata)’ who fulfills
the ten epithets and whose land is called ‘the majestic paradise
ornamented with various jewels’ (Joongbo-Jangum).”

:jawdrop:
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Re: Amitabha dies?

Postby LastLegend » Wed May 16, 2012 11:36 pm

gingercatni wrote:This is an excerpt from the Heart sutra, via a commentary of said sutra, can someone explain this?

A. Amitabha dies?
B. Avalokitesvara becomes Ratnasambhava buddha?

Good sons, after the period of the true dharma of Amitabha
Buddha has vanished, when a bright star [that might be Venus]
appears after midnight, Avalokite$vara Bodhisattva, sitting
cross-legged under the bodhi-tree decorated with the seven
treasures, will attain perfect supreme enlightenment and will be
called the ‘Jewel Sign-Buddha (Ratnaketu Tath2gata)’ who fulfills
the ten epithets and whose land is called ‘the majestic paradise
ornamented with various jewels’ (Joongbo-Jangum).”

:jawdrop:


I guess so lol. If there is existence, there must be the end of that.
So where does Buddha go? Well Buddha will be like a TV, when it is turned off the images will not be there. When turned on, the images will be there.
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Re: Amitabha dies?

Postby gingercatni » Wed May 16, 2012 11:41 pm

mmmmm, this sutra has kind of disappointed me......... how are we to know this hasn't already happened? :crying:
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Re: Amitabha dies?

Postby LastLegend » Wed May 16, 2012 11:44 pm

We gonna have to trust that Buddha will not abandon us before he leaves because of his compassion.
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Re: Amitabha dies?

Postby gingercatni » Wed May 16, 2012 11:56 pm

LastLegend wrote:We gonna have to trust that Buddha will not abandon us before he leaves because of his compassion.


well I suppose in some ways there are some great mis leading elements to sutras, however I suppose a buddha doesn't actually leave their Buddha field after completing their vows, they must retain some influence over it. Though given society's woes, I don't expect Amitabha to be done with us yet! :smile:
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Re: Amitabha dies?

Postby gingercatni » Thu May 17, 2012 12:00 am

[quote="gingercatni"]This is an excerpt from the Heart sutra, via a commentary of said sutra, can someone explain this?

A. Amitabha dies?
B. Avalokitesvara becomes Ratnasambhava buddha?

Good sons, after the period of the true dharma of Amitabha
Buddha has vanished, when a bright star [that might be Venus]
appears after midnight, Avalokite$vara Bodhisattva, sitting
cross-legged under the bodhi-tree decorated with the seven
treasures, will attain perfect supreme enlightenment and will be
called the ‘Jewel Sign-Buddha (Ratnaketu Tath2gata)’ who fulfills
the ten epithets and whose land is called ‘the majestic paradise
ornamented with various jewels’
(Joongbo-Jangum).”

ties in with his pureland being referred to as "the glorious" though this is a bit of a mind melter, how is this possible? how can Avalokitesvara become Ratnaketu when he already exists? :reading:
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Re: Amitabha dies?

Postby Nighthawk » Thu May 17, 2012 12:02 am

We need some clarification from a scholar.

Astus,Ven. Huifeng, where are you two? :)
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Re: Amitabha dies?

Postby LastLegend » Thu May 17, 2012 12:08 am

I think more we practice recitation and keeping up with precepts, the more we will come to understand the work of Amitabha. Though I sound like a Christian right now, but some of us or most of us do need the nourishment of Dharma. I am saying by following and practice Pure Land as any other schools, our conditions (including living conditions) will change also. How do we know or experience Pure Land if we don't continue with our practice? There are teachings, but still we have to practice to experiment or experience for ourselves. Also study Buddha teachings also help to strengthen our faith in Amitabha.
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Re: Amitabha dies?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu May 17, 2012 1:25 am

Please read the passsage carefully:
"...the period of the true dharma of Amitabha Buddha has vanished..."
Amitabha doesn't vanish.
This refers to the present time, when beings can recite the name of Amitabha and be reborn in Sukhavati.
In the future, beings may not be able to do this,
or the pure land teachings may not be available.
Different Buddhas appear at different times due to the capacities of beings in those times.
.
.
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Amitabha dies?

Postby sinweiy » Thu May 17, 2012 2:08 am

Yes, just like the future Maitreya Buddha is going to take over Shakyamuni Buddha. and later another Buddha is going to take over Maitreya, and so on and so on.
So Shakayamuni Buddha was a Buddha when delling on earth, about 2500-3000 years ago, attain/'display' enlightenment at the age of 35, and parinirvana at age 80. He spend 45(or 49) years of "rescue"/delievering beings.
Amitabha attain/display Buddhahood as in the Infinity Life sutra stated, 10 mahakalpas ago. So His 'search' for enlightenment and "delievering period" are relatively much longer. In other word, Shakya's 45 human years is correspond to Amida's measureless, limitless asamkhyeyas of mahakalpas, which is very long period but still impermanent.

Moreover, the expressions goes: In the afternoon, we have Amitabha, in the evening, we have Avalokiteshvara, later in the night, comes Mahasthamaprapta. Even more transcending! *stunning*


From the Nirmanakaya POV, Western PL, Amitabha, will also at one time "parinirvana". then Avalokiteshvara will take over or attained Buddhahood, and the Dharma World will not have Dharma Ending Age.
Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva will be called Pu Guang Gong De Shang Wang Ru Lai 普光功德山王如来(Unconditionate Light & Mountain of Great Merits Tathagata) and His land will be called Zhong Bao Pu Ji Zhuang Yen Tu 众宝普集庄严世界 (Magnific Land of All Treasury & unconditionate Liberation). Later Mahasthamaprapta will take over as Shan Zhu Gong De Bao Wang Ru Lai 善住功德宝王如来 (Kind Dwelling Virtue Treasure King Tathagata). which will become more and more magnific.

it's exciting to see Avalokiteshvara's Pureland! i actually vowed that i will wait to see the newly upgraded Western Avalokiteshvara's Pureland. :)
_/\_
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Re: Amitabha dies?

Postby sinweiy » Thu May 17, 2012 2:28 am

in the Amitabha Sutra we see:-
Moreover, Shariputra, the life of that Buddha and that of his people extends for measureless, limitless Asankhyeya kalpas 无量无边阿僧祇劫. For this reason he is called Amitabha.

measureless, limitless Asankhyeya kalpas are actually number/time units of Buddhism.
1 Asankhyeya = about 1^59
1 measureless = Asankhyeya x Asankhyeya
1 limitless = measureless x measureless.

this are the number/time units in Mahayana in "Exponential" order:-
Asankhyeya 阿僧祇, measureless 无量, limitless 无边, non-edual无等, cannot be counted不可数, cannot be named不可称, cannot be pondered不可思, cannot be measured不可量, cannot be said不可说, cannot be said, cannot be said不可说不可说.

so u see, Asankhyeya, measureless, limitless is only the first three! "cannot be said,cannot be said" is last.
_/\_
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Re: Amitabha dies?

Postby plwk » Thu May 17, 2012 2:46 am

http://www.sutrasmantras.info/sutra07.html
The Buddha said,
“Good man, although Amitābha Buddha’s lifespan will last innumerable hundreds, thousands, and koṭis of kalpas, it will finally come to an end. Good man, after incalculable distant kalpas to come, Amitābha Buddha will enter Parinirvāṇa.
After His Parinirvāṇa, the true Dharma will continue for as long as His lifespan.
The number of sentient beings that will be delivered will equal that during His life.
After Amitābha’s Parinirvāṇa, some sentient beings there will not be able to see a Buddha.
However, Bodhisattvas who have attained the Thinking-of-Buddhas Samādhi will constantly see Amitābha Buddha.
Furthermore, good man, after His Parinirvāṇa, all the precious things, such as bathing ponds, lotus flowers, and jeweled trees in lines, will continue to sound Dharma tones, in the same way as during that Buddha’s life.

“Good man, [the night] Amitābha Buddha’s true Dharma ends, after the midnight period, when the dawn breaks, Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva, seated cross-legged under the bodhi tree made of the seven treasures, will attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi.
He will be called Universal Radiance Virtue Mountain King, the Tathāgata, Arhat, Samyak-Saṁbuddha, Knowledge and Action Perfected, Sugata, Understanding the World, Unsurpassed One, Tamer of Men, Teacher to Gods and Humans, Buddha the World-Honored One. His Buddha Land will be naturally made of the seven treasures.
Even in kalpas as numerous as the sands of the Ganges, Buddha-Bhagavāns will not be able to finish describing its splendors. Good man, I now give you an analogy. As Golden Light Lion Frolic Tathāgata’s land was magnificent, Universal Radiance Virtue Mountain King Tathāgata’s land will surpass it billions of times, koṭis of times, koṭis of billions of times, even beyond reckoning. The names ‘voice-hearers’ and ‘Pratyekabuddhas’ will be nonexistent in that Buddha’s land. Only Bodhisattvas will fill His land.”

Flower Virtue Store Bodhisattva asked the Buddha, “World-Honored One, will that Buddha’s land still be called Peace and Bliss?”
The Buddha replied, “Good man, that Buddha’s land will be called Adorned with Gathering of Multitudinous Treasures. Good man, until His Parinirvāṇa, Universal Radiance Virtue Mountain King Tathāgata will be attended personally by Great Might Arrived Bodhisattva and will receive his offerings. After His parinirvāṇa, His true Dharma will be upheld [by Great Might Arrived Bodhisattva] until its end. After the end of the true Dharma, Great Might Arrived Bodhisattva will, in that land, attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi. He will be called Well Established Virtue Treasure King, the Tathāgata, Arhat, Samyak-Saṁbuddha, Knowledge and Action Perfected, Sugata, Understanding the World, Unsurpassed One, Tamer of Men, Teacher to Gods and Humans, Buddha the World-Honored One. His land, His radiance, His lifespan, His Bodhisattvas, and even the duration of His Dharma will be just like those of Universal Radiance Virtue Mountain King Tathāgata. If, among good men and good women, there are those who have heard the name Well Established Virtue Treasure King Tathāgata, they will not regress from their resolve to attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi.

Some of my own reflections here...
1. Every Buddha will manifest Their Parinirvana some day when the time comes, just like Sakyamuni did in our Saha World
so why should it surprise you? Have you not studied/read enough of Buddha Dharma to know about this?

2. And then comes the three cycles of Dharma Perfect, Semblance and Ending Age. But as you can see, the Dharma Ending Age in the Sukhavati is unlike in Saha World that is the conditions for Dharma cultivation would not have dissolve so easily and Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva will take over the management of this Sukhavati and manifest as the presiding Buddha the soonest Amitabha manifests Parinirvana and is soon succeeded by the other Third Great Sage of Sukhavati, Mahastamaprapta Bodhisattva (also known as Vajrapani) who will do the same.

3. Do you know that both Avalokitesvara and Mahastamaprapta Bodhisattvas are actually accomplished past Buddhas who are just manifesting the expedience of a Bodhisattva form in Sukhavati alongside Amitabha? And this manifesting of a Buddha and Parinirvana in Sukhavati is yet another one of their marvelous expedient methods in order to encourage and tame sentient beings. For example, see this Sutra excerpt on Avalokitesvara:
Then Ananda asked the Buddha:
"Bhagavan, what is the name of this Bodhisattva-Mahasattva, who is so good to teach us this Dharani?"
The Buddha said:
"This Bodhisattva is called Avalokitesvara, the Unrestricted One, also called Nipping a Lariat, also called A Thousand Bright Eyes. Virtuous man, this Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva has unimaginable mighty and holy powers.
Uncountable kalpas before, He had already been a Buddha named True Dharma Brightness Tathagata. Because of the power of His great compassionate vows, and in order to call upon all Bodhisattvas to comfort and please all living beings, He appears as a Bodhisattva. All of you, including the Bodhisattvas, Brahmas, Gods of the 33 heavens, dragons, and divinities, should show respect to Him, do not despise Him. All heavenly and human beings should constantly make offerings to Him and recite His name absorbedly, then they will get infinite blessings and eliminate countless sins, and at the end of their lives, they will be reborn in the Pure Land of Amitabha Buddha."

And from the Chapter 39, Flower Adornment (Ornament) Sutra (from Cleary's translation), there is one tale of how Sudhana met Avalokitesvara in the latter's Pure Land:
"South of here is a mountain called Potalaka, where an Enlightening Being named Avalokiteshvara lives.
Go ask Him how to learn and carry out the practice of Enlightening Beings."

Then Veshthila said in verse,
“Go, Sudhana, to Mount Potalaka in the ocean, a Pure Abode of the Valiant,
Made of jewels, covered with trees, scattered with flowers,
Complete with gardens, ponds, and streams.
On the mountain the steady, wise Avalokiteshvara dwells for the benefit of the world.
Go ask Him the virtues of the Guides—He will teach you great, wonderful means of attainment.”
So Sudhana paid his respects to Veshthila and went on.
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Re: Amitabha dies?

Postby Nighthawk » Fri May 18, 2012 2:04 am

Seems like a big contradiction from what I've always been taught. I've always been taught that Buddhas never abandon beings and they go on working tirelessly for all eternity since there are infinite beings and that Buddhas achieve a state called apratisthita nirvana aka nonabiding/unrestricted Nirvana.
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Re: Amitabha dies?

Postby sinweiy » Sat May 19, 2012 3:34 am

i think we can use the trikaya to see this.
all Buddhas have three form of bodies, Three kayas: the dharmakaya, or absolute body; the sambhogakaya, or body of divine enjoyment; and the nirmanakaya, or manifested body. And western Pureland have 4 abodes.
to me the nirmanakaya, or manifested body of Amitabha dwell in the first and/or second abode.
sambhogakaya at third and dharmakaya at four and final abode.
nirmanakaya do have birth and death.
sambhogakaya have birth but no death.
dharmakaya do not have birth non death, never come non go.


as mentioned before, Amitabha is an Emanation body ; the corresponding Enjoyment body is Amitayus, "infinite life"-propitiated for longevity; the Dharma body is Ananta-prabha, "boundless illumination."

hence the "death" is only perceive in the eyes of the "less" enlightened beings in western Pureland.

just like in Lotus sutra, we perceive that Shakyamuni Buddha parinirvana 2500 years ago, but He stated that He's always here helping and liberating sentient beings.

who knows actually, Avalokitesvara, Shakyamuni, Amitabha are equally one in the point of view of the Dharmakaya.
not only them, but sentient beings and Buddhas are one in the point of view of the Dharmakaya.
_/\_
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Re: Amitabha dies?

Postby Caz » Sat May 19, 2012 4:46 am

Buddha's cant die as Buddha is a mind. A gross form body may die because it has a limited function even the supreme manifestation body of Buddha ceased to function yet his mind didn't it still functions to grant us blessings today :)
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

Liberation in the Palm of your hand~Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche.
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Re: Amitabha dies?

Postby Nighthawk » Sat May 19, 2012 5:26 am

sinweiy wrote:i think we can use the trikaya to see this.
all Buddhas have three form of bodies, Three kayas: the dharmakaya, or absolute body; the sambhogakaya, or body of divine enjoyment; and the nirmanakaya, or manifested body. And western Pureland have 4 abodes.
to me the nirmanakaya, or manifested body of Amitabha dwell in the first and/or second abode.
sambhogakaya at third and dharmakaya at four and final abode.
nirmanakaya do have birth and death.
sambhogakaya have birth but no death.
dharmakaya do not have birth non death, never come non go.


as mentioned before, Amitabha is an Emanation body ; the corresponding Enjoyment body is Amitayus, "infinite life"-propitiated for longevity; the Dharma body is Ananta-prabha, "boundless illumination."

hence the "death" is only perceive in the eyes of the "less" enlightened beings in western Pureland.

just like in Lotus sutra, we perceive that Shakyamuni Buddha parinirvana 2500 years ago, but He stated that He's always here helping and liberating sentient beings.

who knows actually, Avalokitesvara, Shakyamuni, Amitabha are equally one in the point of view of the Dharmakaya.
not only them, but sentient beings and Buddhas are one in the point of view of the Dharmakaya.

Ok now it makes more complete sense. So his nimanakaya form (Amitabha) ceases to exist while his sambhogakaya form (Amitayus) lives on forever continuing to benefit beings but can only be seen by high level bodhisattvas? Correct?
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Re: Amitabha dies?

Postby Nighthawk » Sat May 19, 2012 5:28 am

Caz wrote:Buddha's cant die as Buddha is a mind. A gross form body may die because it has a limited function even the supreme manifestation body of Buddha ceased to function yet his mind didn't it still functions to grant us blessings today :)

Sambhogakaya form ceases to exist as well? Where have you read this?
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Re: Amitabha dies?

Postby sinweiy » Sat May 19, 2012 11:11 am

Nighthawk wrote:Ok now it makes more complete sense. So his nimanakaya form (Amitabha) ceases to exist while his sambhogakaya form (Amitayus) lives on forever continuing to benefit beings but can only be seen by high level bodhisattvas? Correct?


sambhogakaya form is a form only when you attained it, you will benefit Bliss from it. hence it's known as "Enjoyment or Bliss" body. yes a sambhogakaya sees a sambhogakaya. like i can tell you this glass of water is cold/warm. but you must drink it to know the actual temperature per se.

so nimanakaya form is manifested to benefit other beings.
sambhogakaya form is a bit more "personal" benefit.
dharmakaya form benefit both personally and others or everyone.


If we use the moon as an illustration, we may say that the moon itself is comparable to the Dharma body, its light to the bliss body, and its reflection everywhere with water, to the manifested bodies. Just as a single moon has these three different aspects, so a single Buddha possesses the virtues of these three different bodies.
Last edited by sinweiy on Sat May 19, 2012 11:20 am, edited 3 times in total.
_/\_
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Re: Amitabha dies?

Postby sinweiy » Sat May 19, 2012 11:14 am

Nighthawk wrote:Sambhogakaya form ceases to exist as well? Where have you read this?


Sambhogakaya or Bliss after which you attained it, is yours forever. it will never cease.

that's why i mentioned Sambhogakaya has a begining but no ending.
_/\_
Amituofo!

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Re: Amitabha dies?

Postby Nighthawk » Sat May 19, 2012 11:17 am

sinweiy wrote:
Nighthawk wrote:Sambhogakaya form ceases to exist as well? Where have you read this?


Sambhogakaya or Bliss after which you attained it, is yours forever. it will never cease.

that's why i mentioned Sambhogakaya has a begining but no ending.


Sinweiy, thanks for explaining further but I've read elsewhere that this is not the case so I'm a bit confused here. :thinking:
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