Pure Land & Suicide

Re: Pure Land & Suicide

Postby Kaji » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:45 am

Nosta wrote:Interesting story the one about the monk wishing an early rebirth...its my opposite lol. I wish i can stay here many years because i have the objective of "convert" more people to Pure Land. Particulary i would like to have auspicious signs that others could verify, so they can believe on me. Sometimes i have very specific dreams with specific details...and they happen in the very next day. This is an example of a sign that i can use.

I recall reading somewhere that Western Pure Land practice can give you a longer and healthier life. They don't call him the Buddha of Infinite Life for nothing :lol:

Do note that, from what I have learned, once reborn into the WPL you have the option to return to this world (as a Bodhisattva, of course) to help more people here. Being reborn in the WPL gives you so much divine power that you would be better at helping people than when you were an ordinary human.
Namas triya-dhvikānāṃ sarva tathāgatānām!
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Re: Pure Land & Suicide

Postby Nosta » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:13 pm

I dont see how can we come back as Boddhisatvas to this world.

If Pure Land is filled with people, why cant we see, today on Earth, monks "comming" from Pure Land? There should be at least a dozen of guys on Earth that are indeed Bodhisatvas from Pure Land.
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Re: Pure Land & Suicide

Postby wukong » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:28 pm

Nosta wrote:I dont see how can we come back as Boddhisatvas to this world.

If Pure Land is filled with people, why cant we see, today on Earth, monks "comming" from Pure Land? There should be at least a dozen of guys on Earth that are indeed Bodhisatvas from Pure Land.




Good question Nosta. I was just about to start a thread on this question.

Do people come back from the pureland in order to work for the benefit of all beings? I get the impression that in Honen's school the Pure Land is an interim aim in which beings train as bodhisattvas. On the other hand I understand that in Shin buddhism the Pure Land is the final goal. does that mean that in Shin buddhism beings do not return from the Pure Land in order to help all beings? I was asked this question and, again, I have no idea how to answer it.

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Re: Pure Land & Suicide

Postby Nosta » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:13 pm

I dont know how to answer that neither other important question: how can Pure Land Teaching be a real teaching from Buddha if the scriptures (related to Pure Land) date 500 years after Shakyamuni life?

About the first question, regarding beings from Pure Land coming back to Earth, i found this on Infinite Life Sutra:
Ananda, the sentient beings born there all fully possess
the thirty-two physical characteristics of a Great Man as well as perfect wisdom, with which
they penetrate deeply into the nature of all dharmas and reach their subtle essence. Their
supernatural powers know no obstruction, and their physical senses are sharp and clear. The
bodhisattvas of lesser capacities attain two insights. [273c] Those with superior capacities attain
innumerable [merits by the] insights into the non-arising of all dharmas. Those bodhisattvas will
not be subject to rebirth in evil realms before they become Buddhas. Excepted are those who
seek birth in the worlds of other quarters during the turbulent period of the five defilements,
manifesting their forms in the likeness of the beings there, as in this world. They can freely
exercise supernatural powers and always remember their past lives.”
The Buddha said to Ananda, “By the Buddha’s power, bodhisattvas of that land go to innumerable
worlds of the ten quarters, in as short a time as it takes to eat a meal, in order to
pay homage and make offerings to the Buddhas, the World-Honored Ones.
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Re: Pure Land & Suicide

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:27 pm

If you think "our world is over here" and "Pure land is over there" and somebody goes there and comes back here I think you are missing the whole point of transcending duality and of the one who recites Amitabha's name being inseparable from Amitabha.

Once the shore has been crossed, all such dualities are overcome.
From our perspective we might say "here and there" because our perspective is based on limits resulting from attachment.
Once true essence of awareness is realized in the Pure Land, the true nature of things is truly seen as they really are, as infinite, not finite.

If you think the Pure land is somewhere else, then it cannot be infinite. If it is not infinite, no Infinite Buddha can reside there. He would knock the walls down.
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Re: Pure Land & Suicide

Postby infinitywaltz » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:40 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:If you think the Pure land is somewhere else, then it cannot be infinite. If it is not infinite, no Infinite Buddha can reside there. He would knock the walls down.


What a marvelously succinct way of putting that!
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Re: Pure Land & Suicide

Postby sinweiy » Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:25 am

Nosta wrote:I dont see how can we come back as Boddhisatvas to this world.

If Pure Land is filled with people, why cant we see, today on Earth, monks "comming" from Pure Land? There should be at least a dozen of guys on Earth that are indeed Bodhisatvas from Pure Land.


MCK mentioned that a real bodhisattvas (but might not be from WPL) will not expose their true identity. if they do expose, you will not find them around the next day or next moment.

i do heard of few stories when the person's bodhisattva identity is revealed, they would not be around anymore. one example is 13th PL Patriarch Master Yin Guang who is known to be the coming of Mahasthamaprapta. when people start to know the truth, he left for PL the next day.
_/\_
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Re: Pure Land & Suicide

Postby lobster » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:18 am

a little death and rebirth . . . :jumping:
http://youtu.be/Kxht0KDwWeg
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Re: Pure Land & Suicide

Postby Zenshin 善心 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:01 am

see sig.

also, Shinran saw his wife Eshinni and Prince Shotoku as Kannon Bosatsu and his master Honen as Amida. When you receive a heart of gratitude, you realise Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are all around you, carrying you to the Pure Land.
All beings since their first aspiration till the attainment of Buddhahood are sheltered under the guardianship of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who, responding to the requirements of the occasion, transform themselves and assume the actual forms of personality.

Thus for the sake of all beings Buddhas and Bodhisattvas become sometimes their parents, sometimes their wives and children, sometimes their kinsmen, sometimes their servants, sometimes their friends, sometimes their enemies, sometimes reveal themselves as devas or in some other forms.


- Ashvaghosa, The Awakening of Faith

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Re: Pure Land & Suicide

Postby Kaji » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:34 am

Nosta wrote:I dont see how can we come back as Boddhisatvas to this world.

If Pure Land is filled with people, why cant we see, today on Earth, monks "comming" from Pure Land? There should be at least a dozen of guys on Earth that are indeed Bodhisatvas from Pure Land.

In Chinese Buddhism there is a notion called 倒駕慈航, literally translated "regressive beneficent shipping". It means Buddha and Bodhisattva may return to a realm in a lesser form, to compassionately "ship" the yet enlightened and suffering beings to the shore of enlightenment and rid them of suffering.

Bodhisattva like Avalokitesvara and Manjusri are such examples. They actually are Buddha already, taking the lower form of Bodhisattva and helping us in the Saha world.

Many Bodhisattva may also exercise regressive beneficent shipping. Maitreya has gone to China in human form a number of times, the most famous one being the laughing monk with a big tummy and a sack. Ven Yin Guang is, as mentioned above, believed to be Mahasthamaprapta.

According to various teachings I have come across, a being once reborn into the Western Pure Land, thus becoming a Bodhisattva with great powers, may choose to immediately return to any world in an appropriate form (well, perhaps just after greeting Amitabha Buddha). At least a dozen of them on Earth? I think there are many more, just not revealing their true nature and working discreetly to help us in whatever way most appropriate and effective.

I wonder if this discussion is better continued in a new thread?
Namas triya-dhvikānāṃ sarva tathāgatānām!
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Re: Pure Land & Suicide

Postby Nighthawk » Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:41 am

I think you've asked this question before. Check out the Tibetan tradition, you'll find many many great teachers seen as incarnations of ancient Bodhisattvas. The most popular one being the Dalai Lama who is seen as the incarnation of Avalokiteśvara (one of the main attendants of Amitabha in the pure land)
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Re: Pure Land & Suicide

Postby plwk » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:36 am

And the Karmapa and the one who pisses me the most and the ...
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Re: Pure Land & Suicide

Postby Nighthawk » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:46 am

plwk wrote:And the Karmapa and the one who pisses me the most and the ...

What in the world are you talking about?
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Re: Pure Land & Suicide

Postby sinweiy » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:41 am

in Amitabha Sutra:

"Moreover, Shariputra, in that Buddha-land there is always heavenly music, and the ground is yellow gold. In the six periods of the day and night, a heavenly rain of Mandarava flowers falls, and throughout the clear morning each living being in this land, with bagfuls of of myriads of wonderful flowers, makes offerings to the hundreds of thousands of millions of Buddhas of the other directions. At mealtime, each returns to his own country, and having eaten they stroll around.


the offering to the hundreds of thousands of millions of Buddhas of the other directions can be see as returning to samsara for a while.

the 22th vow.

Vow 22
Provided I become a Buddha, the Bodhisattvas who come to be born in that country of mine are to be bound to that one birth only, then to become Buddha-elect (Ekajatipratibuddhas), with the exception of those who by their own free will remain in the stage of Bodhisattva-hood for the sake of delivering various beings, wearing the armour of vows to travel to all worlds, performing their Boddhisattva-duties and accumulating their stock of merit, who wish to serve the Buddhas of ten quarters, and convert the various beings in number like grains of sand of the River Ganges to the highest perfect knowledge, whose activities have surpassed the stage of ordinary beings, and who practise the universal virtue of Samantabhadra, otherwise may I not attain the enlightenment.


i mean even if u become a Buddha-elect already. one is still manifesting different bodies to liberated beings everywhere in samsara. say Buddha is a doctor, and Bodhisattvas are nurses. both are still doing as much to help. it does not mean become Buddha already, we stop coming back to help sentient beings. their manifesting is automatic.
_/\_
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"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: Pure Land & Suicide

Postby sinweiy » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:56 am

Kaji wrote:
According to various teachings I have come across, a being once reborn into the Western Pure Land, thus becoming a Bodhisattva with great powers, may choose to immediately return to any world in an appropriate form (well, perhaps just after greeting Amitabha Buddha).



not sure about immediately for most of us in a sense when i see the Contemplation-Sutra:-
http://www12.canvas.ne.jp/horai/contemplation-sutra.htm

for the the highest level of the highest grade, it is a single moment(?).
for the middle level of the highest grade, it's After the lapse of a smaller kalpa, he attains the insight into the non-arising of all dharmas and receives from each Buddha the prediction of his future Buddhahood.
for the lowest level of the highest grade, it's After three smaller kalpas ...
for the highest level of the middle grade, it's immediately attains Arhatship...
for the middle level of the middle grade, it's After half a kalpa, he becomes an Arhat.
for the lowest level of the middle grade, it's After one smaller kalpa, he becomes an Arhat.
for the highest level of the lowest grade, it's After ten smaller kalpas...
for the middle level of the lowest grade, it's After six kalpas ...
for the lowest level of the lowest grade, it's After twelve great kalpas ...

:smile:
_/\_
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: Pure Land & Suicide

Postby Kaji » Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:01 pm

sinweiy wrote:
Kaji wrote:
According to various teachings I have come across, a being once reborn into the Western Pure Land, thus becoming a Bodhisattva with great powers, may choose to immediately return to any world in an appropriate form (well, perhaps just after greeting Amitabha Buddha).



not sure about immediately for most of us in a sense when i see the Contemplation-Sutra:-
http://www12.canvas.ne.jp/horai/contemplation-sutra.htm

for the the highest level of the highest grade, it is a single moment(?).
for the middle level of the highest grade, it's After the lapse of a smaller kalpa, he attains the insight into the non-arising of all dharmas and receives from each Buddha the prediction of his future Buddhahood.
for the lowest level of the highest grade, it's After three smaller kalpas ...
for the highest level of the middle grade, it's immediately attains Arhatship...
for the middle level of the middle grade, it's After half a kalpa, he becomes an Arhat.
for the lowest level of the middle grade, it's After one smaller kalpa, he becomes an Arhat.
for the highest level of the lowest grade, it's After ten smaller kalpas...
for the middle level of the lowest grade, it's After six kalpas ...
for the lowest level of the lowest grade, it's After twelve great kalpas ...

:smile:

The option to return to the Saha world immediately after rebirth in WPL and greeting Amitabha Buddha was something I learned from a lecture by Ven Chin Kung.

As a side note, I refer to your signature. That quote is very similar to Ven Hsuan Hua's teaching, to 迴光返照 "shine our light back into ourselves" and 真認自己錯,莫論他人非,他非即我非,同體名大悲 "truly admit our own wrongs, do not comment on other people's wrongs, their wrongs are my own wrongs, together as one this is great compassion". I like this quote very much. Thanks for reminding me of it.
:namaste:
Namas triya-dhvikānāṃ sarva tathāgatānām!
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Re: Pure Land & Suicide

Postby wukong » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:14 pm

Ok, So we seem to be reaching consensus that beings do indeed come back from the Pure Land to help other beings. But what about Shin Buddhism which teaches that the Pure Land is the final aim. A Shin buddhist, who believes in the literal metaphysical reality of Amida and the WPL, also believes that beings return to help other beings?

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Re: Pure Land & Suicide

Postby Zenshin 善心 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:54 am

wukong wrote:Ok, So we seem to be reaching consensus that beings do indeed come back from the Pure Land to help other beings. But what about Shin Buddhism which teaches that the Pure Land is the final aim. A Shin buddhist, who believes in the literal metaphysical reality of Amida and the WPL, also believes that beings return to help other beings?

Wukong


When persons attain this enlightenment, with great love and great compassion immediately reaching their fullness in them, they return to the ocean of birth-and-death to save all sentient beings;
Yuishin Sho Mori


Concerning the directing of virtue through the power of the Primal Vow, the Tathagata's directing of virtue has two aspects: the directing of virtue in the aspect for our going forth to the Pure Land and the directing of virtue in the aspect for our return to this world.
Nyorai Nishu Ekomon


Amida has fulfilled the directing of virtue,
Which has two aspects: that for our going forth and that for our return.
Through these aspects of the Buddha's directing of virtue,
We are brought to realize both mind and practice.

The directing of virtue for our going forth is such that
When Amida's active means toward us reaches fulfillment;
We realize the shinjin and practice of the compassionate Vow;
Then birth-and-death is itself nirvana.

The directing of virtue for our return to this world is such that
We attain the resultant state of benefiting and guiding others;
Immediately reentering the world of beings,
We engage in the compassionate activity that is the virtue of Samantabhadra.

Koso Wasan


etc. :smile:
All beings since their first aspiration till the attainment of Buddhahood are sheltered under the guardianship of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who, responding to the requirements of the occasion, transform themselves and assume the actual forms of personality.

Thus for the sake of all beings Buddhas and Bodhisattvas become sometimes their parents, sometimes their wives and children, sometimes their kinsmen, sometimes their servants, sometimes their friends, sometimes their enemies, sometimes reveal themselves as devas or in some other forms.


- Ashvaghosa, The Awakening of Faith

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Re: Pure Land & Suicide

Postby sinweiy » Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:08 am

Kaji wrote:The option to return to the Saha world immediately after rebirth in WPL and greeting Amitabha Buddha was something I learned from a lecture by Ven Chin Kung.

As a side note, I refer to your signature. That quote is very similar to Ven Hsuan Hua's teaching, to 迴光返照 "shine our light back into ourselves" and 真認自己錯,莫論他人非,他非即我非,同體名大悲 "truly admit our own wrongs, do not comment on other people's wrongs, their wrongs are my own wrongs, together as one this is great compassion". I like this quote very much. Thanks for reminding me of it.
:namaste:


i know why, now.
it's stated in Amitabha's Vow #9
Provided I become a Buddha, if the beings of that country of mine should not all possessed of the Heavenly-step (Riddisakchatkriya) which can in the shortest moment of one thought travelling over a hundred thousand kotis of nayuta of Buddha-countries, then may I not attain the enlightenment.

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Amitabha% ... eight_vows
:smile:

ps:
"真認自己錯,莫論他人非,他非即我非,同體名大悲 " - Nice!, i like it too! :twothumbsup:
_/\_
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: Pure Land & Suicide

Postby Kaji » Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:09 am

sinweiy wrote:i know why, now.
it's stated in Amitabha's Vow #9
Provided I become a Buddha, if the beings of that country of mine should not all possessed of the Heavenly-step (Riddisakchatkriya) which can in the shortest moment of one thought travelling over a hundred thousand kotis of nayuta of Buddha-countries, then may I not attain the enlightenment.

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Amitabha% ... eight_vows
:smile:

Yes, and together with Amitabha's other vows, it means once you are reborn in his Pure Land you have the divine powers to see and hear how your past family is still suffering in the Saha world, know their thoughts and what they have done in the past that caused their sufferings and travel to them to help them with whatever skillful means you have.

Linking this back to topic...

What I wrote above is an option - if you don't want to do this right after your rebirth in the Western Pure Land, you don't have to. You may instead choose to practise Dharma until you have attained a higher level of Bodhisattvahood, or even Buddhahood, before returning to the world to start saving others. Whatever is your choice the aim is the same - you save yourself and also others. The main difference is at which point do you start saving others. You may even choose to start now. Do your Pure Land practice diligently now, become a positive influence to all people around you and when appropriate share this great gift with them. Why rush to the Pure Land? Keep up your Bodhicitta, exercise forbearance and endure through your current sufferings and obstacles! There is no need to consider suicide.
Namas triya-dhvikānāṃ sarva tathāgatānām!
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