Pure lands....why?

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Re: Pure lands....why?

Postby Sherab » Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:05 am

Ron

This
Over the years, I have also seen proponents of various approaches claiming that their particular approach is best, and have quotes from the suttas/sutras/tantras to back them up. This I think is all part of the Buddha's skilfull mean to inspire confidence in the person to whom the particular approach is taught

does not imply this
You are stateing (wether you realize it or not) that all paths are the same.

Indeed some paths are more efficient that others, but efficiency does not equate with suitability to a particular person, let alone all persons.

As for pureland being theistic, this is a misunderstanding as well. What one will or intend is karma. Buddha Amitabha, through the vows made while he was a Bodhisatva generated his pureland when he becomes a Buddha. That is perfectly in accord with karma. The person who has trust in Buddha Amitabha will or intend to go to Amitabha's pureland and that creates a karma that connects him to Amitabha pureland. In other words, Amitabha stretches out his hand. The person who has trust in Amitabha reaches out to Amitabha's hand. In that way Amitabha Buddha can pull him into his pureland. All these do not violate the principle of karma.

To me, going to a pureland is like going to a retreat under the supervision of a guru. The guru arranges the retreat program for you and give you the necessary retreat instructions, or if you really know what you want to do and how to do it, you could arrange your own program.
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Re: Pure lands....why?

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:57 am

You are continuing to misrepresent my position..."As for pureland being theistic", I am stateing americanized pureland what we see by interpretation in some statements on this issue on this board comprise theism.

American pure land....not pure land as others may interpret it. Master Hua stated teaching americans the dharma was equilivent to teaching roosters to lay eggs....these interpretations remind me of that, theistically framed interpretations.

So all arguments against theism are appropriate to this americanized version of pure land.

So tell me this....if all buddhas are known as totally completely compassionate and if it is known that to even be born human indicates that one is on a spiritual path since this is known to be the product of compassion and is very rare and fortunate considered by all....

why then...if such buddha is totally compassionate would one not just as Husang aludes just bring others to pureland and enlighten them. He could bring nonbelievers to lotus leaf keep them inside and convert them with 500 years time, why if this is so would he require one to recite his name even once?

And what then of the children who have not learned to speak...would he have no compassion for them? They could not be expected to know his name yet many of them die from disease or accident before being able to know how to speak....would he then have no compassion for them? And what of those who are born and die with no opportunity to learn his name would he then withhold this great other power he holds from them as well....on what basis? It seems they are human have become human as result of cause of compassion and thusly though they know not his name they are on spiritual path as well.
And what then of those that think or have been told that their god will save them upon death if they say his/her name....are they then denied as well, on basis of name?

I am but human and not all that compassionate but if I held such power no name would I require said or anything known, if I could I would...bring them all to enlightenment equally. Why the discrimination?
If he holds such power...why ever withdrawer it or apply it with discrimination.

Catholic theist believe the same thing but state such "souls" go to a place called limbo which is not a pure land or theist heaven but pretty nice....do these people does the buddha then put them in this place?

And what exactly then is the distinction between buddhism and theism...there seems none. If there is none then it appears any spiritual path may do equally. The dharma any dharma other than simply reciteing name is irrelvent and a waste of time.

And why does sutra state specifically this is the most beneficial place, this human realm for spiritual progression if pure land is superior....it seems to conflict?

I can go on and on....you state dogma and expect it to be accepted as fact. No rational is explored nor logical means explored or substantiated to prove nor support your claims on this thing.
This is how it is....charts graphs this sutra states this and the only qualifier is not the logical basis but the fact it was stated. Well stated it was, I will agree to who and in what context is the question as is usually the question. As in is this a final teaching that has logical basis and is undefeatable.

This what is often described here....has no logical basis...it has holes of logic through and through.
I can repeat again pure land has valid basis and all the rest I state in about every post, but see that totally disregarded as any interpretation other than that memorized as dogma is in opposition. So rational argument or logical basis in this....has no bearing to these american purelandians.
Which is why Master Hua.. described roosters laying eggs I assume.

Take my logical points defeat them if you may....misstate my position and then defeat misstated position....their is no success with that.

It is not pureland I state is theistic, nor ever do I question it as valid path. As this path is described here...yes that is quite theistic and does not suceed under logical scrutiny.
So continue to misstate, I will continue to restate, eventually I will simply start quoting myself.

Once again...pureland is a valid path that may bring some very rare individuals that have already attained spiritual progress in all areas excepting faith and devotion....that individual will attain enlightenment in a rebirth in pure land...no problem. But that is very very rare.
Others born in such places do not if they have not developed the capacities for focus concentration understanding the spiritual such as cause and effect they simply do not have the cause to provide the result of enlightenment. It may be a pleasent place to learn and study and they will progress but attain enlightenment on this basis.... no. We cannot be to busy with our lives to practice expect to mention the buddhas name and be suddenly equal to someone like Millarepa and obtain enlightenment in that rebirth.....it is not going to happen...sufficient cause is not present. Pure land devotion faith and prayer developeing over time concentration focus understanding of emptiness that also can happen. But that then states it is on other basis not simply stateing the buddhas name one enters this place and becomes enlightened. This last I would contend is the mistake that american pure landians make in this thing most often....they mistake that prayer faith and devotion singularly without developeing the other characteristics of a spiritual path... can cause enlightenment to occur.

But the Buddha said so....as Gordo showed with his earlier quote.... realized beings speak in very complex mannners and speak differingly to differing audiences....that is known as how they do things.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Pure lands....why?

Postby Sherab » Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:37 am

Ron
why then...if such buddha is totally compassionate would one not just as Husang aludes just bring others to pureland and enlighten them. He could bring nonbelievers to lotus leaf keep them inside and convert them with 500 years time, why if this is so would he require one to recite his name even once?

As long as we are under the power of ignorance, the principle of karma is operative. As mentioned in my last post, karmic connection is needed for someone to go to a pureland.
they mistake that prayer faith and devotion singularly without developeing the other characteristics of a spiritual path... can cause enlightenment to occur.

Could it be that there is an unspoken assumption that prayer, faith and devotion will naturally lead to the development of more and more favourable conditions (e.g. greater concentration, more precise view of reality, more understanding and sympathy for the state of sentient beings… ) for arriving at the state of enlightenment?
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Re: Pure lands....why?

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:26 am

Taking the second part first...."Could it be that there is an unspoken assumption that prayer, faith and devotion will naturally lead to the development of more and more favourable conditions (e.g. greater concentration, more precise view of reality, more understanding and sympathy for the state of sentient beings… ) for arriving at the state of enlightenment?".....unspoken assumption?

By who? Some others on this thread.....no. The claim is that faith devotion and prayer solely will enable rebirth in pureland of perfection in which one will become enlightened. AS in to busy to practice.....I will perform pure land and become enlightened upon the next rebirth in pureland. That issue is approached early on in discussion. Should I repeat that?
That is the source of part of my opposition,that contention.

On this point also... those other things you mention as favorable conditions....I do not reference them as favorable conditions. What do you mean by that....understanding are not normally considered as conditions. I am not taking a position on if they are or not I request clarification on your statement as prior in post you identify them as quality. So which is it?

As to your first point..."As long as we are under the power of ignorance, the principle of karma is operative. As mentioned in my last post, karmic connection is needed for someone to go to a pureland."

NO kidding really, and here I though karma required only a intellectual intent for operation(joking).

That joke aside..... so the buddha by power he posesses can remove any other karma one may posess and dissolve that and put one in pure land, and lead one directly to enlightenment in this place... but if one has not a karmic connection of/by calling his name...that he cannot dissolve.

That is unbelievable and absurd. What sort of god/buddha is this can only do this and not that. If he has other power to dissolve other karma it would seem he could dissolve necessity for karmic connection of this sort as well. We all it seems are karmically connected of a sort if we be born in same realm and especially if we are human in realm. Are all being human then not karmcially connected in their being human? Why this particular connection only....of speaking his name. Why not other connection? And would not a buddha knowing of our existance as well as knowing if we called his name would that not be a karmic connection of sorts as well. Is only a intellectual or verbal thing then considered a karmic connection...that seems odd. Why speaking his name considered the only karmic connection and being human and him being buddha knowing of our being human and needing his great powers is that knowing not a karmic connection as well....If and this is a big if....a buddha could be known to establish any karma or be known by such connections? Is then a buddha a accumulator of karma as well? If we connect and act in such fashion it seems exchange then is necessary to communicate as connection implies. Is then this "karmic" connection mysteriously not karma as we know karma to be but something other? Would that other than not be the theists devine power and communication. Other power.

Or do buddhas accumulate karma and thusly may karmically connect with us who certainly do?

As totally aside to topic....why these gods always requireing names spoken worship to them and them only? Are they all meglomaniacs, so scared they do not really exist they require those lesser than them to be always praying or saying their name to reinforce their conception of greatness.....is that it?

Well compassion they then certainly deserve, as if it looks like a rose smells like a rose and feels like a rose a rose it usually is....demons they are not gods. Meglomaniac demons with greatest fear being...they do not exist. To help only those that call their names in death.....I feel compassion for them as it appears they solely are in need of it, though help them I cannot, I would if I could....without exception. Brahma as someone described long ago seemingly...just another bojo.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Pure lands....why?

Postby Sherab » Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:44 am

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/D ... /dhp-1.htm

I:2 Why cry for the moon? (Mattha Kundali)

Mattha Kundali was a young brahmin, whose father was very stingy and never gave anything in charity. Even the gold ornaments for his only son were made by himself to save payment for workmanship. When his son was suffering from jaundice, no physician was consulted until it was too late. When he realised that his son was dying, he had the youth carried outside to the verandah so that people coming to his house would not see his possessions.

On that morning, the Buddha arising early from his deep meditation of compassion, saw, in his Net of Knowledge, Mattha Kundali lying in the verandah. So when entering Savatthi for alms food with his disciples, the Buddha stood near the door of Mattha Kundali's house. The Buddha sent forth a ray of light to attract the attention of the youth, who was facing the interior of the house. The youth saw the Buddha. He was very weak and he could only profess his faith but he thereby gained some happiness. But that was enough. When he passed away with his heart in devotion to the Buddha he was reborn in the Tavatimsa celestial world.

From his celestial abode he saw his father mourning over him at the cemetery and appeared to the old man in the likeness of his old self. He told his father about his rebirth in the Tavatimsa world and advised him to approach the Buddha, offer alms and listen to the Buddha's sermon. The old man did as he was told and after the sermon, the question was brought up as to whether one could be reborn in a celestial world simply by mentally professing profound faith in the Buddha, without practising charity or observing the moral precepts.

So the Buddha willed that Mattha Kundali should appear in person. Mattha Kundali appeared in his celestial glory and told them about his rebirth in the Tavatimsa world. Only then did the listeners become convinced that the young man had attained much glory by simply devoting his mind to the Buddha. At the end of the discourse, the old man realised the Dhamma and donated most of his wealth to the cause of the Dhamma.
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Re: Pure lands....why?

Postby Indrajala » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:41 pm

Astus wrote:Angulimala could attain enlightenment even though he was a serial killer - you have no objections here I guess.


Sure, but he was a disciple of Shakyamuni and did not wait to be reborn in a Pure Land post-mortem. He received teachings directly from the Buddha and did not put his faith in being reborn in somewhere else where conditions would be more pleasant (such as somewhere where people would not treat him as the murderer that he was).



It could happen because of the Buddha's work and that Angulimala changed his mind. Attaining birth in the Pure Land is possible because of Amita Buddha's work and because one changes his mind. This turning from samsara toward the Pure Land is the essential component called faith.


If I'm not mistaken, the Pure Land is still samsara, no?


In concept it is no different from the story of the dog ascetic. It is not about being taken out of samsara, it is not a theistic salvation like what many mistakes it for, but it is about harmonising the mind with the conditions brought to reality by Amita Buddha. So the metaphor of meeting one's parent after many years.


I don't trust the scriptures enough to put my money so to speak on such a gamble. If I can't verify it or find it reasonable (for example I find Shakyamuni's teachings verifiable in many instances and reasonable, or for that matter Nagarjuna or Asanga), then I'm reluctant to pursue something purely on faith.


It's never been the idea that Pure Land is for the morally wicked people - this is again mistaking it for Christian salvation.


Tell that to Shinran who probably never heard of Christianity.


The big thing here is that it is available for prthagjanas, non-enlightened beings. The morality part comes in only as a secondary aspect, saying that non-enlightened beings don't have the perfect moral conduct as aryas do. Therefore some Pure Land teachers said it's not a big problem if one cannot abide by the precepts in every situation.


There are three trainings: ethics (in Chinese literally precepts), samadhi and wisdom. They form a tripod. There is no wisdom without samadhi and no samadhi without ethics/precepts. Anyone who tells you otherwise is suspect.


Like what Honen says here:

Q: Is it a sin to drink sake (Japanese rice wine)?
A: Definitely you shouldn’t drink, but, you know, it’s the way of the world.



I think Daoxuan's sentiments that precepts are fundamentally about the intention behind certain actions rather than the letter of the law is more suitable. Honen sounds like he is bending to peer pressure rather than elucidating the point that in all actions it is intention that counts.

Morally base people usually don't care at all about religion so it's not a common thing if somebody truly considers enlightenment. Because it shouldn't be forgot that the Pure Land is a way to enlightenment, to buddhahood, and nothing else.


I still stand by my original assertion that our shitty Saha world here is the optimal place to attain enlightenment as the Vimalakirti-sutra outlines.

On the other hand, the later Chan thinkers who spoke of cultivating the Pure Land within make some sense to me. I just don't like this idea of putting your liberation on the line and waiting until you drop dead in the hopes of having someone else save you from suffering.
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Re: Pure lands....why?

Postby Aemilius » Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:08 pm

Astus wrote:
Aemilius wrote:"Getting away from your karma", is not so at all. As has been said earlier depending on your mass of virtue or your mass of evil you may have to spend 500 years or 3000 years .... in isolation in Sukhavati. All this time you will hear only the Dharma. Only after this period of solitary meditation will you be granted the full citizenship in the Land of Bliss. What prison on earth can equal with that ??!!


Actually, the Contemplation Sutra says that on the middle lowest birth one spends six kalpas in the lotus, on the lowest lowest it is twelve great kalpas.


Yes, I know that, but one wants to remember something that is somehow within the limits of understanding, which is maybe a few hundred years,... and that would be somewhere in the middle grades of rebirth, -if I remember right? And anyway the commonly recited Sukhavati Prayer ( Emaho! Ngotshar sanggye etc...) describes a rebirth in the highest grades, where you can immediately see the face of buddha Amitabha. What is behind this practice ? Is it that if people have never heard of the middle and lower grades of rebirth, they will automatically be born in the highest grade ??
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Re: Pure lands....why?

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:31 pm

Sh

You are making my point. This.."So the Buddha willed that Mattha Kundali should appear in person. Mattha Kundali appeared in his celestial glory and told them about his rebirth in the Tavatimsa world. Only then did the listeners become convinced that the young man had attained much glory by simply devoting his mind to the Buddha. "

We have it stated that the individual was present in tavatimsa world and attained much glory.....are you then equating much glory with final full enlightenment? It seems so. What says much glory is full enlightenment. Much infers a qualitative amount while large is not the fullest amount, so it seems full enlightenment which would be described as fullest glory greatest glory or some such is specificially not implied.
If your contention with this quote is to state one can birth in a pureland through devotion and prayer.....then we agree.
If your contention is to state that one can birth in such place and then be within that lifetimes birth become fully enlightened regardless of prior attainment circumstance and/or spiritual qualities already developed(which could be developed by faith devotion and prayers but are not themselves prayer devotion and faith)..then we disagree.
Your quote in fact supports my view not that view, as it appears full enlightenment consequent to that birth is not implied.

Some state here on this thread, it is basically not of much matter what one attains or attains here as completely similiar result is obtained if on the basis of faith prayer and devotion one manages to birth in pure land. IN other words...a Millarepa who devotes his life to developeing those qualities to include faith devotion and prayer but the others as well, and as consequence he rebirths in pure land and if not already enlightened certainly he becomes enlightened in that birth...he is equal to a shopkeeper who likewise births there sans and spiritual attainments other than prayer faith and devotion. They both attain in that rebirth in pure land full complete enlightenement.

Someone has brought up 500 years....well I guess one may spend 500 years in a lotus leaf(though that I believe is reserved for nonfaith holders) that shopkeeper and Milarepa will not.
Since this realm the human realm is considered by all to be the most conducive of spiritual advancement for a sentient being much more than even a god realm, that inferal of action and progression infers equality to the human realm on a spiritual basis and as consequence pureland not human realm is the most beneficial for spiritual progression.

If that second is correct the buddha and all others were in error on the human realm being most conducive for spiritual advance most rare and precious and we all like the theists.....should simply devote all means to attain pureland or heaven. Forget the rest than and just do prayer faith and devotion, the rest would practically be a waste of time. The pure land would then be the most favored of paths rather than the least as sutra quoted early on in this thread states...a path for cowards.

So we could go on and on...if that interpretation is true very many buddhist sutra sutta and core conepts of buddhism must be disallowed to accomodate this way of thinking on pure land.

And once again no one is denying pure land has its place in the spiritual to people who are to busy by circumstance or other reason. The effect however even with the 500 years could not conceivably equal other means as similiar cause even in a lotus leaf..... would not have karmic effect(to include compassionate result of action) equal to the human realm. .

Now I will conjecture.
My personal observation in tibetan buddhism(though I am certainly no expert this is antedotal experience) is americans in this school are inclined to infer to diety and such utilized for means to advance spititually as inherantly existant quality beings of such nature. Samantabedra, sammantebedri, whatever is utilized..... all are considered real things of noncomposite origin. In preliminary practices in the past such concept of inherant existant tendency to conceptualize in this fashion, would be already firmly uprooted prior to engageing in tantric practice which involved diety.
Unfortuntely this composite of ameican and tantra produces this thing, which is not buddhist, more like theism...real diety with inherantly existant quality when buddhism strictly opposes such. From there you have american tibetan buddhist claiming such things, not surpriseingly, as the existance of souls and on and on...basically extending theism into buddhist tantric practice and as result.... into buddhism as a whole to include soul.

Now I am not stateing in any fashion that form of buddhism is in any way superior, I am in fact showing as example I am familiar with, how buddhism by american influcence can be corrupted.
I would conjecture such can happen in virtually all forms of buddhism.Theism is so ingrained it becomes almost impossible for roosters to lay eggs...all becomes for american buddhist generally(though there are certainly many exceptions) extensions of theism.

So the result of that cause is a misinterpretation of pureland as described here...a idea that one is to busy and such can become with some small additions perhaps(a more extensive ciriculum in pureland) to produce the same result...full enlightenment.
That misconception is not true and misconceived not pureland itself. It remains a valid path abeit to a point you now admit....not as quick or expedient as perhaps some others, but a path valid nevertheless, as sutric based path is as well.

But sutric path tantric path meditational path and pureland path are not equal, nor do they produce equal result in a immediately considered fashion such as one lifetime or the next lifetime infers.

So I think we agree on this but you refuse to admit it.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Pure lands....why?

Postby Sherab » Fri Aug 20, 2010 12:46 am

Ron,

The link I posted was to a Theravada website and illustrate an ability of Buddha Sakyamuni that is quite unfathomable to my logical mind. The point I was trying to make is, let's give more credit to the abilities of Buddhas. We should not let our limited minds set limits on the abilities of Buddhas.

Please note also that nowhere have I said that all practices are actually equal. It is not possible for me to have stated that as I don't hold that view.
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Re: Pure lands....why?

Postby ronnewmexico » Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:37 am

S

Actually my last comment suggest that you actually agree with me, but do not want to admit.

So yes I mention spiritual practices are not equal in the second to last paragraph but also state you agree with me in the next paragraph.

So I can only assume you want to be argumentative.

As to limits on the abilities of buddhas, I find nothing a buddha may do can conflict with what a buddha taught in his/her final teachings....that is beyond the ability of a buddha...... to tell nontruths in final teachings. A buddha also cannot be noncompassionate nor can a buddha defy the constaints of the reality of things. A uncaused cause cannot exist, not only because a buddha states it may not but also because logically it cannnot.

So Buddhas can be limited in many ways and our nature is not differing.
So I find no arbitrary limits based by conceptual thought in this reagard but limits our reality imposes upon all equally and without distinction.
So I reject that assertation.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Pure lands....why?

Postby Astus » Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:42 am

Huseng,

Sure, but he was a disciple of Shakyamuni and did not wait to be reborn in a Pure Land post-mortem. He received teachings directly from the Buddha and did not put his faith in being reborn in somewhere else where conditions would be more pleasant (such as somewhere where people would not treat him as the murderer that he was).

The story of Angulimala was only for giving an example for the event of changing mind and its effects. As for faith in being born somewhere, well, that is another common thing, starting from birth in the upper levels of samsara up to the ways of going to different buddha-lands. I think you're well aware of sutras giving instructions on how to gain birth in the lands of Akshobhya and Bhaishajyaguru. It's just that Amita Buddha became the favourite among all the others.

If I'm not mistaken, the Pure Land is still samsara, no?

It is not, the Tiantai 10 realms is an explanation for it. But of course one could argue for saying that the world is always some buddha's land, and there are different views about buddha-lands.

I don't trust the scriptures enough to put my money so to speak on such a gamble. If I can't verify it or find it reasonable (for example I find Shakyamuni's teachings verifiable in many instances and reasonable, or for that matter Nagarjuna or Asanga), then I'm reluctant to pursue something purely on faith.

Well, to argue for Amita Buddha's vows and land without relying on scripture looks quite impossible, just like taking refuge in the Triple Gem without ever knowing about it. But if you consider that the teaching on the easy access to Sukhavati is known and accepted in every Mahayana regions and most of the schools it can be considered as orthodox as consciousness-only, except that unlike Yogacara the Pure Land teaching is still alive everywhere.

Tell that to Shinran who probably never heard of Christianity.

Was Shinran a criminal? Or his followers? He talked about realising that one is a prthagjana, a common person, nothing special. Yes, on one hand it is questionable to tell morally unstable people can gain a definitely high birth and be assured of enlightenment. But on the other side, from the point of saving sentient beings unlimitedly, the system of buddha-lands allows the possibility of Amita's land and vows, therefore it is natural to exist for everyone.

There are three trainings: ethics (in Chinese literally precepts), samadhi and wisdom. They form a tripod. There is no wisdom without samadhi and no samadhi without ethics/precepts. Anyone who tells you otherwise is suspect.

This is not questioned at all in the Pure Land teachings. And just like in the case of seeing how Zen is related to the Agamas, so one has to study the development of Pure Land thought from visualisation practices to recitation. Also note that it is on in Japan, because of Honen, that they stick to recitation. In other lineages there's no exclusiveness.

I still stand by my original assertion that our shitty Saha world here is the optimal place to attain enlightenment as the Vimalakirti-sutra outlines.

The Vimalakirti Sutra also says that monks with parajika offenses are OK to stay in the sangha, that doing meditation is not sitting at the root of a tree, that a buddha needs no food, etc. And I'm not questioning the Vimalakirti Sutra here, it has been quoted regularly by those who think there is only a mental buddha-land to be realised and no such thing as outer buddha-land, so it is actually a usual source of dispute.

On the other hand, the later Chan thinkers who spoke of cultivating the Pure Land within make some sense to me. I just don't like this idea of putting your liberation on the line and waiting until you drop dead in the hopes of having someone else save you from suffering.

No need to wait, Chan goes fine with Pure Land, so you can attain buddhahood even today, if you want, but the thing is, people usually don't just become buddhas immediately. So if you can't actually do Chan, why not go to the Pure Land to finish the path in an easier and safer way? The Pure Land school itself has many different practices one can use and attain different levels of samadhis, etc. But at the same time it is a path for those too who have trouble spending three months on a retreat, or avoiding breaking certain precepts.
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Re: Pure lands....why?

Postby Aemilius » Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:36 am

The Vimalakirti Sutra begins with the chapter whose name is Purification Of the Buddhafield. If you can do that, it is most wonderful.
At the end of chapter 10. of the same sutra there is a description how bodhisattvas can transmigrate safe and sound from Saha-universe to a pure buddha-field.
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Re: Pure lands....why?

Postby kirtu » Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:07 pm

ronnewmexico wrote:The question remains why is it a preferred path.


Because it is an easy method to attain rebirth in Amitabha Buddha's Pure Land. And it is a method that can be used by anyone.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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Re: Pure lands....why?

Postby kirtu » Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:50 pm

ronnewmexico wrote:Someone has brought up 500 years....well I guess one may spend 500 years in a lotus leaf(though that I believe is reserved for nonfaith holders) that shopkeeper and Milarepa will not.


The Sutra on the Contemplation of Buddha Amitayus outlines the time it takes to "incubate" in the lotus ranging from no time to 12 kalpas. Buddha Amitayus is the same as Buddha Amitabha. The names Amitayus and Amitabha refer essentially to different functions of the same Buddha (Amitayus = Infinite Life and Amitabha = Infinite Light).

Pure Land teaching is not theistic because the Buddhas cannot just transport beings to the Pure Lands. Karma is not negated and this works both ways. Amitabha Buddha make very special vows that established a special pure land where ordinary and even sinful beings could be reborn if they generated some small karma to be reborn there based on devotion and faith and aspiration. Merit is generated to be reborn there based on faith in Amitabha and the act of the recitation or remembrance of the name of the Buddha. The merit generated from the practice is substantial esp. at death as the final thoughts of a sentient being are very karmically potent. If a person has practiced the recitation of Amitabha Buddha's name over a lifetime then they have accumulated a great deal of merit. The karma created by this store of merit combined with the aspiration to be reborn in Amitabha's Pure Land works interdependently with the karma resulting from Amitabha Buddha's vows (I suppose one could say that the sentient beings merit works together with Amitabha Buddha's merit but actually all Buddha's have infinite merit) resulting in rebirth in the Pure Land by ordinary beings (beings not on the bhumis because Arya Bodhisattvas after some level are said to be able to go to various Pure Lands on their own).

Karma, interdependence, impermanence, the necessity of the accumulation of merit and or wisdom, and the sufferings of samsara are not negated in Pure Land teaching.

[quote]
Since this realm the human realm is considered by all to be the most conducive of spiritual advancement for a sentient being much more than even a god realm,
[/quote[

Out of the six realms of samsara, the hell realms, the hungry ghost realms, the animal realms, the human realms, the demi-god realms and the god realms, the human realm is the most conducive for spiritual development. The lower realms (hell, ghost, animal) are dominated by overt suffering. The demi-god realm is dominated by jealousy and the god realm is dominated by too much pleasure. The human realm is a balance of suffering and pleasure relative to the other realms.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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