Chanting the name of a god?

Chanting the name of a god?

Postby Rakshasa » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:58 am

Recently I was on a train journey of about 3 hours and saw some ISKON priests also boarding the same train. What impressed me about them was that through out the three hour or so journey, they kept on silently reciting "hare rama hare krishna" non-stop while also counting the beads of a mala on one hand. This was pretty impressive dedication.

So my question is about the benefits these ISKONites could gain after chanting the name of their god as opposed to the chanting the name of Buddha Amitabha by Pure Land Buddhists? Are the results more or less the same or Nianfo is especially superior?

Also, recently I read Pratyutpanna Samadhi Sutra which propounds that Buddha is nothing but the awareness/mind inherent in all beings while also laying special emphasis on the practice of constantly calling the Buddha's name.

If that is true, chanting any name whatsoever, but with dedication, is going to the same result, right?
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Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby plwk » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:14 am

What is the ultimate aim of ISKONites chanting Krishna? What is the ultimate aim of buddhānusmṛti in Pure Land practice?
Search and understand well on these two questions...
And as far as Pure Land is concerned....
http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pit ... ali-e.html
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing, it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much, it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
http://buddhistfaith.tripod.com/purelan ... s/id5.html
The Buddha said to Ananda and Vaidehi,
"After you have seen this, next visualize the Buddha. Why the Buddha?
Because Buddhas, Tathagatas, have cosmic bodies, and so enter into the meditating mind of each sentient being.
For this reason, when you contemplate a Buddha, that mind itself takes the form of his thirty-two physical characteristics and eighty secondary marks.
Your mind produces the Buddha's image, and is itself the Buddha. The ocean of perfectly and universally enlightened Buddhas thus arises in the meditating mind.
For this reason, you should single-mindedly concentrate and deeply contemplate the Buddha, Tathagata, Arhat and Perfectly Enlightened One.
"Those who have envisioned them see all the Buddhas of the ten quarters.
Because they see the Buddhas, this is called the Buddha-Recollection Samadhi. To attain this contemplation is to perceive the bodies of all the Buddhas.
By perceiving these, one also realizes the Buddha's mind. The Buddhas' mind is Great Compassion. It embraces sentient beings with unconditional Benevolence.
Those who have practiced this contemplation will, after death, be born in the presence of the Buddhas and realize the insight into the non-arising of all dharmas.
For this reason, the wise should concentrate their thoughts and visualize Amitayus.

If that is true, chanting any name whatsoever, but with dedication, is going to the same result, right?
Consider this passage...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Then Sakka, having delighted in & expressed his approval of the Blessed One's words, asked him a further question:

"Dear sir, do all brahmans & contemplatives teach the same doctrine, adhere to the same precepts, desire the same thing, aim at the same goal?"
"No, deva-king, not all brahmans & contemplatives teach the same doctrine, adhere to the same precepts, desire the same thing, aim at the same goal."

"Why, dear sir, don't all brahmans & contemplatives teach the same doctrine, adhere to the same precepts, desire the same thing, aim at the same goal?"
"The world is made up of many properties, various properties. Because of the many & various properties in the world, then whichever property living beings get fixated on, they become entrenched & latch onto it, saying, 'Only this is true; anything else is worthless.' This is why not all brahmans & contemplatives teach the same doctrine, adhere to the same precepts, desire the same thing, aim at the same goal."

"But, dear sir, are all brahmans & contemplatives utterly complete, utterly free from bonds, followers of the utterly holy life, utterly consummate?"
"No, deva-king, not all brahmans & contemplatives are utterly complete, utterly free from bonds, followers of the utterly holy life, utterly consummate."

"But why, dear sir, are not all brahmans & contemplatives utterly complete, utterly free from bonds, followers of the utterly holy life, utterly consummate?"
"Those monks who are released through the total ending of craving are the ones who are utterly complete, utterly free from bonds, followers of the utterly holy life, utterly consummate. This is why not all brahmans & contemplatives are utterly complete, utterly free from bonds, followers of the utterly holy life, utterly consummate."
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Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:00 am

Part of karma is intention. So the outcome of an "identical" practice will be affected by the intention. If the practice is based on wrong view...
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby Son of Buddha » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:18 am

Rakshasa wrote:Recently I was on a train journey of about 3 hours and saw some ISKON priests also boarding the same train. What impressed me about them was that through out the three hour or so journey, they kept on silently reciting "hare rama hare krishna" non-stop while also counting the beads of a mala on one hand. This was pretty impressive dedication.

So my question is about the benefits these ISKONites could gain after chanting the name of their god as opposed to the chanting the name of Buddha Amitabha by Pure Land Buddhists? Are the results more or less the same or Nianfo is especially superior?

Also, recently I read Pratyutpanna Samadhi Sutra which propounds that Buddha is nothing but the awareness/mind inherent in all beings while also laying special emphasis on the practice of constantly calling the Buddha's name.

If that is true, chanting any name whatsoever, but with dedication, is going to the same result, right?


Chanting a word for the sake of chanting a word will only benifit the jaw muscles.
Dedication is only good if it is based on proper view(one could easily be very dedicated to blowing himself up for ther diety)
they chant with sincere dedication ,love and merit to their diety they will recive what they sow(rebirth into heaven)
If you chant with sincere dedication,love and merit to Amitabha you will receive what you sow(born into pureland)

As far as Samadhi,ANY chant/mindfullness can be used(although chanting Amitabha Buddha probley has more merit than chanting coka cola)

Honestly I prefere to chant Tibetan or thai cause of the beauty of the sound)
(even though I practice Chinese Pureland)

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Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:54 am

Son of Buddha wrote:Chanting a word for the sake of chanting a word will only benifit the jaw muscles.
Dedication is only good if it is based on proper view(one could easily be very dedicated to blowing himself up for ther diety)
they chant with sincere dedication ,love and merit to their diety they will recive what they sow(rebirth into heaven)
If you chant with sincere dedication,love and merit to Amitabha you will receive what you sow(born into pureland).
I am going to play devils advocate here. The difference between what you believe and what a follower of Krishna believes about the nature of the being that they are praying/chanting to does not differ in the slightest. Some may even argue that the way a Pure Land is decribed does not differ at all from the way a heaven is described. Some would say that your practice and intention is identical. So how/where does it differ?
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby Son of Buddha » Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:04 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:Chanting a word for the sake of chanting a word will only benifit the jaw muscles.
Dedication is only good if it is based on proper view(one could easily be very dedicated to blowing himself up for ther diety)
they chant with sincere dedication ,love and merit to their diety they will recive what they sow(rebirth into heaven)
If you chant with sincere dedication,love and merit to Amitabha you will receive what you sow(born into pureland).
I am going to play devils advocate here. The difference between what you believe and what a follower of Krishna believes about the nature of the being that they are praying/chanting to does not differ in the slightest. Some may even argue that the way a Pure Land is decribed does not differ at all from the way a heaven is described. Some would say that your practice and intention is identical. So how/where does it differ?
:namaste:


Never said it did differ.
I stated they go to heaven
We go to pureland
Heaven of their god is where they want to go(reap what is sown)
Pureland of Amitabha is where we want to go(ect)
Pureland is "like" Nirvana,simply said its a place thats conductive for practice under the direct guidance of a Buddha till we reach Enlightenment(Bodhisattva college)
(heavens and Pureland are different to the extent that the heavens contain wordly pleasures/sex and whatnot and Pureland
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Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby Son of Buddha » Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:09 am

And Pureland does not contain worldly defilements(anger/greed/lust)
What is left is to wipe away is ignorance
(sorry on phone,and it sent message before I completed it)
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Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby Son of Buddha » Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:24 am

gregkavarnos wrote::


How do you view Pureland sutra teachings?
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Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby lowlydog » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:16 pm

Son of Buddha wrote: As far as Samadhi,ANY chant/mindfullness can be used(although chanting Amitabha Buddha probley has more merit than chanting coka cola)



Not in the slightest, and this practice will not cultivate wisdom. The benefits from deep samadhi will only be at the superficial level(temporary relief), no liberation can occur.
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Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:19 pm

Son of Buddha wrote:Never said it did differ.
I stated they go to heaven
We go to pureland.
Again you are saying the outcome differs.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby Son of Buddha » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:42 pm

lowlydog wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote: As far as Samadhi,ANY chant/mindfullness can be used(although chanting Amitabha Buddha probley has more merit than chanting coka cola)



Not in the slightest, and this practice will not cultivate wisdom. The benefits from deep samadhi will only be at the superficial level(temporary relief), no liberation can occur.


I never said liberation would occur,also many levels of Samadhi are listed in many different sutras.
This is simply a low level laity person establishing themselves in basic practice of Samadhi(its nice to have some kind of foundation in practice before you go to pureland)

As far as how deep one can go with Samadhi thats on them,I cannot judge others experiences)
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Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby Son of Buddha » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:50 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:Never said it did differ.
I stated they go to heaven
We go to pureland.
Again you are saying the outcome differs.
:namaste:


the practice doesnt differ,the out come of the practice differs
While both practices are the same the destination they are heading is different.
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Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:27 pm

Okay I am going to just say it: At 14 I made the decision between Hare Krishna and Buddhism. I spent quite a bit of time with them from the ages of 13-14, and also wrote a paper on them as a modern expression of Vaishnavism for one of my Comparative Religion classes at University when I was older.
The goal of the Krishna devotee is to "back home" or "Back to Godhead". Traditionally such a goal required a complex path involving many austerities, practicing according to the Vedas, building jhana in meditation etc. However in this modern form of Vaishnavism, founded by Chaitanya (called the Gaudiya Sampradaya) states that during Kali Yuga, the age of strife, such practices are no longer effective. Krishna, the ultimate and omnipresent form of god, incarnated as Chaitanya to introduce the method of chanting the names of God using the Maha Mantra (Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama....). In Kali Yuga this is the only effective method to return back home to god.
Unlike certain monistic forms of Hinduism, which speak of a "merging" with God, Hare Krishna is a dualistic philosophy. The fruit of practice is a return to the company of God in a paradise like world called Krishnaloka. One enjoys the eternal association of god in the form of a person, but does not merge with him.
So their vision of liberation from samsara is very different than the Buddhist one.
Last edited by JKhedrup on Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:30 pm

BTW although I decided the Buddhist path was the correct one and made more sense (I was never satisfied with the Hare Krishna explanation of why we had become separated from god and had to return to illusion/maya), I do think that Hare Krishna wins in the music/chanting/hymns department hands down.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby Illuminaughty » Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:23 pm

In the writings of Shinran he seems to suggest that the Pure Land for those born there via shinjin and the vow of Amida is synonymous with nirvana and full enlightenment. It's not just a heaven. So going to a heaven wouldn't be equivalent at all:

"Truly we know that because the Mahasattva Maitreya has perfectly realized the diamond-like mind of the stage equal to enlightenment, he will without fail attain the stage of supreme enlightenment beneath a dragon flower tree..... Because sentient beings of the nembutsu have perfectly realized the diamond-like mind of crosswise transcendence they transcend and realize great, complete nirvana on the eve of the of the moment of death. Hence the words, 'as such the same.' "

and:

"On reaching the land of the Vow,
We immediately realize the supreme Nirvana,

and thereupon we awaken great compassion.
All of this is called Amida's "directing of virtue" ".

and:

"Since shinjin arises from the Vow,
We attain Buddhahood through the nembutsu by the Vows
spontaneous working.
The spontaneous working is itself the fulfilled land;
our realization of nirvana is beyond doubt."

In life people of shinjin have the state of non-retrogression and on the eve of their death realize complete nirvana.
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Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:02 pm

Surely tha ISKON people consider their stay in Krishnas paradise a state of permanent release from suffering. I do not imagine that they consider their stay there as temporaray or, at some point, retrogressive. So in effect the (supposed) outcome for them is the same as achieving unbinding (Nirvana). Okay, as Venerable Khedrup pointed out, their view, unlike the realisation of Nirvana is ultimately dualistic (me happy in the company of God), but if it is eternal? Even rebirth into a Buddha field does not make one the Buddha of that field.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby Illuminaughty » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:49 pm

unlike the realisation of Nirvana is ultimately dualistic (me happy in the company of God), but if it is eternal?


I think the idea of there being eternal life as a finite being in relation to a god in one of the heavens wouldn't even be a possibility if Buddhist teachings were accurate.

Even rebirth into a Buddha field does not make one the Buddha of that field.


I think Buddha nature is explained in spatial terms as the Pure Land Sukhavati. To obtain Sukhavati at the moment of death through the power of the Vow is to instantly realize supreme peerless enlightenment and Buddhahood. At least that's how I understand at. I'm still learning a lot though.
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Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:12 pm

Realistically speaking though, for us, and just about everybody we know, it's just one opinion vs another. I, personally, am not at the stage where I can say that, through my personal experience, I know that one is right and the other is wrong. Okay, I have trust and faith in the lineage masters whose direct experience tells them it is true, but really... the proof of the pie is in the eating!
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:33 pm

For a Monistic Hindu take on the difference between monism and dualism(some say pluralism) I highly recommend the writings of Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, an American guru deeply respected in the Indian Hindu world and founder of a fascinating monastery in Hawaai. It is interesting to see the philosophical debates that go on in Hinduism because Buddhism arose from within the Indosphere, and Lord Buddha himself was born into a Hindu family. A brief excerpt:

http://www.himalayanacademy.com/resources/books/dws/dws_r4_monism-pluralism.html
ust as there are three orthodox schools of thought within Vedanta philosophy (nondualism, qualified nondualism and dualism), there are two within Saiva Siddhanta (monism and pluralism). The purpose of this resource section is to present the monistic Saiva Siddhanta philosophy -- sometimes known as Advaita Siddhanta or Advaita Ishvaravada -- and to juxtapose it briefly with pluralistic Saiva Siddhanta or Dvaita Siddhanta. This comparison is important because the pluralistic teachings are widespread, so much so that many authoritative texts proclaim Saiva Siddhanta to be wholly pluralistic and completely overlook the monistic school, which is actually far older, though less well known. Between these two schools there continues a philosophical debate that has persisted for twenty centuries and more about whether God and soul are ultimately one or two.


Stated most simply, the monistic school holds that, by emanation from Himself, God Siva created everything -- the world, all things in the world and all souls -- and that each soul is destined to ultimately merge in advaitic union with Him, just as a river merges into the sea. The pluralistic school postulates that God Siva did not create the world or souls, but that they have existed eternally, just as He has, and that the ultimate destiny of the soul is not advaitic union in God Siva but nondual association with Him in eternal blessedness or bliss, a union compared to salt dissolved in water.


This ISKCON philosophy is an interesting one because while it proposes God (in this case Krishna) as the creator of the universe like the monists, it is profoundly dualistic, even more than the monistic Shaivites, as it is not even nondual association with god. It is the soul as a person associating with a form of god as a person.

One of the reasons I became more convinced of the Buddhist approach and became Buddhist was partly because seeing God as a controller seemed to present some problems in terms of the functioning of karma.

Likewise, a benificent creator of the universe approach never appealed to me, though I think as Buddhists we should study Hinduism so we can understand the culture from which the dispensation of Lord Buddha arose.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby lowlydog » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:06 am

Son of Buddha wrote:
lowlydog wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote: As far as Samadhi,ANY chant/mindfullness can be used(although chanting Amitabha Buddha probley has more merit than chanting coka cola)



Not in the slightest, and this practice will not cultivate wisdom. The benefits from deep samadhi will only be at the superficial level(temporary relief), no liberation can occur.


I never said liberation would occur,also many levels of Samadhi are listed in many different sutras.
This is simply a low level laity person establishing themselves in basic practice of Samadhi(its nice to have some kind of foundation in practice before you go to pureland)

As far as how deep one can go with Samadhi thats on them,I cannot judge others experiences)


Sure, but how is chanting Amitabha Buddha more meritous than chanting coca-cola?
If the goal is simply to reach a concentrated state by repeating a word over and over again, why would one word have any more merit than another?
I have been taught that even repeating words in this fashion will not develope right concentration as the focus of attention is not in the body on a real object.
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