Akanistha

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Akanistha

Postby pueraeternus » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:46 pm

In contrast with Sravakayana, Mahayana asserts (AFAIK) that the place where the Buddha really attains his annuttara samsaysambodhi is not under the Bodhi tree on Jambudvipa, but in Akanistha. I have a few questions regarding this:

1. Anyone knows the earliest sutra that mentions this? I know the Lankavatara mentions this, but not sure if it is the earliest.
2. Frequently from Tantric Buddhists, we hear that this Akanistha is not the Akanistha in the Form Realm, but rather a pure land beyond the three worlds. From what I can gather, this seems to be a later interpolation, and that the earlier Mahayana sutras does mean the same place where non-returners attain Arhatship. Am I right in this? If so, anyone knows which tantra or sutra is the earliest that asserts this pureland Akanistha?

Thanks in advance.
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

- The Open-Ended Proof from The Panoplia Prophetica
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Re: Akanistha

Postby Astus » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:01 pm

In the Avatamsaka Sutra the Buddha's enlightenment happens in different places simultaneously. This is not the answer to the question, but maybe some useful information.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Akanistha

Postby pueraeternus » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:30 pm

Astus wrote:In the Avatamsaka Sutra the Buddha's enlightenment happens in different places simultaneously. This is not the answer to the question, but maybe some useful information.


Interesting. The Avatamsaka is a sort of proto-tantra replete with tantric symbolism, so that is also an avenue I can explore. Thanks Astus.
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

- The Open-Ended Proof from The Panoplia Prophetica
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Re: Akanistha

Postby deepbluehum » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:41 pm

pueraeternus wrote:In contrast with Sravakayana, Mahayana asserts (AFAIK) that the place where the Buddha really attains his annuttara samsaysambodhi is not under the Bodhi tree on Jambudvipa, but in Akanistha. I have a few questions regarding this:

1. Anyone knows the earliest sutra that mentions this? I know the Lankavatara mentions this, but not sure if it is the earliest.
2. Frequently from Tantric Buddhists, we hear that this Akanistha is not the Akanistha in the Form Realm, but rather a pure land beyond the three worlds. From what I can gather, this seems to be a later interpolation, and that the earlier Mahayana sutras does mean the same place where non-returners attain Arhatship. Am I right in this? If so, anyone knows which tantra or sutra is the earliest that asserts this pureland Akanistha?

Thanks in advance.


Guhyagarbha Tantra. Here Akanista isn't a place but a meditation level characterized by the appearance of the five colored wisdom lights originating in the center of the heart
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Re: Akanistha

Postby pueraeternus » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:21 pm

deepbluehum wrote:Guhyagarbha Tantra. Here Akanista isn't a place but a meditation level characterized by the appearance of the five colored wisdom lights originating in the center of the heart


Thanks. By the time of the Guhyagarbha, it seems the idea behind Akanistha has already developed quite a bit.

The earliest tantra I can trace is the Vajrasekhara, and I think in this tantra Akanistha is still referring to the fifth heaven of the pure abodes.
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

- The Open-Ended Proof from The Panoplia Prophetica
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Re: Akanistha

Postby Astus » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:56 pm

I have looked a bit around, but besides that the Akanistha is the place for non-returners, some general books on Buddhism indicate that regarding Maitreya there were different views about his place of eventual enlightenment, however, they don't give the sources. Also, the Avatamsaka Sutra follows the general pattern of descending from Tusita and does not involve the Akanistha as a place of enlightenment.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Akanistha

Postby pueraeternus » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:13 am

Astus wrote:I have looked a bit around, but besides that the Akanistha is the place for non-returners, some general books on Buddhism indicate that regarding Maitreya there were different views about his place of eventual enlightenment, however, they don't give the sources. Also, the Avatamsaka Sutra follows the general pattern of descending from Tusita and does not involve the Akanistha as a place of enlightenment.


I will check out the principle sources and see if I can figure out something. Will share when I have something to report.
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

- The Open-Ended Proof from The Panoplia Prophetica
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Re: Akanistha

Postby Arthurmark7 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:13 am

The top five heavens in the realm of form are called the pure abodes; practitioners of the Nikāya path who have attained the third “fruit,” or level of enlightenment, stay in these abodes. Other than these five, the remaining heavens in the realms of form and formlessness are for those who attained high levels of concentration through meditation.
Why is those who practice Nikaya practically broken any possible karmic connection with Buddhism ? 

So if an arhat wants to become a Buddha, he has to leave the Nikāya and enter the Mahāyāna, practicing step-by-step starting from the stage of the fourth abiding. But after entering nirvāna, in the short term it is very difficult for an arhat to renounce the Nikāya and enter the Mahāyāna. 

Therefore,  as we know, those who practice the Nikāya have practically broken any possible karmic connection with the path to Buddhahood. Hence, some Mahāyāna scriptures go so far as to regard the Nikāya as no better than outer paths, and heap unbridled criticism on it. But according to the Lotus Sūtra, a real arhat will certainly convert to Mahāyāna practice. Among the audience listening when the Lotus Sūtra was preached were great bhiksu and bhiksunī arhats who once practiced the Nikāya but later entered the Mahāyāna.

~Taken from Orthodox Chinese Buddhist Book
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Re: Akanistha

Postby pueraeternus » Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:00 pm

Arthurmark7 wrote:But according to the Lotus Sūtra, a real arhat will certainly convert to Mahāyāna practice.


So what is a fake arhat? :tongue:


Among the audience listening when the Lotus Sūtra was preached were great bhiksu and bhiksunī arhats who once practiced the Nikāya but later entered the Mahāyāna.


Depends if one takes the Lotus' position as definitive.
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

- The Open-Ended Proof from The Panoplia Prophetica
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