Sukhavati & Heaven: The Difference?

Re: Sukhavati & Heaven: The Difference?

Postby sinweiy » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:05 am

Pure Abodes of the hinayana are little bit different from Mahayana Purelands. For Pure Abodes, bodhisattvas are not born there, while Bodhisattvas dwell in Mahayana Pureland.

below is from Pali canon:-

http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_n ... vaasaa.htm

Suddhāvāsā
The "Pure Abodes"; a name given to a group of Brahma-worlds - the five highest Rūpa worlds - consisting of

Avihā,
Atappā,
Sudassā,
Sudassī and
Akanitthā (E.g., D.iii.237).
There anāgāmī are born, and there they attain arahantship; such anāgāmī are divided into twenty four classes (See, e.g., KhA.182f.; of. PSA. 319; Vsm.710).

Bodhisattas are never born there (SNA.i.50; BuA.224).

The Suddhāvāsā are described as buddhānam khandhāvāratthānasadisā. Sometimes, for asankheyyas of kappas, when no Buddhas are born, these worlds remain empty (AA.ii.808; cf. MA.i.30).

The Buddha is mentioned as having visited the Suddhāvāsā (E.g., D.ii.50). When a Buddha is about to be born, the inhabitants of the Suddhāvāsā insert a knowledge of the signs of a Great Being in the Vedas and teach this among men in the guise of brahmins, calling such knowledge buddhamanta. Men learn it and are thus able to recognize a Great Being (MA.ii.761; SNA.ii.448). The inhabitants of the Suddhāvāsā know how many Buddhas will be born in any particular kappa by observing the number of lotuses which spring up on the site of the Bodhi-pallanka when the earth gradually emerges after the destruction of the world (DA.ii.411). It is the Suddhāvāsā Brahmās who provide the four omens which lead to a Bodhisatta's renunciation in his last lay life. See, e.g., DA.ii.455f.


III. The Different Types of Pure Lands

[In addition to the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss, there are many other pure lands.] The many pure lands can be classified into four main categories: the distinctive pure lands of the Mahayana School, the pure land of the Three Vehicles, the pure land of the Five Vehicles, and the pure land on Earth.
http://www.blia.org/english/publications/booklet/pages/14.htm

there's also different between, just nirvana of the hinayana realised by arahats and Neither nirvana nor samsara in Mahayana realised by mahasattvas.
Last edited by sinweiy on Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
_/\_
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Re: Sukhavati & Heaven: The Difference?

Postby sinweiy » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:33 am

zamotcr wrote:I am wondering about the Big Bang theory as origin of the universe and the Pure Lands. If the pure lands started eons of eons ago, wouldn't this mean that some pure lands existed before the big bang?
Or they all started after the big bang? Remember that science thinks that the universe has 13.700.000.000 year of existence.


Buddhism talks about dependent origination. there's no so called "beginning" nor "end", just infinitum cycle.

if i may extract from someone's post:
The Budhha's explanation of the universe was what the present scientists found out to be. He divided the process of "creation" (for lack of better word) into four stages...formation, existence, degeneration, and destruction. Upon destruction, all the material elements returned to their original base elements, and after a long long time, they began to group together and the process of formation would start again. So you can understand, that the whole process is a cycle, and has no beginning or ending. These forces of "creation, formation, existence, and destruction" are universal throughout the entire cosmic space which has no ending. Time is a non factor, it has no meaning in this cosmic display of life cycle. Space is also a non entity; it is just void.

At any point in time there is this incessent cycle of creation, existence, degeneration and destruction of stars, planets, and even galaxies! Space has no ending, which can be better decribed as void. The Buddha called our galaxy, Cakkavala. Cakka meaning wheel or spiral. Our galaxy is spiral in shape. The whole universe, the Buddha called it Loka Dhatu, meaning, world of elements. In this endless void, there exists countless galaxies. The size and distance of these galaxies are beyond our human imagination and understanding! Our earth world is just an insignificant speck of dust in this whole unimaginable universe of cosmic existence!

this universal cycle of formation, existence, degeration, and ultimate destruction; repeats itself ad infinitum.


if according to Amitabha Sutra, Amitabha became Buddha Ten Great Kalpas ago, and for One great kalpa mean the creation, existence, degeneration and destruction of A "Universe", then 10 Kalpas would mean the creation, existence, degeneration and destruction of Ten Universes.
Let say a "Universe" is equal to a Buddha's sphere of teaching and guidance covering one Three Thousand Great Chilocosm(aka Buddhaland). A Great Chilocosm comprises Small Chilocosm, Medium Chilocosm and Great Chilocosm, and is termed a "Three Thousand Great Chilocosm". A Great Chilocosm comprises 1,000,000,000 "small worlds".

Amitabha Sutra states that From here, passing through hundreds of thousands of millions of Buddhalands to the West there is a world called Utmost Happiness. imagine our "universe" is not alone.
now the Ultimate Pureland is also not really a place nor not a place. It's the entire existence of the Mind ground. :smile:

"What is the Pureland really? The Pureland is one's own stainless primordial awareness. If, from moment to moment, you regain and retain your own primordial enlightened nature: that is the Pureland. Everything comes from your own mind. Understand that, remain there: that is the Pureland."
_/\_
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Re: Sukhavati & Heaven: The Difference?

Postby PorkChop » Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:07 pm

sinweiy wrote:Pure Abodes of the hinayana are little bit different from Mahayana Purelands. For Pure Abodes, bodhisattvas are not born there, while Bodhisattvas dwell in Mahayana Pureland.
...


Awesome posts! Thanks!

BTW - as far as I'm aware, any acronym with an A at the end of it, example: SnA, MA, AA, etc actually refers to a commentary:
http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_n ... ations.htm
The exception to this is the BuA, the Buddhavamsa which tells the story of 27 preceding Buddhas, and I'm not sure how widely accepted it was, but is considered a late addition.
The commentaries are where schools would exert doctrinal differences, which is especially true when the early schools couldn't even agree on 2 of the 3 baskets of sutras: the Vinaya & the Abhidhamma. This might explain some of the differences, as most of the references describing differences were, in fact, Sri Lankan Theravadan commentaries (some by Buddhaghosa himself in the 5th century CE).

My on personal belief is that Theravadan interpretation tends to be based on a very strict, very conservative, very orthodox reading of the suttas (with maybe some anti-Mahayana bias); whereas the Mahayana scriptures are more likely to be reflections of people who've been there and seen it for themselves (with maybe some skillful means to get the point across).
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Re: Sukhavati & Heaven: The Difference?

Postby sinweiy » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:46 am

http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-ENG/dutt.htm
The Place of the Aryasatyas and Pratitya Sam Utpada in Hinayana and Mahayana
BY Dr. Nalinaksha Dutt, Ph. D. (Cal.), D. Litt. (Lond.)
Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute
vol 6:2, 1930.01, pp. 101-127
_/\_
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: Sukhavati & Heaven: The Difference?

Postby PorkChop » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:15 pm

sinweiy wrote:http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-ENG/dutt.htm
The Place of the Aryasatyas and Pratitya Sam Utpada in Hinayana and Mahayana
BY Dr. Nalinaksha Dutt, Ph. D. (Cal.), D. Litt. (Lond.)
Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute
vol 6:2, 1930.01, pp. 101-127


Thank you!!!
Nagarjuna, thus establishing that sunyata is neither nastitva nor abhava but a word signifying the relative existence of things, says that the [censored]-ists, too much engrossed in the studies of texts alone, have misunderstood the sense of sunyata and do not understand that the Teacher delivered his teachings in two ways, viz. conventional and real, or empirical and transcendental.
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Re: Sukhavati & Heaven: The Difference?

Postby zamotcr » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:25 pm

PLB wrote:I found this book quite clear about:
-the difference between Pure Land and heavens
-reasons to believe that Pure Land is a real place. Actually, the author says ' as real as the physical world you exist in now' :)

http://www.amazon.com/Sukhavati-Western-Paradise-Heaven-Taught/dp/9834087934/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1360099131&sr=8-3&keywords=sukhavati

I like a lot the video series of Master Sheng-yen, always clear. :smile:


I had bought his book for Kindle. I will start studying it :D Thanks for your suggestion!
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Re: Sukhavati & Heaven: The Difference?

Postby zamotcr » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:03 pm

zamotcr wrote:
I had bought his book for Kindle. I will start studying it :D Thanks for your suggestion!


The book was great until he started to talk about a soul and saying that Pure Land is a heaven, but in other galaxy. I know Pure Land is in another galaxy, but he compared Pure Land to other heavens...
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Re: Sukhavati & Heaven: The Difference?

Postby dude » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:28 pm

zamotcr wrote:It is true to say that the Amitabha's Pure Land is pure, because the people born there, living there have pure minds, because they are pure?

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Re: Sukhavati & Heaven: The Difference?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:16 pm

zamotcr wrote:The book was great until he started to talk about a soul and saying that Pure Land is a heaven, but in other galaxy. I know Pure Land is in another galaxy, but he compared Pure Land to other heavens...

Another galaxy?
No.
Amitabha is the Buddha of infinite light & infinite life (amitayus).

"Infinite" describes the true nature of awareness.

If Amitabha is infinite , how can his realm be finite?
He would be very cramped in there, with all those jewel trees and stuff.
If you say it is located somewhere,
then,
there must also be somewhere else
where it is not located,
and then it would not be infinite.
Would it?

Going to the Pure Realm when you die
doesn't mean leaving one galaxy and ending up in another.
It means leaving finite and entering infinite
which you can do in this lifetime
because "lifetime" is only a vague idea.
You are born and die every second, with every breath.
If you investigate who "you" is,
and understand emptiness (sunyata)
then you see this is true.

This is the difference between Pure land and biblical heaven.
If we ask "is the pure land "real" the way my day to day life on earth is "real"
or is it just something made up?"

We are assuming a lot.
We are assuming that
my day to day life on earth is "real" and not just something made up,
and then comparing the Pure land to that.
But upon further examination
we can see that our experience is a projection of the mind.
My day to day life on earth is also just something made up.
When you practice Amitabha,
you stop making up your finite world
and you enter the Pure Realm.
You start to understand, a little bit,
the infinite nature of awareness
which is Amitabha.
If Amitabha were something separate from
the infinite nature of awareness,
Amitabha wouldn't be Infinite.
Would he?

Bible followers believe in a self.
Belief in a God is meaningless if one does not believe in a self.
Buddhists say that nothing occurs which can be called a self.
And that the "reality" of this world can be dissected until there is nothing left but mind.
The death of the physical body seems real enough because of causes.
But the liberation from those causes
is the purpose of Amitabha's vow.


I would recommend this book:
Buddha Tells Of The Infinite
Amitabha Sutra (short)
with commentary by Hozen Seki.
It's the commentary that gives a very good understanding.
Published in 1973 by the American Buddhist Academy
now known as The American Buddhist Study Center, Inc.
Out of print but still available:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/ ... dddunco-20
.
.
.
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Re: Sukhavati & Heaven: The Difference?

Postby zamotcr » Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:43 pm

PadmaVonSamba, a Pure Land is really a buddhaksetra. A buddhaksetra is where a Buddha resides. Our Saha world is the Shakyamuni Pure Land (See Vimalakirti for this).
A buddhaksetra is composed of millions of planets, perhaps it's a galaxy, but yeap, it's a region, far distant to us.

It can be in another galaxy, in another dimension. Maybe a desolated planet to us, in another dimension is populated with heavenly bliss.
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Re: Sukhavati & Heaven: The Difference?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:58 pm

zamotcr wrote:PadmaVonSamba, a Pure Land is really a buddhaksetra. A buddhaksetra is where a Buddha resides. Our Saha world is the Shakyamuni Pure Land (See Vimalakirti for this).
A buddhaksetra is composed of millions of planets, perhaps it's a galaxy, but yeap, it's a region, far distant to us.

It can be in another galaxy, in another dimension. Maybe a desolated planet to us, in another dimension is populated with heavenly bliss.


Okee Dokee.
.
.
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