Stage of Non-retrogression

Stage of Non-retrogression

Postby Brynmr » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:20 pm

In the section describing the three grades of aspirants in the Larger Sutra on Amida Buddha, both the high and the middle grades will "dwell in the Stage of Non-retrogression". I take this to mean they will not fall back into Samsaric rebirths. However this isn't stated for the lower grade. Does this mean the lower grade of aspirants will fall back into cyclic rebirths - Samsara? Thanks guys, I couldn't find this question anywhere.
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Re: Stage of Non-retrogression

Postby plwk » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:54 pm

From the Shorter Amitabha Sutra...
http://www.taishendo.com/upload/Amitabha%20Sutra.pdf
Furthermore, Sariputra, those sentient beings who are reborn in the Buddha-field of the Tathagata Amitayus as pure Bodhisattvas who will not fall back and will be separated from awakening by only one birth - the number of these Bodhisattvas, Sariputra, is not easy to reckon.
One can only approximate their numbers by saying that they are immeasurable and countless.

From the Larger Amitayus Sutra...2nd of the 48 Great Vows
http://buddhistfaith.tripod.com/purelan ... s/id2.html
If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should after death fall again into the three evil realms, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

Commentary:
http://www.ymba.org/books/buddhism-wisd ... /3-faith-0
The Patriarch Yin Kuang has these words of praise:
Persons of the highest capacities can attain samadhi if they practice Buddha Recitation with an undisturbed mind.
Those of the lowest capacities will still succeed with only ten utterances [as they may be reborn in the Pure Land and ultimately achieve samadhi and Buddhahood].
This is an outstanding feature not found in any other method.

Question 6
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Re: Stage of Non-retrogression

Postby Astus » Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:57 pm

A whole chapter on the subject in Shinran's Kyogyoshinsho: CHAPTER ON THE TRUE 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: Stage of Non-retrogression

Postby Brynmr » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:27 pm

Ok I get it - thanks so much for your help. From my copy of the Smaller Sutra:

“Again, Śāriputra, all sentient beings born in the Land of Utmost Bliss
dwell in the stage of non-retrogression.

and from another translation:

'Again, Shariputra, the beings born in the land Sukhavati are all Avinivartaniya.
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Re: Stage of Non-retrogression

Postby sinweiy » Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:17 am

I also think it's All sentient beings born in the Land of Utmost Bliss dwell in the stage of non-retrogression.
: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: Stage of Non-retrogression

Postby sinweiy » Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:33 am

for me, the Stage of Non-retrogression is Non-retrogression of the Path toward Bodhi/Enlightenment, not much to do with rebirth.
it doesn't mean one don't manifest into other world as Bodhisattvas to performing their Bodhisattva-duties in the form of manifestation bodies, be it any form of bodies like in Lotus Sutra Chapter 25. but you will be wearing the Armour of vows that no suffering can harm you! :smile:

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 Bodhisattva-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.
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Amitabha% ... eight_vows




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wonderful Dharma Lotus Sutra
Chapter Twenty-five -- The Universal Door Of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva ( Guanshiyin / The Bodhisattva Who Contemplates The Sounds Of The World )
http://www.fodian.net/world/0262_25.html
_/\_
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: Stage of Non-retrogression

Postby Brynmr » Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:47 am

Vow 22 indicates a choice and is that "one birth only" the birth one took into the Pure Land of Sukhavati?
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Re: Stage of Non-retrogression

Postby sinweiy » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:17 am

yes "one birth only" into Sukhavati without real suffering. as compare to ordinary reincarnation/rebirth in "samsara" that still have suffering. in that sense both the choices are one birth only. one no longer fall back to lower realms. note that the "manifestation" of bodhisattva/mahasattvas in the form of "rebirth" are different, in the sense that the samsaric rebirth are governed by karma, while the pureland rebirths are governed by vows/aspiration/bodhi. the former one do not have much control, while the latter one do have greater control, coming and going is all up to you. :)

one (of the 3 conditions within the Chinese Pureland school is generating Bodhi. although Bodhi do have deeper explanation. normally they will want you to have a heart to come back to samsara as bodhisattvas to help others than to be selfish, only thinking of escaping samsara.

http://www.amtbweb.org/threeconditions.html

Amitabha sutra do mention about purelanders going out to many world systems to make flower offerings to different different Buddhas. making flower offerings generate huge amount of merits that are useful for the path. just FYI.
: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: Stage of Non-retrogression

Postby Brynmr » Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:10 am

That's good to know. I've had enough suffering from this world. But I wouldn't think of not helping others. I'm a poor practitioner but I do have a good, caring heart.
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Re: Stage of Non-retrogression

Postby zamotcr » Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:03 am

plwk wrote:From the Shorter Amitabha Sutra...
http://www.taishendo.com/upload/Amitabha%20Sutra.pdf
Furthermore, Sariputra, those sentient beings who are reborn in the Buddha-field of the Tathagata Amitayus as pure Bodhisattvas who will not fall back and will be separated from awakening by only one birth - the number of these Bodhisattvas, Sariputra, is not easy to reckon.
One can only approximate their numbers by saying that they are immeasurable and countless.

From the Larger Amitayus Sutra...2nd of the 48 Great Vows
http://buddhistfaith.tripod.com/purelan ... s/id2.html
If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should after death fall again into the three evil realms, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.


Reading these give me the impretion that beings in Pure Land will die eventually. Isn't it said that when one reborn in Pure Land, will win Buddhahood after a long period of time? With the sutras passages mentioned, it seems that Boddhisattvas are separated by one birth from Buddhahood.
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Re: Stage of Non-retrogression

Postby plwk » Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:28 am

It could just mean that ...
a. if there's anything in Sukhavati that will mirror back the conditions found in the Saha World, in this instance, falling into the three lower realms after leaving Sukhavati, then he will not attain Buddhahood. So since he has, those conditions do not then.
b. Whilst it's true as a general rule, that those who take birth in Sukhavati have longevity to complete the Path & Stages, there's an exception for those who have aspiration vows to leave Sukhavati halfway to continue their mission elsewhere. For example, not everyone who goes to university wants to study and complete their formal education up to the level of a PhD but are just focused on getting a basic degree and then they export themselves elsewhere whether it is to the job market or being a homemaker or anything else. Vow #22 of Amitabha's 48 Vows exemplifies this. Like the degree graduate, h/she goes into the job market with a higher advantage of a formal education level, so the aspirant Bodhisattva who goes back to say Saha World returns back with some level of self mastery to continue the Bodhisattva mission there, having an advantage of not falling back into the three lower realms although the training towards Buddhahood is incomplete.

Yes, that is a common general Buddhist teaching of 'ekajatiprati-buddha' for those with only one life left like Maitreya, the future Buddha in waiting in the Inner Court of Tusita Heaven, normally linked to being a next Buddha successor. Linked to this is another teaching that in every one world system, there can only be one living Buddha at a time for simple reasons like not contradicting each other in commentarial literature, so all those who are at the stage of the one lifers, are just in waiting to see where else they can manifest their final birth and mission as a Buddha. For instance, in these passages:
http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pit ... ali-e.html
Bhikkhus, it is impossible that two Rightfully Enlightened Ones be born in the same world at one and the same time.
It is possible that one Rightfully Enlightened One be born in the world at a certain time.
http://tipitaka.wikia.com/wiki/Maha_Govinda_Sutta
"Then certain gods explained:
'Oh, if only four fully-enlightened Buddhas were to arise in the world and teach Dhamma just like the Blessed Lord! That would be for the benefit and happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit and happiness of devas and humans!' And some said: 'Never mind the four fully-enlightened Buddhas--three would suffice!' and others said: 'Never mind three--two would suffice!'

"At this Sakka said:
'It is impossible, gentlemen, it cannot happen that two fully-enlightened Buddhas should arise simultaneously in a single-world system. That cannot be. May this Blessed Lord continue to live long, for many years to come, free from sickness and disease! That would be for the benefit and happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world it would be for the benefit and happiness of devas and humans!'
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Re: Stage of Non-retrogression

Postby zamotcr » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:05 pm

Thanks plwk! It could be that way, indeed. :anjali:
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