Heavens in Pure Land?

Heavens in Pure Land?

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

I was reading the Larger Sutra, and I found something I cannot explain to my self.
I could be wrong, that's why I am here, imploring for your help.

It said that there is a Heaven of the Four Kings and Heavens of Pure Above.
Perhaps I'm missing something or my understanding is not correct. I thought that in Pure Land Humans and Devas are equal, with the same body, without differences, then why is there those heavens?
Pure Land Sutras; http://www.bdkamerica.org/digital/dBET_ ... s_2003.pdf

Part I, Page 22, Verse 10

... Then Ananda asked the Buddha, “If, World-honored One, there is no
Mount Sumeru in that land, what sustains the Heaven of the Four Kings and
the Heaven of the Thirty-three Gods?”
The Buddha said to Ananda, “What sustains Yama, which is the third
heaven of the world of desire, and other heavens up to the highest heaven
of the world of form?”
Ananda answered, “The consequences of karma are inconceivable.”
The Buddha said to Ananda, “Inconceivable indeed are the consequences
of karma, and so are the worlds of the buddhas. By the power of meritori-
ous deeds, sentient beings in that land dwell on the ground of karmic reward.
That is why those heavens exist without Mount Sumeru.


Part II, In page 57, verse 42:

42 Then the Buddha said to Ananda and Bodhisattva Maitreya, “Have you
seen that land filled with excellent and glorious manifestations, all sponta-
neously produced, from the ground to the Heaven of Pure Abode?
Ananda replied, “Yes, I have.”
The Buddha asked, “Have you also heard the great voice of Amitayus
expound the Dharma to all the worlds, guiding sentient beings to the Way
of the Buddha?”
Ananda replied, “Yes, I have.”

The Buddha further asked, “Have you also seen the inhabitants of that land
move freely, riding in seven-jeweled airborne palaces as large as a hundred
thousand yojanas, to worship the buddhas of the lands in the ten directions?”
“Yes, I have,” replied Ananda.
“Have you also seen that some of the inhabitants are in the embryonic
state of rebirth?”
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Re: Heavens in Pure Land?

Postby Nosta » Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:26 pm

I think that the pure abodes and heavens are different from the pure lands. A pure land is a "place"/stage of non-retrogression and where you will never suffer anymore; your attainment of Nirvana is a guarantee.

I think that in heavens you still have suffering like envy, to much desire (sensual desire), etc.
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Re: Heavens in Pure Land?

Postby zamotcr » Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:28 pm

Nosta wrote:I think that the pure abodes and heavens are different from the pure lands. A pure land is a "place"/stage of non-retrogression and where you will never suffer anymore; your attainment of Nirvana is a guarantee.

I think that in heavens you still have suffering like envy, to much desire (sensual desire), etc.


Of course, that's what I believe. But reading the Pure Land sutras I found this quotes, so, how do we explain them?
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Re: Heavens in Pure Land?

Postby plwk » Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:13 pm

If these make any sense...my own analysis
... Then Ananda asked the Buddha,
“If, World-honored One, there is no Mount Sumeru in that land, what sustains the Heaven of the Four Kings and the Heaven of the Thirty-three Gods?”
The Buddha said to Ananda,
“What sustains Yama, which is the third heaven of the world of desire, and other heavens up to the highest heaven of the world of form?”
Ananda answered, “The consequences of karma are inconceivable.”
The Buddha said to Ananda,
“Inconceivable indeed are the consequences of karma, and so are the worlds of the buddhas. By the power of meritorious deeds, sentient beings in that land dwell on the ground of karmic reward. That is why those heavens exist without Mount Sumeru.

Firstly, if one have read the portion before this, one gets the idea on what Sukhavati is in comparison to Saha World's structures of the worlds of desire (the heavenly worlds section) & form using many examples from our world system to contrast on how much better Sukhavati is.

Secondly, Ananda is doing what many others in other Sutras have done: that he's asking for the sake of others to clear their doubts: that he posits that there will be those who will think that Sukhavati must have the same structure layout as our world system when all the Buddha is just doing is to compare and contrast both systems, hence Ananda's asking is based on our world's cosmology with Mt Sumeru mapped onto Sukhavati and if it's missing in Sukhavati, how can all the other heavenly abodes in the Desire Realm then be supported?

Thirdly, hence from the Buddha's teaching on karmic reward to look at the basis of both Sukhavati and the heavenly abodes in both the realms of desire and form.
a. The concept of and basis of impure karmic reward/retribution as found in our Saha World, all sentient beings from the hells to the heavens have their basis on this. The injunction on how sentient beings in our world generally focus/fear on the effect, hence a short sighted approach.
b. In Sukhavati however, its conception is from the realised pure vows of a Buddha, whilst the external forms of it may mimic that of the heavenly abodes of Saha World but its essence isn't. Again, the injunction that a Bodhisattva focuses on the cause for accomplishment of the Path and Fruit instead of fearing the effect, which takes a more holistic / all rounded approach.
c. Hence, with the greater understanding and practice of the latter Bodhisattvic approach, the self power generated by an aspirant and those who are already in Sukhavati are hence based on creating the right causes for Enlightenment, whilst tapping into the realised Other Power of Amitabha, one gets to experience what is similar or looks like that which is in the heavenly abodes in Saha but without the inevitable duhkha that comes with it in Sukhavati.

Part II, In page 57, verse 42:
42 Then the Buddha said to Ananda and Bodhisattva Maitreya,
“Have you seen that land filled with excellent and glorious manifestations, all spontaneously produced, from the ground to the Heaven of Pure Abode?
Ananda replied, “Yes, I have.”
The Buddha asked, “Have you also heard the great voice of Amitayus expound the Dharma to all the worlds, guiding sentient beings to the Way of the Buddha?”
Ananda replied, “Yes, I have.”
The Buddha further asked, “Have you also seen the inhabitants of that land move freely, riding in seven-jeweled airborne palaces as large as a hundred thousand yojanas, to worship the buddhas of the lands in the ten directions?”
“Yes, I have,” replied Ananda.
“Have you also seen that some of the inhabitants are in the embryonic state of rebirth?”
If I may complete the above paras with this..
http://buddhistfaith.tripod.com/purelan ... s/id3.html
Then the Bodhisattva Maitreya said to the Buddha,
"World-Honored One, for what reason are some of the inhabitants of that land in the embryonic state and the others born by transformation?"
The Buddha replied,
"Maitreya, if there are sentient beings who do various meritorious deeds aspiring for birth in that land while still entertaining doubt, such beings are unable to comprehend the Buddha-wisdom, inconceivable wisdom, ineffable wisdom, boundless Mahayana wisdom, and incomparable, unequaled, and unsurpassed supreme wisdom. Although they doubt these wisdoms, they still believe in retribution for evil and reward for virtue and so cultivate a stock of merits, aspiring for birth in that land. Such beings are born in a palace, where they dwell for five hundred years without being able to behold the Buddha, hear his exposition of the Dharma, or see the hosts of bodhisattvas and shravakas. For this reason, that type of birth in the Pure Land is called 'embryonic state.'

"If there are sentient beings who with resolute faith accept these kinds of wisdom, from the Buddha's wisdom to the supreme wisdom, do meritorious deeds and sincerely transfer the merit acquired (to that land), those beings will be born by transformation spontaneously. seated with legs crossed, in the seven-jewelled lotus-flowers, and instantly attain the same glorious forms, wisdom and virtue as those of other bodhisattvas there.
Once again, if one reads both together, I have seen at least two interpretations to this: The comparison of embryonic and transformational births. I recall dealing with this issue back on the now defunct E-Sangha Pure Land Forum...
a. One opinion is that this is on the provisional appearance of a 'stunted' kind of birth, here meaning that birth has taken place within Sukhavati but it's at the fringes of it, the aspirant is kept in an 'embryonic' state: created from the retribution of one's doubts, the passages seem to hint like it's kind of a waiting room for 'doubters', until that is resolved, as it says, for about 500 years max I guess, then they will get to start their journey of encountering Sukhavati & its Sages without hindrance like their transformational birth compatriots. Having said this, they do not 'suffer' like how we understand the common deprivation in our world, as they have the good karmic retribution of experiencing heavenly like conditions whilst in the 'waiting room' but not the full experience of Sukhavati yet. Also commonly known as 'border land', 'seven jewelled palaces' and so forth.

b. Some opined that it's outside of Sukhavati. I have a problem with this interpretation as there are no indications of it being external to Sukhavati and the higher understanding of 'birth' and Sukhavati.

c. See interesting Japanese interpretations here, here & here and this excerpt here: page 278 onwards
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Re: Heavens in Pure Land?

Postby sinweiy » Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:29 am

yes there are heavenly beings in Amitabha Pureland. but it's different from here in saha world.

There are four kinds Lands/Abodes of PL:
1) Pure Abode of Good people and good Saints living together 凡圣同居土, more for people and heavenly beings.
2) Pure Temporary Abode with residue of Not Knowing 方便有余土, more for Arahants.
3) Pure Abode of Permanent Reward 实报无障碍土, more for Bodhisattvas.
4) Pure Abode of Eternal Light and Tranquillity 常寂光土, more for Buddhas.

over here in saha world, you cannot see heavenly beings. but over there human can see heavenly beings.

in Amitabha Sutra, what it also say is that Pureland do not have the 3 evils realms, that's all, never say don't have heavenly realm. but however the heavenly realm there are without suffering.

I can't find the English version of this.

凡圣同居土
凡夫和为了化度众生而现身说法的圣人所共同居住的国土。
又称为染净同居土,染净国。指人天两道之凡夫,与声闻缘觉之圣者同居之国土。
其中又可分两种:(1)凡居—其内亦有恶众生所居之四恶趣,即是地狱、饿鬼、畜生、阿修罗(梵语asura)等,与善众生所居之人天趣之别。(2)圣居—亦有实圣与权圣之分别。实圣即是声闻四果、辟支佛、通教之六地、别教之十住等人所居之处。权圣则有方便有余土中之三乘人,实报无障碍土及常寂光净土之法身菩萨、妙觉如来等,应有缘众生之须而权化生于此土。
此外,此凡圣同居土又有净、秽两种,如娑婆世界(梵语Saha-lokadhatu)是同居之秽,西方极乐世界(梵语Sukhavati)是同居之净土。
_/\_
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Re: Heavens in Pure Land?

Postby zamotcr » Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:40 pm

sinweiy wrote:yes there are heavenly beings in Amitabha Pureland. but it's different from here in saha world.

There are four kinds Lands/Abodes of PL:
1) Pure Abode of Good people and good Saints living together 凡圣同居土, more for people and heavenly beings.
2) Pure Temporary Abode with residue of Not Knowing 方便有余土, more for Arahants.
3) Pure Abode of Permanent Reward 实报无障碍土, more for Bodhisattvas.
4) Pure Abode of Eternal Light and Tranquillity 常寂光土, more for Buddhas.

over here in saha world, you cannot see heavenly beings. but over there human can see heavenly beings.



In Larger Sutra, Buddha said that all beings are of one form, without any differences, but are called 'heavenly beings' and 'humans' simply by analogy with the states of existence in other worlds.

sinweiy wrote:in Amitabha Sutra, what it also say is that Pureland do not have the 3 evils realms, that's all, never say don't have heavenly realm. but however the heavenly realm there are without suffering.

I can't find the English version of this.

凡圣同居土
凡夫和为了化度众生而现身说法的圣人所共同居住的国土。
又称为染净同居土,染净国。指人天两道之凡夫,与声闻缘觉之圣者同居之国土。
其中又可分两种:(1)凡居—其内亦有恶众生所居之四恶趣,即是地狱、饿鬼、畜生、阿修罗(梵语asura)等,与善众生所居之人天趣之别。(2)圣居—亦有实圣与权圣之分别。实圣即是声闻四果、辟支佛、通教之六地、别教之十住等人所居之处。权圣则有方便有余土中之三乘人,实报无障碍土及常寂光净土之法身菩萨、妙觉如来等,应有缘众生之须而权化生于此土。
此外,此凡圣同居土又有净、秽两种,如娑婆世界(梵语Saha-lokadhatu)是同居之秽,西方极乐世界(梵语Sukhavati)是同居之净土。


If there are heavens in Pure Land, then it's inside Samsara and Triple Realm. Heavens are part of Triple Realm, also Pure Abodes. Our world is part of Desire Realm, other heavens are there too, but also, there are Formless Realm and Form Realms. All of them part of samsara, subject to birth and death.

Also, Human Realm is always subject to birth and death, it's a law in this material world, everything that arises has to cease. I don't think Pure Land is part of any of the 3 realms.

Also, as I said before, if heavenly beings and humans are of one shape, without differences, heavens are unnecessary, because there are no heavenly beings!
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Re: Heavens in Pure Land?

Postby plwk » Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:20 pm

I must have missed this earlier...
I thought that in Pure Land Humans and Devas are equal, with the same body, without differences...
a. All in Sukhavati have equal opportunity to complete the Path & Stages despite the difference in respective causes and conditions.

b. When the phrase 'humans and devas' are used, they are with reference from our point of view to show that these are the two types of higher realms' / fortunate beings from the Saha World that have such merit to have connection with Amitabha & take birth in Sukhavati and not necessarily found the exact way in Sukhavati once there for otherwise it would contradict Vow #4 of 48. It's like back in the English Victorian days when stuff from the Oriental were considered exotic, the merchants, traders and politicians would use the best comparative analogy from their own native descriptions available in order to help in a projected grand vision or to awe their potential investors or buyers.

c. Another example is in Vow #26, again it makes reference to a comparison to a diamond thunderbolt deity, Narayana, to give an idea on the kind of form, nature and quality that Bodhisattvas in Sukhavati have: to represent the powerful & indestructible nature of the Buddha mind and non retrogressive conditions for practice & realisation. If the quality of Narayana's value and nature is considered with such greatness, what more for the Bodhisattvas in Sukhavati. It would make no sense to say that the same structural samsaric heavens and its deities with its samsaric qualities are found in Sukhavati as you yourself have pointed out earlier now would it?
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Re: Heavens in Pure Land?

Postby zamotcr » Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:38 pm

plwk wrote:I must have missed this earlier...
I thought that in Pure Land Humans and Devas are equal, with the same body, without differences...
a. All in Sukhavati have equal opportunity to complete the Path & Stages despite the difference in respective causes and conditions.

b. When the phrase 'humans and devas' are used, they are with reference from our point of view to show that these are the two types of higher realms' / fortunate beings from the Saha World that have such merit to have connection with Amitabha & take birth in Sukhavati and not necessarily found the exact way in Sukhavati once there for otherwise it would contradict Vow #4 of 48. It's like back in the English Victorian days when stuff from the Oriental were considered exotic, the merchants, traders and politicians would use the best comparative analogy from their own native descriptions available in order to help in a projected grand vision or to awe their potential investors or buyers.

c. Another example is in Vow #26, again it makes reference to a comparison to a diamond thunderbolt deity, Narayana, to give an idea on the kind of form, nature and quality that Bodhisattvas in Sukhavati have: to represent the powerful & indestructible nature of the Buddha mind and non retrogressive conditions for practice & realisation. If the quality of Narayana's value and nature is considered with such greatness, what more for the Bodhisattvas in Sukhavati. It would make no sense to say that the same structural samsaric heavens and its deities with its samsaric qualities are found in Sukhavati as you yourself have pointed out earlier now would it?


I agree. For me, I see Buddha's Pure Lands as Reward Lands, as Nirvana Realms, outside Samsara, and Triple Realm, created by Buddha's merit. I see Saha world and every world in Samsara and Triple Realm as a Defiled Land, a Transformed Land, created by our own Karma and defilements.

For me, every Impure Land is a tri-sahasra-mahā-sahasra-loka-dhātu, a great chiliocosm including 28 different heavens, human realm and three wretched realms, like our Saha World. And the Pure Lands are outside all of this.

So, for me, there are no heavens in Pure Land.
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Re: Heavens in Pure Land?

Postby PorkChop » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:06 am

One thing Sinweiy touched on that I hasn't been directly addressed is that Pure Abodes are places of non-retrogression as well.
They are not the same as the heavens of the desire realm. The difference between the Pure Abodes and the Pure Lands is that Pure Lands are easier to get into and that you can continue on the Bodhisattva path from there (in other words you can come back).
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Re: Heavens in Pure Land?

Postby zamotcr » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:13 am

PorkChop wrote:One thing Sinweiy touched on that I hasn't been directly addressed is that Pure Abodes are places of non-retrogression as well.
They are not the same as the heavens of the desire realm. The difference between the Pure Abodes and the Pure Lands is that Pure Lands are easier to get into and that you can continue on the Bodhisattva path from there (in other words you can come back).


Yes, but they are different. Pure abodes are inside triple realm, properly in Rupa Loka (Form Realm), so they are part of samsara.
There are five Pure abodes:

1 - Peerless Devas (Akanittha deva)
2 - Clear-Sighted (sudassi deva)
3 - Beautiful devas (sudassa deva)
4 - Untroubled devas (atappa deva)
5 - Devas not Falling Away (aviha deva)

So in that sense, in Pure Land one will have the safety of become a Buddha, in Pure Abodes, the only safety is that you will become an Arhat.
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Re: Heavens in Pure Land?

Postby PorkChop » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:18 am

yes, but there's no falling away from the Pure Abodes...
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Re: Heavens in Pure Land?

Postby plwk » Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:08 am

My usual ramblings on the issue of non retrogression...

a. As zamotcr has rightly pointed out: it's dedicated for those with the aspiration for Arhatship and its various stages and the non retrogression is based on the self power of Right Effort & Samadhi of them being on those various stages. This particular pure abode is said to have been formed due to the aspiration and effort of those in these stages. Another Pure Abode worthy of mention is the Inner Court of Tusita although non-retrogression is not a feature here.

b. The Pure Lands as mention within the scheme of Mahayana are for those dedicated with an aspiration towards the realisation and career of a Samyak Sambuddha. Besides, the non retrogression aspect is a special feature of Sukhavati from Amitabha's Vows.

c. And if I may raise another issue here....
What some are perhaps thinking here is on the usual assertion from Mahayanists that anything below the level of a Samyak Sambuddha is retrogressive and further some even go as far as to talk about arousing the Arhats and Pratyekabuddhas from their 'comfort zones' to embrace Buddhahood. For that matter some even would insist that only those on the 8th Bhumi onwards are 'safe'. Yet, there is a dissenting view within Mahayana on this like in one Lotus Sutra passage which exhorts that the fourfold assembly with any of the threefold Bodhi aspirations are not to be insinuated at that anyone of them are lacking in wisdom of all modes. And I remember comments on 'early Mahayana' stuff in various past threads by the more learned ones on this forum stating that it doesn't share the convictions of such either.

So, whilst this view on the superiority of Buddhahood over Arhatship is more or less also shared by the early communities of the Mahasamghika & Sarvastivada for instance but in still yet many others, the opinion isn't so as if one were to peruse through for instance the Theravadin Pali Suttas, they have stated that each step of stages are certain and non-retrogressive.

If you ask for my blunt opinion, from a historical and scholastic analysis, I view all of these as just being a gimmick of sectarianism, each wanting to trump each other on the issue of the threefold kinds of Bodhi taught by the Buddha. To me, it's all about what one wants and has affinity with. And hence, it's ridiculous to compare Akanishta & Sukhavati for simple reasons of non compatibility of aspiration and purpose. Let's not forget that I have oft quoted from the Ven Dr Yinshun in his 'The Way to Buddhahood' on 'Pure Land politics' like the story of Buddhasimha who purportedly didn't make it into the Inner Court and ended up frolicking with the samsaric beings of the Outer Court to 'mock' those who want to follow Maitreya instead of Amitabha and he questions if that is even true because none of the Indian and Chinese Yogacara masters have mentioned on it in their teachings and commentarial tradition. So, one suspects if such stuff are made from selective propaganda? As I mentioned before in a past thread, if one is already having affinity with Madonna, how much of use is trying to promote Lady Gaga to such? Wouldn't that be mere marketing and harassment tactics?
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Re: Heavens in Pure Land?

Postby sinweiy » Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:12 am

zamotcr wrote:
If there are heavens in Pure Land, then it's inside Samsara and Triple Realm. Heavens are part of Triple Realm, also Pure Abodes. Our world is part of Desire Realm, other heavens are there too, but also, there are Formless Realm and Form Realms. All of them part of samsara, subject to birth and death.

Also, Human Realm is always subject to birth and death, it's a law in this material world, everything that arises has to cease. I don't think Pure Land is part of any of the 3 realms.

Also, as I said before, if heavenly beings and humans are of one shape, without differences, heavens are unnecessary, because there are no heavenly beings!


yes I know about the heavenly realms of samsara. but by "heaven" realm in PL, I do mean a state of "analogy" or skilful mean. yes they are of one shape. but there's different in memories per se.

for me i think the heavenly beings in Pureland are those who enter/rebirth into Pureland from heavenly realm like Trayastrimsa heaven, where Buddha taught his mother. or Bodhisattva teaching Pureland method to heavenly beings and they are reborn in Pureland. so their "memories" stay as heavenly beings, but shape is all the same in Pureland.

when I see documentary on penguins or seals, they all look the same, however, they can still differentiate among themselves.
:smile:
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Re: Heavens in Pure Land?

Postby PorkChop » Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:22 am

My take on the Lotus Sutra quote is that Arhats & Pratekyabuddhas are taught the Buddha path after death and then exhorted to manifest one more time to achieve Sammyak Sam Buddha-hood in a place that needs it (Lotus Sutra Ch 12).

The popular (in my opinion "polemical") opinion is that an Arhat has inconceivable kalpas to "start over" on the Buddha path and is again at risk of falling into the lower realms - I just haven't seen this in sutra references, so I'm reluctant to accept it.
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Re: Heavens in Pure Land?

Postby sinweiy » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:43 am

There are four kinds Lands/Abodes of PL:
1) Pure Abode of Good people and good Saints living together 凡圣同居土, more for people and heavenly beings.
2) Pure Temporary Abode with residue of Not Knowing 方便有余土, more for Arahants.
3) Pure Abode of Permanent Reward 实报无障碍土, more for Bodhisattvas.
4) Pure Abode of Eternal Light and Tranquillity 常寂光土, more for Buddhas.


the four Pureland can be found in Mind Seal By Pureland Master Oyi.

All the adornments of the dwellings in the Pure Land and the settings in which sentient beings are reborn in the Pure Land are created by the inherently real merits of the great vows and great deeds of Amitabha Buddha. That's why he can adorn all the Four Pure Lands, and embrace all the ordinary people and saints of all the worlds of the past, present, and future, and enable them to be reborn in the Pure Land.
.....................

[What is the special excellence of the Pure Land?] Sentient beings can be reborn there carrying their karmic load with them, and thereby transcend the triple world "horizontally." [Amitabha's Pure Land] is a pure land where saints and ordinary beings dwell together, but it includes all Four Lands [the Land where Saints and Ordinary Beings Dwell Together, the Land of Expedient Liberation, the Land of Real Reward, and the Land of Eternally Quiescent Light], and reveals the four teachings [elementary, common, special, and complete].
.....................

We must realize that in our great mission to open up enlightened perception, this barrier to the Land Where Saints and Ordinary Beings Dwell Together is the hardest to cross over. The Land of Ultimate Bliss, Amitabha's Pure Land Where Saints and Ordinary Beings Dwell Together, is unique -- it goes beyond all the other pure lands where saints and ordinary beings live together.

http://www.sinc.sunysb.edu/Clubs/buddhi ... html#dpure
_/\_
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Re: Heavens in Pure Land?

Postby zamotcr » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:15 am

Yes sinweiy, I fully agree with your last post. But, even that text of Master Oyi does not confirm or said that there are Heavens inside Pure Land.
What he did say was that Amitabha's Pure Land can be "divided", because such division is just for deluded beings. In reality Pure Land is only one, not four, so, such division is just a convention, rather than a reality.
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Re: Heavens in Pure Land?

Postby sinweiy » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:30 am

I agreed that it's conventional/phenomenal mean than ultimate/noumenon mean/level. to say that there's heavenly beings in the Land of Common Residence of Beings and Saints is also conventional/phenomenal mean. so there's heavenly beings as a conventional mean. I learn from Pureland Master Chin Kung over ten over years and all of Chinese Pureland schools here accepted that the :-
1) Pure Abode of Good people and good Saints living together 凡圣同居土, are more for people and heavenly beings人天.

it's the general Chinese glossary meaning of "the Land where Saints and Ordinary Beings Dwell Together" 凡圣同居土 :

凡圣同居土
凡夫和为了化度众生而现身说法的圣人所共同居住的国土。
又称为染净同居土,染净国。指人天两道之凡夫,与声闻缘觉之圣者同居之国土。
其中又可分两种:(1)凡居—其内亦有恶众生所居之四恶趣,即是地狱、饿鬼、畜生、阿修罗(梵语asura)等,与善众生所居之人天趣之别。(2)圣居—亦有实圣与权圣之分别。实圣即是声闻四果、辟支佛、通教之六地、别教之十住等人所居之处。权圣则有方便有余土中之三乘人,实报无障碍土及常寂光净土之法身菩萨、妙觉如来等,应有缘众生之须而权化生于此土。
此外,此凡圣同居土又有净、秽两种,如娑婆世界(梵语Saha-lokadhatu)是同居之秽,西方极乐世界(梵语Sukhavati)是同居之净土。


Four Pure Lands
A classification by the Pure Land and T'ien T'ai schools of the pure realms subsumed under the Land of Amitabha Buddha, as described in the sutras. They are:

i) the Land of Common Residence of Beings and Saints (Land Where Saints and Ordinary Beings Dwell Together), where all beings, from the six lower worlds(?) (hells, hungry ghosts ...) to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, live together (further divided into two, the Common Residence Pure Land and Common Residence Impure Land);
ii) the Land of Expediency (Land of Expedient Liberation), inhabited by Arhats and lesser Bodhisattvas;
iii) the Land of Real Reward, inhabited by the highest Bodhisattvas;
iv) the Land of Eternally Quiescent Light, in which the Buddhas dwell.
These distinctions are at the phenomenal level. At the noumenon level, there is, of course, no difference among them.

http://www.sinc.sunysb.edu/Clubs/buddhism/glossary.html

but there's something confusing about "six lower worlds" (?) in this English glossary. :shrug:

but it's all accepted as phenomenal level. At the noumenon level, there is, of course, no difference among them.
_/\_
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: Heavens in Pure Land?

Postby zamotcr » Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:36 am

sinweiy wrote:but there's something confusing about "six lower worlds" (?) in this English glossary. :shrug:


In Pure Land there are no more humans nor heavenly beings. The sutras use this terms just to allows us to understand. Different beings born in Pure Land comes from any of the 6 worlds (humans are included here), but once there, there is no more differences, they are no different, just only one class of beings.

According to your classification of Pure Land, that classification refers to Buddha-lands itself, not to different beings in Amitabha's Pure Land.

In this site you can find it explained (this same explanation is given in other Pure Land books):

http://www.tientai.net/glossary/4lands.htm

The Four Lands are the different spiritual places where the Buddha reaches out to living beings.

A. The Land Where All Equally Reside – This is the land where all live side by side, and where there are all ten of the spiritual realms; it has two divisions - the 'impure land' (The Saha World) and the 'pure land'. The pure land is the land of faith, like the western land of ultimate bliss described in the Amitabha Sutras.

B. The Land of Ways & Means – The temporary land where the residents (those of the Three Vehicles) transcend the threefold realm and eliminate false views and motives through cultivation. Those here may be able to eliminate their own personal manifestations of emotional distress but they still need to be reborn into the world distinctly as Bodhisattvas in order to eliminate the unlimited kinds of delusion (known as the dusts & sands) and the fundamental source of ignorance. This is the land described in The Lotus Sutra as the Magic City, a way-station on the spiritual path.

C. The Land of the Real Reward – The land where only the Bodhisattvas dwell, those who create real, lasting benefits for the world that are beyond their own self-benefit. The Realm of the Bodhisattvas who have realized the principle of the middle way and reached the stage of non-regression.

D. The Land of the Serene Light – The land where the Buddhas live, the timeless realm of the Spiritual Body or Spiritual Life (S. Dharmakaya), the land of eternal bliss. The serenity is a reference to their liberation from all things, and the light is a reference to their wisdom of all things. The Buddhas dwell in the Great Nirvana and the Treasury of the Secret Mystery.


So according to this classification, Sukhavati is classified as "The Land Where All Equally Reside". Our world is part of the same classification.

This classifications are just methods to understand better Pure Lands, but by no means are a real division. I mean, this classification was created by different masters, not by Buddha itself, also there are other classifications, for instance, Master Hsing Yun offers his own view. Shan-Tao and Jodo Shinshu offers other, so, this classification is just a human way to understand the nature of Pure Land.
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Re: Heavens in Pure Land?

Postby sinweiy » Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:46 pm

So according to this classification, Sukhavati is classified as "The Land Where All Equally Reside". Our world is part of the same classification.



Sukhavati should be inconceivable. all 4 Lands are also included in Sukhavati.

and as Mind seal indicates it Unique to Amitabha PL:
We must realize that in our great mission to open up enlightened perception, this barrier to the Land Where Saints and Ordinary Beings Dwell Together is the hardest to cross over. The Land of Ultimate Bliss, Amitabha's Pure Land Where Saints and Ordinary Beings Dwell Together, is unique -- it goes beyond all the other pure lands where saints and ordinary beings live together.

http://www.sinc.sunysb.edu/Clubs/buddhi ... html#dpure

so, this classification is just a human way to understand the nature of Pure Land.

yes people like to differential. and for that reason, Buddha Spoke the Contemplation Sutra, where differentiations or 9 levels can be found. 9 Levels of Lower x3, Middle x3, and Upper x3 grades. as far as I know these 9 grades are only part of 'Land Where Saints and Ordinary Beings Dwell Together'. there should be no more after this "1st level" Land or 'Land Where Saints and Ordinary Beings Dwell Together'.
_/\_
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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