Buddha-lands and Pure-Lands

Buddha-lands and Pure-Lands

Postby zamotcr » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:48 pm

Hello,

I was wondering, what are the differences between a Buddha-land and a Pure Land?

In sutras it is regarded Amitabha's Pure Land as a Buddha-land (Buddhaksetra) and our Saha World as another Buddha-land.

I have some questions with this:

1. Saha world is just a world system (like a galaxy) or Saha applies to our complete universe?
2. What is the difference between a Buddhaksetra and a Pure Land?
3. Are Pure Lands always a reward land, a Sambhogakaya land?
4. If Saha World is just a world system, there can be other world systems like our saha world, impure?
5. All impure Buddha Lands are physical, I mean, material worlds, like the same physical plane or dimension as us?

Thanks :anjali:
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Re: Buddha-lands and Pure-Lands

Postby Hickersonia » Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:23 pm

When I think on these sorts of questions my mind gets tied into knots, vexed with worry and doubt. If I let them go, while such things may not be knowable to me, I remain unworried. I think sometimes it is best to not focus too much on a "solid" interpretation of every concept.

I hope you find what you really seek, friend. Be well!
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Re: Buddha-lands and Pure-Lands

Postby dude » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:03 pm

The provisional teachings describe the saha world as the realm where living beings undergo the cycle of birth and death, with heaven far above and hell many miles under the earth.
The essential teaching reveals that all these worlds, and all the Buddha lands as well, are not separate places.
"There are not two lands, pure and impure. The only difference is the condition of the people's minds."
- Vimalakirti Sutra.
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Re: Buddha-lands and Pure-Lands

Postby Astus » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:20 pm

zamotcr wrote:1. Saha world is just a world system (like a galaxy) or Saha applies to our complete universe?
2. What is the difference between a Buddhaksetra and a Pure Land?
3. Are Pure Lands always a reward land, a Sambhogakaya land?
4. If Saha World is just a world system, there can be other world systems like our saha world, impure?
5. All impure Buddha Lands are physical, I mean, material worlds, like the same physical plane or dimension as us?


1. Sahaloka (World of Endurance) signifies our universe (trichiliocosm) from hells to heavens.
2. The term "pure land" occurred first in Chinese language as an equivalent of "buddha land" and they are synonyms.
3. No, they can be both nirmanakaya and sambhogakaya.
4. There are many worlds, many universes.
5. Something physical is not automatically impure. Only the mind can be impure. And yes, from the very word "land" comes that buddha lands have an appearance perceptible by the five physical senses. In Buddhism only the highest heavens of the formless realm are without physical qualities.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Buddha-lands and Pure-Lands

Postby zamotcr » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:24 pm

Astus wrote:1. Sahaloka (World of Endurance) signifies our universe (trichiliocosm) from hells to heavens.
2. The term "pure land" occurred first in Chinese language as an equivalent of "buddha land" and they are synonyms.
3. No, they can be both nirmanakaya and sambhogakaya.
4. There are many worlds, many universes.
5. Something physical is not automatically impure. Only the mind can be impure. And yes, from the very word "land" comes that buddha lands have an appearance perceptible by the five physical senses. In Buddhism only the highest heavens of the formless realm are without physical qualities.


Hello Astus and thanks for your concise answer.
1. Each of this universes or trichiliocosm are limited in space right? It's like a big galaxy are they?
2. Thanks. I think chinese used the "pure land" to talk about pure buddha lands only, I guess.
3. Thanks to previous discussions with you, I learned that Amitabha's PL is a Sambhogakaya realm, so other buddha-lands. Could you provide an example of a nirmanakaya pure land?
4. Ok, Saha is just a small particle in the universe, and there are other pure and impure regions too, like our, and different than us.
5. But isn't it true that for instance Amitabha's Pure Land is above highest heavens, outside samsara and triple realm? In which sense can the physical senses apply to Amitabha's Pure Land? Are beings there of physical matter, like us?

This questions may sound lazy, but this questions don't let me practice in peace. Hope can you help :namaste:
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Re: Buddha-lands and Pure-Lands

Postby Astus » Sat Aug 17, 2013 12:01 pm

zamotcr wrote:1. Each of this universes or trichiliocosm are limited in space right? It's like a big galaxy are they?

3. Thanks to previous discussions with you, I learned that Amitabha's PL is a Sambhogakaya realm, so other buddha-lands. Could you provide an example of a nirmanakaya pure land?

5. But isn't it true that for instance Amitabha's Pure Land is above highest heavens, outside samsara and triple realm? In which sense can the physical senses apply to Amitabha's Pure Land? Are beings there of physical matter, like us?


1. Yes, objects exist in space. Only mental phenomena are without form.

3. The present buddha Shakyamuni is the example of nirmanakaya, so all the previous buddhas are also nirmanakaya, and where we live is their land. I don't know if there is a clear definition somewhere of what counts as nirmanakaya and sambhogakaya realm. In East Asia it was through the development of Pure Land teachings that Amitabha is now considered a sambhogakaya land, but in Tibetan Buddhism they differentiate between Amitabha as nirmanakaya and Amitayus as sambhogakaya. I'd say - and this is just speculation - that where all the six realms exist count as nirmanakaya and where only select people - noble ones - are present are sambhogakaya. Or another interpretation is possible, the appearance of nirmanakaya and sambhogakaya depends simply on the perceiver's level of enlightenment, since sambhogakaya is visible only to noble bodhisattvas.

5. Yes, in the East Asian system of 10 realms worlds of buddhas are separate from the six samsaric realms. However, in Buddhism "physical" (rupa) means simply the four elements that actually correspond to fundamental sense-perceptions of heat, solidity, movement and cohesion. When there is a visible object, it is rupa. When there is an auditory object, it is rupa, etc. It's not like assuming some essentially physical behind perception.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Buddha-lands and Pure-Lands

Postby zamotcr » Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:51 pm

Astus wrote:3. The present buddha Shakyamuni is the example of nirmanakaya, so all the previous buddhas are also nirmanakaya, and where we live is their land. I don't know if there is a clear definition somewhere of what counts as nirmanakaya and sambhogakaya realm. In East Asia it was through the development of Pure Land teachings that Amitabha is now considered a sambhogakaya land, but in Tibetan Buddhism they differentiate between Amitabha as nirmanakaya and Amitayus as sambhogakaya. I'd say - and this is just speculation - that where all the six realms exist count as nirmanakaya and where only select people - noble ones - are present are sambhogakaya. Or another interpretation is possible, the appearance of nirmanakaya and sambhogakaya depends simply on the perceiver's level of enlightenment, since sambhogakaya is visible only to noble bodhisattvas.

5. Yes, in the East Asian system of 10 realms worlds of buddhas are separate from the six samsaric realms. However, in Buddhism "physical" (rupa) means simply the four elements that actually correspond to fundamental sense-perceptions of heat, solidity, movement and cohesion. When there is a visible object, it is rupa. When there is an auditory object, it is rupa, etc. It's not like assuming some essentially physical behind perception.


Hello Astus! Thanks so much for your patience. Your answers are great!

3. I think another example for nirmanakaya pure land would be Maitreya's Pure Land in Tusita Heaven.

5. So, in East Asian system, a nirmanakaya buddha-land would be in any of the first 6 realms of existence, and reward buddha-lands would be maybe in the 10th one, in the Buddha realm.

I had read in Vimalakirti that when the mind is pure, the land is pure. I had read that when Maitreya's come, this Saha world will be a Pure Land, but in which sense that would be, like in what Vimalakirti said? You have defined that pureness is mental, and not physical (like in Vimalakirti). So this would mean that every being living in Saha when Maitreya's come, would have pure minds. But in which sense this future human pure land would differ from, for instance Amitabha's one? In Amitabha we can be Buddha's in one lifetime, and we are not subject to death, nor retrogression because it is not part of the 6 realms.
Since we are talking of a Pure Land in human realm, I think that land would be subject to samsara, right, even when it's pure, it's still samsaric (like in Tusita)?

Thanks! :namaste:
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Re: Buddha-lands and Pure-Lands

Postby Astus » Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:12 pm

The teaching of mind-only Pure Land supports the general Pure Land teachings. That is, people perceive based on their karma. Even if it is a buddha standing before one, only with the right karma - right mental seeds - can one realise it is a buddha. Although Shakyamuni lived in India, it didn't make the world pure and peaceful for everyone. Also, this world is generated by the karma of the beings living here, while the buddha-land of Amitabha is created by his vows.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Buddha-lands and Pure-Lands

Postby dude » Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:35 pm

"My [Shakyamuni Buddha's] pure land never perishes, but living beings on all sides see it as engulfed in flames and filled with suffering."
- Lotus Sutra
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Re: Buddha-lands and Pure-Lands

Postby sinweiy » Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:19 am

zamotcr wrote:3. I think another example for nirmanakaya pure land would be Maitreya's Pure Land in Tusita Heaven.


Maitreya Bodhisattva is still currently not yet a Buddha in Tusita Heaven, hence we cannot say it's a "Buddha" land. When Maitreya bodhisattva arrive on earth and attained Buddhahood, then it's officially a Pure Land on earth. :)
_/\_
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Re: Buddha-lands and Pure-Lands

Postby zamotcr » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:40 pm

Astus wrote:The teaching of mind-only Pure Land supports the general Pure Land teachings. That is, people perceive based on their karma. Even if it is a buddha standing before one, only with the right karma - right mental seeds - can one realise it is a buddha. Although Shakyamuni lived in India, it didn't make the world pure and peaceful for everyone. Also, this world is generated by the karma of the beings living here, while the buddha-land of Amitabha is created by his vows.


Hi Astus :anjali:

Sorry for not getting this :(
Also, it is hard for me to ask this right :shrug:

We have our world, Saha, it is said this land if the Buddhaland of Shakyamuni, as it is said that Amitabha is the Buddha of the Sukhavati. Sukhavati and Saha are two different worlds, but, Sukhavati is pure and this one is not. Sukhavati was created by Amitabha's merit and this Saha world well, it was not created by Shakyamuni, but by our karma.

I also heard of Shakyamuni Buddha that has its own Reward Land, which is called the Unexcelled Land, located west of our world, as stated in Nirvana Sutra. However, this Reward Land is for his own living, not for entertaining others like Sukhavati.

So, every Buddha before creating or living on his own Reward Land (Pure Land) born first in a "impure world" (like Shakyamuni) and create his Reward Land after that? I mean, why is it that Sukhavati and Saha,both Buddhalands, are so different?

One if Buddha creation, by merit, and this one (perhaps other lands are like us, created by karma) it is not. How are normally Pure Lands classified?

Thanks, I hope I can learn how to classify and understand better pure land doctrines
:namaste:
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Re: Buddha-lands and Pure-Lands

Postby Astus » Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:36 pm

I don't know about a buddha-land classification system, so I'm just saying how I think about it.

The Saha world is the buddha-land of Shakyamuni only in the sense that he was present here, however, he is no more around. It is probably because of the absence of Shakyamuni that the search for other buddhas emerged, since there are infinite number of buddhas.

I don't know of a separate land of Shakyamuni. Do you have a source? Here is a short summary of how the buddha-land of Shakyamuni is often understood: Shakyamuni Buddha’s Pure Land.

It is part of the bodhisattva work to establish one's own buddha-land when becoming a buddha. The difference between buddhas and lands is explained by the difference in their specific vows.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Buddha-lands and Pure-Lands

Postby Nosta » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:28 pm

I dont have time right now to read all the answers to the OP, so I am sorry if what I am going to say is repeated:

The main question - the difference between Pure Land and Buddha Lands is not new here in the forum. From what I remember reading in the forum, the difference is that a Buddha Land is just a samsaric place, where beings can suffer and create karmic seeds, but its also a place where you may find a Buddha teaching. For that reason is a good place to live, since you may find that Buddha and learn from him; but you will die and you may not achieve Nirvana, and you may reborn on hell realms, etc.

A Pure Land is a pure creation from the perfect enlightened mind of a Buddha. Not everybody will reborn there unless they have the luck (or good karma) to find the teachings that will lead to such place (for example, you need to learn the Namo Amitabha Buddha recitation, etc in order to reborn on Sukhavati). The good news is that pure lands are completly pure from your previous karma seeds, and once you achieve you dont come back to samsaric realms and Nirvana will be achieved for sure.
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Re: Buddha-lands and Pure-Lands

Postby sinweiy » Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:06 am

true. We are still within the 'Buddha'-land of Shakyamuni Buddha, until Maitreya come and take over this Three thousand Great thousand World system(s).

fyi, it would help to imagine that Pureland or Buddhaland or Realms or Samsara in Buddhism are not something that is very physical in the sense that one cannot Overlap two realms together or it's very seperated, but in Buddhism we can overlap as these realms are Mental state.
for example: if you may not know, within the 6 realms of existence, animal realm appear in all 6 realms.
_/\_
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Re: Buddha-lands and Pure-Lands

Postby sinweiy » Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:27 am

zamotcr wrote:
I also heard of Shakyamuni Buddha that has its own Reward Land, which is called the Unexcelled Land, located west of our world, as stated in Nirvana Sutra. However, this Reward Land is for his own living, not for entertaining others like Sukhavati.

So, every Buddha before creating or living on his own Reward Land (Pure Land) born first in a "impure world" (like Shakyamuni) and create his Reward Land after that? I mean, why is it that Sukhavati and Saha,both Buddhalands, are so different?

One if Buddha creation, by merit, and this one (perhaps other lands are like us, created by karma) it is not. How are normally Pure Lands classified?
:namaste:


Both Shakyamuni and Amitabha had their own imagination and vows/wishes on how their Pureland should be before their Pureland are created.

when one attained Buddhahood, they attain the triple bodies/trikaya. Reward Land or what Sambogakhaya creates is the Sambogakhaya part of the trikaya. it is also know as Rewarding body, Bliss Body. Normally, the experiencing of Sambogakhaya is solely personal to each individual Buddhas. however, for Amitabha, He had this vow/wish that His Sambogakhaya/Rewarding Land can be experience by the nirmanakaya bodies. and that's why when we are reborn there in Pureland, even the lower grades can experience the Sambogakhaya of Amitabha Buddha. and yea, Shakyamuni land is more of a nirmanakaya land.
_/\_
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Re: Buddha-lands and Pure-Lands

Postby cj39 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:14 pm

Mean while modern science is again getting into the grove of multiple universes:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... wormholes/
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Re: Buddha-lands and Pure-Lands

Postby zamotcr » Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:53 pm

Astus wrote:It is part of the bodhisattva work to establish one's own buddha-land when becoming a buddha. The difference between buddhas and lands is explained by the difference in their specific vows.


When a Bodhisattva becomes a Buddha, he establish a Pure Land. So, one could possible think that Shakyamuni established his own Reward Land. Following the Trikaya theory, Shakyamuni has his own Reward Body, and hence he has a Reward Land too, like his Nirmanakaya body had a Buddha Land, this world.

Dharmakara attained Buddhahood in a world, like our Buddha did, but after that, he is teaching in Sukhavati, why would Shakyamuni be different?

I think Buddha said he had a Pure Land in Nirvana Sutra:

Code: Select all
O good man! Far out to the west of this world of Saha [i.e. west of our world of "Endurance"], beyond as many Buddha-Lands as sands of 32 Ganges, there is a world called "Unsurpassed". Why do we say "Unsurpassed"? There, all things are equal, with no difference in adornment. It is as with the "World of Peace and Happiness in the West". Also, it is as with the "Land of the Full-Moon in the East". There, in that world, I [once] gained birth. In order to guide beings towards the Way, I turn the wheel of Dharma  in this world of Jambudvipa [i.e. our world]. It is not only I who turn the wheel of Dharma; all Buddhas turn the wheel of Dharma here.


Source: http://www.nirvanasutra.net/convenient/ ... e_2007.pdf page 333
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Re: Buddha-lands and Pure-Lands

Postby odysseus » Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:39 pm

Buddha fields (Buddha lands) are everywhere, they can be seen at enlightened moments. :meditate:
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Re: Buddha-lands and Pure-Lands

Postby PorkChop » Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:48 pm

zamotcr wrote:So, one could possible think that Shakyamuni established his own Reward Land.


According to the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha established his Pure Land on Vulture Peak.
This is part of the reason Vulture Peak is considered a major pilgrimage spot.
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Re: Buddha-lands and Pure-Lands

Postby zamotcr » Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:59 pm

PorkChop wrote:According to the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha established his Pure Land on Vulture Peak.
This is part of the reason Vulture Peak is considered a major pilgrimage spot.


Well, it could be yeah. On a subtler level, a level our eyes cannot see, perhaps the Buddha is there, perhaps in his Reward Body or whatever.

I think the same is with Guanyin (Kannon) Pure Land, which is said to be here on Earth, on a mountain, but even when is in our Earth, that does not mean we should be able to see her or see her Pure Land with our human fleshy eyes, even when its there.

And I think the same with Amitabha Pure Land, it could be at the west (west of whom? there is west in the universe) or could be another dimension or plane or whatever.

What I concluded is that whatever a Pure Land is or where is it, the important thing is that Pure Lands are real and they do exist, but we cannot comprehend it. We are limited by our mind. I only know that our "impure world" is created by our karma, and the pure lands are created by Buddha's merit. Also, Pure Lands likes Amitabha's one, seems that are not subject to samsaric issues like death or suffering, so my only logical reasoning is that Amitabha's Pure Land is outside our physical universe, perhaps another dimension outside samsara, reward land (opposing to this physical universe), who knows?
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