which pure land do you seek?

which pure land do you seek?

Postby gingercatni » Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:18 pm

As each Buddha has a pure land, I was wondering is it correct to understand that when someone says they are a pure land Buddhist that they seek rebirth with Amitabha, or is it accepted under pure land we may take refuge with other Buddha's and not actually wish to be with Amitabha?
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Re: which pure land do you seek?

Postby LastLegend » Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:26 pm

gingercatni wrote:As each Buddha has a pure land, I was wondering is it correct to understand that when someone says they are a pure land Buddhist that they seek rebirth with Amitabha, or is it accepted under pure land we may take refuge with other Buddha's and not actually wish to be with Amitabha?


Yes, Medicine Buddha has his own Pure Land. However, Amitabha's is most desirable. If you take refuge under Amitabha, then recite his name. If Medicine Buddha, then recite his name. But I suggest pick one so that you will specialize in reciting one Buddha. Two majors are a lot of work. Pick one field only to eliminate confusion about who will pick me up when my time comes.
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Re: which pure land do you seek?

Postby Nosta » Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:38 pm

In fact you can choose any pure land, but you must take into account some things:
- Buddhas from other pure lands other than the one you choose, will feel compassion and love for you as if you choosed their pure lands;
- choosing a pure land & the correspondent Buddha is just a question of "affinity"...maybe you may feel more compeled to enter the Tushita Heaven (the "realm" of the next Buddha on Earth, Maitreya);
- even so, entering other pure lands is hard because of many factors, and maybe the most important ones are the vows from each buddha...some buddhas have a few vows to rescue sentieng beings to their pure lands, others have more;
- so, saying this, the Pure Land of Amitabha (other names are: Western Pure Land of the Ultimate Bliss or Dewachan [i am no sure if i told that name right] or Sukhavati] is the best choice, since Amitabha is the Buddha with the most and best vows regarding rescuing beings; its the perfect choice for "small" humans like us, with little skills and qualitys...reciting Amitabha name and being consistent on such practice will bring you results faster than a master trying to reach, so to say, Tuchita Heaven;
- other Buddhas help too and they are not least interested on saving beings...one must imagine buddhas as different qualitys of our "Original Nature".
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Re: which pure land do you seek?

Postby LastLegend » Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:41 pm

Nosta is right gingercatni.

You will probably struggle with faith at some point. But be patient and practice, slowly your faith will increase everyday. You will experience changes in your life, and these changes are miraculous. Remember if your goal is enlightenment via Pure Land, you are following the path of detachment. This means you should work to decrease your attachments to this worldly life everyday. When attachments have decreased, your recitation will become more effective. There will be conflicts if we strive for liberation but at the same time being deeply attached this life. This is a hindrance to Pure Land practitioners, and should take note of.
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Re: which pure land do you seek?

Postby fragrant herbs » Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:54 pm

I seek this one right here.
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Re: which pure land do you seek?

Postby rory » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:17 am

Many do Fragrant herbs, but how many succeed? That's why I vow to be born in Amitabha's Western Pure Land.
Last Legend, is Medicine Buddha's Lapiz Lazuli Pure Land non-retrogressive? I know Tushita heaven isn't, which is a big consideration. I don't want to return to this Saha world!
:namaste:
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Re: which pure land do you seek?

Postby plwk » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:50 am

As each Buddha has a pure land, I was wondering is it correct to understand that when someone says they are a pure land Buddhist that they seek rebirth with Amitabha...
Generally, yes. Generally, this term 'Pure Land' has somehow stuck with being associated with those who study and practice the dharma door of buddhanusmrti associated specifically with Amitabha Buddha and His Sukhavati, being the most popular practice in East Asian Mahayana and to some extend, in Vajrayana, like in the practice of phowa/powa or saṃkrānti practice. By right, from what I have read and known, 'Pure Land' or jìng tǔ is a Chinese translation that became popular and stuck as a designation whereas 'Sukhāvatī ' in one translation meant as 'Land of Bliss'. Of course when one reads on the qualities of the Sukhavati, both qualities of purity and bliss are present.

...or is it accepted under pure land we may take refuge with other Buddha's and not actually wish to be with Amitabha?
This is also correct as this dharma door is not limited to the specific study and practice of Amitabha Buddha and his Sukhavati but any Pure Land of other Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in the tenfold directions. But as the brethren here have pointed out, in various sūtras and śāstras, Amitabha's Sukhavati and its related practice is praised as the foremost and most excellent but of course having said that, it is my worthless opinion that the best dharma door for one is the one that fits most with one's affinity and conditions for one's Liberation.
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Re: which pure land do you seek?

Postby gingercatni » Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:46 pm

I was reading the large sutra and found reference to a prison in the land of bliss. The prison is for Bodhisattvas who have doubt in Amitabha, I'm troubled by this, because a Bodhisattva from another Buddha field after having served another Buddha and been beckoned to the Land of Bliss would no doubt have some kind of questions for a Buddha they may have no knowledge of and if this is deemed as doubt and they are put in prison, well it seems a bit harsh. The prison is described in lovely detail, but still the bonds are made of gold and it's a prison in whatever way it's described. I personally do not want the bodhisattva's in a prison. I know I'm delving deeply into this, but if I as a mere human with all the doubts I have can be reborn in the land of bliss why can't a bodhisattva?
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Re: which pure land do you seek?

Postby LastLegend » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:21 pm

gingercatni wrote:I was reading the large sutra and found reference to a prison in the land of bliss. The prison is for Bodhisattvas who have doubt in Amitabha, I'm troubled by this, because a Bodhisattva from another Buddha field after having served another Buddha and been beckoned to the Land of Bliss would no doubt have some kind of questions for a Buddha they may have no knowledge of and if this is deemed as doubt and they are put in prison, well it seems a bit harsh. The prison is described in lovely detail, but still the bonds are made of gold and it's a prison in whatever way it's described. I personally do not want the bodhisattva's in a prison. I know I'm delving deeply into this, but if I as a mere human with all the doubts I have can be reborn in the land of bliss why can't a bodhisattva?


I have never heard of such story. Can you link me to source if possible?

There will be a lot of things can test your faith. Sometimes things non-believers say, sometimes things you think about. So it's good to be mindful of these. And you know almost all Sutras require appropriate interpretations.
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Re: which pure land do you seek?

Postby gingercatni » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:39 pm

LastLegend wrote:
gingercatni wrote:I was reading the large sutra and found reference to a prison in the land of bliss. The prison is for Bodhisattvas who have doubt in Amitabha, I'm troubled by this, because a Bodhisattva from another Buddha field after having served another Buddha and been beckoned to the Land of Bliss would no doubt have some kind of questions for a Buddha they may have no knowledge of and if this is deemed as doubt and they are put in prison, well it seems a bit harsh. The prison is described in lovely detail, but still the bonds are made of gold and it's a prison in whatever way it's described. I personally do not want the bodhisattva's in a prison. I know I'm delving deeply into this, but if I as a mere human with all the doubts I have can be reborn in the land of bliss why can't a bodhisattva?


I have never heard of such story. Can you link me to source if possible?

There will be a lot of things can test your faith. Sometimes things non-believers say, sometimes things you think about. So it's good to be mindful of these. And you know almost all Sutras require appropriate interpretations.


Its in the longer sutra sanskrit version, verses 133 to 142 and the chinese version verses 215 to 221. The Bodhisattvas who have doubt stay in a lotus flower like prison for 500 years. Not really the kind and compassionate idea I had in mind of Amitabha.
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Re: which pure land do you seek?

Postby LastLegend » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:51 pm

gingercatni wrote:Its in the longer sutra sanskrit version, verses 133 to 142 and the chinese version verses 215 to 221. The Bodhisattvas who have doubt stay in a lotus flower like prison for 500 years. Not really the kind and compassionate idea I had in mind of Amitabha.



If it is not too much, can you actually post the verses here?
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Re: which pure land do you seek?

Postby gingercatni » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:01 pm

LastLegend wrote:
gingercatni wrote:Its in the longer sutra sanskrit version, verses 133 to 142 and the chinese version verses 215 to 221. The Bodhisattvas who have doubt stay in a lotus flower like prison for 500 years. Not really the kind and compassionate idea I had in mind of Amitabha.



If it is not too much, can you actually post the verses here?


This isn't the full version of the verses it's all I could find online, I have the sutra's in book form so cannot copy and paste.

The Bhagavat said: 'Those Bodhisattvas, O Ajita, who, living in other Buddha countries, entertain doubt about being born in the world Sukhavati, and with that thought amass a stock of merit, for them there is the dwelling within the calyx. Those, on the contrary, who are filled with faith, and being free from doubt, amass a stock of merit in order to be born in the world Sukhavati, and conceive, believe, and trust in the perfect knowledge of the blessed Buddhas, they, being born miraculously, appear sitting cross-legged in the flowers of the lotus. And those noble-minded Bodhisattvas, O Ajita, who, living in other Buddha countries, raise their thought in order to see Amitabha, the Tathagata, holy and fully enlightened, who never entertain a doubt, believe in the perfect knowledge of Buddha and in their own stock of merit, for them, being born miraculously, and appearing cross-legged, there is in one minute, such a body as that of other beings who have been born there long before. See, O Ajita, the excellent, immeasurable, unfailing, unlimited wisdom, that namely for their own benefit they are deprived during five hundred years of seeing Buddhas, seeing Bodhisattvas, hearing the Dharma, speaking about the Dharma with others, and thus collecting a stock of merit; they are indeed deprived of the successful attainment of every stock of merit, and that, through their forming ideas tainted with doubt.

'And, O Ajita, there might be a dungeon belonging to an anointed Kshatriya king, inlaid entirely with gold and beryl, in which cushions, garlands, wreaths and strings are fixed, having canopies of different colors and kind, covered with silk cushions, scattered over with various flowers and blossoms, scented with excellent scents, adorned with arches, courts, windows, pinnacles, fire-places, and terraces, covered with nets of bells of the seven kinds of gems, having four angles, four pillars, four doors, four stairs; and the son of that king having been thrown into the dungeon for some misdeed is there, bound with a chain made of the Jambunada gold. And suppose there is a couch prepared for him, covered with many woollen cloths, spread over with cotton and feather cushions, having Kalinga coverings, and carpets, together with coverlids, red on both sides, beautiful and charming. There he might be then either sitting or resting. And there might be brought to him much food and drink, of various kinds, pure and well prepared. What do you think, O Ajita, would the enjoyment be great for that prince?'

Ajita said: 'Yes, it would be great, O Bhagavat.'

The Bhagavat said: 'What do you think, O Ajita, would he even taste it there, and notice it, or would he feel any satisfaction from it?'

He said: 'Not indeed, O Bhagavat; but on the contrary, when he had been led away by the king and thrown into the dungeon, he would only wish for deliverance from there. He would seek for the nobles, princes, ministers, women, elders (rich merchants), householders, and lords of castles, who might deliver him from that dungeon. Moreover, O Bhagavat, there is no pleasure for that prince in that dungeon, nor is he liberated, until the king shows him favor.'

The Bhagavat said: 'Thus, O Ajita, it is with those Bodhisattvas who, having fallen into doubt, amass a stock of merit, but doubt the knowledge of Buddha. They are born in that world Sukhavati, through the hearing of Buddha's name, and through the serenity of thought only; they do not, however, appear sitting cross-legged in the flowers of the lotus, being born miraculously, but dwell only in the calyx of the lotus-flowers. Moreover for them there exist ideas of palaces and gardens. There is no discharge, there is no phlegm or mucus, there is nothing disagreeable to the mind. But they are deprived of seeing Buddhas, hearing the Dharma, seeing Bodhisattvas, speaking about and ascertaining the Dharma, gathering any new stock of merit, and practicing the Dharma, during five hundred years. Moreover they do not rejoice there or perceive satisfaction. But they wish to remove one another, and then they step out behind. And it is not known whether their exit takes place above, below, or across.

'See, O Ajita, there might be worshippings of many hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of Buddhas during those five hundred years, and also many, immense, innumerable, immeasurable stocks of merit to be amassed. But all this they destroy by the fault of doubt. See, O Ajita, to how great an injury the doubt of the Bodhisattvas leads. Therefore now, O Ajita, after the Bodhisattvas without doubting have quickly raised their thoughts towards Bodhi, in order to obtain power of conferring happiness for the benefit of all creatures, their stock of merit should be turned towards their being born in the world Sukhavati, where the blessed Amitabha, the Tathagata, holy and fully enlightened, dwells.'
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Re: which pure land do you seek?

Postby plwk » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:38 pm

Is this what you meant?
http://buddhistfaith.tripod.com/purelan ... s/id3.html
The Buddha said to Maitreya,
"Let us suppose that a wheel-turning monarch has a special chamber which is adorned with seen jewels and provided with curtained couches and silken banners hanging from the ceiling. If princes have committed offense against the king, they are taken to that chamber and fettered with gold chains. There they are served with food and drink, provided with clothes, couches and cushions, flowers and incense, and can enjoy music. Being treated just like the wheel-turning monarch himself,they have no wants. Do you think that those princes would enjoy living there?"
"No they do not," replied Maitreya. "They would seek various means of approach to ask a man of power to help them escape."

The Buddha said to Maitreya,
"Those beings born within the lotus-buds are like that. Because of their doubt in the Buddha's wisdom, they have been born in palaces. Although they receive no punishment or ill treatment even for a single moment, they must pass five hundred years there without being able to see the Three Treasures, make offerings to the Buddha, or cultivate a stock of virtue. This is distressing to them. Though there are other pleasures, they do not enjoy living there.
"If those beings become aware of the faults committed in their former lives and deeply repent, they can, as they wish, leave and go to where Amitayus
dwells. Then they can worship and make offerings to him; they can also visit innumerable and countless other Buddhas to perform various meritorious
practices. Maitreya, you should know that the Bodhisattvas who allow doubt to arise lose great benefits.
For this reason, you should have resolute faith in the supreme wisdom of the Buddha."

Then look at this portion....
Then the Buddha said to Ananda and the 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-jewelled airborne palaces as large as a hundred
thousand yojanas, to worship the Buddhas of the lands in the ten quarters?"
"Yes, I have," replied Ananda.

"Have you also seen that some of the inhabitants are in the embryonic state?"
"Yes, I have. Those in the embryonic state dwell in palaces as high as a hundred yojanas or five hundred yojanas, where they spontaneously enjoy
pleasures as do those in the Heaven of the Thirty-three Gods."

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.

1. These 'Bodhisattvas' are normally referred to as those who are the aspiring/developing ones, not those who have already attained.

2. Now if you read the third of the Threefold Pure Land Sutras, this manifestation is akin to 'The Buddha Speaks of Contemplation of Amitayus Sutra', it has explanations of the 9 Lotus Grades, each with its high, medium and low grades, corresponding to one's planted causes and conditions and those who have taken rebirth there are according to their karma & enabled by the strength of the Buddha's Vows as well and because one's own karma is a factor as well, the lotus birth will blossom when the time is due and the aspirant will then be able to receive the full benefits. Similarly, this applies to what you have mentioned. They are not stuck in there forever, just when the karma for their time to receive the full benefits, it will manifest.

3. There was a discussion on this matter on the now defunct E-Sangha's Pure Land Forum. What I have heard from some places and teachers is that this 'palace' is located on the frontiers of the Pure Land and not within. Some have also opined that the 'palace' refer to the lowest of the lowest lotus grade which takes as much as 12 kalpas to open but the Sutra mentions a lapse time of 500 years, so this opinion may not stand.

4. My reflection on this is on how incumbent it is on one to take full responsibility for one's own spirituality and progress of cultivation and if any thing is lacking, one is encouraged to recall and reflect deeply that one is heir to one's own karma and consequences and how the subtle forms of greed, aversion and ignorance in us manifests in moving us from entrusting in the surety of Amitabha's compassionate accomplished vows.
The embryonic birth is a deep reminder of this. Yet, despite all of these, the compassionate vows of Amitabha beckons to us not to give up but to persevere in entrusting. You mentioned on the comparison of the human and the 'Bodhisattva'....contemplate this Larger Amitayus Sutra verse...
Without a stock of goodness from past lives,
One cannot hear this Sutra;
But those who have strictly observed the precepts
Can hear the right Dharma.

Arrogant, corrupt and indolent people
Cannot readily accept this teaching.
But those who have met Buddhas in their past lives
Rejoice to hear it.

Neither Shravakas nor Bodhisattvas are able to know
The Sage's Mind exhaustively;
They are like those who are born blind
And yet wish to guide others.

So He left us this reminder...
The Buddha further said,
"I have expounded this teaching for the sake of sentient beings and enabled you to see Amitayus and all in His Land. Strive to do what you should.
After I have passed into Nirvana, do not allow doubt to arise. In the future, the Buddhist Scriptures and Teachings will perish.
But, out of pity and compassion, I will especially preserve this Sutra and maintain It in the world for a hundred years more.
Those beings who encounter it will attain deliverance in accord with their aspirations.

The Buddha said to Maitreya,
"It is difficult to encounter and behold Tathagata when he is in this world.
Difficult of access, difficult to hear are the Buddhas' Teachings and Scriptures.
It is also difficult to hear the excellent Teachings for Bodhisattvas, the Paramitas.
Difficult too is it to meet a good teacher, to hear the Dharma and perform the practices.
But most difficult of all difficulties is to hear this Sutra, have faith in it with joy and hold fast to it.
Nothing is more difficult than this.
Thus have I formed my Dharma, thus have I expounded my Dharma, and thus have I taught my Dharma.
You must receive it and practice it by the method prescribed."
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Re: which pure land do you seek?

Postby fragrant herbs » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:03 pm

rory wrote:Many do Fragrant herbs, but how many succeed? That's why I vow to be born in Amitabha's Western Pure Land.
Last Legend, is Medicine Buddha's Lapiz Lazuli Pure Land non-retrogressive? I know Tushita heaven isn't, which is a big consideration. I don't want to return to this Saha world!
:namaste:
Rory


I remember a poster on eSangha named Pureland, and he had the most wonderful posts.

As far as a real Pureland goes, life in another realm, well, I am not so sure about it. I believe that we continue when we leave this body, but I have no idea where we go, although I do believe in reincarnation or rebirth as you call it. I also believe as Christ said in the gnostic gospels, "heaven is within," and so I believe that pureland and even hell is within, and within to me means that it is inside of us. We can make this earth heave or hell depending on how we live our life and view it.

I believe that all six realms are here on earth and we go between them in our daily life. For example, how can you have a heaven without sorrow? How would you know what happiness was if you had nothing to compare it to, like sorrow? You can be happier that is for sure, but you must have the yen and yang.
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Re: which pure land do you seek?

Postby LastLegend » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:23 pm

Thank you plwk.

How to do meritorious deeds? Practice 10 Virtuous Acts and giving:

1)Ten 10 Virtuous Acts→ 1. not killing living beings, 2. not stealing, 3. not committing adultery, 4. not telling lies, 5. not uttering harsh words, 6. not uttering words which cause enmity between two or more persons, 7. not engaging in idle talk, 8. not being greedy, 9. not being angry, and 10. not having wrong views.

Read more about 10 Non-Virtuous Acts as the opposite of 10 Virtuous Acts
http://www.shambhala.org/teachings/view.php?id=59

2) a. Practice giving: can be a service, money, volunteer work, anything you can for others for free
b. After each deed, you can redirect or dedicate the merits to Pure Land. You can say, "I want to redirect this merits to Pure Land, and wish all sentient beings also to be reborn in Pure Land."

3) a.Releasing wild caught animals such as birds and such if you happen to be in countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Thai and such. These animals will be killed for food. To save their lives will pro-long one own life and will live a healthy life with no illnesses. For those with illnesses, releasing wild caught animals will cure the illnesses.
b. After each deed, you can redirect or dedicate the merits to Pure Land. You can say, "I want to redirect this merits to Pure Land, and wish all sentient beings also to be reborn in Pure Land."
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Re: which pure land do you seek?

Postby LastLegend » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:41 pm

Listen to this to ease your mind from all the doubts.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMHL2caFQFo
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Re: which pure land do you seek?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:29 pm

The Copper Coloured Mountain - Zangdokpalri, the tantric pure land of Guru Padmasambhava!
:namaste:
zangdokpalri-copper coloured mountain.jpg
zangdokpalri-copper coloured mountain.jpg (218.63 KiB) Viewed 2522 times
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE
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Re: which pure land do you seek?

Postby Nosta » Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:05 am

Pure Land has no prison! No faith is to believe that Buddhas would punish any beings.

The things you read are a way to compell you to practice/ recitation and to not develop any doubts.

And the prison is not the prison in the way you speak, its only a karmic effect. Imagine Amitabha as a ship on the ocean. You are someone lost in that sea. If you dont believe you can reach the ship, your strenghts will vanish. But because of the compassion of the comander in the ship (Amitabha) he will do anything to rescue you, even going under the ocean to seek for you and see you without consciousness. Consider that unfortunatly thing as the same as being on that "prison". The prison is just a natural karmic effect. And whats better, being in such a prison for 500 years and then be free on Pure Land, or to wander for eons and eons in the samsaric realms filled with suffering?

I have doubts too, but the least of my problems is that flower-lotus-prison.
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Re: which pure land do you seek?

Postby LastLegend » Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:24 am

Thank you Nosta.

We should have Faith in Sakyamuni Buddha's teachings regarding Pure Land.
Faith is number 1 here.

With practice the experience will be more at a personal level that will help increase Faith. So keep practicing. Don't stop. Don't give. Never give up.

Five poisons Greed, Anger, Ignorance, Arrogance, and Doubt. Doubt here is to doubt Dharma. So as you can see doubt is a serious business in Buddhism.
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NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

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Re: which pure land do you seek?

Postby Sherab » Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:36 am

My guru's.
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Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:28 am

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