Also we cannot be certain that the Pure Land sutras were spoken by the Buddha, so if we are not going to take the teachings and be able to experience Buddhism now, then why emphasize such faith in something that could be superstition?
Holding the rosary, I am rid of worldly thoughts,
Suddenly, I already became a Buddha a long time ago.
Thus, Pure Land embraces people of all levels.
For those of high capacities it is a sublime method;
for those of limited capacities it turns into a simple method.
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.
At one time in my life, I was told, the only certain things in life are death and taxes...
But guess what? That does not stop me from living my life and seeking a way out from Samsara...I chose to challenge that statement and have found there's more to death and taxes...
What is sraddha and what is superstition? What is Dharma and Adharma? What is real and unreal?
Surely, one's own practice and experience on top of received teachings would have at some point in time allowed one to see through what is chaff and what is wheat? Otherwise, what's the point of having a map towards sainthood ranging from a Stream Enterer all the way to a Buddha? Perhaps, it all speaks of one's own commitment level as well..I have heard that doubt, for some, is often used as one kind of comfort zone as a form of non-action and excuse.
One reasoning here:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
A1. "Now, householders, of those brahmans & contemplatives who hold this doctrine, hold this view — 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no priests or contemplatives who, faring rightly and practicing rightly, proclaim this world and the next after having directly known and realized it for themselves' — it can be expected that, shunning these three skillful activities — good bodily conduct, good verbal conduct, good mental conduct — they will adopt & practice these three unskillful activities: bad bodily conduct, bad verbal conduct, bad mental conduct. Why is that? Because those venerable brahmans & contemplatives do not see, in unskillful activities, the drawbacks, the degradation, and the defilement; nor in skillful activities the rewards of renunciation, resembling cleansing.
A2. "Because there actually is the next world, the view of one who thinks, 'There is no next world' is his wrong view. Because there actually is the next world, when he is resolved that 'There is no next world,' that is his wrong resolve. Because there actually is the next world, when he speaks the statement, 'There is no next world,' that is his wrong speech. Because there actually is the next world, when he is says that 'There is no next world,' he makes himself an opponent to those arahants who know the next world. Because there actually is the next world, when he persuades another that 'There is no next world,' that is persuasion in what is not true Dhamma. And in that persuasion in what is not true Dhamma, he exalts himself and disparages others. Whatever good habituation he previously had is abandoned, while bad habituation is manifested. And this wrong view, wrong resolve, wrong speech, opposition to the arahants, persuasion in what is not true Dhamma, exaltation of self, & disparagement of others: These many evil, unskillful activities come into play, in dependence on wrong view.
A3. "With regard to this, a wise person considers thus: 'If there is no next world, then — at the break-up of the body, after death — this venerable person has made himself safe. But if there is the next world, then this venerable person — on the break-up of the body, after death — will reappear in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell. Even if we didn't speak of the next world, and there weren't the true statement of those venerable brahmans & contemplatives, this venerable person is still criticized in the here-&-now by the wise as a person of bad habits & wrong view: 2 one who holds to a doctrine of non-existence. If there really is a next world, then this venerable person has made a bad throw twice: in that he is criticized by the wise here-&-now, and in that — with the break-up of the body, after death — he will reappear in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell. Thus this safe-bet teaching, when poorly grasped & poorly adopted by him, covers (only) one side, and leaves behind the possibility of the skillful
See also:The Right and the TrueEntrustingDoubt: #60-82
http://buddhistfaith.tripod.com/purelan ... s/id3.html
To obtain human life is difficult in the extreme;
To meet a Buddha in this world is also difficult;
It is difficult, too, for a man to attain faith and wisdom.
Once you have heard the Dharma, strive to reach its heart.
If you have heard the Dharma and do not forget it,
But adore and revere it with great joy,
You are my good friend. For this reason,
You should awaken aspiration for Enlightenment.
Even if the whole world is on fire,
Be sure to pass through it to hear the Dharma;
Then you will surely attain the Buddha's Enlightenment.
And everywhere deliver beings from the river of birth-and-death.
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."