Simple question about Pure Lands

Simple question about Pure Lands

Postby Nighthawk » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:39 am

Do they cease to exist once all sentient beings reach the state of Buddhahood? That is if there are a finite number of sentient beings.
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Re: Simple question about Pure Lands

Postby Astus » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:10 pm

Buddha-lands exist because of the buddhas who created them, just as the world exist because of people's karma. Now the questions are whether buddhas live eternally or not, and sentient beings are infinite or not. But is there a definitive answer?
"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: Simple question about Pure Lands

Postby sinweiy » Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:14 pm

reminds me of the gold and ore analogy in shurangama sutra.

The Buddha said, "Since you(Purna) explain it that way, why do you ask if the clear emptiness of wonderful enlightenment can once again give rise to the mountains, the rivers, and the great earth? Consider a piece of ore containing gold and other metals mixed together. Once the pure gold is extracted it will never become ore again. Consider wood that has burnt to ashes; it will never become wood again. The Bodhi and Nirvana of all Buddhas, the Tathagatas, are the same way.

http://www.e-sangha.com/alphone/shurangama.html


sentient beings are the ore. Buddhas are the gold extracted. ore comes from the mountains. i imagine, will the gold one day become the ore again after a very very long time? like when there's a supernova and it melt down, split into tiny atoms and get reformed as raw ore. neither the gold nor the ore will cease to "exist" in a sense. haha..just a thought.

anyway Buddha continue...

"Purna, you also asked whether the natures of water and fire would not destroy each other if the natures of earth, water, fire, and wind were all perfectly fused and pervaded the Dharma Realm, and whether space and the great earth would not be incompatible if both pervaded the Dharma Realm.

"Purna, consider space: its substance is not the various phenomena, yet that does not prevent all phenomena from being included within it. How do we know that? Purna, empty space is bright on a sunny day, and dark when the sky is cloudy. It moves when the wind rises, it is fresh when the sky clears. It is turbid and hazy when the weather is foul, it is obscure when a dust storm breaks out. It casts a bright reflection on a pool of clear water. Do you think these conditioned phenomena come into existence at different places? Are they created from these conditions themselves or is their origin in space. If they arise from these conditions, Purna, then on a sunny day, since the sun is bright, all worlds of the ten directions should take on the form of the sun. Then why, on a sunny day do we see the round sun in the sky? If space is bright, space itself should shine. Then why, when there is a covering of clouds and fog, is no light evident? You should know that the brightness is not the sun, nor space nor other than the space or the sun. Contemplate how phenomena are ultimately false and cannot be verified. They are like flowers conjured up in space that cannot bear fruit. Why, then, investigate how such phenomena appear and disappear? Contemplate how the nature is ultimately truth and is solely the wonderful enlightened brightness. That wonderful enlightened bright mind originally was neither water nor fire. Why, then, ask about incompatibility?

"The truly wonderful enlightened brightness is the same way. You recognize space, and space appears. Recognizing earth, water, fire, and wind, each will appear. If all are recognized, all will appear. How can they all appear? Purna, consider the sun's reflection as it appears in a single body of water. Two people gaze at it, both at the same time. Then one person walks east and the other walks west. Each person, still looking at the water will see a sun go along with him, one to the east, one to the west, while there seems to be no fixed direction for the movement of the sun's reflection. Don't belabor the question and ask, 'If there is one sun, how can it follow both people? Or if the sun is double, why does only one appear in the sky?' This is just revolving in falseness, because such things cannot be proven.


everything is the way it is. as Master Hui Neng said, when enlightened, all sentient beings are Buddhas; when deluded, all Buddhas are sentient beings.

/\
_/\_
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: Simple question about Pure Lands

Postby LastLegend » Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:59 am

All is Buddhas, and all are sentient beings. What is meant by sentient beings? Perhaps the term "sentient" (meaning "alive") from my understanding through learning teachings in Vietnamese is quite misleading. It should be "all beings" as all are causes and conditions.

I don't think our grasping mind (of what exists or not exist) can understand?
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Re: Simple question about Pure Lands

Postby Nighthawk » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:13 am

Astus wrote:Buddha-lands exist because of the buddhas who created them, just as the world exist because of people's karma. Now the questions are whether buddhas live eternally or not, and sentient beings are infinite or not. But is there a definitive answer?


Don't know about definitive answers but we can gain a better understanding from sutras.
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Re: Simple question about Pure Lands

Postby Nighthawk » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:19 am

LastLegend wrote:All is Buddhas, and all are sentient beings. What is meant by sentient beings? Perhaps the term "sentient" (meaning "alive") from my understanding through learning teachings in Vietnamese is quite misleading. It should be "all beings" as all are causes and conditions.

I don't think our grasping mind (of what exists or not exist) can understand?


Yes, on the absolute level we are all Buddhas, but that's not what I'm talking about.
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Re: Simple question about Pure Lands

Postby LastLegend » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:41 am

Ryoto wrote:
LastLegend wrote:All is Buddhas, and all are sentient beings. What is meant by sentient beings? Perhaps the term "sentient" (meaning "alive") from my understanding through learning teachings in Vietnamese is quite misleading. It should be "all beings" as all are causes and conditions.

I don't think our grasping mind (of what exists or not exist) can understand?


Yes, on the absolute level we are all Buddhas, but that's not what I'm talking about.


What are you talking about?

I said all beings are Buddhas. Not just sentient beings.
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Re: Simple question about Pure Lands

Postby maybay » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:20 pm

would the last person out please turn off the lights?
People will know nothing and everything
Remember nothing and everything
Think nothing and everything
Do nothing and everything
- Machig Labdron
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Re: Simple question about Pure Lands

Postby Nighthawk » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:44 am

LastLegend wrote:
Ryoto wrote:
LastLegend wrote:All is Buddhas, and all are sentient beings. What is meant by sentient beings? Perhaps the term "sentient" (meaning "alive") from my understanding through learning teachings in Vietnamese is quite misleading. It should be "all beings" as all are causes and conditions.

I don't think our grasping mind (of what exists or not exist) can understand?


Yes, on the absolute level we are all Buddhas, but that's not what I'm talking about.


What are you talking about?

I said all beings are Buddhas. Not just sentient beings.


Nevermind. :popcorn:
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Re: Simple question about Pure Lands

Postby plwk » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:48 am

would the last person out please turn off the lights?

:lol: :D
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Re: Simple question about Pure Lands

Postby sinweiy » Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:32 pm

the lights is already on, deluded are we to think that it's off and go and flip the switch and turn is off!

---analogy from shurangama sutra.

the light was never off. :)
_/\_
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"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: Simple question about Pure Lands

Postby catmoon » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:10 am

there never was a light or a switch. :mrgreen:
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.
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Re: Simple question about Pure Lands

Postby Nighthawk » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:54 am

From Pure Lands and sentient beings to lights and switches. Let's open up a home hardware section on here somewhere. :tongue:
Last edited by Nighthawk on Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Simple question about Pure Lands

Postby Aemilius » Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:01 pm

Ryoto wrote:Do they cease to exist once all sentient beings reach the state of Buddhahood? That is if there are a finite number of sentient beings.


Nothing arises and nothing ceases.
Nothing rises with and essence, and nothing ceases with an essence.
The fault is that you regard things to exist essentially in the first place, they do not, and therefore they do not cease either.
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Re: Simple question about Pure Lands

Postby Nighthawk » Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:04 pm

well said :meditate:
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Re: Simple question about Pure Lands

Postby sinweiy » Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:58 am

catmoon wrote:there never was a light or a switch. :mrgreen:


yea i understand that you are referring to emptiness. shurangama sutra on the other hand is referring to en"light"enment, that all are already Buddhas(lights on). :smile:
_/\_
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"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: Simple question about Pure Lands

Postby Aemilius » Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:34 am

In the Perfection of Wisdom in 700 Lines, (translated by Edward Conze) :

"If Rev. Saradvatiputra, to put an imaginary case, in each single Buddhafield there were Buddhas and Lords countless as the sands of the Ganges, and if each single Tathagata were to abide for aeons countless as the sands of the Ganges, demonstrating Dharma night and day, and if each single Tathagata with each single demonstration of Dharma were to discipline as many beings as have been disciplined by each single demonstration of Dharma on the part of Buddhas and Lords countless as the sands of the Ganges, -even if that were done one could not conceive of a depletion of the world of beings or its repletion. And why? Because of the isolatedness of beings, because their nonbeingness."
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Re: Simple question about Pure Lands

Postby Nosta » Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:55 pm

Can you help me to understand better that sentence (right before this post)?

Does it mean that its impossible to save ALL the beings? That such task will never really be acomplishied? And if so, why? It wasnt clear for me.

Thanks.
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Re: Simple question about Pure Lands

Postby sinweiy » Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:43 am

Nosta wrote:Can you help me to understand better that sentence (right before this post)?

Does it mean that its impossible to save ALL the beings? That such task will never really be acomplishied? And if so, why? It wasnt clear for me.

Thanks.


it should be refering to the Illusion of the Ego .
Diamond Sutra:
25. The Illusion of the Ego

Let no one say the Tathagata cherishes the idea "I must liberate all living beings." In reality there are no living beings to be liberated by the Tathagata. If there were living beings for the Tathagata to liberate, he would partake of the idea of selfhood, personality, ego entity and separate individuality.
http://www.selfdiscoveryportal.com/cmDi ... tra.htm#25


we cannot say it will never be acomplishied as it will mean that we disagree on Impersonality, One of the Three Universal characteristics of existence taught by the Buddha. nor can we say it will be acomplishied as it will mean that we disagree on Impermanence and suffering, the other two of the Three Universal characteristics of existence taught be Buddha.

the aim is to get rid of attachment, dualism and wandering thoughts. if you do not have attachment, dualism and wandering thoughts, then that's no attachment of an existence of all beings or self; no duslism of Buddha and all beings; no wandering thoughts of what so ever. But since beings have not gotten rid of attachment, dualism and wandering thoughts, then karma arises; the attachment, differentiation of selfhood, Buddhahood, sentient beings arises.

As Master HuiNeng said before he departed, "When one realised one's True self/mind/buddhanature, then all sentient beings are Buddhas. But if one looses one's True self/mind/buddhanature, then all Buddhas are sentient beings."

i also see it as a natural cycle that everyone will attain Buddhahood eventually. it's just a matter of sooner or later. yet to Buddhas, there's also no time. aeons can be reduce to seconds. as said in Lotus sutra:
that even if a person who is confuse or having wandering thoughts were to recite a word of 'Namo Buddha' within any temple or monastery, they had already attained Buddhahood in the Grand ceremony of Lotus sutra. (Chapter 23 : The Former Deeds of Medicine King Bodhisattva) 若人散乱心, 入于塔庙中,一称南无佛, 皆已成佛道。
that mean with that little merit, one will bound to achieve Buddhahood, one day.

Like the ore and gold analogy, ore is extracted from the mountains and refine into gold. suffering is the refining process of removing the contaminations. there are infinite of ore in the mountains. some of the gold may even later be melted down and get contaminated and return to the mountains as ore. some gold manifest as jewelleries etc.
Everything are right in order.
_/\_
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: Simple question about Pure Lands

Postby Aemilius » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:25 am

Nosta wrote:Can you help me to understand better that sentence (right before this post)?

Does it mean that its impossible to save ALL the beings? That such task will never really be acomplishied? And if so, why? It wasnt clear for me.

Thanks.


There is a very basic fallacy that believes and assumes that enlightenmant is death, or that it equals death, or that nirvana means annihilation.
This false view has been refuted more than a thousand times, especially by the Mahayana.
As nirvana does not mean neither death nor annihilation, why should the number of beings decrease???
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