Jodo Shinshu vs. Theravada

Re: Jodo Shinshu vs. Theravada

Postby Indrajala » Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:11 pm

Dodatsu wrote:
Huseng wrote:
steveb1 wrote:Shin respects all schools of Buddhism.


Historically in many Shin temples reciting the Heart Sutra was forbidden.


The Heart Sutra is not part of our Shin Buddhist canon/liturgy, so why must or should we chant it in our temples? Not chanting it does not mean we do not respect it, in fact lectures on many non-Shin Buddhist scriptures have taken place at the annual Summer Retreat held at Nishi Hongwanji for centuries.


There is a difference between forbidding the recitation of a specific scripture (incidentally quite popular with a rival school) and simply not reciting it as part of your liturgy.

Connect the dots and another image of "respect" emerges.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
Former staff member
 
Posts: 5570
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: India

Re: Jodo Shinshu vs. Theravada

Postby Indrajala » Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:14 pm

gyougan wrote:Correct but why do you think that this means that Shin has no respect towards the Heart Sutra or schools that hold the Heart Sutra as a top priority sutra?

Reciting the Heart Sutra can in some cases be harmful to Shin practice. Thus the ban. Not because of disrespect.


If you consider the polemical nature of Japanese sectarianism such a ban was entirely politically motivated.

Typical samsaric behaviour. It has nothing to do with looking out for the well-being of people, but merely looking to the interests of the school.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
Former staff member
 
Posts: 5570
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: India

Re: Jodo Shinshu vs. Theravada

Postby Greg » Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:33 pm

bodhipunk wrote:I may not be specifically Shin, but maybe I can add something interesting to this. There is this interesting fact that although the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of Mahayana are not found within canonical Theravada - they still do appear in Theravadin countries. Such as Avalokiteshara who is known as Lokesvara, Lokanat and Natha-deva. Some even have counterparts, such as Phra Mala's story being extremely similar to that of Ksitigarbha. There are even depictions of Lokesvara and Amitabha at Angkor Wat.

Also, regarding "other power" in Theravada, there is the Saddha Sutta which states, "A person of conviction, on the break-up of the body, after death, will arise in a good destination, the heavenly world." This actually sounds amicable to Pure Land practice to me, or am I just reading too much into this?

One of the main reasons for there being different scriptures between the traditions is that they were written down long after the paranirvana of Buddha, and different schools developed in respect to what was considered canonical. Also keep in mind that Buddha traveled and taught for many years, often using skillful means and speaking in the popular vernacular of a particular region. One example of this is the famous Fire Sermon which Buddha delivered to a group of fire-worshiping ascetics.


That's true, but that can be attributed to the fact that Mahayana and Vajrayana lineages were popular in Southeast Asia until the 13th or 14th centuries.
Greg
 
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:42 pm

Re: Jodo Shinshu vs. Theravada

Postby Nighthawk » Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:13 am

Huseng in his anti-Shin attack mode again :lol:
User avatar
Nighthawk
 
Posts: 756
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:04 am

Re: Jodo Shinshu vs. Theravada

Postby Dodatsu » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:42 pm

There is a difference between forbidding the recitation of a specific scripture (incidentally quite popular with a rival school) and simply not reciting it as part of your liturgy.

Connect the dots and another image of "respect" emerges.


Actually, i really do not know where you get the idea that we "forbid" the chanting of the Heart Sutra. Yes it's NOT chanted in our liturgy, but we don't forbid people from learning it, neither does it mean we do not respect it.Why don't you ask if the Nichiren Buddhists whether they recite it as part of their liturgy? Probably, the answer would be "no". Just because it's a popular chant in other schools does not mean Shin Buddhists have to chant it, since we have our own commonly used Sutras and chants.
Contemplating the power of Tathagata's Primal Vow,
One sees that no foolish being who encounters it passes by in vain.
When a person single-heartedly practices the saying of the Name alone,
It brings quickly to fullness and perfection [in that person] the great treasure ocean of true and real virtues.
- Shinran Shonin
User avatar
Dodatsu
 
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 3:49 pm
Location: Kyoto, Japan

Re: Jodo Shinshu vs. Theravada

Postby Dodatsu » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:59 pm

If you consider the polemical nature of Japanese sectarianism such a ban was entirely politically motivated.

Typical samsaric behaviour. It has nothing to do with looking out for the well-being of people, but merely looking to the interests of the school.


Presuming you read Japanese since you studied in Japan, then I'll let this article in Wikipedia (Japan) answer as to whether it's politically motivated...

日本では仏教各派、特に法相宗・天台宗・真言宗・禅宗が般若心経を使用し、その宗派独特の解釈を行っている。ただし、浄土真宗は『浄土三部経』を、日蓮宗・法華宗は『妙法蓮華経(法華経)』を根本経典としているため、般若心経を唱えることはない。これは当該宗派の教義上、用いる必要がないということであり、心経を否定しているのではない。例えば、浄土真宗西本願寺の住職であった大谷光瑞は般若心経の注釈を著している。
English translation: Amongst the various Buddhist sects in Japan, the Hosso, Tendai, Shingon and Zen use the Heart Sutra and each have their unique explanations. However, as Jodo Shin Buddhists use the "Three Pure Land Sutras" and Nichiren Buddhists use the "Lotus Sutra" as their primary Sutras, the Heart Sutra is not chanted. This is due that teachings of the Heart Sutra are not used in the teachings of these two schools, but it does not mean that the Heart Sutra is negated. In fact, Otani Kozui, a previous Head Abbot of the Nishi Hongwanji temple of Jodo Shinshu, wrote an explanatory book on the Heart Sutra.


The link: http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%88%AC%E8%8B%A5%E5%BF%83%E7%B5%8C
Another from a Jodo Shin website: http://www.posteios.com/PROJ_C111.htm (in Japanese)
Contemplating the power of Tathagata's Primal Vow,
One sees that no foolish being who encounters it passes by in vain.
When a person single-heartedly practices the saying of the Name alone,
It brings quickly to fullness and perfection [in that person] the great treasure ocean of true and real virtues.
- Shinran Shonin
User avatar
Dodatsu
 
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 3:49 pm
Location: Kyoto, Japan

Re: Jodo Shinshu vs. Theravada

Postby Dodatsu » Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:03 pm

Huseng wrote:
gyougan wrote:Correct but why do you think that this means that Shin has no respect towards the Heart Sutra or schools that hold the Heart Sutra as a top priority sutra?

Reciting the Heart Sutra can in some cases be harmful to Shin practice. Thus the ban. Not because of disrespect.


If you consider the polemical nature of Japanese sectarianism such a ban was entirely politically motivated.

Typical samsaric behaviour. It has nothing to do with looking out for the well-being of people, but merely looking to the interests of the school.


If by the same reasoning you are putting, i should ask Zen Buddhists to recite the "Namu Myoho Renge Kyo", since the Daimoku is popular; and Nichiren Buddhists to recite "Namu Daishi Hensho Kongo" or "Namu Amida Butsu" in their services? :namaste:
Contemplating the power of Tathagata's Primal Vow,
One sees that no foolish being who encounters it passes by in vain.
When a person single-heartedly practices the saying of the Name alone,
It brings quickly to fullness and perfection [in that person] the great treasure ocean of true and real virtues.
- Shinran Shonin
User avatar
Dodatsu
 
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 3:49 pm
Location: Kyoto, Japan

Re: Jodo Shinshu vs. Theravada

Postby sinweiy » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:37 am

sinweiy wrote:though there are some differences in Mahayana Pure"land" in the quality of bodhicitta etc, hence Pure Abode vs Pure land.


III. The Different Types of Pure Lands

[In addition to the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss, there are many other pure lands.] The many pure lands can be classified into four main categories: the distinctive pure lands of the Mahayana School, the pure land of the Three Vehicles, the pure land of the Five Vehicles, and the pure land on Earth.
.....

 B. The Pure Land of the Three Vehicles

The Pure Land of the Three Vehicles—sravaka, pratyeka-buddha, and Bodhisattva—is the liberation they realize as they practice and cultivate according to the following stages: eliminate defilements, realize the truth, and become liberated from life and death. Although the Pure Land they realize is from the same Dharma and results in the same liberation—just as all rivers entering the sea will acquire the same salty taste of the sea—their state of mind tends to be founded on self-liberation. Though it is true that these holy practitioners do not create any more new karma and will not go through the suffering of life and death again, they should continue to further their practice toward an even more sublime state of mind. The Pure Land of the Three Vehicles is not the ultimate goal; it is only a stop on their way to the destination. Thus, the holy practitioners of the Three Vehicles should also recite the name of Amitabha Buddha and aim for the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss so they can continue on their path to Buddhahood.

http://www.blia.org/english/publication ... ges/14.htm
_/\_
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
User avatar
sinweiy
 
Posts: 271
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:18 am
Location: Singapore

Re: Jodo Shinshu vs. Theravada

Postby Indrajala » Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:15 pm

Dodatsu wrote:Actually, i really do not know where you get the idea that we "forbid" the chanting of the Heart Sutra. Yes it's NOT chanted in our liturgy, but we don't forbid people from learning it, neither does it mean we do not respect it.Why don't you ask if the Nichiren Buddhists whether they recite it as part of their liturgy? Probably, the answer would be "no". Just because it's a popular chant in other schools does not mean Shin Buddhists have to chant it, since we have our own commonly used Sutras and chants.


Note how I said...
Historically in many Shin temples reciting the Heart Sutra was forbidden.


Perhaps time have changed.

I never said you had to recite or chant anything by the way.

If by the same reasoning you are putting, i should ask Zen Buddhists to recite the "Namu Myoho Renge Kyo", since the Daimoku is popular; and Nichiren Buddhists to recite "Namu Daishi Hensho Kongo" or "Namu Amida Butsu" in their services? :namaste:


That's not my reasoning at all.

I was saying that the ban on the Heart Sutra (perhaps you're officially okay with reciting it in Shin Temples nowadays) reflects a polemical issue, not a soteriological concern. There was a lack of respect amongst sects in Japanese Buddhism throughout the last one thousand years. Jodo Shinshu was no exception.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
Former staff member
 
Posts: 5570
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: India

Re: Jodo Shinshu vs. Theravada

Postby chismith » Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:38 am

I personally think the Japanese brand of PL is quite narrow minded, such as only belief in other power, i.e., Amida, and not too keen on precept. I also find it difficult to swallow when Heart Sutra is forbidden in their tradition. In Chineses PL tradition, however, it is much more open and less doctrinal. Chinese PL points out that reciting the Buddha's name whole heartedly and follow the basis 5 precepts are the self power that we cultivate. Together with the Amida's power is what makes it complete.

You have to thoroughly understand the concept of Emptiness vs. Form (Scientists have discovered that all the physical phenomena(form) comes from nothing (emptiness). Buddha taught us that all in mind-made. With mind you make the world. So if we believe in PL, then PL becomes real, be it virtual or actual, does not matter it all depends on how subtle your believe (mind) is. The Bible talked about 'where your treasure is where your heart is', and our heart will direct to your reality. If your treasure is PL, then your heart is PL so will be your destiny. This is so logical and simply!

The word 'Amitabha' means infinite light, infinte life. My personal take on 'Amitabha' is that it is a 'Name' to depict a collective mind power from all the compassionate beings manifested as kings, gods, brahmins, heroes, doctors, ordinary folks,..., etc who, over the eons, practiced and made vows to create a PL (an ideal realm so to speak) so that sentient beings who sincerely long for such realm can enter it. One of the way to achieve the goal is, according to Amitabha, to just recite his Name. I find it extremely logical and there is no ounce of superstision in it. It is all about the compassion and love that 'Amitabha' bestowed upon us. I personally believe that the heavenly Father Jesus referred to is just 'Amitabha' manifested. If you think dynamically, open heartedly and with a grateful heart, then PL tradition becomes a no brainer. We are sooooo blessed to have encountered the PL teaching of the Buddha.
chismith
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:39 pm

Re: Jodo Shinshu vs. Theravada

Postby gingercatni » Sat May 12, 2012 12:32 am

chismith wrote:I personally think the Japanese brand of PL is quite narrow minded, such as only belief in other power, i.e., Amida, and not too keen on precept. I also find it difficult to swallow when Heart Sutra is forbidden in their tradition. In Chineses PL tradition, however, it is much more open and less doctrinal. Chinese PL points out that reciting the Buddha's name whole heartedly and follow the basis 5 precepts are the self power that we cultivate. Together with the Amida's power is what makes it complete.

You have to thoroughly understand the concept of Emptiness vs. Form (Scientists have discovered that all the physical phenomena(form) comes from nothing (emptiness). Buddha taught us that all in mind-made. With mind you make the world. So if we believe in PL, then PL becomes real, be it virtual or actual, does not matter it all depends on how subtle your believe (mind) is. The Bible talked about 'where your treasure is where your heart is', and our heart will direct to your reality. If your treasure is PL, then your heart is PL so will be your destiny. This is so logical and simply!

The word 'Amitabha' means infinite light, infinte life. My personal take on 'Amitabha' is that it is a 'Name' to depict a collective mind power from all the compassionate beings manifested as kings, gods, brahmins, heroes, doctors, ordinary folks,..., etc who, over the eons, practiced and made vows to create a PL (an ideal realm so to speak) so that sentient beings who sincerely long for such realm can enter it. One of the way to achieve the goal is, according to Amitabha, to just recite his Name. I find it extremely logical and there is no ounce of superstision in it. It is all about the compassion and love that 'Amitabha' bestowed upon us. I personally believe that the heavenly Father Jesus referred to is just 'Amitabha' manifested. If you think dynamically, open heartedly and with a grateful heart, then PL tradition becomes a no brainer. We are sooooo blessed to have encountered the PL teaching of the Buddha.


what? the christian faith has nothing to do with Amitabha. They are nothing alike. refer to old testament, blood thirsty angry runt vs compassionate Buddha who'll take you to his pureland even if we don''t really deserve it!
gingercatni
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:09 pm
Location: Belfast Northern Ireland

Re: Jodo Shinshu vs. Theravada

Postby Nighthawk » Sat May 12, 2012 1:01 am

:rolling:
User avatar
Nighthawk
 
Posts: 756
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:04 am

Re: Jodo Shinshu vs. Theravada

Postby Adumbra » Wed May 30, 2012 9:02 am

Buddha's exhortation to strive and rely only on oneself for salvation is hard to square with orthodox Pureland Buddhism. Shakyamuni came from a culture in which people would make sacrifices to dozens of gods on a daily basis and was rightly appalled by such ignorance and superstition. However, if you forget the orthodox tradition for a minute and consider the esotoric tradition (Himitsu Nembutsu) a lot of these seeming contradictions are resolved. Kakuban, though he was not of the Jodo school, I think gave a pretty clear description of the basic creed of esoteric Pureland Buddhism in his Amida Hishaku. Therefore, I will quote him in support of the following suppositions:

1. Amida's help is an act of grace. Much like the Christian God, he doesn't expect anything -- whether it be roasted lambs or good works -- in exchange for his help. Once you've settled on Ojo then enlightenment in guarranteed and there is nothing more to do. No sacrifices to make. No priests to pander to.

Any living being who hears the Name and genuinely and completely rejoices in serene trust, even if it is only for a moment, immediately gains entry (into the Pureland). They will not fall back.
- The Larger Pureland Sutra


2. Amida isn't a god, he's a Buddha. Being a Buddha, he isn't bound by space, time, or Aristotle's law of identity. In fact, since all things have Buddha-nature we are not truly distinct from Amida or any other Buddha. Like a radio station, Amida is no-where and every-where broadcasting 24/7. All you have to do is tune in to the proper frequency by reciting namo-amida-butsu.

Since all dharmas are identical with the One Mind, the realm of Buddhas and that of sentient beings are at once dual and non-dual. Further, one's mind and the Buddha are, from the beginning, one.
- Kakuban, Amida Hishaku


3. Pureland isn't a place, it's a state of mind. A pure mind percieves a pure land. Ojo can be a literal rebirth, but it can also be seeing the same thing again for the first time like a small child or like a Buddha.

The difference between delusion and enlightenment rests with your mind, and so, there is no Buddha apart from your three modes of action. Since the true and the delusory are one, you can perceive the Land of Utmost Bliss in the five states of samsaric existence.
- Kakuban, Amida Hishaku


Esoteric Pureland relies on the assumption that we are all inherently pure and enlightened. Striving for enlightenment only emphasizes that you aren't enlightened. Pureland isn't about striving for enlightenment, it's about giving up, trusting in Amida, and letting the light dawn.

Do not attempt to make this mind become a Buddha. When delusion subsides, wisdom appears and then you become a Buddha with the present body
- Kakuban, Amida Hishaku


This is the essence of Jinen:

Jinen signifies being made so from the very beginning. Amida's Vow is, from the very beginning, designed to bring each of us to entrust ourselves to it - saying "Namu-amida-butsu" - and to receive us into the Pure Land; none of this is through our calculation. Thus, there is no room for the practicer to be concerned about being good or bad. This is the meaning of jinen as I have been taught.
-Shinran Shonin, Lamp for the Latter Ages


For Shinran, total enlightenment could only come after death and perhaps there is some truth to this. As long as we are embodied in form and personality, we are prone to both the strengths and weaknesses of selfish human Bombu nature. However, this does not necessarily make Pureland Buddhism some pie-in-the-sky-when-you-die faith. Shinran's teacher, Honen, achieved high levels of samadhi while still alive solely through nembutsu recitation. I myself can personally attest to the effects of prolonged nembutsu recitation. I'm generally not someone any Buddhist would want representing their faith, but even I have gotten pretty damn high on nembutsu (among other things), which just proves the truth of what Honen and Shinran have been saying all along.
Adumbra
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:56 pm
Location: Port Townsend, WA U.S.A.

Re: Jodo Shinshu vs. Theravada

Postby gingercatni » Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:29 pm

1. Amida's help is an act of grace. Much like the Christian God, he doesn't expect anything -- whether it be roasted lambs or good works -- in exchange for his help. Once you've settled on Ojo then enlightenment in guarranteed and there is nothing more to do. No sacrifices to make. No priests to pander to.

I'm sorry, I disagree. It's quite clear within the old testament, that the christian god is an angry god, he even goes so far to say he is a jealous god. He asks his followers to stone people to death for certain transgressions, even persuading his follower to attempt to kill his son to prove his devotion. Its not until all the bad stuff is somewhat edited in the new testament, that this god is seemingly a "nice guy" I often wonder why anyone finds the christian god worthy of worship when unlike Amitabha or any other Buddha for that matter, he clearly cites devotion to him or be cast into hell fire, discriminates "his" people, ie gay people and has his people do his bidding. No, this god is not like Amitabha in any way and it is quite insulting that anyone would group the two together in such a comparison.
gingercatni
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:09 pm
Location: Belfast Northern Ireland

Re: Jodo Shinshu vs. Theravada

Postby Adumbra » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:47 am

I'm sorry, I disagree. It's quite clear within the old testament, that the christian god is an angry god, he even goes so far to say he is a jealous god. He asks his followers to stone people to death for certain transgressions, even persuading his follower to attempt to kill his son to prove his devotion. Its not until all the bad stuff is somewhat edited in the new testament, that this god is seemingly a "nice guy" I often wonder why anyone finds the christian god worthy of worship when unlike Amitabha or any other Buddha for that matter, he clearly cites devotion to him or be cast into hell fire, discriminates "his" people, ie gay people and has his people do his bidding. No, this god is not like Amitabha in any way and it is quite insulting that anyone would group the two together in such a comparison.


The Bible is a mass of contradictions. I was only speaking for the orthodox Christian understanding of salvation and I was only comparing Amida and Jesus' conception of God (which in some ways is very different from the OT Jehovah) on that one particular subject. The fact of the matter is that Pureland Buddhism is not the only religion out there that promises salvation through faith alone and if that offends you, well... I don't know what else to say.
"The first thing you have to understand is that I don't believe in ANYTHING."
-Arahata Osho
Adumbra
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:56 pm
Location: Port Townsend, WA U.S.A.

Re: Jodo Shinshu vs. Theravada

Postby Nighthawk » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:21 am

Pure Land is the most difficult path in Buddhism. Like it or not, it requires a lot of blind faith just like Christians who blindly believe in the resurrection of Jesus. I wish the historical Buddha talked about Amitabha Buddha and his Pure Land, but according to most scholars he did not.

All we can do is rely on the likes of Nagarjuna, Shandao, Honen etc.
User avatar
Nighthawk
 
Posts: 756
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:04 am

Re: Jodo Shinshu vs. Theravada

Postby steveb1 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:03 am

Nighthawk wrote, "Like it or not, it requires a lot of blind faith just like Christians who blindly believe in the resurrection of Jesus"

But I don't experience shinjin as blind faith, but rather as settled trust and a share in Amida's own mind and Working. The Nembutsu, as the perfect practice, is an experiential means of participating in the Working. Since I know that my bonpu nature is incapable of Nembutsu, I realize that my echo of the Call is Amida's own grace activating me. This is not blind faith, it's an experiential and participatory process.

Some Christians do have blind faith in God, Jesus, Resurrection. But as New Testament scholar Marcus J. Borg has pointed out, for many Christians, Jesus is not simply a figure of the past. Instead, he is the risen living Christ - an experienced spiritual reality. Ditto for Shin practitioners, who know Amida Buddha as an experienced spiritual reality. "Faith" here is not blind belief; it is active trust based on an inconceivable transcendent experience.

If faith were to be invoked in a Shin context, it could be said that when Buddhas and Bodhisattvas act and speak, their actions and teachings are fundamentally different from those of merely human, non-enlightened sages who have not yet passed into the Buddha "state". Put simply, when a Bodhisattva does or says something, we Mahayanists can take it to the bank. When Dharmakara made the great Eighteenth Vow, we can take it to the bank.

The Vow is not a well-intentioned bit of charitable human wishing, for the simple reason that is was taken by the powerful trans-human Amida, and it continues its Working in us in all ages and all places. So - if we have faith, or trust, that any Buddha or Bodhisattva works on our behalf, it follows that our ultimate trust ought to be in Amida's Vow(s), which are surely the greatest ever undertaken on our behalf. And, with true understanding of the power and "sacramental" nature of the Nembutsu, trust moves from "faith-in" to "experience-of". And blind faith, if ever we clung to it, is replaced by true shinjin, just as the boat is abandoned once we have reached the far shore. At least, this is how I conceptualize the "Faith Issue" in Jodo Shinshu :)
steveb1
 
Posts: 248
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:37 am

Re: Jodo Shinshu vs. Theravada

Postby Adumbra » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:29 am

Some Christians do have blind faith in God, Jesus, Resurrection. But as New Testament scholar Marcus J. Borg has pointed out, for many Christians, Jesus is not simply a figure of the past. Instead, he is the risen living Christ - an experienced spiritual reality. Ditto for Shin practitioners, who know Amida Buddha as an experienced spiritual reality. "Faith" here is not blind belief; it is active trust based on an inconceivable transcendent experience.


You raise an interesting contrast here between blind faith in what someone has said versus trust which has its basis in a personal spiritual experience.

In my not-to-distant past I became interested in Mormonism and got into a series of discussions with some LDS missionaries -- partly to mess with them, I will admit -- but also out of a sincere interest in their faith. After all the discussions over Joseph Smith's character, the probability of ancient Hebrews making it to America and starting an iron-age civilization (which archaeologists have found no evidence of) the missionaries told me that it is ultimately a matter of faith. They know the book of Mormon is true through the testimony of the Holy Spirit and if I really wanted to know as well I had to drop my intellectualism and simply ask God, in all humility, if the Book of Mormon is true. Well, I could have walked away at that point and dismissed them as irrational zombies but instead I agreed to do just as they asked. No evangelist I had ever encountered had asked me to do something so simple as ask God. What a simple and audacious way of coming to the truth! Later that night I got on my knees, put my palms together and prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true. I didn't expect a thundering voice from heaven. The missionaries told me I would just know. Nothing happened. I tried again several times after that but I never did receive any testimony. When I told the missionaries they seemed incredulous, as if I was the first person ever to report a negative answer. To this day I wonder if any Mormon ever receives 'testimony' or if they all just say they do while wondering why God has blessed everyone around them with such certainty and left them in doubt.

I bring this up because it seems like a perfect example of blind faith. I gave the Mormon thing a fair shake and experienced nothing. I then took the same 'prove it to me' approach to the nembutsu and received almost instant confirmation that there is at least something to it! I am not a man of shinjin and unsure that I would even want to go to the Pureland when I die. But despite my skepticism and lack of commitment even I know that Amida is for real. That's trust!

These Mormons go to church, evangelize, and go through all those complicated temple ceremonies without ever really knowing if it will add up to anything in the end. I wonder how many other religions are like this. Do Muslim know that the Q'uran is the word of Allah, or are they just trying to convince everyone else? Do the evangelicals really feel saved?
"The first thing you have to understand is that I don't believe in ANYTHING."
-Arahata Osho
Adumbra
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:56 pm
Location: Port Townsend, WA U.S.A.

Re: Jodo Shinshu vs. Theravada

Postby steveb1 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:03 am

I then took the same 'prove it to me' approach to the nembutsu and received almost instant confirmation that there is at least something to it! I am not a man of shinjin and unsure that I would even want to go to the Pureland when I die. But despite my skepticism and lack of commitment even I know that Amida is for real. That's trust!

Fascinating story and sharp examples of Mormonism vs. Amida in your spiritual experience - thanks for sharing :)
steveb1
 
Posts: 248
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:37 am

Re: Jodo Shinshu vs. Theravada

Postby GarcherLancelot » Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:28 pm

Hi,does Pure Land have any evidence/miracle that proves that it is real?
GarcherLancelot
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 9:22 am

PreviousNext

Return to Pure Land

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: supermaxv and 3 guests

>