Zhen Li wrote: ↑Mon Oct 19, 2020 5:49 am
Malcolm wrote: ↑Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:16 am
This isn't possible. Only buddhas can perceive the dharmakāya. Not even tenth stage bodhisattvas can perceive the dharmakāya. And, Amitabha's buddhafield is most certainly a nirmāṇakāya buddhafield. This means that the Buddha's statement in the Lanka about buddhas attaining buddhahood only in Akaniṣṭha Ghanavyūha should be observed:
Apologies, because this is where East Asian Pure Land differs from the Indo-Tibetan tradition (in fact I initially responded to this thread without noticing it is in the Tibetan Buddhism forum, so excuse my butting in), in that the dharmakāya is considered to have two aspects:
Tanluan wrote:All Buddhas and bodhisattvas have dharma-bodies of two dimensions; dharma-body as suchness and dharma-body as compassionate means. Dharma-body as compassionate means arises from the dharma-body as suchness, and dharma-body as suchness emerges out of dharma-body as compassionate means. These two dimensions of dharma-body differ but are not separable; they are one but cannot be regarded as identical.
The other bodies are considered to be part of dharma-body as compassionate means:
Shinran, Kyogyoshinsho wrote:The dharma-body is like the sun, and the light of accommodated and transformed bodies pervades all the worlds. Sun is inadequate for expressing immovability; hence, it is further said, like Mount Sumeru abide [immovable].
In East Asian Pure Land thought, there are nirmāṇakāya aspects to Sukhāvatī but it is inseparable from dharmakāya. Of course, it goes without saying that Amitābha is regarded as a dharmakāya, which has these aspects of compassionate means.
Your objection is not really valid. Why? Because there is only one dharmakāya, and only one teacher, the dharmakāya, since the dharmakāya of all buddhas is the same, that is, the dharmakāya of Amitabha is not different than the dharmakāya of Śakyamuni, etc. But it is nevertheless the case that no one can see the dharmakāya other than a buddha, since the dharmakāya of the buddhas is just their complete realization of buddhahood.
Because of the compassionate nature of buddhahood, different sentient beings experience different nirmāṇakāyas, but only bodhisattvas on the pure stages, 8-10, are able to perceive the sambhogakāya, since the sambhogakāya cannot be perceived by any person who is tainted with afflictive obscurations.
As for the dharmakāya having two aspects, this is a distinction without a difference. The dharmakāya emanates the sambhogakāya, and the sambhogakāya emanates various buddhas such as Amitabha, Śākyamuni, and the other of the 1002 buddhas of the fortunate eon.
But rather than be distracted by buddhology of Amitabha Buddha, we ought to be focusing rather on the nature of Sukhāvati. 1) Sukhāvati is compounded because it was formed out of the Bodhisattva Dipaṃkāra's cultivation of a buddhafield. This is an undeniable fact. 2) Sukhāvati may be regarded as permanent, because it is sustained by Bodhisattva Dipaṃkāra's aspiration, which is limitless, given that he was an āryabodhisattva who perfected the perfections, one of which cultivating a buddhafield, however, Akaniṣṭha Ghanavyūha is uncompounded. The Ghanavyūha Sūtra
The buddhas abiding in that place
Ghanavyūha has existed from beginningless time.
A self-originated emanation is there,
the stainless Buddha.
Dwelling beyond the three elements,
That place is without grasping to bliss,
it is free from the experience of I and mine,
it is unchanging, ultimately permanent, and stable.
Ghanavyūha is unconditioned.
The perfect buddhas awaken [there]
but without buddhahood in the supreme place, Akaniṣṭha,
the deeds of the buddha will not be performed in the desire realm.
Once they depart Ghanavyūha
ten million emanations of the Buddha
will always remain in yogic equipoise.
Thus, Amitabha also actually attains buddhahood in Akaniṣṭha Ghanavyūha. Further, unlike Sukhāvati, Ghanavyūha has no śrāvakas, since even arhats have afflictive obscurations. There is a great deal more that could be said about this.
But to summarize, there is no justification at all in commonly accepted scriptures for your two central claims: 1) "[Y]ou are learning from the Dharmakāya itself;" 2)"[It] is instantaneous and beyond the need for methods that can be calculated in the normal sense of duration and ascension."
As to your comment on your two citation, "In East Asian Pure Land thought, there are nirmāṇakāya aspects to Sukhāvatī but it is inseparable from dharmakāya."
This is unsupportable as well: the first contradiction is that if Sukhāvati is nondual with the dharmakāya, then the dharmakāya must be compounded, because beings take birth there. The second contradition is that If Sukhavāti is nondual with the dharmakāya, then it is impossible for sentient beings to attain birth there, and the aspirations of Bodhisattva Dipaṃkāra cannot be fulfilled. Both of these negative consequences arise from asserting that Sukhāvati something more than a nirmāṇakāya buddhafield. In fact, that whole point of Sukhāvati is that it is a nirmāṇakāya buddhafield, because 1) all learned people understand that even noble bodhisattvas from the seventh stage on down cannot see the sambhogakāya, must less those of us on the paths of accumulation and application, and because 2) not even bodhisattvas on the pure stages can perceive the dharmakāya since they have remaining knowledge obscurations. Since Dipaṃkāra's vows are specifically aimed at ordinary sentient beings, it is simply an exaggeration to make the two claims you have made, since they lack a basis in scripture and they cannot be defended with reason.
These rebuttals should not be seen as a negation of Bodhisattva Dipaṃkāra's vows, nor should they be seen as a rebuttal of the aspiration to attain rebirth in Sukhāvati. Rather, they are merely proffered in order to correct misconceptions that birth in Sukhāvati is somehow a short cut to buddhahood—it is not—or that birth in Sukhāvati relieves one of having gather accumulations and perfect the perfections, and so on, the normal duties of a bodhisattva on the path. In fact, as it is well known and as you admit above, some who are born in Sukhāvti do not hear the voice or see the face of Amitabha for five hundred years. This is crucial because the Tathāgatānāṃbuddhakṣetraguṇoktadharmaparyāya
states that a single day in Sukhavāti equals a kalpa in the Sahā world. This means that those who are stuck in lotuses in Sukhavāti must remain there for the equivalent of 182,500 kalpas (500 * 365) in human time. Of course they don't suffer, but still they are trapped, cannot hear the dharma, see the Buddha and so on. This is an unimaginable amount of time.
Further, this assertion of yours that the Large Sūtra is the last remaining sutra after the Buddha's doctrine is questionable, and lacks scriptural support, despite the Chinese translation of this text.
What is known as the Large Sūtra
in the Tibetan canon does not affirm this, It merely states, "In the future, until the sublime Dharma utterly perishes, this great Dharmapariyaya will be truly praised by all the buddhas, extolled by all the buddhas, and conferred by all the buddhas." But there is no mention at all of it being the last surviving sūtra at the end of Śākyamūni's dispensation, as the Sanskrit (See Gomez, Land of Bliss: Hawaii, 1996, pg. 108: section 150) also bears out.