Enlightenment in a Pure Land

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AmidaB
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Re: Enlightenment in a Pure Land

Post by AmidaB »

Tashi delek to all!

I am really enjoying the scholarly side of this dicussion and already learned a lot from it, but I had no intention starting a thread where the Tibetan pure land doctrines clashes with the equally respectable East-Asian teachings. I feel we are intentionally or unintentionally loosing the common ground here. I am eager to read and discuss a bit more about/on the Tibetan school's viewpoint of the enlightenment (and entering qualifications :smile: ) in(to) various pure lands. E.g. I have already mentioned that I would like to know more in relation to Vajrayogini's (and Chakrasamvara's) pure land. :anjali:
Malcolm
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Re: Enlightenment in a Pure Land

Post by Malcolm »

Zhen Li wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:36 am
The Sahāloka was not established by vows. Not every land is the result of compassionate means. I think you are tending to read into my words claims that I did not make.
Every buddhafield is established through the aspiration of the bodhisattvas who then appear there as buddhas. Some are "pure," some are not. But even here, the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa chapter on buddhafields both establishes this point and that also the Sahāloka is actually a pure buddhafield generated out of the aspiration of the Bodhisattva:

The Buddha said, “Śāriputra, this buddhafield is always thus pure, but the Tathāgata makes it appear to be spoiled by many faults, in order to bring about the maturity of inferior living beings. For example, Śāriputra, the gods of the Trayastriṃśa heaven all take their food from a single precious vessel, yet the nectar that nourishes each one differs according to the differences of the merits each has accumulated. Just so, Śāriputra, living beings born in the same buddhafield see the splendor of the virtues of the buddhafields of the buddhas according to their own degrees of purity.”
https://read.84000.co/translation/toh17 ... 060-005-92



Your Sanskrit needs some work. Prasanna in BHS is believing.
No, the Tibetan is also very clear, prasannacittā is "sems rab tu dang ba," and carries connotations faith, clarity, and being undisturbed; "dang ba" is a synonym is "gsal ba," as demonstrated in the phrase, "tshig gsal," "prasannapāda," and as shown in the 9th century translator lexicon, the Mahāvyutpati, which gives "dang ba ; dang ba 'm gsal ba ; gsal ba - prasannaḥ (mvyut_7295)."

The reason why this reading is preferable to simply having a mind of faith, "dad mos kyi sems" is that one must be clear minded at the time of death in order to have this experience, otherwise, arguably, the sūtra would had prāsadacitta. Also, Edgerton, while useful, has limits since there really is no such thing as BHS.
The "aspiring mind" is interpreted as lacking doubt, and is thus an element of prasanna. Someone with shinjin "knows" that they are going to the Pure Land without doubt—it is not a worldly desire or aspiration as you understand. Thus it is prasanna.
To lack doubt is to be clear. The use of dang ba in Tibetan is very precise, dang ba'i dad pa for example means "clear faith."
Hear or say are not interpolations by Shinran, there is a long history of understanding 念 recitation, which is not necessary to get into here.
I already granted that śruta can be both hear and say.

[/quote]
I'm not sure where you are getting these ideas, since you are clearly not familiar with Shinran's thought.
[/quote]

I've read everything that has been published, admittedly not for some time.
Tenma
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Re: Enlightenment in a Pure Land

Post by Tenma »

Hearing all these different pure lands, does anyone know the difference qualities (aside from the deity that dwells in them) of the following purelands and how they are different from Sukhavati (is it the only pureland that accepts all sentient beings regardless of sins and life) and Khechara:

-Tara's Land of Turquoise leaves
-Akshobhya's Abhrati
-Maitreya's Tushita
-Guru Rinpoche's Copper-Colored Mountain
-Vairocana's Pure Land
-The Medicine Buddha's Pure Land
-Milarepa's Pure Land (that, or I misheard what the benefit of his mantra was)
-Manjushri's Vimala Abode
GrapeLover
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Re: Enlightenment in a Pure Land

Post by GrapeLover »

Tenma wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:00 pm Hearing all these different pure lands, does anyone know the difference qualities (aside from the deity that dwells in them) of the following purelands and how they are different from Sukhavati (is it the only pureland that accepts all sentient beings regardless of sins and life) and Khechara:

-Tara's Land of Turquoise leaves
-Akshobhya's Abhrati
-Maitreya's Tushita
-Guru Rinpoche's Copper-Colored Mountain
-Vairocana's Pure Land
-The Medicine Buddha's Pure Land
-Milarepa's Pure Land (that, or I misheard what the benefit of his mantra was)
-Manjushri's Vimala Abode
Just quickly, this quote from Machig Labdron is relevant:

“ For those who wish to become Buddhas swiftly, it is necessary to pray for rebirth in a pure Buddha-Land. There are differing Pure Lands beyond number, and it has been declared that they are difficult to delimit in speech.

Among them, in order to be born in the other superior Lands excepting Sukhavati, you must attain at least the eighth bhumi , having entirely cut off the two obscurations. Even to be born in the middling Lands, you must entirely cut off even the most subtle aspects of the obscuration of the afflictions and attain at least the first moment on the path of contemplative cultivation. And for even the least of the Lands, you must cut off attachment to self from the roots, and attain the path of seeing —that is, selflessness, the real truth. Until you’ve attained the path of seeing, though you pray for re-birth in a Buddha-Land, you’ll not achieve it.

But even without attaining the path of seeing, should you strive at prayer, while not engaging even in the most subtle disciplinary faults with respect to your commitments and moral training, and purifying sins and gathering the profits of virtue, you may just be born in some of the trifling Lands such as Tushita, and even that will be difficult. Because in those Lands there is no room for the births of common, ordinary persons (prithagjana), who wallow in the afflictions, from now on you must pray at length! Therefore, it would seem that afflicted, common persons will not be born in the Land of a Buddha.

Nevertheless, through the power of Buddha Amideva’s prayers, birth in Sukhavati has been vouchsafed by Lord Amideva himself, for which reason you must by all means strive at prayer for rebirth in Sukhavati (Dewachen)! Without doubt, suspicion, laziness, or irresolution, and by means of certainty and with ardent exertion you must pray, while recollecting the array of Sukhavati and its qualities.

Because even common, ordinary persons, who are burdened with the afflictions, may be born in Sukhavati, it is exceptional. And having been born there, all of your wishes will be realized just as soon as you conceive them, and you will not be tainted by the merest obscuration of affliction.

Moreover, because you are permitted to journey to whichever among the Buddha-Lands you wish, it is exceptional; and it is exceptional because Buddhahood is swifter that in other Lands. Because there is nowhere another Land that is closer to being attained than Sukhavati, which is endowed with the aforementioned and other qualities beyond all conception, it is exceedingly important that you strive in prayer for birth in Sukhavati.”
Tenma
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Re: Enlightenment in a Pure Land

Post by Tenma »

GrapeLover wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:51 pm
Tenma wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:00 pm Hearing all these different pure lands, does anyone know the difference qualities (aside from the deity that dwells in them) of the following purelands and how they are different from Sukhavati (is it the only pureland that accepts all sentient beings regardless of sins and life) and Khechara:

-Tara's Land of Turquoise leaves
-Akshobhya's Abhrati
-Maitreya's Tushita
-Guru Rinpoche's Copper-Colored Mountain
-Vairocana's Pure Land
-The Medicine Buddha's Pure Land
-Milarepa's Pure Land (that, or I misheard what the benefit of his mantra was)
-Manjushri's Vimala Abode
Just quickly, this quote from Machig Labdron is relevant:

“ For those who wish to become Buddhas swiftly, it is necessary to pray for rebirth in a pure Buddha-Land. There are differing Pure Lands beyond number, and it has been declared that they are difficult to delimit in speech.

Among them, in order to be born in the other superior Lands excepting Sukhavati, you must attain at least the eighth bhumi , having entirely cut off the two obscurations. Even to be born in the middling Lands, you must entirely cut off even the most subtle aspects of the obscuration of the afflictions and attain at least the first moment on the path of contemplative cultivation. And for even the least of the Lands, you must cut off attachment to self from the roots, and attain the path of seeing —that is, selflessness, the real truth. Until you’ve attained the path of seeing, though you pray for re-birth in a Buddha-Land, you’ll not achieve it.

But even without attaining the path of seeing, should you strive at prayer, while not engaging even in the most subtle disciplinary faults with respect to your commitments and moral training, and purifying sins and gathering the profits of virtue, you may just be born in some of the trifling Lands such as Tushita, and even that will be difficult. Because in those Lands there is no room for the births of common, ordinary persons (prithagjana), who wallow in the afflictions, from now on you must pray at length! Therefore, it would seem that afflicted, common persons will not be born in the Land of a Buddha.

Nevertheless, through the power of Buddha Amideva’s prayers, birth in Sukhavati has been vouchsafed by Lord Amideva himself, for which reason you must by all means strive at prayer for rebirth in Sukhavati (Dewachen)! Without doubt, suspicion, laziness, or irresolution, and by means of certainty and with ardent exertion you must pray, while recollecting the array of Sukhavati and its qualities.

Because even common, ordinary persons, who are burdened with the afflictions, may be born in Sukhavati, it is exceptional. And having been born there, all of your wishes will be realized just as soon as you conceive them, and you will not be tainted by the merest obscuration of affliction.

Moreover, because you are permitted to journey to whichever among the Buddha-Lands you wish, it is exceptional; and it is exceptional because Buddhahood is swifter that in other Lands. Because there is nowhere another Land that is closer to being attained than Sukhavati, which is endowed with the aforementioned and other qualities beyond all conception, it is exceedingly important that you strive in prayer for birth in Sukhavati.”
Mind if I may see the source containing this quote, please? Thanks! :anjali:
GrapeLover
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Re: Enlightenment in a Pure Land

Post by GrapeLover »

Tenma wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:02 am Mind if I may see the source containing this quote, please? Thanks! :anjali:
It’s cited in the book “Approaching the Land of Bliss” in a section by Matthew Kapstein, but the footnote citing the source isn’t available in the online preview.
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Aryjna
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Re: Enlightenment in a Pure Land

Post by Aryjna »

GrapeLover wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:18 am
Tenma wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:02 am Mind if I may see the source containing this quote, please? Thanks! :anjali:
It’s cited in the book “Approaching the Land of Bliss” in a section by Matthew Kapstein, but the footnote citing the source isn’t available in the online preview.
Various Dzogchen/Mahamudra masters suggest Sukhavati practice, phowa, etc., so the argument about no tantra because of missing sexual organs sounds weird, and has not really been supported so far. Also, as far as I know, it is not mentioned that beings in Sukhavati do not have sexual organs, just that there are no females, other than offering devis (again the devis part is from Karma Chagme's aspiration). If anything, since sexual organs are one of the marks of a Buddha, and beings in Sukhavati have different marks (or maybe develop them over time?), the reasonable thing is that they have sexual organs.

However, this quote by Machig Labdron sounds a bit extreme, that it is not actually possible in practice to go to any other field for humans. It would be good to have a specific text name.
Charlie123
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Re: Enlightenment in a Pure Land

Post by Charlie123 »

Malcolm wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 5:19 pm
Zhen Li wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:36 am
The Sahāloka was not established by vows. Not every land is the result of compassionate means. I think you are tending to read into my words claims that I did not make.
The Buddha said, “Śāriputra, this buddhafield is always thus pure, but the Tathāgata makes it appear to be spoiled by many faults, in order to bring about the maturity of inferior living beings. For example, Śāriputra, the gods of the Trayastriṃśa heaven all take their food from a single precious vessel, yet the nectar that nourishes each one differs according to the differences of the merits each has accumulated. Just so, Śāriputra, living beings born in the same buddhafield see the splendor of the virtues of the buddhafields of the buddhas according to their own degrees of purity.”
https://read.84000.co/translation/toh17 ... 060-005-92

This is profound.
GrapeLover
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Re: Enlightenment in a Pure Land

Post by GrapeLover »

Aryjna wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:35 am
GrapeLover wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:18 am
Tenma wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:02 am Mind if I may see the source containing this quote, please? Thanks! :anjali:
It’s cited in the book “Approaching the Land of Bliss” in a section by Matthew Kapstein, but the footnote citing the source isn’t available in the online preview.
Various Dzogchen/Mahamudra masters suggest Sukhavati practice, phowa, etc., so the argument about no tantra because of missing sexual organs sounds weird, and has not really been supported so far. Also, as far as I know, it is not mentioned that beings in Sukhavati do not have sexual organs, just that there are no females, other than offering devis (again the devis part is from Karma Chagme's aspiration). If anything, since sexual organs are one of the marks of a Buddha, and beings in Sukhavati have different marks (or maybe develop them over time?), the reasonable thing is that they have sexual organs.

However, this quote by Machig Labdron sounds a bit extreme, that it is not actually possible in practice to go to any other field for humans. It would be good to have a specific text name.
Edit: the source is footnote 27 of the “Pure Land Buddhism in Tibet” essay here: https://www.academia.edu/27080199/Pure_ ... m_in_Tibet

I agree a specific text would be good, but why would it be easy to take birth in a pure Buddhafield? The quote doesn’t claim that it’s impossible; just that it takes a lot of good practice and dedication to get into a “trifling” field by your own merit. It’s specifically Amitabha’s vows that “cover the cost” of being born in his land even if your practice isn’t amazing. Without similar aspirations by other Buddhas, it seems to make sense that it would require a lot of exertion.

The Vimalakirti Sutra states:
Vimalakīrti replied, “After he transmigrates at death away from this Sahā universe, a bodhisattva must have eight qualities to reach a pure buddhafield safe and sound. What are the eight? He must resolve to himself: ‘I must benefit all living beings, without seeking even the slightest benefit for myself. I must bear all the miseries of all living beings and give all my accumulated roots of virtue to all living beings. I must have no resentment toward any living being. I must rejoice in all bodhisattvas as if they were the Teacher. I must not neglect any teachings, whether or not I have heard them before. I must control my mind, without coveting the gains of others, and without taking pride in gains of my own. I must examine my own faults and not blame others for their faults. I must take pleasure in being consciously aware and must truly undertake all virtues.’
“If a bodhisattva has these eight qualities, when he transmigrates at death away from the Sahā universe, he will go safe and sound to a pure buddhafield.”
Which isn’t really easy at all to truly carry out, I’d say.
Last edited by GrapeLover on Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Aryjna
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Re: Enlightenment in a Pure Land

Post by Aryjna »

GrapeLover wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:15 am
Aryjna wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:35 am
GrapeLover wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:18 am

It’s cited in the book “Approaching the Land of Bliss” in a section by Matthew Kapstein, but the footnote citing the source isn’t available in the online preview.
Various Dzogchen/Mahamudra masters suggest Sukhavati practice, phowa, etc., so the argument about no tantra because of missing sexual organs sounds weird, and has not really been supported so far. Also, as far as I know, it is not mentioned that beings in Sukhavati do not have sexual organs, just that there are no females, other than offering devis (again the devis part is from Karma Chagme's aspiration). If anything, since sexual organs are one of the marks of a Buddha, and beings in Sukhavati have different marks (or maybe develop them over time?), the reasonable thing is that they have sexual organs.

However, this quote by Machig Labdron sounds a bit extreme, that it is not actually possible in practice to goara. to any other field for humans. It would be good to have a specific text name.
I agree a specific text would be good, but why would it be easy to take birth in a pure Buddhafield? The quote doesn’t claim that it’s impossible; just that it takes a lot of good practice and dedication to get into a “trifling” field by your own merit. It’s specifically Amitabha’s vows that “cover the cost” of being born in his land even if your practice isn’t amazing. Without similar aspirations by other Buddhas, it seems to make sense that it would require a lot of exertion.

The Vimalakirti Sutra states:
Vimalakīrti replied, “After he transmigrates at death away from this Sahā universe, a bodhisattva must have eight qualities to reach a pure buddhafield safe and sound. What are the eight? He must resolve to himself: ‘I must benefit all living beings, without seeking even the slightest benefit for myself. I must bear all the miseries of all living beings and give all my accumulated roots of virtue to all living beings. I must have no resentment toward any living being. I must rejoice in all bodhisattvas as if they were the Teacher. I must not neglect any teachings, whether or not I have heard them before. I must control my mind, without coveting the gains of others, and without taking pride in gains of my own. I must examine my own faults and not blame others for their faults. I must take pleasure in being consciously aware and must truly undertake all virtues.’
“If a bodhisattva has these eight qualities, when he transmigrates at death away from the Sahā universe, he will go safe and sound to a pure buddhafield.”
Which isn’t really easy at all to truly carry out, I’d say.
What I have in mind is mostly Zangdokpalri, which seems to be a popular goal in some Tibetan schools, and does not seem to be considered too difficult to get into. There are also sub-realms of Sukhavati?, like the Potala of Avalokiteshvara and/or Tara. These seem to be considered accessible, but I have not come across any text that really discusses them, beyond minor references, or accounts from delogs. It would be interesting to learn more about this topic, but it seems unlikely. It has been brought up several times on dharmawheel over time and I don't recall anything particularly new, or a text suggestion, to have ever been contributed.
GrapeLover
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Re: Enlightenment in a Pure Land

Post by GrapeLover »

Aryjna wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:41 am
GrapeLover wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:15 am
Aryjna wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:35 am
Various Dzogchen/Mahamudra masters suggest Sukhavati practice, phowa, etc., so the argument about no tantra because of missing sexual organs sounds weird, and has not really been supported so far. Also, as far as I know, it is not mentioned that beings in Sukhavati do not have sexual organs, just that there are no females, other than offering devis (again the devis part is from Karma Chagme's aspiration). If anything, since sexual organs are one of the marks of a Buddha, and beings in Sukhavati have different marks (or maybe develop them over time?), the reasonable thing is that they have sexual organs.

However, this quote by Machig Labdron sounds a bit extreme, that it is not actually possible in practice to goara. to any other field for humans. It would be good to have a specific text name.
I agree a specific text would be good, but why would it be easy to take birth in a pure Buddhafield? The quote doesn’t claim that it’s impossible; just that it takes a lot of good practice and dedication to get into a “trifling” field by your own merit. It’s specifically Amitabha’s vows that “cover the cost” of being born in his land even if your practice isn’t amazing. Without similar aspirations by other Buddhas, it seems to make sense that it would require a lot of exertion.

The Vimalakirti Sutra states:
Vimalakīrti replied, “After he transmigrates at death away from this Sahā universe, a bodhisattva must have eight qualities to reach a pure buddhafield safe and sound. What are the eight? He must resolve to himself: ‘I must benefit all living beings, without seeking even the slightest benefit for myself. I must bear all the miseries of all living beings and give all my accumulated roots of virtue to all living beings. I must have no resentment toward any living being. I must rejoice in all bodhisattvas as if they were the Teacher. I must not neglect any teachings, whether or not I have heard them before. I must control my mind, without coveting the gains of others, and without taking pride in gains of my own. I must examine my own faults and not blame others for their faults. I must take pleasure in being consciously aware and must truly undertake all virtues.’
“If a bodhisattva has these eight qualities, when he transmigrates at death away from the Sahā universe, he will go safe and sound to a pure buddhafield.”
Which isn’t really easy at all to truly carry out, I’d say.
What I have in mind is mostly Zangdokpalri, which seems to be a popular goal in some Tibetan schools, and does not seem to be considered too difficult to get into. There are also sub-realms of Sukhavati?, like the Potala of Avalokiteshvara and/or Tara. These seem to be considered accessible, but I have not come across any text that really discusses them, beyond minor references, or accounts from delogs. It would be interesting to learn more about this topic, but it seems unlikely. It has been brought up several times on dharmawheel over time and I don't recall anything particularly new, or a text suggestion, to have ever been contributed.
Yes, you’re quite right! I managed to find the source by the way—it’s footnote 27 of the “Pure Land Buddhism in Tibet” essay here: https://www.academia.edu/27080199/Pure_ ... m_in_Tibet

Footnote 28 cites Karma Chakme taking the quote as authoritative.
Last edited by GrapeLover on Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Zhen Li
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Re: Enlightenment in a Pure Land

Post by Zhen Li »

Malcolm wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 5:19 pm Every buddhafield is established through the aspiration of the bodhisattvas who then appear there as buddhas. Some are "pure," some are not. But even here, the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa chapter on buddhafields both establishes this point and that also the Sahāloka is actually a pure buddhafield generated out of the aspiration of the Bodhisattva:
This is not about praṇidhāna, which was my point. This is about the purity of the mind—this is a method and a different dharma-door (one concerned with mind purification) to that of Pure Land birth. Confusing different dharma-doors is what leads to modern heresies such as the attainment of birth in your present mind here and now.
Malcolm wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 5:19 pm No, the Tibetan is also very clear, prasannacittā is "sems rab tu dang ba," and carries connotations faith, clarity, and being undisturbed; "dang ba" is a synonym is "gsal ba," as demonstrated in the phrase, "tshig gsal," "prasannapāda," and as shown in the 9th century translator lexicon, the Mahāvyutpati, which gives "dang ba ; dang ba 'm gsal ba ; gsal ba - prasannaḥ (mvyut_7295)."

The reason why this reading is preferable to simply having a mind of faith, "dad mos kyi sems" is that one must be clear minded at the time of death in order to have this experience, otherwise, arguably, the sūtra would had prāsadacitta. Also, Edgerton, while useful, has limits since there really is no such thing as BHS.
If you intend to translate Buddhist texts without taking into account middle-Indic forms, you're not going to get very far—you'll realise soon that BHS is very real, but it's not a distinct language. Moreover, translating Sanskrit using Tibetan references needs to be taken with a grain of salt—there's good correspondence but not necessarily critical philology. These texts were mostly put into Sanskrit from middle-Indic, so we need to consider the BHS forms first. Check out pasannacitta in the PTS dictionary as well, Rhys-Davids gives "a heart full of grace, settled in faith."

The clear mind at time of death aspect is not relevant to the 18th vow because the death elements were more originally part of the 19th vow, just as elements of the 18th slipped into the 19th, such as the 10 thoughts. Even so, the death elements only appear towards the end of the later (and Tibetan) versions of the vow—the remembrance, even in those versions, is not at the time of death, but the appearance of the Buddha is at the time of death as a result of the remembrance (which may happen at any point in life). The earlier form of the 18th vow Nanjio reconstructs is as follows:
||18||sacen me bhagavan bodhiprāptasya ye sattveṣu anyeṣu lokadhātuṣu mama nāmadheyaṃ śrutvā tatra buddhakṣetre cittaṃ prerayeyur upapattaye prasannacittā mām anusmareyus te tatra buddhakṣetre nopapadyerann aṃtaśo daśabhiś cittotpādaparivartaiḥ sthāpayitvânaṃtaryakāriṇaḥ saddharmapratikṣepāvaraṇakṛtāṃś ca sattvān mā tāvad aham anuttarāṃ samyaksaṃbodhim abhisaṃbuddhyeyaṃ||

[Fulfilment section, not reconstructed]
tatkasya hetoḥ| ye kecitsattvās tasya bhagavato 'mitābhasya nāmadheyaṃ śṛṇvanti śrutvā câṃtaśa ekacittotpādam apy adhyāśayena prasādasahagatena cittam utpādayanti te sarve 'vaivartikatāyāṃ saṃtyanuttarāyāḥ samyaksaṃbodheḥ ||26||
Translated:
If, O Bhagavān, when I have attained awakening, those beings in other world systems who, having heard my Name, should give rise to the thought of being born in that buddha-land, possessing minds of faith, and who should recall me, should not be born in in that buddha-land, even down to those with ten repetitions of the thought, with the exception of beings who are performers of [actions] with immediate [retribution, i.e. the five grave sins], and those who do obstruction and slander of the True Dharma, then may I not fully awaken to the highest and perfect full awakening.
...
Fulfilment: Why is that? Whatever beings hear the name of that Bhagavān Amitābha, and who, having heard it, give rise to a mind endowed with faith and aspiration, even down to one arising of thought, all those are irreversible in regards to highest and perfect full awakening.

The fulfilment also makes clear that a moment of death is not required for attainment of irreversibility now (note the present tense santi), if you give rise to the one thought endowed with faith and aspiration. Assurance of birth and establishment on the rank of the irreversible through the 18th vow comes from the mind of faith, and not from recitation or merits.
Malcolm wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 5:19 pm To lack doubt is to be clear. The use of dang ba in Tibetan is very precise, dang ba'i dad pa for example means "clear faith."
Then it is a wonder why you were ever objecting to my translations. But, in fact, there can be an issue, because clarity can just imply a lack of interfering thoughts. Your interpretations began to sound a lot like requiring the individual to have a clear mind at death without interfering thoughts (not in any version of the vow)—which is of course a lot harder for most people, and would defeat the purpose of the vow being the "easy practice."
Malcolm wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 5:19 pm I already granted that śruta can be both hear and say.
Only in the causative (e.g. śrāvyate) could this work. In that case the phrasing would be "nāmadheyaṃ śrāvayitvā." The recitation in Chinese interpretations is taken to correspond to the buddhānusmṛti aspect though, so hearing is not taken, even in Chinese, to refer to utterances. The hearing is important in my understanding, because you have to hear about Amitābha from a kalyāṇamitra in order to know that his land is a place to which you can aspire to go.

As I mentioned, the reason verbal recitation is emphasised in the Pure Land sects (other than Jōdo Shinshū) is that it is easier for beings to practice than thinking: since they will wonder what about the Buddha they should think of. Recitation will necessarily be accompanied by thought, and there is also the advantage that the name embodies the qualities of the Buddha—infinite light and life.

The recitation of the name, scripturally, is based on the Pratyutpannasamādhisūtra, which mentions reciting Amitābha's name as a method of buddhānusmṛti, and the Amitāyurdhyānasūtra, which states that hearing his name eradicates karma, and that to bear the words of the sūtra well, i.e. the method of birth, means to "hold fast to the Name of the Buddha Amitāyus."

I do not place particular importance upon verbal recitation or mental recollection. Both are valid, but I personally would say that the 18th vow originally did not involve verbal recitation of the name, but did and does involve hearing it and then recalling it (not necessarily with verbal utterance). The buddhānusmṛti part is easily expressed either in thought or verbal utterance. I think part of it is also the "joy" that the sūtra emphasises for beings who will be born there—speaking the name is a kind of spontaneous utterance of joy for beings who are irreversible.
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Re: Enlightenment in a Pure Land

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GrapeLover wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:44 am Yes, you’re quite right! I managed to find the source by the way—it’s footnote 27 of the “Pure Land Buddhism in Tibet” essay here: https://www.academia.edu/27080199/Pure_ ... m_in_Tibet
Thanks, this paper looks interesting. It mentions, after that part, that Karma Chagme quotes this particular passage several times, which is not surprising I suppose. This also takes us back to the contradiction with Lama Yeshe's statement.
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Re: Enlightenment in a Pure Land

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Aside from the vivid descriptions of various pure lands are there any delog revelation in relation to the neccessary qualities for entering into them?
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Re: Enlightenment in a Pure Land

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AmidaB wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:15 am Aside from the vivid descriptions of various pure lands are there any delog revelation in relation to the neccessary qualities for entering into them?
There are mentions here and there, but these are not necessarily definitive statements I suppose.

For example. from Dawa Drolma's "Delog":

From the intro by Chagdud Tulku:
After death, even as karmic forces propel one’s consciousness to rebirth in cyclic existence, if one has previously practiced well enough to have the presence of mind to invoke one’s meditational deity with faith, one is instantaneously reborn in that deity’s pure realm.
There are various mentions in parts of the main text:
Your name when you were little was Yudra Nyingpo; what you are called now is not clear to me, but you have committed both virtuous and harmful actions in this lifetime. While it is difficult not to perform such a mixture of actions as an ordinary mortal in cyclic existence, the important thing is that you have for once attained a human birth. The time is ripe to realize the potential of this, so recite the six-syllable mantra and do not fail to go into retreat occasionally. Then without doubt you will be reborn on the Mountain of Glory on Chamara immediately upon passing from this life.’”
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Re: Enlightenment in a Pure Land

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Aryjna wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:03 am
AmidaB wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:15 am Aside from the vivid descriptions of various pure lands are there any delog revelation in relation to the neccessary qualities for entering into them?
There are mentions here and there, but these are not necessarily definitive statements I suppose.

For example. from Dawa Drolma's "Delog":

From the intro by Chagdud Tulku:
After death, even as karmic forces propel one’s consciousness to rebirth in cyclic existence, if one has previously practiced well enough to have the presence of mind to invoke one’s meditational deity with faith, one is instantaneously reborn in that deity’s pure realm.
There are various mentions in parts of the main text:
Your name when you were little was Yudra Nyingpo; what you are called now is not clear to me, but you have committed both virtuous and harmful actions in this lifetime. While it is difficult not to perform such a mixture of actions as an ordinary mortal in cyclic existence, the important thing is that you have for once attained a human birth. The time is ripe to realize the potential of this, so recite the six-syllable mantra and do not fail to go into retreat occasionally. Then without doubt you will be reborn on the Mountain of Glory on Chamara immediately upon passing from this life.’”
Thanks, very interesting. Any clue why the 'OM MANI PADME HUM' is better facilitator to Guru Rinpoche's pure land than his own mantra?
Anyway: 'OM A HUM VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM' :thumbsup:
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Re: Enlightenment in a Pure Land

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Aryjna wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:35 am
GrapeLover wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:18 am
Tenma wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:02 am Mind if I may see the source containing this quote, please? Thanks! :anjali:
It’s cited in the book “Approaching the Land of Bliss” in a section by Matthew Kapstein, but the footnote citing the source isn’t available in the online preview.
Various Dzogchen/Mahamudra masters suggest Sukhavati practice, phowa, etc., so the argument about no tantra because of missing sexual organs sounds weird, and has not really been supported so far. Also, as far as I know, it is not mentioned that beings in Sukhavati do not have sexual organs, just that there are no females, other than offering devis (again the devis part is from Karma Chagme's aspiration). If anything, since sexual organs are one of the marks of a Buddha, and beings in Sukhavati have different marks (or maybe develop them over time?), the reasonable thing is that they have sexual organs.

However, this quote by Machig Labdron sounds a bit extreme, that it is not actually possible in practice to go to any other field for humans. It would be good to have a specific text name.
There is only apparition birth there, and no human women, And, there is in fact no Vajrayana practice in this buddhafield, as opposed to say, Zandok Palri.

There is a Dzogchen understanding of the buddhafields, but it is quite different than Chagmey’s aspiration.
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Re: Enlightenment in a Pure Land

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AmidaB wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:25 pm Thanks, very interesting. Any clue why the 'OM MANI PADME HUM' is better facilitator to Guru Rinpoche's pure land than his own mantra?
Anyway: 'OM A HUM VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM' :thumbsup:
It is often considered that Amitabha, Avalokiteshvara, and Padmasambhava are the three kayas, so not different, in that sense it is not strange that it is equally effective to use any of their practices.
Malcolm wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:40 pm There only apparition birth there, and no human women, And, there is in fact no Vajrayana practice in this buddhafield, as opposed to say, Zandok Palri.

There is a Dzogchen understanding of the buddhafields, but it is quite different than Chagmey’s aspiration.
What I find a bit difficult is to reconcile the fact that many Vajrayana masters (apparently including Machig Labdron), suggest going there, if it is really the case that you are cut off from Vajrayana.

Using "reason", it is not difficult to reconcile whatever possible defects, for example you can say that since you can easily travel to other buddhafields at will from Sukhavati, then you can practice tantra there, and as such there is no limitation. However, putting things together using reasoning in this way is not really the same as having an authoritative explanation on the matter.
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Re: Enlightenment in a Pure Land

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Aryjna wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:51 pm What I find a bit difficult is to reconcile the fact that many Vajrayana masters (apparently including Machig Labdron), suggest going there, if it is really the case that you are cut off from Vajrayana.
You don’t need it in Sukhavati.
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Re: Enlightenment in a Pure Land

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Malcolm wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 1:26 pm
Aryjna wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:51 pm What I find a bit difficult is to reconcile the fact that many Vajrayana masters (apparently including Machig Labdron), suggest going there, if it is really the case that you are cut off from Vajrayana.
You don’t need it in Sukhavati.
I suppose so. It seems a bit strange though, when they could suggest Zangdokpalri instead.
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