Amida Looking Back

Pictures of revered teachers, places, rupas, temples, shrine rooms etc. that bring inspiration to our members. Pilgrimage advice etc.
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laic
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Amida Looking Back

Post by laic »

Being new here I suspect that somewhere this representation of Amida has been posted before. Anyway, here it is again.

It is one of my favorites, Amida Looking Back. It encompasses the compassion of Amida (Reality-as-is) Amida is shown, I think with the mudras of "teaching" and "fear not" (maybe others could confirm or correct this) yet Amida is shown looking back her first concern being for those who cannot - or will not - come for any reason.

Image

In part, I think this points towards the egalitarian nature of Pure Land Buddhism, with Shinran once saying:- "Amida saves even the good person; how much more so the evil person." Which makes some people think he said it the wrong way around!

My mind drifting further, there is the view of the zen master Dogen when reflecting upon a well known story concerning Bodhidharma, of Bodhidharma speaking of four novices, who in turn grasped the skin, flesh, bones, and marrow of his teaching. Normally it is interpreted to suggest different "levels" of insight/attainment yet apparently Dogen did not see it that way. There is a long discussion of this in "Eihei Dogen:Mystical Realist" by Hee-Jin Kim, with this at the end...

"In this respect, every person is the second ancestor—the successor to Bodhidharma. However lowly one’s symbols and practices are as in, say, a peasant’s religion, one is nevertheless entitled to enlightenment if and when one uses them authentically. Here is the egalitarian basis for the claim that Dōgen’s religion is a religion of the people"

But anyway, whatever, I love the statue. Many years ago I made a bookmark out of the image and still use it.
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conebeckham
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Re: Amida Looking Back

Post by conebeckham »

Do you know the story of the statue found and Eikando Zenrinji temple in Kyoto?
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")
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laic
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Re: Amida Looking Back

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conebeckham wrote: Mon Sep 26, 2022 6:04 pm Do you know the story of the statue found and Eikando Zenrinji temple in Kyoto?
Hi, I only knew that the statue is to be found at the temple you cite. Taking your words I did a bit of googling and found the story that you must be referring to....

There is a legend. In old days, an old man offered an image of Amitabha to the Emperor Court and it had been worshiped by people in the Court. At the opening ceremony of Todai-ji, Nara, the image was handed over to Todai-ji from the Emperor Court. The image had been treasured in a storehouse. Eikan had an opportunity to worship the image and heard an appeal coming from the deep heart of the image. Eikan deplored that the image was treasured, because he believed firmly that the original vow of the image was the salvation of all sentient beings. Eikan's grief was caught by the ex-emperor Shirakawa and he ordered Eikan to retain the image and carry out the services. In later years, Eikan resigned from the head of stewards of Todai-ji and walked to Kyoto with the image carrying on his back. Near Kibata in Kyoto, monks of Todai-ji chased Eikan and tried to take the image back, but they had to give up it because it held fast on the back of Eikan.

In the early morning on February 15, 1082, Eikan was 50 years old and was walking around the platform of the image, praising Nenbutsu (Nam-Amida-butsu) as an ordinary religious service in a temple, where the air was freezing cold. All of a sudden, the image walked down from the platform and begun to lead Eikan. Eikan was so astonished that he could not keep walking. At the moment, the image looked back over its shoulder and said. "Eikan! Follow me." Eikan saw the holy and merciful pose of the image and desired it to keep the merciful pose for future generations. This is a legend why Mikaeri Amida is looking back.



I never knew of this legend. Thank you.
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conebeckham
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Re: Amida Looking Back

Post by conebeckham »

My pleasure. I was fortunate to visit and see the statue, and Malcolm pointed me in the direction of it......not so easy to find, and I confess I drove my wife and daughter a bit crazy with my search!
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")
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laic
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Re: Amida Looking Back

Post by laic »

conebeckham wrote: Mon Sep 26, 2022 10:11 pm My pleasure. I was fortunate to visit and see the statue, and Malcolm pointed me in the direction of it......not so easy to find, and I confess I drove my wife and daughter a bit crazy with my search!
Fortunate indeed!

I know of a company, found online, who produce small replicas, but at a very high price. Given my rather limited budget, I'll have to be satisfied with my bookmark!

Thank you

:smile:
Protecting oneself one protects others
Protecting others one protects oneself
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