Chanting the name of a god?

Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby Illuminaughty » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:19 pm

Sure, but how is chanting Amitabha Buddha more meritous than chanting coca-cola?


Because of Amida's vow/s (see this Sutra*). His vow was to save all classes of people including the most evil and those incapable of attaining high meditative states, or even fulfilling the moral requirements, if they call on his name in faith. In Shin buddhism this faith itself is also considered a gift from Amida who is Buddha Nature.

"Tathagata is none other than nirvana;
Nirvana is called Buddha-nature.
Beyond our ability to attain it in the state of foolish beings.
We will realize it on reaching the Pure Land of peace."
-Shinran

If the goal is simply to reach a concentrated state by repeating a word over and over again, why would one word have any more merit than another?


I believe that is one of the goals in the self power practice of nembutsu. Those saved by the vow through true entrusting (shinjin) simply say the name in thanksgiving and joy. If states of samadhi or whatnot happen to come about that's nice too but they don't cling to them nor do they aim at attaining them. The only thing necessary is the Other Power of Amida.

It's no so much a special practice as it is the result of shinjin / true entrusting :

"In reflecting on the great ocean of shinjin, I realize that there is no discrimination between noble and humble or black-robed monks and white-clothed laity, no differentiation between man and women, old and young. The amount of evil one has committed is not considered; the duration of any performance of religious practices is of no concern. It is a matter of neither practice nor good acts, neither sudden attainment nor gradual attainment, neither meditative practice practice or non-meditative practice, neither right contemplation nor wrong contemplation, neither right thought nor no thought, neither daily life nor the moment of death, neither many calling nor once calling. It is simply shinjin that is inconceivable, inexplicable, and indescribable. It is like medicine that eradicates all poisons. The medicine of the Tathagatas Vow destroys the poisons of our wisdom and foolishness."
-Shinran

Evil people are saved by the vow:

"Even the good person attains birth in the Buddha Land, how much more so the evil person. But the people of the world constantly say, `Even the evil person attains birth how much more so the good person.' Although this appears to be sound at first glance, it goes against the will of the Primal Vow of Other Power. The reason is that since the person of self-power, being conscious of doing good, lacks the thought of entrusting himself completely to Other Power, he is not the focus of the Primal Vow of Amida. But when he turns over self-power and entrusts himself to Other Power, he attains birth in the land of true fulfillment."
-Shinarn

Overview of Shin:
http://www.bffct.net/id58.html

* Read Sutra here:
http://members.tripod.com/chua_hai_duc/ ... utra_1.htm
Illuminaughty
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:41 pm

Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby MattyNottwo » Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:16 pm

I heard an Indian story about a man who wanted to learn to meditate, so he went to a famous teacher for instruction.
The teacher asked, "what do you love?" The man said," I love my cows and bulls." So the teacher told him to go to
a cave and recite, "I am a bull" (in sanskrit of course.) A year later, the teacher went to check on him as he had not
heard from the student. So, he went to the cave and asked him to come out, and the student said, "I can't, my horns
won't fit through the door!" Then the teacher told him to change his meditation to Sivoham (I am Shiva.) The student
then had realization. I guess this is a kind of neurolinguistic programming, but I think it hints at why mantras and
names work in different ways. And, why if you meditate on coca-cola, or money,money,money, then that is what
you will get. I think meditating on bowing down to the compassion of Amitabha constantly, is what a person gets, so
to speak. Just my opinion anyway. Maybe the breakthrough to "other-power" though is that there is no longer a
"me" who is doing it, but that it is doing "me."
MattyNottwo
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:43 pm

Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby lowlydog » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:09 pm

Illuminaughty wrote:
Sure, but how is chanting Amitabha Buddha more meritous than chanting coca-cola?


Because of Amida's vow/s (see this Sutra*). His vow was to save all classes of people including the most evil and those incapable of attaining high meditative states, or even fulfilling the moral requirements, if they call on his name in faith. In Shin buddhism this faith itself is also considered a gift from Amida who is Buddha Nature.

"Tathagata is none other than nirvana;
Nirvana is called Buddha-nature.
Beyond our ability to attain it in the state of foolish beings.
We will realize it on reaching the Pure Land of peace."
-Shinran

If the goal is simply to reach a concentrated state by repeating a word over and over again, why would one word have any more merit than another?


I believe that is one of the goals in the self power practice of nembutsu. Those saved by the vow through true entrusting (shinjin) simply say the name in thanksgiving and joy. If states of samadhi or whatnot happen to come about that's nice too but they don't cling to them nor do they aim at attaining them. The only thing necessary is the Other Power of Amida.

It's no so much a special practice as it is the result of shinjin / true entrusting :

"In reflecting on the great ocean of shinjin, I realize that there is no discrimination between noble and humble or black-robed monks and white-clothed laity, no differentiation between man and women, old and young. The amount of evil one has committed is not considered; the duration of any performance of religious practices is of no concern. It is a matter of neither practice nor good acts, neither sudden attainment nor gradual attainment, neither meditative practice practice or non-meditative practice, neither right contemplation nor wrong contemplation, neither right thought nor no thought, neither daily life nor the moment of death, neither many calling nor once calling. It is simply shinjin that is inconceivable, inexplicable, and indescribable. It is like medicine that eradicates all poisons. The medicine of the Tathagatas Vow destroys the poisons of our wisdom and foolishness."
-Shinran

Evil people are saved by the vow:

"Even the good person attains birth in the Buddha Land, how much more so the evil person. But the people of the world constantly say, `Even the evil person attains birth how much more so the good person.' Although this appears to be sound at first glance, it goes against the will of the Primal Vow of Other Power. The reason is that since the person of self-power, being conscious of doing good, lacks the thought of entrusting himself completely to Other Power, he is not the focus of the Primal Vow of Amida. But when he turns over self-power and entrusts himself to Other Power, he attains birth in the land of true fulfillment."
-Shinarn

Overview of Shin:
http://www.bffct.net/id58.html

* Read Sutra here:
http://members.tripod.com/chua_hai_duc/ ... utra_1.htm


I think we understand the buddhas teachings in a very different way.
I don't know how to reply to this.
This seems very faith orientated and religious.
lowlydog
 
Posts: 371
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:50 pm

Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby lowlydog » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:23 pm

MattyNottwo wrote:I heard an Indian story about a man who wanted to learn to meditate, so he went to a famous teacher for instruction.
The teacher asked, "what do you love?" The man said," I love my cows and bulls." So the teacher told him to go to
a cave and recite, "I am a bull" (in sanskrit of course.) A year later, the teacher went to check on him as he had not
heard from the student. So, he went to the cave and asked him to come out, and the student said, "I can't, my horns
won't fit through the door!" Then the teacher told him to change his meditation to Sivoham (I am Shiva.) The student
then had realization. I guess this is a kind of neurolinguistic programming, but I think it hints at why mantras and
names work in different ways. And, why if you meditate on coca-cola, or money,money,money, then that is what
you will get. I think meditating on bowing down to the compassion of Amitabha constantly, is what a person gets, so
to speak. Just my opinion anyway. Maybe the breakthrough to "other-power" though is that there is no longer a
"me" who is doing it, but that it is doing "me."


Chanting I am a bull or money money money or buddha or buddho or coca cola or ohm or um or ding or dong or whatever can have the effect of concentrating the mind there can even be some health benefits to this but you will only be practicing at the conscious level of mind and when you stop chanting and the benefits of your concentrated mind wear off you will react exactly the same way you have in the past. Therefore people must chant constantly to remain in these samadhi states, no liberation has occured or can occur.

You must investigate the sub-conscious mind to gain wisdom and only wisdom can liberate one from suffering.

Chanting existed before the buddha and this was not his discovery that led to the end of suffering.

Now if you take this concentrated mind and direct its attention into the body, then this is a different story. :smile:
lowlydog
 
Posts: 371
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:50 pm

Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby sinweiy » Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:46 am

lowlydog wrote:Chanting I am a bull or money money money or buddha or buddho or coca cola or ohm or um or ding or dong or whatever can have the effect of concentrating the mind there can even be some health benefits to this ...


yes, there's effect of concentrating. though for mantras, the sound in a particular manner in chanting them Correctly does have certain effect, be it health benefits or performing miracles, from what i heard. some masters from the past (or present) can really perform health benefits or miracles using mantra. it's sort of like Chi gong, where these invisible (sound) energy running/vibrating through the body parts/organs helping to cure certain illness.
_/\_
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: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby plwk » Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:12 am

My pinch of salt on the matter...
Sure, but how is chanting Amitabha Buddha more meritous than chanting coca-cola?
Firstly, what is 'Amitabha'?
http://www.lapislazulitexts.com/T12_0366.html
“Śāriputra, what do you think? For what reason is this buddha called Amitābha?
Śāriputra, the radiance of this buddha is immeasurable, illuminating the lands of the ten directions without obstruction, and for this reason he is called Amitābha.
Moreover, Śāriputra, the lifespan of this buddha extends for immeasurable, limitless eons, and for this reason he is also called Amitāyus.
Śāriputra, since Amitābha Buddha attained buddhahood, ten eons have passed.
Moreover, Śāriputra, this buddha has innumerable, limitless śrāvaka disciples, all arhats with unfathomable true abilities and knowledge.
The many bodhisattvas are also such as this.
Śāriputra, this buddha-land is accomplished thusly, adorned with these merits.
Immeasurable, limitless light/radiance, immeasurable, limitless life in Buddha Dharma...what do all these mean? Some ideas below...
http://www.abuddhistperspective.org/abu ... uddha.html
The cultivation method that we practice is mindfully reciting the name of Amitabha Buddha.
What is the meaning of Amitabha Buddha? Amitabha means infinite, and Buddha means wisdom and awakening.
Therefore, Amitabha Buddha means infinite wisdom and infinite awakening. This is a good thought.
Infinite wisdom and awakening is Buddha-nature. In the case of phenomena, it is Dharma-nature.
When we chant Amitabha Buddha, we are chanting Dharma-nature. Wisdom and awakening reside in everything in the universe.
Wisdom and awakening are innate in everything in the universe. Wisdom and awakening pervades the whole universe.
This Dharma door of mindfully reciting the Buddha-name is absolutely perfect. This is the state described in the Avatamsaka Sutra.
“Mindfully chanting ‘Amituofo’ encompasses the Threefold Learning, the three kinds of wisdom, and all other methods.” This method is absolutely perfect.
http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Amitabha
Amitabha "represents our pure nature and symbolizes the transmutation of desire, the predominant emotion of the human realm.
More intrinsically, Amitabha is the limitless, luminous nature of our mind."
You want more? That friend, is your homework...

Secondly, what is merit (and virtue) in Buddha Dharma?
a. Let's take a look at one definition... as what the Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng says on these...
http://cttbusa.org/6patriarch/6patriarch8.asp
“Seeing your own nature is merit, and equanimity is virtue.
To be unobstructed in every thought, constantly seeing the true, real, wonderful function of your original nature is called merit and virtue.”
“Inner humility is merit and the outer practice of reverence is virtue.
Your self-nature establishing the ten thousand dharmas is merit and the mind-substance separate from thought is virtue.
Not being separate from the self-nature is merit, and the correct use of the undefiled (self-nature) is virtue.
If you seek the merit and virtue of the Dharma body, simply act according to these principles, for this is true merit and virtue.”
Does not a Buddha like Amitabha or any other Buddhas for that matter embody all of the qualities above? And as stated earlier in my initial reply to the OP, what is the ultimate purpose of the Pure Land practice of buddhānusmṛti and in this case, the focus on Amitabha Buddha? A path and fruit that focuses on the Bodhisattva Way leading to Nirvana & Buddhahood.

b. In Mahayana teaching, have you heard or read about the pañcamārga or Five Paths analysis?
The first of these being the sambhāramārga or the path of accumulation or in some translations, 'the path of accumulation of merits and virtues'? Wanna know more? Again, another homework for you. And the importance of this 'accumulation' in Pure Land teaching, specifically with regards to Amitabha Buddha & the Sukhavati?
http://www.drba.org/dharma/amitabhasutra.asp
Shariputra, those living beings who hear of this should vow: I wish to be born in that country. And why?
Because those who are born there assemble in one place with people whose goodness is unsurpassed.
Shariputra, if one has few good roots, blessings, and virtues, one cannot be born in that Land.
http://buddhistfaith.tripod.com/purelan ... s/id3.html
Without a stock of goodness from past lives,
One cannot hear this Sutra;
But those who have strictly observed the precepts
Can hear the right Dharma.
http://buddhistfaith.tripod.com/purelan ... s/id5.html
Then the World-Honored One said to Vaidehi,
"Do you know that Amitayus is not far away? Fix your thoughts upon and contemplate that Buddha-land, then you will accomplish the pure acts. I shall describe it to you in detail with various illustrations, so that all ordinary people in the future who wish to practice the pure karma may also be born in that Western Land of Utmost Bliss.
Whoever wishes to be born there should practice three acts of merit:
first, caring for one's parents, attending to one's teachers and elders, compassionately refraining from killing, and doing the ten good deeds;
second, taking the three refuges, keeping the various precepts and refraining from breaking the rules of conduct; and
third, awakening aspiration for Enlightenment, believing deeply in the law of causality, chanting the Mahayana sutras and encouraging people to follow their teachings.
These three are called the pure karma."
The Buddha further said to Vaidehi,
"Do you know that these three acts are the pure karma practiced by all the Buddhas of the past, present and future as the right cause of Enlightenment?"

c. Now, maybe you might want to check with Coca Cola on what their brand name is all about compared to the above?

If the goal is simply to reach a concentrated state by repeating a word over and over again, why would one word have any more merit than another?

Is buddhānusmṛti and the entire essence of Pure Land teaching, practice and realization just about 'simply to reach a concentrated state by repeating a word over and over again'? Please refer to this for more info.

And another thing about 'chanting'... this may help one to understand why this practice of chanting/recitation, amongst the many facets of practice is done in Pure Land

And to address this:
I have been taught that even repeating words in this fashion will not develope right concentration as the focus of attention is not in the body on a real object.

a. I agree with your statement in a general way but that's not how the actual practice in Pure Land is. How is it? Take a look at these... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

b. In the scriptural (and consolidated in a systematic way in commentarial tradition) Buddha Dharma, there is this classification known as 'karmasthana' or also in Pali kammaṭṭhāna which has a meaning of 'working place' or a 'place of work'. For what? For our minds. In the list, of the Threes, Fives, Sixes and Tens, buddhānusmṛti is listed on top. The most visible benefit, which deals with basic human fears, for anyone who practices it as the Buddha states here...'For when you have recollected Me, whatever fear, terror, or horripilation there is will be abandoned' and the highest one as in my initial post: If this single thing is recollected and made much, it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction....Your mind produces the Buddha's image, and is itself the Buddha. The ocean of perfectly and universally enlightened Buddhas thus arises in the meditating mind. For this reason, you should single-mindedly concentrate and deeply contemplate the Buddha, Tathagata, Arhat and Perfectly Enlightened One.

To obtain human life is difficult in the extreme;
To meet a Buddha in this world is also difficult;
It is difficult, too, for a man to attain faith and wisdom.
Once you have heard the Dharma, strive to reach its heart.

If you have heard the Dharma and do not forget it,
But adore and revere it with great joy,
You are my good friend. For this reason,
You should awaken aspiration for Enlightenment.

Even if the whole world is on fire,
Be sure to pass through it to hear the Dharma;
Then you will surely attain the Buddha's Enlightenment.
And everywhere deliver beings from the river of birth-and-death.
plwk
 
Posts: 2661
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am

Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby lowlydog » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:20 pm

sinweiy wrote:yes, there's effect of concentrating. though for mantras, the sound in a particular manner in chanting them Correctly does have certain effect, be it health benefits or performing miracles, from what i heard. some masters from the past (or present) can really perform health benefits or miracles using mantra. it's sort of like Chi gong, where these invisible (sound) energy running/vibrating through the body parts/organs helping to cure certain illness.


Sure, but the benefits of this are superficial. One may experience health benefits like eating healthy and exercising, but at the sub-conscious level no roots of defilement have been eradicated.
eg; Your sitting at your computer answering questions and reading information on Dharma wheel and you are so concentrated on a particular subject that an hour goes by so very quickly, now if you had a video camera taping your actions you would notice that during this hour your body was constantly shifting and readjusting its position. This is because at the subconscious level the mind is always in contact with the physical sensations on the body and it is reacting blindly to our cravings and aversions so when it feels a pressure in the leg it says I don't like this and the body shifts, and if you are not aware of the body at this level you will not even be aware that this has happened. This blind reacting is what we are meant to eradicate through the cultivation of wisdom, and we can only gain wisdom from observing this process.

Experiencing subtle pleasant sensations on the body is important but not as much for the healing benefit from them but for us to simply observe them and their factor of anicca(impermanence) they arise only to pass away and therfore we should not crave or develope attatchment to them.

You don't have to chant to feel these vibrations you simply must develope your awareness of their existence. If you are delusional or highly religious you may get excited(subtle pleasant sensations)chanting the buddhas name but it is simply your attatchment to this that is causing the particular sensation and ultimately this practice will cause you harm.
lowlydog
 
Posts: 371
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:50 pm

Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby greentara » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:13 pm

jkhedrup, There's an interesting story about Sri Ramana Maharshi, Punjaji and Krishna:
Punjaji was a great Krishna devotee and used to visualise and play with him.
He was camping on the other side of the hill and Ramana asked where have you been? Punjaji answered smugly that he'd been playing with Krishna.
Ramana asked him 'where is Krishna now?'
That stumped Punjaji.
Ramana said 'gods that appear and disappear are not continuous, what comes and goes is not real. Only the one who is aware of those gods is continuous.' Under the gaze of the great guru, Punjaji had a deep and profound experience.
greentara
 
Posts: 922
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:03 am

Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby philji » Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:01 pm

I have been practicing Tibetan Buddhism for some 12 years now...mainly Kagyu and Nyingma. But I began my spiritual life way back in the 70's when I joined Iskcon. Although I disagree with many of their philosophical points I still have great respect for their dedication to their path. I learned so much with em which now helps me in Vajrayana.
The aspects of e two paths I find similar are as follows.
The importance of precious human birth in both paths
The importance given to lineage in the two paths
The role of the root guru.
Compassionate living...in Iskcon this revolves by much around vegetarianism.
Mantra and visualisation.
Personal discipline...I.e. early morning meditations etc.
And as someone said earlier they do have a lot of great chants and prayers that are sung in a dynamic and often by beautiful way.
philji
 
Posts: 302
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 2:26 pm

Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby PorkChop » Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:48 pm

lowlydog wrote:Sure, but the benefits of this are superficial. One may experience health benefits like eating healthy and exercising, but at the sub-conscious level no roots of defilement have been eradicated.


Actually it's documented in the Pali suttas in a conversation with a householder named Mahanama, split across a few Nikayas, the Buddha says that mindfulness of the Buddha & his good qualities, mindfulness of the Dharma & the blessed teachings, and mindfulness of the Sangha & their limitless merits are an effective means of rooting out defilements (especially the 5 lower fetters), being reborn in a Pure Abode, and eventually Enlightenment. The analogy used is that it sets the mind on the right course, like steering a ship. I posted the citations on another thread, I can re-post them here, or you can search AccessToInsight for Mahanama and Mahaanaama.

The Pure Land method focuses on the Buddha of Infinite Light, his good qualities, the Dharma, and the attributes of Sukhavati also mention a heavenly Sangha. Pure Landers are also still recommended to follow the 5 precepts and vegetarianism is encouraged.

EDIT: I quote the Pali because the Theravadans have expressed no love for Pure Landers in the past, when in fact their own scriptures endorse the self-same practice. An unbiased, third-party view if you will.
User avatar
PorkChop
 
Posts: 842
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:17 pm

Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby Illuminaughty » Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:24 pm

I think we understand the buddhas teachings in a very different way.
I don't know how to reply to this.
This seems very faith orientated and religious.


I thought so too at first. After having studied the teachings of Honen and Shinran and then read through many of the Sutras I came to the conclusion that other power was always there though and that Shinran simply took an already existing stream of Mahayana thought and took it too it's logical conclusion. It's a logical conclusion to draw from the idea of selflessness imo. It's the permeation of our life from Suchness / Amida and not the illusory ego that brings realization of enlightenment. It brings us to enlightenment naturally and without violence. Recognizing this destroys clinging to the idea of a self and the actions it takes to earn enlightenment (the self as doer). This understanding was revealed in full when the age of the declining Dharma was manifesting itself and it was most needed.

Like Ashvaghosha points out in "The Awakening of Faith":

"How does the permeation [of Suchness] give rise to the pure state and continue uninterrupted? It may be said that there is the principle of Suchness, and it can and permeate into ignorance. Through the force of permeation, [Suchness] causes the deluded mind to loathe the suffering of samsara and to aspire for nirvana. Because the mind , though still deluded, is now possessed with loathing and aspiration, it permeates into Suchness [ in that it induces Suchness to manifest itself]."
Illuminaughty
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:41 pm

Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby Rakshasa » Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:29 pm

Very insightful replies.

I forgot to complete the description of that account full so I will add it here. Though I was impressed by the priest in his relentless chanting of his god's name through out the 2.5 hour journey, towards the end I was disappointed by his compassion when he briefly scolded another man for keeping his bag on the chair and not allowing him to sit more comfortably. So it seems he still lacked compassion and Krishna doesn't seems to have taught that in BG, or at least not given it enough emphasis. Moreover, the ISKONites are usually stern promoters of the Hindu caste system as Krishna had done in Bhagavad Gita.

Since the example of the Prodigal's son is given in Bhagavad Gita in the same way as it is given in Lotus Sutra by Buddha, I think there was an influence.
User avatar
Rakshasa
 
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:29 am

Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby greentara » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:39 am

'Better than hymns of praise
Is repetition of the Name;
Better low-voiced than loud,
But best of all
Is meditation in the mind.

Better than spells of meditation
Is one continuous current,
Steady as a stream,
Or downward flow of oil'
greentara
 
Posts: 922
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:03 am

Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby sinweiy » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:10 am

lowlydog wrote:Sure, but the benefits of this are superficial. One may experience health benefits like eating healthy and exercising, but at the sub-conscious level no roots of defilement have been eradicated.
eg; Your sitting at your computer answering questions and reading information on Dharma wheel and you are so concentrated on a particular subject that an hour goes by so very quickly, now if you had a video camera taping your actions you would notice that during this hour your body was constantly shifting and readjusting its position. This is because at the subconscious level the mind is always in contact with the physical sensations on the body and it is reacting blindly to our cravings and aversions so when it feels a pressure in the leg it says I don't like this and the body shifts, and if you are not aware of the body at this level you will not even be aware that this has happened. This blind reacting is what we are meant to eradicate through the cultivation of wisdom, and we can only gain wisdom from observing this process.

Experiencing subtle pleasant sensations on the body is important but not as much for the healing benefit from them but for us to simply observe them and their factor of anicca(impermanence) they arise only to pass away and therfore we should not crave or develope attatchment to them.

You don't have to chant to feel these vibrations you simply must develope your awareness of their existence. If you are delusional or highly religious you may get excited(subtle pleasant sensations)chanting the buddhas name but it is simply your attatchment to this that is causing the particular sensation and ultimately this practice will cause you harm.


yes, but think you miss the point, i am just saying each mantra layout in that certain particular manner by the Buddha/mahasattvas do have its particular reasons. concentration and insight and not attached to such benefits are another thing.
Asaik, mantra can also be understood by spiritual 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
User avatar
sinweiy
 
Posts: 271
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:18 am
Location: Singapore

Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby lowlydog » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:23 pm

sinweiy wrote:Asaik, mantra can also be understood by spiritual beings.


I equate spiritual beings as sensations felt on the body, the hell realms are sensation we find most unpleasant and the heavenly realms are subtle very pleasant sensations. What do you consider a spiritual being?
Also, what do you expect these spiritual beings to do for you? I come in contact with them and see their impermanent nature and this helps to break the attatchment towards them. :smile:
lowlydog
 
Posts: 371
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:50 pm

Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby lowlydog » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:52 pm

plwk wrote:Secondly, what is merit (and virtue) in Buddha Dharma?
a. Let's take a look at one definition... as what the Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng says on these...
http://cttbusa.org/6patriarch/6patriarch8.asp
“Seeing your own nature is merit, and equanimity is virtue.
To be unobstructed in every thought, constantly seeing the true, real, wonderful function of your original nature is called merit and virtue.”
“Inner humility is merit and the outer practice of reverence is virtue.
Your self-nature establishing the ten thousand dharmas is merit and the mind-substance separate from thought is virtue.
Not being separate from the self-nature is merit, and the correct use of the undefiled (self-nature) is virtue.
If you seek the merit and virtue of the Dharma body, simply act according to these principles, for this is true merit and virtue.”



Through practicing morality and meditation on a real object free from craving we develope Right concentration.
This concentration is necessary to see your true nature(field of experience) and remaining equanimous to this ever changing phenomenon is how we eradicate our past stock of mental formations, not by "doing" anything but by simply observing equanimously.
Our awareness has become weak and our reaction has become strong, the scales are out of balance. To not get caught in the stream of thought but to remain present and focused on our chosen object is true merit and virtue.
We must develope our awareness. The watcher is the watched, but out of ignorance we have created a self and all these things for the self to experience. :smile:
lowlydog
 
Posts: 371
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:50 pm

Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby jmlee369 » Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:48 am

Illuminaughty wrote:
Even rebirth into a Buddha field does not make one the Buddha of that field.


I think Buddha nature is explained in spatial terms as the Pure Land Sukhavati. To obtain Sukhavati at the moment of death through the power of the Vow is to instantly realize supreme peerless enlightenment and Buddhahood. At least that's how I understand at. I'm still learning a lot though.


Birth in Sukhavati does not mean instant Buddhahood, nor is the birth process in Sukhavati a uniform experience. In the "Visualising (Seeing) Limitless Life Sutra" 觀無量壽經 which is one of the three Pure Land Sutras, even the High Grade High Birth do not attain Buddhahood. Allow me to quote the sutra.

The Buddha said to Ananda and Videhi: "Those of High Grade High Birth; if there are sentient beings wishing to be born in that land, (they should) generate the three minds and will be born there. What are the three? First, the sincere mind. Second, the deep (profound) mind. Third, the mind of dedicating merits and generating vows (prayers, monlam is the equivalent in Tibetan). Those replete with the three minds will definitely be born in that land.

Furthermore there are three types of sentient beings that will attain birth. What are the three? First has a mind of love and does not kill, replete in all precept conduct. Second, they recite the Mahayana Vaipulya sutras. Third, they practice the six mindfulnesses and dedicate merits and generate vows, vowing to be born in that land. Those replete with these virtuous merits, for one day up to seven days, will attain rebirth.

At the time of birth in that land, such a person being vigorously effortful and brave, (will have) Amitabha Tathagata and Avalokitesvara, Mahasthamaprapta, numberless emanation Buddhas, hundreds of thousands of a great assembly of bhikshu shravakas, all limitless deva's seven jewels palaces (appear). Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva holding a vajra dais, with Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva, will come before the person. Amitabha Buddha will emit a great radiant light, illuminating the body of the person. With all bodhisattvas, he will extend his hand and welcomingly guide. Avalokitesvara, Mahasthamaprapta, and numberless bodhisattvas will praise the person, encouraging this mind. Having seen this, the practitioner generates great joy. They see their own body riding the vajra dais, following behind the Buddha. In the time of a finger snap, they are born in that land. Having been born in that land. They see the Buddha's bodily form, replete with the collection of signs. All the bodhisattvas are seen, with their replete forms, radiant lights and jewelled forests, proclaiming the wondrous Dharma. Having heard this they attain the non-birth Dharma endurance. In an instant, they serve all the Buddhas pervading the ten directions' realms. Before these Buddhas, they gradually in order receive the prediction (of their future Buddhahood). Returning to the original land. They attain the limtiless hundred thousand Dharani doors. This is named the High Grade High Birth.


It is possible to equate the non-birth Dharma endurance (Anutpattika-Dharma-ksanti) with the 8th bodhisattva bhumi.

For those Low Grade High Birth, their lotus blooms only after 49 days, and it takes another 10 small eons before the attain the first bhumi.
For those of Low Grade Low Birth, to quote the Sutra again:

The Buddha said to Ananda and Videhi: The Low Grade Low Birth ones; if there are sentient beings, who commit nonvirtuous acts, the five acts of immediate retribution, the 10 non-virtues, replete with all non-virtues. Such an ignorant person. Due to their non-virtuous acts should fall in the non-virtuous paths. Passing many kalpas of receiving suffering that is inexhaustible. Such an ignorant person, at the time of death encounters a spiritual friend (kalyanamitra) who provides various comforts and speaks the wondrous dharma, instructing the mindfulness of the Buddha. The person due to their sufferings cannot leisurely be mindful of the Buddha. A virtuous friends advises: If you are unable to be mindful of the Buddha, you should call out Amitayus Buddha. With thus a sincere mind, allow the voice to be not-lacking and complete ten recitations of calling out Namo Amitabha BUddha. Having called out the Buddha's name, in the mindfulness, 100 000 000 kalpa's transgressions of birth and death are removed. At the time of life's end, they see a golden lotus flower like a sundisc abiding before that person. Thus in a single thought's time, they attain rebirth in Sukhavati. In a lotus, they pass 12 great kalpas until the lotus blossoms. Avalokitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta with their voices of great compassion speak for them the true aspect of all phenomena, the dharma for elimination of transgressions. Hearing this and being joyful, at that time they the mind of Bodhi (bodhicitta). This is named the Low Grade Low Birth.


All of the translations are my own rough work. As we can see, not all rebirths in Sukhavati are equal.
jmlee369
 
Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:22 am

Re: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby sinweiy » Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:56 am

lowlydog wrote:
sinweiy wrote:Asaik, mantra can also be understood by spiritual beings.


I equate spiritual beings as sensations felt on the body, the hell realms are sensation we find most unpleasant and the heavenly realms are subtle very pleasant sensations. What do you consider a spiritual being?
Also, what do you expect these spiritual beings to do for you? I come in contact with them and see their impermanent nature and this helps to break the attatchment towards them. :smile:


yes, that dharma understand apart. my point is that those masters reciting mantra in a correct manner can perform wonders are actually the interference of these spiriual beings with spiritual powers. one of the many example was Master ShanDao reciting Amitabha was able to sort of "summon" the rain to helped a village suffering from drought, i read.
_/\_
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: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby sinweiy » Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:07 am

jmlee369 wrote:
Illuminaughty wrote:
Even rebirth into a Buddha field does not make one the Buddha of that field.


I think Buddha nature is explained in spatial terms as the Pure Land Sukhavati. To obtain Sukhavati at the moment of death through the power of the Vow is to instantly realize supreme peerless enlightenment and Buddhahood. At least that's how I understand at. I'm still learning a lot though.


Birth in Sukhavati does not mean instant Buddhahood, nor is the birth process in Sukhavati a uniform experience. In the "Visualising (Seeing) Limitless Life Sutra" 觀無量壽經 which is one of the three Pure Land Sutras, even the High Grade High Birth do not attain Buddhahood. Allow me to quote the sutra.

The Buddha said to Ananda and Videhi: "Those of High Grade High Birth; if there are sentient beings wishing to be born in that land, (they should) generate the three minds and will be born there. What are the three? First, the sincere mind. Second, the deep (profound) mind. Third, the mind of dedicating merits and generating vows (prayers, monlam is the equivalent in Tibetan). Those replete with the three minds will definitely be born in that land.

Furthermore there are three types of sentient beings that will attain birth. What are the three? First has a mind of love and does not kill, replete in all precept conduct. Second, they recite the Mahayana Vaipulya sutras. Third, they practice the six mindfulnesses and dedicate merits and generate vows, vowing to be born in that land. Those replete with these virtuous merits, for one day up to seven days, will attain rebirth.

At the time of birth in that land, such a person being vigorously effortful and brave, (will have) Amitabha Tathagata and Avalokitesvara, Mahasthamaprapta, numberless emanation Buddhas, hundreds of thousands of a great assembly of bhikshu shravakas, all limitless deva's seven jewels palaces (appear). Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva holding a vajra dais, with Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva, will come before the person. Amitabha Buddha will emit a great radiant light, illuminating the body of the person. With all bodhisattvas, he will extend his hand and welcomingly guide. Avalokitesvara, Mahasthamaprapta, and numberless bodhisattvas will praise the person, encouraging this mind. Having seen this, the practitioner generates great joy. They see their own body riding the vajra dais, following behind the Buddha. In the time of a finger snap, they are born in that land. Having been born in that land. They see the Buddha's bodily form, replete with the collection of signs. All the bodhisattvas are seen, with their replete forms, radiant lights and jewelled forests, proclaiming the wondrous Dharma. Having heard this they attain the non-birth Dharma endurance. In an instant, they serve all the Buddhas pervading the ten directions' realms. Before these Buddhas, they gradually in order receive the prediction (of their future Buddhahood). Returning to the original land. They attain the limtiless hundred thousand Dharani doors. This is named the High Grade High Birth.


It is possible to equate the non-birth Dharma endurance (Anutpattika-Dharma-ksanti) with the 8th bodhisattva bhumi.

For those Low Grade High Birth, their lotus blooms only after 49 days, and it takes another 10 small eons before the attain the first bhumi.
For those of Low Grade Low Birth, to quote the Sutra again:

The Buddha said to Ananda and Videhi: The Low Grade Low Birth ones; if there are sentient beings, who commit nonvirtuous acts, the five acts of immediate retribution, the 10 non-virtues, replete with all non-virtues. Such an ignorant person. Due to their non-virtuous acts should fall in the non-virtuous paths. Passing many kalpas of receiving suffering that is inexhaustible. Such an ignorant person, at the time of death encounters a spiritual friend (kalyanamitra) who provides various comforts and speaks the wondrous dharma, instructing the mindfulness of the Buddha. The person due to their sufferings cannot leisurely be mindful of the Buddha. A virtuous friends advises: If you are unable to be mindful of the Buddha, you should call out Amitayus Buddha. With thus a sincere mind, allow the voice to be not-lacking and complete ten recitations of calling out Namo Amitabha BUddha. Having called out the Buddha's name, in the mindfulness, 100 000 000 kalpa's transgressions of birth and death are removed. At the time of life's end, they see a golden lotus flower like a sundisc abiding before that person. Thus in a single thought's time, they attain rebirth in Sukhavati. In a lotus, they pass 12 great kalpas until the lotus blossoms. Avalokitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta with their voices of great compassion speak for them the true aspect of all phenomena, the dharma for elimination of transgressions. Hearing this and being joyful, at that time they the mind of Bodhi (bodhicitta). This is named the Low Grade Low Birth.


All of the translations are my own rough work. As we can see, not all rebirths in Sukhavati are equal.


actually Sukhavati is also a land of Equality and it's non-dual. what you have in Visualising (Seeing) Limitless Life Sutra" 觀無量壽經 is also a skillful mean, spoken to unenlightened beings. to me Sukhavati is non-dual. you can say as what you say with the different level, yet the abilities, Golden body, etc are no Different from Amitabha. it's found in Amitabha's 48 vows.
in Japanese PL, one's already a Buddha when reborn in PL. i am a Chinese PL, i think so too. as the teaching is from Master ShanDao. it's a high level understanding.
_/\_
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: Chanting the name of a god?

Postby lowlydog » Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:41 pm

sinweiy wrote:
yes, that dharma understand apart. my point is that those masters reciting mantra in a correct manner can perform wonders are actually the interference of these spiriual beings with spiritual powers. one of the many example was Master ShanDao reciting Amitabha was able to sort of "summon" the rain to helped a village suffering from drought, i read.


What if the rains summoned, drown or hurt unsuspecting wildlife, the buddhas teachings are not so we can manipulate the weather for human benefit. It is a simple process to eradicate the ego and free one from suffering.

This also is not my reality, I cannot make it rain. If you have developed the ability to make it rain at will then good for you, if not then be careful of what you believe in. :smile:
lowlydog
 
Posts: 371
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:50 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Pure Land

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests

>