Pure Land Study Group Thread

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Re: Pureland study group anyone?

Postby Admin_PC » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:02 pm


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Re: Pureland study group anyone?

Postby Nosta » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:22 pm

Since the original idea of the OP is to study here, maybe there is no need for a new topic.

We could start here.

I have no idea how to start. Should we start to comment and make questions for the first ideas? Anyone?

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Re: Pureland study group anyone?

Postby DGA » Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:59 am

To my mind, the most significant aspects of the Smaller Sutra are these:

*the mandate to practice Amitabha Buddha's name for an interval of time

*the description of the Pure Land and its merits, and why beings should aspire to be born there

In terms of practice, these are fundamental. Perhaps these two points can serve as a starting point for a more detailed discussion.

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Re: Pureland study group anyone?

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Re: Pureland study group anyone?

Postby gingercatni » Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:19 pm

Hi everyone!

Well it's been a month and a bit!

My following comments for discussion should in no way be deemed the topic or theme for the study of the smaller sutra, just thought I'd go first :tongue:

In the description of the pureland, we are told there are carriage wheel sized lotus flowers whose colours (these vary from each translation) are blue, red, yellow, green and white. Amitabha is said to have white light shining from his brow, a prism breaks down the sun's white light into it's component colours, are the lotus flowers a further focus of the infinite light of Amitabha? Or are the lotus's representing the other 5 buddha's? your thoughts!;)

PS. I hope everyone is keeping well :namaste:

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Re: Pureland study group anyone?

Postby Son of Buddha » Wed May 01, 2013 3:19 am


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Re: Pureland study group anyone?

Postby sinweiy » Wed May 01, 2013 3:28 am

that said, if a person start to practice Amitabha' Pureland and have faith in Amitabha, a lotus bud will start to develop in Amitabha PL's "lake", depending on one's practice and sincerity, the lotus will either grow bigger and bigger or wither and disappear if the person looses faith and aspiration. and when the time come for you to go, Amitabha will carry the lotus to welcome you. the lotus is your pedestal per se.

the color is up to your affinity or preference or imagination or visualisation. i often like a pinkish (red) lotus. then the lotus there will turn pinkish, as per my visualisation. just like the story about a few guys going to Mount Putuo to look for Kuan Yin Bodhisattva, and they each saw Kuan Yin separately and each had their own description of Kuan Yin. so i think the colours will all depend on our own individual perspective.

you can say the colours represent certain quality as in the 5 Buddhas colours.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Dhyani_Buddhas

or perhaps One lotus contain all five colours changing every now and then. :smile: that will be pretty Nice!
Last edited by sinweiy on Wed May 01, 2013 3:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
_/\_
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

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Re: Pureland study group anyone?

Postby Admin_PC » Wed May 01, 2013 3:36 am

I haven't forgotten about this study group, I've just been very busy with my new kid. Sorry if I've been slackin.

As far as the 5 colors, I think they may correspond to the 5 elements.
Any time 7 is mentioned, I think it corresponds to the 7 factors of enlightenment.
When 8 is mentioned, I think that corresponds to the 8 fold path.

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Re: Pureland study group anyone?

Postby Son of Buddha » Wed May 01, 2013 3:49 am

These are what I generally think are the most important parts of the Smaller Amitayus sutra

9. 'Shariputra, if there be a good man or a good woman, who, on hearing of Buddha Amitayus, keeps his name (in mind) with thoughts undisturbed for one day, two days, three days, four days, five days, six days, or seven days, that person, when about to die, (will see) Amitayus Buddha accompanied by his holy host appear before him; and immediately after his death, he with his mind undisturbed can be born into the Sukhavati land of Buddha Amitayus. Shariputra, as I witness this benefit, I say these words; Every being who listens to this preaching ought to offer up prayer with the desire to be born into that country.

16. 'Shariputra, what do you think in your mind, why it is called the Sutra approved and protected by all the Buddhas? Shariputra, if there be a good man or a good woman who listens to those Buddhas' invocation of the name (of Buddha Amitayus) and the name of this Sutra, that good man or woman will be protected by all the Buddhas and never fail to attain Anuttara-samyaksambodhi. For this reason, Shariputra, all of you should believe in my words and in what all the Buddhas proclaim. Shariputra, if there are men who have already made, are now making, or shall make, prayer with the desire to be born in the land of Buddha Amitayus, they never fail to attain Anuttara-samyaksambodhi, and have been born, are now being born, or shall be born in that country. Therefore, Shariputra, a good man or good woman who has the faith ought to offer up prayers to be born in that land.

Peace and Love

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Re: Pureland study group anyone?

Postby KrisW » Wed May 01, 2013 6:00 am

The guru is the Buddha, the guru is the Dharma, likewise the guru is the Sangha, the guru is Śrī Heruka, the guru creates everything.

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Re: Pureland study group anyone?

Postby Admin_PC » Wed May 01, 2013 6:36 am

I think I'm going to stick with Rulu's translation in "Thinking of Amitabha Sutra" as it's a pretty well respected translation. I'll do my best to cover as many commentaries as I can.

Let's get started...


Translated from Sanskrit into Chinese in the Later Qin Dynasty by the Tripitaka Master Kumarajiva from Kucha
Thus I have heard:
At one time the Buddha was staying in the Anathapindika Garden of Jetavana Park in the city kingdom of Sravasti, together with 1,250 great bhiksus, who all were great Arhats as recognized by the multitudes. Such great disciples included the Elder Sariputra, Mahamaudgalyayana, Mahakasyapa, Mahakatyayana, Mahakausthila, Revata, Suddhipanthaka, Nanda, Ananda, Rahula, Gavampati, Pindola-Baradvaja, Kalodayin, Mahakapphina, Vakkula, Aniruddha, and others. Also present were Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas, such as Manjusri the Dharma Prince, Ajita Bodhisattva, Gandhahastin Bodhisattva, and Persistent Energetic Progress Bodhisattva. Along with great Bodhisattvas such as these, in attendance as well were the god-king Sakro-Devanam-Indra and an innumerable multitude of gods.


BDK note: in the spot of Gandhahastin Bodhisattva there is a Bodhisattva listed as "Bodhisattva Sweet-smelling Elephant".

Hsuan Hua notes:
Hsuan Hua breaks down the intro into 6 requirements: faith, hearer, time, host, place, and audience.
"Thus" fulfills the requirement of faith.
"I have heard" fulfills the requirement of the hearer.
"At one time" fulfills the requirement of time.
"Buddha" fulfills the requirement of host/teacher.
"The garden of benefactor Anathapindika in Srawasti" fulfills the requirement of place.
"The gathering of great Bhiksus" fulfills the requirements of audience.
He describes how all of these requirements came about with Ananda's Four Questions.
He gives some background on Anathapindika, the great benefactor of orphans and the solitary.
Then he goes into detail on each of the attendees, starting with the 3 Kasyapa Brothers, giving their background.
Next he gives background on Shariputra as foremost of the Sravakas in wisdom, Mahamaudgalyayana as foremost in spiritual penetrations, Mahakasyapa as foremost in ascetic practices and age, and Mahakatyayana as foremost in debate.
Revata is listed as the foremost in being "not upset or confused", though his backstory is a nice little lesson on anatta/not-self.
Suddhipanthaka = "little roadside", the disciple too simple minded to remember great teachings, so he recited the 2 words "sweep clean" until he was Enlightened.
Nanda = "wholesome bliss", a cow-herd who heard the Buddha preach the "Eleven Matters of Tending Cows" and used the teaching to help 500 Bhikshunis attain Arhatship.
Sundarananda is Buddha's younger brother, the one who was overly attached to his wife. Buddha converted him by showing him the beauty of the devas in heaven, and the suffering of the hell to follow.
Ananda we all know as the Buddha's cousin with the great memory, who recited the sutras.
Rahula the Buddha's son.
Gavampati = "cow cud" after his eating habits, eventually sent to one of the heavens to cultivate, and a lesson not to scold others.
Pindola Bharadvaja is the Arhat asked to stay behind in the world and be a field of blessedness for living beings after greedily displaying powers for a sandalwood bowl.
Kalodayin = "black light", one of the foremost teachers and Dharma Protectors.
Mahakapphinha, the foremost in astrology.
Vakkula is said to be the longest lived of the disciples as a result of not killing in many previous lifetimes.
Aniruddha was originally somewhat lazy, after being scolded he practiced severely, eventually going blind. The Buddha taught him how to develop the Heavenly Eye and became the foremost disciple in the practice.
Next are the Bodhisattvas: Manjushri foremost in wisdom, Ajita the future Maitreya Buddha, Gandhahastin ("never resting"), and Nityodyukta ("ever vigorous").
Last are Indra and the devas.

My note:
The location is very important as Anathapindika was one of the Buddha's foremost lay disciples. I believe the setting shows who the teaching is geared towards. The backstories of the audience provide important teachings that should be cultivated in this practice.

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Re: Pureland study group anyone?

Postby Son of Buddha » Wed May 01, 2013 1:12 pm

Hey PorkChop I cant wait to see the compiled comentaries you post for the infinite life sutra.

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Re: Pureland study group anyone?

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Re: Pureland study group anyone?

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Re: Pureland study group anyone?

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Re: Pureland study group anyone?

Postby Hickersonia » Thu May 02, 2013 1:35 am

Hickersonia


"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of
throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned."

Nam mô A di đà Phật!

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Re: Pureland study group anyone?

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Re: Pureland study group anyone?

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Re: Pureland study group anyone?

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Re: Pureland study group anyone?

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