Doubts about Pure land

Re: Doubts about Pure land

Postby sinweiy » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:20 am

i am reminded of the worm analogy they use on PL buddhism.

(II) Why Pure Land? "The champions of Pure Land Buddhism have always made the case that Pure Land methods are especially valuable because they are particularly effective in meeting the needs of the greatest number of people. When we face facts, most of us have to admit that we see little realistic prospect of achieving salvation through the eons of gradual practice spoken of in the Buddhist scriptures, or the heroic efforts of the Zen masters, or the years of esoteric dedication demanded by the Esoteric Schools. Pure Land practice, on the other hand, is explicitly designed as an easy way, open to all" (J.C.Cleary).

Traditionally, in Mahayana, it is necessary to go through "fifty-two levels of Bodhisattva practice" (q.v.) to attain Buddhahood. Even in the Sudden School, it is understood that the practitioner has already cultivated in many past lifetimes and reached one of the last levels when he achieves instant Enlightenment. In Pure Land, however, the practitioner seeks rebirth in the Land of Ultimate Bliss, an ideal environment for cultivation, where these levels of attainment are compressed. Instead of a laborious "vertical" struggle, he achieves a direct "horizontal" escape from the Saha World. ("Horizontal" and "Vertical" are figures of speech, which can readily be understood through the example of a worm born inside a stalk of a bamboo. To escape, it can take the hard way and crawl "vertically" all the way to the top of the stalk. Alternatively, it can poke a hole near its current location and escape "horizontally" into the big, wide world.) http://www.ymba.org/bns/bnsglo.htm


A cultivator can be compared to a worm eating its way out of a bamboo tree. When he practices other cultivation methods, he is like a worm eating his way up, taking a long time and tedious effort. If he practices the Pure Land method, it's like he's eating his way sideways through the bamboo. He will attain liberation in a short time with lighter effort.
_/\_
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: Doubts about Pure land

Postby sinweiy » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:29 am

Ten Doubts about Pure Land
http://www.purelandbuddhism.com/10Doubts.pdf

happy reading :thumbsup:
_/\_
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"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: Doubts about Pure land

Postby sinweiy » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:02 am

Vow 35
When I obtain the Buddhahood, women of boundless and inconceivable Buddha-worlds of the ten quarters after having heard my name thereby awakened in faith and joyful aspiration, and turning their minds towards Bodhi, therefore dislike their own female lives, when they be born again, in their next life should not be incarnated into a masculine body, then may I not attain the enlightenment.


i find that this vow is just a 'supplementary' vow?. it's for those who still have doubt in PL. why would one still want to reborn as man in their next life in samsara, when one can reborn in PL? so they must still have doubt in PL.
if not, it's another saying that those who born in PL will all have a masculine body or to do with The 32 Signs of a Great Man and The 80 secondary characteristics.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_c ... the_Buddha
_/\_
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Re: Doubts about Pure land

Postby Nosta » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:48 pm

sinweiy wrote:Traditionally, in Mahayana, it is necessary to go through "fifty-two levels of Bodhisattva practice" (q.v.) to attain Buddhahood. Even in the Sudden School, it is understood that the practitioner has already cultivated in many past lifetimes and reached one of the last levels when he achieves instant Enlightenment. In Pure Land, however, the practitioner seeks rebirth in the Land of Ultimate Bliss, an ideal environment for cultivation, where these levels of attainment are compressed.


Anyone reaching Buddhahood in a single life has already cultivated in many past lifetimes. So, since the Pure Land is so great, I suppose that in order to learn the nembutsu teaching and then reaching Pure Land, one already cultivated too in many past lifetimes. Someone reaching Pure Land is someome with thousands of merits gathered from countless lifetimes I suppose.
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Re: Doubts about Pure land

Postby sinweiy » Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:37 am

Nosta wrote:Anyone reaching Buddhahood in a single life has already cultivated in many past lifetimes. So, since the Pure Land is so great, I suppose that in order to learn the nembutsu teaching and then reaching Pure Land, one already cultivated too in many past lifetimes. Someone reaching Pure Land is someome with thousands of merits gathered from countless lifetimes I suppose.


yes, as mentioned in Amitabha Sutra:
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.

also the blessing, virtues and merits of encountering countless Buddhas in the past. such blessing or good roots, might not be incline to "cultivation" per se but by mere respect or paying reverence to Buddhas in the past, i presume.

As old Master Chin Kung's teacher Li Binan, use to ask, most of us may had encounter the PL dharma many times in the past, but why didn't they reborn in PL in the past, is something important we need to ask ourselves. is it because in the past we still have doubt? is it because we did not let go? is it because we retrogressed?
_/\_
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: Doubts about Pure land

Postby sinweiy » Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:47 am

sinweiy wrote:
Vow 35
if not, it's another saying that those who born in PL will all have a masculine body or to do with The 32 Signs of a Great Man and The 80 secondary characteristics.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_c ... the_Buddha


and as Vow 4 states:-
Provided I become a Buddha, if in that Buddha-country of mine the beings who are born there should not all be of one appearance without the difference of noble looking or ugly lineaments, then may I not attain the enlightenment.

Vow 3
Provided I become a Buddha, if in that country of mine the beings who are born there should not all be of the colour of genuine gold, then may I not attain the enlightenment.

then who do people in PL recognise each other, when they all look alike?
see a group of penguins all look the same. :tongue: just kidding, they see with their mind.
_/\_
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: Doubts about Pure land

Postby Son of Buddha » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:13 am

sinweiy"]
yes, as mentioned in Amitabha Sutra:
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.

also the blessing, virtues and merits of encountering countless Buddhas in the past. such blessing or good roots, might not be incline to "cultivation" per se but by mere respect or paying reverence to Buddhas in the past, i presume.

As old Master Chin Kung's teacher Li Binan, use to ask, most of us may had encounter the PL dharma many times in the past, but why didn't they reborn in PL in the past, is something important we need to ask ourselves. is it because in the past we still have doubt? is it because we did not let go? is it because we retrogressed


Maitreyas vision 2 kinds of birth
Those who doubt go to the Borderlands,then go to the pureland,the reason for not going could be due to being an excluded one.
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Re: Doubts about Pure land

Postby gingercatni » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:37 am

Metta wrote:Hello, I've joined this forum in order to express some doubts that I have. I've read the story about Dharmakara before he became Amitabha Buddha. My question is how really likely is it for some ordinary human to be able to go through five aeons (that's five big bangs) of nothing but sheer practice without retrogressing on the path in order to become a Buddha and create this pure land? I really don't mean to be offensive in any way, but how can anyone with a sane mind believe in something that sounds so irrational and fairy tale like? Not to mention the anti woman sentiments in one of the vows? Is a perfectly enlightened Buddha really supposed to have a discriminatory mind like that? Just doesn't make sense. I do not wish to offend anyone, if I did then I apologize.


Hello Metta, hopefully I can add something here which might help you. Like most old text's what we read depends upon the person who has translated it. Aeon is not a traditional indian word to describe a length of time. In most scriptures, the word Kalpa is most used which is to describe a vast amount of time. It varies in how Kalpa is used, but certainly in the case of Amitabha, not to describe many big bangs.

With reference to women, what we have to remember is that women in the hindu, vedic way of life were not seen as equals, had very few rights, which thousands of years later it is the same situation for many women in places around the world. So the vow is designed so that women, who have suffered may attain through Amitabha a better rebirth, but he is not saying being a woman is a lesser form of being, he is giving a female devotee the option, if that is what it takes for that individual to be happy and attain buddhahood. But it's more of a way to pacify the devotee in their present life as rebirth with Amitabha everyone is the same, its not a heaven for dreams to come true or to meet deceased loved ones, it's a training ground where attachment to self does not exist. Pureland can be poo pooed by many, but in this area, Pureland does not deviate from Buddhist teachings.
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Re: Doubts about Pure land

Postby sinweiy » Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:36 am

Son of Buddha wrote:
Maitreyas vision 2 kinds of birth
Those who doubt go to the Borderlands,then go to the pureland,the reason for not going could be due to being an excluded one.


agreed, then i think i mean those who lack aspiration/faith/vow to be born there. some might still have doubt but they still have aspiration/faith/vow to be born there. these are the ones who will be born in the Borderland.
_/\_
Amituofo!

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Re: Doubts about Pure land

Postby Nosta » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:18 pm

sinweiy wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:
Maitreyas vision 2 kinds of birth
Those who doubt go to the Borderlands,then go to the pureland,the reason for not going could be due to being an excluded one.


agreed, then i think i mean those who lack aspiration/faith/vow to be born there. some might still have doubt but they still have aspiration/faith/vow to be born there. these are the ones who will be born in the Borderland.


Even rebirth on Borderland is a great one! From there you can only rebirth on Pure Land on next time (I think).

By the way, and sorry for the offtopic, wich are the descriptions about the Borderland?
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Re: Doubts about Pure land

Postby plwk » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:28 am

By the way, and sorry for the offtopic, wich are the descriptions about the Borderland?

http://buddhistfaith.tripod.com/purelan ... s/id3.html
Then the Bodhisattva Maitreya said to the Buddha,
"World-Honored One, for what reason are some of the inhabitants of that land in the embryonic state and the others born by transformation?"

The Buddha replied,
"Maitreya, if there are sentient beings who do various meritorious deeds aspiring for birth in that land while still entertaining doubt, such beings are unable to comprehend the Buddha-wisdom, inconceivable wisdom, ineffable wisdom, boundless Mahayana wisdom, and incomparable, unequaled, and unsurpassed supreme wisdom.

Although they doubt these wisdoms, they still believe in retribution for evil and reward for virtue and so cultivate a stock of merits, aspiring for birth in that land.
Such beings are born in a palace, where they dwell for five hundred years without being able to behold the Buddha, hear His exposition of the Dharma, or see
the hosts of bodhisattvas and shravakas. For this reason, that type of birth in the Pure Land is called 'embryonic state.'
"If there are sentient beings who with resolute faith accept these kinds of wisdom, from the Buddha's wisdom to the supreme wisdom, do meritorious deeds and sincerely transfer the merit acquired (to that land), those beings will be born by transformation spontaneously. seated with legs crossed, in the seven-jewelled lotus-flowers, and instantly attain the same glorious forms, wisdom and virtue as those of other bodhisattvas there.

"Further, Maitreya, if great bodhisattvas in the Buddha-lands of other quarters desire to see Amitayus, and revere and make offerings to Him and the hosts of bodhisattvas and shravakas, they will, after death, be born in the land of Amitayus. Spontaneously transformed they will be born from within the seven-jewelled lotus-flowers.

"Maitreya, you should know that those born by transformation are possessed of supreme wisdom, while those in the embryonic state lack that wisdom and must pass five hundred years without being able to see the Buddha, hear His teaching of the Dharma, see the hosts of bodhisattvas and shravakas, make offerings to the Buddha, learn the rules of conduct for bodhisattvas, or perform meritorious practices. You should know that this is because those beings harbored doubt and lacked wisdom in their previous lives."

The Buddha said to Maitreya,
"Let us suppose that a wheel-turning monarch has a special chamber which is adorned with seen jewels and provided with curtained couches and silken banners hanging from the ceiling. If princes have committed offense against the king, they are taken to that chamber and fettered with gold chains. There they are served with food and drink, provided with clothes, couches and cushions, flowers and incense, and can enjoy music. Being treated just like the wheel-turning monarch himself, they have no wants. Do you think that those princes would enjoy living there?"
"No they do not," replied Maitreya. "They would seek various means of approach to ask a man of power to help them escape."

The Buddha said to Maitreya,
"Those beings born within the lotus-buds are like that. Because of their doubt in the Buddha's wisdom, they have been born in palaces.
Although they receive no punishment or ill treatment even for a single moment, they must pass five hundred years there without being able to see the Three Treasures, make offerings to the Buddha, or cultivate a stock of virtue. This is distressing to them. Though there are other pleasures, they do not enjoy living there.
"If those beings become aware of the faults committed in their former lives and deeply repent, they can, as they wish, leave and go to where Amitayus dwells.
Then they can worship and make offerings to him; they can also visit innumerable and countless other Buddhas to perform various meritorious practices.
Maitreya, you should know that the bodhisattvas who allow doubt to arise lose great benefits.
For this reason, you should have resolute faith in the supreme wisdom of the Buddha.
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Re: Doubts about Pure land

Postby Nosta » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:36 pm

Thanks

:)
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Re: Doubts about Pure land

Postby RikudouSennin » Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:13 am

Some things that helped remove doubts.
Amitabha Buddhas vows are trustworthy because we are hearing of them. Simple as that.
If Shakyamuni Buddha did not teach the Pure Land teachings what would become of us simpletons who cant cultivate austere and intense practices.
We learned the supremely powerful Name of a Buddha, who is praised by all other Buddhas for his vows, we are fortunate.

Numerous bodhisattvas taught the pure land way, as well as numerous patriarchs.

The Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Patriarchs have supported and taught the pure land teachings. We should have faith, vow to be reborn in Amitabhas pureland and practice buddha recitation.

This is the heart of buddhism, to escape cycle of birth and death pureland is the easiest way.
“You have some good connection with the Dzogchen Teaching - you have arrived to the Dzogchen Teaching, you have met a Dzogchen Master; you must understand that it means you are very fortunate.” ChNNR
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Re: Doubts about Pure land

Postby sinweiy » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:28 am

Mind-Seal of the Buddhas
Patriarch Ou-i's Commentary on the
Amitabha Sutra
http://www.sinc.sunysb.edu/Clubs/buddhi ... ntent.html

the Mind-Seal read (starting from the Essence of the Sutra) had always been very helpful, when i was a beginner.
Patriarch Yin Guang, praised Patriarch Ou-i that his commentry was as good as Buddha. then Patriarch Ou-i is either the emanate of Avalokiteśvara or Amitabha Himself! :namaste:
_/\_
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: Doubts about Pure land

Postby RikudouSennin » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:02 am

sinweiy wrote:Mind-Seal of the Buddhas
Patriarch Ou-i's Commentary on the
Amitabha Sutra
http://www.sinc.sunysb.edu/Clubs/buddhi ... ntent.html

the Mind-Seal read (starting from the Essence of the Sutra) had always been very helpful, when i was a beginner.
Patriarch Yin Guang, praised Patriarch Ou-i that his commentry was as good as Buddha. then Patriarch Ou-i is either the emanate of Avalokiteśvara or Amitabha Himself! :namaste:


Thank yu for posting the link, iim really looking forward to reading the text in full. So far its a very excellent text.
“You have some good connection with the Dzogchen Teaching - you have arrived to the Dzogchen Teaching, you have met a Dzogchen Master; you must understand that it means you are very fortunate.” ChNNR
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Re: Doubts about Pure land

Postby sinweiy » Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:55 am

http://web.archive.org/web/201109052105 ... hanfrm.htm
Excerpts From Master Han-Shan's

Dream Roamings

Pure Land of the Patriarchs is a translation of selected passages from the sermons and writings of Zen Master Han-shan Te-ch'ing, one of the three "dragon-elephants" of Ming Buddhism.These passages originally appeared in the Han-Shan Ta-Shih Meng-Yu Chi (Collection of Master Han-Shan's Dream Roamings).


and this. it had gone into web.archive. sigh.
_/\_
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: Doubts about Pure land

Postby cheondo » Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:43 pm

Wow. I've been reading this forum for years. The quality of answers to doubts about PL Buddhism have gotten much better. PWLK's analyis was brilliant. :twothumbsup:

The beauty of PL is that it can be as complex or as simple as you want it. It appeals to both scholars and simpletons, the latter being more likely to make progress. :smile:

Namo Amitoufo to all.
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Re: Doubts about Pure land

Postby LastLegend » Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:03 pm

What is up with the bs literal versus figurative as if the two exist outside of our imagination or thinking?

All dharma are created by the mind. People who see hells because they do things that will lead them to see hells. People who see heavens because they do things that will lead them to see heavens. People who believe that enlightenment is a place of pitch black nothingness, then that's what they will see. If people want to see Pure Land, then they have to vow to take rebirth there and practice Pure Land. But Pure Land is a boat, a means not the end. The ultimate goal is to become Buddha.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
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Re: Doubts about Pure land

Postby PorkChop » Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:52 am

LastLegend wrote:What is up with the bs literal versus figurative as if the two exist outside of our imagination or thinking?

All dharma are created by the mind. People who see hells because they do things that will lead them to see hells. People who see heavens because they do things that will lead them to see heavens. People who believe that enlightenment is a place of pitch black nothingness, then that's what they will see. If people want to see Pure Land, then they have to vow to take rebirth there and practice Pure Land. But Pure Land is a boat, a means not the end. The ultimate goal is to become Buddha.

:good:
Reminded of the statement from Buddhism of Wisdom & Faith about Pure Land Practice, Pure Land Essence, and how they are not separate.
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Re: Doubts about Pure land

Postby RikudouSennin » Fri May 03, 2013 3:56 am

I have been pondering this lately.

Since a Buddha's omniscience and compassion is boundless, it makes sense for Shakyamuni Buddha to give a teaching where the beings of this world of dukkha can be reborn into a world of sukkha, in order to escape samsara and attain complete awakening.
“You have some good connection with the Dzogchen Teaching - you have arrived to the Dzogchen Teaching, you have met a Dzogchen Master; you must understand that it means you are very fortunate.” ChNNR
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