I am the Father of this world

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Coëmgenu
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I am the Father of this world

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:20 am

What is your interpretation of this famous line from Chapter 16 of the Lotus Sutra?

"I am the Father of this world."
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

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Malcolm
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Re: I am the Father of this world

Post by Malcolm » Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:23 am

Coëmgenu wrote:What is your interpretation of this famous line from Chapter 16 of the Lotus Sutra?

"I am the Father of this world."
I'd want to see the original text.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Coëmgenu
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Re: I am the Father of this world

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:29 am

Malcolm wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:What is your interpretation of this famous line from Chapter 16 of the Lotus Sutra?

"I am the Father of this world."
I'd want to see the original text.
An orthodox answer that will be readily accepted by most Buddhists who don't excessively venerate the Lotus Sutra will be that he is saying he is the "Father" of his Pure Land. But I was more looking for personal respponces.

I'm on a cell phone so I can't readily copy and paste, but I'll link you to the chapter in question. It appears in the verse-section near the end.
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

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Malcolm
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Re: I am the Father of this world

Post by Malcolm » Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:41 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:What is your interpretation of this famous line from Chapter 16 of the Lotus Sutra?

"I am the Father of this world."
I'd want to see the original text.
An orthodox answer that will be readily accepted by most Buddhists who don't excessively venerate the Lotus Sutra will be that he is saying he is the "Father" of his Pure Land. But I was more looking for personal respponces.

I'm on a cell phone so I can't readily copy and paste, but I'll link you to the chapter in question. It appears in the verse-section near the end.
It's ok, the epithet is in Sanskrit:
  • yameva haṃ lokapitā svayaṃbhūḥ

    cikitsakaḥ sarvaprajāna nāthaḥ|
"Lokapitā" is a title of Brahma, as is svayaṃbhūḥ, cikitsakaḥ, etc. Buddha frequently adopts the titles of Brahma.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Queequeg
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Re: I am the Father of this world

Post by Queequeg » Fri Sep 23, 2016 2:43 pm

Is it simply a matter of adopting one of Brahma's titles? Immediately before this he relates the story of the physician who finds his children drank poison and became deranged. He cures them by preparing medicine and then sending word he died, shocking his children and causing them to take his medicine. The context suggests he is saying, this parable is the story of this world and I am the father in the story.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Queequeg
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Re: I am the Father of this world

Post by Queequeg » Fri Sep 23, 2016 2:51 pm

The context of the quote has to be read with the rest of the text. For instance in Chapter 3,

I, most venerable of the sages,
am the father of the world
and all living beings
are my children.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Malcolm
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Re: I am the Father of this world

Post by Malcolm » Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:14 pm

Queequeg wrote:Is it simply a matter of adopting one of Brahma's titles? Immediately before this he relates the story of the physician who finds his children drank poison and became deranged.
Yes, that in fact is how Indians reading this text would understand it. Vasubandhu's commentary understands "father" (pitṛ) to mean teacher, thus it would read in his rendition, "I am the self-originated teacher (ācarya) of the world."

I know there is a great deal of resistance among Sinosphere Buddhists to accept that Indian Buddhists actually understood their own texts, but there is it.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Queequeg
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Re: I am the Father of this world

Post by Queequeg » Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:46 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Queequeg wrote:Is it simply a matter of adopting one of Brahma's titles? Immediately before this he relates the story of the physician who finds his children drank poison and became deranged.
Yes, that in fact is how Indians reading this text would understand it. Vasubandhu's commentary understands "father" (pitṛ) to mean teacher, thus it would read in his rendition, "I am the self-originated teacher (ācarya) of the world."

I know there is a great deal of resistance among Sinosphere Buddhists to accept that Indian Buddhists actually understood their own texts, but there is it.
Your latter comment was unnecessary. Where is there any such resistance here? You're assuming conflict where there is none. There are descriptive words for that kind of behavior.

The contexts in which these titles appear suggests that the paternal relationship is literal. Can you address that?
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Malcolm
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Re: I am the Father of this world

Post by Malcolm » Fri Sep 23, 2016 5:56 pm

Queequeg wrote:
The contexts in which these titles appear suggests that the paternal relationship is literal. Can you address that?
I did. In this context "father of the world", an epithet of Brahma, simply means "teacher of the world," and nothing more. Disciples are regularly referred to as children in Buddhist texts.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Queequeg
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Re: I am the Father of this world

Post by Queequeg » Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:10 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Queequeg wrote:
The contexts in which these titles appear suggests that the paternal relationship is literal. Can you address that?
I did. In this context "father of the world", an epithet of Brahma, simply means "teacher of the world," and nothing more. Disciples are regularly referred to as children in Buddhist texts.
Not convinced. Neither am I disagreeing. There is, quite literally, more to it in this context and you haven't addressed the significance that these statements appear in the context of parables about fathers saving their children.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Malcolm
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Re: I am the Father of this world

Post by Malcolm » Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:36 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Queequeg wrote:
The contexts in which these titles appear suggests that the paternal relationship is literal. Can you address that?
I did. In this context "father of the world", an epithet of Brahma, simply means "teacher of the world," and nothing more. Disciples are regularly referred to as children in Buddhist texts.
Not convinced. Neither am I disagreeing. There is, quite literally, more to it in this context and you haven't addressed the significance that these statements appear in the context of parables about fathers saving their children.
Well, lets look again at what the Sanskrit for that passage is:

emeva haṃ śārisutā maharṣī

sattvāna trāṇaṃ ca pitā ca bhumi|

putrāśca te prāṇina sarvi mahyaṃ

  • Śariputra, I, the great rishi,
    am the protector (trāṇaṃ), the father (pitā) and the support (bhumi) for all sentient beings,
    all those creatures are my children.
This shows a paternal relation, but it shows only that. And India, a guru was more important than your father, so the language of the father guru, the pitṛguru, is very common.

The prodigal son parable is very compelling, but it is not original.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Queequeg
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Re: I am the Father of this world

Post by Queequeg » Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:50 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Queequeg wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
I did. In this context "father of the world", an epithet of Brahma, simply means "teacher of the world," and nothing more. Disciples are regularly referred to as children in Buddhist texts.
Not convinced. Neither am I disagreeing. There is, quite literally, more to it in this context and you haven't addressed the significance that these statements appear in the context of parables about fathers saving their children.
Well, lets look again at what the Sanskrit for that passage is:

emeva haṃ śārisutā maharṣī

sattvāna trāṇaṃ ca pitā ca bhumi|

putrāśca te prāṇina sarvi mahyaṃ

  • Śariputra, I, the great rishi,
    am the protector (trāṇaṃ), the father (pitā) and the support (bhumi) for all sentient beings,
    all those creatures are my children.
This shows a paternal relation, but it shows only that. And India, a guru was more important than your father, so the language of the father guru, the pitṛguru, is very common.

The prodigal son parable is very compelling, but it is not original.
I actually agree with the gist of what you are saying. I find it mistaken when people take these passages and reduce Buddha to some sort of Creator God by emphasizing "father" in a biological sense. Seems to me, the correct meaning should be taken as "I am like the father of all beings." I've always understood this statement as referring to the ideal of the father as contrasted with the ideal of the mother. Mother is loving, nurturing, compassionate; Father is the guide to what is correct and proper; the ideal of upright conduct; the protector.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Malcolm
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Re: I am the Father of this world

Post by Malcolm » Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:53 pm

Queequeg wrote:
I actually agree with the gist of what you are saying. I find it mistaken when people take these passages and reduce Buddha to some sort of Creator God by emphasizing "father" in a biological sense. Seems to me, the correct meaning should be taken as "I am like the father of all beings." I've always understood this statement as referring to the ideal of the father as contrasted with the ideal of the mother. Mother is loving, nurturing, compassionate; Father is the guide to what is correct and proper; the ideal of upright conduct; the protector.
Yes, I agree. The idea of Pitṛ Brahma, Brahma the ancestor, is indeed the idea of a progenitor; but like virtually all these brahmanical references, the Buddha and Buddhists reinterpreted them morally and socially since they did not take them literally.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: I am the Father of this world

Post by Sentient Light » Fri Sep 23, 2016 7:05 pm

Queequeg wrote:
I actually agree with the gist of what you are saying. I find it mistaken when people take these passages and reduce Buddha to some sort of Creator God by emphasizing "father" in a biological sense.
I think that this is imbuing your own upbringing and biases into the term. But even most Christians are aware that calling their priest "Father" doesn't mean there's any sense of that person being their progenitor. "Father" just means the provider, care-giver, protector. The scriptures often refer to Buddhist disciples as "sons and daughters of the Sakyan sage" or similar language. I don't think needing to make it a simile instead of a metaphor is necessary; it is already clearly a metaphor.
Seems to me, the correct meaning should be taken as "I am like the father of all beings." I've always understood this statement as referring to the ideal of the father as contrasted with the ideal of the mother. Mother is loving, nurturing, compassionate; Father is the guide to what is correct and proper; the ideal of upright conduct; the protector.
Agreed. Here's another thing, particularly about Chinese and Chinese-influenced languages: we use familial terms as a show of respect. In Vietnamese, I would call all of you Brother __ or Sister __ (sorta like the Mormons do). Ho Chi Minh is called Uncle Ho. There is a giant turtle in Hanoi that we call "Grand Grandfather Turtle." We believe him (actually a her) to be a deva and to have played a major role in Viet Nam's independent from China in the 1500s.

So, at least to my ears, the word "father" doesn't automatically make me associate with the idea of a progenitor. The word "Dad" does (lol). "Father" to me could, quite honestly, refer to any sort of elder to whom I am supposed to show respect. This may likely be why the Chinese, seeing the use of the term, never bothered to translate it to the "teacher" context--it may have been immediately understood how the term was being used.
:buddha1: Nam mô A di đà Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Quan Thế Âm Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Đại Thế Chi Bồ Tát :bow:

:buddha1: Nam mô Bổn sư Thích ca mâu ni Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Di lặc Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Địa tạng vương Bồ tát :bow:

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Re: I am the Father of this world

Post by Queequeg » Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:06 pm

Sentient Light wrote:I think that this is imbuing your own upbringing and biases into the term. But even most Christians are aware that calling their priest "Father" doesn't mean there's any sense of that person being their progenitor. "Father" just means the provider, care-giver, protector. The scriptures often refer to Buddhist disciples as "sons and daughters of the Sakyan sage" or similar language. I don't think needing to make it a simile instead of a metaphor is necessary; it is already clearly a metaphor.
Image

I joke. I joke.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Coëmgenu
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Re: I am the Father of this world

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:16 pm

Is the "this world" not the Pure Land of the Holy Eagle Peak? Isn't that the direct context of the verse-section, "my Pure Land is not destroyed" etc?
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

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Malcolm
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Re: I am the Father of this world

Post by Malcolm » Sat Sep 24, 2016 3:52 am

Coëmgenu wrote:Is the "this world" not the Pure Land of the Holy Eagle Peak? Isn't that the direct context of the verse-section, "my Pure Land is not destroyed" etc?
No.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Coëmgenu
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Location: Whitby, Ontario

Re: I am the Father of this world

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Sep 24, 2016 3:56 am

Malcolm wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:Is the "this world" not the Pure Land of the Holy Eagle Peak? Isn't that the direct context of the verse-section, "my Pure Land is not destroyed" etc?
No.
Do Buddhas' not generate their Buddha Fields?
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

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Malcolm
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Re: I am the Father of this world

Post by Malcolm » Sat Sep 24, 2016 4:10 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:Is the "this world" not the Pure Land of the Holy Eagle Peak? Isn't that the direct context of the verse-section, "my Pure Land is not destroyed" etc?
No.
Do Buddhas' not generate their Buddha Fields?
Shakyamunis buddhafield is this Sahaloka, not just vulture peak.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Coëmgenu
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Location: Whitby, Ontario

Re: I am the Father of this world

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Sep 24, 2016 4:15 am

Malcolm wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
No.
Do Buddhas' not generate their Buddha Fields?
Shakyamunis buddhafield is this Sahaloka, not just vulture peak.
not just vulture peak
Is the Pure Land of Shakyamuni limited to one name? To one definition?

If Shakyamuni is the Primordial Buddha, is his Pure Land not the Primordial Pure Land as well, generated by the Primordial Buddha? I think the description of the Pure Land atop the Holy Eagle Peak seems to match the definitions of a "Primordial Buddha Field" to accompany the Primordial Buddha. But that is only something *I* think. I do not claim to be a Buddhadharma expert.

PS: I do not intend to be arrogant or aggressively insistent, if thats how I come across, I am aware that my insistent questioning can be tiresome, especially on the internet, where intentions are shrouded and often misinterpreted.
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

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