I've been so wrong/pure lands

User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 1297
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:35 pm
Location: Whitby, Ontario

Re: I've been so wrong/pure lands

Post by Coëmgenu » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:04 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:40 am
This seems to be a point of (minor and hardly severe) disagreement between the two traditions.
For that matter, I am not trying to say "no" to Akaniṣṭha Ghanavyuha. Akaniṣṭha Ghanavyuha, if I am correctly informed, is simply the highest/pinnacle pure saṃbhogakāya realm. But I have heard East Asian Buddhist contextualize this highest pure saṃbhogakāya realm differently, such as viewing it as identical to the sahālokadhātu, if I am not misunderstanding the words of others.
並畢竟空。並如來藏。並實相。非三 而三三而不三。非合非散而合而散。非非合非非散。不可一異而一異。
All three truths are ultimately empty, all are tathāgatagarbha, all are true aspect. Not three, they are three; three, they are not three. Neither combined nor separated, neither uncombined nor unseparated. Neither same nor different, yet in a sense same, and in a sense different.

夫三諦者。 天然之性徳也。 中諦者。 統一切法。 眞諦者。 泯一切法。 俗諦者。 立一切法。
The three truths. Heaven-sent natural characteristics. The middle truth unifies all dharmāḥ. The ultimate truth demolishes all dharmāḥ. The conventional truth establishes all dharmāḥ.

摩訶止観始終心要Móhēzhǐguān, Shǐzhōngxīnyào.

User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 1297
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:35 pm
Location: Whitby, Ontario

Re: I've been so wrong/pure lands

Post by Coëmgenu » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:10 am

I think a huge point of contention arises from the very different way that East Asian Buddhism treats (i.e. "seems to treat" as I see it) "the Pure Land" and "Pure Lands".

I don't think they are always the exact same Buddhafields as "the Indians" understood them (whoever "the Indians" are, as a monolith, in this context!), but that is my own opinion on the matter.

When sentience itself is Buddha-nature, the objects of that sentience become the Pure Land of the Buddha, no? That is something I hear from East Asian circles concerning the "Pure Land".
並畢竟空。並如來藏。並實相。非三 而三三而不三。非合非散而合而散。非非合非非散。不可一異而一異。
All three truths are ultimately empty, all are tathāgatagarbha, all are true aspect. Not three, they are three; three, they are not three. Neither combined nor separated, neither uncombined nor unseparated. Neither same nor different, yet in a sense same, and in a sense different.

夫三諦者。 天然之性徳也。 中諦者。 統一切法。 眞諦者。 泯一切法。 俗諦者。 立一切法。
The three truths. Heaven-sent natural characteristics. The middle truth unifies all dharmāḥ. The ultimate truth demolishes all dharmāḥ. The conventional truth establishes all dharmāḥ.

摩訶止観始終心要Móhēzhǐguān, Shǐzhōngxīnyào.

User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 1297
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:35 pm
Location: Whitby, Ontario

Re: I've been so wrong/pure lands

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:12 pm

I am currently reading more into what I (perhaps wrongly) see as something of a difference in focus between Tibetan & East Asian Buddhism concerning akaniṣṭha ghanavyūha & sahālokadhātu.

It seems that the Ghanavyūhasūtra was not substantially studied in East Asia (China?) until well into ~9-1100AD, but that the text is highly revered in Japanese esoteric circles, which, I believe, is likely to refer to Tendai & Shingon. How this relates to the Lotus schools perhaps-distinctive treatment of sahālokadhātu I am not sure.
並畢竟空。並如來藏。並實相。非三 而三三而不三。非合非散而合而散。非非合非非散。不可一異而一異。
All three truths are ultimately empty, all are tathāgatagarbha, all are true aspect. Not three, they are three; three, they are not three. Neither combined nor separated, neither uncombined nor unseparated. Neither same nor different, yet in a sense same, and in a sense different.

夫三諦者。 天然之性徳也。 中諦者。 統一切法。 眞諦者。 泯一切法。 俗諦者。 立一切法。
The three truths. Heaven-sent natural characteristics. The middle truth unifies all dharmāḥ. The ultimate truth demolishes all dharmāḥ. The conventional truth establishes all dharmāḥ.

摩訶止観始終心要Móhēzhǐguān, Shǐzhōngxīnyào.

User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 1297
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:35 pm
Location: Whitby, Ontario

Re: I've been so wrong/pure lands

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:55 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:30 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:38 am
This all is strictly the beliefs of Malcolm's particular tradition and where he comes from. "So we never really ever achieve buddhahood in the sahālokadhātu." is not an acceptable thing to say outside of Tibet necessarily.
This is straight from Mahāyāna Sūtra, and more than one.

Lankāvatāra Sūtra states:

[Those in] the divine palace of Akaniṣṭha
are free from all misdeeds,
always endowed with nonconceptuality,
free from the arising of mind and mental factors,
having obtained the powers and the faculty of clairvoyance,
and having obtained those samadhis,
the perfect buddhas attain buddhahood there;
the emanations attain buddhahood here.


And:

There is no buddhahood
in the desire realm or the formless realm;
you who are free from desire will attain buddhahood
in Akaniṣṭha of the form realm.


The Ghanavyuha Sūtra states:

The buddhas abiding in that place
praise Ghanavyūha.
Ghanavyūha has existed from beginningless time.
A self-originated emanation is there,
the stainless Buddha.
Dwelling beyond the three elements,
That place is without grasping to bliss,
it is free from the experience of I and mine,
it is unchanging, ultimately permanent, and stable.
Ghanavyūha is unconditioned.
The perfect buddhas awaken [there]
but without buddhahood in the supreme place, Akaniṣṭha,
the deeds of the buddha will not be performed in the desire realm.
Once they depart Ghanavyūha
ten million emanations of the Buddha
will always remain in yogic equipoise.


And:

The Ghanavyūha buddhafield exists beyond the subtle particle nature of the other buddhafields. The Ghanavyūha buddhafield is without the sun, planets, and the moon. Because it’s nature is unconditioned, it does not appear as the most subtle of subtle particles.

That this was normative for Indian Mahāyāna is shown by this passage from Abhayākaragupta’s Marmakaumudī commentary on the Aṣṭasāhasrikāprajñāpāramitā Sūtra.

After our teacher attained full buddhahood in Akaniṣṭha, the nirmanakāyas are born gradually and all at once in Tuṣita in one billion four-continent worlds contained within the Sahā universe, and after dying there [in Tuṣita], exhibit birth in the continent of Jambudvipa (India) and so on until he intended nirvana.
If you will forgive me to pursue this further, as I feel it is, in its way, pertinent to the OP, as it deals with misconceptions or proper conceptions concerning "Pure Lands" & awakening in a given context, in this life, in sahālokadhātu, in Akaniṣṭha, and I hope Minobu will forgive me this parallel inquiry on his thread. Hopefully it is informative and pertinent.

As I said,
For that matter, I am not trying to say "no" to Akaniṣṭha Ghanavyuha. Akaniṣṭha Ghanavyuha, if I am correctly informed, is simply the highest/pinnacle pure saṃbhogakāya realm. But I have heard East Asian Buddhist contextualize this highest pure saṃbhogakāya realm differently, such as viewing it as identical to the sahālokadhātu, if I am not misunderstanding the words of others.


If indeed this, this Akaniṣṭha Ghanavyuha, is the "only" place, in a strict sense, where there is awakening experienced, whatever that means, according to teachings cited earlier.

When I earlier said the phrase "definitive bodhimaṇḍa", I said something of a, because it is an inference on my part. To the best of my knowledge, no one says this but me, and I only say it tentatively in full knowledge that it could well be tragically misinformed, this "definitive bodhimaṇḍa" phrasing.

For instance, if Étienne Lamotte is not sharing in a parallel misinformed view that I have also possibly inherited:

Thus the Grdhrakutaparvata where the assembly gathers is not the most famous of the five mountains which dominate Rajagrha, the ancient Magadhan capital, but an idealized place blessed by the presence of the dharmakaya of the Buddhas. It could be called bodhimanda on the understanding that it is not localised at Bodh-Gaya, where all the Buddhas attain enlightenment, but anywhere - BodhGaya, Rajagrha, Vaisall, Sravasti - where minds are edified by the expounding of the Buddhas (§ 118, n.242). The Grdhrakutaparvata concerned here is not part of the receptacle-world; it is derived from a Buddha-field (buddhaksetra) or, as it will later be called, a 'Pure Land'. This is so true that, on the injunction of a bodhisattva, all its trees are transformed into 'Bodhi trees' each sheltering a bodhisattva (§ 168).


I would necessarily not call Étienne Lamotte a qualified person to speak on the matter on account of his profession alone, I have no clue who he is, I just happen to have his translation and notes on the Śūraṅgamasamādhisūtra. I do, though, believe that he is speaking in a tradition that he has inherited, and is not by himself producing extensive intentional innovation.
並畢竟空。並如來藏。並實相。非三 而三三而不三。非合非散而合而散。非非合非非散。不可一異而一異。
All three truths are ultimately empty, all are tathāgatagarbha, all are true aspect. Not three, they are three; three, they are not three. Neither combined nor separated, neither uncombined nor unseparated. Neither same nor different, yet in a sense same, and in a sense different.

夫三諦者。 天然之性徳也。 中諦者。 統一切法。 眞諦者。 泯一切法。 俗諦者。 立一切法。
The three truths. Heaven-sent natural characteristics. The middle truth unifies all dharmāḥ. The ultimate truth demolishes all dharmāḥ. The conventional truth establishes all dharmāḥ.

摩訶止観始終心要Móhēzhǐguān, Shǐzhōngxīnyào.

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 4591
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: I've been so wrong/pure lands

Post by Queequeg » Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:03 pm

C, the quote from LaMotte is consistent with the way Nichiren sees Grdhakuta in some respects - I would call it the inner teachings. These are the teachings relating to the Gohonzon, the Kaidan, and Daimoku. In the outer teachings, he seems to treat Grdhakuta in a coarser way... The happy hunting ground so to speak.

Interesting. Will need to find LaMottes commentary.
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

"Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in.
Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
-Modest Mouse

"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world!"
-The Grateful Dead

User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 1297
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:35 pm
Location: Whitby, Ontario

Re: I've been so wrong/pure lands

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:27 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:03 pm
C, the quote from LaMotte is consistent with the way Nichiren sees Grdhakuta in some respects - I would call it the inner teachings. These are the teachings relating to the Gohonzon, the Kaidan, and Daimoku. In the outer teachings, he seems to treat Grdhakuta in a coarser way... The happy hunting ground so to speak.

Interesting. Will need to find LaMottes commentary.
I PM'd it to you. It is very much an academic translation and an academic interpretation and Buddhology that LaMotte lays out. It is not wrong per se, but I think that it is likely a composite from many different traditions. I have not read it all, and would likely in the end, if it did, be unqualified to say what he gets right and wrong and according to do whom he does so.
並畢竟空。並如來藏。並實相。非三 而三三而不三。非合非散而合而散。非非合非非散。不可一異而一異。
All three truths are ultimately empty, all are tathāgatagarbha, all are true aspect. Not three, they are three; three, they are not three. Neither combined nor separated, neither uncombined nor unseparated. Neither same nor different, yet in a sense same, and in a sense different.

夫三諦者。 天然之性徳也。 中諦者。 統一切法。 眞諦者。 泯一切法。 俗諦者。 立一切法。
The three truths. Heaven-sent natural characteristics. The middle truth unifies all dharmāḥ. The ultimate truth demolishes all dharmāḥ. The conventional truth establishes all dharmāḥ.

摩訶止観始終心要Móhēzhǐguān, Shǐzhōngxīnyào.

Bois de Santal
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:01 am
Location: La Manche

Re: I've been so wrong/pure lands

Post by Bois de Santal » Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:15 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:55 pm
I would necessarily not call Étienne Lamotte a qualified person to speak on the matter on account of his profession alone, I have no clue who he is, I just happen to have his translation and notes on the Śūraṅgamasamādhisūtra. I do, though, believe that he is speaking in a tradition that he has inherited, and is not by himself producing extensive intentional innovation.
I must admit to never having heard the name Étienne Lamotte until this week (synchronicity or what?). However, from his wikipedia article, it appears he was considered one of the foremost western scholars of buddhism in the 20th century.

The french wikipedia entry for him quotes some interesting remarks he made:
Il y a quelque naïveté à traiter des « valeurs chrétiennes des religions non chrétiennes ».
which roughly translates as 'It's naive to apply christian values to non-christian religions.

And
Que penserions-nous si l'on nous répondait par une étude sur la « valeur bouddhique de la doctrine chrétienne »
'What would you think if they prepared research on christian doctrine in the light of buddhist values.'

So I think we can conclude from that that he was well aware of the dangers of interpreting his chosen subject from the POV of a christian priest and made every effort not to interpret buddhism as a christian. But I haven't yet had the time to read anything of his work, so...

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 26057
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: I've been so wrong/pure lands

Post by Malcolm » Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:27 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:40 am


Well, I said that this was a particularly Tibetan belief, because this strata of Indian Buddhism only survives in Tibet.
The Lanka only exist in Tibet? that's news to me.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


The knowledge imparted through the guru’s instructions that formerly was unknown (avidyā) is vidyā.


—Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle, Longchenpa.

User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 1297
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:35 pm
Location: Whitby, Ontario

Re: I've been so wrong/pure lands

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:21 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:27 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:40 am


Well, I said that this was a particularly Tibetan belief, because this strata of Indian Buddhism only survives in Tibet.
The Lanka only exist in Tibet? that's news to me.
Oh no, I referred to the interpretation of it. The notion that one only "really" achieves awakening in X or Y place interpretation. I am not myself, obviously, a master Buddhist of any sort, but even with my meagre exposure to East Asian Buddhism, I can see that this is a statement that doesn't work in that specific context.

For some reason, whatever it be, whether it is well-informed or ill-informed, East Asian Buddhists, I am thinking particularly about Zen, if we want to name a specific school, but Nichiren works as well since we are in this forum, seem to believe the above concerning "where" one is enlightened, and seem to disregard or differently-interpret (i.e. consider it a teaching that requires drawing out? This is a cop-out, but I do not know how to explain away this apparent disagreement) the Lankāvatārasūtra when it says "There is no buddhahood/ in the desire realm or the formless realm."

Don't shoot the messenger!
並畢竟空。並如來藏。並實相。非三 而三三而不三。非合非散而合而散。非非合非非散。不可一異而一異。
All three truths are ultimately empty, all are tathāgatagarbha, all are true aspect. Not three, they are three; three, they are not three. Neither combined nor separated, neither uncombined nor unseparated. Neither same nor different, yet in a sense same, and in a sense different.

夫三諦者。 天然之性徳也。 中諦者。 統一切法。 眞諦者。 泯一切法。 俗諦者。 立一切法。
The three truths. Heaven-sent natural characteristics. The middle truth unifies all dharmāḥ. The ultimate truth demolishes all dharmāḥ. The conventional truth establishes all dharmāḥ.

摩訶止観始終心要Móhēzhǐguān, Shǐzhōngxīnyào.

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 26057
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: I've been so wrong/pure lands

Post by Malcolm » Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:26 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:21 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:27 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:40 am


Well, I said that this was a particularly Tibetan belief, because this strata of Indian Buddhism only survives in Tibet.
The Lanka only exist in Tibet? that's news to me.
Oh no, I referred to the interpretation of it.
It is not a statement requiring interpretation.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


The knowledge imparted through the guru’s instructions that formerly was unknown (avidyā) is vidyā.


—Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle, Longchenpa.

User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 1297
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:35 pm
Location: Whitby, Ontario

Re: I've been so wrong/pure lands

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:22 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:26 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:21 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:27 pm


The Lanka only exist in Tibet? that's news to me.
Oh no, I referred to the interpretation of it.
It is not a statement requiring interpretation.
Well, I am sure that that is something that you honestly and truly believe, and I am sure it is something that could well be true about the dharma. I'm not going to pretend to be someone qualified enough to say "no", in a resolute and definite manner, to you on something. And I will say that I am not "against" the notion. But other readings of the Buddhadharma that are provided to the general public, such as I would say the dispensation of Ven Nichiren by those who expound it, seem to complicate the seemingly straightforward narration provided. Similarly, other sūtrāṇi that are considered definitive lack this teaching. If the teaching in question is correct, than perhaps this is an illustration of a shortfall of the general tradition of basing perspectives of Buddhadharma around particular sūtrāṇi.

If we had a Venerable from the tradition with a similar level of qualification as you are in yours, I am sure this would be a more fruitful and informative exchange, as it is, though, all I can saw is that I have a strong suspicion that, in the very least in the tradition that this subforum is dedicated to, but also very likely in others in East Asia, the narrative that "There is no buddhahood/ in the desire realm or the formless realm." is quite problematized, if not outrightly rejected.
並畢竟空。並如來藏。並實相。非三 而三三而不三。非合非散而合而散。非非合非非散。不可一異而一異。
All three truths are ultimately empty, all are tathāgatagarbha, all are true aspect. Not three, they are three; three, they are not three. Neither combined nor separated, neither uncombined nor unseparated. Neither same nor different, yet in a sense same, and in a sense different.

夫三諦者。 天然之性徳也。 中諦者。 統一切法。 眞諦者。 泯一切法。 俗諦者。 立一切法。
The three truths. Heaven-sent natural characteristics. The middle truth unifies all dharmāḥ. The ultimate truth demolishes all dharmāḥ. The conventional truth establishes all dharmāḥ.

摩訶止観始終心要Móhēzhǐguān, Shǐzhōngxīnyào.

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 26057
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: I've been so wrong/pure lands

Post by Malcolm » Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:38 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:22 pm
If the teaching in question is correct, than perhaps this is an illustration of a shortfall of the general tradition of basing perspectives of Buddhadharma around particular sūtrāṇi.
Yes. The Indians never had this custom.
the narrative that "There is no buddhahood/ in the desire realm or the formless realm." is quite problematized, if not outrightly rejected.
People often ignore what sūtras actually say.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


The knowledge imparted through the guru’s instructions that formerly was unknown (avidyā) is vidyā.


—Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle, Longchenpa.

illarraza
Posts: 541
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:30 am

Re: I've been so wrong/pure lands

Post by illarraza » Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:06 pm

Minobu wrote:
Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:12 pm
so like i really thought this whole life in a pure land and life after death and looking down on the saha world from above was just weirded out Abrahamic thinking , but in an ancient deluded Eastern Thought way of thinking.

i read Gosho after gosho and the referance to this just hit me
''like
I HAVE received your offering of various articles. Nothing would please me more than to know that you have communicated with the late Ueno, but I know that that is impossible. Unless it was in a dream, it is unlikely that you have seen him. Unless it was an illusion, how could you have seen him? Surely your late husband is in the pure land of Eagle Peak, listening and watching over this sahā world day and night. You, his wife, and your children have only mortal senses, so you cannot see or hear him, but be assured that you will eventually be reunited [on Eagle Peak].
from
Hell is the Land of Tranquil Light

then
With a pair of wings, you will surely fly in an instant to the treasure land of Tranquil Light. I will write in more detail on another occasion.
With my deep respect,
Nichiren
from

Erthly desires are enlightenment


So it's not far off from The Early Abrahamic Thought...recently on television i was watching a Rabbi teach about the many incarnations each of us might have to go through to finally learn...

so it's not so much of what i thought and what i worried about...but it is factual...

so why not make it a goal?..so many cultures had someone see this reality, and teach it in some form or other...

i'm sort of taken back and confused.

you gotta realize i was taught by an atheist this was all lie...it is hard wired in me...
Been thinking about your post. What we said, I believe is partially true...that depending on the recipient the teaching on Eagle Peak was either an expedient teaching (Eagle Peak as some transcendent other worldly realm) or the very here and now. It is more nuanced, I believe. For example, Nichiren believed both that Hell exists only within our five foot body and in actual real hell realms throughout the universe. Likewise, he believed both in Eagle Peak as this Saha World and as a Realm to look forward to as a temporary destination between this life and the next. His later teachings (after around 1276 and especially as his health declined, more often concerned Eagle Peak as a glorious destination between this life and the next where again he would meet his teacher, Shakyamuni Buddha. I too have such thoughts as my health deteriorates and it gives me great joy.

illarraza
Posts: 541
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:30 am

Re: I've been so wrong/pure lands

Post by illarraza » Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:10 pm

My response should have read, what qq said.

User avatar
Aryjna
Posts: 299
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:45 pm

Re: I've been so wrong/pure lands

Post by Aryjna » Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:29 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:30 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:38 am
This all is strictly the beliefs of Malcolm's particular tradition and where he comes from. "So we never really ever achieve buddhahood in the sahālokadhātu." is not an acceptable thing to say outside of Tibet necessarily.
This is straight from Mahāyāna Sūtra, and more than one.

Lankāvatāra Sūtra states:

[Those in] the divine palace of Akaniṣṭha
are free from all misdeeds,
always endowed with nonconceptuality,
free from the arising of mind and mental factors,
having obtained the powers and the faculty of clairvoyance,
and having obtained those samadhis,
the perfect buddhas attain buddhahood there;
the emanations attain buddhahood here.


And:

There is no buddhahood
in the desire realm or the formless realm;
you who are free from desire will attain buddhahood
in Akaniṣṭha of the form realm.


The Ghanavyuha Sūtra states:

The buddhas abiding in that place
praise Ghanavyūha.
Ghanavyūha has existed from beginningless time.
A self-originated emanation is there,
the stainless Buddha.
Dwelling beyond the three elements,
That place is without grasping to bliss,
it is free from the experience of I and mine,
it is unchanging, ultimately permanent, and stable.
Ghanavyūha is unconditioned.
The perfect buddhas awaken [there]
but without buddhahood in the supreme place, Akaniṣṭha,
the deeds of the buddha will not be performed in the desire realm.
Once they depart Ghanavyūha
ten million emanations of the Buddha
will always remain in yogic equipoise.


And:

The Ghanavyūha buddhafield exists beyond the subtle particle nature of the other buddhafields. The Ghanavyūha buddhafield is without the sun, planets, and the moon. Because it’s nature is unconditioned, it does not appear as the most subtle of subtle particles.

That this was normative for Indian Mahāyāna is shown by this passage from Abhayākaragupta’s Marmakaumudī commentary on the Aṣṭasāhasrikāprajñāpāramitā Sūtra.

After our teacher attained full buddhahood in Akaniṣṭha, the nirmanakāyas are born gradually and all at once in Tuṣita in one billion four-continent worlds contained within the Sahā universe, and after dying there [in Tuṣita], exhibit birth in the continent of Jambudvipa (India) and so on until he intended nirvana.
Has the Ghanavyuha sutra been translated? I can't find much about it online.

User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 1297
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:35 pm
Location: Whitby, Ontario

Re: I've been so wrong/pure lands

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:53 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:22 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:26 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:21 pm


Oh no, I referred to the interpretation of it.
It is not a statement requiring interpretation.
Well, I am sure that that is something that you honestly and truly believe, and I am sure it is something that could well be true about the dharma. I'm not going to pretend to be someone qualified enough to say "no", in a resolute and definite manner, to you on something. And I will say that I am not "against" the notion. But other readings of the Buddhadharma that are provided to the general public, such as I would say the dispensation of Ven Nichiren by those who expound it, seem to complicate the seemingly straightforward narration provided. Similarly, other sūtrāṇi that are considered definitive lack this teaching. If the teaching in question is correct, than perhaps this is an illustration of a shortfall of the general tradition of basing perspectives of Buddhadharma around particular sūtrāṇi.

If we had a Venerable from the tradition with a similar level of qualification as you are in yours, I am sure this would be a more fruitful and informative exchange, as it is, though, all I can saw is that I have a strong suspicion that, in the very least in the tradition that this subforum is dedicated to, but also very likely in others in East Asia, the narrative that "There is no buddhahood/ in the desire realm or the formless realm." is quite problematized, if not outrightly rejected.
At the same time, while I am perplexedly still confident that many people teach the dharma like above, as I do more research I become less and less confident of this:

Coëmgenu wrote:sahālokadhātu is something of a "definitive bodhimaṇḍa" in most of East Asian Buddhism


I think there is some element of truth to this, but it is not quite properly expressed.

For instance, Akaniṣṭha Ghanavyuha is indirectly substantiated in the 天台四敎儀, which can be read in summary here.

If I can clip together Müller's translation from that paper into the relevant bits:

第一頓教者、卽華嚴經也。從部、時、味、等、得名爲頓。
所謂如來初成正覺、在寂滅道場。
四十一位法身大士、及宿世根熟天龍八部一時圍繞。
如雲籠月。爾時如來現盧舍那身。
說圓滿修多羅。故言頓教。

The Sudden Mode is that of the Flower Ornament Sūtra. Because of category, its time period, and its flavor, it is called “sudden.” This is indicated by phrases where it says “The Tathāgata first achieved perfect enlightenment” and “He abode in the site of extinction.” Dharma-body bodhisattvas at the forty-first stage and the eight groups of spiritual beings whose faculties were matured from previous lifetimes circumambulated him at one time, like the clouds encircling the moon. At that time the Tathāgata manifested the body of Vairocana and taught the Perfectly Complete Sūtra (i.e., the Flower Ornament Sūtra). Hence it is called the Sudden Teaching.

[...]

第二漸教者。 [此下三時三味
總名爲漸]。 次爲三乘根性於頓無益故、
不動寂場而游鹿苑。脫舍那珍御之服、著丈六弊垢之衣。
示從兜率降下、託摩耶胎。
住胎、出胎、納妃、生子。出家、苦行六年已後、
木菩提樹下以草爲座成劣應身。初在鹿苑先爲五人
說四諦十二因緣事、六度等教。


Next, for those whose spiritual faculties were suitable for the three vehicles, who could not benefit from the sudden teaching, he traveled out to the Deer Park without moving from the site of his nirvāṇa. Casting off his fine Vairocana garb, he donned the torn and dirty robe of his sixteen-foot form. He manifested his descent from Tuṣita Heaven, entrusting himself to the womb of Māyā. He abode in the womb, emerged from the womb, took a wife, and produced a child. Abandoning the secular life, he practiced austerities for six years, after which he planted himself beneath the bodhi tree, taking the grass as his seat, and attained the inferior response body. At the beginning he stayed in the Deer Park, teaching his first five disciples the four truths, the twelve limbs of dependent arising, the six perfections, and so forth.
並畢竟空。並如來藏。並實相。非三 而三三而不三。非合非散而合而散。非非合非非散。不可一異而一異。
All three truths are ultimately empty, all are tathāgatagarbha, all are true aspect. Not three, they are three; three, they are not three. Neither combined nor separated, neither uncombined nor unseparated. Neither same nor different, yet in a sense same, and in a sense different.

夫三諦者。 天然之性徳也。 中諦者。 統一切法。 眞諦者。 泯一切法。 俗諦者。 立一切法。
The three truths. Heaven-sent natural characteristics. The middle truth unifies all dharmāḥ. The ultimate truth demolishes all dharmāḥ. The conventional truth establishes all dharmāḥ.

摩訶止観始終心要Móhēzhǐguān, Shǐzhōngxīnyào.

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 4591
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: I've been so wrong/pure lands

Post by Queequeg » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:09 pm

All this concern with where a Buddha attains enlightenment is a problem of supposing enlightenment is gained rather than what we are.

See the second quote in my signature.

Then consider the third.
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

"Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in.
Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
-Modest Mouse

"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world!"
-The Grateful Dead

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 26057
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: I've been so wrong/pure lands

Post by Malcolm » Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:53 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:09 pm
All this concern with where a Buddha attains enlightenment is a problem of supposing enlightenment is gained rather than what we are.
If you wish to regard yourself as a buddha encased in afflictions, that is just fine. Now, about those afflictions...
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


The knowledge imparted through the guru’s instructions that formerly was unknown (avidyā) is vidyā.


—Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle, Longchenpa.

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 4591
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: I've been so wrong/pure lands

Post by Queequeg » Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:18 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:53 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:09 pm
All this concern with where a Buddha attains enlightenment is a problem of supposing enlightenment is gained rather than what we are.
If you wish to regard yourself as a buddha encased in afflictions, that is just fine. Now, about those afflictions...
What Buddha? What afflictions?
(And so ends my zen master in a motley bit)
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

"Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in.
Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
-Modest Mouse

"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world!"
-The Grateful Dead

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 26057
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: I've been so wrong/pure lands

Post by Malcolm » Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:42 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:18 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:53 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:09 pm
All this concern with where a Buddha attains enlightenment is a problem of supposing enlightenment is gained rather than what we are.
If you wish to regard yourself as a buddha encased in afflictions, that is just fine. Now, about those afflictions...
What Buddha? What afflictions?
The afflictions that cause you, a buddha, to take rebirth in samsara. You can waffle all you like, but the fact of the matter is that if you are not practicing Dharma to alleviate the suffering caused by afflictions for yourself and others, you have not understood the point of Buddhadharma at all, and are wasting your timel. I suspect you are practicing Dharma to alleviate the suffering caused by afflictions for yourself and others, so your protest is merely rhetorical posturing.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


The knowledge imparted through the guru’s instructions that formerly was unknown (avidyā) is vidyā.


—Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle, Longchenpa.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bois de Santal and 18 guests