Jodo Shinshu re: True Original Teaching

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steveb1
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Jodo Shinshu re: True Original Teaching

Post by steveb1 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:36 am

I am a happy convert to Shin Buddhism. One issue that I am not clear on is why the original Pali texts

Do not depict Shakyamuni mentioning Amida Buddha (there is of course a classic Pure Land text about a public vision on Vulture Peak that says he did);

- and -

Do not predict the future Buddhist schools (e.g. Amidism, the Patriarchs, Honen, Shinran, Honen) whose eventual eschewal of meditation as a self-power practice and its replacement with total reliance on Amida Buddha's Other Power would (seemingly) invert the Buddha's original message.

I am aware of Buddha's mentioning that after much effort, he simply relaxed, at which point he entered Bodhi. This would seem to agree with Shin - at least inasmuch as Buddha's abandonment of self-effort "opened the door" to his Enlightenment.

But it would also differ from Shin because Buddha during his life continued to teach methods designed to push us along the Path, and because Buddha never assigned a personal nature to the state of relaxation that ushered in his Enlightenment - and of course he did not call it by name - not "Amida" or any other name as far as I know.

Shin teaches that Amidism's reliance on Amida's grace/merit not only (somehow) does not really subvert Buddha's self-power Way, and that (somehow) it was nevertheless present - at least in seed form - in Buddha's mind (and presumably) in his teaching during his long life of wandering and preaching.
So I am not certain as to how Amidism/Shin supports this, either from Theravada or Mahayana teaching/texts.

Thus far, I am only aware of two explanations:

1. The Buddha, like Jesus in his night visit with Nicodemus, had certain esoteric, mystical teachings that he only shared with select disciples under special circumstances.

2. Because the Dharma is omnipresent and eternal, it does not exclusively depend on individual Buddhas for its dissemination. In addition to the historical Gotama's individually-taught Dharma, some Pure Land teachings claim that we also possess an Amida-Dharma - as revealed through its own self-expression through adherents who disclosed it during states of samadhi.

Thus I am having difficulty in reconciling these apparent contradictions, based, admittedly of course, on my rather scanty reading on the subject.

Can any person with scholarly knowledge of Amidism generally, and Shin specifically, assist me in this inquiry? Any suggestions would be most welcome.

Thanks in advance for any help!
:)

shaunc
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Re: Jodo Shinshu re: True Original Teaching

Post by shaunc » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:49 am

Sorry but I am not a scholar or academic and am not in a position to quote sources or get into debates.
But basically and very simply, while the buddha was alive and for the first 500 years after his death self power methods of enlightenment worked because of Sakyumani's good karma after we entered the age of mappo self power methods while not impossible are very highly improbable to work and to help us we need a buddha with an unlimited amount of good karma to help us. That buddha is Amida.
Namu Amida Butsu.

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Admin_PC
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Re: Jodo Shinshu re: True Original Teaching

Post by Admin_PC » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:44 pm

Most of the basic pieces of Pure Land are there in the Agamas/Nikayas, except for Amida:
- Thinking of the Buddha (Nembutsu) as the main Dharma practice for householders
- Faith & last thoughts at death each leading to good destinations
- Pure Abodes where practitioners can continue along the path after death

That second bullet is probably where Other Power comes in: faith leading to a good destination. This was especially true in the case of Sarakaani - the householder who "turned to drink" and died, but still achieved stream entry (regardless of how later commentators tried to reframe the story).

Now as far as why Amida is not present in early sutras, there are a few theories.
1- Teachings about him were not important/not given to the Arhants who preserved the canon, but rather was important to certain householders.
2- Even the Agamas/Nikayas display signs of editing.
3- Teachings on Amida arose later and were given to address concerns from faith-based followers after Shakyamuni had achieved parinirvana and was no longer accessible.
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
法然上人

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doublerepukken
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Re: Jodo Shinshu re: True Original Teaching

Post by doublerepukken » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:12 am

Admin_PC wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:44 pm
Most of the basic pieces of Pure Land are there in the Agamas/Nikayas, except for Amida:
- Thinking of the Buddha (Nembutsu) as the main Dharma practice for householders
- Faith & last thoughts at death each leading to good destinations
- Pure Abodes where practitioners can continue along the path after death

That second bullet is probably where Other Power comes in: faith leading to a good destination. This was especially true in the case of Sarakaani - the householder who "turned to drink" and died, but still achieved stream entry (regardless of how later commentators tried to reframe the story).

Now as far as why Amida is not present in early sutras, there are a few theories.
1- Teachings about him were not important/not given to the Arhants who preserved the canon, but rather was important to certain householders.
2- Even the Agamas/Nikayas display signs of editing.
3- Teachings on Amida arose later and were given to address concerns from faith-based followers after Shakyamuni had achieved parinirvana and was no longer accessible.
Hey Admin,

Just wondering, do you have sources for the bullet points? Sorry, I know thats probably an arduous task lol but I am extremely curious as I have never heard of these concepts being present in any of the Pali. If not no worries, excellent posting as always I hope one day I can be as well versed as you friend :twothumbsup:

Gassho
南無阿弥陀仏
なむ あみだ ぶつ
Namu Amida Butsu

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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Jodo Shinshu re: True Original Teaching

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:03 am

Steve, didn't you explore this matter thoroughly in this thread several years ago?

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Admin_PC
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Re: Jodo Shinshu re: True Original Teaching

Post by Admin_PC » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:02 am

doublerepukken wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:12 am
Hey Admin,

Just wondering, do you have sources for the bullet points? Sorry, I know thats probably an arduous task lol but I am extremely curious as I have never heard of these concepts being present in any of the Pali. If not no worries, excellent posting as always I hope one day I can be as well versed as you friend :twothumbsup:

Gassho
Most of it's here:
viewtopic.php?f=60&t=24281#p367449
The Suddhavasa are described here:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... /loka.html
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
法然上人

steveb1
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Re: Jodo Shinshu re: True Original Teaching

Post by steveb1 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:22 am

Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:03 am
Steve, didn't you explore this matter thoroughly in this thread several years ago?
Oh my gosh... senescence has breached the wall, but the citadel still stands. I had completely spaced it. Totally. Thanks for the reminder and the link so I can refresh my failing memory.

Guess the mods can pull my OP if they judge it to be redundant.

steveb1
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Re: Jodo Shinshu re: True Original Teaching

Post by steveb1 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:22 am

Admin_PC wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:02 am
doublerepukken wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:12 am
Hey Admin,

Just wondering, do you have sources for the bullet points? Sorry, I know thats probably an arduous task lol but I am extremely curious as I have never heard of these concepts being present in any of the Pali. If not no worries, excellent posting as always I hope one day I can be as well versed as you friend :twothumbsup:

Gassho
Most of it's here:
viewtopic.php?f=60&t=24281#p367449
The Suddhavasa are described here:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... /loka.html
Thanks for the links. I keep learning things...if I don't go and forget them...

steveb1
Posts: 569
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:37 am

Re: Jodo Shinshu re: True Original Teaching

Post by steveb1 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:24 am

Admin_PC wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:44 pm
Most of the basic pieces of Pure Land are there in the Agamas/Nikayas, except for Amida:
- Thinking of the Buddha (Nembutsu) as the main Dharma practice for householders
- Faith & last thoughts at death each leading to good destinations
- Pure Abodes where practitioners can continue along the path after death

[snipped]
As another poster pointed out, apparently I asked the same general question in another thread, which I totally forgot about. Thanks for your great reply.

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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Jodo Shinshu re: True Original Teaching

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:55 pm

No prob Steve! I only remembered it because I'd read that thread so many times :) it's a good one.

steveb1
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Re: Jodo Shinshu re: True Original Teaching

Post by steveb1 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:38 am

Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:55 pm
No prob Steve! I only remembered it because I'd read that thread so many times :) it's a good one.
Thanks, Monlam. Glad you nipped it in the bud, though, so as not to feed a redundant post. My mind is crumbling... I'm thinking - of - a - brick wall, a brick wall...!

;)

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