Individuating Buddhas

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doublerepukken
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Individuating Buddhas

Post by doublerepukken » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:41 pm

Hello all,

I could not stop thinking about this on the train this morning: if all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are contained in the one, why does it matter which one we venerate? By chanting the name of one Buddha/Bodhisattva are we not chanting them all? If that's true why do we have to specifically take refuge in Amida?

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: Individuating Buddhas

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:09 pm

You have qualities that all humans share but you also have a name and story of your own. If someone wanted to meet you, you wouldn't introduce them to your friend just because you're both humans :)

DGA
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Re: Individuating Buddhas

Post by DGA » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:42 pm

doublerepukken wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:41 pm
I could not stop thinking about this on the train this morning: if all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are contained in the one, why does it matter which one we venerate? By chanting the name of one Buddha/Bodhisattva are we not chanting them all? If that's true why do we have to specifically take refuge in Amida?
You can take refuge in whatever Buddha you want. Or not. You don't "have" to take refuge in any Buddha, but you may choose to. Life is short and opportunities to practice are uncertain. Now is a time to make good choices.

All Buddhas have particular qualities. Amitabha is approachable and his practice is easy to enter. Calling on Amitabha, you call on all the Buddhas--nothing is left out, and all is well.

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doublerepukken
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Re: Individuating Buddhas

Post by doublerepukken » Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:18 pm

I think I'm doing that thing I do where I try to apply logic to things that are simply beyond my bombu grasp :)

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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Location: Oregon

Re: Individuating Buddhas

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:42 pm

Here's some more reading exactly in line with what DGA said: https://www.purelanders.com/2013/04/22/ ... l-buddhas/

That site has a Chinese Pure Land slant but some really excellent articles for all schools :)

Sentient Light
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Re: Individuating Buddhas

Post by Sentient Light » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:20 pm

It effectively doesn't matter, what tends to count most is the personal affinity with the Buddha or bodhisattva. In my tradition, it's not uncommon to call on Quan Am more often than Amitabha. Others may make greater use of Medicine Buddha's name and practice (even to be reborn in Sukhavati). In ancient China, there was a competition of sorts between Maitreya "Pure Land" practice and Amitabha practice.

Amitabha became the de-facto because of the great universal accessibility described in his texts. Akshobhya Pure Landers, for instance, were probably a very small community of very serious practitioners, because that's the sort of Pure Land described. To have an affinity and connection to Aksobhya Buddha requires a person who gravitates toward very strong-willed discipline, so naturally this practice would appeal only to a minority.
: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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