Three Jewels and "Permanently exist"?

Post Reply
User avatar
Monlam Tharchin
Posts: 1667
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:11 am
Location: Oregon

Three Jewels and "Permanently exist"?

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:19 pm

On the Jodo Shu North America website, it has taking refuge in the following form:
I bow in reverence to the Buddhas who permanently exist in the lands of the ten directions of the universe.
I bow in reverence to the Dharma who permanently exist in the lands of the ten directions of the universe.
I bow in reverence to the Sangha who permanently exist in the lands of the ten directions of the universe.
Can someone explain what "permanently exist" means here? Is it merely a contrast to samsara which is impermanent?


User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 4181
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:17 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: Three Jewels and "Permanently exist"?

Post by Admin_PC » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:14 pm

The term in question is the following. I bolded the definition that I think applies.

Pronunciations: joujyuu

Basic Meaning: permanent


Eternal, everlasting, eternally abiding, unchanging. Permanence is in many contexts, taken as an erroneous view held by unenlightened people, wherein they misunderstand objects to be permanent when they are in fact impermanent 無常. In other contexts, it can refer to positive notions, such as thusness 眞如 or the Dharma body 法身, that are everlasting. (Skt. nitya, sthita, nitya-sthita). 〔法華經 T 262.9.b10〕 (Skt. śāśvata; avasthita, kūṭa-stha, dhruva, nityatā, nityatva, nityam, *nitya-stha, niyata, *niyata-stha, vihārin, śāśvatatva, śāśvatika, sadā, sadāsthitaḥ, sadôpasthita, sthhāsyatesvaliṅgavān, sthititā; Pāli nicca) [Charles Muller; source(s): Ui, Nakamura, JEBD, Hirakawa,Yokoi]

Based on the Shōmangyō gisho 勝鬘經義疏, the Iwanami dictionary distinguishes two kinds of permanence: (1) the quiescently abiding permanence that is not subject to arising and ceasing 生滅 or change 變化 (Skt. kūṭasthanitya), and the permanence that is possible based on continuous cyclical change under the influence of external factors (Skt. pariṇāminitya). [Charles Muller; source(s): Iwanami]

Administrative wing. 'Always' 常 'staying' 住, refers to anything — buildings, furniture, icons, scriptures, ritual implements, tools, etc. — that is the permanent property of a monastery and must not be removed by an abbot when he/she leaves office and moves to another monastery.

Because management of such property was generally the concern of monastic officers known as administrators 庫司, the part of the monastery where they lived and worked (the administration hall 庫堂 or kitchen-residence 庫裡) and the offices themselves became known collectively as the 'permanent property' area or administrative wing. In Zen monasteries today, the practice wing of a monastery, as opposed to the administrative wing, is sometimes called 'inside the hall' 堂內; that is a reference to the saṃgha hall 僧堂 or meditation hall 禪堂 where monks practice zazen and may also take meals and sleep.
[Griffith Foulk]
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 17 guests