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Post by doublerepukken » Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:31 am

Hello All!

I have a question involving disability and its relationship to PL. In Honen/Shinran's writings in particular I see the PL gate as being mentioned as the gate for everyone, but while contemplating this, I started to ask 'what about the disabled?' In their time I am sure there were people born blind-deaf, or who had become later in life as a consequence of war/famine/disease etc. given the turbulent era that they lived, did they ever address how these people could awaken faith in Amida? Today, we have wonderful things like tactile sign-language etc. for tools for learning, but I imagine things like this didn't exist in ancient Japan (I could be wrong though, but I am assuming not). Was this ever addressed by anyone in the PL lineage, or were they just excluded all together?

なむ あみだ ぶつ
Namu Amida Butsu

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Re: Disability

Post by sth9784 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:31 am

I have often wondered about this as well. In the writings of Honen, he stresses the vocal utterance of Nembutsu, so I wondered what he would say about someone who, for some reason or other, was unable to speak. Not only Honen, but I think most Pure Land Masters would make an exception for one who was unable to speak, and be alright with just repeating it mentally.

This is only my opinion though, and I have no textual sources to support it.

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Re: Disability

Post by shaunc » Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:18 am

I'm Pretty sure that Shinran taught that mentally or silently saying the nembutsu was acceptable. This would be even more true of course in the case of a person that had no choice. He also taught that faith and gratitude was more important than the amount of times the nembutsu was repeated.
The Japanese pureland masters were truly revolutionary for their times.

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Re: Disability

Post by rory » Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:50 am

I just found a very interesting article online by Paul Groner "Extreme Ascetiscism, Medicine and Pure Land Faith in the Life of Shuichi Muno (1683-1719)", a Jodo priest, who practised extreme asceticism and preached Pure Land to poor, the sick, lepers, and minsistered, sometimes prescribing nembutsu as a cure to lepers, the blind, the deaf. So yes!

I'm sure there are many more examples as Pure Land was popular in Heian times and earlier across all schools, but I don't know Japanese:(
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58

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Re: Disability

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:34 am

There are lots of hindrances to beings encountering the Dharma.

Teachers like Honen did their utmost to propagate, but if a person's karma led them to be born far away, in another country, too young to understand, blind or deaf, and so on, then those obstacles were out of his control. But he did teach anyone who came to him, including those rejected by society.

On that theme, where was I when Honen was teaching in Japan? Or when Shakyamuni was alive? Why do I still dally in samsara?
Yet even so, some one or two millennia later, you and I have encountered the Pure Land Dharma. So now we can't let this chance slip away!
Eight Freedoms, Ten Advantages, and all that.

I think if you make a vow to guide disabled people in particular once you're in the Pure Land, that would be a wonderful thing.

I'm not sure if this addressed your question. :group:
Namu Amida Bu Namu Amida Bu Namu Amida Bu

"If sentient beings are touched by His radiance, their three afflictions will be eliminated and their bodies and minds will become gentle. They will be filled with joy and exuberance as benevolence arises in their minds. If those who are in extreme suffering, taking any of the three evil life-journeys, see this radiance, they can rest, no more pain or distress. After their death, they will be saved." -- Sutra of Amitāyus Buddha

The Teachings of Master Hōnen

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Re: Disability

Post by Sentient Light » Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:45 pm

There are three ways to recite the Buddha's name: verbally; verbally and mentally; and mentally alone. Only the first of the three is ineffective. Even writing his name in the air qualifies as a recitation, if the proper mental effort is exerted.
: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: Disability

Post by doublerepukken » Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:55 pm

thanks for the replies everyone, I hadn't considered the whole issue of karma, and being born in a position not be able to hear the Dharma. These comments really cleared this up for me. I appreciate everyone helping me out, this forum has been an ENORMOUS resource for helping me figure this stuff out for this bombu.

Namu Amida Butsu
なむ あみだ ぶつ
Namu Amida Butsu

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Re: Disability

Post by Soma999 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:00 am

Your spirit is, by himself, not limited with afflictions of the body. Even blind persons could read when out of their body, like it has been reported in near-death experience. One doctor even reported someone uncousncious, who could not even move her mouth, told him to check something, and he avoided a medical complication by following the advice he "heard". Once awakened the persons told the doctor "so good you hear me !". The doctor is an urgentist.

The body is born, it will die. The spirit which is consciousness lives on.

And by the way there are many way of reciting, mentally, and also just by intention, focusing on the mantra, without even reciting it with "effort".

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