Pure Land - Some Doubts and Weak Faith

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Nosta
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Pure Land - Some Doubts and Weak Faith

Post by Nosta » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:23 am

Sometimes my faith is weak and I have doubts of Pure Land teachings...are they real? Buddha did not teach such things. Others did. Its easy to imagine somewhere (some centurys ago), an abbot or a monk, seeing people lacking in faith, decide to create the Pure Land teachings. And thats it, we have the creation of someones imagination. Not a pure teaching born for Buddha hearth. As every other human creation, Pure Land its no beter and no more real or true. Pure Land of Amitabha, may be just a figment of imagination!

This is what I feel sometimes, and what I think. But not always! I dont know why my faith is so weak these days. So, you are welcome to counteract with arguments the things I said above and help my faith grow stronger again :)

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Aryjna
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Re: Pure Land - Some Doubts and Weak Faith

Post by Aryjna » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:40 am

Nosta wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:23 am
Sometimes my faith is weak and I have doubts of Pure Land teachings...are they real? Buddha did not teach such things. Others did. Its easy to imagine somewhere (some centurys ago), an abbot or a monk, seeing people lacking in faith, decide to create the Pure Land teachings. And thats it, we have the creation of someones imagination. Not a pure teaching born for Buddha hearth. As every other human creation, Pure Land its no beter and no more real or true. Pure Land of Amitabha, may be just a figment of imagination!

This is what I feel sometimes, and what I think. But not always! I dont know why my faith is so weak these days. So, you are welcome to counteract with arguments the things I said above and help my faith grow stronger again :)
The buddha did teach these things, unless you do not accept the Mahayana sutras. If you choose not to accept them, then you may also choose not to accept the Hinayana sutras either, or that they buddha knew what he was talking about at all, so why single out the Pure Land sutras?

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Miroku
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Re: Pure Land - Some Doubts and Weak Faith

Post by Miroku » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:41 am

Nosta wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:23 am
Sometimes my faith is weak and I have doubts of Pure Land teachings...are they real? Buddha did not teach such things. Others did. Its easy to imagine somewhere (some centurys ago), an abbot or a monk, seeing people lacking in faith, decide to create the Pure Land teachings. And thats it, we have the creation of someones imagination. Not a pure teaching born for Buddha hearth. As every other human creation, Pure Land its no beter and no more real or true. Pure Land of Amitabha, may be just a figment of imagination!

This is what I feel sometimes, and what I think. But not always! I dont know why my faith is so weak these days. So, you are welcome to counteract with arguments the things I said above and help my faith grow stronger again :)
Not a Pure Land guy, but these sutras are also present in Tibetan Canon, so I'd say that makes it bit less possible for them to bě fakes. Why? Because I doubt that afte 2000 years of constant study of Buddha's teachings they would not notice something was wrong with them. They are buddhist teachings.

The thing with pure land even existing, for me it helps to notice that even in vajrayana tachings there is a talk about Amitabha's pure land. I have no doubt the pure land exists in some sense and we can be reborn there.

Maybe a few days of intensive practice and study could help you elevate your doubts. Because even Pure Land Buddhism seems to me (a total outsider and beginner) to be a lot about experience. :smile:

Lately I have gained interest in Pure Land teachings, really wondering how it works etc. and I found this channel below. I really enjoyed it and it helped get through some nights when I couldn't fall asleep. :D
https://www.youtube.com/user/ipinhu/videos
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

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Re: Pure Land - Some Doubts and Weak Faith

Post by AJP » Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:24 pm

Nosta wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:23 am
Sometimes my faith is weak and I have doubts of Pure Land teachings...are they real? Buddha did not teach such things. Others did. Its easy to imagine somewhere (some centurys ago), an abbot or a monk, seeing people lacking in faith, decide to create the Pure Land teachings. And thats it, we have the creation of someones imagination. Not a pure teaching born for Buddha hearth. As every other human creation, Pure Land its no beter and no more real or true. Pure Land of Amitabha, may be just a figment of imagination!

This is what I feel sometimes, and what I think. But not always! I dont know why my faith is so weak these days. So, you are welcome to counteract with arguments the things I said above and help my faith grow stronger again :)
Faith of the 18th Vow - Jodo Shinshu is to Accept the Working of the Name this is based on Formless Buddha deep within. This is Settled Faith beyond doubt.

The Name is Other Power in that case.

Self-Power Recitation of varying degrees of Mixed Power doesn't Settle in the same way as the 18th Vow. This is 20th Vow.

So the answer lies in the Name and the 48 Vows which each have their own power based on the existence of the Pure Land Teaching in a Dharmic sense.

So simply continue to recite the Name, it is normal to have doubts as it is a notoriously hard Dharma to accept!

Finally stating Formless Buddha doesn't in any way deny the Samboghakaya aspect.

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Re: Pure Land - Some Doubts and Weak Faith

Post by Admin_PC » Sun Nov 18, 2018 7:03 pm

Nosta wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:23 am
This is what I feel sometimes, and what I think. But not always! I dont know why my faith is so weak these days. So, you are welcome to counteract with arguments the things I said above and help my faith grow stronger again :)
Are you reciting frequently? That might be a good place to start.

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明安 Myoan
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Re: Pure Land - Some Doubts and Weak Faith

Post by 明安 Myoan » Sun Nov 18, 2018 7:15 pm

Hoping that one of the links in my signature has something of interest.

Weak faith, strong faith, it's all a normal part of development. Adversities are inevitable in samsara, aren't they?
Study can help, seeing how widely and frequently Amitabha appears in Mahayana/Vajrayana.
Nothing will compare with first-hand experience, however.
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

The Fundamental Vow [of Amitabha Buddha] is just for such people as woodcutters and grassgatherers, vegetable pickers, drawers of water and the like, illiterate folk who merely recite the Buddha's name wholeheartedly, confident that as a result of saying "Namu Amida Butsu" they will be born into the western land. -- Master Hōnen

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Nosta
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Re: Pure Land - Some Doubts and Weak Faith

Post by Nosta » Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:17 pm

Thank you all for your answers.

In fact, I am doing little to none recitations, but that cannot be the point. Its just my rational mind working a lot...

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Re: Pure Land - Some Doubts and Weak Faith

Post by Admin_PC » Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:36 pm

Nosta wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:17 pm
In fact, I am doing little to none recitations, but that cannot be the point. Its just my rational mind working a lot...
Recitation helps solidify faith and quiet doubt.

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Re: Pure Land - Some Doubts and Weak Faith

Post by narhwal90 » Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:07 am

Admin_PC wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:36 pm
Nosta wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:17 pm
In fact, I am doing little to none recitations, but that cannot be the point. Its just my rational mind working a lot...
Recitation helps solidify faith and quiet doubt.
+1

Getting caught up in the rational mind stuff was perhaps the biggest impediment to practice I've experienced.

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SonamTashi
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Re: Pure Land - Some Doubts and Weak Faith

Post by SonamTashi » Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:12 am

Pure Lands/Pure Land Buddhism are/is basically the cosmological backbone of Mahayana Buddhism, so saying it isn't authentically Buddhist frankly doesn't make much sense. Amitabha and his Pure Land are mentioned in hundreds of Mahayana sutras. That would take an insane amount of effort for someone to just make up.

If you think the Mahayana sutras, and thus Mahayana Buddhism, are inauthentic, then that's one thing. But Pure Land Buddhism is central to Mahayana Buddhism as a whole.
:bow: :buddha1: :bow: :anjali: :meditate:

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Astus
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Re: Pure Land - Some Doubts and Weak Faith

Post by Astus » Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:07 pm

Nosta wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:17 pm
Its just my rational mind working a lot...
There is also a rational way to approach the Pure Land teachings, seeing how it is within the context of the whole of Buddhism. It requires first of all getting your mind around fundamental concepts, like rebirth, the various realms, karma, and dependent origination as the fundamentals. Then the specifics for the Mahayana path: the bodhisattva vows, buddha-lands, emptiness, and mind only. Based on those, it can become clear that it is actually possible to attain birth in a buddha-land through the establishment of faith, vow, and practice on the person's end, and the conditions defined by Amitabha's vows.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Miroku
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Re: Pure Land - Some Doubts and Weak Faith

Post by Miroku » Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:12 pm

:good:
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

AJP
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Re: Pure Land - Some Doubts and Weak Faith

Post by AJP » Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:40 pm

Astus wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:07 pm
Nosta wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:17 pm
Its just my rational mind working a lot...
There is also a rational way to approach the Pure Land teachings, seeing how it is within the context of the whole of Buddhism. It requires first of all getting your mind around fundamental concepts, like rebirth, the various realms, karma, and dependent origination as the fundamentals. Then the specifics for the Mahayana path: the bodhisattva vows, buddha-lands, emptiness, and mind only. Based on those, it can become clear that it is actually possible to attain birth in a buddha-land through the establishment of faith, vow, and practice on the person's end, and the conditions defined by Amitabha's vows.
Which are inseparable

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Aemilius
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Re: Pure Land - Some Doubts and Weak Faith

Post by Aemilius » Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:37 am

Nosta wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:23 am
Sometimes my faith is weak and I have doubts of Pure Land teachings...are they real? Buddha did not teach such things. Others did. Its easy to imagine somewhere (some centurys ago), an abbot or a monk, seeing people lacking in faith, decide to create the Pure Land teachings. And thats it, we have the creation of someones imagination. Not a pure teaching born for Buddha hearth. As every other human creation, Pure Land its no better and no more real or true. Pure Land of Amitabha, may be just a figment of imagination!

This is what I feel sometimes, and what I think. But not always! I dont know why my faith is so weak these days. So, you are welcome to counteract with arguments the things I said above and help my faith grow stronger again :)
If you consider how worlds and beings come about, manifest, are created, according to Buddhism, it should be clear that an infinite variety of worlds and beings exist in the immensely vast cosmos. The modern consensus world view accepts only a limited number of worlds with beings, but this doesn't hinder the principle of the manifestation of different realms with different beings according to their past deeds and past mental formations, like it is taught in the Pratitya Samutpada or the 12 Links of Dependent Arising. The common thinking naturally affects the reality that we see and perceive. Therefore we can't see or perceive more than a fraction of the worlds that are included in the principle of dependent arising. It is difficult to go beyond the habit of perceiving the normal world as a "reality out there", but that view is not true. It is possible to see the jewel trees etc, that a normal consciousness cannot see.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)

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Nosta
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Re: Pure Land - Some Doubts and Weak Faith

Post by Nosta » Wed Nov 21, 2018 9:19 am

I started to make some recitations again, readind some things on Pure Land, including private messages and the kind posts from all of you.

Thank you :cheers:

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