Reflecting on the 48 vows of Amida Buddha

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The Mantra Mongoose
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Reflecting on the 48 vows of Amida Buddha

Post by The Mantra Mongoose » Mon May 25, 2020 12:18 am

Today, I was reflecting on Amida buddhas' vows and was left for a couple moments speechless at the great love and compassion that has been directed towards me and all beings. In Honen Shonins work "an outline for the doctrine for birth in the pureland" commenting on second aspect of the profound heart while quoting master Shantao's commentary he says that to have the profound heart is to have unshakable faith that Amida Buddha will embrace all beings with his 48 vows. This led me to think about the innumerable amount of time Amida spent enduring untold suffering over and over again for myself and all beings, all to lift us up like little children from the mire beckoning us away from this burning house. I think its so important to reflect that even if anyone of us were the sole being left in the cycle of death and rebirth Amida like a compassionate mother would without fail continue to call us to himself by his vows. Master Honen said it best in a passage that eludes me that when we first hear of the vows of Amida buddha we soak are sleeves with tears in joy at the knowledge that salvation has dawned upon us.

In these difficult times i'm brought great comfort by my encounter with the dharma, especially Amida's vows. This will be my last birth in this saha world until i'll truly be able to help people. wretched man as i am and deserving of the three lower realms, i will not back down from the call that beckons me home. In life i'm embraced amid the turbulence and pain, and at the moment of death amid confusion, anxiety, and stupor Amida will be there to settle my mind and bring me to himself. I wanted to share this reflection in hopes that it might inspire discussion. i'd also like to hear what others have to say bout there encounter with Amida Buddha in there lives and how its changed there perception on life and death.
Hung! On the northwest border of the country Oḍḍiyāna,
On the pollen heart of a lotus flower,
The marvelous, supreme accomplishment has been attained.
You are renowned as the Lotus-Born,
Surrounded by a retinue of many Ḍākinīs.
Following you to be like you,
I beseech you to come and bless me.
Guru Padma Siddhi Hung -The Seven Line Prayer of Guru Rinpoche

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The Mantra Mongoose
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Re: Reflecting on the 48 vows of Amida Buddha

Post by The Mantra Mongoose » Wed May 27, 2020 7:30 pm

Vow 10
Provided I become a Buddha, if the beings of that country of mine should have arise in their minds the idea of selfishness and covetous thoughts, even with regard to their own bodies, then may I not attain the enlightenment.


This vow in particular has given great relief. Having tried to tame the passions in my life through numerous ascetic means and failing, i long for that time when it no longer will be a issue. Even in trying to be selfless in this life I've failed miserably. When reflecting on the times i performed actions that are supposed to be selfless i quickly realize there all sullied with subtle selfishness. The concept of "I" is truly the greatest poison, i'm glad through the primal vow and nembustu I've found the sweetest of medicines that will alleviate my delusions.
Hung! On the northwest border of the country Oḍḍiyāna,
On the pollen heart of a lotus flower,
The marvelous, supreme accomplishment has been attained.
You are renowned as the Lotus-Born,
Surrounded by a retinue of many Ḍākinīs.
Following you to be like you,
I beseech you to come and bless me.
Guru Padma Siddhi Hung -The Seven Line Prayer of Guru Rinpoche

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The Mantra Mongoose
Posts: 60
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Re: Reflecting on the 48 vows of Amida Buddha

Post by The Mantra Mongoose » Wed May 27, 2020 7:43 pm

Vow 23
Provided I become a Buddha, if those Bodhisattvas in that country of mine, through the Grace of the Buddha should not be able to serve all the Buddhas throughout the countless nayuta of Buddha-worlds within a moment as short as a length of time of refreshment, then may I not attain the enlightenment.
This vow also really gives me great joy in a simple way. I just think how awesome it will be to visit all the buddha lands and serve all the buddhas in a blink of an eye. being able to visit the numerous precious masters/Buddhas across all traditions in those lands and rejoicing in the dharma together. What does everyone else think ? Has reflecting on the 48 vows ever brought these thoughts to your minds?
Hung! On the northwest border of the country Oḍḍiyāna,
On the pollen heart of a lotus flower,
The marvelous, supreme accomplishment has been attained.
You are renowned as the Lotus-Born,
Surrounded by a retinue of many Ḍākinīs.
Following you to be like you,
I beseech you to come and bless me.
Guru Padma Siddhi Hung -The Seven Line Prayer of Guru Rinpoche

Steel
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Re: Reflecting on the 48 vows of Amida Buddha

Post by Steel » Wed May 27, 2020 11:16 pm

May you succeed in your wish to be reborn there

Namo Amida Butsu

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The Mantra Mongoose
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Re: Reflecting on the 48 vows of Amida Buddha

Post by The Mantra Mongoose » Thu May 28, 2020 5:48 pm

May you succeed in your wish to be reborn there
thank you for you kind words steel. I have no doubt i will be born there without fail, though not because of anything in me. Those who ride the ship of the primal vow/nembustu of Amida Buddha have nothing to worry about in life or in death. This was why i rejoiced that this would be my last life were i wasn't able to bring people real peace, just as Master Honen taught. My post about the 48 vows seems to be a dud probably because its been gone over numerous times in the past, so thanks again for taking the time to read my thoughts and give a response. :)
Hung! On the northwest border of the country Oḍḍiyāna,
On the pollen heart of a lotus flower,
The marvelous, supreme accomplishment has been attained.
You are renowned as the Lotus-Born,
Surrounded by a retinue of many Ḍākinīs.
Following you to be like you,
I beseech you to come and bless me.
Guru Padma Siddhi Hung -The Seven Line Prayer of Guru Rinpoche

cjdevries
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Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:06 pm

Re: Reflecting on the 48 vows of Amida Buddha

Post by cjdevries » Thu May 28, 2020 6:09 pm

:anjali:
"Without the mud, there is no lotus possible" -Thich Nhat Hanh
"Please call me by my true names so I can wake up; so the door of my heart can be left open: the door of compassion." -Thich Nhat Hanh

Mirror
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Re: Reflecting on the 48 vows of Amida Buddha

Post by Mirror » Thu May 28, 2020 11:26 pm

I really recommend you Pratyutpanna sutra. This sutra is disregarded, but it's awesome. There's even described the specific practice, that will enable you to know, whether you'll be reborn in Sukhavati. I use the four causes of being reborn in Sukhavati as my guidelines in my practice.

I really wish to achieve the samadhi of amitabha buddha and I consider the recitation of the buddha's name as the most meaningful practice, because you can die everytime.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

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The Mantra Mongoose
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Re: Reflecting on the 48 vows of Amida Buddha

Post by The Mantra Mongoose » Fri May 29, 2020 12:08 am

I really recommend you Pratyutpanna sutra. This sutra is disregarded, but it's awesome. There's even described the specific practice, that will enable you to know, whether you'll be reborn in Sukhavati. I use the four causes of being reborn in Sukhavati as my guidelines in my practice.

I really wish to achieve the samadhi of amitabha buddha and I consider the recitation of the buddha's name as the most meaningful practice, because you can die everytime.
Hello Mirror, thank you for the recommendation regarding the Pratyutpanna sutra i may take a look out of curiosity though from my school ( Jodo Shu) it isn't necessary. I don't know which school of Buddhism you follow, but from the Jodo Shu perspective we can have certainty of are birth in the pure land by simply placing our faith in the essential vow while reciting nembustu, everything else merely becomes a support for nembustu or discarded entirely. This will naturally lead to the threefold devotional heart and four modes of practice that Master Honen describes in his works. I don't mean this reply to be polemic, i'm merely stating were my school stands. I'm always interested though as to what other pure land schools believe, and as dharma siblings i aways try to remain conscientious to other interpretations of pure land practice and Buddhism in general. If you don't mind me asking What pure land tradition do you belong to? i'm interested to know. Also, what first got you interested in the Pratyutpanna sutra outside of what you've already stated?
Hung! On the northwest border of the country Oḍḍiyāna,
On the pollen heart of a lotus flower,
The marvelous, supreme accomplishment has been attained.
You are renowned as the Lotus-Born,
Surrounded by a retinue of many Ḍākinīs.
Following you to be like you,
I beseech you to come and bless me.
Guru Padma Siddhi Hung -The Seven Line Prayer of Guru Rinpoche

Mirror
Posts: 130
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:53 am

Re: Reflecting on the 48 vows of Amida Buddha

Post by Mirror » Sat May 30, 2020 5:14 pm

The Mantra Mongoose wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 12:08 am
Hello Mirror, thank you for the recommendation regarding the Pratyutpanna sutra i may take a look out of curiosity though from my school ( Jodo Shu) it isn't necessary. I don't know which school of Buddhism you follow, but from the Jodo Shu perspective we can have certainty of are birth in the pure land by simply placing our faith in the essential vow while reciting nembustu, everything else merely becomes a support for nembustu or discarded entirely. This will naturally lead to the threefold devotional heart and four modes of practice that Master Honen describes in his works. I don't mean this reply to be polemic, i'm merely stating were my school stands. I'm always interested though as to what other pure land schools believe, and as dharma siblings i aways try to remain conscientious to other interpretations of pure land practice and Buddhism in general. If you don't mind me asking What pure land tradition do you belong to? i'm interested to know. Also, what first got you interested in the Pratyutpanna sutra outside of what you've already stated?
I'm follower of Vajrayana. In the case of pure land, I don't follow any particular tradition. I believe that the most important thing in buddhism is practice and any kind of buddhist practice is useful. Pratyutpanna sutra motivated me into practising. I find it very inspiring.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

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The Mantra Mongoose
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Re: Reflecting on the 48 vows of Amida Buddha

Post by The Mantra Mongoose » Sat May 30, 2020 11:05 pm

I'm follower of Vajrayana. In the case of pure land, I don't follow any particular tradition. I believe that the most important thing in buddhism is practice and any kind of buddhist practice is useful. Pratyutpanna sutra motivated me into practising. I find it very inspiring.
Hello Mirror, I rejoice in your practice, and wish you all the best. As a practitioner of vajrayana i wanted to know if you've heard of the Karma Chagme’s "Aspiration Prayer of the Pure Realm of Sukhavati" it probably one of the most beautiful prayers I've seen related to what were talking about and it comes from your tradition. Before i was settled on Master Honen's understanding of pure land practice i used to recite it daily as my main practice for a short time. ill link it below. As it seems this thread has ended and going on to another topic, all i have left to say is may we meet in the pure land and help all beings together. Namu Amida Bu!

58-en.pdf
(272.13 KiB) Downloaded 9 times
Hung! On the northwest border of the country Oḍḍiyāna,
On the pollen heart of a lotus flower,
The marvelous, supreme accomplishment has been attained.
You are renowned as the Lotus-Born,
Surrounded by a retinue of many Ḍākinīs.
Following you to be like you,
I beseech you to come and bless me.
Guru Padma Siddhi Hung -The Seven Line Prayer of Guru Rinpoche

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SonamTashi
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Re: Reflecting on the 48 vows of Amida Buddha

Post by SonamTashi » Sat May 30, 2020 11:09 pm

The Pratyutpanna Samadhi Sutra is probably my favorite sutra. I recommend it to pretty much anyone. I think it is probably the best sutra for understanding the theory behind Pure Land Buddhism and for recognizing Pure Land's central place in the general Mahayana. So for just those reasons I really recommend reading it.

From a Jodo-Shu perspective I think it is important because Honen's practice as a Tendai monk was based on this sutra. It was a major impetus behind Honen creating the Jodo-Shu school. Of course, the impetus that it provided was that Honen was searching for a simpler, easier and more essentialized form of practice that anyone could perform, and the Pratyutpanna Samadhi is very complicated and difficult. But I think understanding the sutra and the practice described within it can be a strong support for understanding Honen's thought.

Also, as you discussed in another post, after being firmly established in the nembutsu and gaining confidence in your rebirth in the Pure Land, you can use any other practice if it is a support for nembutsu. So if you read the Pratyutpanna Samadhi sutra and find that the practice inspires you, then I think it would be a good idea to put it into practice when you feel inspired to do so. For example, the mood may hit you to suddenly practice it, or you may feel inspired to take a retreat day and spend your day in the practice. Certainly, the practice may turn out to be too much, too difficult, etc. but that's ok, because if it isn't a support to the nembutsu, then you can set it aside. In my opinion this is one of the most beautiful aspects of Honen's teachings. Being firmly centered on the nembutsu, you can pick up any auxiliary or miscellaneous practice that supports you, or you can set them aside without guilt or feeling like a failure for not being able to maintain and master those practices.

The practice described in the sutra is very intense and is meant for monastics. As a layperson it would be advisable to do a highly abbreviated version. For example, the sutra prescribes maintaining the practice non-stop for 90 days. As a layperson you can do it for any interval you like, whether that is 10 minutes, an hour, or a day.
:bow: :buddha1: :bow: :anjali: :meditate:

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The Mantra Mongoose
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Re: Reflecting on the 48 vows of Amida Buddha

Post by The Mantra Mongoose » Sat May 30, 2020 11:21 pm

The Pratyutpanna Samadhi Sutra is probably my favorite sutra. I recommend it to pretty much anyone. I think it is probably the best sutra for understanding the theory behind Pure Land Buddhism and for recognizing Pure Land's central place in the general Mahayana. So for just those reasons I really recommend reading it.

From a Jodo-Shu perspective I think it is important because Honen's practice as a Tendai monk was based on this sutra. It was a major impetus behind Honen creating the Jodo-Shu school. Of course, the impetus that it provided was that Honen was searching for a simpler, easier and more essentialized form of practice that anyone could perform, and the Pratyutpanna Samadhi is very complicated and difficult. But I think understanding the sutra and the practice described within it can be a strong support for understanding Honen's thought.

Also, as you discussed in another post, after being firmly established in the nembutsu and gaining confidence in your rebirth in the Pure Land, you can use any other practice if it is a support for nembutsu. So if you read the Pratyutpanna Samadhi sutra and find that the practice inspires you, then I think it would be a good idea to put it into practice when you feel inspired to do so. For example, the mood may hit you to suddenly practice it, or you may feel inspired to take a retreat day and spend your day in the practice. Certainly, the practice may turn out to be too much, too difficult, etc. but that's ok, because if it isn't a support to the nembutsu, then you can set it aside. In my opinion this is one of the most beautiful aspects of Honen's teachings. Being firmly centered on the nembutsu, you can pick up any auxiliary or miscellaneous practice that supports you, or you can set them aside without guilt or feeling like a failure for not being able to maintain and master those practices.

The practice described in the sutra is very intense and is meant for monastics. As a layperson it would be advisable to do a highly abbreviated version. For example, the sutra prescribes maintaining the practice non-stop for 90 days. As a layperson you can do it for any interval you like, whether that is 10 minutes, an hour, or a day.
Hey Sonan Tashi, your absolutely right. I didn't realize that it played such a major role in Honen's thought. i'll definitely have to check it out now.
Hung! On the northwest border of the country Oḍḍiyāna,
On the pollen heart of a lotus flower,
The marvelous, supreme accomplishment has been attained.
You are renowned as the Lotus-Born,
Surrounded by a retinue of many Ḍākinīs.
Following you to be like you,
I beseech you to come and bless me.
Guru Padma Siddhi Hung -The Seven Line Prayer of Guru Rinpoche

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