which pure land do you seek?

JKhedrup
Posts: 2327
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am

Re: which pure land do you seek?

Post by JKhedrup » Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:36 pm

Thanks plwk, it makes sense!

It would be interesting to see if there were specific historical factors in place in China that influenced which Buddha-figure was preferred during various periods. It is very important to understand also because Amitabha Pure Land Buddhism is such a dominant force in the Dharma World in East Asia.

dakini_boi
Posts: 683
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:02 am

Re: which pure land do you seek?

Post by dakini_boi » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:48 am

JKhedrup wrote:Amitabha Buddha is the Lord of the Western Pure Land, and Bhaisayaguru is the Lord of the Eastern Pure Land. My question is why the Western Pure Land is seen as a more desireable option, as Bhaisayaguru (Medicine Buddha) also made powerful vows for the benefit of sentient beings.
I was taught that although all Buddhas' compassion is equal, it is easier to relate the Padma family. This is because the Padma family is the enlightened aspect of desire - desire is the one afflictive emotion that draws us towards others, and the energy of the Western direction is that it reaches back to us.

User avatar
Admin_PC
Site Admin
Posts: 4320
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:17 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: which pure land do you seek?

Post by Admin_PC » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:36 am

JKhedrup wrote:Amitabha Buddha is the Lord of the Western Pure Land, and Bhaisayaguru is the Lord of the Eastern Pure Land. My question is why the Western Pure Land is seen as a more desireable option, as Bhaisayaguru (Medicine Buddha) also made powerful vows for the benefit of sentient beings.
Bhaisajyaguru's 12 vows in the Medicine Buddha Sutra are all very much this-life oriented benefits (to avoid calamities, illness, hardships, and to improve practice). Amitabha's 48 vows in the Pure Land sutras are all about providing a perfect place of practice to achieve liberation in the next life. One part of the Medicine Buddha Sutra even talks about how the Medicine Buddha will send Bodhisattvas to help those who maintain the 8 precepts but still have doubt of their birth in Amitabha's Pure Land to find their way.
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
法然上人

User avatar
Nosta
Posts: 877
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:28 pm

Re: which pure land do you seek?

Post by Nosta » Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:29 pm

Both practices are good: Medicine Budha will help us here in this world, while Amitabha will take us to higher realms, to Nirvana.

But I suppose that Medicine Budha practice will only benefit the ones with great karma. Sometimes I ask for his help and, while I can have some help, I will not have it completly. Since Medicine Buddha is perfect, I suppose that the problem is me, my karma.

JKhedrup
Posts: 2327
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am

Re: which pure land do you seek?

Post by JKhedrup » Mon Sep 02, 2013 4:21 pm

It doesn't make sense to me that one Buddha would be more compassionate to those with negative karma than another, though. So I would think that Medicine Buddha's Pure Land is just as attainable as Amitabha's.

User avatar
Admin_PC
Site Admin
Posts: 4320
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:17 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: which pure land do you seek?

Post by Admin_PC » Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:22 pm

JKhedrup wrote:It doesn't make sense to me that one Buddha would be more compassionate to those with negative karma than another, though. So I would think that Medicine Buddha's Pure Land is just as attainable as Amitabha's.
Reading through the sutra, a lot of Medicine Buddha's help is much more dependent on maintaining precepts than Amitabha's is.
Not only that, but they recommend following the 8 uposatha precepts, not just the 5 for lay people, and some of the help is dependent on the 8.
If you do break precepts and ask for help, the best help it seems to offer is a human rebirth and/or avoiding the 3 lower realms.
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
法然上人

User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
Posts: 6962
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: which pure land do you seek?

Post by Astus » Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:24 pm

JKhedrup wrote:Amitabha Buddha is the Lord of the Western Pure Land, and Bhaisayaguru is the Lord of the Eastern Pure Land. My question is why the Western Pure Land is seen as a more desireable option, as Bhaisayaguru (Medicine Buddha) also made powerful vows for the benefit of sentient beings.
The Pratyutpanna Sutra was translated to Chinese in the 2nd century. In the 3rd century both Zhi Qian and Saṅghavarman translated the Larger Amitabha Sutra. Huiyuan established the first community dedicated to birth in Amitabha's Pure Land in the early 5th century, while Kumarajiva translated the Shorter Sutra a little later. Zhiyi's (6th century) constantly walking samadhi prescribes contemplation on Amitabha in his grand meditation manual. The so called patriarchs of Pure Land Buddhism (Chinese, Japanese) show some traditionally outstanding teachers propagating this teaching.

Besides the above I don't have enough information or resources to provide regarding the social development of the cult of Amitabha. The Dawn of Chinese Pure Land Buddhist Doctrine can give some insights, just as Visions of Sukhavati, Interpreting Amida, and on a linguistic level The Land of Bliss.
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"

User avatar
Nosta
Posts: 877
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:28 pm

Re: which pure land do you seek?

Post by Nosta » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:25 pm

Porkchop, so one needs to do the 8 precepts and only them ask for help? And what if you do that and, after receiving the help you asked for, you broke the precepts again? I think thats almost impossible to keep totaly all the precepts all life. I cant avoid killing some bugs sometimes (like an annoying mosquito) or break other precepts sometimes (harsh speech, etc).

JKhedrup
Posts: 2327
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am

Re: which pure land do you seek?

Post by JKhedrup » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:07 pm

Astus, Thanks so much. A few more "must reads" to add to my ever-increasing pile!

User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
Posts: 6962
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: which pure land do you seek?

Post by Astus » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:13 pm

JKhedrup wrote:Astus, Thanks so much. A few more "must reads" to add to my ever-increasing pile!
If you are interested in a more internal argument for Amitabha, Honen's Senchaku Hongan Nenbutsu Shu (here's a summary) is the work to look into.

The common argument everywhere is that the Pure Land path is simply the easiest and safest to buddhahood among all the other options. And frankly, this is something that no other Buddhist method or school can beat.
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"

User avatar
Admin_PC
Site Admin
Posts: 4320
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:17 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: which pure land do you seek?

Post by Admin_PC » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:47 am

Nosta wrote:Porkchop, so one needs to do the 8 precepts and only them ask for help? And what if you do that and, after receiving the help you asked for, you broke the precepts again? I think thats almost impossible to keep totaly all the precepts all life. I cant avoid killing some bugs sometimes (like an annoying mosquito) or break other precepts sometimes (harsh speech, etc).
Replied to this earlier and not sure what happened...
The 5th vow of the Medicine Buddha is about helping people follow precepts and setting people back on the right path once they've broken precepts.
The rest of the sutra talks about how people who violate the 8 precepts can, through mindfulness of Medicine Buddha, avoid the 3 lower paths.
However according to the Medicine Buddha sutra, It's only those that follow the 8 precepts for a full year or for 3 months every year and dedicate those merits to being born in Amitabha's Pure Land, that are guided towards Amitabha's Pure Land.
Being free from illness, calamities, transformation of cravings, and the other this-worldly fringe benefits all seem to be from merely hearing the Medicine Buddha's name & single-mindedly reciting it, however.
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
法然上人

User avatar
Nosta
Posts: 877
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:28 pm

Re: which pure land do you seek?

Post by Nosta » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:36 am

Thanks for your answer :)

User avatar
sinweiy
Posts: 271
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:18 am
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Re: which pure land do you seek?

Post by sinweiy » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:11 pm

for me, you can't compare compassion itself. because the requirement for each individual are different. to a sick person who needed medicine to survive and if Medicine Buddha offer the help, then Medicine Buddha is "more" compassionate at that point of time and situation per se. and Amitabha Buddha can be "more" compassionate to a person who needed liberation from samsara.
_/\_
Amituofo!

"Enlightenment is to turn around and see MY own mistake, Other's mistake is also my mistake. Others are right even if they are wrong. i'm wrong even if i'm right. " - Master Chin Kung

vikas113
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:04 pm

Re: which pure land do you seek?

Post by vikas113 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:41 pm

Since Ven Sakyamuni Buddha has taught us about Amitabha Pureland in a very detailed manner and his vows I naturally have affinity for rebirth in his pureland Sukhavati. However I have vowed infront of other Buddhas like Medicine Buddha, Maitreya Buddha, Ratna Ketu Buddha and Ashokbya Buddha to take birth in their respective Pureland in the form of manifestation bodies and also study dhamma under them.

:bow: :bow: :bow:

User avatar
sth9784
Posts: 67
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:57 am
Location: Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Re: which pure land do you seek?

Post by sth9784 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:02 am

The title of this thread brought to mind a section of a letter from Master Honen that seems tailor-made for such a question, so I thought I would share.
There are many pure lands in the ten directions, but the reason why we aspire for birth in the Western Pure Land of Amida is that even those who have committed the ten evil acts (ju-aku) and the five grievous sins (gogyakuzai) can be born there. There are various buddhas, but the reason why we call on Amida is that he will arrive to personally welcome us after even three or five recitations. There are various practices, but the reason why we select the nembutsu is that it is assured by Amida's original vow.
It is taken from the letter named Isshi-koshosoku (Reply to a Disciple), and can be read in full here: http://www.jsri.jp/English/Honen/WRITINGS/isshi.html. It is a very lovely letter, and although short, it gives a concise description of Master Honen's thought. Hopefully, it can be of some use to someone.
Crom!

Sentient Light
Posts: 189
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:40 pm
Location: Fairfax, Virginia

Re: which pure land do you seek?

Post by Sentient Light » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:56 pm

Interesting thread to get bumped. I don't think it's been mentioned (I just skimmed the contents), but it's worth pointing out if it hasn't already that up until the Tang Dynasty, there were multiple different "Pure Land traditions" (despite there never being an independent school). The most popular Pure Land cults (for lack of better term) were the cult of Amitabha, cult of Maitreya, and cult of Medicine Buddha. That's about the correct order in terms of popularity as well.

Amitabha won out, for a few reasons. Despite Maitreya's Pure Land being vastly popular, it was understood the timescale it took to attain awakening under his tutelage. On top of this, participating in Maitreya practice was profoundly difficult... his treatises were to be studied, as well as Asanga's works, and by the time of the early Tang, Xuanzang's works paraphrasing Vasubandhu. Incidentally, Maitreya is still widely worshiped, but few (if any) are striving for rebirth in Tusita Heaven.

My theory on the evolution of Medicine Buddha's Pure Land cult (which I know little about, tbh) is that Medicine Buddha ultimately became more prominent in the Esoteric Chan tradition, particularly for monastics training to be healers. And because Medicine Buddha's sutra gives us a means to practice and worship on Medicine Buddha while dedicating that merit to Amitabha's Pure Land, when esoteric Chan declined, Medicine Buddha practice was slowly absorbed into the Amitabha Pure Land tradition.
: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:

User avatar
sth9784
Posts: 67
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:57 am
Location: Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Re: which pure land do you seek?

Post by sth9784 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:38 pm

Just a quick note to the above posters mention on Maitreya. BDK has recently released a translation of one of the Maitreya Sutras that was probably influential in promoting devotion to Maitreya. It can be viewed here: http://www.bdkamerica.org/system/files/ ... ode&id=639 (The Sutra That Expounds the Descent of Maitreya Buddha and His Enlightenment and The Sutra of Mañjuśrī’s Questions). It is relatively short, and definitely worth a read.
Crom!

Dharma Flower
Posts: 1035
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: which pure land do you seek?

Post by Dharma Flower » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:24 am

As it says in the Vimalakirti Sutra, when one's mind is pure, the land is also pure. We need not seek the Pure Land if it's already within us.

User avatar
Admin_PC
Site Admin
Posts: 4320
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:17 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: which pure land do you seek?

Post by Admin_PC » Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:18 pm

From the Vimalakirti Sutra:
Then the Buddha told Śāriputra, “There is a country called Wondrous
Joy (Abhirati), where the Buddha is entitled Akṣobhya (Immovable).
Vimalakīrti died in that country prior to being born here.”
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
法然上人

User avatar
SonamTashi
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:30 pm

Re: which pure land do you seek?

Post by SonamTashi » Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:43 pm

Dharma Flower wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:24 am
As it says in the Vimalakirti Sutra, when one's mind is pure, the land is also pure. We need not seek the Pure Land if it's already within us.
While that is of course the ultimate view and goal of Buddhist practice (in that a Buddha sees everything as pure, and the goal of Mahayana/Vajrayana is Buddhahood), it is perhaps easier said than done, and encouraging such a view before someone has a firm realization of emptiness is probably a little misguided. Until you have at least made a certain amount of progress along the Bodhisattava path, and even until you attain Buddhahood you cannot practice this perfectly. It is perhaps too idealistic and impractical for the level of most practitioners. Telling such practitioners that there is no need to seek a Pure Land, especially on the Pure Land forum, is a little out of place and maybe even dangerous. Of course, if Pure Land is one's chosen path, there is a need to seek the Pure Land. There is a Padmasambhava quote that seems to apply in many situations, including this one:

"Although my view is higher than the sky,
My respect for the cause and effect of actions is as fine as grains of flour." (Note, I don't think this just applies to cause and effect, but to everything that falls under relative truth.)

For most people, saying the world is a Pure Land is mainly just empty talk. For most people the world is still full of struggle and dukkha, First you have to actually do the work to purify the mind. If you try to grasp at emptiness without understanding it, or especially while rejecting the relative or trying to separate the two, then it is just another exercise in ignorance.
Formerly known as emceecombs

Also known as:

Kenyo

Josh

Amituofo :anjali:

Post Reply

Return to “Pure Land”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 22 guests