Authoritative Tendai Pure Land texts

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Shaku Kenshin
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Authoritative Tendai Pure Land texts

Post by Shaku Kenshin » Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:29 am

Over the centuries, many works on Pure Land teachings have been written by Tendai monks. I am interested in which of these are seen as most authoritative for contemporary Tendai.

I assume that the Ojoyoshu 往生要集, as the first work that attempted to systematized Pure Land teachings within the framework of Japanese Tendai, is still important, although I wonder how relevant it's instructions on Pure Land practice are nowadays.

When I checked the index of the Tendaishu Seiten 天台宗聖典 I found the following Pure Land works:
Amida kyo 阿弥陀経
Kanjin ryaku yoshu 観心略要集 (by Genshin, apocrypha)
Shinnyokan 真如観 (by Genshin, apocrypha)
Yokawa hogo 横川法語 (by Genshin)
Shoshin hogo 奏進法語 (by Shinzei)
Gokurakukoku mida wasan 極楽国弥陀和讃 (by Senkan)

There are of course many other Pure Land texts, like Ryogen's Gokuraku jodo kubon ojogi, Senkan's Amida shinjugi , etc. But I would like to ask the Tendai practitioners here which texts where introduced to them or mentioned in the context of their Pure Land practice?

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Seishin
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Re: Authoritative Tendai Pure Land texts

Post by Seishin » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:16 pm

Whilst not strictly a Pureland text, the Maka Shikan contains instructions on walking nembutsu, still practiced on Mt Hiei.

Also, I can't say how typical it is of Tendai, but I was given "The Treatise on Ten Doubts about Pure Land" by Zhiyi to study, and "Mind Seal of The Buddhas", by Ouyi. The latter, being such a late Tientai text, may not have had any influence in Japanese Tendai Pureland Thought, but I've found it to be beneficial

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Seishin
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Re: Authoritative Tendai Pure Land texts

Post by Seishin » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:18 pm

And, if you're on facebook, you may get more replies from the Tendai groups there. This Tendai sub-group here seems to be dead in the water

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rory
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Re: Authoritative Tendai Pure Land texts

Post by rory » Sat Oct 05, 2019 4:56 am

We're here but busy; I'm studying Japanese as so many texts are untranslated. Why not ask Rev. Jikai who's a Tendai priest or From the Earth who is a Tiantai practitioner from China or Aaron Proffitt who wrote his dissertation on Dohan, they might be able to help you.
Shaku Kenshin; isn't that Shinran's title? Are you a Shin Buddhist; there is a subforum here for Shin.
gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
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
https://www.tendai-usa.org/

Shaku Kenshin
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Re: Authoritative Tendai Pure Land texts

Post by Shaku Kenshin » Sun Oct 06, 2019 2:37 pm

Thank you both for your replies.
Good point about the Maka Shikan. I think you could very roughly divide Tendai Pure Land practice into three strands.

1) Nenbutsu practice with the goal of getting a vision of Amida Buddha, and through this realizing the threefold truth, with the jogyo zanmai, as described in the Maka Shikan, being the most representative practice of this strand.

2) Nenbutsu as a means to achieve post-mortem birth in Amida's Pure Land, which became more important within the Tendaishu with Ennin's introduction of the fudan nenbutsu and the spread of Pure Land believe amongst aristocrats during the Heian period.

3) Nenbutsu that was influenced by original enlightenment thought. Amida and his Pure Land are not separate from our own mind, so when you practice nenbutsu you do this to draw out your own buddha nature.

This is a very simplified description and rough categorization. In reality, these three strands are of course not exclusive within Tendai and many works mix two or even all three of them. But I think it helps to understand how broad Tendai Pure Land thought is. Looking at Japanese websites of the Tendai school that adress lay followers, it seems that aspects from 2) and 3) are most prevalent. These websites are often about funeral rites and state that we should say nenbutsu for deceased family members, but that the actual point is to draw out our own buddha nature.
Seishin, thank you for mentioning "Mind Seal of the Buddhas. " I haven't read this one yet. I realized that western Tendai Buddhists have to rely on what is available in western languages of course, so I might not have asked the right question in my initial post.
Rory, I'll send you a pm.

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rory
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Re: Authoritative Tendai Pure Land texts

Post by rory » Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:19 pm

Hello Kenshin;
I'll reply privately. But there is a 4th strand - esoteric Nembutsu which has quite an historical pedigree
Here is a thread I posted on some of the English material available and Rev. Jikai's wonderful translation of Genshin's Mental Meditation on Amida

viewtopic.php?f=64&t=25310

gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
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
https://www.tendai-usa.org/

jake
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Re: Authoritative Tendai Pure Land texts

Post by jake » Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:28 pm

I recognize this thread is related to Tendai Pure Land texts but I did want to highlight a new book from the University of Hawaii Press which includes translations of several Shingon Pure Land ritual texts and more:

https://uhpress.hawaii.edu/product/pure ... anthology/

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rory
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Re: Authoritative Tendai Pure Land texts

Post by rory » Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:12 pm

jake wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:28 pm
I recognize this thread is related to Tendai Pure Land texts but I did want to highlight a new book from the University of Hawaii Press which includes translations of several Shingon Pure Land ritual texts and more:

https://uhpress.hawaii.edu/product/pure ... anthology/
My library has this, thanks Jake. There was so much intellectual exchange between Tendai and Shingon that it's appreciated when you post here.
Btw, do you know what the Shingon texts are, I cannot pull up a table of contents.
gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
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
https://www.tendai-usa.org/

jake
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Re: Authoritative Tendai Pure Land texts

Post by jake » Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:41 am

rory wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:12 pm
My library has this, thanks Jake. There was so much intellectual exchange between Tendai and Shingon that it's appreciated when you post here.
Btw, do you know what the Shingon texts are, I cannot pull up a table of contents.
gassho
Rory
There are a few chapters in the book addressing Esoteric practice and the Pure Land. I was thinking specifically of Rev. Eijo Dreitlein's chapter which is a translation of Amoghavajra and so is common to both Tendai and Shingon.
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctv7r42sn wrote:Chapter 3 Amoghavajra’s Amitāyus Ritual Manual
(pp. 223-268)
Thomas Eijō Dreitlein
DOI: 10.2307/j.ctv7r42sn.14

The Ritual Manual on Cultivating the Visualization of and Making Offerings to Amitāyus Tathāgata (Wuliangshou rulai xiu guanxing gongyang yigui¹ 無量壽如來修觀行供養儀軌, hereafter Wuliangshou yigui)² is an important ritual practice manual in East Asia stated as a translation of Amoghavajra (705–774). It is significant in Chinese Buddhism as an Esoteric ritual for birth in Sukhāvatī, and it is also an important source for the Eighteen Methods (Jūhachidō) ritual format that developed in Japanese Esoteric Buddhism and for the Esoteric Amida practices that later appeared in Japan.
Jstor has a nice annotated Table of Contents available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctv7r42sn
There are also chapters on Dohan, Kakuban, the Goma, etc.

Hope that is helpful!

jake

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rory
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Re: Authoritative Tendai Pure Land texts

Post by rory » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:04 am

jake wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:41 am


There are a few chapters in the book addressing Esoteric practice and the Pure Land. I was thinking specifically of Rev. Eijo Dreitlein's chapter which is a translation of Amoghavajra and so is common to both Tendai and Shingon.
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctv7r42sn wrote:Chapter 3 Amoghavajra’s Amitāyus Ritual Manual
(pp. 223-268)
Thomas Eijō Dreitlein
DOI: 10.2307/j.ctv7r42sn.14

The Ritual Manual on Cultivating the Visualization of and Making Offerings to Amitāyus Tathāgata (Wuliangshou rulai xiu guanxing gongyang yigui¹ 無量壽如來修觀行供養儀軌, hereafter Wuliangshou yigui)² is an important ritual practice manual in East Asia stated as a translation of Amoghavajra (705–774). It is significant in Chinese Buddhism as an Esoteric ritual for birth in Sukhāvatī, and it is also an important source for the Eighteen Methods (Jūhachidō) ritual format that developed in Japanese Esoteric Buddhism and for the Esoteric Amida practices that later appeared in Japan.
Jstor has a nice annotated Table of Contents available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctv7r42sn
There are also chapters on Dohan, Kakuban, the Goma, etc.

Hope that is helpful!

jake
Oh, super-helpful! thank you so much Jake I really appreciate seeing the table of contents. I definitely want to read those chapters now.
gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
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
https://www.tendai-usa.org/

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