Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

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Re: Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

Post by rory »

For those who may not know Tendai is a multipractice school. It is based on the Lotus Sutra and encompasses meditation, sutra study, Pure Land and Esoteric Buddhism.

In fact the famous Japanese schools of Rinzai Zen, Soto Zen, Jodo Shu, Jodo Shinshu (pure land schools) and Nichiren were all started by famous Tendai monks (Eisai, Dogen, Honen, Shinran, NIchiren) who broke away to form single-practice schools. All their statues are on Mt. Hiei to honour them.

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: Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

Post by Queequeg »

let's breathe.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
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Re: Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

Post by 明安 Myoan »

The Medicine Buddha is wonderful.
One of my first practices was quietly saying his mantra to cats while I cleaned their cages at an animal shelter.
I feel this Buddha helps me treat animals and insects with more gentleness and patience, as well as giving me an appreciation for mantras in general.
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

Reciting the nembutsu and believing in birth in the Pure Land naturally give rise to the Three Minds and the Four Modes of Practice. -- Master Hōnen
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Re: Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

Post by Tatsuo »

To answer your question, rory - I belong to Jodo Shu and do rely on the help of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, especially on Amida Buddha. I am not a nihilist and I have high regard for Tendaishu and all its practices, philosophies and teachings. I belong to another school because for me personally it makes sense to focus on only one practice.

However, despite relying on other power there are obviously parts of my life I can manage myself and this includes direct help to others and donations. We do not need to rely only on Bodhisattvas and Buddhas to step in. And I do believe that donations and direct help is more immediate than prayer. I do respect the Tendai tradition of praying for others but I also know that this was never the only way of Bodhisattva action within Tendai. In modern times it is the Ichigu wo terasu movement, before it was digging wells and irrigation canals and spiritual consolation. And I understand, that you advised both prayer and donations in your posts, rory, so I think we both are on the same page here.

What I don’t agree with are protection rituals for rogue nations as imperial Japan. There is a danger of nationalism winning over the original Bodhisattva ideal behind these rituals. I think that in modern times nation-protection should be extended to the entire globe and to all sentient beings.

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Re: Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

Post by DharmaBub »

Hello, DharmaBub here. While self-quarantining because my place of work shut down I realized that I hadn’t visited Dharma Wheel in some time and decided to take a look at this thread I had started. I was startled to see it had prompted a sometimes heated discussion about the ethics of ‘nation protection.’ This may have been due to some to some sloppy use of terms in my post. I stated that I chant the “Medicine Buddha Mantra,” Namu Yakushi Nyorai. What I actually have been chanting is (according to Wikipedia) the Medicine Buddha Dharani:
Namo bhagavate bhaisajyaguru vaiduryaprabharaja
Tathagataya arahate samyaksambuddhaya tadyatha
Om bhaisajye bhaisajye bhaisajya-samudgate svaha
I don’t think there is a strict distinction between ‘dharani’ and ‘mantra,’ but I apologize for any confusion I may have caused.

As for me, no I don't think chanting for the wellbeing of just one nation is properly Buddhist. Our focus should always be on the safety of all sentient beings.
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