Nighthawk wrote:The so called "attacks" by Josho Adrian and Eiken Kobai are perfectly legit in my opinion. They posit the original teachings of Shinran and Rennyo and if that offends some people then so be it. People are free to believe in whatever they like.
I'm more of a Honen fan anyway.
Curious that you say "so called 'attacks'". I just left that Yahoo group after a huge rant about Rev Bob Oshita, Alfred Bloom, and a host of others - it was directed at a new student from either the BCA or the Otani school (and not a follower of Kobai), who'd just happened to have mentioned the videos from Bob Oshita. This is just one example of fairly blatant attacks on anyone they don't agree with. Furthermore, such attacks are hardly "legit" according to Right Speech, or the doctrines of either of the Honganji Schools. Rennyo was rather clear on this...
Rennyo Letter 14 wrote:If, out of attachment to the Dharma he follows, a person speaks ill of the Dharma of others, he will not escape the sufferings of hell, even if he is one who observes the precepts (Daichidoron, T.25:63c).
As far as other interpretations about the inconceivable Amida Tathagata, just read Shinran's Jodo Wasan. There are plenty of verses in the Jodo Wasan that portray interpretations that are not consistent with such a concretized, dualistic version of Amida as strictly Samboghakaya manifestation as appears in the rants... Throughout his letters, Rennyo says that Amida is the Eternal Buddha, that all other Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and kamis are manifestations (and if we aspire to Buddhahood then what are we?) - this is actually saying that Amida is Dharma-kaya, the inconceivable formless body of suchness which manifests in countless ways and pervades the whole universe. Neither Shinran nor Rennyo would directly contradict the Visualization Sutra on this point:
The Visualization Sutra wrote:The Buddha told Ānanda and Vaidehī, “After achieving this vision, one should next visualize that Buddha. Why? A Buddha-Tathāgata’s body is the dharma realm, which pervades the thinking mind of all sentient beings. Therefore, when one visualizes a Buddha, one’s mind has a Buddha’s thirty-two physical marks and eighty excellent characteristics. The mind forms a Buddha, and the mind is the Buddha. The ocean of Saṁbuddhas is formed by one’s thinking mind. Therefore, one should single-mindedly focus on and visualize that Buddha, the Tathāgata, Arhat, Samyak-Saṁbuddha.
The Visualization Sutra wrote: “Amitāyus Buddha has 84,000 excellent marks; each mark includes 84,000 excellent characteristics; each characteristic emits 84,000 beams of light. Each beam universally illuminates all worlds in the ten directions, attracting and accepting sentient beings that think of Buddhas, never abandoning them. His radiance, excellent characteristics, and magically manifested Buddhas are beyond description. However, one should picture them and make the mind’s eye see. Seeing Amitāyus Buddha is seeing all Buddhas [in worlds] in the ten directions. Seeing all Buddhas is called the Thinking-of-Buddhas Samādhi. Doing this visualization is called visualizing the bodies of all Buddhas. By visualizing the bodies of all Buddhas, one sees the Buddha mind. The Buddha mind is [the mind of] great lovingkindness and compassion. With unconditional lovingkindness, Buddhas accept all sentient beings. Those who do this visualization, after death, will be reborn, in a future life, before Buddhas and will achieve the Endurance in the Realization of the No Birth of Dharmas.
As per the above, as long as one is getting in touch with the mind of great loving-kindness & compassion; as is perfectly evident in the more symbolic interpretations, then they will be established on the Bodhisattva path and be born in the presence of Buddhas.
Let's just say if we extended the scope of the conversation to Patriarch Nagarjuna, Patriarch Vasubandhu, Patriarch Tan Luan, and other sutras (some of which were quoted in the KGSS), then other interpretations of Amida become the norm rather than an exception.