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A Mosaic of Traditions - One Virtual Sangha => The Dharma Express => Topic started by: Dharma Flower on September 10, 2017, 10:29:47 pm

Title: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: Dharma Flower on September 10, 2017, 10:29:47 pm
On the level of relative truth, Amida is a flesh and blood Buddha from galaxies away, eons before the Big Bang.

On the level of ultimate truth, Amida is Dharma-body itself, the Buddha-nature in all things and beings:
https://ekayanadharma.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/amida-with-and-without-form/

The name Amida means eternal life and infinite light, which symbolize the compassion and wisdom of Dharma-body.

From the beginning of Buddhism, the distinction has been made between relative truth and ultimate truth:

Quote
In studying and speaking the Dharma, we especially need to be aware of the conventional (or worldly or cultural) level and the ultimate (param’attha) or spiritual or Dharma) level of teaching.

The conventional language is only useful and wholesome when they point, even remotely, to the true Dharma. And at the proper time, this reference should be clarified to the follower or practitioner. The point is that the spiritual should in due course transcend the worldly and cultural.

The Neyy’attha Nīt’attha Sutta (A 2.3.5-6) records an important reminder by the Buddha on how we should approach every sutta and text, that is, we must carefully consider whether the language is conventional (based on everyday language describing causes and conditions) or ultimate (that is, Dharma language, pointing to the fact that things have no intrinsic nature or abiding essence).

Those suttas or teachings that tell stories, describe ritual acts, or that talk of “beings,” “gods,” etc, need to have their meaning drawn out (neyy’attha), as they do not directly refer to true reality. They use language and words in the form of a story or images to talk about true reality. Their meaning is indirect.
[url]http://dharmafarer.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/2.6b_Neyyattha_Nitattha_S_a2.3.5-6_piya.pdf[/url] ([url]http://dharmafarer.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/2.6b_Neyyattha_Nitattha_S_a2.3.5-6_piya.pdf[/url])


In reciting the name, Namu-Amida-Butsu, we awaken to the compassionate outworking of Dharma-body in our lives, leading us to the Pure Land, the realm of Nirvana.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: ground on September 10, 2017, 11:10:13 pm
...
On the level of ultimate truth, Amida is Dharma-body itself, the Buddha-nature in all things and beings:
...

What kind of 'ultimate level' are impermanent fabrications that are empty of inherent existence?  :fu:
Title: Re: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: Dharma Flower on September 11, 2017, 01:13:03 am
...
On the level of ultimate truth, Amida is Dharma-body itself, the Buddha-nature in all things and beings:
...


What kind of 'ultimate level' are impermanent fabrications that are empty of inherent existence?  :fu:


The Dharmakaya is not impermanent. From a Mahayana perspective, the Dharmakaya and Nirvana are aspects of the same Ultimate Reality, what the Buddha called the unconditioned:

Quote
O bhikkhus, there is the unborn, ungrown, and unconditioned. Were there not the unborn, ungrown, and unconditioned, there would be no escape from the born, grown, and conditioned. Since there is the unborn, ungrown, and unconditioned, so there is escape from the born, grown, and conditioned.
https://sites.google.com/site/rahulawhatthebuddha/the-third-noble-truth


Quote
Supreme nirvana is uncreated dharma-body. Uncreated dharma-body is true reality. True reality is dharma-nature. Dharma-nature is suchness. Suchness is oneness. Amida Tathagata comes forth from suchness and manifests various bodies – fulfilled, accommodated, and transformed.
[url]http://shinranworks.com/the-major-expositions/chapter-on-realization/[/url] ([url]http://shinranworks.com/the-major-expositions/chapter-on-realization/[/url])


Quote
Nirvana has innumerable names. It is impossible to give them in detail; I will list only a few. Nirvana is called extinction of passions, the uncreated, peaceful happiness, eternal bliss, true reality, dharma-body, dharma-nature, suchness, oneness, and Buddha-nature. Buddha-nature is none other than Tathagata. This Tathagata pervades the countless worlds; it fills the hearts and minds of the ocean of all beings. Thus, plants, trees, and land all attain Buddhahood.
[url]http://shinranwritings.blogspot.com/p/notes-on-essentials-of-faith-alone.html[/url] ([url]http://shinranwritings.blogspot.com/p/notes-on-essentials-of-faith-alone.html[/url])
Title: Re: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: ground on September 11, 2017, 02:18:27 am
...
On the level of ultimate truth, Amida is Dharma-body itself, the Buddha-nature in all things and beings:
...

What kind of 'ultimate level' are impermanent fabrications that are empty of inherent existence?  :fu:

The Dharmakaya is not impermanent. From a Mahayana perspective, the Dharmakaya and Nirvana are aspects of the same Ultimate Reality, what the Buddha called the unconditioned: ...

How could there be an 'unconditioned' depending on linguistic expression of 'the unconditioned' and quotations of linguistic expressions? That's ridiculous.
Just conditioned mental fabrications.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: Dharma Flower on September 11, 2017, 02:55:26 am
...
On the level of ultimate truth, Amida is Dharma-body itself, the Buddha-nature in all things and beings:
...

What kind of 'ultimate level' are impermanent fabrications that are empty of inherent existence?  :fu:

The Dharmakaya is not impermanent. From a Mahayana perspective, the Dharmakaya and Nirvana are aspects of the same Ultimate Reality, what the Buddha called the unconditioned: ...

How could there be an 'unconditioned' depending on linguistic expression of 'the unconditioned' and quotations of linguistic expressions? That's ridiculous.
Just conditioned mental fabrications.

I don't know, dude. It doesn't seem like you are being respectful of Mahayana teachings.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: Dharma Flower on September 11, 2017, 03:05:16 am
It's honestly hard for me to believe that Amida is a Buddha from a distant planet, from eons before the historical founder of Buddhism was even born. For me, it's like insisting that a cartoon character was a real person.

Thankfully, Mahayana Buddhism has concepts like skillful means and the two-truths doctrine, so one doesn't have to believe that Amida is a literal flesh and blood Buddha in order to benefit from Pure Land practice.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: IdleChater on September 11, 2017, 03:38:03 am
...
On the level of ultimate truth, Amida is Dharma-body itself, the Buddha-nature in all things and beings:
...

What kind of 'ultimate level' are impermanent fabrications that are empty of inherent existence?  :fu:

The Dharmakaya is not impermanent. From a Mahayana perspective, the Dharmakaya and Nirvana are aspects of the same Ultimate Reality, what the Buddha called the unconditioned: ...

How could there be an 'unconditioned' depending on linguistic expression of 'the unconditioned' and quotations of linguistic expressions? That's ridiculous.
Just conditioned mental fabrications.

I don't know, dude. It doesn't seem like you are being respectful of Mahayana teachings.

He isn't.  Ground doesn't respect any belif apart from his own.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: ground on September 11, 2017, 09:58:02 pm
...
On the level of ultimate truth, Amida is Dharma-body itself, the Buddha-nature in all things and beings:
...

What kind of 'ultimate level' are impermanent fabrications that are empty of inherent existence?  :fu:

The Dharmakaya is not impermanent. From a Mahayana perspective, the Dharmakaya and Nirvana are aspects of the same Ultimate Reality, what the Buddha called the unconditioned: ...

How could there be an 'unconditioned' depending on linguistic expression of 'the unconditioned' and quotations of linguistic expressions? That's ridiculous.
Just conditioned mental fabrications.

I don't know, dude. It doesn't seem like you are being respectful of Mahayana teachings.

If you're expressing your view in "The Dharma Express" section then it may draw all kinds of criticisms that may arise from all kinds of buddhist perspectives.
So check if you can find a forum section that is dedicated exclusively to your view. If however your view is a private view then you won't find a place where your view will be protected against criticism. A secure place however at any rate is your mind. To be on the save side you may refrain from uttering your view.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: Dharma Flower on September 11, 2017, 10:18:25 pm
...
On the level of ultimate truth, Amida is Dharma-body itself, the Buddha-nature in all things and beings:
...

What kind of 'ultimate level' are impermanent fabrications that are empty of inherent existence?  :fu:

The Dharmakaya is not impermanent. From a Mahayana perspective, the Dharmakaya and Nirvana are aspects of the same Ultimate Reality, what the Buddha called the unconditioned: ...

How could there be an 'unconditioned' depending on linguistic expression of 'the unconditioned' and quotations of linguistic expressions? That's ridiculous.
Just conditioned mental fabrications.

I don't know, dude. It doesn't seem like you are being respectful of Mahayana teachings.

If you're expressing your view in "The Dharma Express" section then it may draw all kinds of criticisms that may arise from all kinds of buddhist perspectives.
So check if you can find a forum section that is dedicated exclusively to your view. If however your view is a private view then you won't find a place where your view will be protected against criticism. A secure place however at any rate is your mind. To be on the save side you may refrain from uttering your view.

Let's keep it ecumenical, dude.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: Dharma Flower on September 14, 2017, 03:24:44 pm
Reciting the Nembutsu, Namu-Amida-Butsu, is not a “good deed” on our part by which we “earn” our future Buddhahood. Neither is it petitionary prayer to a theistic god.

It is instead an expression of gratitude to Amida Buddha, the boundless wisdom and compassion otherwise known as Dharmakaya or Dharma-body, for our future rebirth into the Pure Land, the realm of Nirvana. This sense of gratitude wells up into a change of heart and a change of life:

Quote
It is deplorable that you have told people to abandon themselves to their hearts’ desires and to do anything they want. One must seek to cast off the evil of this world and to cease doing wretched deeds; this is what it means to reject the world and to live the Nembutsu. When people who may have said the Nembutsu for many years abuse others in word or deed, there is no indication of rejecting this world.
[url]http://shinranworks.com/letters/lamp-for-the-latter-ages/16-2/[/url] ([url]http://shinranworks.com/letters/lamp-for-the-latter-ages/16-2/[/url])


The Nembutsu is also an expression of non-duality between Amida and ourselves, of Amida’s voice calling to us through the saying of his name:
http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803100036415 (http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803100036415)

These things regarding the Nembutsu were taught by Shinran Shonin, who founded the Jodo Shinshu sect of Pure Land Buddhism, the largest sect of Buddhism in Japan.

This is similar to the teaching of Zen master Dogen, who taught that Zen meditation is an expression of the innate enlightenment with which we were born, rather than a “work” toward attaining it. Both Dogen and Shinran described their respective practice as effortless practice.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: ground on September 15, 2017, 08:18:31 pm
...
On the level of ultimate truth, Amida is Dharma-body itself, the Buddha-nature in all things and beings:
...

What kind of 'ultimate level' are impermanent fabrications that are empty of inherent existence?  :fu:

The Dharmakaya is not impermanent. From a Mahayana perspective, the Dharmakaya and Nirvana are aspects of the same Ultimate Reality, what the Buddha called the unconditioned: ...

How could there be an 'unconditioned' depending on linguistic expression of 'the unconditioned' and quotations of linguistic expressions? That's ridiculous.
Just conditioned mental fabrications.

I don't know, dude. It doesn't seem like you are being respectful of Mahayana teachings.

If you're expressing your view in "The Dharma Express" section then it may draw all kinds of criticisms that may arise from all kinds of buddhist perspectives.
So check if you can find a forum section that is dedicated exclusively to your view. If however your view is a private view then you won't find a place where your view will be protected against criticism. A secure place however at any rate is your mind. To be on the save side you may refrain from uttering your view.

Let's keep it ecumenical, dude.

'ecumenical' is a christian concept. Oxford dictionary: 'involving or uniting members of different branches of the Christian Church.

See how deeply you still are conditioned by your upbringing?
Title: Re: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: Solodris on September 15, 2017, 09:19:44 pm
I was once doing a meditation walk through my city, and somehow felt the warmth of the sunlight and it seemed to unfold that the sunlight was me capturing my own source of consciousness, and everything around me was the inner workings of a mind.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: Dharma Flower on September 15, 2017, 11:56:50 pm
In western culture, there’s this sense that if a religious teaching or scripture isn’t literally true, then it must be pointless or valueless. That’s not how Buddhism traditionally looks at things:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upaya
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_truths_doctrine

If the Ultimate Truth of Dharma-body is beyond name and form, then we need the name and form of Amida Buddha to connect with it, whether Amida is a literal Buddha or not. This reminds me of a famous Zen koan.

Zen master Yunmen was once asked, “What is Buddha?” To this he answered, “A shit-covered stick.” If Dharma-body is within all things, that even includes a dry, feces-covered stick. Why worry, then, if Amida is a literal Buddha?
Title: Re: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: Solodris on September 16, 2017, 01:26:51 am
Amida Buddha seems to be an eternal storage of light that by illusion is pictured in the sky, though seated in the mind as an inherent wisdom to every being capable of compassion.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: Solodris on September 16, 2017, 02:16:05 am
Amida Buddha in my perspective is the Dharma-body that's inherent in every practitioner.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: IdleChater on September 16, 2017, 09:31:17 am
...
On the level of ultimate truth, Amida is Dharma-body itself, the Buddha-nature in all things and beings:
...

What kind of 'ultimate level' are impermanent fabrications that are empty of inherent existence?  :fu:

The Dharmakaya is not impermanent. From a Mahayana perspective, the Dharmakaya and Nirvana are aspects of the same Ultimate Reality, what the Buddha called the unconditioned: ...

How could there be an 'unconditioned' depending on linguistic expression of 'the unconditioned' and quotations of linguistic expressions? That's ridiculous.
Just conditioned mental fabrications.

I don't know, dude. It doesn't seem like you are being respectful of Mahayana teachings.

If you're expressing your view in "The Dharma Express" section then it may draw all kinds of criticisms that may arise from all kinds of buddhist perspectives.
So check if you can find a forum section that is dedicated exclusively to your view. If however your view is a private view then you won't find a place where your view will be protected against criticism. A secure place however at any rate is your mind. To be on the save side you may refrain from uttering your view.

Let's keep it ecumenical, dude.

'ecumenical' is a christian concept. Oxford dictionary: 'involving or uniting members of different branches of the Christian Church.

See how deeply you still are conditioned by your upbringing?

Then how about lets not be so anal.  You know what he meant.

It only shows what a jerk you are.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: Dharma Flower on September 16, 2017, 09:35:16 am
Amida Buddha in my perspective is the Dharma-body that's inherent in every practitioner.

That makes sense if Dharma-body is in everything.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: Solodris on September 16, 2017, 12:54:52 pm
Amida Buddha in my perspective is the Dharma-body that's inherent in every practitioner.

That makes sense if Dharma-body is in everything.

That would bring me to the conclusion that Dharma-body is within the mind.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: Dharma Flower on September 16, 2017, 01:19:02 pm
Amida Buddha in my perspective is the Dharma-body that's inherent in every practitioner.

That makes sense if Dharma-body is in everything.

That would bring me to the conclusion that Dharma-body is within the mind.

Sure, sure. How likely is it, though, that one will realize Dharma-body and attain Buddhahood in this lifetime?
Title: Re: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: Solodris on September 16, 2017, 01:50:00 pm
Amida Buddha in my perspective is the Dharma-body that's inherent in every practitioner.

That makes sense if Dharma-body is in everything.

That would bring me to the conclusion that Dharma-body is within the mind.

Sure, sure. How likely is it, though, that one will realize Dharma-body and attain Buddhahood in this lifetime?

Very likely!
Title: Re: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: Dharma Flower on September 16, 2017, 02:22:12 pm
This is what I've been saying:

Quote
“Amida” means “immeasurable,” “infinite” or
“ eternal.” It is well known that Nagarjuna taught that the
Absolute can be expressed only in negative, not positive,
terms. “Amida,” being a negative expression, may be one of such cases. In this connection Shinran says:

“Amida’s Original Vow was meant for us in order that we might become the Supreme Buddha. The Supreme Buddha has no form; and because it has no form, it is called ‘Suchness.’ If it were shown to have form, it could not then be called the 'Supreme Nirvana.’ I learned from my master that Amida Buddha is so called, only to make known to us its formlessness. The name of ’ Amida Buddha’ is only a skillful means (upaya) of making 'Suchness’ known to us.”

Consequently, the name, Amida, itself shows that it is already a limited, relative Buddha, for naming something inevitably qualifies it. Therefore, when we express in words the Infinite Buddha as Amida, it is only the Buddha objectified on the level of secondary truth.

Therefore, Shinran called Amida “Dharmakaya as Upaya.” That which is pointed at with the name of Amida is, needless to say, unnamable, inexpressible,
for it is Suchness itself.
[url]http://dl.ndl.go.jp/view/download/digidepo_9602325_po_CRJ-196.PDF?contentNo=1&alternativeNo=[/url] ([url]http://dl.ndl.go.jp/view/download/digidepo_9602325_po_CRJ-196.PDF?contentNo=1&alternativeNo=[/url])
Title: Re: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: Dharma Flower on September 16, 2017, 04:39:19 pm
Is Amida a literal flesh and blood Buddha from eons before the Big Bang, galaxies away, as it says in The Infinite Life Sutra or does the sutra convey a truth beyond history?

The story of Dharmakara Bodhisattva in The Infinite Life Sutra is patterned after the life of the historical Buddha. Dharmakara is said to be a king who, like Shakyamuni, renounced his throne to pursue the life of a monk.

The story of Dharmakara becoming Amida, then, is a metaphorical narrative for the timeless reality of Amida, who is Dharma-body itself, the eternal Buddha:

Quote
When the Larger Sutra states that Dharmakara made The Forty-Eight Vows and attained Buddhahood some ten kalpas ago, it describes the transcendental activity of Thusness (Dharma-body) in terms of causality. On the other hand, when Shinran states in his Wasan,

Since Amida became a Buddha
Ten kalpas have passed. So (the Sutra) says.
But He seems to be an old Buddha
Older than the immeasurable mote-dot kalpas (Jodo Wasan 55).

and also, when he states that Amida is the ‘Buddha from the eternal past’ (ibid. 88), he shows us the eternal presence of Amida Buddha.
[url]http://www.nembutsu.info/atpl.htm[/url] ([url]http://www.nembutsu.info/atpl.htm[/url])
Title: Re: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: Dharma Flower on September 21, 2017, 09:36:03 pm
Dr. Carl Becker, a researcher of near-death experiences, documented at least a hundred cases in China and Japan of people who claimed to see visions of Amida or the Pure Land on their deathbed:

Quote
The Pure Land tradition is renowned for recording the miraculous experiences of Amida Buddha and his attendants coming to guide the dying to the Pure Land. Some people say that these experiences are just hagiography, but the specificity of detail in such accounts gives prima facie reason for distinguishing them from adjacent fairy tales. Prof. Becker himself has identified some 100 such accounts from China and Japan.

In the 1970s, Prof. Becker found other people studying near-death experiences in the United States. With hints from the renowned death specialist Dr. Elizabath Kubler-Ross, he helped to found the International Association of Near Death Studies. In the process of this study, researchers found the need to coin the new term “figure of light” which they found common across various cultures. Hospital research around the world has shown that this “figure of light” is experienced by many dying people. This is not just a belief, but has been well documented over the past 30 years worldwide and the last 15 years in Japan. This is hardly surprising, since Japan has a long tradition of this belief in Pure Land practice, but such studies have been slow to permeate modern Japanese medicine…

Prof. Becker then showed a video on Near Death Experience (NDE) from Japanese television for which he acted as a consultant. In many NDEs, people speak of being (re)born through a tunnel of light, which image matches the Pure Land account of being (re)born through the calyx of the lotus into the Pure Land. There are many accounts of natural and flowery images as in the Pure Land. These are difficult to attribute solely to anaesthesic drugs, since such drugs tend to create architectural and geometrical images, and most experiencers had not received medication in the first place. Many NDEs in hospitals cannot be explained as delusions or dreams; there are many documented incidents of soldiers who were seen by their wives in their homes at the moment that they were mortally wounded on distant battlefields. We know that such phenomena can occur, but we don’t know how.
[url]http://www.jsri.jp/English/ojo/round1/day2morn.html[/url] ([url]http://www.jsri.jp/English/ojo/round1/day2morn.html[/url])


In this video, Master Chin Kung describes contemporary stories of Pure Land devotees who predicted their time of death in advance, and who passed away in a sitting or standing position while reciting Amida’s name:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0Cbt5r5Jmw (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0Cbt5r5Jmw)

For someone like myself, who probably wouldn’t even have hope of attaining stream entry in this lifetime, seeking rebirth into the Pure Land is an attractive option.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: Dharma Flower on September 23, 2017, 06:55:03 pm
Pure Land Buddhism is the largest school of Buddhism in East Asia, especially in China and Japan.

Pure Land Buddhism has roots in ancient Indian Buddhism, rather than being an aberration of it:

The Indian Roots of Pure Land Buddhism
http://www3.nccu.edu.tw/~ckeng/doc/Nattier_PureLand.pdf (http://www3.nccu.edu.tw/~ckeng/doc/Nattier_PureLand.pdf)

Amida isn’t a creator god, since the universe has always existed in some form, and he doesn’t answer petitionary prayer. Amida is, according to Shinran, Dharma-body itself or the Buddha-nature in all things:

Amida Buddha, The Central Symbol of Pure Land Teaching
http://bschawaii.org/shindharmanet/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2012/03/Bloom-Amida.pdf (http://bschawaii.org/shindharmanet/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2012/03/Bloom-Amida.pdf)

And it’s not as simple as just recite Amida’s name and that’s the end of it. Trusting in Amida for one’s future Buddhahood, if sincere, results in a change of heart and a change of life, out of gratitude for Amida’s compassion:

It is deplorable that you have told people to abandon themselves to their hearts’ desires and to do anything they want. One must seek to cast off the evil of this world and to cease doing wretched deeds; this is what it means to reject the world and to live the Nembutsu. When people who may have said the Nembutsu for many years abuse others in word or deed, there is no indication of rejecting this world.
http://shinranworks.com/letters/lamp-for-the-latter-ages/16-2/ (http://shinranworks.com/letters/lamp-for-the-latter-ages/16-2/)
Title: Re: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: Dharma Flower on September 30, 2017, 10:23:10 pm
The following description of the Eternal Buddha is from The Teaching of Buddha by The Society for the Promotion of Buddhism, Japan’s equivalent to The Gideon’s Bible, which can be found in many hospitals and hotel rooms:

Quote
Do not think that the compassion of the Buddha is only for the present life; it is a manifestation of the timeless compassion of the eternal Buddha that has been operative since unknown time, when mankind went astray due to ignorance…

Do not seek to know Buddha by His form or attributes; for neither the form nor the attributes are the real Buddha. The true Buddha is Enlightenment itself…

If someone sees some excellent features of Buddha and then thinks he knows Buddha, his is the mistake of an ignorant eye, for the true Buddha can not be embodied in a form or seen by human eyes. Neither can one know Buddha by a faultless description of his attributes. It is not possible to describe His attributes in human words.

Though we speak of His form, the Eternal Buddha has no set form, but can manifest Himself in any form. Though we describe His attributes, yet the Eternal Buddha has no set of attributes, but can manifest Himself in any and all excellent attributes.

Buddha’s body is Enlightenment itself. Being formless and without substance, it always has been and always will be. It is not a physical body that must be nourished by food. It is an eternal body whose substance is Wisdom. Buddha, therefore, has neither fear nor disease; He is eternally changeless.

Therefore, Buddha will never disappear as long as Enlightenment exists. Enlightenment appears as the light of Wisdom that awakens people into a newness of life and causes them to be born into the world of Buddha (the Pure Land)…

Dharmakaya is the substance of the Dharma; that is, it is the substance of Truth itself. In the aspect of Essence, Buddha has no shape or color, and since Buddha has no shape or color, He comes from nowhere and there is nowhere for Him to go. Like the blue sky, He arches over everything, and since He is all things, He lacks nothing…

The work of Buddha is to manifest in all affairs and on all occasions the pure essence of Dharmakaya (the absolute nature of Buddha); so Buddha’s mercy and compassion flow out from this Dharmakaya in endless life and boundless light, bringing salvation to mankind.
[url]http://www.e4thai.com/e4e/images/pdf/theteachingofbuddha.pdf[/url] ([url]http://www.e4thai.com/e4e/images/pdf/theteachingofbuddha.pdf[/url])


The name Amida means “eternal life” and “infinite light.” Amida is such an important part of traditional Japanese culture that death row inmates visit a shrine to Amida and say their final Nembutsu before undergoing execution:

(https://78.media.tumblr.com/58e08ca649b4c0cba4fbed8da5dbcb41/tumblr_inline_ox4p10GJpP1uby74u_540.jpg)

The Pure Land is the formless realm of Nirvana. This is why Shinran referred to rebirth into the Pure Land as “the birth that is non-birth,” just as the historical Buddha referred to Nirvana as “the unborn.”
Title: Re: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: Dharma Flower on October 03, 2017, 10:48:59 pm
Probably the most important sutra to understanding Pure Land Buddhism is the Lotus Sutra, because Shinran considered Amida and the Eternal Buddha of the Lotus Sutra to be the same being, without beginning or end, instead as a literal flesh and blood Buddha from ten kalpas ago. Also, the Buddha explains in the Lotus Sutra how he used similes and parables, skillful means to convey a higher truth, just like how Amida is a upaya, according to Shinran, for us coming to know the higher truth of Dharma-body.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Truth of Amida Buddha
Post by: Dharma Flower on October 05, 2017, 06:59:11 pm
The following description is from the inside flap to Yoshiro Tamura’s classic translation of the Lotus Sutra:

Quote
The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma, popularly known as the Lotus Sutra, is revered by millions of Buddhists as containing the core and culmination of the Buddha’s teaching. …it is one of the most important scriptures of Mahayana Buddhism and indeed one of the major documents of world religion.

The Lotus Sutra consists of a series of sermons delivered by the Buddha toward the end of his 45-year teaching ministry before a great multitude of disciples and countless others. The setting and scope are cosmic, but the sermons themselves, presented in both prose and verse, are replete with parables and graphic anecdotes.

At the heart of the sutra are three major concepts of Mahayana Buddhism:

All sentient beings can attain perfect enlightenment - that is, buddhahood - and nothing less than this is the appropriate final goal of believers;
The Buddha is eternal, having existed from the infinite past and appearing in many forms throughout the ages to guide and succor beings through the teaching of the Wonderful Dharma; and
The noblest form of Buddhist practice is the way of the bodhisattvas, those who devote themselves to attaining enlightenment not only for themselves but for all sentient beings.
https://rk-world.org/introlotussutra.aspx (https://rk-world.org/introlotussutra.aspx)


As a former Tendai monk, Shinran Shonin understood Amida and the Eternal Buddha of the Lotus Sutra as the same being, Dharma-body itself:
http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-ENG/bloom.htm (http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-ENG/bloom.htm)

Just as the Lotus Sutra contains many parables as skillful means, the stories of Amida attaining Buddhahood ten kalpas ago are parables for the eternality of Dharma-body:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upaya (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upaya)

Shinran placed his full trust in Amida Buddha, as expressed in the words Namu-Amida-Butsu, for his future attainment of Buddhahood, rather than his own efforts.

Shinran taught that, in the Pure Land, one attains Buddhahood and immediately returns to this world to serve all beings, in fulfillment of the Bodhisattva vow.
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