Author Topic: "Just say the Nembutsu and be saved by Amida"  (Read 564 times)

Offline Dharma Flower

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"Just say the Nembutsu and be saved by Amida"
« on: February 12, 2019, 10:26:59 am »
On his deathbed, the Buddha denied teaching any esoteric or secret doctrine:

Quote
Thus spoke the Venerable Ananda, but the Blessed One answered him, saying: "What more does the community of bhikkhus expect from me, Ananda? I have set forth the Dhamma without making any distinction of esoteric and exoteric doctrine; there is nothing, Ananda, with regard to the teachings that the Tathagata holds to the last with the closed fist of a teacher who keeps some things back."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.16.1-6.vaji.html


This reminds me of a passage from the Tannisho:

Quote
Each of you has come to see me, crossing the borders of more than ten provinces at the risk of your life, solely with the intent of asking about the path to birth in the land of bliss. But if you imagine in me some special knowledge of a path to birth other than the Nembutsu or of scriptural writings that teach it, you are greatly mistaken. If that is the case, since there are many eminent scholars in the southern capital of Nara or on Mount Hiei to the north, you would do better to meet with them and inquire fully about the essentials for birth.
As for me, I simply accept and entrust myself to what my revered teacher told me, “Just say the Nembutsu and be saved by Amida”; nothing else is involved.
http://shinranworks.com/related-works-by-other-authors/a-record-in-lament-of-divergences/
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 10:37:55 am by Dharma Flower »

Offline Chaz

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Re: "Just say the Nembutsu and be saved by Amida"
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2019, 11:29:53 am »
On his deathbed, the Buddha denied teaching any esoteric or secret doctrine:

Quote
Thus spoke the Venerable Ananda, but the Blessed One answered him, saying: "What more does the community of bhikkhus expect from me, Ananda? I have set forth the Dhamma without making any distinction of esoteric and exoteric doctrine; there is nothing, Ananda, with regard to the teachings that the Tathagata holds to the last with the closed fist of a teacher who keeps some things back."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.16.1-6.vaji.html


This reminds me of a passage from the Tannisho:

Quote
Each of you has come to see me, crossing the borders of more than ten provinces at the risk of your life, solely with the intent of asking about the path to birth in the land of bliss. But if you imagine in me some special knowledge of a path to birth other than the Nembutsu or of scriptural writings that teach it, you are greatly mistaken. If that is the case, since there are many eminent scholars in the southern capital of Nara or on Mount Hiei to the north, you would do better to meet with them and inquire fully about the essentials for birth.
As for me, I simply accept and entrust myself to what my revered teacher told me, “Just say the Nembutsu and be saved by Amida”; nothing else is involved.
http://shinranworks.com/related-works-by-other-authors/a-record-in-lament-of-divergences/



Seems like a bit of a reach to me.  How do you make the connection.

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: "Just say the Nembutsu and be saved by Amida"
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2019, 12:22:06 pm »
Seems like a bit of a reach to me.  How do you make the connection.


I was just pointing out the common denial of an esoteric doctrine between the Buddha and Shinran.

In the quote above, Shinran denies having "some special knowledge of a path to birth other than the Nembutsu or of scriptural writings that teach it."

Shinran even disowned his own son for claiming to teach a secret understanding of the Nembutsu:
http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Shinran#Disinheritance_of_Eldest_Son.2C_Zenran
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 12:29:32 pm by Dharma Flower »

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: "Just say the Nembutsu and be saved by Amida"
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2019, 04:22:12 am »
I think you're comparing apples and oranges here.  The sutta's don't teach blind faith in a particular chant.
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream"

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: "Just say the Nembutsu and be saved by Amida"
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2019, 04:29:28 am »
I think you're comparing apples and oranges here.  The suttas don't teach unquestioning faith in a particular chant.
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream"

Offline Chaz

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Re: "Just say the Nembutsu and be saved by Amida"
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2019, 04:50:53 am »
Seems like a bit of a reach to me.  How do you make the connection.


I was just pointing out the common denial of an esoteric doctrine between the Buddha and Shinran.

In the quote above, Shinran denies having "some special knowledge of a path to birth other than the Nembutsu or of scriptural writings that teach it."

Shinran even disowned his own son for claiming to teach a secret understanding of the Nembutsu:
http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Shinran#Disinheritance_of_Eldest_Son.2C_Zenran


Couple things. 

In the scripture you cite about the Buddha's deathbed exhortation he syays nothing about Nembutsu.

He also says nothing to the effect of denying esoteric teaching.  The Buddha did not teach everything to everyone.  We're taught that he gave 84,000 teachings for the benefit of beings according to their capacity.  Saying that, he didn't teach people who couldn't connect to the teaching.  We even see this in sutra such as the Heart Sutra where there are monks, arhants and Bodhisatvas, but no lay people hearing this important teaching on Emptiness.

Just sayin'

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: "Just say the Nembutsu and be saved by Amida"
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2019, 09:29:05 am »
I think you're comparing apples and oranges here. 

Like the Buddha, Shinran denied teaching a secret or esoteric doctrine.

The sutta's don't teach blind faith in a particular chant.

Have you read the Pure Land sutras?

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: "Just say the Nembutsu and be saved by Amida"
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2019, 09:30:18 am »
In the scripture you cite about the Buddha's deathbed exhortation he syays nothing about Nembutsu.

Like the Buddha, Shinran denied having any secret or esoteric teaching.

He also says nothing to the effect of denying esoteric teaching. 

Quote
Thus spoke the Venerable Ananda, but the Blessed One answered him, saying: "What more does the community of bhikkhus expect from me, Ananda? I have set forth the Dhamma without making any distinction of esoteric and exoteric doctrine; there is nothing, Ananda, with regard to the teachings that the Tathagata holds to the last with the closed fist of a teacher who keeps some things back.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.16.1-6.vaji.html
« Last Edit: February 13, 2019, 09:32:58 am by Dharma Flower »

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: "Just say the Nembutsu and be saved by Amida"
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2019, 09:34:18 am »
This thread should be relatively simple to understand. Shinran, like the Buddha, denied having any esoteric teaching or practice.

If you have evidence that either Shinran or the Buddha taught an esoteric teaching or doctrine, please share it.

Shinran founded Jodo Shinshu, the largest sect of Buddhism in Japan, as well as the sect with the oldest presence in the United States. I recommend reading The Essential Shinran by Rev. Alfred Bloom:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9729498-the-essential-shinran
« Last Edit: February 13, 2019, 09:59:25 am by Dharma Flower »

Offline Chaz

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Re: "Just say the Nembutsu and be saved by Amida"
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2019, 05:59:15 pm »
If you have evidence that either Shinran or the Buddha taught an esoteric teaching or doctrine, please share it.

I don't have to do that.

You made a positive assertion in stating he never gave esoteric teachings.  It's up to you to provide proof, not me.  All I'm doing is questioning.

All the sutra says is that he made no distinction.  That's not the same thing as your assertion.

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: "Just say the Nembutsu and be saved by Amida"
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2019, 10:19:57 am »
Pure Land Buddhism is the most widely practiced form of Buddhism in East Asia. This is largely because it's the easy path to Buddhahood, without the need for esoteric doctrines or practices. Even in the monastic sects, Pure Land practices are often incorporated alongside "self-power" practices, in order to more speedily attain Buddhahood for the sake of all beings.

Offline Chaz

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Re: "Just say the Nembutsu and be saved by Amida"
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2019, 01:55:38 pm »
Pure Land Buddhism is the most widely practiced form of Buddhism in East Asia. This is largely because it's the easy path to Buddhahood, without the need for esoteric doctrines or practices. Even in the monastic sects, Pure Land practices are often incorporated alongside "self-power" practices, in order to more speedily attain Buddhahood for the sake of all beings.

That's nice, but it, in no way, supports your assertion reagard what the Buddha taught and to whom.


Offline Zen44

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Re: "Just say the Nembutsu and be saved by Amida"
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2019, 08:58:10 pm »
I'll give it a try.  :dharma:
Dzogchen Teachings

 


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