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Schools of Buddhism => Mahayana => Pure Land => Topic started by: Dharma Flower on December 28, 2016, 11:49:55 pm

Title: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dharma Flower on December 28, 2016, 11:49:55 pm
Jodo Shinshu: A Guide was published by the Buddhist Churches of America in 2004. This part of the text gives the impression that Amida is a real Buddha:

Quote
Amida Buddha
To explain Amida Buddha to the people of his time, Sakyamuni spoke
before a gathering at Vulture's Peak near Rajagrha. He told them of a
king who renounced his throne and was given the name Dharmakara.
Motivated by deep compassion, he resolved that he would save humanity
from suffering. He made forty-eight vows, promising that he would
not become a Buddha until it was possible for all beings to be born in
his Pure Land.
For an inconceivably long time, he devoted his life to performing the
duties ofthe bodhisattva until he attained the highest, perfect En lightenment.
Realizing wisdom and compassion, he became Amida Buddha. By
becoming a Buddha, he fulfilled his vows and accomplished the liberation
of all humanity.
The 18th Vow, referred to as the Primal Vow, is the essential focus of
Jodo Shinshu:
Upon my attainment of Buddhahood, if the sentient beings in
the ten quarters, who have sincerity of heart, with sincere minds
entrusting themselves, and wishing to be born in my land, repeating
my name, perhaps up to ten times, would not be born
therein, then may I not obtain the Great Enlightenment.
Sakyamuni further reassured people to trust completely in the Teaching
and to recite the Name of Amida Buddha, "Namo Amida Butsu," for the
great compassion and wisdom of Amida would always be with them.
7
Amida Buddha, then, is the Ultimate Embodiment of Compassion
and Wisdom. Amida is neither a creative nor a destructive force. Amida
is neither forgiving nor judgmental; neither merciful nor vengeful. The
polarities that exist in the human condition do not exist in Amida Buddha.
Amida Buddha asks for nothing; Amida Buddha simply beckons
all to his Pure Land. Amida's Vow is therefore an unconditional promise
of compassion and liberation.
http:// buddhistchurchesofamerica.org/ wp/wp-content/uploads/jodo_ shinshu_a_guide.pdf


I've had doubts in the past about the Pure Land sutras, because they weren't written down until hundreds of years after the Buddha taught them. I then reminded myself that ancient India was an oral culture, in which important religious texts like the Rigveda were faithfully passed down for hundreds of years before taking a written form:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedic_chant#Oral_transmission
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dharma Flower on December 30, 2016, 10:28:33 pm
This is an article that first appeared in Tricycle magazine, which used historical evidence to call into question the common belief that the Pali scriptures are more historically trustworthy than the Mahayana scriptures:
http://www.lindaheuman.com/stories/Tricycle_Magazine_Whose_Buddhism_is_Truest.pdf (http://www.lindaheuman.com/stories/Tricycle_Magazine_Whose_Buddhism_is_Truest.pdf)

Here are some relevant parts:

Quote
"It was a mistake to assume that the foundation of Buddhist textual tradition was singular, that if you followed the genealogical branches back far enough into the past they would eventually converge. Traced back in time, the genealogical branches diverged and intertwined in such complex relationships that the model of a tree broke down completely. The picture looked more like a tangled bush...We now know that if there was ever a point of convergence in the Buddhist family tree - the missing link, the single original and authentic Buddhist cannon - it is physically lost in the era of oral transmission."

"Somehow we pictured the Buddha's true, single, unambiguous meaning encapsulated in his words like jewels inside a box, passed from one generation to the next...but that's not the way meanings or words work. In India, 'leaving the family' means 'getting married'. To my Jewish grandmother, it mean 'changing religions.' In the household where I was raised, it meant 'going to college.' The very same words, spoken in a different context, have different meanings. The meaning of words is their use in context. A set of words stripped of their context is like playing pieces stripped of their board game. What would we have?"

"It certainly would be good to know what the Buddha said. To the extent that we share the conventions of the 5th-century BCE Indians, we might understand some of what he meant. If we increased the conventions we shared with them, obviously we would understand more. But context is vast - an unbounded, interdependent web of connections. And it is dynamic, shifting moment to moment. We can't really recreate it. And even if we could, we still wouldn't know exactly how the Buddha was using his words within that context, so we wouldst know exactly what he meant."

"When it comes right down to it, sectarian posturing contradicts the Buddha's message as all traditions understand it...That picture is an essentialist view of the nature of reality, which according to the Buddha's doctrine of selflessness is the source of not just this, but all our suffering - the wrong view that is the very point of Buddhism to refute."
[url]http://www.lindaheuman.com/stories/Tricycle_Magazine_Whose_Buddhism_is_Truest.pdf[/url] ([url]http://www.lindaheuman.com/stories/Tricycle_Magazine_Whose_Buddhism_is_Truest.pdf[/url])


Reading the above article will hopefully give us more confidence in the trustworthiness of the Pure Land sutras.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dharma Flower on December 30, 2016, 10:51:04 pm
This is a beautiful passage from the writings of Shinran:

Quote
In the Hymns [on the Samadhi] of All Buddhas’ Presence Shan-tao, the Master of Kuang-ming temple, explains that the heart of the person of shinjin already and always resides in the Pure Land. “Resides” means that the heart of the person of shinjin constantly dwells there. This is to say that such a person is the same as Maitreya. Since being of the stage equal to enlightenment is being the same as Maitreya, the person of shinjin is equal to the Tathagatas.
[url]http://shinranworks.com/letters/a-collection-of-letters-zensho-text/5-2/[/url] ([url]http://shinranworks.com/letters/a-collection-of-letters-zensho-text/5-2/[/url])


Reading this passage from Shinran helped me to realize that the belief Amida is really our true nature or our Buddha-nature doesn't make any sense if Amida isn't a real Buddha in the first place.

If one claims that a fictional character is really their true nature, it's a meaningless, empty statement. One might as well say that Daffy Duck or the Easter Bunny is really their true nature instead.

Furthermore, if we insist that Amida is really our true nature or our Buddha-nature without having any sort of objective reality outside our own minds, that becomes an exercise in self-centeredness, rather than entrusting in Amida and humbling ourselves before him.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dharma Flower on December 31, 2016, 02:57:05 am
This is a beautiful animated version of the Infinite Life Sutra:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTASgrY-KpM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTASgrY-KpM)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: GoToTheStore on February 28, 2017, 11:47:28 am
Real Buddha is relative in that, who do you think you are
to ask?
In otherwords, What are you to decide what a Buddha is or not?
Buddha is a Buddha.


Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dharma Flower on March 04, 2017, 05:03:53 am
Real Buddha is relative in that, who do you think you are
to ask?
In otherwords, What are you to decide what a Buddha is or not?
Buddha is a Buddha.


There is no doubt in my mind that Amida is a real Buddha. The only question is what form or kind of Buddha is Amida.

Is Amida a literal flesh and blood Buddha, from eons before Big Bang, sitting on a lotus flower, billions of Buddha-lands away?

Or is Amida the ultimate Buddha, Dharma-body itself?

These are questions that we can only come to grips with in our own experience and understanding. No one can tell us what to believe or not believe, but I found the following article from Alfred Bloom helpful:
http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-ENG/bloom.htm (http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-ENG/bloom.htm)

What matters, ultimately, is not what we believe or disbelieve about Amida in a doctrinal sense, but whether or not we recite and entrust in the Nembutsu. Please consider the following words from Honen Shonin:

Quote
Regarding the potential for a nembutsu devotee, I would say that one should recite nembutsu in whatever is the natural state one was born into. Since one is born into this world through the power of one’s residual karma, rectification is impossible.

To illustrate, one born as a woman cannot become a man in this life even if she fervently desires to be a man. The wise should recite nembutsu as wise people do; the unlearned should recite nembutsu in their natural state; the compassionate should recite nembutsu with compassion; and one with aberrant views may recite nembutsu as a person with aberrant views.

Each should recite nembutsu in his own manner. This is because Amida Buddha awakened his all-encompassing essential vow for all sentient beings in the ten directions.
https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0861716965 (https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0861716965)


When asked who was the Buddha, the Chinese Chan master Yunmen replied, "A feces-covered stick." If Buddha-nature is in all things, at all times, then we need not be worried if Amida is a real Buddha or not.

In the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha uses various forms of expedient means, including parables, to convey a deeper truth. Even in the Pali scriptures, which are believed to be the oldest teachings of the Buddha, he teaches with various parables and symbolic expressions:
http://buddhism.about.com/od/mahayanabuddhism/fl/Upaya.htm (http://buddhism.about.com/od/mahayanabuddhism/fl/Upaya.htm)

The Infinite Life Sutra, then, which narrates the life of Amida as a literal flesh and blood Buddha from eons before the Big Bang, in a world galaxies away, is a parable or teaching device, rather than a literal story. Amida is expressive of Dharma-body itself, the Buddha-nature in all things and beings:

Quote
Shinran Shōnin goes even further in explaining the importance of religious symbols. He teaches us that the Buddha’s enlightenment (Dharma-body) is formless; we cannot see it, touch it, or grasp it. But, because it is true, it makes itself known to us by taking form.

Shinran says that formless truth takes the form of the light of wisdom and the Name of Amida Buddha—Namu Amida Butsu. The images and stories of Amida Buddha are all religious symbols, the form taken by wisdom and compassion in order to guide us to enlightenment.
[url]https://www.berkeleysangha.org/newsletter/Padma-2010-10-web.pdf[/url] ([url]https://www.berkeleysangha.org/newsletter/Padma-2010-10-web.pdf[/url])


Entrusting in the name, Namu-Amida-Butsu, we are made to realize the outworking of Dharma-body in our lives, leading us to the Pure Land, the realm of Nirvana. In sincere gratitude, we say Namu-Amida-Butsu.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dharma Flower on March 05, 2017, 12:34:55 am
This is from Naturalness, a Shin Buddhist classic:

Quote
The mythological representation of spiritual truth is an essential element in the organism of Shakyamuni’s Teaching.

When we read Buddhist Sutras, myth bursts in upon our ordinary consciousness with a revelation of something new and strange, and the narrow, matter-of-fact, workaday experience is suddenly flooded and transfused by the inrush of a vast experience, as from another world.

The visions of the mythopoeic imagination are received by the self of ordinary consciousness with a strange surmise of the existence, in another world, of Another Self which, while it reveals itself in these visions, has a deep secret which it will not disclose...

Shakyamuni appeals to that major and basal part of man’s nature which is not articulate and logical, but feels and wills and acts—to that part which cannot explain what a thing is, or how it happens, but feels spontaneously that the thing is good or bad, and expresses itself, not scientifically in theoretic judgments, but practically in value-judgments—or rather value-feelings.

In appealing, through the recital of dreams, to that major part of us which feels values, which wills and acts, Shakyamuni indeed goes down to the bedrock of human nature.
[url]http://www.worldwisdom.com/public/viewpdf/default.aspx?article-title=Pure_Feeling_by_Kenryo_Kanamatsu.pdf[/url] ([url]http://www.worldwisdom.com/public/viewpdf/default.aspx?article-title=Pure_Feeling_by_Kenryo_Kanamatsu.pdf[/url])

Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: stillpointdancer on March 05, 2017, 04:06:58 am
Hi Guys. Not a Pure Land Buddhist myself, but was given an Amitabha image by my teacher at my public ceremony when I became a mitra, and I have used it on my home shrine ever since. My visualization practice involves light going to everyone, so I guess I have a natural connection. Am I right in thinking that he epitomizes the idea that everyone should be able to gain wisdom, and that compassion is for all?
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dharma Flower on March 05, 2017, 01:03:02 pm
Hi Guys. Not a Pure Land Buddhist myself, but was given an Amitabha image by my teacher at my public ceremony when I became a mitra, and I have used it on my home shrine ever since. My visualization practice involves light going to everyone, so I guess I have a natural connection. Am I right in thinking that he epitomizes the idea that everyone should be able to gain wisdom, and that compassion is for all?


For Shinran Shonin, Amida is the ultimate personification of wisdom and compassion:

Quote
Compassionate means [hoben]

The Sanskrit original, upaya, means “coming near,” “approaching,” and in extension, “means,” “expedience.” Generally speaking, it has two usages in Buddhism: the method or practice by which a person can attain Buddhahood, and the skillful means which Buddhas use to teach and to guide sentient beings to enlightenment. In Shin Buddhism, compassionate means refers to the manifestation of ultimate reality, which is beyond time and form, in the world of relativities – that is, of the dharma-body as suchness in the realm of birth-and-death – so that it comes into the range of human comprehension and description. Thus, Amida, with Primal Vow, Name, and Land, is dharma-body as compassionate means that, while being one with dharma-body as suchness, makes possible the liberation and enlightenment of all beings.
[url]http://shinranworks.com/glossary/[/url] ([url]http://shinranworks.com/glossary/[/url])


Amida and the Nembutsu are a upaya or skillful means for us to come in contact with the ultimate Buddha, Dharma-body itself.

Also, for Shinran, the Pure Land is the realm of Nirvana itself:
Quote
The land of bliss is the realm of nirvana, the uncreated;
I fear it is hard to be born there by doing sundry good acts according to our diverse conditions.
Hence, the Tathagata selected the essential dharma,
Instructing beings to say Amida’s Name with singleness, again singleness.
[url]http://shinranworks.com/the-major-expositions/chapter-on-true-buddha-and-land/[/url] ([url]http://shinranworks.com/the-major-expositions/chapter-on-true-buddha-and-land/[/url])


I am honestly unsure if Amida is a literal flesh and blood Buddha from eons before the Big Bang in a world galaxies away. The most important thing is, from the perspective of Shinran's writings, that Amida is the ultimate Buddha, Dharma-body itself:
http://bschawaii.org/shindharmanet/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2015/02/Bloom-Ultimacy.pdf (http://bschawaii.org/shindharmanet/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2015/02/Bloom-Ultimacy.pdf)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dharma Flower on March 06, 2017, 06:37:33 am
Everything that I teach or share regarding Amida Buddha and the Pure Land is upaya or skillful means, meaning that I will advocate any position or viewpoint that others need to hear in order to entrust themselves to the Nembutsu.

For those who need to hear that Amida is a literal flesh and blood Buddha, I teach that Amida is a literal flesh and blood Buddha. For those who need to hear that Amida is the ultimate Buddha, Dharma-body itself, I teach that Amida is the ultimate Buddha, Dharma-body itself.

What ultimately matters is whether or not one entrusts in the Nembutsu for one's future Buddhahood. As Honen taught, those with "aberrant views" should recite the Nembutsu anyway as a person with "aberrant views."
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: stillpointdancer on March 07, 2017, 03:59:16 am
That doesn't make sense. It might if you knew me, but you don't. If you don't want to answer questions then there is no point in me asking. I can just Google.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on March 20, 2017, 06:29:04 am
Hi Guys. Not a Pure Land Buddhist myself, but was given an Amitabha image by my teacher at my public ceremony when I became a mitra, and I have used it on my home shrine ever since. My visualization practice involves light going to everyone, so I guess I have a natural connection. Am I right in thinking that he epitomizes the idea that everyone should be able to gain wisdom, and that compassion is for all?
That's basically the gist of it. He epitomizes the idea that at the ultimate level of wisdom, compassion is expressed naturally, unceasingly, and is all-embracing. The visualization exercises that I'm aware of also involve receiving that light of compassion into oneself as well.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: stillpointdancer on March 21, 2017, 03:23:46 am
Hi Guys. Not a Pure Land Buddhist myself, but was given an Amitabha image by my teacher at my public ceremony when I became a mitra, and I have used it on my home shrine ever since. My visualization practice involves light going to everyone, so I guess I have a natural connection. Am I right in thinking that he epitomizes the idea that everyone should be able to gain wisdom, and that compassion is for all?
That's basically the gist of it. He epitomizes the idea that at the ultimate level of wisdom, compassion is expressed naturally, unceasingly, and is all-embracing. The visualization exercises that I'm aware of also involve receiving that light of compassion into oneself as well.
Thanks for that. It explains another visualization practice I do where I imagine myself as a hollow glass image of me meditating, with white light pouring into the vessel, cleansing and filling it. I finish by sealing off the the glass image filled with white light.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 16, 2017, 09:23:04 pm
I feel sorry for anybody who reads those 7 paragraphs and comes away from it thinking that any of it is real or in any way based on official doctrines or sutras.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 17, 2017, 07:18:37 pm
You are still not letting go.
Letting go? Of what? Buddha Dharma? Not going to happen

Such anger, ignorance and greed in your rhetoric. Let me help you through this. I will address each of the seven points you made.
You need to quit projecting your own limitations upon me. Your personal attacks have already been reported to the moderators.

1. Yes, Vishnu has a lot to do with The Pure Land concepts of Amitabha. In fact, most statues of Avolkiteshvara are Vishnu statues with different hand ornaments. The lotus pond is the causal sea. The idea of a Pure Land was borrowed from the Hindu concept of Loka. Amitabha wears a swastika on his chest from both the Jain and Hindu traditions and the list goes on and on.
Blatant fabrication. Amitabha has nothing to do with Loka, nothing to do with Vishnu. These are your own ideas, you have absolutely no evidence for this statement. Avalokitesvara is said in a sutra to appear as Vishnu for those who refuse the BuddhaDharma and choose to only be led by heterodox deities, but he is not Vishnu, nor does Pure Land doctrine depend on Vishnu.

As far as Veganism and Pure Land Sutras are concerned, I suggest you re-read the Shurangama Sutra and visit a Chinese Pure Land temple for instruction on this Sutra and a vegan lifestyle change. I also suggest you re-read both my comment and my footnote.
The Shurangama sutra is not a primary sutra for Pure Land. There are also questions of whether or not it is a Chinese fabrication. Again, you would do well to do more research into actual Pure Land doctrine.

2. Buddha teaches us to rise above right and wrong.
The Buddha is very explicit when it comes to misrepresenting his teachings.

3. Read the footnote I have added. Your foolishness dispermits you to see anything but nonsense. I am trying to help you make sense of this to break your bonds of ignorance.
Your footnote looks like nothing but perennialist/traditionalist syncretic assertions based on absolutely no evidence.

4. I espoused right view and explained how it is such. Your anger, Ignorance and greed to own the Buddha Dharma on your terms is not right view!
No, you assert stuff that is contrary to the sutras and is heterodox doctrine as Buddha Dharma. I've said nothing that departs from Pure Land sutras. Again, disparaging the Buddha Dharma (by misrepresentation) is serious business, explicitly explained in the Sutras and you're doing it big time in this thread.

5. Your slam towards lineage does not involve anything worth addressing. Instead of insulting my lineage, you now insult all lineages.
"Secret pronunciation" sounds like a con. It's in no way consistent with Pure Land teachings, which are a sutra teaching. Your statements are not consistent with the sutras.

6. I did not present Puranic Hinduism as Buddhism. You have a tainted view. Try re-reading what I have written.
That's precisely what you've done with your perennialist/traditionalist view that tries to syncretize Puranic Hinduism with Pure Land teachings. It's counterfeit Buddha Dharma. I've exposed it as such. I am not tainted, I'm presenting authentic Buddha Dharma, something that you would do well to learn about.

7. So, why are you misrepresenting the Buddha Dharma through such racist, angry eyes?
I'm pointing out a misrepresentation as misrepresentation. I've said nothing of race. You're projecting your own anger onto me. Both are a form of ad hominem. Were this a formal debate, you just lost.

For the sake of trying to save this thread with some accurate information, instead of made-up perennialism:
Amitabha (Shorter Sukhavativyuha) Sutra (http://www.sutrasmantras.info/sutra23.html)
Amitayus (Larger Sukhavativyuha) Sutra (http://www.sutrasmantras.info/sutra25.html)
Amitayurdhyana (Visualization) Sutra (http://www.sutrasmantras.info/sutra24.html)
Vasubandhu's commentary on the Amitayus Sutra (http://www.sutrasmantras.info/sutra26.html)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: francis on April 18, 2017, 02:31:02 am
Hi there Ficus religiosa,

I don’t see how anyone is misinterpreting your views to win an argument.  All I see is someone defending their understanding of Pure Land against blatant fabrications and heterodox views.




Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: zafrogzen on April 18, 2017, 01:04:09 pm
Ficus,

I agree with your screed against the mistreatment of animals. Causing suffering should always be avoided. But get real. You used the word "vegan “ in almost every sentence. It’s apparently of paramount importance to you. However, you must know the historical Buddha was not a vegan and is reported to have died from ingesting spoiled pork at a ripe old age.

We are all impermanent and destined for dissolution, coming and going. Every one of us, animal, vegetable or mineral, is part of the larger web of life. I think many Buddhists are meat eaters because they see clearly into the illusory nature of birth and death.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: francis on April 18, 2017, 06:58:15 pm
Solodris-

The Eightfold path concepts of Right View and Right Speech were discussed more than in terms of verb tense. Of course, more can be said. Perhaps I will write more after I address Zafrogzen.

Zafrogzen-

The Buddha did not die as you suggest. The Chinese Mahayanists explain well how he died from poisonous mushrooms when the Sutras are correctly translated. The Hindu Buddhists who were there say that the Sutras are wrong and that he died from contaminated water. The Hindu Buddhists offer direct evidence from eye witnesses so their account is probably most accurate.

The Buddha was vegan.

The normal diet for human's to obtain best health is a vegan diet as supported by the AMA.

The best diet for the ecology is a vegan diet.

It is not just that it is important to me, an idea you have espoused which tries to locate a self nature within this one which I assure you does not exist, but it is important for the animals, for society, for the ecology, for the mass of suffering as you have well noticed and as well for Karma.

I did not overstate the word vegan in my writing, if anything it was understated. Only meat eaters find it offensive.

I notice from your dis-compassionate view of life and death that you somehow find justification in eating the tortured and executed remains of animal corpses, justifying it with libertine flair and a mention of some spider web of darkness you suggest is life.

Buddhism is not about doing what is easy. The first precept is a vow to be vegan for life. One may not eat any flesh if one is to be a proper precept holder. That first precept states:


NO KILLING!

this includes not involving one's self in any activity that cuts short any life.

Hi Ficus religiosa,

No one knows for sure what killed the Buddha, some say pork others mushrooms. I’ve never heard the contaminated water story before.

The Buddha was not vegan because he and his followers accepted what was put into their bowls, which sometimes included meat.

That first precept states, ‘I undertake the rule of training which consists in abstention from killing living beings’. It doesn’t say I vow to be vegan for life. It doesn’t say I will not eat any flesh if one is to be a proper precept holder.  It does mean that as long as the animals are not killed by or for you, then it is acceptable to eat meat. Hence, the Buddha’s acceptance of meat when it was put into his bowl during rounds.

Many Buddhist would agree with you on non-violence against animals, however if you want to argue for vegan/vegetarianism I suggest you join one of the many, many vegetarian threads on this site, instead of derailing this one.

By the way, there are Hindus and there are Buddhists, but there are no Hindu Buddhists as their beliefs are incompatible. For example, Hindus practice killing, animals for sacrifice, which as you have pointed out many times killing goes against the first precept. 
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: francis on April 18, 2017, 08:07:04 pm
Yet Ficus religiosa, history tells us vegetarianism in India begins after the introduction of Buddhism and Jainism in the sixth century BCE. So, at the time of the Buddha most of the population would have been meat eaters as animals were major a source of food at the time.

I heard in the sutras that ‘Sujata had a thousand cows, and she fed them with sweet creepers called valmee so that the cow’s milk was sweet. She milked these thousand cows and fed that milk to five hundred cows, and then fed their milk to two hundred and fifty cows and so on until she fed only eight cows. She did this to get the sweetest and most nourishing milk, to make delicious milk-rice, and this is what she offered to the Buddha’.

And, you haven’t explained the oxymoron Hindu Buddhist. That is, how can Hindus who practice killing animals for sacrifice, breaking the first precept, be considered Buddhists? Perhaps you mean Indian Buddhists. 

Ok, I have a couple of more questions. Who are you, to suggest you cannot spend all evening correcting such outlandishness? And who is your teacher?
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: francis on April 18, 2017, 09:52:25 pm
Buddha is viewed as an Avatar of Vishnu, the tenth Avatar.


So Ficus religiosa, you are not really a Buddhist. 

Suggest you join a Sanatana Dharma forum if you want to preach Hinduism (modern context), because there are important differences between Buddhism and Hinduism, like you haven't really explained those animal sacrifices yet.

However, if you want to learn about Buddhism, Jhana and Vipassana meditation stick around.

:namaste:



Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: francis on April 18, 2017, 10:41:17 pm
So Francis,

You do not determine who is nor who is not Buddhist. You are very comedic though.

By the way, why don't you go back to the Theravada section and waste your time there, this is for PureLand people. It is doubtful you have anything to teach, but the egoism of your last statement certainly shows what you contemplate. In fact, based on your last statement, you are not really even a fellow student.

Nice try.

PS. who is preaching? Not to discredit you, but I have politely answered your questions and yet you have remained foolish.

 :teehee:

Hi Ficus religiosa,

Buddhists follow the teachings of the Buddha, it's pretty simple. 

I'm a secular Buddhist, who is happy to learn about all traditions. Though, I draw the distinction between Buddhism and Hinduism, and it is true I'm not a student of Hinduism. 

As for wasting time with Pure Land people, all you have done is insult other members when they tried to defending their understanding of Pure Land against you blatant fabrications and heterodox views, totally derailing the thread. You might want to consider apologising for that.

[EDIT] Sorry, I missed you post on animal sacrifices, while I was posting. All you are doing by following Kali Yuga is confirming you follow Hinduism and not Buddhism. 
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: francis on April 19, 2017, 02:35:44 am
Hi Ficus religiosa,

There are major difference between Buddhism and Hinduism.  So yes, I do get a bit fed up when people insist the Buddha is just an avatar of Vishnu.

You might find more traction for your views at the Hindu Dharma Forums.

In the meantime, people are still waiting for your apology for derailing this topic with your blatant fabrications and heterodox views.

Good night.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Chaz on April 19, 2017, 07:44:02 am
Hi Ficus religiosa,

There are major difference between Buddhism and Hinduism.  So yes, I do get a bit fed up when people insist the Buddha is just an avatar of Vishnu.

You should not take the attitude of being fed up.  There are a lot of Hindus who see Shakyamuni Buddha as an Avatar of Vishnu, and they are entitled to their belief.

Quote
You might find more traction for your views at the Hindu Dharma Forums.

In the meantime, people are still waiting for your apology for derailing this topic with your blatant fabrications and heterodox views.

Fig's view may be hetrodox, but the same could be said for Secular Buddhist views as well.  The moral of the story, being, becarefull what names you assign to others.

As far as Fig's views go, I am not an apologist, in much the same way I offer no apology for Secular Buddhism.  I can't. I disagree.

Fig isn't so much heterodox as he is trying to add a thing of two (or three?) and then attempts to foist this upon us as some kind of twisted orthodoxy

And where did he get that mantra?  I did 108 recitations and became constipated.  Not really.  I haven't even done a single recitation in the context of practice.  Sorry.  But I do wonder if if he will offer us a Sandhana to practice along with the mantra.  After all, what is a mantra without it's accompanying Sadhana?  The Sadhana of Vegan Buddha.  Perhaps Fig is a terton?  :om: :jinsyx: :lmfao:

Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: zafrogzen on April 19, 2017, 11:52:33 am
Hey, Holy Fig (tree),

I'm impressed with how many balls you can keep in the air.

You wrote regarding my earlier comment
Quote
I notice from your dis-compassionate view of life and death that you somehow find justification in eating the tortured and executed remains of animal corpses, justifying it with libertine flair and a mention of some spider web of darkness you suggest is life.

The "web of darkness" is this life as it's being lived by beings who have evolved through killing and eating one another. Your view is very idealistic and apart from the reality of life. Even though I might not be as holy as you, you're wrong when you say I'm not compassionate. I'm also grateful for this life of both darkness and light.

Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Chaz on April 19, 2017, 12:57:16 pm
Idle Chater

I really am thankful for your comment. I felt all alone, locked in interrogation by Francis and his heterodoxic tribunal.

Your gratitude may be misplaced.  I don't support what you're saying.

Quote
I agree there should be a practice associated with this Mantra, and there is. There is an entire Tantra, a new Yana of Buddhism associated with it and a plethora of other Mantras and practices, indeed a even a truer Buddhist cosmology for this new Yana.

I find this laughable at best.  A new Yana? 



Quote
It is very difficult to offer these wondrous things in a chat room. A simple Mantra to assist the Pure Land group was offered to clarify their path while they suffered through their inadequate yanas based upon racial division, regionalism, language barriers and incorrect view.

Prior to my submissions in this chat room, no one had conveyed the link between veganism and Buddhism, Hinduism and Buddhism, Jain Dharma and Buddhism, correct historic analysis of Buddhism and the correct use of Sanskrit for Buddhism. I did not plan to take on such a mission, it just sort of fell upon me and now I am in the middle of it.

Maybe you should abandon this direction and seek a qualified teacher to work with you.

Quote
Your message was a glimmer of hope, a ray of light that certainly has reached my heart. Thank you.

You're welcome, but I did not intend for you to take any hope from it.  I don't think your a Terton.  I don't put any importance on what you're saying.  In fact it's painfully common on the 'Net for people with crackpot ideas about Buddhism to try to establish themselves via forums like this.

This whole Vegan Buddha thing is heterodox nonsense.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Chaz on April 19, 2017, 07:20:27 pm
Idle Chatter


Yes, a new Yana.

Something that may involve many lives for you to grasp.

No worries.  I'm  in it for the long haul.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: zafrogzen on April 19, 2017, 07:48:56 pm
Ficus,

Actually I was feeling some compassion for you, since you seem sort of lonely up there.

The image of the Net of Indra appears often in Hua-yen Buddhism. It apparently refers to co-dependent origination, where the whole is each part, each part is the whole and even the smallest particle contains the whole universe. I've never heard it mentioned in connection with being vegan.

I agree that vegan is a very righteous lifestyle. When I'm cooking for myself I prefer beans and rice with veggies, over meat. But I don't think it's nearly as important as you would have it. Everything is being born and dying moment by moment. If everyone went vegan it wouldn't change that fact of life -- although the planet and most people might be somewhat healthier. But I don't agree that it has much to do with whether one experiences meditative insight or not.

For someone who espouses the "unobtainable" you certainly appear to be attached to various external attributes and methods, as well a personal opinions regarding Buddhism.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: stillpointdancer on April 20, 2017, 03:07:23 am
How can one truly be compassionate with blood on their lips from lunch? Compassion increases in the heart when fundamental discipline is applied towards diet and one no longer consumes sentient Beings. This is the secret of Indra's net. We must leave behind the carnal web of life and its suffering and bring everything to a higher level, a higher understanding, a higher lifestyle choice and a higher consciousness which provides a higher vibrational field throughout time and space.

Sorry Ficus. I know that remark was for Zafrogzen, but I want to answer your question. You can be compassionate towards animals you are eating, just as you can be compassionate towards plants you are eating. Just because you personally cant hear the lettuce leaf screaming doesn't mean it isn't. 'Blood on their lips from lunch' is a truly venomous, hateful phrase, and something you need to let go of to make further progress. Again, apologies for butting into a conversation that was not directed at me, but my sense of compassion meant I had to say something.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Chaz on April 20, 2017, 06:09:06 pm
Stillpointdancer---

No you can not be compassionate towards animals that you eat. Such disillusion!

Seriously, are you going to tell me a leaf of lettuce suffers the same as an animal? Is this your deluded understanding? Really?

Perhaps you should visit a slaughter house. I am sure there are animal slaughter videos on YouTube you can watch. Is this your Buddhism; kill 'em and lie and eat 'em up?

You do not like hearing about the blood dripping from your lips after lunch? Then do not eat meat!

Go vegan!

Seeing as you brought up abbatoirs, never been in one myself, but I have taken part in the actual killing and slaughtering of animals I've  eaten.  It's  a grizzly buisness.  I've  heard the sound of a bullet ripping through the skull of an animal I shot, heard and watched their death throes, and have been cloaked in their blood.  I've stood in their bloddy guts.  There's nothing pleasant in it, but it's  never dulled my appetite.  I'm  oky with the karmic consequences of that as well as the ribs I had for dinner tonight.  My guru is ok with it too, so your condemnations are as meaningless to me as they are vapid.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: zafrogzen on April 20, 2017, 09:01:47 pm
Fig's rhetoric reminds me of anti-abortion zealots.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: stillpointdancer on April 21, 2017, 03:11:37 am
Stillpointdancer---
No you can not be compassionate towards animals that you eat. Such disillusion!
Seriously, are you going to tell me a leaf of lettuce suffers the same as an animal? Is this your deluded understanding? Really?
You do not like hearing about the blood dripping from your lips after lunch? Then do not eat meat!
Go vegan!

"No you can not be compassionate towards animals that you eat. Such disillusion!"
You still don't get it do you Ficus? You don't give a fig for anything but your own viewpoint. The more you slag off people, the further you are from enlightenment. The more you obsess about veganism, the more you cling on to that which is holding you back. Let it go and follow the path. You have no idea of the compassion I have for things. You don't know me, know nothing of my background, but presume to know everything.

"Seriously, are you going to tell me a leaf of lettuce suffers the same as an animal? Is this your deluded understanding? Really?
Did I say 'same'? But yes, every living thing suffers. My understanding comes from insight. I have no idea where yours comes from, but my guess it is from the leavings of others. Try thinking about the suffering of each living leaf as you grind it in your teeth, and then try your hardest to raise whatever minuscule compassion you have in your heart towards it. Then you might make progress.

"You do not like hearing about the blood dripping from your lips after lunch? Then do not eat meat!"
Couldn't care less about words as such, particularly from people such as yourself, but just wanted to warn you that the vitriolic filth that lies in your heart is holding you back from progress along the path. Try to be more compassionate to all living things, people, animals, plants, and those of other categories.

My perfect world would be where we manufactured all of our food so that neither animal nor plant suffers. I would never eat what came from living things again. So there!
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: francis on April 21, 2017, 03:12:41 am
Francis,

You left last time throwing the heterodox bomb into the chat room and then ran away as fast as you could. You have already shown yourself to be a bane for this chat room discussion because you did not get the thread to do what you want and because with the example you set, it is difficult to trust your Buddhism.

I do not trust a word you say about diet nor Buddhism.

How long have you been vegan?

Everything you wrote about iron and  B12 and nutritional yeast is rubbish. I do not care if it came from Google.

You and LetGo (who has shown us all what he means by Let Go quite graphically) and IdleChater have trolled away your own credibility.

I truly think IdleChater's heart can be reached.

I think LetGo needs to get over it.

I think you Francis, choose to misuse your sharp intelligence to misguide people.

The Buddha is clear about what happens to people who choose to misguide others.


Hi again Ficus religiosa,

I didn't run away,  I chose not to inflame the situation.

Let’s be clear, your vegan diet is not a heathy diet. Not only because of inaccurate information about vitamin B12 and D3, but also because it lack pulses, which are an excellent source of protein.

As far as pulses go, soybeans are the holy grail because they have a complete amino acid profile, but hey not a mention.  Could that possibly be because vast tracts of rainforest are cleared to grow soybeans for vegans?

As you say, the Buddha is clear about what happens to people that choose to misguide others.

And, you might also want to try refuting people’s arguments instead of going the ad-hom.


Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 06:24:44 am
(http://a.scpr.org/i/ec3f385fcf53e0af9ef7e480b7bf3fcf/107320-full.jpg)

If we are to recite "Amrita" then we would be in keeping with the Vedas, the Mahabarata, the Vishnu Purana, and the Upanishads, not necessarily Buddha Dharma. The Buddha Dharma redefines "Amrita" as "recollection" (anussati - specifically "kāyagatāsati" or recollection of the impermanence of the body) in the Nakulapita Sutta. "Amrita" is not the term in the Sanskrit versions of the Pure Land sutras, nor was it the term translated into Chinese. Accusations of racism really only apply for those that follow Sanatana Dharma, who say that Sanskrit is a holy language that must be pronounced properly, and not those that follow Buddha Dharma, who denied the idea of a holy language that requires a perfect pronunciation (he literally says this in various places in the Tripitaka). The East Asian Pure Land version of Amitabha's name are "best effort" transliterations by people who are not Sanskrit speakers and their recitations are not a form of racism.

First and foremost in Right View is knowledge with regard to stress, knowledge with regard to the origination of stress, knowledge with regard to the cessation of stress, knowledge with regard to the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress: This is called right view. - DN 22. Stress/suffering/Dukkha is recognizing that all compounded things are impermanent. Understanding the origination of stress means understanding that suffering is born of ignorance and that this entire mass of stress (the 5 skandhas) come about due to ignorance. This view is completely inconsistent with the idea of Trimūrti concept of supreme divinity from the Puranas, where Brahma typically identifies the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the Destroyer. There is no Brahman or Absolute in BuddhaDharma, especially Mahayana Buddha Dharma, where all phenomena is said to be empty of an intrinsic essence. In fact, one of the provisions in the typical Buddhist refuge ceremony is the vow to never take refuge in heterodox gods, such as Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva (explicitly named in my own ceremony); which is why I've taken such issue with the assertion that Vishnu and Amitabha are somehow related/the same. The concept of Sukhavati being the same as Loka is somewhat disputed by the Shorter Sukhavativyuha, where it is made clear that Sukhavati is the product of Amitabha's enlightened mind & great vows, rather than some substantially existing place. (On a side note, the Sukhavati Sutra mentions jeweled nets, but these are not explicitly a reference to Indra's net).

The idea that one is destined for hell automatically due to killing is refuted by the Angulimala Sutta. Angulimala was a serial killer, who had killed hundreds of people, but still met the Buddha and achieved Arhatship through the Dharma.

The idea that the Buddha drank tainted water is refuted by the Maha-parinibbana Sutta (DN 16). The Buddha died after eating tainted Sukara-maddava (pig's tenders) served by Cunda. In fact, Ananda balked at serving the Buddha tainted water in his final moments and was severely chastised for it later.

One of the biggest criticisms against Buddhists by the Jains was that they ate meat, with specific proscriptions given in the Vinaya of the types of meat to be avoided. The Jains chided the Buddhists saying that they would eat a baby if there was no intent behind the killing & cooking of the baby - a reference to their accepting whatever meat was given on alms rounds.

The worst part of this troll is how easily so many of the assertions are refuted by the actual Sutras, both Nikaya/Agama and Mahayana sutras.

The questions about the authenticity of the Shurangama Sutra are well documented by Ronald Epstein in the following presentation:
http://online.sfsu.edu/rone/Buddhism/authenticity.htm (http://online.sfsu.edu/rone/Buddhism/authenticity.htm)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Chaz on April 21, 2017, 09:05:54 am
Fig's rhetoric reminds me of anti-abortion zealots.

Yeah, it also reminds me of Zealot Vegan Buddhists.  Tedious.  Wrong.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 11:58:14 am
LetGo


You have only posted Japanese Sutra sites. You are a fool. You are a Japanese racist. You mislead others.
Are you so stupid to think just because a website url has a meaning in Japanese that the site is Japanese?
Now who's racist?
You're a stupid racist liar spreading misinformation and slandering the Buddha's Dharma.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 12:31:26 pm
(http://www.thranguhk.org/buddhism/images/mahakala5.jpg)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 12:35:35 pm
(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/fd/42/66/fd4266f4cd568c67a148f9cfb3e083c3.jpg)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 12:41:05 pm

Now the demons of this chat room will leave.


The Shurangama Mantra:

      DWO JR TWO
      NAN
      E NA LI
      PI SHE TI
      PI LA BA SHE LA
      TWO LI
      PAN TWO PAN TWO NI
      BA SHE LA BANG NI PAN
      HU SYIN DU LU YUNG PAN
      SWO PE HE
You better get going then...
(belts of heads and robes of tiger fur are decidedly not vegan)

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/cd/29/6b/cd296b997a3f571507ea0465e742dff9.jpg)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 12:43:11 pm
(http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/OGwAAOSwpDdVW98~/s-l1600.jpg)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 12:52:51 pm
not going huh...
(http://www.rigpawiki.org/images/7/7e/Dorje_Drollo.JPG)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 12:54:25 pm
(https://16324ed439-custmedia.vresp.com/ce75f6685f/Guru%20Dragpo%20Charlie2%202.jpg)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 01:19:18 pm
Tiger & leopard skins are not vegan.
Nor are belts & head dresses made of heads.
And the stomping of followers of Sanatana & Jain Dharma destroys any attempts at glossing it as "one big happy family".
(https://www.picclickimg.com/00/s/MTIxOFgxMDAw/z/y5MAAOSw-vlVo5~Y/$/32-Blessed-Brocade-Wood-Scroll-Tibetan-Thangka-_57.jpg)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 01:20:14 pm
(https://i2.wp.com/cdn1.share.slickpic.com/u/SashaLotus/Kumbum/org/09/web.jpg)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 01:28:28 pm
(http://www.himalayanart.org/images/items/resized/2000px/1/1/6/116.jpg)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 01:31:38 pm
Buddha was born in Nepal.
Many of these images are from Nepal.
These images are not vegan.
(http://www.tibetthanka.com/uploaded/Mahakala/IMG_1785.jpg)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 02:38:23 pm
Must be blind as well as dumb if you can't see the enemies of Buddhism (Sanatana Dharma brahmins) getting stepped on in these images...
(http://www.himalayanart.org/images/items/resized/2000px/9/1/7/917.jpg)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 02:39:47 pm
Animal birth is considered a lower realm, a birth due to unfavorable causes....
(http://www.himalayanart.org/images/items/resized/2000px/7/6/9/769.jpg)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 02:43:01 pm
Hindu Hayagriva is merely a manifestation of Amitabha, just an alternate form if you will...
Just as Avalokitesvara appears to fools who only believe in Vishnu....
More teachers who attempt to teach Sanatana Dharma, enemies of Buddhism getting stepped on:
(http://www.himalayanart.org/images/items/resized/2000px/9/1/5/915.jpg)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 02:45:35 pm
As this forum apparently has no mods, I have no trouble posting the 1000+ images of wrathful Buddha Dharma protectors...
Give you a glimpse of what awaits you for attempting to mislead people with counterfeit Dharma...
(http://www.himalayanart.org/images/items/resized/2000px/2/1/8/2183.jpg)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 02:55:01 pm
Misleading people with counterfeit Dharma is hardly compassionate.
In Buddhism it's right up there with the 5 Grave Sins.
Hence, an attempt at purifying this thread with Dharma Protectors.

(http://www.himalayanart.org/images/items/resized/2000px/1/5/2/15270.jpg)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 02:58:01 pm
Never ending cycle I guess.
You keep adding diarrhea to the thread and I keep trying to purify it with Dharma images.
(http://www.tibetthanka.com/uploaded/Mahakala/IMG_1785.jpg)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 03:03:11 pm
Quote
Virupa became known as one who had not only parted the waters of the Ganges on
two occassions but had also halted the sun in its course for three days. His fame spread
far and wide. Meanwhile he continued his journey to subdue Bhimesara in the south
and to find Krishnacarin, a future disciple who it is said was a suitable candidate for the
'gradual path'. Bhimesara was ruled by a Hindu king named Narapati who was a devotee
of five hundred Yogis with plaited hair. They worshipped at a massive Shivalinga and at
an image of Mahadeva which had been installed by a previous king named Bhayasena.
They sacrificed ten of thousands of buffaloes and goats every year. Virupa arrived among
them and wrote many eulogies to the Shivalinga in Sanskrit. The king was greatly impressed
with his scholarship. He asked him to become the leader of the five hundred Yogis, an offer
which Virupa found difficult to refuse.

   During the regular worshipping ceremonies the Yogis bowed down to the image of
Mahadeva and made flower offerings. While this was going on, Virupa would pull out
a volume of the Prajnaparamita text which he kept tucked in his hair, and pay homage
to it. He never bowed to the image of Mahadeva. The Yogis became suspicious and
reported this behaviour to the king. Instead of paying heed to their allegations, the king
accused the Yogis of jealousy. "He is such a great scholar and master of the Vedas.
It is impossible that such a man does not pay homage to Mahadeva, the king of the gods.
You must be jealous of him," the king replied. However the Yogis kept on reporting
Virupa's behaviour until at last the king decided he must observe the truth himself by
attending one of these ceremonies personally. When he did, Virupa paid his homage to
the Prajnaparamita text as usual. The king was amazed. He addressed Virupa, saying,
"Why are you not bowing down to the image of Mahadeva?" "Why should I?" replied
Virupa. "He cannot bear my homage." The king then said, "There is no one more
powerful than he in the whole desire realm. Why do you say he cannot bear your homage?
You must show your respect." "Since I have no choice but to do what the sinful king
demands of me, you must forgive me," Virupa said to the image. As soon as he placed
his hands together to pay homage and said, "Namo Buddhaya" (I pay homage to the
Buddha), one third of the gigantic image cracked to pieces. When he said, "Namo
Dharmaya" (I pay homage to the Dharma), two thirds of the image cracked and when
he said, "Namo Sanghaya" (I pay homage to the Sangha), the entire figure crumbled
into pieces and fell to the ground.

   The king was shocked. With a mixture of fear and faith, he requested Virupa to restore
the statue. Thereupon Virupa instantly restored it and placed upon a black stone image of
the Great Compassionate One, Avalokiteshvara. He then said to the king, "The statue will
remain intact so long as no one removes the image of Mahakarunika. Should anyone
remove this, this statue will instantly crumble to bits." Then he left. Amongst the five hundred
Yogis was one who was dissatisfied with the behaviour of Tirthikas (heretics). Having
witnessed Virupa's wondrous qualities he developed deep devotion to him and became his
disciple. This was Krishnacharin of the East who, although never previously a follower of
the Buddhadharma, now decided to enter the path.
(https://68.media.tumblr.com/55245c3c70295c2c2f7b52935f146e0a/tumblr_npyjzxibgu1u8c4jyo1_540.jpg)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 03:09:35 pm
Quote
Virupa and his companions continued traveling south. They arrived at a place where
there was a self-arisen image of Goddess Chandika, named Sahajadevi which was
worshipped by many Hindu Yoginis. This shrine had a Trishula (a three pointed ritual
knife) which of its own accord without any human intervention would pierce through
the neck of pilgrims killing them as soon as they entered the shrine. The Yoginis would
then make offerings of flesh and blood to the image. Virupa knew about this and had
come purposely to subdue it. He instructed his two companions to remain outside
and perform special breathing meditation. The Yoginis were delighted to see Virupa
and asked him to bring his two companions inside with him. Virupa said that they
could invite in themselves, if they wished. The Yoginis went and asked the pair to
enter. But neither of them replied. The Yoginis felt the stomachs of the two meditating
disciples. Excrement emerged from wherever they touched. The Yoginis concluded
that the two were already dead and rotten, so left them undisturbed. Virupa had
seen the Trishula knives ready for slaughter and moved very fast as he entered the
shrine. He clapped his hands and the knives were instantly pulverised. Immediately
the image started jumping towards onto its shoulders. All the Yoginis began vomiting
blood and fainting as they saw this unexpected tragedy befall their god. "Aren't you
Buddhists meant to be kind and compassionate to other living beings? Please do not
do this to us," said the Yoginis when they recovered. "It is due to compassion that I
am doing this," replied Virupa.

   He placed a small votive stupa on top of the image and admitted all the Yoginis to
the practice of Buddhadharma. At this time, the boatman Dombi Heruka, who had
been with Virupa since the second parting of the Ganges was blessed to attain the
realization of a Bodhisattva at the level of the Sixth Bhumi. Virupa then sent him to
Rada province in eastern India to subdue an evil Hindu king named Dehara, who
had a palace named Kangkana. Mounted on a pregnant tiger and brandishing a
deadly snake bridle and whip, Mahasiddha Dombi Heruka subdued the king and
his subjects. They were all admitted into the path of Vajrayana.
(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/b3/66/cf/b366cf0116b85690870b1263c2235b86.jpg)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 03:15:07 pm
Quote
Saraha was a brahmin born in eastern India in an area named Roli in the city-state of Rajni. His mother was a Dakini and he was a Daka, a spiritual being with magical powers. Although raised as a Brahmin and tutored in Brahmin law, he was secretly a Buddhist and had been taught by numerous great masters. He lived a double life, observing Brahmin law during the day and maintaining his Buddhist vows at night. Saraha enjoyed drinking alcohol and this offended the other Brahmins. They told the king of Saraha's drinking and pleaded for him to be exiled. When the king began to chastise him, Saraha stated that he did not drink and that he would gladly prove it to him and all the Brahmins. When they were all assembled, Saraha took out a pot of boiling oil and stated that if he were guilty his hand would burn in it, and then put his hand into the boiling oil and pulled it out unscathed. The Brahmins didn't care and continued to yell vicious insults at him, telling the king they had repeatedly seen him drink with their own eyes. Saraha then took a bowl of molten copper and drank it in one gulp and his throat was not burned. The Brahmins continued to tell the king they had seen him drink. He then challenged the Brahmins, saying he would get into a tank of water with one of them and whoever is guilty will sink to the bottom and when he did, the Brahmin sank and not him. He also stated that he would weigh himself with anyone of them and whoever weighed less was guilty. He weighed himself along with one of the larger Brahmins but still was heavier. The king decided that if he possessed such powers then he should be allowed to continue to drink.
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/62/Sharaha_British_Museum.jpg)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 03:25:52 pm
Calls me racist and goes on racist rant against Tibetans and Japanese...  :teehee: :lmfao:
(http://www.himalayanart.org/images/items/resized/535px/5/2/5/52548468.jpg)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 03:28:29 pm
This has gotten a bit boring.
You can keep screaming nonsense into your echo-chamber.
(http://www.himalayanart.org/images/items/resized/2000px/5/2/5/52548465.jpg)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 03:34:04 pm
"Echo-chamber" is a room that echoes.
It means somewhere that you can only hear yourself, the idea that you can only hear your own words.
I think anybody who's actually read this thread has given up any idea of educating the troll by now.
There are some places places where wisdom just doesn't reach...
(https://honeyguideapps.com/sites/default/files/%281%29%20Arya%20Vajrapani_1.jpg)
with that, I'm out for a bit. might come back later if it's entertaining.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 08:08:55 pm
Not hateful.
The wrath is compassion.
Buddha Dharma is still very much alive.
(http://www.exoticindiaart.com/artimages/te82.jpg)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 09:10:57 pm
(http://www.visiblemantra.org/names/amitabha.png)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 09:11:18 pm
(http://www.visiblemantra.org/mantra/amitabha-siddham.jpg)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 09:11:35 pm
(http://www.visiblemantra.org/mantra/amitabha-devanagari.jpg)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 09:12:15 pm
(http://www.visiblemantra.org/mantra/shingon-amitabha.png)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 09:12:33 pm
(http://www.visiblemantra.org/mantra/nembutsu-sanskrit.png)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 09:13:15 pm
ओं अमरणि जीवन्तये स्वाहा
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 09:13:34 pm
(http://www.visiblemantra.org/mantra/amitayus-siddham.gif)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 09:14:22 pm
(http://www.visiblemantra.org/mantra/nembutsu.png)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 09:14:54 pm
(http://www.visiblemantra.org/bija/hrih.png)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 09:17:11 pm
(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-epbekpO2ins/VNjyXZbb1QI/AAAAAAAAHwM/4DaY4ysfF8o/s1600/Buddha%2Band%2BBaka%2BBrahma.jpg)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 21, 2017, 09:17:49 pm
(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-RiYlvc-XTRg/Tc3yC3ET81I/AAAAAAAAUCg/zuAnRqeek8o/s1600/devas%2Bin%2BTavatimsa%2Blife-of-buddha-44%2Bforums.sgclub%2Bcom.jpg)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: LetGo on April 22, 2017, 07:20:30 am
That'll do troll.
That'll do...

As long as nobody comes away from this thread thinking you remotely have any idea of what you're talking about, I've done my job. Mission accomplished. :)

Have a fun weekend troll.
 :r4wheel:
 :dharma:
 :buddha:
 :buddha2:
 :anjali:
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: stillpointdancer on April 23, 2017, 03:43:10 am
Could you make the font a bit larger please? I can still see it.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dharma Flower on December 06, 2018, 12:51:12 pm
From a Buddhist perspective, there are countless planets with intelligent life and the universe itself has no beginning or end.

So it's not far-fetched from a Buddhist perspective that Amida is a historical Buddha from a distant planet, eons before the big bang.

But Buddhism also teaches that if you aren't able to take a scripture as literally true, that's also okay. This is because what ultimately matters is whether or not a teaching affects a change in one's life, not whether or not it's literally true.

This makes Buddhism different from Western religions like Christianity and Islam.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dairy Lama on December 07, 2018, 02:31:45 am
This makes Buddhism different from Western religions like Christianity and Islam.

Some versions of Buddhism are closer to Christianity and Islam than others.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Chaz on December 07, 2018, 07:45:37 pm
This makes Buddhism different from Western religions like Christianity and Islam.

Some versions of Buddhism are closer to Christianity and Islam than others.

That's true.

I've been to a number of Jodo Shinshu services.  The similarity between theirs and Christian services was readily apparent.  I was in the shrine room of a center that served the Chinese immigrant community in Denver. It had pews with kneelers like a catholic church.

I've read a history stating that prayer beads were proba
bly first developed in the Buddhist world around 500BCE and spread into the Muslim and Christian world afterwards

I don't know about modern Islam, though.  In the past there was direct contact between Islam moving into central Asia where Buddhism had flourished for over 500 years.  I'm sure there was cultural cross-over where for a time the line between Islam and Buddhism wasn't so clear.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: paracelsus on December 07, 2018, 08:06:04 pm
In John Blofeld’s introduction to the Zen teachings of Huang-Po ( Published in1958) he writes of the experience of satori and the comparison between Zen and Amida practice, saying that it has been suggested by Dr D T Suzuki that practitioners of Pure Land more frequently attain the desired result of satori experience than do zen practitioners, possibly because “the single minded concentration while reciting “Nāmo Amida Butsu” is an excellent form of mind control achievable even by simple people who have no idea of the deeper significance of “Amida” or “Pure Land”.”
(I understand that Dr Suzuki had a particular affection for Pure Land, possibly because of this simple effectiveness for  unsophisticated people. It may be that unsophisticated people don't have heads full of intellectual arguments)

He also writes that Pure Land practice in its pure form is excellent Buddhism because Amida symbolises the Dharmakaya (The Buddha in the aspect of oneness with the Absolute), and entrance to the Pure Land symbolises intuitive understanding of our oneness with reality.

Given that Buddhist literature abounds with the suggestion that we are all buddha (if only we'd stop not being buddhas) I can't see why there would be any question as to whether Amida is a real buddha or not, as in it doesn't matter in the least, providing the mind is pure and devoid of (involuntary) conceptual thinking. I put involuntary in there because obviously Huang-Po used conceptual thought when teaching, just as the Buddha said that; "whatever the world held to be real, he too would hold to be real" in order that he could communicate in the language of the world.

Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: paracelsus on December 07, 2018, 08:42:10 pm
This makes Buddhism different from Western religions like Christianity and Islam.

Some versions of Buddhism are closer to Christianity and Islam than others.

This similarity might be true if Christianity and Islam dropped their insistence that salvation was a reward dished out by God. Since they can't quite give up this power to their followers, I suggest that there is a vast and irresolvable gap between them and the Buddhist. The fact that the Christian or the Islamic mystic might achieve satori and attribute the experience to their God doesn't mean that is what happened. It is a cultural overlay. HOWEVER, just because a Buddhist might insist that they did it all by their own efforts, it doesn't mean that a god didn't spot their valiant (god denying) efforts and secretly reward them, but it doesn't ring true to me.

There can be a simplistic and effective belief that Amida will save you if you chant his name (as if he were an external being), but the deeper understanding and basic tenet of Buddhism is that you and you alone must attain the realisation that will gain you liberation. All the teachers can do is offer assistance. All Amida can do is exist as a fundamental principle which, once realised will admit the realiser to the "Pure Land" of union with that principle.

It is interesting that portrayals of heaven always have God remaining separate from the angels and happy souls. This suggests no union with the absolute. (He can always chuck you out again....)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dharma Flower on January 09, 2019, 08:29:24 pm
According to the famous Heart Sutra, all conditioned things are empty of inherent existence:

Quote
Sariputra, form is not other than emptiness
and emptiness not other than form.
Form is precisely emptiness and emptiness precisely form.
https://www.westernchanfellowship.org/about-the-western-chan-fellowship/buddhist-liturgy/the-heart-sutra/ (https://www.westernchanfellowship.org/about-the-western-chan-fellowship/buddhist-liturgy/the-heart-sutra/)

Asking, then, if Amida is a real Buddha might the wrong question, since nothing is ultimately real in and of itself.

Amida, whether "real" or not, points us to the ultimate truth of Dharma-body, the one unconditioned reality.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Chaz on January 10, 2019, 07:29:41 am
According to the famous Heart Sutra, all conditioned things are empty of inherent existence:

Quote
Sariputra, form is not other than emptiness
and emptiness not other than form.
Form is precisely emptiness and emptiness precisely form.
https://www.westernchanfellowship.org/about-the-western-chan-fellowship/buddhist-liturgy/the-heart-sutra/ (https://www.westernchanfellowship.org/about-the-western-chan-fellowship/buddhist-liturgy/the-heart-sutra/)

Asking, then, if Amida is a real Buddha might the wrong question, since nothing is ultimately real in and of itself.

I think the answer lies in defining what the word "real" means in the context of your question.

Does it mean is Amida substantially real?

Does it mean is Amida is a Buddha as opposed to a Bodhisattva?

Do you know?

Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dairy Lama on January 11, 2019, 02:44:40 am
According to the famous Heart Sutra, all conditioned things are empty of inherent existence:
Amida, whether "real" or not, points us to the ultimate truth of Dharma-body, the one unconditioned reality.

The Heart Sutra doesn't describe an "unconditioned reality".  It says that all phenomena are conditional and empty = sunyata.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dharma Flower on January 11, 2019, 09:52:08 pm
This is one of my favorite Zen stories, perhaps because I’m still twelve years old at heart:

Quote
A monk asked the Chinese Zen master Yunmen, “What is Buddha?” To this he replied, “A sh*t-covered stick.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shit_stick

If Dharma-body is in all things, that includes fecal matter as well. Why worry, then, if Amida is a literal Buddha?

In the image of Amida Buddha on the altar, and the recitation of his name, Namu-Amida-Butsu, we awaken to the outworking of Dharma-body in our daily lives, leading us to the Pure Land, the realm of Nirvana.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dairy Lama on January 12, 2019, 02:07:58 am
Why worry, then, if Amida is a literal Buddha?

Who are you trying to convince?
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dharma Flower on January 12, 2019, 07:53:38 am
In his book Buddhism of the Heart, Rev. Jeff Wilson relates Yunmen's story of the shit-stick to the ultimate truth about Amida Buddha:

https://books.google.com/books?id=4ocQM7Amr7IC&pg=PA93&dq=buddhism+of+the+heart+feces&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjfh8ymv-jfAhWJGXwKHVuCA08Q6AEILjAB#v=onepage&q=feces&f=false
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dharma Flower on January 12, 2019, 01:23:06 pm
Why worry, then, if Amida is a literal Buddha?

Who are you trying to convince?

For some who might otherwise feel attracted to Pure Land Buddhism, it might seem too similar to Christianity or the literal existence of Amida Buddha as a historical person might be too hard to believe. I am hoping to relieve this apprehension.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Zen44 on January 12, 2019, 09:26:21 pm
I think he means Jesus Christ appearing to you.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dairy Lama on January 13, 2019, 07:17:02 am
Why worry, then, if Amida is a literal Buddha?

Who are you trying to convince?

For some who might otherwise feel attracted to Pure Land Buddhism, it might seem too similar to Christianity or the literal existence of Amida Buddha as a historical person might be too hard to believe. I am hoping to relieve this apprehension.

It can seem like proselytising though.  It would be more interesting to hear about your personal approach to practice, the practical side.  What you actually do, the purpose of it, and the effect that it has.   
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dharma Flower on January 17, 2019, 02:48:17 am
Whether Amida is a literal Buddha or is instead a upaya-symbol for the Dharmakaya, millions of people have passed away with his name on their lips, and many have reported deathbed experiences of Amida or the Pure Land.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dharma Flower on February 18, 2019, 09:35:41 pm
Rather than one Buddha among many, Amida is the Buddha-nature in all things:

Quote
Shinran’s spirituality is grounded in his sense of the non-discriminating and universal embrace of Amida Buddha’s compassion and wisdom.

In his view, reality itself is Amida Buddha whose name means Infinite; the inconceivable, boundless reality that is the basis of life in nature and the goal of ultimate spiritual realization.

He is not just one Buddha among many, but rather Amida Buddha is Buddha-nature in all things; we are already Buddhas, though we are not aware of it. True Entrusting is the activity of Buddha nature; “Great Shinjin is itself Buddha-nature” [3]

Such an understanding gives rise to a sense of awe, mystery, wonder and gratefulness, which are marks of deep spirituality.

In his writings Shinran wrote of the Eternal Amida [4] beyond the limited expression of the mythic story which describes how the Bodhisattva Dharmakara became Amida Buddha in five eons.

Amida Buddha is the Buddha from which all Buddhas are manifest. “To praise the one Buddha, Amida, with the mind that is single/ is to praise all the unhindered ones.” [5]

Shinran broke through the boundaries of mythic belief to see Amida, in faith, as wondrous reality shining through our lives and world.
[url]http://bschawaii.org/shindharmanet/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2015/02/Bloom-Spirituality.pdf[/url] ([url]http://bschawaii.org/shindharmanet/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2015/02/Bloom-Spirituality.pdf[/url])


Amida Buddha is the unconditioned true nature of all things, the unfathomable Reality of enlightenment that takes us just as we are. In gratitude for this boundless compassion, we say Namu-Amida-Butsu.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dharma Flower on February 26, 2019, 01:03:34 am
According to the Christian theologian Paul Tillich, the word “God” is only a symbol for Ultimate Reality, not the Ultimate Reality itself, since anything that’s ultimate will surpass what human language can describe:

Quote
Since God is infinite and ultimate and faith in God is the ultimate concern, Tillich asserts that only symbolic language is sufficient to express faith and God.  Thus, he outlines the definition of the term “symbol.” 

Like signs, symbols refer to that which is beyond themselves.  For instance, a stop sign points to the command to stop the movement of a vehicle.  Similarly letters refer to sounds and meanings.  However, unlike signs, symbols play a part in that which they represent and cannot be easily replaced. 

For instance, a country’s flag not only represents the nation that it stands for but also is an active participant in portraying the country’s “power and dignity.”  Thus, it cannot simply be replaced unless the character of the nation itself is also changed. 

Tillich also asserts that symbols allow us to experience other levels of reality that are normally off limits to us.  For instance art creates a symbol for a plane that we cannot move toward by science alone. 

Additionally, symbols open aspects of our souls which allow us to experience awareness of ourselves that we were not conscious of prior to experiencing the symbol (such as the depths that we can reach by listening to the “melodies and rhythms in music”).

 Another characteristic of a symbol is that it cannot be manufactured.  Symbols arise from the unconscious and must be accepted on that level before conscious acceptance.
[url]http://www.qcc.cuny.edu/SocialSciences/ppecorino/PHIL_of_RELIGION_TEXT/CHAPTER_10_DEFINITION/The-Definition-of-Religion.htm[/url] ([url]http://www.qcc.cuny.edu/SocialSciences/ppecorino/PHIL_of_RELIGION_TEXT/CHAPTER_10_DEFINITION/The-Definition-of-Religion.htm[/url])


From a Buddhist perspective, Amida is a symbolic expression of the Ultimate Reality described as Nirvana, Buddha-nature, Dharma-body, etc. Amida is thus more than a literal flesh and blood Buddha from eons before the Big Bang.

Furthermore, in reciting his name, Namu-Amida-Butsu, depths of our own being are realized which we wouldn’t be aware of otherwise, our own Buddha-nature which connects us with the Buddha-nature in all things and beings.

Rather than a fictional story manufactured to deceive the gullible, the narratives of Amida which we read in the Pure Land sutras developed from the unconscious mind of meditators who encountered Amida while in samadhi:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samadhi#Indian_Mahayana (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samadhi#Indian_Mahayana)

As a religious symbol, Amida’s Pure Land is the realm of Nirvana, rather than a geographic place galaxies away. Entrusting in the name, Namu-Amida-Butsu, we gratefully await our future rebirth into the Pure Land, the land of Nirvana.

Rather than clever deceptions, Buddhist teachings are a finger pointing to the moon of enlightenment:
https://essenceofbuddhism.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/what-the-finger-pointing-to-the-moon-analogy-really-means-from-zen-buddhism-the-buddha-in-the-shurangama-sutra/ (https://essenceofbuddhism.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/what-the-finger-pointing-to-the-moon-analogy-really-means-from-zen-buddhism-the-buddha-in-the-shurangama-sutra/)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dairy Lama on March 01, 2019, 02:59:23 am
Rather than a fictional story manufactured to deceive the gullible, the narratives of Amida which we read in the Pure Land sutras developed from the unconscious mind of meditators who encountered Amida while in samadhi:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samadhi#Indian_Mahayana (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samadhi#Indian_Mahayana)

Who's to say it wasn't just a figment of their imagination, or confirmation bias or whatever? 

And is this something you have experienced personally?
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Chaz on March 01, 2019, 05:26:55 pm
Rather than a fictional story manufactured to deceive the gullible, the narratives of Amida which we read in the Pure Land sutras developed from the unconscious mind of meditators who encountered Amida while in samadhi:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samadhi#Indian_Mahayana (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samadhi#Indian_Mahayana)

Who's to say it wasn't just a figment of their imagination, or confirmation bias or whatever? 

Yes, and who's to say it didn't really happen?


Quote
And is this something you have experienced personally?

You ask that a lot.  I tend to agree.

DF, it would be very cool, for everyone, if you started offering personal experiences with your promotions/endorsements of Pure Land practice, it would add a lot of flavor to otherwise drab posts.

Nuthin, but luv for ya DF, but how about throwing us a bone?
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dairy Lama on March 02, 2019, 02:26:22 am
Nuthin, but luv for ya DF, but how about throwing us a bone?

A Dairy Lama is more likely to throw a helping of Neapolitan.   :teehee:

But seriously...I've had some profound experiences, the difficulty IMO is always in interpretation.  Was it samadhi?  Was it Atman/Brahman?  Was it God?  Was it Amida?  And how would you know?  I'm not convinced that you can know objectively, since it entirely depends on your starting assumptions and beliefs.

Generally my approach is to make as few assumptions as possible about the experiences I have.  Beliefs can get in the way sometimes, wanting what you experience to "prove" something.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Chaz on March 02, 2019, 05:32:00 am
Nuthin, but luv for ya DF, but how about throwing us a bone?

A Dairy Lama is more likely to throw a helping of Neapolitan.   :teehee:

But seriously...I've had some profound experiences, the difficulty IMO is always in interpretation.  Was it samadhi?  Was it Atman/Brahman?  Was it God?  Was it Amida?  And how would you know?  I'm not convinced that you can know objectively, since it entirely depends on your starting assumptions and beliefs.

Generally my approach is to make as few assumptions as possible about the experiences I have.  Beliefs can get in the way sometimes, wanting what you experience to "prove" something.

This is where the/a teacher comes in.  If you hve a teacher, and have some insight or experience, have a sit-down with the guru or teacher in the lineage and figure it out.

We had someone come in earlier in the week claiming to be enlightened.  This is something we should rightly call bullshit on until someone who has the attainment to verify such things chimes in with support. 

the thing with sameness as a lable is that it implies more than one phenomea.  This runs counter to many mahayana teachings.  Namely the idea of "other" -  there is no other nor is there a self.  No matter how you look at it, then,  there can be no sameness because there is no multiplicity of phenomena that could be the same.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dairy Lama on March 03, 2019, 03:45:28 am
Nuthin, but luv for ya DF, but how about throwing us a bone?

A Dairy Lama is more likely to throw a helping of Neapolitan.   :teehee:

But seriously...I've had some profound experiences, the difficulty IMO is always in interpretation.  Was it samadhi?  Was it Atman/Brahman?  Was it God?  Was it Amida?  And how would you know?  I'm not convinced that you can know objectively, since it entirely depends on your starting assumptions and beliefs.

Generally my approach is to make as few assumptions as possible about the experiences I have.  Beliefs can get in the way sometimes, wanting what you experience to "prove" something.

This is where the/a teacher comes in.  If you have a teacher, and have some insight or experience, have a sit-down with the guru or teacher in the lineage and figure it out.

Sure, that can be helpful, the problem is that there are many teachers, and they all have different interpretations and understanding. Then we are back to having faith in one person rather than another, which all gets rather subjective and arbitrary.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: stillpointdancer on March 03, 2019, 04:11:58 am
This is the big problem in Buddhism in the West today. That we mainly work by ourselves, not having any 'guru'. Rather than ridicule people who claim to have had enlightenment experiences, or any insight experiences, we should be sharing them, collating them, reflecting on them, and so on.

I consider the 'big' experience to be universal of itself, but open to abuse by others afterwards. You are in a state of shock, of post traumatic stress disorder if you like, and then, just when you are trying to come to terms with something which has turned everything inside out, people line up to ridicule, belittle, or, at best, to reinterpret it for you along their own lines of thought.

Tradition relies on your teacher not only having gone through the enlightenment experience themselves, but also not too entrenched in their own interpretations that they impose them on your experience.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Chaz on March 03, 2019, 06:20:22 am
Nuthin, but luv for ya DF, but how about throwing us a bone?

A Dairy Lama is more likely to throw a helping of Neapolitan.   :teehee:

But seriously...I've had some profound experiences, the difficulty IMO is always in interpretation.  Was it samadhi?  Was it Atman/Brahman?  Was it God?  Was it Amida?  And how would you know?  I'm not convinced that you can know objectively, since it entirely depends on your starting assumptions and beliefs.

Generally my approach is to make as few assumptions as possible about the experiences I have.  Beliefs can get in the way sometimes, wanting what you experience to "prove" something.

This is where the/a teacher comes in.  If you have a teacher, and have some insight or experience, have a sit-down with the guru or teacher in the lineage and figure it out.

Sure, that can be helpful, the problem is that there are many teachers, and they all have different interpretations and understanding. Then we are back to having faith in one person rather than another, which all gets rather subjective and arbitrary.

No one says iteasy.  A good teacher is not easy to find and once found, the relationship can be difficult as well.  Still it'simportant to finf a good teacher.

I having faith in one person's ability to teach is any difference in the faith in one's self  to go it alone?

And there's nothing wrong with faith.  Faith, confirned is certainty.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dairy Lama on March 04, 2019, 03:14:40 am
This is the big problem in Buddhism in the West today. That we mainly work by ourselves, not having any 'guru'.

A lot of UK Buddhists I've meet do have a teacher, and tend to stick with them for long periods of time. IMO there are pros and cons to that.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dairy Lama on March 04, 2019, 03:20:33 am
I having faith in one person's ability to teach is any difference in the faith in one's self  to go it alone?

The best teachers help the student not to need them anymore.  And of course there is nothing wrong with learning from a range of teachers, since it's not a case of one size fits all.

I think it's partly a cultural thing, eg Tibetan Buddhism emphasizes devotion to guru - though as we know, some gurus let down their students with bad behaviour.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Chaz on March 04, 2019, 04:15:35 am
This is the big problem in Buddhism in the West today. That we mainly work by ourselves, not having any 'guru'.

A lot of UK Buddhists I've meet do have a teacher, and tend to stick with them for long periods of time. IMO there are pros and cons to that.

There pros and cons to everything.  So what?
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Chaz on March 04, 2019, 04:30:48 am
I having faith in one person's ability to teach is any difference in the faith in one's self  to go it alone?

The best teachers help the student not to need them anymore.  And of course there is nothing wrong with learning from a range of teachers, since it's not a case of one size fits all.

I think it's partly a cultural thing, eg Tibetan Buddhism emphasizes devotion to guru - though as we know, some gurus let down their students with bad behaviour.

Doesn't really  answer my question regarding faith.

Yes,. It always comes back to bad behavior.  It's like death, taxes, diet, and the guru's behavior.

Let's  not forget western culture norms of an individual's issues with trust.  I grew up in a world where trust was rampant.  Today it's a lot different. Nobody trusts anyone and the blame the lack of trust on those they don't trust.

Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Zen44 on March 04, 2019, 10:50:31 pm
I think Amida is a Manifestation
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Zen44 on March 04, 2019, 10:52:40 pm
Nuthin, but luv for ya DF, but how about throwing us a bone?

A Dairy Lama is more likely to throw a helping of Neapolitan.   :teehee:

But seriously...I've had some profound experiences, the difficulty IMO is always in interpretation.  Was it samadhi?  Was it Atman/Brahman?  Was it God?  Was it Amida?  And how would you know?  I'm not convinced that you can know objectively, since it entirely depends on your starting assumptions and beliefs.

Generally my approach is to make as few assumptions as possible about the experiences I have.  Beliefs can get in the way sometimes, wanting what you experience to "prove" something.

It's called firm conviction of Faith.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dairy Lama on March 08, 2019, 02:10:51 am
I having faith in one person's ability to teach is any difference in the faith in one's self  to go it alone?

The best teachers help the student not to need them anymore.  And of course there is nothing wrong with learning from a range of teachers, since it's not a case of one size fits all.

I think it's partly a cultural thing, eg Tibetan Buddhism emphasizes devotion to guru - though as we know, some gurus let down their students with bad behaviour.

Doesn't really  answer my question regarding faith.

I'd rather trust my own judgement than blindly follow a dodgy guru or an imaginary Amida, if that's what you mean. 
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Chaz on March 09, 2019, 08:44:24 am
I having faith in one person's ability to teach is any difference in the faith in one's self  to go it alone?

The best teachers help the student not to need them anymore.  And of course there is nothing wrong with learning from a range of teachers, since it's not a case of one size fits all.

I think it's partly a cultural thing, eg Tibetan Buddhism emphasizes devotion to guru - though as we know, some gurus let down their students with bad behaviour.

Doesn't really  answer my question regarding faith.

I'd rather trust my own judgement than blindly follow a dodgy guru or an imaginary Amida, if that's what you mean.

Not really.  Trust in yourself is faith. You can't have faith in yourself when you question the faith others demonstrate.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Chaz on March 09, 2019, 03:25:40 pm
I split this topic and moved it to the Danger Zone after a couple off topic posts
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dairy Lama on March 10, 2019, 04:48:50 am
You can't have faith in yourself when you question the faith others demonstrate.

Of course you can.  It's having the confidence to question what looks like nonsense, even when it is popular nonsense, or nonsense promoted by an "authority".  Are you familiar with that story, "The emperors new clothes"?

And of course there is always the Kalama Sutta.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Chaz on March 10, 2019, 05:02:16 am
You can't have faith in yourself when you question the faith others demonstrate.

Of course you can.  It's having the confidence to question what looks like nonsense, even when it is popular nonsense, or nonsense promoted by an "authority".  Are you familiar with that story, "The emperors new clothes"?

And of course there is always the Kalama Sutta.

No, you can't have it both ways.  You can't have faith in something (youself in this case) while criticizing faith that others may have.  This is especially true when faith is considered an expedient  in the Path.

What's the difference between an authority, such as yourself and some other.  Who gets to decide what is nonsense and by what standard.  What makes your stuff solid why something else is considered nonsense.

The path goes in many directions and takes many forms, all fdriven by karma.  For some their karma has led to a teacher you consider an "authority".  Following and having faith in a teacher will sometimes get someone farther down that path in one lifetime that you might get, having faith in yourself, in 10.

Just saying.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dairy Lama on March 10, 2019, 08:15:02 am
You can't have faith in yourself when you question the faith others demonstrate.

Of course you can.  It's having the confidence to question what looks like nonsense, even when it is popular nonsense, or nonsense promoted by an "authority".  Are you familiar with that story, "The emperors new clothes"?

And of course there is always the Kalama Sutta.

No, you can't have it both ways.  You can't have faith in something (youself in this case) while criticizing faith that others may have.  This is especially true when faith is considered an expedient  in the Path.

What's the difference between an authority, such as yourself and some other.  Who gets to decide what is nonsense and by what standard.  What makes your stuff solid why something else is considered nonsense.

The path goes in many directions and takes many forms, all fdriven by karma.  For some their karma has led to a teacher you consider an "authority".  Following and having faith in a teacher will sometimes get someone farther down that path in one lifetime that you might get, having faith in yourself, in 10.

Just saying.

Of course I can have it both ways. I can make a judgement about different beliefs and practices based on experience, seeing what works. That is basically what the kalama sutta recommends. I don't think blind faith has a place in buddhism.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Chaz on March 10, 2019, 10:07:27 am
Ok, now you're talking about blind Faith.  There is faith and there is blind Faith.  Two entirely different things.  This is your first mention of blind faith.  How about making up your mind about what you want to talk about?

Also the KS doesn't give you any license to condemn the practice of others.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dairy Lama on March 11, 2019, 03:53:31 am
Ok, now you're talking about blind Faith.  There is faith and there is blind Faith.  Two entirely different things.  This is your first mention of blind faith.  How about making up your mind about what you want to talk about?
Also the KS doesn't give you any license to condemn the practice of others.

I think you're making arbitrary distinctions, and in reality there are just different degrees of faith.  By "blind faith" I mean belief which is based on wishful thinking rather than on tangible evidence - the kalama sutta clearly doesn't support that.  And I'm not "condemning" anything, I am questioning the beliefs that some people have.

Anyway, I don't like the word "faith", there is too much religious baggage attached to it.  In a Buddhist context I think "confidence" is closer to the mark.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: paracelsus on March 12, 2019, 09:01:01 pm
Ok, now you're talking about blind Faith.  There is faith and there is blind Faith.  Two entirely different things.  This is your first mention of blind faith.  How about making up your mind about what you want to talk about?
Also the KS doesn't give you any license to condemn the practice of others.

I think you're making arbitrary distinctions, and in reality there are just different degrees of faith.  By "blind faith" I mean belief which is based on wishful thinking rather than on tangible evidence - the kalama sutta clearly doesn't support that.  And I'm not "condemning" anything, I am questioning the beliefs that some people have.

Anyway, I don't like the word "faith", there is too much religious baggage attached to it.  In a Buddhist context I think "confidence" is closer to the mark.



In the dictionary: Faith means confidence, that's all, and blind faith means confidence without the support of knowledge or experience. To have faith in the nembutsu etc having attained confidence through practicing it is just faith. To take up the practice without the experience but with confidence because one has a good feeling or something from a teacher or friend would be blind faith until progress is made which matures it into real Faith.

The religious baggage is why the Buddha recommended we don't put too much store in blind faith, but practice first to see if IT works, as the IceCreamists say.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: stillpointdancer on March 13, 2019, 03:30:42 am
Ok, now you're talking about blind Faith.  There is faith and there is blind Faith.  Two entirely different things.  This is your first mention of blind faith.  How about making up your mind about what you want to talk about?
Also the KS doesn't give you any license to condemn the practice of others.

Anyway, I don't like the word "faith", there is too much religious baggage attached to it.  In a Buddhist context I think "confidence" is closer to the mark.

In the dictionary: Faith means confidence, that's all. To take up the practice without the experience but with confidence because one has a good feeling or something from a teacher or friend would be blind faith until progress is made which matures it into real Faith.

The religious baggage is why the Buddha recommended we don't put too much store in blind faith, but practice first to see if IT works, as the IceCreamists say.

The dictionary also goes on to define faith as: 'strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof'. Luckily Buddhism exhorts us, as you say, to try for ourselves, and it is this that provided an 'in' to it for me and led to all the 'proof' I needed.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dairy Lama on March 14, 2019, 02:34:54 am
Ok, now you're talking about blind Faith.  There is faith and there is blind Faith.  Two entirely different things.  This is your first mention of blind faith.  How about making up your mind about what you want to talk about?
Also the KS doesn't give you any license to condemn the practice of others.

Anyway, I don't like the word "faith", there is too much religious baggage attached to it.  In a Buddhist context I think "confidence" is closer to the mark.

In the dictionary: Faith means confidence, that's all. To take up the practice without the experience but with confidence because one has a good feeling or something from a teacher or friend would be blind faith until progress is made which matures it into real Faith.

The religious baggage is why the Buddha recommended we don't put too much store in blind faith, but practice first to see if IT works, as the IceCreamists say.

The dictionary also goes on to define faith as: 'strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof'. Luckily Buddhism exhorts us, as you say, to try for ourselves, and it is this that provided an 'in' to it for me and led to all the 'proof' I needed.

I see it as faith/confidence in methods of practice, rather than faith in the sense of believing in this or that.  As the kalama Sutta asks, does this method of practice lead to more wholesome states?  It does assume of course that more wholesome states is your goal - that isn't necessarily the case for all spiritual traditions.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: paracelsus on March 14, 2019, 03:43:03 pm
Referring this back to the topic then, “Is Amida a real Buddha?”. Having faith in a practice should be based on the experience of its benefits in leading one toward a goal, in the Buddhist traditions this would be a wholesome one. (According to the Kalama Sutta. Thank you, Dairy Lama.)

If the practice is to achieve/arrive at/enter the Pure Lands of Amida Buddha then the goal may be visible before the arrival, in visualisations or meditative experiences and this would give one some basis for faith beyond simple blind faith. Otherwise general wellbeing and other benefits of the practice could give rise to faith also.

The topic question “Is Amida Buddha a real Buddha?” I find difficult to square with my personal view which doesn’t really hold any of my personal mental constructs as real, and Amida Buddha is, perhaps only from my state of ignorance, a mental construct. He hasn’t or doesn’t appear to me other than as an internal event, as it were. So could he exist as an external Buddha? I’m not sure how that would work except as an alienated aspect of existence hidden from my deluded self, which would be revealed as integral to my (realised) non-self with the banishment of the hinderances. But that isn’t really external, just hidden, and anyway “external” is also a relative concept.
Does that make sense to anyone?

So, no answer to the question, but pondering.

:om:
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Chaz on March 14, 2019, 06:02:14 pm
this would give one some basis for faith beyond simple blind faith

I'm really beginning to hate that term.  Blind Faith.  So judgemental.  So insulting.  As if "faith without basis" is actually a thing.  It's like "Secular Buddhism" - a non-religious religion.  (I have no propb with selcular Buddhists, except to say the term is a bit oxymoronic - like "clean dirt".)
 
Dude.  All faith has a basis.  All of it.  Therefore there can be no blind faith.  Besides,  who are you, me or any of us, to pass judgment on the faith of others.  If you find their faith deficient,  that's on you, not them.  It's Spiritual Materialism.

From the perspective of Emptiness,  "blind" or baseless faith is actually a Good Thing.

If I could ban the word on this forum I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: paracelsus on March 14, 2019, 08:21:44 pm
this would give one some basis for faith beyond simple blind faith

I'm really beginning to hate that term.  Blind Faith.  So judgemental.  So insulting.  As if "faith without basis" is actually a thing.  It's like "Secular Buddhism" - a non-religious religion.  (I have no propb with selcular Buddhists, except to say the term is a bit oxymoronic - like "clean dirt".)
 
Dude.  All faith has a basis.  All of it.  Therefore there can be no blind faith.  Besides,  who are you, me or any of us, to pass judgment on the faith of others.  If you find their faith deficient,  that's on you, not them.  It's Spiritual Materialism.

From the perspective of Emptiness,  "blind" or baseless faith is actually a Good Thing.

If I could ban the word on this forum I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Nowhere did I mean to denigrate "blind" faith but I described a difference between it and faith based on experience.

When I began practicing, any faith I had that the teachings would yield results was, by my own definition, simplistic and blind. My faith grew as experience deepened. No insults or suggestion of deficiency intended.

I would question whether "Blind" or baseless faith is actually a good thing. That's a fairly broad statement. I imagine it would depend on what the faith is in.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dairy Lama on March 15, 2019, 02:46:08 am
So insulting.  As if "faith without basis" is actually a thing.

Of course it's a thing, and a very common thing at that.  It's faith based on wishful thinking, rather than on tangible evidence, compounded by confirmation bias.  You could argue that most religious belief is based on this kind of wishful thinking, the human need for comfort and certainty in a brief and uncertain existence, the fear of death as extinction, etc.

The term would only be insulting to people who feel threatened by it, probably the people who are prone to this kind of wishful thinking.

I don't see what "Spiritual Materialism" has to to do with it.  Actually I read the book years ago and was completely unimpressed by it.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dairy Lama on March 15, 2019, 02:48:52 am
Referring this back to the topic then, “Is Amida a real Buddha?”. Having faith in a practice should be based on the experience of its benefits in leading one toward a goal, in the Buddhist traditions this would be a wholesome one. (According to the Kalama Sutta. Thank you, Dairy Lama.)

I went to a talk on Chaos Magic recently ( another long story! ) and they were talking about beliefs just being tools, or beliefs as skillful means in Buddhist jargon.
But it was also made clear that such beliefs should not be attached to, only used for as long as they are useful to achieve a goal.  So it is more about using imagination.

In this case it might be useful to imagine that Amida is "out there" in some sense, to make the assumption and practice on that basis.  But that is different to needing Amida to be out there, and attaching to the belief.

It's quite easy to tell if you're attached to a belief - do you get defensive or feel threatened when that belief is challenged? You see quite a lot of this on discussion forums, which is why people can get upset.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Chaz on March 15, 2019, 04:47:36 am
So insulting.  As if "faith without basis" is actually a thing.

Of course it's a thing, and a very common thing at that.  It's faith based on wishful thinking, rather than on tangible evidence, compounded by confirmation bias.
u

But there still a basis.  And even though you were unimpressed by CTSM, what you say, here, is still Spiritual Materialism.

Quote
The term would only be insulting to people who feel threatened by it, probably the people who are prone to this kind of wishful thinking.

And that's being a bit dismissive.  More likely, they feel insulted because they were given an insult.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dairy Lama on March 15, 2019, 05:00:56 am
But there still a basis.  And even though you were unimpressed by CTSM, what you say, here, is still Spiritual Materialism.

How so, exactly? I don't see how challenging religious belief is anything to do with spiritual materialism.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritual_materialism

And that's being a bit dismissive.  More likely, they feel insulted because they were given an insult.

Challenging religious belief is not an "insult", and if people feel insulted it suggests that their beliefs are fragile ( assuming they are not Islamic fundamentalists of course ).  Anyone confident in their beliefs wouldn't be bothered by such challenges - they might feel slightly irritated, but certainly not "insulted".  Nobody has the right not to be offended.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_Snowflake
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Chaz on March 17, 2019, 06:32:19 am
But there still a basis.  And even though you were unimpressed by CTSM, what you say, here, is still Spiritual Materialism.

How so, exactly? I don't see how challenging religious belief is anything to do with spiritual materialism.


In that you are attempting for firce the path into a concrete form, including some things and excluding others is materializing.
[/quote]

Quote
Challenging religious belief is not an "insult"

Challenge is not insult, of course, but you don't challenge.  You denigrate.


Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dairy Lama on March 18, 2019, 06:19:32 am
In that you are attempting for force the path into a concrete form, including some things and excluding others is materializing.

Ironically that is exactly what I'm challenging.  But you still haven't shown how this is "spiritual materialism", unless you have made up your own definition of it.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Chaz on March 18, 2019, 06:03:31 pm
In that you are attempting for force the path into a concrete form, including some things and excluding others is materializing.

Ironically that is exactly what I'm challenging.  But you still haven't shown how this is "spiritual materialism", unless you have made up your own definition of it.

Not really.  I spent a number of years studying/practicing in the Shambhala tradition.  This was before the Sakyong had much material for the Mandala's teachers.  Most of these men and women had been students of Trungpa's some going back to the earliest days.  They taught a lot on the subject of SM.  Trungpa taught a great deal more on the subject then what you'll find in CTSM.  These teachers had heard most, if not all of it.  They passed it on to us.

Basically, any time you try to enforce an othodoxy, try to make Buddhism one thing and not another,  any time things should be this way and not that, you are giving ground makeing something static, material.  This, spiritual materialism.

And I read the book, too.  Back in those days, it was required reading.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Skylar on March 19, 2019, 08:33:43 am
To answer the OP question - despite possible offenses to those who believe him to be a figment of imagination ...

... Yes. Amida  is a real Buddha.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Zen44 on March 19, 2019, 07:25:04 pm
Which has no association with anything, Just Zen.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dairy Lama on March 21, 2019, 04:43:06 am
... Yes. Amida is a real Buddha.

But you can't prove that, any more than you can prove God exists.  These are statements of belief, and not statements of fact. 
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Chaz on March 21, 2019, 05:04:59 pm
... Yes. Amida is a real Buddha.

But you can't prove that, any more than you can prove God exists. 

Well, he doesn't have to.  No one's asked him, for one thing.  Someone who what interestest in challenging a belief would ask, rather than make a pronouncement.  You don't even give the guy a chance.  Kinda rude.  Disrespectful.

Quote
These are statements of belief, and not statements of fact.

Something to keep in mind here.  Buddhism is a religion - a system of beliefs.  Fact doesn't really enter into it.  Facts are for the courts.

If you want to abide in facts and call it Buddhism you are free to do so.  Lighten up and let others do the same with their beliefs.

Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dairy Lama on March 22, 2019, 02:22:04 am
Quote
Moderator Note:  I accidentally modified DL's post.  I put it back to where I remember ot geing.  So Sorry.


You don't even give the guy a chance.  Kinda rude.  Disrespectful.

That is the pot calling the kettle black.  You seem to confuse moderation with throwing your weight around here, always needing to be right, always needing to have the last word.

Something to keep in mind here.  Buddhism is a religion - a system of beliefs.  Fact doesn't really enter into it.  Facts are for the courts.

Now you are making pronouncements.  Buddhism is many different things, it certainly doesn't have to involve belief in the sense we are talking about here.

Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Skylar on March 22, 2019, 08:54:28 am
Dairy Lama wrote:
"...it certainly doesn't HAVE to involve belief..."
(emphasis is mine)

So it (Buddhism) CAN involve belief...is that right?

Because it does for many millions (including myself) - to varying degrees, and for various reasons.

So may I respectfully ask, can one prove Amida is NOT a real Buddha, without referencing one's own set of beliefs?
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Chaz on March 22, 2019, 03:23:34 pm

You don't even give the guy a chance.  Kinda rude.  Disrespectful.

That is the pot calling the kettle black.  You seem to confuse moderation with throwing your weight around here, always needing to be right, always needing to have the last word.


No it's not.  You didn't give skylar any chance and doing that is both rude, and disrespectful.

I prefer to call that an uncomfortable truth.


Quote
Something to keep in mind here.  Buddhism is a religion - a system of beliefs.  Fact doesn't really enter into it.  Facts are for the courts.

Now you are making pronouncements.  Buddhism is many different things, it certainly doesn't have to involve belief in the sense we are talking about here.

Again, no.  Every legit definition I know calls Buddhism a religion, as in "the world's 4th largest religion" ?  Religion, by definition, is beliefs, not facts.  That is contrasted by courts of law, where facts are important.











Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: paracelsus on March 22, 2019, 09:07:53 pm

You don't even give the guy a chance.  Kinda rude.  Disrespectful.

That is the pot calling the kettle black.  You seem to confuse moderation with throwing your weight around here, always needing to be right, always needing to have the last word.


No it's not.  You didn't give skylar any chance and doing that is both rude, and disrespectful.

I prefer to call that an uncomfortable truth.


Quote
Something to keep in mind here.  Buddhism is a religion - a system of beliefs.  Fact doesn't really enter into it.  Facts are for the courts.

Now you are making pronouncements.  Buddhism is many different things, it certainly doesn't have to involve belief in the sense we are talking about here.

Again, no.  Every legit definition I know calls Buddhism a religion, as in "the world's 4th largest religion" ?  Religion, by definition, is beliefs, not facts.  That is contrasted by courts of law, where facts are important.
One thing Buddhism is not, is a belief system, especially as we are exhorted to check out the teachings for their efficacy rather than follow like sheep.

Buddhism functions perfectly well as a spiritual discipline which brings certain and positive results (liberation) without any need for the creature comforts of religiosity. That it has adopted forms which provide these comforts to people might be more a matter of the re-purposing of the teachings to serve an additional end, that of providing spiritual comfort as a support on the path of spiritual development.

The teachings are most certainly concerned with fact.. I doubt that one can say that The Four Noble Truths are not factually based and still call themselves a buddhist. If they were only a matter of belief, we could escape the truth of them simply by not believing.

The ultimate aim of our practice is to “dwell independently without clinging to anything”, and "anything", I’d suggest, includes religious beliefs.

:om:

I'm not sure what you mean by a legit definition of buddhism. I assume you don't mean a definition from a buddhist. If you mean from someone who doesn't know or practice then they may not be qualified to comment.

Here's a definition from: "The Enlarged Devil's Dictionary" compiled by Ambrose Bierce in the 1800's:

"Buddhism; n. A preposterous form of religious error, perversely preferred by about three-fourths of the human race. According to the Rev. Dr Stebbins it is infinitely superior to the religion he has the honour to expound. Therefore it is."

 :)
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Mental on March 23, 2019, 05:06:34 am
... Yes. Amida is a real Buddha.

But you can't prove that, any more than you can prove God exists.  These are statements of belief, and not statements of fact.

Blow out the candle, fire returns to heat. Extinguish consciousness, returns to luminous Mahabrahma.

Amida is like the heat of compassion.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: paracelsus on March 24, 2019, 08:22:01 pm
... Yes. Amida is a real Buddha.

But you can't prove that, any more than you can prove God exists.  These are statements of belief, and not statements of fact.

Blow out the candle, fire returns to heat. Extinguish consciousness, returns to luminous Mahabrahma.

Amida is like the heat of compassion.

Do you mean Amida is a real Buddha "out there" or "in here"?

Maybe:
Compassion is "in here" when I am compassionate. Amida could only be "out there" when I am not compassionate.
Buddha-hood is when the awakening factors are here, and is not when the hindrances prevail. Buddha-hood is for our own mind.
Otherwise Amida Buddha does not exist at all. :om: Maybe.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dharma Flower on April 18, 2019, 08:30:49 pm
In the Lankavatara Sutra, the historical Buddha likens his teaching to a finger pointing at the moon:

Quote
For instance, Mahāmati, when a man with his finger-tip points at something to somebody, the finger-tip may be taken wrongly for the thing pointed at; in like manner, Mahāmati, the people belonging to the class of the ignorant and simple-minded, like those of a childish group, are unable even unto their death to abandon the idea that in the finger-tip of words there is the meaning itself, and will not grasp ultimate reality because of their intent clinging to words which are no more than the finger-tip to them…
As the ignorant grasp the finger-tip and not the moon, so those who cling to the letter, know not my truth.
[url]http://lirs.ru/do/lanka_eng/lanka-nondiacritical.htm[/url] ([url]http://lirs.ru/do/lanka_eng/lanka-nondiacritical.htm[/url])

With the Lankavatara Sutra in mind, we can see Amida as a finger pointing to Dharma-body, the ultimate reality, rather than a literal Buddha from eons before the Big Bang.

Entrusting the Name, Namu-Amida-Butsu, we are led by Dharma-body to the Pure Land, the realm of Nirvana. In sincere gratitude for our rebirth, we say the Nembutsu.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: stevie on April 19, 2019, 01:03:15 am
I follow Nagarjuna is this regard:
Quote
Everything is real and is not real, both real and not real, neither
unreal nor real. This is the Lord Buddha’s teaching. (MMK 18.8)

 <3
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dharma Flower on April 19, 2019, 10:17:07 am
I follow Nagarjuna is this regard:
Quote
Everything is real and is not real, both real and not real, neither
unreal nor real. This is the Lord Buddha’s teaching. (MMK 18.8)

 <3

I agree. According to the Heart Sutra, all conditioned things are empty of inherent existence:

Quote
Sariputra, form is not other than emptiness
and emptiness not other than form.
Form is precisely emptiness and emptiness precisely form.
https://www.westernchanfellowship.org/about-the-western-chan-fellowship/buddhist-liturgy/the-heart-sutra/ (https://www.westernchanfellowship.org/about-the-western-chan-fellowship/buddhist-liturgy/the-heart-sutra/)

Asking, then, if Amida is a real Buddha might the wrong question, since nothing is ultimately real in and of itself.

Amida, whether “real” or not, points us to the ultimate truth of Dharma-body, the one unconditioned reality.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dharma Flower on May 18, 2019, 05:59:32 pm
The Pure Land sutras speak of Amida as a Buddha from galaxies away, eons before the Big Bang. This is meant to convey the transcendent nature of Amida as Dharma-body itself, the ultimate nature of Buddhahood.

If we insisted that Amida be an ancient alien, a Buddha from a distant planet, then we might look for the Pure Land with a telescope or space ship and miss the point entirely of Buddhist scriptures, to be a finger pointing at the moon:

Quote
Consider, for example, a person instructing us by pointing to the moon with his finger. [To take words to be the meaning] is like looking at the finger and not at the moon. The person would say, ‘I am pointing to the moon with my finger in order to show it to you. Why do you look at my finger and not the moon?’ Similarly, words are the finger pointing to the meaning; they are not the meaning itself. Hence, do not rely upon words.
[url]http://shinranworks.com/the-major-expositions/chapter-on-transformed-buddha-bodies-and-lands/[/url] ([url]http://shinranworks.com/the-major-expositions/chapter-on-transformed-buddha-bodies-and-lands/[/url])

Reciting the name of Amida Buddha, Namu-Amida-Butsu, we entrust in Dharma-body itself leading us to the Pure Land, the formless realm of Nirvana. The true Pure Land transcends anything that science fiction can imagine: 

Quote
First of all, is it possible to determine the size of Buddha, whether great or small? Even though the size of Buddha in the Pure Land is described in a sutra, it is the manifestation of the Dharmakaya-as-compassion (relative truth). When one attains enlightenment of Dharma-as-it-is (ultimate truth), how can size be a factor, since such shapes as long or short, square or round, do not exist, and it transcends color, whether blue, yellow, red, white, or black?
[url]http://shinmission_sg.tripod.com/tannisho/tannisho/[/url] ([url]http://shinmission_sg.tripod.com/tannisho/tannisho/[/url])
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dharma Flower on July 14, 2019, 09:13:42 am
If we insist that Amida is a literal flesh and blood Buddha, sitting on a lotus blossom billions of galaxies away, then he becomes unreal and distant from our daily lives.
If we see Amida as symbolic of Dharma-body itself, the Buddha-nature in all things, then his light is always with us, no matter where we go, whenever we say the Nembutsu.
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dharma Flower on August 24, 2019, 12:38:54 pm
Amida Buddha is as "real" as the earth and sky:

Quote
On the ultimate level, only the Dharma-body in its aspect as emptiness of inherent existence or the non-dual nature of consciousness is real; the Transformation- and Enjoyment-bodies…are provisional ways of talking about and apprehending it.

The real nature of a Tathāgata cannot be seen by seeing his physical form, as ‘Tathāgatas have the Dharma as their body’… Transformation- and Enjoyment-body Buddhas, Pure Lands, and high-level Bodhisattvas, then, are not truly real: any more than the book you are now reading or the eyes with which you read it!

In emptiness, nothing stands out with separate reality. At the conventional level of truth, however, such Buddhas, etc. are just as real as anything else. Indeed in popular Mahāyāna practice, the Enjoyment-body Buddhas and advanced Bodhisattvas are treated as wholly real, and rebirth in their Pure Lands is ardently sought through faith.

The rather disconcerting feeling generated by switching between ultimate and conventional truth is nicely captured in an explanation given by a Chinese recluse to John Blofeld, in which he also draws on the Chinese idea of ‘One Mind’ (see p. 145):
‘Believe me, the Bodhisattvas are as real as earth and sky, and have infinite power to aid beings in distress, but they exist within our common mind, which, to speak the truth, is itself the container of earth and sky’ (Blofeld, 1987: 151).

From the conventional perspective, the high-level Bodhisattvas and heavenly Buddhas (like Amitabha and Avalokitesvara) are those who have heroically striven to be close to, or attained to, Buddhahood.

From the ultimate perspective, they are the symbolic forms in which the ‘minds’ of empty ‘beings’ perceive the Dharma-body, the all-encompassing totality which is the Dharma-realm described in the Avatamsaka Sūtra.
https://books.google.com/books?id=u0sg9LV_rEgC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false
Title: Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
Post by: Dharma Flower on September 13, 2019, 11:35:15 am
It’s often said the celestial buddhas and bodhisattvas of Mahayana Buddhism are symbolic, rather than literal beings. What do we mean by ‘symbolic’ and what do they symbolize? Here is a definition of ‘symbol’:

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A thing that represents or stands for something else, especially a material object representing something abstract.
[url]https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/symbol[/url] ([url]https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/symbol[/url])


There are different terms for Ultimate Truth in Buddhism, including Dharmakaya (Dharma-body) and Sunyata (emptiness). All material things are empty of separate existence, and Enlightenment is the only enduring reality.

In the words of the Heart Sutra, “Form is emptiness and emptiness is form.” The Ultimate Truth of emptiness is abstract and, therefore, must be depicted in form for unenlightened beings like ourselves to perceive It.

Celestial buddhas and bodhisattvas like Amitabha and Avalokitesvara serve as our window for seeing into Dharma-body, the reality of Enlightenment itself, regardless of whether they literally walked the earth:

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People may say that the Bodhisattvas in Buddhist scripture do not have a historical reality. We cannot say what day they were born and what day they died. But we do not need a historical reality… A historian could never take away my faith in Avalokiteshvara, because I know very clearly that love is something real, manifesting itself in many different forms. - Thich Nhat Hanh


Since both truths are mutually reflexive, the Ultimate Truth of emptiness is not superior nor preferable to the relative truth of celestial buddhas and bodhisattvas:

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The highest truth (paramarthasatya) is beyond words or description, i.e. beyond the reach of conceptual understanding and yet it was presented by the Buddha Shakyamuni as his teaching so that our conceptual understanding could grasp it. It is in this sense that the teaching is regarded as an ‘expedient means’ (upaya), often likened to a finger pointing to the moon. What is crucial about this metaphor is that the finger and the moon are mutually reflexive. Without the finger, the moon would not be known. Without the moon, there would be no need for the finger pointing to it.
[url]http://www.nembutsu.info/tokusuny.htm[/url] ([url]http://www.nembutsu.info/tokusuny.htm[/url])
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