Author Topic: Pure Land Practices - Why?  (Read 5621 times)

sahaja

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2013, 06:25:17 pm »
So how are the various Purelands thought of by practitioners?  Are they like the different realms or planes of existence described in the suttas?

Spiny,

The Pure Lands were created by different Buddhas from their vows.  The most well known of them now are the Pure Land of Amitabha Buddha and Medicine Master Buddha.  They are described in various Sutras like the Amitabha Sutra and the Medicine Master Sutra.  Other Mahayana Sutras also mention the Pure Lands in them.

These are like accelerated training grounds where you get to learn directly from these Buddhas.  In a similar way how when Gautama/Shakyamuni Buddha was around, people would open their enlightenment upon hearing a discourse in the Buddha's presence.

In Amitabha Buddha's Pureland, called Sukhavati, .......


I have better lists but my files are on an external hard drive and a number of disks somewhere else. New computer. I just grabbed a shortened list from the internet.

What of these? And i know there are others. Do you know anything?

Mount Grdhrakūta
Dhagpa Khadro of Vajrayogini
Zangdok Palri (the Copper-coloured Mountain) of Padmasambhava
Inner Court of Tushita
Shambhala

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2013, 06:37:18 pm »
The inner court of the Tushita Heaven is where Maitreya Bodhisattva is teaching now.  Maitreya Bodhisattva will become the next Buddha on Earth, but he isn't due for a long, long time.  From what I've read, the Buddhas descend from the Tushita Heaven in their final birth into the world - just like Shakyamuni Buddha did.

The inner court of the Tushita Heaven is NOT a Pure Land created by a Buddha.  Hence regression is likely possible - so you can still fall into the 3 unwholesome destinies if your heavenly merit is exhausted.  Unless someone can bring up a Sutra regarding the Tushita Heaven, I haven't heard any practices that can get you there.

sahaja

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2013, 09:57:14 pm »
The inner court of the Tushita Heaven is where Maitreya Bodhisattva is teaching now.  Maitreya Bodhisattva will become the next Buddha on Earth, but he isn't due for a long, long time.  From what I've read, the Buddhas descend from the Tushita Heaven in their final birth into the world - just like Shakyamuni Buddha did.

The inner court of the Tushita Heaven is NOT a Pure Land created by a Buddha.  Hence regression is likely possible - so you can still fall into the 3 unwholesome destinies if your heavenly merit is exhausted.  Unless someone can bring up a Sutra regarding the Tushita Heaven, I haven't heard any practices that can get you there.


Yeah, i found that also. Somewhere. Right now just kinda doing searches, coming up with an awful lot of Kingdoms, but then pretty much have to individually do each one, track down the tradition, see if the tradition or school calls them Pure Land or not, or just what category places like Tushita Heaven would fall in. Course then we change countries, change languages, change names of the same one and/or change traditions or schools and i don't know if i'm coming or going and beginning to wonder if people ever wind up in the wrong one. Don't get too far off course you'll wind up in the Christian Heaven. I have heard stories of that happening but in reverse. A Christian into a Pure Land kingdom. Got to want to ask, "Did you make a wrong turn somewhere?"

This, of course the easy one, the Nyingma (Vajrayana,Tibetan)

Zangdok Palri is the name of the Pure Land of Guru Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, who introduced Buddhism to Tibet in the late eighth century.
After leaving Tibet, Guru Rinpoche established on this earth pure his palace called "Light of Lotus' (Tibetan: Padma-Od) atop a mountain of copper.


http://www.rigdzin-community.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=281&Itemid=290&lang=

Zangdok Palri, the Glorious Copper Coloured Mountain, is the pure land of Guru Rinpoche, the second Buddha and the great tantric master who brought Buddhism to Tibet. The outer Zangdok Palri is a majestic place of wisdom, power and blessings, where one can be reborn with favorable qualities to progress swiftly on the path to enlightenment.

http://cglf.org/projects/zangdok-palri

So do Pure Land Buddhists have a specific Kingdom aligned with their tradition or schools?






Offline namumahaparinirvanasvaha

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2013, 10:21:46 pm »
So how are the various Purelands thought of by practitioners?  Are they like the different realms or planes of existence described in the suttas?

Spiny,

The Pure Lands were created by different Buddhas from their vows.  The most well known of them now are the Pure Land of Amitabha Buddha and Medicine Master Buddha.  They are described in various Sutras like the Amitabha Sutra and the Medicine Master Sutra.  Other Mahayana Sutras also mention the Pure Lands in them.

These are like accelerated training grounds where you get to learn directly from these Buddhas.  In a similar way how when Gautama/Shakyamuni Buddha was around, people would open their enlightenment upon hearing a discourse in the Buddha's presence.

In Amitabha Buddha's Pureland, called Sukhavati, .......


I have better lists but my files are on an external hard drive and a number of disks somewhere else. New computer. I just grabbed a shortened list from the internet.

What of these? And i know there are others. Do you know anything?

Mount Grdhrakūta
Dhagpa Khadro of Vajrayogini
Zangdok Palri (the Copper-coloured Mountain) of Padmasambhava
Inner Court of Tushita
Shambhala

Shambhala is a touchy subject,most people view it as some magical mythical kingdom,yet the actual phrophecies surounding Shambhala are dire and forbodeing,whether it is viewed as physical or spiritual battle is also open to interpretation.

Offline NepalianBuddhist

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2013, 12:46:23 am »
So do Pure Land Buddhists have a specific Kingdom aligned with their tradition or schools?


My guess is Sukhavati, the Buddhist version of Heaven. Or - the land of Bliss- ...

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2013, 01:31:27 am »
My guess is Sukhavati, the Buddhist version of Heaven. Or - the land of Bliss- ...

The Buddha mentioned that there is not just 1 heaven but several different types of heavens where heavenly beings (Devas) dwell such as:
- The Trayastrimsa Heaven
- The Heaven of the 4 Kings
- The Tushita Heaven and
- The Brahma Heaven
Beings get reborn in these different levels of heavens depending on the amount of good karma that have. 

But although their lives can span aeons and they enjoy a lot of happiness, once their heavenly merit ends, they can still fall and be reborn in the Hells, hungry ghosts, animals, human or asura realms.  Hence why the Buddha considered the Heavens good but still, not ultimate and unsatisfactory - the Heavens are still finite rewards, although these rewards last a long, long time.

The other problem that the Buddha noticed with the Heavens is that the Devas tend to enjoy their happiness and pleasures there so much that they don't bother about cultivating the Noble Eightfold Path - many of them would rather just enjoy themselves.  The Hells on the other hand have too much suffering that you won't be able to cultivate - the suffering is too intense.

This is also why the Buddha praised the human rebirth so much - it has the right amount of happiness vs suffering such that we can use the suffering that comes our way to understand it so that we can start to awaken through cultivating precepts, samadhi and wisdom (i.e., the Noble Eightfold Path).
« Last Edit: September 07, 2013, 01:39:34 am by Optimus Prime »

Offline karmatryk

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2013, 05:39:31 am »
I chose Jodo Shinshu when I truly understood that from the side of our contemporary humanity we were indeed helpless, that even acts from our best intentions carry within them the seeds of further suffering as Shinran pointed out. Purify the drinking water in a land so that millions  no longer die of water born disease; the populations swells beyond the land's capacity to sustain them and the millions that died from disease no die from starvation- the unintended consequences, the ultimate sorrow that always proceeds from the side of our humanity, and the near impossibility from the side of our humanity rooted as it is in samsara to enact the conditions free of our very human and samsaric nature. If there is any rescue it is the letting go, the complete entrusting of the existence of Buddha nature, and in that entrusting allow Buddha nature to be its own condition of revelation-Amida, the true nature of being, the dynamic process of the expression of Buddha nature in manifold form, the mythic journey of that which is as expressed as revelation in time and space. If Buddha nature isn't, if Buddha nature depends of me for either its being or origination, for me there is no hope. I can only trust and express my gratitude in what I have come to understand as trust well-placed.

Offline namumahaparinirvanasvaha

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2013, 06:03:47 am »
Quote
karmatryk
I chose Jodo Shinshu when I truly understood that from the side of our contemporary humanity we were indeed helpless, that even acts from our best intentions carry within them the seeds of further suffering as Shinran pointed out.
the Queen Srimala Sutra further expounds this teaching (all good deeds and bad deeds in Samsara are still a product of Samsara)

Quote
Purify the drinking water in a land so that millions  no longer die of water born disease; the populations swells beyond the land's capacity to sustain them and the millions that died from disease no die from starvation- the unintended consequences, the ultimate sorrow that always proceeds from the side of our humanity, and the near impossibility from the side of our humanity rooted as it is in samsara to enact the conditions free of our very human and samsaric nature.
It is the ultimate fulfillment of the Bodhisattva vow to save all living beings

Quote
If there is any rescue it is the letting go, the complete entrusting of the existence of Buddha nature, and in that entrusting allow Buddha nature to be its own condition of revelation-Amida, the true nature of being, the dynamic process of the expression of Buddha nature in manifold form, the mythic journey of that which is as expressed as revelation in time and space. If Buddha nature isn't, if Buddha nature depends of me for either its being or origination, for me there is no hope. I can only trust and express my gratitude in what I have come to understand as trust well-placed.

WOW most people don't know that Shinran quoted from the Nirvana sutra almost as much as he did the Pure Land sutras check out the 4 Virtues of Nirvana. 

Offline NepalianBuddhist

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2013, 06:12:52 am »
I chose Jodo Shinshu when I truly understood that from the side of our contemporary humanity we were indeed helpless, that even acts from our best intentions carry within them the seeds of further suffering as Shinran pointed out. Purify the drinking water in a land so that millions  no longer die of water born disease; the populations swells beyond the land's capacity to sustain them and the millions that died from disease no die from starvation- the unintended consequences, the ultimate sorrow that always proceeds from the side of our humanity, and the near impossibility from the side of our humanity rooted as it is in samsara to enact the conditions free of our very human and samsaric nature. If there is any rescue it is the letting go, the complete entrusting of the existence of Buddha nature, and in that entrusting allow Buddha nature to be its own condition of revelation-Amida, the true nature of being, the dynamic process of the expression of Buddha nature in manifold form, the mythic journey of that which is as expressed as revelation in time and space. If Buddha nature isn't, if Buddha nature depends of me for either its being or origination, for me there is no hope. I can only trust and express my gratitude in what I have come to understand as trust well-placed.

I think I understand.

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2013, 06:18:03 am »
Shakyamuni Buddha's shorter teaching on Amitabha Buddha's Pure Land

Now notice 2 things:
1.  The recipient of this teaching is Shariputra - the wisest of the Shakyamuni Buddha's disciples.  And this Sutra was spoken without request too as the wisest of his disciples would not have known to ask about it.
2.  That Shakyamuni Buddha didn't say that he created that Buddhaland but that it was the Buddha Amitabha that created it:
Quote
At that time the Buddha told the Elder Shariputra, “Passing from here through hundreds of thousands of millions of Buddhalands to the West, there is a world called Ultimate Bliss. In this land a Buddha called Amitabha right now teaches the Dharma.



Why should you want to be reborn there? 
Because you will make progress extremely fast - some will even become Buddhas in 1 lifetime:
Quote
“Moreover, Shariputra, those living beings born in the Land of the Ultimate Bliss are all avaivartika. Among them are many who in this very life will dwell in Buddhahood. Their number is extremely many; it is incalculable and only in measureless, limitless asamkhyeya kalpas could it be spoken.



Pre-requisites to be able to be reborn in Sukhavati:
1.  Vowing to be born there
2.  Enough good karma to get you there.  This is analogous to - if you don't have enough money for a plane ticket, you won't be able to travel there.
3.  Reciting Amitabha Buddha's name
Quote
“Shariputra, those living beings who hear should vow, ‘I wish to be born in that country.’ And why? Those who thus attain are all superior and good people, all gathered together in one place. Shariputra, one cannot have few good roots, blessings, virtues, and causal connections to attain birth in that land.



How to practice this Dharma door
Quote
“Shariputra, if there is a good man or a good woman who hears spoken ‘Amitabha’ and holds the name, whether for one day, two days, three, four, five days, six days, as long as seven days, with one heart unconfused, when this person approaches the end of life, before him will appear Amitabha and all the assembly of holy ones. When the end comes, his heart is without inversion; in Amitabha’s Land of Ultimate Bliss he will attain rebirth. Shariputra, because I see this benefit, I speak these words: If living beings hear this spoken they should make the vow, ‘I will be born in that land.’



If you recite the Amitabha Sutra, the Buddhas will be protective of you
Quote
“Shariputra, what do you think? Why is it called ‘Sutra of the Mindful One of Whom all Buddhas are Protective?’ Shariputra, if a good man or good woman hears this sutra and holds to it, and hears the names of all these Buddhas, this good man or woman will be the mindful one of whom all Buddhas are protective, and will irreversibly attain to anuttarasamyaksambodhi. Therefore, Shariputra, all of you should believe and accept my words and those which all Buddhas speak.



Irreversibility in Amitabha's Buddhaland

Quote
“Shariputra, if there are people who have already made the vow, who now make the vow, or who are about to make the vow, ‘I desire to be born in Amitabha’s Country,’ these people, whether born in the past, now being born, or to be born in the future, all will irreversibly attain to anuttarasamyaksambodhi. Therefore, Shariputra, all good men and good women, if they are among those who have faith, should make the vow, ‘I will be born in that country.’



Shakyamuni Buddha knew that this Dharma Door would be hard to believe

Quote
“Shariputra, just as I now praise the inconceivable merit and virtue of all Buddhas, all those Buddhas equally praise my inconceivable merit and virtue saying these words, ‘Shakyamuni Buddha can complete extremely rare and difficult deeds. In the Saha land, in the evil time of the five turbidities, in the midst of the kalpa turbidity, the view turbidity, the affliction turbidity, the living beings turbidity, and the life turbidity, he can attain anuttarasamyaksambodhi and for the sake of living beings, speak this Dharma which in the whole world is hard to believe.’

“Shariputra, you should know that I, in the evil time of the five turbidities, practice these difficult deeds, attain anuttarasamyaksambodhi, and for all the world speak this Dharma, difficult to believe, extremely difficult!”


Source of the quoted Sutra text and to read the whole Sutra, go here:  http://www.cttbusa.org/amitabha/amitabha.htm

Offline NepalianBuddhist

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2013, 02:32:42 pm »
My guess is Sukhavati, the Buddhist version of Heaven. Or - the land of Bliss- ...

The Buddha mentioned that there is not just 1 heaven but several different types of heavens where heavenly beings (Devas) dwell such as:
- The Trayastrimsa Heaven
- The Heaven of the 4 Kings
- The Tushita Heaven and
- The Brahma Heaven
Beings get reborn in these different levels of heavens depending on the amount of good karma that have. 

But although their lives can span aeons and they enjoy a lot of happiness, once their heavenly merit ends, they can still fall and be reborn in the Hells, hungry ghosts, animals, human or asura realms.  Hence why the Buddha considered the Heavens good but still, not ultimate and unsatisfactory - the Heavens are still finite rewards, although these rewards last a long, long time.

The other problem that the Buddha noticed with the Heavens is that the Devas tend to enjoy their happiness and pleasures there so much that they don't bother about cultivating the Noble Eightfold Path - many of them would rather just enjoy themselves.  The Hells on the other hand have too much suffering that you won't be able to cultivate - the suffering is too intense.

This is also why the Buddha praised the human rebirth so much - it has the right amount of happiness vs suffering such that we can use the suffering that comes our way to understand it so that we can start to awaken through cultivating precepts, samadhi and wisdom (i.e., the Noble Eightfold Path).

The difference between "this" and "that" is actually being able to understand what you read. (Comprehensively and Intellectually)

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #26 on: September 10, 2013, 12:39:58 am »
I went ahead and moved the group of Shambhala related posts into the Tibetan Connection subforum:

http://www.freesangha.com/forums/the-tibetan-connection-(general)/re-pure-land-practices-why/

If I missed anything that should also be moved (or included something that shouldn't have been) let me know and I'll take care of it.

Metta.

Offline Potential

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2014, 11:46:07 pm »
3.  Practice - recitation upon the name of Amitabha Buddha - this is like a form of samadhi cultivation through mantra recitation similar to how Theravadan's recite Buddho to help still their mind.  What's the mantra?  The name of Amitabha Buddha.

Interesting.  So is the chanting the main practice, like with Nichiren Buddhists?

For most.

However some practice a form of "kasina"
(one sutra actually has a meditation where you visualize the entire Pure Land and focus on it as one would in a kasina practice)

That sounds similar to the visualisation practices done by Tibetan Buddhists?

I should have posted my Pure Land Theory in this area instead of being so impatient like most noobs are when they first get on a Forum.

But yes, I agree with this.
To me Buddhist Tantra is another application of Pure Land. Maybe a little more complicated.
But I believe that visualization practices train the mind far better than recitation of mantras.
But when combined together as Tantra does, Visualization alongside Recitation of Mantras is a
far superior way of calming and training the mind.

Why the differences?
Simple, people have different capacities of understanding, so that's why the Buddha gave the 84,000 teachings, some for those whose Karma allows it and for others whose Karma does not allow it as much.
(I wonder if the 84,000 teachings is just a metaphor for a lot of good teachings or is there an actual list of all of them.)
« Last Edit: January 19, 2014, 11:54:10 pm by Potential, Reason: add more specific content so the context will not be considered insulting »

Offline Awakened_Angel

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #28 on: July 01, 2014, 08:16:01 pm »
3.  Practice - recitation upon the name of Amitabha Buddha - this is like a form of samadhi cultivation through mantra recitation similar to how Theravadan's recite Buddho to help still their mind.  What's the mantra?  The name of Amitabha Buddha.

Interesting.  So is the chanting the main practice, like with Nichiren Buddhists?

JUST WONDERING....

I reckon & chanting namo amitabha can still the mind by concentration on the chant process... but some teacher say that by "praying" and calling upon amitabha which amitabha can accent us upon pure land heaven....

Offline namumahaparinirvanasvaha

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Re: Pure Land Practices - Why?
« Reply #29 on: July 03, 2014, 12:44:20 am »
3.  Practice - recitation upon the name of Amitabha Buddha - this is like a form of samadhi cultivation through mantra recitation similar to how Theravadan's recite Buddho to help still their mind.  What's the mantra?  The name of Amitabha Buddha.

Interesting.  So is the chanting the main practice, like with Nichiren Buddhists?

JUST WONDERING....

I reckon & chanting namo amitabha can still the mind by concentration on the chant process... but some teacher say that by "praying" and calling upon amitabha which amitabha can accent us upon pure land heaven....

Yes calling upon Amitabha Buddha and he will accept you into his Pure Land.

Thervadins usually call upon Maitreya and seek rebirth into Tusita heaven, also there are a couple sutras in the pali canon where the Buddha tells his followers they can pray to the gods\devas for protections.

For instance praying to gods is more prevalent in Thervadin countries than Mahayanist countries whereas most Mahayanist pray to Buddhas or Bodhisattva's, and most Thervadins pray to Brahma or hunaman.

 


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