Author Topic: Shin's view of Amida's "salvation method"?  (Read 1632 times)

Offline steveb1

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Shin's view of Amida's "salvation method"?
« on: October 22, 2014, 01:19:28 am »
I've sort of been poking around and asking this question, as I've run into an issue that is somewhat confusing, as follows.

Shin/Jodo Shinshu claims that, through the action and results of Amida's Primal Vow, Amida's grace embraces, saves, and enlightens sentient beings. However, I have encountered two seemingly opposing theories of Amida's grace-dispensation.

The "active" theory states that Amida (in a manner somewhat similar to the Christian risen living Christ) is ever-present, continuously acting and spiritually ("personally") present to the Shin practitioner.

The "passive theory" states that Amida, upon completion of the self-imposed factors of the Vow, forever entered the Pure Land, and is "present" to us in samsara only in-and-through the residual effects of the Vow - i.e., Amida is real, really dwells in the Pure Land, but now only acts in-and-on us through certain salvific factors which Amida "seeded" into the world for our benefit... but not available to us personally/directly-from-Amida (who doesn't "leave" the Pure Land) ... but rather as "sacraments" delivered via Shinjin (i.e., a grace and faith that are not directly, "personally" dispensed by Amida as discreet actions, but as certain soteriological "laws" and agencies of salvation that Amida "planted" here for our sake).

So I am puzzled by the two differing means claimed for Amida's means of grace-delivery. One is personal and active, the other is real and efficacious, but delivered only "by proxy".

If anyone can critique and/or comment on these two theories, it would be much appreciated. :)

Offline thegchokgreg

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Re: Shin's view of Amida's "salvation method"?
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2015, 03:30:18 am »
Hi, Amithaba is a buddha and therefore possess the Four Kayas , the Four Bodies of a Buddha:
-Nature Truth Body ( SvabhavakaDharmaKaya)
-Wisdom Truth Body ( JnanaDharmaKaya)
-Enjoyment Form Body ( SambhokaRupaKaya)
-Emanation Form Body ( NirmanaRupaKaya)

The first is the emptiness nature of the mind of a Buddha, the second is the mind od the Buddha the exalted wisdom.
From those two the Buddha takes form to perform his activities continuously and spontaneously, one aspect is dwelling in the pure land : the Sambhokakaya but the Sambhokakaya can not be seen by ordinary beings therefore they are others bodies emanated for the sake of ordinary beings: the NirmanaKaya.

Amithaba performs his activites by sending emanations in the ten directions for helping sentient beings.

And with regard to the enlightened activities they are of two types : the quality of spontaneous and continuous activities of a Buddha and the quality that arise in the mind of the sentient beings as a result of those activities.

I think the second one is what we can call "the blessings" or "grace" and is referring to the virtous mind like faith,love,compassion and so forth that developp the practitionner based on the first type of activities that is for example the buddha emating as a teacher or the sound of dharma in the pure land of Sukhavati if you can obtain a rebirth there  :)


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