1. Pure Land: The Concept of Suffering and Liberation
According to the Pure Land texts, the wondrous gate of Pure Land, the Dharma-door of the Pure Land is inconceivable, the Śākyamuni Buddha introduced. The states that;
"At that time the Buddha said to Elder Śāripūtra; West of here, past a hundred billion Buddha-lands, there exists a world called "Ultimate Bliss". In this land there exists a Buddha called Amitābha, who is expounding the Dharma right now."
Or we can see in this statement: (爾 時 佛 告 長 老 舍 利 弗。從 是 西 方 過 十 萬 億 佛 土。有 世 界 名 曰 極 樂。其 土 有 佛 號 阿 彌 陀。今 現 在 說 法).
As mentioned above, the Buddha introduced all the meaningful of Western Pure Land of Amitābha Buddha. If further explored, would perhaps the Buddha represents which there are of the three essential conditions for Rebirth such as; dwells now or exists (今 現 在) for recommend of Faith, there exists a world called "Ultimate Bliss" (有 世 界 名 曰 極 樂) for recommend of the vows and a Buddha called Amitābha (佛 阿 彌 陀) for recommend of the practice or recitation of the name of Amitābha Buddha by the Śākyamuni Buddha. Moreover, Amitābha called the Buddha, expounding the Dharma called the Dharma, a large company of Bhikshus and called the saṃgha (Saṅgha), which those will be the triple gems for the practitioners believe in the three essential conditions, was the main teachings of the Pure Land sect.
Furthermore, in the Larger Sutra state like that about the Buddha presented Monk Dharmākara and described Pure Land world to the chief disciple Ānanda such as state;
"The Buddha said to Ānanda: "In the West, ten trillion Buddha lands away from here, there is a world called Ultimate Bliss. Monk Dharmākara has become a Buddha there named Amitāyus. Right now, surrounded respectfully by countless Bodhisattvas and Sravaka, he is preaching the Dharma.
And what is more;
"Now what do you think, Śāripūtra, for what reason is that world called Sukhāvatī (the happy)? In that world Sukhāvatī, O Śāripūtra, there is neither bodily nor mental pain for living beings. The sources of happiness are innumerable there. For that reason is that world called Sukhāvatī (the happiness)." (舍 利 弗。彼 土 何 故 名 為 極 樂。其 國 眾 生 無 有 眾 苦。但 受 諸 樂 故 名 極 樂)" .
On the above is that stated the historical Buddha, justifies or legitimized the word 'Sukhāvatī (極 樂) while referring to the Sanskrit and Chinese languages that appear parallel in their meanings. So, first of all should be explained in the meaning of Sukhāvatī and put the question is that what is the Sukhāvatī? And what is Pure Land, etc.?
According to Luis O. Comez and Richard K. Payne and Kenneth K. Tanaka the word Sukhāvatī in Sanskrit means the Land of Bliss or the Realm of Bliss. And the term 'Pure Land (净 土)' in the literally which 'Pure' means clean, clear, unstained, etc. And 'Land' refers to the Realm, country or the world. So, It has been suggested that this conception of a "Western Paradise" or "Western Pure Land". The western Pure Land has all the wonderful things that Amitābha, contributes to the benefits of "purifying One's mind". Because of everything in the universe is derived from one's mind. And the world of Amitābha is without from the three kinds of suffering in this universal, is a world of truth, grace, splendor and wisdom, etc.
On the about that, in fact represent the main Universe of the Buddha, the Plant of Bliss without any of sufferings (苦). But, here why the researcher would want to discuss the concept of the suffering in the Pure Land? That would be the contradictory and doubtful that should be explained to the next.
As pointed out in Buddhism, the term "suffering or duḥkha", especially the Sanskrit word duḥkha (P: dukkha) is derived from the root to explains dukkha as du+kha, where du=du1 and kha=ākāsa means "unpleasant, painful, causing misery" and another two major dictionaries of Sir M. Monier-Williams and Vaman Shivaram Apte that who gives in their definitions as "sorrow, pain, agony, trouble, difficulty, etc." . The Pali word "dukkha" means incapable of satisfying or not able to bear or withstand anything: always changing, incapable of truly fulfilling or making happy. Furthermore, in order to understand careful in this state of duḥkha, the Buddha also emphasizes the dissemination of the knowledge of the duḥkha is said to excel all other forms in the Buddhist Four Noble Truth.
The Buddha gives a number of terms to describe the qualities of duḥkha in the Larger Sukhāvatīvyūha Sūtra, which provides the foundational witness for the structure of Buddhist Pure Land salvation. The general teachings in the Pure Land texts they are which aims to attain the enlightenment through "self-power", this is the mode teaching of Amida (Amitābha) in the Pure Land texts, which leads the practitioners get enlightenment through His vows-power (other-power) that which the mode teaching of the Buddha to be fathomed the depth of human duḥkha and the doctrine of compassion of the Bodhisattva Dharmākara which made possible to salvation of all sentient beings. The term "Salvation" , here means the liberation or emancipation of one from the predicament into which he is fallen. And will be itself ultimate development, emancipation by the way of clarify the Buddhist Pure Land of duḥkha.
According to the Buddhist doctrines, the reality of duḥkha merely to the domain of the senses and painful, or they can be neither. But whatever is the internally or externally of duḥkha, the concept of duḥkha in Buddhism analyses into three category or eight category to show that everything is duḥkha.
The three kinds of duḥkha are "painful sensation caused by bodily pain, pain having its origin is the Saṃskāras (P: Saṅkhāras; Dev: सङ्खार; Dev: संस्कार; C: 行) which are impermanent, and pain caused by perishing". According to Chinese Buddhist Terms state that "the three kinds of duḥkha (三 苦) are; dukkha-dukkhatā (苦 苦) that produced by direct causes, viparināma-dukkhatā (壞 苦) by loss or deprivation and as the result of change, san̄khāra-dukkhatā (行 苦) by the passing, owing to the impermanent and ephemeral nature of things or impermanency of all things" . And in the Abhidharmakosabhasya of the famous an Indian Buddhist scholar-monk maintains that all out-flowing existents are pain. His also reasoning is that the three forms of pain are all out-flowing existents, pleasant, unpleasant, and neither pleasant nor unpleasant are the characterized of the Buddhist doctrine that all out-flowing existents are the duḥkha is the based on the factual reality is what Buddhist mean that nothing remains imperishable.
In order to understanding clearly of duḥkha, the well-known theory of duḥkha is which concerned with the eight forms of duḥkha should to know. The Eight distresses (八 苦) are; "birth, old age, sickness, death, parting with what we love, meeting with what we hate, unattained aims, and all the ills of the five skandhas or the five aggregates constituting a human being" . So, in the Saṃyutta Nikāya (阿 含 經) state that the root causes of duḥkha is seen in relation to the impermanent nature of reality. It is precisely because each constituent is in itself impermanent that a human being, a provisional unity of five skandhas (S: स्कन्ध; P: khandhas; C: 五 蘊; VN: Ngũ uẩn), is distresses by duḥkha.
On the other hand, the concept of duḥkha should be understood though the Pure Land Texts, especially, the concept of duḥkha in the Larger Sukhāvatīvyūha Sūtra gives testimony to the reality of the salvation of the Amitābha Buddha is solely because for the sake of people who are existentially aware of the 'foolishness', their defilement and evil passions, which leads them to ceaseless transmigration and causes in their duḥkha.
According to the teaching of Jōdo Shinshū (浄 土 真 宗), the object of the salvation of Amida (Amitābha) and the disclosing of the dharma for a "foolish, small beings, the multitudes of living beings", that was described in the Larger Sutra which the feature of Amida has revealed the storehouse of the dharma through the Vows and the Name of Amida, which state at below:
"The central purport of this Sūtra is that Amida, by establishing his Vow, has opened wide the storehouse of the dharma, and full of compassion for foolish, small beings, he selects and bestows his treasure of virtues. Further, the Sūtra reveals that Gautama appeared in this world and illuminated the teaching of the Buddha-way to save the multitudes of living beings, that is, to bless them with the benefit that is true and real. Thus, to teach the Tathāgata's Primal Vow is the true intent of this sutra; the Buddha's Name is its core".
Whatever, the ethical significance in the Larger Sukhàvatì-vyùha Sūtra which is the true purport of Amida's compassion described as a great virtue, value for the benefit of others and even the "foolishness" people. The "foolishness" that which ingrained in the depth of existence beings in this defiled world as the cause of duḥkha, it is reputedly one of the three fundamental "poisons" of human life which leads others ceaselessly cause of duḥkha. Therefore, the state of the Larger Sukhàvatì-vyùha Sūtra, it is in fact, regarding to the cause of pain by greed holds that such as:
"However, people are shallow and strive for non-urgent things: in the midst of severe evil and pain, they perform tasks to support themselves; whether noble or humble, rich or poor, young or old, man or woman, they worry about wealth. Whether they have or have not, their worries are the same; wandering in sorrow and pain, accumulating various worries, and driven by their own minds, they find no peace".
However, greed, the Sūtra state that the cause of pain not only in deprivation but in the state of possessing of which it is so boundless and bottomless. Moreover, wherever greed can never be quenched that worries continually and apprehensive thoughts follow one until the final moments of death. On the other hand, certainly one can understand intellectually that pain will vanish and if greed can be cast-off by oneself. Therefore, the characteristic of the Pure Land is the path which the reflection by the laymen, "foolish" people can be cast-off their ingrained greed and even eradicate that one can awaken to Buddha-hood.
Practically, as pointed out the teaching of Buddhist Pure Land, one on the march towards liberation from the duḥkha, they found that the world in which laymen carry on their lives is that just the "ocean difficult to cross". The "ocean" is that the ocean passion of the secular life. That's why the teaching of harmony will be the way which lay people should moderate the pain of anxiety. Therefore, following the teaching of the Larger Sūtra state such:
"People of the world! Parents and children, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, family members and relatives, all should respect and love one another, and never hate or be jealous. The rich as well as the poor should never be stingy or greedy. Be gentle in speech and manner, and never contrary tone another".
On the about, the state that such the virtue associated with the Way such as speaking, behavior to others that which the laymen recognized the release of affliction by the sameness in the nature of pain, is basis for making possible harmonizing between people to people. Hence, in the shape of that teaching seminar with one of a part in the Catuhsamgrahavastu (C: 四 攝 法) translated into English as the Four All Embracing Virtues.
Though, as pointed out above, the laymen who must help each other by providing what one person lacks with what another has. But, laymen should become soon aware which that their attempt to harmonize is restrained by obdurate anger. The nature of accumulative anger is that simply intensification of the pain caused by anger which is agony concerned with this world cohesion in the society and human relationships.
There is also deep-rooted affectionate attachment behind the hatred and anger is the Larger Sukhāvatīvyūha Sūtra states that the desolation by a threatening attachment is as follows:
"In the midst of attachment and desire, beings are born alone, die alone, come alone and go alone; when they depart, they go to a realm of either pain or pleasure; they themselves go, and no one can go for them".
As the idealist philosophers may have believed, that the birth and death arises because of subliminal attachment of affection. But mean that to understand the painful desolation is caused by the chasm which alone make between detachment and attachment in human perception such movements or conflicts is, above all, to understand the ideas or attitudes to life involved in them. And not mere natural events, the Pure Land words and notions and acts are not only intelligible that the men who want abandon worldly matters in order to get emancipation from the duḥkha as the Sūtra states such as:
"Why do you not abandon worldly matters, make every effort to practiced good and solely aspire to transcend the world while you are still strong and healthy? You will thereby gain infinite life. Why not seek the way? Why delay? Why other pleasure do you want?"
Consequently, one own attitudes and activities are likely to remain obscure, in fact the "foolish" people do not know, unless they understand the dominant world. In the same manner, surprising because of, as the Larger Sukhāvatīvyūha Sūtra disclose, that "good is gained through doing it, and the way through treading it"; they do not believe in "rebirth" and that "happiness is gained through sharing"; they do not believe "anything concerning good and evil"; thus "they affirm nothing and also take pride in such view" . On the about, because of regarding to the "ignorance (無 明)" of "foolish" people which regards as the cause of Duhkha in the Larger Sukhāvatīvyūha Sūtra as the third message to teach the "three forms of ignorance" which they is the failure should be realize that; with those who ought to attend to them – that is to say, those who have been trained to think critically that ideas of duḥkha.
The three forms of ignorance is the lack of recognition that everything is causally inter-related. But however, here the acknowledgement of the causal reality in its temporal sense sharply distinguishes the whole structure of the Pure Land thought. The Pure Land thought that which provides the "foolish" people with the certitude of attaining birth in the Pure Land for the sincere sake. However, with an endeavor of the Pure Land Buddhism was bearing the whole-hearted to guide the "foolish" people to aware the causal reality by demanding their sensitive reflection upon the distress and agony that they confront in daily life.
2. The Compassionate of Bodhisattva in vicarious suffering (Duḥkha):
The concept of Bodhisattva (菩 薩) likely adopted as the center of Mahāyāna Buddhist values. The concept of Bodhisattva is the way to save "others", especially on the way to practice of "vicarious duḥkha" for the sake of "benefiting others". "Benefiting others", here, refers to own enlightenment and "benefiting others", means which is leading others to attainment enlightenment. The concept of "Self benefit (自 利)" is just in essence of none other than "benefiting others (利 他)".
So, the especial aspects of Bodhisattva in the concept of Mahāyāha Buddhism (大 乘 佛 教) which is most important to emphasize that the notion of "Nirvāṇa" [S: निर्वाण; P: निब्बान (nibbāna)] in Mahāyāna is not fulfilled without benefiting unenlightened beings that who still continue in the realm of Saṃsāra. Because of, the doctrine of "Nirvāna (涅 槃)" and "Saṃsāra (輪 迴)"in Pure Land Buddhism can be understand that the reciprocal and unique of them will come up in the especial characteristic of Pure Land Buddhist salvation. But, although, is that the doctrine of "Nirvāna" is attained without severing blind passions of "Saṃsāra".
The aspiration (誓 願) and a lofty soul of Bodhisattva (菩 薩) for the enlightenment of lay people, human being who are absorbed in worldly social life. Hence, is that, can say the essential nature of Budhisattva to be concerned whether others can as surely attain Nirvāṇa (涅 槃).
The concept of Bodhisattva's compassion (karunā or 慈 悲) for others is who will be turn on their eyes to human life as the principle of "seeking for emancipation from suffering together with fellow beings. What, then, the stated of Bodhisattva vow as below:
"If, when I attain buddhahood, sentient beings in the lands of the ten directions who awaken aspiration for enlightenment, do various meritorious deeds, and sincerely desire to be born in my land, should not, at their death, see me appear before them surrounded by a multitude of sages, may I not attain perfect enlightenment".
Moreover, as pointed out above, in the Vimalakīrti Nirdeśa Sūtra or Vimalakīrti Sūtra are uniformly called with in all Chinese versions such as; (C: 維 摩 詰 經) , is also state that;
"I (Vimalakīrti) suffer, because my fellow beings suffer" . And furthermore, Vimalakīrti, expresses his reason for the sickness as; "He becomes sick when they are sick and is cured when they are cured" . This deep concern of Bodhisattva for others and precisely what the term "compassion (karunā or 慈 悲)" means that the especially emphatic about the principle of "seeking for emancipation from suffering together with fellow beings".
Above all, actually live in a world in which we find the devotional mind is the characterized by a "great compassionate heart" of which the infinite sensitive of the Bodhisattva in seeing the pain of all sentient beings such as his own child's pain. In this case, the compassion of Bodhisattva is manifesting as himself experience the pain of other beings.
Broadly speaking, however, the universal creativity of the Primal Vow of Dharmākara Bodhisattva is as embodiment of the bearer whose fulfillment is Amitābha (Amida) Buddha's untiring dynamism of saving all sentient beings. For this reason, means, as for the Bodhisattva, in this sense he never can enters attain Nirvāṇa, whenever his fellow-beings would not leave this world of Duḥkha (苦). Furthermore, the uniqueness of Amida's compassion, as well as Amida's untiring and universal compassion which is the ultimate form of as a special aspect of Bodhisattva's vicarious duḥkha can be correspond remarkably with the relationship of the Icchantika Bodhisattva which appears in the Lankārvatāra Sūtra (C: 楞 伽 經) indicate that the icchantikas will be saved through the liberation power of the Buddha - who, it is claimed, will never abandon any being. In this sense, the Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra (C: 大 涅 槃 經) , is a major Mahāyāna Sūtra, which also well-known for the doctrine of Ichantikas (C: 一 闡 提) and its treatment of the question of their Buddha-nature. In this Sūtra, the state that; "Seeing an icchantika fall into hell, he himself desires to be born there, too" . In this deep sense which in every situation; constantly the metaphor of an aching parental heart dying when it confronts the death of the child is used to evoke the heart of a Bodhisattva.
3. The meaning of Emancipation from duḥkha in the Pure Land
The concept of "emancipation (Vimokṣa; Chinese: 解 放 or 解 脫)" from the duḥkha in the Pure Land doctrine must be reflects in the central philosophy of Mahāyāna view of duḥkha (苦). According to W.E. Soothill, and Lewis Hodous, they have define the meaning of "emancipation or 解 脫" such as aṣṭa-vimokṣa (八 解 脫) means as; mokṣa, vimukti, mukti. Liberation, deliverance, freedom, emancipation, escape, release... in eight forms: also 八 背 捨 and cf. 解 脫 and 八 勝 處. The eight are stages of mental concentration: (1) 内 有 色 想 觀 外 色 解 脱: Liberation, when subjective desire arises, by examination of the object, or of all things and realization of their filthiness. (2) 内 無 色 想 觀 外 色 解 脫: Liberation, when no subjective desire arises, by still meditating as above. These two are deliverance by meditation on impurity, the next on purity. (3) 淨 身 作 證 具 足 住 解 脫: Liberation by concentration on the pure to the realization of a permanent state of freedom from all desire. The above three "correspond to the four Dhyānas". (Eitel.) (4) 空 無 邊 處 解 脫: Liberation in realization of the infinity of space, or the immaterial. (5) 識 無 邊 處 解 脫: Liberation in realization of infinite knowledge. (6) 無 所 有 處 解 脫: Liberation in realization of nothingness, or nowhereness. (7) 非 想 非 非 想 處 解 脫: Liberation in the state of mind where there is neither thought nor absence of thought. These four arise out of abstract meditation in regard to desire and form, and are associated with the 四 空 天. (8) 滅 受 想 定 解 脫: Liberation by means of a state of mind in which there is final extinction, nirvāṇa, of both sensation, vedanā, and consciousness, saṁjñā. And Furthermore, in the Pāli Nikāyas there are four stages to final liberation: (1) stream-enterer (sotāpanna), who has glimpsed Nirvāṇa and will attain full liberation in no more than seven rebirths; (2) once-returner (sakadāgāmin), who will be reborn only once more; (3) non-returner (anāgāmin), who will have at most one more lifetime in a celestial pure abode; and (4) Arhat, who is fully liberated in this life.
The concept of "emancipation", here, is just by comparison with high value on other goals, such as justice, or happiness, or culture, or security, or varying degrees of equality, they were not be prepared to curtail freedom in the interests of other values and, indeed, of freedom themselves. It may be said, however, it was impossible to create the kind of association that they thought desirable. Consequently, it is assumed by Buddhist thinkers that the area of men's free action must be limited by Buddhist disciplines or training precepts. In this way, the concept of "emancipation" from the duḥkha can be assumed, especially through by libertarians such as; Locke and Mill in England, and Constant and Tocqueville (1805-1859) in France, stated that; "There ought to exist a certain minimum area of personal freedom which must on no account be violated; for if it is overstepped, the individual will find himself in an area too narrow for even that minimum development of his natural faculties which alone makes it possible to pursue, and even to conceive, the various ends which men hold good or right or sacred. It follows that a frontier must be drawn between the area of private life and that of public authority. Where it is to be drawn is a matter of argument, indeed of haggling. Men are largely interdependent, and no man's activity is so completely private as never to obstruct the lives of others in any way".
In this case, the realization of emancipation is just mentioned to bring to light for own emancipation life. The opposition of this owner emancipation with which Pure Land teaches doctrine that which for "own emancipation and emancipation others".
On the about, They believe, according to the presuppositions underlying traditional doctrinal discussions on the meaning of the concept of emancipation from the duḥkha is that those whose understood strictly as one "living here and changing their duḥkha in this present moment" in order to be born in the Pure Land paradise. With a good reason, that if the doctrine of emancipation from duḥkha also to grown as the individual emancipation is an ultimate end for human beings, none should be deprived of it by others. So, the question is that; what is the value of emancipation? The Equality of emancipation; can be understand in simple means that "to treat others as I should wish them to treat me"; means that those who alone have made possible their emancipation or prosperity or enlightenment, and obviously for others too; justice, in its simplest and most universal sense - these are the foundations of emancipation in Buddhist Pure Land morality.
However, following the doctrine of "emancipation" of the Pure Land Buddhism, must recognize that the concept of emancipation from duḥkha (suffering) with a broader vision beyond the traditional definition. With that doctrine must be not only self emancipation, but also for others. Furthermore, according to Hobbes (1588-1679), defines "A free man", is he said that; not hindered to do what he has a will to. And, even in Richard Tuck's edition state that; "Law always a fetter, even if it protects you from bound in chains that are heavier than those of the law, say some more repressive law or custom, or arbitrary despotism or chaos".
It is true that, in Buddhism. Pure Land Buddhist view of emancipation from duḥkha, which is the most radical form in the doctrine of the Pure Land salvation. It is a part of highly developed in the whole body of different interpretations of the Pure Land doctrines.
According to the Pure Land Buddhist view, the only path in order to emancipation from the universal duḥkha caused by ignorance ingrained in the depth of all sentient beings, whether the wise of the Mahāyāna or the Theravāda ( S: Sthaviravāda or स्थविरवाद; C: 上 座 部) Theravāda, or the ignorant, good or evil, is to attain "faith". "Faith", here is the Pure Land Buddhist view of the emancipation from duḥkha, itself which is none other than the embodiment of Mahāyāna spirit. This faith is fulfilled by the directing of Amida Buddha's virtue to them out of his pure Vow-mind. So, "Faith" is the right cause bringing all sentient beings to the great nirvāṇa. Hence, the main discuss of the emancipation from duḥkha must be focuses on the attainment of "faith", which takes place in the doctrine of Pure Land salvation by faith through "other power".
This Pure Land doctrine is may be an "unorthodox" doctrine when compared to all Buddhist schools in India, China, Japan, which stress on "self-salvation" by the individual's own efforts, power, and merits. For this reason, the notion of "faith" is can be intricately analyzed and elaborated. But, throughout the center of Pure Land doctrines, what is true and real is none other than the fulfillment of Amida Buddha of "faith" for the sake of all sentient beings.
According to Shinran (親 鸞 ), on the basis of this, whether or not Pure Land "faith" truly reveals an interpersonal relation between Amida and sentient beings depends entirely on the deep appreciation by sentient beings that the Vow of Amida is true and real. However, "faith" is not a believing mind that arises through the "self-power" of sentient beings, but none other than the own mind of Amida Buddha.
Although, this proposition derives its force from something that is both true and important, but what we usually think as our nature as human beings, or the "self" is to be found in the nature of "faith". In order to attain full comprehension of the meaning of Pure Land faith, as we have already seen above, we are urged to look deeply into the intention of Amida Buddha to establish and fulfill the Vow through the existential quest of. However, "faith" is the pure and true mind which Amida established and fulfilled his Vow, all virtues, qualities, and powers that Amida has fulfilled by completing vigorous Bodhisattva practices with untiring resolution are attributed to "faith". Hence, Pure Land faith therefore must be understood within the context of the personal interaction between Amida and sentient beings.
According to the Larger Sukhàvatì-vyùha Sūtra, this Sūtra was being the most important doctrine in the basis upon three Pure Land Buddhist Sūtras , in the Larger Sūtra state that, in whose presence a monk called Dharmākāra, the future Amitābha Buddha, in his causal stage as Bodhisattva Dharmākāra, established the supreme, incomparable Vow by selecting the best cause of bringing all sentient beings to Buddhahood, and the content of these vows is that Dharmākāra would become a Buddha only the condition that he should be able to help others share in the vast store of merit he would acquire in doing so, thus helping other beings attain Buddhahood.
For Hōnan (法 然) and Shinran (親 鸞), the important thing for a Buddhist Pure Land was belief and trust in the Vows of Amitābha, especially the eighteenth Vow. Therefore, Hōnen defines; "faith" as intellectual acceptance of the doctrine. And furthermore, Shinran used which the term such as "great faith", and he sets the following twelve expressions clarifying the supreme qualities of "faith" as below:
1) The superlative means for attaining longevity and deathlessness.
2) The wondrous way to awaken aspiration for the pure and rejection of the defiled.
3) The straightforward mind of directing virtues in the selected Vow.
4) The joyful faith of Amida's deep and vast concern to benefit others.
5) True mind, diamond-like and indestructible.
6) The pure faith that takes one easily to the Amida's land, where no one can be born without the faith.
7) The single mind of grasping and protecting in Amida's spiritual light.
8) Great faith, rare and unsurpassed.
9) The short path difficult for the secular world to believe.
10) The true cause of realizing great nirvana.
11) The white path of instantly fulfilling all virtues.
12) The ocean-like faith of true suchness or one reality.
On the basis of those qualities of "faith", it is only elucidation through the nature of "faith" is which the mode of Amida's Vow to save sentient beings by the boundless working and untiring commitment in ceaselessly directing of Amida's virtues to all sentient beings, and further without excluding even a single one.
Hence, the essential way in which Amida performs his activity of grasping all sentient beings and bringing them into his Pure Land. On that case, the event that the purpose of Amida's Vow minimum development of Amida's natural faculties which alone makes it possible to pursue, and even to conceive, which men can hold good or right or sacred. And further the way in which "great faith" exerts the decisive influence on their defiled world rooted in "ignorance". This is concerned in the "three factors" in which it can make clear the emancipation from duḥkha in the Pure Land Buddhist doctrines.
It should now be clear and understand that for the recognition of Shinran that "faith" is the only way for all sentient beings to be saved by Amida is based upon his radical insight into the universal reality of duḥkha.
The quotation, explicitly which shows the radical of his deep reflection:
"All the ocean-like multitudinous beings, from the beginning-less past to this day and this moment, have been transmigrating in the sea of ignorance, drowning in the cycle of existences, bound to the cycle of duḥkhas, and having no pure, serene faith. They have, as a natural consequence, no true serene faith".
The flames of anger and hatred in the mind of the "foolish" people will be consuming the dharma-treasure. Thereby, the desire will be arising at all times constantly to defile all the goodhearted of all the "foolish" people by their thought of desire. Though, even if they have to strive to the utmost with body and mind to sweeping all the fire of three poison of greed, anger, ignorance, etc. They just can be transitory in their activities and practices.
According to Shinran, the Larger Sukhāvatīvyūha Sūtra teaches in which the three root evil passion, "desire, anger and ignorance," are regarded as the fundamental causes of duḥkha. So, Shinran penetratingly discerns that ego is as ingrained in the depth of human existence as to constantly poison good acts and destroy the treasure of dharma. He total negate of every possible endeavor to attain Buddha-hood by "self-power" for all people, regardless of race, nationality, sex, capability, and social status, who have been fettered to the dark duḥkha world of Saṅsāra or Saṃsāra (S: संसार), transmigrating since innumerable kalpas ago until this moment.
In the concept of Buddhist cycle transmigration, can see a practical implication that, if there had been even a single person who was free from evil passion, this would mitigate and thoroughgoing awareness of the sinful, foolish existence fettered to birth and death (生 滅) since innumerable kalpas ago.
According to Shinran, his profound speculation must be taken seriously for further examination of fundamental problems which are common to any salvific religion. And moreover, his absolute negation of any possible existence of such a person precisely discloses the deep-rootedness of human "sinful" and ignorant karma which constantly brings about duḥkha.
For Shinran, the total negation necessarily leads to his identification as an "icchantika" (一 闡 提). And the icchantika mode of existence is no longer one class of human beings among many, but has been taken as the universal existence. Thence, that is why it can be indicative of the intrinsic nature of all sentient beings. Here, the question should be arising about: How can icchantika that has entirely forsaken all roots of merit and thus withdrawn from emancipation be saved and enter to the great nirvana? Here, the answer should be concerned which relate to the notion of "Buddha-nature" in with the factor that which must be discussion on the second factor dealing with the universality of salvation.
According to the teaching of the view of Shan-Tao (善 導: 613-681) who praised as the father of Chinese Pure Land, and Honen, who inherited his teaching in Japan, both of whose understandings were handed down to Shinran, the state that; ultimately only the Vow of Amida can save the "icchantika" and emancipate all sentient beings from duḥkha. For this reason, the patient and untiring aspiration for the emancipation of all sentient beings of Amida Buddha that can be the uniqueness Vow of Amida.
Indeed, for Shan-tao (善 導), classifies the former includes the five types of practices such as; chanting, contemplation, worship, recitation, and praised-concentrated on Amida. On the other hand, there are a multitude of practices have been expounded in the various Mahayana scriptures as the way to emancipation. Therefore, that's why Shan-Tao classifies them into two forms of "right practices" and "sundry practices". For the latter, includes all practices not preformed in focusing on Amida. But, of the right practices, the recitation of Amida's Name is singled out as that definitely selected in his Primal Vow as the true way to birth in the Pure Land, so that it is termed the "true, definite practice," and the remaining for are labeled "auxiliary practices."
For Hōnen, in order to disclose how the recitation of Amida's Name is in accord with the universality of Amida's true intent in the Vow, state that: The recitation of Amida's Name, called nembutsu, is so easy that it is possible for all people; whereas, other practices are so difficult that they are not performed equally to be born in the Pure Land has made his Primal Vow by taking "easy way" and renouncing "difficult way." On the about that ideas, the practitioners should thinking of what is the easy way and the freedom from what? Almost every moralist in human history has praised freedom. Like happiness and goodness, like nature and reality, it is a term whose meaning is so porous that there is just a little interpretation that it seems able to resist. And moreover we can put more queries such as; why should I not live as I like? "Must I obey?" If I disobey, may I be coerced? By whom was, and to what degree, and in the name of what, and for the sake of what? And so forth. Consequently our own attitudes and activities are likely to remain obscure to us, unless we understand the dominant issues of our own world. So, the very particularly of the statement is that which following the way of Shan-Tao such as; Only repeat the name of Amitābha Buddha with all your heart. Whether walking or standing, sitting or lying, never cease the practice of it even for a moment. This is can be the very work which unfailingly issues in salvation, for it are in accordance with the Original Vow of that Buddha.
As Hōnen states, if sculpturing the images of Buddhas and building pagodas had been chosen as the practice of the Primal Vow, the poverty-stricken people would have had to relinquish the hope of birth; in fact, the affluent are few and the destitute many. If sagacity and intelligence had been selected as the practice of the Primal Vow, the foolish and shallow would have had to relinquish the hope; in fact, the wise are few and the ignorant many. If a great amount of hearing and seeing had been required, those who hear and see less would have had to relinquish the hope; in fact, those who hear much are few and those who hear little exceedingly many. If observance of precepts had been chosen as the practice of the Primal Vow, those who violate and those who are indifferent to them would have had their hopes cut off; in fact, those who observe precepts are few and those who violate those many.
Hōnen further concludes that the practice of the Primal Vow not such practices as sculpturing the images of Buddhas and building pagodas and so on but solely the single practice of Nembutsu (C: 念 佛). The single practice is intended not to exclude any from his salvation: it is his activity of "grasping without forsaking any single being", but by the compassion of equality that, for the purpose of universally grasping all sentient beings. This originates from his absolute actualization of "One Reality (一 実)".
It is worthwhile to remember in this regard that Amida, in his past as Dhamākāra Bodhisattva, was an embodiment of the compassion of equality that which radiant the structure of the Pure Land fulfillment of the salvation of "icchantika". The embodying of Mahāyāna philosophy of "Sūnyatā" was be the unique way of the Pure Land Buddhism and it was radiant the unparalleled doctrine that nirvana can be attained without severing evil passion.
As per the definition of icchantika in the "Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra" that icchantika as who has entirely forsaken all roots of good from the beginningless past to this moment and hence in this respect is secluded from any possibility of entering into Nirvāṇa (S: निर्वाण; C: 涅 槃). But especially, at the same time the sutra states that there still remains one path which enables the icchantika to attain Buddhahood; that is, by virtue of the "Buddha-nature". Relating to the "Buddha-nature (C: 佛 性)", the Sutra given states that; "Buddha-dhatu (Buddha-nature (佛 性), Buddha element, or Buddha principle), also called the Tathāgata-garbha (如 來 藏) ("Buddha-matrix" or "Buddha embryo"), in every sentient being (animals included - hence the Buddha's strong support for vegetarianism in this sutra), the full seeing of which ushers in Liberation from all suffering and effects final deliverance into the realm of Great Nirvana (Mahā-Nirvāṇa). This "True-Self" or "Great-Self" of the Nirvāṇic realm is said to be sovereign, to be attained on the morning of Buddhahhood, and to pervade all places like space".
Furthermore, the states of Buddha-nature are expressed in this way: "The Buddha-dhatu is always present, in all times and in all beings, but is obscured from worldly vision by the screening effect of tenacious negative mental afflictions (kleshas) within each being (the most notable of which are greed (貪), hatred (嗔), delusion (癡), and pride (慢). Once these negative mental states have been eliminated, however, the Buddha-dhatu is said to shine forth unimpededly and the Buddha-sphere (Buddha-dhatu/ visaya) can then be consciously "entered into", and therewith deathless Nirvāṇa attained".
It can be concluded therefore that the concept of "Buddha-nature" can be a key to the question of whether the icchantika can become a Buddha. And here, the concept of Buddha-nature can be the two characteristics deserve our attention: the first, Buddha-nature transcends past, present, and future; and the second; it will definitely reveal itself in the future. Actually because of the former is often illustrated by the notion of "space" or "void". And this corresponds to the notion of "sūnyatā". Therefore, the "Buddha-nature" is of the same efficacy as "sūnyatā" in the religious awakening of Pure Land Buddhists. Therefore, the basic of Mahāyāna doctrine is that Buddha-nature provides all beings, including the "icchantika", have Buddha-nature. Moreover, the manifestation of Buddha-nature occurs with definite assurance by which we called the future. The future is frequently understood to be a realm which has to come into being and thus is unknown and ambiguous. And therewithal, however, with respect to the Buddha-nature, the certainty of its future revelation indicates its everlasting potentiality for all beings at all times. However, in this sense, it seem transcends the temporal flux of transmigration, and yet it is always ingresses itself in such a way as to lead each being to Nirvāṇa.
Thus, Buddha-nature is taught to be a truly real and pure, but internally hidden immortal potency or element within the mind of all beings, for awakening and becoming a Buddha. There are conflicting interpretations of the idea in Mahāyānic philosophy. The idea may be traced to the concept of Abhidharmic. However, there are some clear references and described in the Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra to be incorruptible, uncreated, and indestructible relating to the Buddha-nature states that: "It is eternal Bodhi (Awake-ness) indwelling Saṃsāra, and thus opens up the immanent possibility of Liberation from all suffering and impermanence" . Besides, relating to the meaning of Buddha-nature definite answer that No being of any kind is without the Buddha-dhatu (Buddha-nature). However, it is a fact that the interpretation of the Buddha-nature is not universally accepted by Buddhists or scholars. Dr. Shenpen Hookham, Oxford Buddhist scholar and Tibetan lama of the Shentong tradition, writes of the Buddha-nature or True Self as something real and permanent, and already present within the being as uncompounded Enlightenment. She calls it "the Buddha within", and comments: "In scriptural terms, there can be no real objection to referring to Buddha, Buddhajnana (Buddha Awareness/ Buddha Knowledge), Nirvāṇa and so forth as the True Self, unless the concept of Buddha and so forth being propounded can be shown to be impermanent, suffering, compounded, or imperfect in some way ... in Shentong terms, the non-self is about what is not the case, and the Self of the Third Dharmachakra (S: धर्मचक्र; P: Dhammacakka; C: 法 輪) [i.e. the Buddha-nature doctrine] is about what truly IS".
In the Tibetan Book of the Dead, it has been mentioned however that at the death there is an encounter with this true inner nature, Sugatagarbha or Dharmata (眞 如), and the synonym Tathātā is variously translated as "thusness" or "suchness", when the veils of egocentricity tend briefly to drop away, and shining, unobstructed Awareness is disclosed to us. In line with Tibetan Nyingma doctrine, Tibetan lama, Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, equates this radiant essence with the Buddha Nature. He writes: "... all sentient beings already possess an enlightened essence, the sugatagarbha [i.e. the Buddha Nature]. This essence is present and permeates anyone who has mind, just as oil completely permeates any sesame seed ... The moment our ego-clinging falls apart, then our innate wisdom, the luminosity of dharmata, will vividly, nakedly appear. This ground luminosity is not just empty; it is also luminous – aware".
However, the essence within all sentient beings (Buddha-nature) is already there which in a way means that everyone is really a Buddha now. This assumption reflects the idea that enlightenment relating to the Buddha-nature and the two characteristics of Buddha-nature are remarkably embodied in Shinran's view of the Pure Land salvation fulfilled by a compassionate Vow of Amida through faith alone.
In order to prove his understanding of "faith", Shinran states in Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra that "great faith is Buddha-nature; Buddha-nature is suchness; Buddha-nature is termed "one-child-stage". Faith, as it has been stated, is given by Amida to each being and through this gift of faith the Buddha-nature ingresses itself into each being. This notwithstanding, it is held that "Faith" is the mind of Amida Buddha, and the eye of the Buddha which can bring the depth of each being into light.
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 June 2012 23:45