Origin of Amitabha Buddha?

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
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tattoogunman
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Re: Origin of Amitabha Buddha?

Post by tattoogunman » Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:52 pm

I was wondering the same thing as Gintoki as I've just recently begun delving deeper into Buddhism. The nearest temple to me is a Mahayana temple and that is where I have been obtaining quite a few books and doing my reading. I've met with one of the few English speaking monks a few times about this issue and they basically just say that Amitabha was just another Buddha, etc. I understand that, but I don't really see the need to pursue a Buddha outside of Gautama Buddha (for lack of a better explanation). The various schools of Buddhism is what has been throwing me off and it's why I get drawn more towards Theravada since it seems to be the "original" Buddhism if you will.

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Origin of Amitabha Buddha?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:17 pm

If someone tried to sell you gems or gold you would or should make a thorough inquiry that they are authentic. Likewise, one should make a thorough inquiry regarding any teaching that purports to be the genuine teaching of the Buddha, whatever its source.

Read widely, ask pertinent questions from those who should know, meditate constantly, and compare your results with what it says in reliable sources.

The Kesamutti Sutta or the Discourse to the Kālāmas is often quoted (and misquoted too).

See also The Four Great References in the Mahāparinibbāna Sutta and the Brief Discourse to Gotamī.
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Disciple
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Re: Origin of Amitabha Buddha?

Post by Disciple » Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:35 pm

Venerable Huifeng once told me that true buddhadharma isn't about who it's spoken by but in the truth of the words. Many outstanding Buddhist masters over the centuries from Tibet to Japan have had nothing but good things to say about Pure Land teachings and I lack the arrogance to say they were all wrong.

ieee23
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Re: Origin of Amitabha Buddha?

Post by ieee23 » Fri Jul 10, 2015 2:00 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:The Buddha's teaching is hard to practice. He always stressed the importance of working out one's own salvation with diligence. .
I'm guessing you just tried to diplomatically write that Buddhism is about putting people into the driver's seat and many people don't want the work, responsibility that comes with that. That is my thinking too not being better acquainted with Pure Land Buddhism. Similar situations exist in Theravada, such as with Sri Lanka where most of the lay people focus on dana to the Sangha. I think the situation is similar to exercise and sticking to a healthy diet. It brings a lot of happiness, but people are naturally inclined not to start, but once they get over a hump they find it wonderful.
Whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. - MN 19

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Re: Origin of Amitabha Buddha?

Post by Disciple » Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:45 pm

ieee23 wrote:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:The Buddha's teaching is hard to practice. He always stressed the importance of working out one's own salvation with diligence. .
I'm guessing you just tried to diplomatically write that Buddhism is about putting people into the driver's seat and many people don't want the work, responsibility that comes with that. That is my thinking too not being better acquainted with Pure Land Buddhism. Similar situations exist in Theravada, such as with Sri Lanka where most of the lay people focus on dana to the Sangha. I think the situation is similar to exercise and sticking to a healthy diet. It brings a lot of happiness, but people are naturally inclined not to start, but once they get over a hump they find it wonderful.
The work is still up to you in Pure Land. Purelands are just places that are more conducive to practicing the dharma than in the saha world. It's not really more complicated than that. They are similar to the pure abodes found in your own scriptures.

ieee23
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Re: Origin of Amitabha Buddha?

Post by ieee23 » Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:15 pm

It reminds me of how college students who don't want to study say they will study later when they are at the library, because the library is more conducive to studying. That kind of thinking isn't about optimizing studying, it is about avoiding it.

I've seen some Pure Land followers on the internet claim that is it no longer possible or much harder to get anywhere with meditation, sila, and looking at the harsh realities of life. I think that is the bigger con because it convinces people not to try. I see articles everyday documenting the many benefits and the kind of happiness meditation brings right here in this life. So far science hasn't found anything indicating that anyone is incapable of mediation ( barring commons sense based reasons like brain damage, medication, things like PTSD ).
Whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. - MN 19

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Re: Origin of Amitabha Buddha?

Post by Disciple » Sat Jul 11, 2015 8:58 am

ieee23 wrote:It reminds me of how college students who don't want to study say they will study later when they are at the library, because the library is more conducive to studying. That kind of thinking isn't about optimizing studying, it is about avoiding it.
Pure Land attracts practitioners from all different walks of life and capacities. From lazy underachievers all the way up to Chan monks doing intense meditation retreats in monasteries. Proclaiming all Pureland practitioners as weak willed people is a false generalization.
I've seen some Pure Land followers on the internet claim that is it no longer possible or much harder to get anywhere with meditation, sila, and looking at the harsh realities of life. I think that is the bigger con because it convinces people not to try. I see articles everyday documenting the many benefits and the kind of happiness meditation brings right here in this life. So far science hasn't found anything indicating that anyone is incapable of mediation ( barring commons sense based reasons like brain damage, medication, things like PTSD ).
The concept of kali yuga or mappo is widespread in all of Mahayana. Some Pure Land schools like the Japanese ones take it a step further and proclaim that no amount of sila or meditation can bring anyone to enlightenment in this age. Chinese traditions on the other hand beg to differ and lay great importance on sila and meditation while Pureland practice is seen more of as an insurance policy in case no realization is achieved in this lifetime. So it all depends on which viewpoint one wants to follow.

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Re: Origin of Amitabha Buddha?

Post by ancientbuddhism » Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:49 am

I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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Gintoki
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Re: Origin of Amitabha Buddha?

Post by Gintoki » Sat Jul 18, 2015 2:16 pm

My main confusion about pure land buddhism is I don't understand how one is to take steps to be reborn in the pure land or choose for amitabha and pureland while living in accordance with this sutta:

"Those bhikkhus of mine, Ananda, who now or after I am gone, abide as an island unto themselves, as a refuge unto themselves, seeking no other refuge; having the Dhamma as their island and refuge, seeking no other refuge: it is they who will become the highest, [20] if they have the desire to learn."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .vaji.html

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Re: Origin of Amitabha Buddha?

Post by Disciple » Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:00 am

Buddhafields and multiple Buddhas have always been an integral part of the Mahayana. If you don't want to accept those teachings then that is your prerogative. Theravada is a rich tradition that will lead to the cessation of your suffering in this lifetime. I love it myself as a Mahayanist and have gained much wisdom from the Pali Canon and great monks such as Ajahn Brahm and Bhikku Bodhi.

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tattoogunman
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Re: Origin of Amitabha Buddha?

Post by tattoogunman » Sat Jul 25, 2015 8:38 pm

It also speaks to the schisms (if that is the right word to use) that began to form within Buddhism after the Buddha died. Different people took what they wanted out of it and took it in a slightly different direction. That is why some schools allow females to be ordained and some do not for example. At their root core, they are all supposed to be basically the same (as I understand it). The biggest difference I see in many of them is the type of ceremonies and dress that are used, placing their focus on someone other than the "original" Buddha (i.e. Gotama), etc. They also reflect the country of origin in which they took root in - many local customs and beliefs sort of got absorbed into it.

A fool from HK
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Re: Origin of Amitabha Buddha?

Post by A fool from HK » Sat Aug 08, 2015 9:17 am

The dangerous point is that such school rely too much on faith instead of realizing the truth. The school even claim that it is possible to reborn in the pure land by just reciting the amitaba before dead.

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Vanda
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Re: Origin of Amitabha Buddha?

Post by Vanda » Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:42 pm

Fool from HK wrote:
The school even claim that it is possible to reborn in the pure land by just reciting the amitaba before dead.
The Pure Land sounds like a wonderful paradise. How many times do I need to chant this before I know I will go there after I die?

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YprIu5sZSZs/U ... o1_500.gif

:ugeek:
Last edited by Vanda on Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.
“Don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted and carried out, lead to welfare and to happiness’ — then you should enter and remain in them.”
- Kalama Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya

A fool from HK
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Re: Origin of Amitabha Buddha?

Post by A fool from HK » Fri Aug 14, 2015 6:33 am

Vanda wrote:Fool from HK wrote:
The school even claim that it is possible to reborn in the pure land by just reciting the amitaba before dead.
The Pure Land sounds like a wonderful paradise. How many times do I need to chant this before I know I will go there after I die?

Image
I don't know. Maybe you can find the answer in the sister forum dharmawheel.net.

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Vanda
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Re: Origin of Amitabha Buddha?

Post by Vanda » Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:38 pm

HK,

I'll check that out. Didn't even know there was a sister site. Thanks.
“Don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted and carried out, lead to welfare and to happiness’ — then you should enter and remain in them.”
- Kalama Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya

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