Pure Land devotional practices and the Suddhavasa

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Pure Land devotional practices and the Suddhavasa

Postby Individual » Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:19 pm

IMHO, the "Pure Land" concept of Mahayana seems very similar to the Suddhavassa and the Anagami.

How are they distinguished?

On a related point: If I practice enlightened devotion to a Buddha and faith is the foundation of the path... is it inconceivable that this could lead to enlightenment, through higher and higher heavenly rebirth until one reaches the Pure Abodes rather than direct enlightenment in the human realm? :)
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Re: Pure Land devotional practices and the Suddhavasa

Postby Kenshou » Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:24 pm

How are they distinguished?

Well, you don't get to a suddhavassa/anagamihood by asking a Bodhisattva to let you come in.

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Re: Pure Land devotional practices and the Suddhavasa

Postby Individual » Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:40 pm

Kenshou wrote:
How are they distinguished?

Well, you don't get to a suddhavassa/anagamihood by asking a Bodhisattva to let you come in.

Wow.

Like a kick in the face. Which I needed.

Thank you. :bow:

I guess my speculation here seems quite ill-informed. I don't know why what Kenshou said didn't already seem blatantly obvious to me.
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Re: Pure Land devotional practices and the Suddhavasa

Postby Kenshou » Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:52 pm

Uh, are you being sarcastic? I don't mind, I was being a little cheeky myself, honestly. Though that is the primary (functional) difference, as far as I know.

But on a more serious note there is also the fact, I believe, that the pure lands are supposedly created by a Bodhisattva due to their enormous merit, somehow. So weather or not this pure land business has any validity depends on if you believe in such powerful Bodhisattvas, or not.

EDIT: And as for your second thing, I don't understand how simple devotion could remove the fetters bring any knowledge, so then enlightenment in that way is implausible, imo.

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Re: Pure Land devotional practices and the Suddhavasa

Postby Individual » Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:25 pm

Kenshou wrote:Uh, are you being sarcastic?

Not at all. I was floating off in lala-land.
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Re: Pure Land devotional practices and the Suddhavasa

Postby Viscid » Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:26 pm

Individual wrote:
Kenshou wrote:Uh, are you being sarcastic?

Not at all. I was floating off in lala-land.


Stop smoking samadhi.
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Re: Pure Land devotional practices and the Suddhavasa

Postby Lazy_eye » Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:26 pm

Now hang on here a sec.

In Pure Land, you're not asking a Bodhisattva to let you in. You're asking a Buddha. It all has to be understood within the context of Mahayana doctrines such as sunyata, buddha nature and "mind only".

Also, Pure Land chanting is essentially a samadhi practice. It provides the causal conditions for rebirth in Sukhavati.
Last edited by Lazy_eye on Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pure Land devotional practices and the Suddhavasa

Postby Individual » Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:37 pm

Viscid wrote:
Individual wrote:
Kenshou wrote:Uh, are you being sarcastic?

Not at all. I was floating off in lala-land.


Stop smoking samadhi.

:lol: :arrow: :D :arrow: :) :arrow: :|

It is not that easy.
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Re: Pure Land devotional practices and the Suddhavasa

Postby Kenshou » Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:44 pm

Samadhi is a hell of a drug...

Lazy_eye wrote:Now hang on here a sec.

In Pure Land, you're not asking a Bodhisattva to let you in. You're asking a Buddha. It all has to be understood within the context of Mahayana doctrines such as sunyata, buddha nature and "mind only".

Also, Pure Land chanting is essentially a samadhi practice. It provides the causal conditions for rebirth in Sukhavati.


Buddha, I suppose you're right. Though how do the particulars of pure lands relate to those Mahayana doctrinal things?

And I've heard a number of explanations of pure land practice, ranging from something akin to a meditation object as you've said to devotion to literally, asking to be let into whatever-land. Apparently pure land practice often was/is combined with other practices, so I suppose a number of adaptations and approaches have sprung up.

I won't lie and tell you I know a whole lot about this, but it's kinda interesting.

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Re: Pure Land devotional practices and the Suddhavasa

Postby Lazy_eye » Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:29 am

Kenshou wrote:]

Buddha, I suppose you're right. Though how do the particulars of pure lands relate to those Mahayana doctrinal things?

And I've heard a number of explanations of pure land practice, ranging from something akin to a meditation object as you've said to devotion to literally, asking to be let into whatever-land. Apparently pure land practice often was/is combined with other practices, so I suppose a number of adaptations and approaches have sprung up.

I won't lie and tell you I know a whole lot about this, but it's kinda interesting.


I can't say I know it too well myself. Maybe Ven. Paññāsikhara will step in to help us out here. But meanwhile let me give it a try.

Buddha contemplation is a way of realizing our own buddha nature. While you are thinking of Buddha, your mind becomes Buddha mind. While the Pure Land can be conceived as external, it's also internal. Calling on Amitabha can be seen as an aid or expedient which helps us realize our innate potential.

Buddha nature, meanwhile, is related to sunyata. Realizing emptiness, in Mahayana, is considered the key insight that leads to attaining buddhahood -- which, in turn, means that one has cast off all clouding defilements and realized one's buddha nature. When we access our buddha mind we are apprehending emptiness and transcending all dualities, including of course the duality between Amitabha (as an external object) and ourselves (the person calling on Amitabha).

"Mind only", which has its roots in the first few verses of the Dhammapada, teaches that the mind creates its own reality. An impure mind surrounds itself with impure things and a pure mind surrounds itself with pure things. A mind that is focused single mindedly on Buddha will thus be reborn in the appropriate state -- i.e. a Pure Land.

I'm no doubt mangling this terribly but do you see how the concepts inter-relate? (dare I say "inter-be?"). Mind only=Pure Land=Amitabha=Buddha Nature=Sunyata=Causes and Conditions=Mind Only...
Last edited by Lazy_eye on Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pure Land devotional practices and the Suddhavasa

Postby Individual » Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:01 am

Lazy_eye wrote:I can't say I know it too well myself. Maybe Ven. Paññāsikhara will step in to help us out here. But meanwhile let me give it a try.

Don't say that. I already know what he will say. He will come here with some credible references...

...and...

"Well, actually, the etymology of Suddhavasa... something something follows a different line of traditional thought...

something something

If you look into the historical record, then actually..."


And my foot is already well-lodged in my esophagus. :embarassed:
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Re: Pure Land devotional practices and the Suddhavasa

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:37 am

I was thinking about posting a reply, I have already, though deleted it, but reading the comments here at present am not sure whether or not people really want to know. Maybe it's easier to just pretend that we know what Pure Land devotional practices are, and then reject our ideas about them, rather than actual investigate the matter properly.
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Re: Pure Land devotional practices and the Suddhavasa

Postby Kenshou » Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:39 am

Are you shutting the door on me or opening it? I can't tell.

Either way, I don't doubt that you know what you're talking about, and I wouldn't want to get in the way of you setting things straight about Pure Land Buddhism, if not for my sake then for the sake of the other people reading this thread. And that is not sarcasm.

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Re: Pure Land devotional practices and the Suddhavasa

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:59 am

Kenshou wrote:Are you shutting the door on me or opening it? I can't tell.

Either way, I don't doubt that you know what you're talking about, and I wouldn't want to get in the way of you setting things straight about Pure Land Buddhism, if not for my sake then for the sake of the other people reading this thread. And that is not sarcasm.


Are you own earlier comments opening the door, or shutting it? I can't tell, either.
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: Huifeng's Prajnacara Blog.

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Re: Pure Land devotional practices and the Suddhavasa

Postby Kenshou » Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:16 am

I didn't even know I was touching it. But enough door talk.

I didn't try to be condescending towards pure land buddhism. Maybe what I said was so (unwittingly) silly that you thought I couldn't possibly be serious. I'm not playing the blame-game here and saying that you're the one at fault because of your perceptions, because I can understand in retrospect how it could seem snarky.

So if you're willing to share what you know, I'd welcome it. Door's open.

(Oh, and thanks Lazyeye, I overlooked your post there somehow.)


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