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Flashcards in Pure Land buddhism Deck (42)
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What are the main teachings or sutras called in the Pure Land and when were they written?

Larger and Smaller Land of Bliss sutras. Late second century!


What was the main intent or purpose of the larger land of bliss sutra?

Tell the story about Amitabha Buddha, the Buddha of Immersurable light.


What did Bodhisattva Dharmakara learn about the power a Buddha can have?

Requires faith in Amitabha Buddha and a sincere desire to be born in the Buddha realm. Buddha had the power to create Pure Lands.


What did the Buddha promise or resolve to do as a Bodhisattva?

Promised that he would not become a Buddha until he gained the powers needed to produce such a pure Buddha realm. The 18th vow guarantees that those who have sincere faith and devotion.


Who did the Bodhisattva Dharmakara become and where does he now reside?

Now Amitabha Buddha living in the Buddha realm called the “Land of Bliss” (sukhavati).


Why is this story important for Pure Land Buddhists?

Important part for the Buddhist devotional practice and to be in the Land of Bliss calling out ‘Nembutsu’ (I call out to Amida to save me).


How can a Pure Land Buddhist be reborn in the Pure Land or Land of Bliss?

Sincere desire to be born in the Buddha realm. Generate the thought of becoming a Buddha; virtuous qualities.


What did the East Asian Schools of Pure Land Buddhism emphasise when it comes to being born in the Pure Land?

The saving grace of Amitabha for birth in the Pure Land of Bliss. Seek refuge and trust in Amida’s Primal or Original vow to save you.


Once there in the Pure Land, what is the goal or rebirth in the Pure Land?

Once enlightened & develops the Bodhisattva aspiration- one “returns” (genzo) to sangha.


If Pure Land Buddhists devote themselves to Amida Buddha, what do they believe will happen to them when the hour of death approaches?

Amida Buddha will stand before them, surrounded by a host of monks and Bodhisattva ready to take them to the Pure Land.


According to Alfred Bloom, what does Amida Buddha symbolises?

Spiritual richness and meaning of his Name for countless believers in East Asia. He is the symbol of indefinable and in-conceivable reality, which embraces all life.


Why do Pure Land intone or invoke the name of Amida Buddha when they chant “Namu Amida Butsu”?

Namu (I take refuge in) refers to our foolish ordinary or “foolish” being and Amida Butsu, the infinite. By chanting nembutsu they receive strength for living & courage.


Who was Amida Buddha and why is he important to Pure Land Buddhists?

Amida was born as a king and became a monk with the name of Dharmakara. He set 48 vows before entering nirvana. Believed that Amida has the power to save human beings.


How did Pure Land Buddhism start?

Started in lay movement in Ghandara. Now Pakistan and Afghanistan.


Why is Amida Buddha’s 18th vow important?

because not to attain the supreme enlightenment. His intention to create a Pure Land where beings can reborn if they say his name.


In Amida’s 18th vow it states “saying my name even 10 times”. What does “Name” refer to?

Nembutsu homage to Amida Buddha and to contemplate Amida but took time to understand him.


What is invocation of the name mean?

The action of invoking something someone or something. Calling upon someone. Pure Land Buddhists- falling up the help of Amida to save them.


What could be said about the origins of Buddhism in Japan?

Heian Period (794-1185). According to Nihongi, the ancient chronicles of Japan from 720 AD, a Buddha statue and some sutras were sent to the Japanese emperor from a Korean King ( Kamukara Period 1185- 1333)


What are the two main sects of Amida Buddhism in Japan and in what period of Japanese history did they emerge and flourish?

Jodo she and Jodo Shin Shu. During the Kamakura period (1185-1333).


What does Jodo mean and who founded it and was one of his important disciples?

Jodo is the Japanese for ‘the Pure Land’ and Shu means sect. Founded by Honen. Most important one of them was Shinran.


Why was early Amida Buddhism “ Jodo Shu” subject to Nembutsu ban?

Because the new popular forms of Buddhism preachers the recitation of the prayer Namu Amida Butsu. Some of Honen’s followers behaves in an unruly matter.


How does saying Nembutsu in Shin Buddhism differ from early Amida Buddhism (Jodo Shu)?

Jodo Shu attracts great importance to the repetition of Nembutsu, whereas Shin Buddhism gives faith the pride of place; and Jodo Shu does not reject good acts as a means of salvation.


In what way did the Japanese teacher Genshin and the Chinese Pure Land Patriach Shan-Tao influence Honen Pure Land school?

Genshin taught that chanting Nembutsu was sufficient for rebirth in the Pure Land. Shan-Tao greater emphasised on the Other Power of Amida and less meditation.


What did Honen believe were the two main reasons for chanting Nembutsu?

1) Purify past sins in this life as well.
2) Nembutsu strengthens the 3 states of mind: sincerity, faith and aspiration.


Why did Honen’s “single practice” school meet opposition from Tendai Buddhism?

Tendai leaders felt that Nembutsu should only be used in conjunction with other Buddhists practices.


What is the distinction between the Holy Path and the Pure Land

The gate of the Holy Path is divided into 2 parts: the Mahayana and the Theravada. Even though persons may have studied the Holy Path, should leave and take refuge in the Pure Land.


Honen’s advice concerning Nembutsu practice

Honen emphasised the three states of mind discussed by Shan Tao. Honen interpreted these to mean that one must recite Nembutsu with 1)sincere and devoted mind 2) a mind of deep faith and 3) strong aspiration to be reborn.


Further reasons for what Honen says are the benefits of chanting Nembutsu

1) One’s mind from worldly experiences to an undivided attention to Amida.
2) Nembutsu frees the minds from doubts, disturbing evil or idle thoughts.


How did Shinran view faith (shinjin) in Amida Buddha and why might it said to be going against the teachings of the historical Buddha?

Shinran understood that doing religious practice on the basis of one’s “self power” only strengthens one’s ego. Such practice and any results it may bring are poisoned with ego and selfish desire. True Pure Land must be based on the realisation that all attempts to progress in the spiritual life.


Why does Shinran’s concept of faith turn the tables on traditional Buddhism?

Attaining the goal is another matter. As one advances based on one’s choice and efforts, one realises that the ego is hiding behind all one’s spiritual endeavours. This insight leads to a sense of helplessness.