Friday, December 28, 2018

Is Amida Buddha a real person or a symbol/metaphor?

the altar of Amidaji temple
- fragment from a letter to a friend - 

Question: Is Amida a symbol or metaphor for Wisdom and Compassion? Some scholars nowadays support this idea.

Answer: Those scholars are wrong. Amida Buddha is NOT a symbol or metaphor for Wisdom and Compassion, but a real, existing Enlightened Person possessing Infinite Wisdom and Compassion. 
I always insist on the actual, literal existence of Amida Buddha and His Pure Land because without realizing and accepting this existence, faith of unenlightened people becomes abstract and false. There can be no real faith without a real object of faith – in our case, Amida Buddha.
If you can’t say it to yourself and others that the object of your faith is a real, living Buddha, then you don’t have faith. No matter how great scholar you are, if your knowledge and study has not simplified your faith, and if you can’t talk about faith in simple terms, then you don’t have faith.

If you can’t simply say that Amida is a real Buddha and His Pure Land is a real enlightened place then you are actually entrusting in your own unenlightened mind and mind categories, so you don’t have faith.

Always keep this teaching in your heart – Amida is NOT an abstract concept, but a living Buddha with whom you can communicate by saying His Name in faith.
Honen Shonin also said, and we must bow to his golden words:

„Amida Buddha never fails to hear you, regardless of time and circumstances”.

"When sentient beings constantly and reverently prostrate themselves before Amida Buddha with their body, Amida Buddha will see them. When they arouse themselves to practice and to always recite with their lips the Name of Amida Buddha, Amida Buddha will hear them. When they constantly think of Amida Buddha in their hearts, Amida Buddha will think of them. In these three kinds of karmic acts, Amida Buddha and sentient beings are not separate from each other. Hence, they are called intimate karmic relations.
Therefore, if you hold a rosary, Amida Buddha will see it. If you think in your mind to recite the nembutsu, Amida Buddha will, in His mind, think of you."

Please carefully study these articles carefully so that you receive the true teaching on Amida Buddha and His Pure Land:

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