Showing posts with label LARGER SUTRA ON AMIDA BUDDHA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LARGER SUTRA ON AMIDA BUDDHA. Show all posts

Monday, February 18, 2019

To encounter or see Amida’s Light – commentary on the second part of section 11 of the Larger Sutra

Amida's Light sent to His
devotee shown in the lower part 

After describing the twelve Lights of Amida Buddha, Shakyamuni continues:

“If sentient beings encounter His light, their three defilements are removed; they feel tenderness, joy, and pleasure; and good thoughts arise. If sentient beings in the three realms of suffering see His light they will all be relieved and freed from affliction. At the end of their lives they all reach liberation.”[1]

All the benefits enumerated there, like the removal of defilements, the feeling of tenderness, joy and pleasure, apparition of good thoughts, freedom from suffering and liberation, come from the Light of Amida and become effective due to encountering (“if sentient beings encounter His light”) and seeing this Light (“if sentient beings in the three realms of suffering see His light”).

Friday, February 15, 2019

The twelve Lights of Amida Buddha – commentary on the first part of section 11 of the Larger Sutra

Image of Amida Buddha at the altar
of Amidaji temple
  fragment from my commentary on the Larger Sutra

The whole section eleven should be read in connection with my explanation of the 12th Vow where Bodhisattva Dharmakara promised that His Light as a Buddha will be infinite.
Now Shakyamuni himself speaks about the Light of Amida Buddha, praising it as supreme among the lights of all Buddhas and describing it as having twelve special characteristics, corresponding to twelve names:

 “‘The majestic light of Buddha Amitayus (Amida) is the most exalted. No other Buddha’s light can match His. The light of some Buddhas illuminates a hundred Buddha lands, and that of others a thousand Buddha lands. Briefly, that of Amitayus illuminates the eastern Buddha lands as numerous as the sands of the Ganges River. In the same way, it illuminates the Buddha lands in the south, west, and north, in each of the four intermediate directions, and above and below. […]

Saturday, January 26, 2019

The story of Dharmakara becoming Amida Buddha – commentary on the sections 4 to 10 of the Larger Sutra

Now let’s see what Shakyamuni told us about Amida Buddha and His Pure Land.
In section 4 of the Larger Sutra He first enumerates many Buddhas of the past eons of time who appeared in samsara to teach the Dharma: “in the distant past – innumerable, incalculable and inconceivable kalpas ago…”[1]. Doing so, He showed to us that human history, as we know it, is only a very small fraction of the endless and inconceivable time of the universe and that the various world systems and beings living in them had existed before the appearance of this earth. So He mentioned 52 great Buddhas who appeared in samsara, taught the Dharma and entered Nirvana before the story of Amida actually happened. After these 52 Buddhas, another great Buddha named Lokesvararaja appeared, still in a distant, and impossible to explain, time and place:

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Shakyamuni Buddha’s supreme appearance and the reason for His coming to this world – commentary on the section 3 of the Larger Sutra

Shakyamuni Buddha with
Amida Buddha
on His head 
fragment from my commentary on the Larger Sutra 
                      - this is a work in progress and under constant revision - 
Something very important happens with Shakyamuni Buddha just before starting to teach this sutra, and we must understand its significance:

“At that time all the senses of the World-honored One radiated joy, His entire body appeared serene and glorious, and His august countenance looked most majestic.”[1]

Ananda noticed this and realized that there is a reason, a holy intention of Shakyamuni for manifesting such a wonderful appearance like never before:

Friday, November 2, 2018

"Thus have I heard" - The time and place of the deliverance of this sutra and the qualities of the audience – commentary on the section 1 and 2 of the Larger Sutra

Shakyamuni Buddha teaching
the Larger Sutra

“Thus have I heard” is the starting formula of any genuine teaching (sutra) of Shakyamuni Buddha. It represents the testimony of Ananda and other direct disciples of the Enlightened One, as well as their successors, that what they transmitted to us, the future generations, is the authentic teaching of Shakyamuni himself, and not something they invented. These words are always followed by the historical place where the sutra was delivered – in our case, the Vulture Peak in Rajagṛha, and the audience gathered there to listen to it:

“Thus have I heard. At one time the Buddha was staying on Vulture Peak in Rājagṛha with a large company of twelve thousand monks. They were all great sages who had already attained supernatural powers. Their names included the following: Venerable Ājnāta kauṇḍinya, Venerable Aśvajit, Venerable Vāṣpa, Venerable Mahānāma, Venerable Bhadrajit, Ven erable Vimala, Venerable Yaśodeva, Venerable Subāhu, Venerable Pūrṇaka, Venerable Gavāṃpati, Venerable Uruvilvākāśyapa, Venerable Gayākāśyapa, Venerable Nadīkāśyapa, Venerable Mahākāśyapa, Venerable Śāriputra, Venerable Mahāmaudgalyāyana, Venerable Kapphiṇa, Venerable Mahākauṣṭhila, Venerable Mahākātyāyana, Venerable Mahācunda, Venerable Pūrṇa maitrāyaṇīputra, Venerable Aniruddha, Venerable Revata, Venerable Kimpila, Venerable Amogharāja, Venerable Pārāyaṇika, Venerable Vakkula, Venerable Nanda, Venerable Svāgata, Venerable Rāhula, and Venerable Ānanda. All of these were elders.

Friday, April 5, 2013

My book - The 48 Vows of Amida Buddha (free online edition)


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NEW poems by Gansen John Welch