View Full Version : Pure land

31 Jul 11, 06:35
I'm interested in learning more about pure land but I don't see anything near where I live is there any resources available for me to check out?

Lazy Eye
31 Jul 11, 13:49
Hi Jupermadcat,

You could start with this informative little book by Shi Wu Ling:

In One Lifetime (http://www.abrc.org.au/In%20One%20Lifetime_%20Pure%20Land%20Buddhism.pdf)

Also, which particular form of Pure Land were you interested in? The Japanese schools (Jodo Shu, Jodo Shinshu) differ in some significant respects from their Chinese counterparts.

31 Jul 11, 14:53
Here's some resources...

This is recommendable: Buddhism of Wisdom and Faith (http://www.ymba.org/BWF/bwf0.htm)

From the Chinese Mahayana Pure Land Tradition:
It's the 5 Sutras & 1 Sastra for Pure Landers: http://www.amtb-usa.org/eabs1-1.htm

A. The Threefold Pure Land Sutras: (titles vary from translation to translation)
The Buddha Speaks on Amitabha Sutra (http://cttbusa.org/amitabha/amitabha.htm)
The Buddha Speaks on the Larger Amitayus Sutra: (http://buddhistfaith.tripod.com/purelandscriptures/id2.html)
The Buddha Speaks on Visualization of Amitayus Sutra (http://buddhistfaith.tripod.com/purelandscriptures/id5.html)

B. Pure Land Exhortation Sutras:
Chapter 40 Avatamsaka Sutra (http://cttbusa.org/avatamsaka/avatamsaka40.asp)
Shurangama Sutra: Mahastamaprapta's Insight: (http://www.sutrasmantras.info/sutra08.html)

C. Vasubandhu's Commentary: Jodoron (Discourse on the Pure Land) (http://www12.canvas.ne.jp/horai/jodoron.htm)

Other Classical/Modern Commentarial/Story Links as below:
Pure Land Pure Mind (http://www.sinc.sunysb.edu/Clubs/buddhism/pureland/chuhung/chuhung1.html)
TAMING THE MONKEY MIND (http://www.ymba.org/monkey/monkyfrm.htm)
Mind-Seal of the Buddhas (http://www.ymba.org/freebooks_main.html)
Pure Land Zen, Zen Pure Land (http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/yin_kuang.pdf)
Pure Land of the Patriarchs (http://www.ymba.org/han/hanfrm.htm)
Pure Land Buddhism:Dialogues with Ancient Masters (http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/pureland.pdf)
Ten Doubts about the Pure Land (http://www.purelandbuddhism.com/10Doubts.pdf)
Introduction to the Pure Land 1 (http://www.amtbweb.org/tchet260.htm)
Introduction to the Pure Land 2 (http://www.amtbweb.org/tchet220.htm)
The Amitabha Sutra and the Pure Land School (http://www.blia.org/english/publications/booklet/pages/14.htm)
Commentary on the Infinite Life Sutra (http://www.buddhist-elibrary.org/library/view.php?adpath=134)
Commentary on the Amitabha Sutra (http://cttbusa.org/amitabhacommentary/contents.htm)
Foundations of Ethics and Practice in Chinese Pure Land Buddhism (http://www.buddhiststudies.org.au/Downloads/Seminar%20Series/Foundations%20and%20Ethics%20and%20Practice%20in%2 0Chinese%20Pure%20Land%20-%20Charles%20B%20Jones..pdf)
Pure Land Dharma Talks (http://cttbusa.org/listen/listen2_17.asp)
Buddha Recitation Session Talks (http://cttbusa.org/listen/listen2_16.asp)
Records of the Pure Land (http://cttbusa.org/vbs_pureland/pureland_contents.asp)
Entering the Lotus Land at Ease (http://cttbusa.org/enterlotus/enter_lotusland.asp)
A Lotus Flower Blossoms Under Each Step (http://cttbusa.org/lotus_luo/lotus_luo.asp)
Amitabha Buddha Recitation (http://cttbusa.org/amitabha_session/amitabha_session.asp)

31 Jul 11, 14:56
Part One: Other Academic references: (from a learned scholar on another site)

The Pure Land Tradition: History and Development (http://www.amazon.com/Pure-Land-Tradition-Development-Berkeley/dp/0895810921/ref=sr_1_29?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1297606255&sr=1-29)
This new collection includes the latest scholarship on one of the most important strains of Buddhism, the Pure Land Tradition. The essays trace its historical evolution from its origins in India through its development in China to medieval Japan.

Interpreting Amida: History and Orientalism in the Study of Pure Land Buddhism (http://www.amazon.com/Interpreting-Amida-Orientalism-Buddhism-Buddhist/dp/0791433102/ref=sr_1_16?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1297606226&sr=1-16)
The author shows that Pure Land Buddhism, despite a Mahayana Buddhist philosophical basis, has paralleled the social and political qualities associated with the Judeo-Christian tradition. It has variously been threatening to mainstream Westerners, uninteresting to Westerners seeking the exotic, and disagreeable to cultural brokers on all sides who want to depict Japanese culture as radically opposed to the West. The faulty appreciation of Pure Land Buddhism is one of the leading world examples of a counterproductive orientalism that restricts rather than improves cross-cultural communication.

Approaching the Land of Bliss: Religious Praxis in the Cult of Amitabha (http://www.amazon.com/Approaching-Land-Bliss-Religious-Amitabha/dp/0824825780/ref=sr_1_40?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1297606291&sr=1-40)
Approaching the Land of Bliss is a rich collection of studies of texts and ritual practices devoted to Amitabha, ranging from Tibet to Japan and from early medieval times to the present.

The cult of Amitabha is identified as an integral part of Tibet's Mahayana Buddhist tradition in the opening essay by Matthew Kapstein. Next Daniel Getz, Jr., locates the Pure Land patriarch Shengcheng more firmly in a Huayan context and his Pure Conduct society not so much in the propagation of Pure Land praxis but as a means of modifying anti-Buddhist sentiments. Jacqueline Stone's study of the practice of reciting nenbutsu at the time of death gives us an understanding of both the practice itself and the motivating logic behind it. Kakuban--the founder of the one major "schism" in the history of the Shingon tradition--is placed in a typology of Japanese Pure Land thought in James Sanford's study of Kakuban's Amida hishaku. Hank Glassman contributes an essay on the "subsidiary cult" of Chujohime, which derived from the cult of Amitabha but grew to such importance that it displaced the latter as the focus of worship in medieval Japan.

In his examination of "radical Amidism," Fabio Rambelli discusses different forms of Japanese Pure Land thought that constitute divergences from the mainstream or normative forms. Richard Jaffe examines the work of the seventeenth-century cleric Ungo Kiyo, who sought to match his teaching to the needs and capacities of his disciples. Todd Lewis highlights the importance of cultic life and finds traces of the desire for rebirth into Sukhavati in stupa worship among Newari Buddhists. Charles Jones' "thick description" of a one-day recitation retreat in Taiwan provides us with a closer look at how the cult of Amitabha continues in present-day East Asia.

Visions of Sukhavati: Shan-Tao's Commentary on the Kuan Wu-Liang Shou-Fo Ching (http://www.amazon.com/Visions-Sukhavati-Shan-Taos-Commentary-Wu-Liang/dp/0791425207/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2D1PRMDT6GDWM&colid=195B3DNC7VI77)
T'ang monk Shan-tao was instrumental in the propagation and popularity of this devotional school. He was an ascetic and serious meditator who followed the techniques of visualization explained in the Sutra on Visualizing Buddha Amita, and his commentary on this text was later considered to be his most outstanding work. Western authors, however, misrepresent Shan-tao because they follow the lead of Japanese Jodo Shinshu masters who deemphasized meditative practices. With the hope that old stereotypes will be dropped, this book lets the Chinese texts speak for themselves.

The Three Pure Land Sutras (Bdk English Tripitaka Translation Series) (http://www.amazon.com/Three-Sutras-English-Tripitaka-Translation/dp/1886439184/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1306871359&sr=8-1)
This is a Revised Second Edition of translation from the Chinese by Hisao Inagaki. These three sutras make up the most important scriptures of the Pure Land School of Buddhism, which centers around the Buddha of Infinite Light & Life, known in Japanese as the Amida Buddha. [Taisho Tripitaka #360, #365, and #366] [Ch: Wu-liang-shou-ching; Kuan-wu-liang-shou-fo-ching; A-mi-t'o-ching] [Jpn: Mu-ryo-ju-kyo; Kan-mu-ryo-ju-butsu; A-mi-da-kyo]

Land of Bliss, the Paradise of the Buddha of Measureless Light: Sanskrit and Chinese Versions (http://www.amazon.com/Bliss-Paradise-Buddha-Measureless-Light/dp/0824817605/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1306871957&sr=1-1)
This is a translation of two Buddhist texts on what is arguably the most popular of all Buddhist conceptions of an ideal world, the "Land of Bliss" of the Buddha Amitabha, the Buddha of Infinite Light. The two texts, known to Western students of Buddhism as the "Smaller" and "Larger" Sukhavatiyuha Sutra, explain the conditions that lead to rebirth in the Pure Land and the manner in which human beings are reborn there

Living in Amida's Universal Vow: Essays on Shin Buddhism (http://www.amazon.com/Living-Amidas-Universal-Vow-Philosophy/dp/0941532542/ref=pd_sim_b_12)
This is the first comprehensive collection of essays on Shin Buddhism by many of the most important Shin scholars and religious authorities of the last one hundred years.

Jodo Shinshu: Shin Buddhism in Medieval Japan (http://www.amazon.com/Jodo-Shinshu-Buddhism-Medieval-Buddhist/dp/0824826205/ref=pd_sim_b_17)
The complex development of Shin Buddhism from its simple beginnings as a small, rural primarily lay Buddhist movement in the 12th century to its rapid growth as a powerful urban religion in the 15th century

Toward a Contemporary Understanding of Pure Land Buddhism: Creating a Shin Buddhist Theology in a Religiously Plural World (http://www.amazon.com/Toward-Contemporary-Understanding-Pure-Buddhism/dp/0791445305/ref=pd_sim_b_16)
Japanese Pure Land thought brought about a major development in Buddhist tradition by evolving a path to enlightenment that is pursued while carrying on life in society. It is rooted in the Mahayana ideal of compassion and in the bodhisattva, or being of wisdom, who vows to ferry all living things to the other shore of awakening. In this book, three Buddhist scholars utilize hermeneutic thought, process theology, and the mandala of contemplation of Buddhism to address issues of modernity and religious values in the world today.

Buddha of Infinite Light: The Teachings of Shin Buddhism, the Japanese Way of Wisdom and Compassion (http://www.amazon.com/Buddha-Infinite-Light-Teachings-Compassion/dp/1570624569/ref=pd_sim_b_6)
In this book, based on several lectures he gave in the 1950s, D. T. Suzuki illuminates the deep meaning of Shin and its rich archetypal imagery, providing a scholarly and affectionate introduction to this sometimes misunderstood tradition of Buddhist practice.

Kyôgyôshinshô: On Teaching, Practice, Faith, and Enlightenment (Bdk English Tripitaka Translation Series) (http://www.amazon.com/Ky%C3%B4gy%C3%B4shinsh%C3%B4-Teaching-Enlightenment-Tripitaka-Translation/dp/1886439168/ref=pd_sim_b_7)
Translated by Hisao Inagaki, the Kyôgyôshinshô is the magnum opus of Shinran Shonin (1173–1262), founder of the Jôdo Shinshu school of Pure Land Buddhism. This work is a collection of three hundred and seventy-six passages from sixty-two sutras, discourses, and commentaries, with Shinran’s own notes and commentary, organized into a coherent and comprehensive explication of the Pure Land teaching.

Tannisho: Passages Deploring Deviations of Faith and Rennyo Shonin Ofumi: The Letters of Rennyo (Bdk English Tripitaka Translation Series) (http://www.amazon.com/Tannisho-Deploring-Deviations-Tripitaka-Translation/dp/1886439036/ref=pd_sim_b_10)
Tannisho: Translated from the Japanese by Shojun Bando with Harold Stewart. This was written by one of Shinran Shonin's disciples to refute deviations from the true teaching of Shinran Shonin, founder of the True Pure Land Sect (Jodo Shinshu). [Taisho Tripitaka #2661] [Jpn: Tan-ni-sho]

Rennyo Ofumi: Translated from the Japanese by Ann T. Rogers and Minor L. Rogers. This is a collection of 80 pastoral letters written by Rennyo Shonin, the 8th Head Priest of the True Pure Land Sect (Jodo Shinshu). [Taisho Tripitaka #2668] [Jpn: Ren-nyo-sho-nin-o-fumi]

31 Jul 11, 14:58
Part Two: Other Academic references: (from a learned scholar on another site)

Honen's Senchakushu : Passages on the Selection of the Nembutsu in the Original Vow (Senchaku Hongan Nembutsu Shu (Classics in East Asian Buddhism) (http://www.amazon.com/Honens-Senchakushu-Passages-Selection-Nembutsu/dp/0824821106/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1306872210&sr=8-1)
The Senchakushu was transcribed from Honen's oral dictation in 1198. It consists of sixteen chapters and occupies twenty pages in the Taisho canon (T. 83, 1-20; SHZ. 310-350). Each chapter begins with a heading explaining the content of the chapter and then presents quotations from the Pure Land sutras and the works of major Pure Land scholars, followed by Honen's comments and explanations interspersed between and after the various quotes.

Senchaku Hongan Nembutsu Shu, A Collection of Passages on the Nembutsu Chosen in the Original Vow (http://www.amazon.com/Senchaku-Nembutsu-Collection-Passages-Original/dp/1886439052/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1306949420&sr=1-1)
Translated from the Japanese by Morris Augustine and Tessho Kondo. This is the principle work by Genku, founder of the Pure Land School in Japan, and is the most important single literary work in establishing the Pure Land School as an independent school of Japanese Buddhism. [Taisho Tripitaka #2608] [Jpn: Sen-chaku-hon-gan-nembutsu-shu]

The Promise of Amida Buddha: Honen's Path to Bliss (http://www.amazon.com/Promise-Amida-Buddha-Honens-Bliss/dp/0861716965/ref=pd_sim_b_50)
The Promise of Amida Buddha is the first complete English translation of a seminal collection of writings by the Japanese Pure Land school’s founder, Honen-shonin (1133-1212). The so-called Japanese Anthology (Wago Toroku)collects his surviving short writings composed in Japanese, including letters of exhortation and public pronouncements. The vital writings provide a window into Honen’s life and the turbulent era in which he lived and taught.

No Abode: The Record of Ippen (http://www.amazon.com/No-Abode-Ryukoku-Ibs-Buddhist-Tradition/dp/0824819977/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1306872361&sr=1-3)
Ippen (1239-1289) was a wandering "hijiri" (holy man) and religious leader whose movement developed into one of the major schools of Japanese Buddhism. This text presents a translation of all of Ippen's extant writings, including letters and verse, together with records of his spoken words.

Path of No Path: Contemporary Studies in Pure Land Buddhism Honoring Roger Corless (http://www.amazon.com/Path-No-Contemporary-Buddhism-Honoring/dp/1886439419/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1306872505&sr=1-1)
Roger Corless pursued his own path, one he described as a path with heart. This enabled him to bring new perspectives to the study of Buddhism in general and Pure Land Buddhism in particular. Honoring his life and his contribution to the field, this collection brings together ten essays by his colleagues and friends. These articles cover a range of topics, from the practice of Pure Land to its historical transmission and its contemporary interpretation. Contributors include Harvey Aronson, Gordon Bermant, Alfred Bloom, Ruben Habito, Charles Jones, Charles Orzech, Richard Payne, Charles Prebish, James Sanford, and Kenneth Tanaka, as well as a remembrance by one of Corless's students, Arthur Holder. As is only appropriate in memory of a pioneer in the field of Pure Land Buddhist studies, this work itself contributes to the further development of research and interpretation of the tradition.

Shin Buddhism: Historical, Textual, and Interpretive Studies (http://www.amazon.com/Shin-Buddhism-Historical-Textual-Interpretive/dp/1886439400/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1306872597&sr=1-1)
The Institute of Buddhist Studies, based in Berkeley, California, has for many years received generous support from the Numata family, founder of Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai (Society for the Promotion of Buddhism) and the Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research. In 1986 Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai established the Numata Endowment, which has provided support for many guest lecturers and visiting scholars over the last twenty years. In addition, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai also supports publication of the Institute's journal, Pacific World: Journal of the Institute of Buddhist Studies. It seems fitting, therefore, to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of the Numata Endowment with the publication of this collection of exemplary essays from Pacific World.

31 Jul 11, 14:59
Part Three: Other Academic references: (from a learned scholar on another site)

Plain Words on the Pure Land Way (http://stores.homestead.com/BCABookstore/Detail.bok?no=1636)
Published by Ryukoku University in 1989, Plain Words on the Pure Land Way is a collection of sayings that guided the lives of wandering monks in medieval Japan. Long appreciated for their incisiveness and immediacy, these sayings provide a vivid glimpse into the thought and experience of people who dedicated themselves to the nembutsu¿the utterance of the Name of Amida Buddha¿during the tumultuous period when it first emerged as a way to enlightenment available to all. This collection is highly regarded not only as a document revealing the spirit of the nascent Pure Land path before the rigid division into doctrinal schools, but also as an important example of the literature of the recluse's thatched hut (soan bungaku) and of Buddhist writings in the vernacular (kana hogo). Japanese text included.

Letters of the Nun Eshinni (http://stores.homestead.com/BCABookstore/Detail.bok?no=931)
Eshinni (1182-1268?), a Buddhist nun and the wife of Shinran (1173-1262), the celebrated founder of the True Pure Land, or Shin, school of Buddhism, was largely unknown until the discovery of a collection of her letters in 1921. In this study, James C. Dobbins, a leading scholar of Pure Land Buddhism, has made creative use of these letters to shed new light on life and religion in medieval Japan. He provides a complete translation of the letters and an explication of them that reveals the character and flavor of early Shin Buddhism. Readers will come away with a new perspective on Pure Land scholarship and a vivid image of Eshinni and the world in which she lived. After situating the ideas and practices of Pure Land Buddhism in the context of the actual living conditions of thirteenth-century Japan, Dobbins examines the portrayal of women in Pure Land Buddhism, the great range of lifestyles found among medieval women and nuns, and how they constructed a meaningful religious life amid negative stereotypes. He goes on to analyze aspects of medieval religion that have been omitted in our modern-day account of Pure Land and tries to reconstruct the religious assumptions of Eshinni and Shinran in their own day. A prevailing theme that runs throughout the book is the need to look beyond idealized images of Buddhism found in doctrine to discover the religion as it was lived and practiced. Scholars and students of Buddhism, Japanese history, women's studies, and religious studies will find much in this engaging work that is thought-provoking and insightful.

Renegade Monk: Honen and Japanese Pure Land Buddhism (http://stores.homestead.com/BCABookstore/Detail.bok?no=2091)
Opening with the destruction and chaos that beleaguered Kyoto during Honen's lifetime, Soho Machida explores Honen's social context to discover the roots of his thought and the source of his popularity. The Old Buddhist regime had a stranglehold on peasants, he shows, by concocting images of vindictive spirits, hell, and an apocalyptic collapse of the law in these chaotic times. Machida asserts that when Honen countered such negative, menacing images by focusing his imagination on the Pure Land and actually affirming death, he became not only a radical thinker but also the leader of a revolutionary social movement; a medieval Japanese "liberation theology."

Rennyo and the Roots of Modern Japanese Buddhism (http://stores.homestead.com/BCABookstore/Detail.bok?no=931)
Rennyo Shonin (1415-1499) is considered the "second founder" of Shin Buddhism. Under his leadership, the Honganji branch grew in size and power, becoming a national organization with great wealth and influence. Rennyo's success lay in conveying an attractive spiritual message while exerting effective administrative control. A savvy politician as well as religious leader, ennyo played a significant role in political, economic, and institutional developments. Though he is undeniably one of the most influential persons in the history of Japanese religion, his legacy remains enigmatic and largely overlooked by the West. This volume offers an assessment of Rennyo's contribution to Buddhist thought and the Honganji religious organization. A collection of 16 previously unpublished essays by both Japanese and non-Japanese scholars in the areas of historical studies, Shinshu studies, and comparative religion, it is the first book to confront many of the major questions surrounding the phenomenal growth of Honganji under Rennyo's leadership. The authors examine such topics as the source of Rennyo's charisma, the soteriological implications of his thought against the background of other movements in Pure Land Buddhism, and the relationship between his ideas and the growth of his church. This collection is an important first step in bringing this important figure to an audience outside Japan. It will be of significant interest to scholars in the fields of Japanese religion, Japanese social history, comparative religion, and the sociology of religion.

The Origins and Development of Pure Land Buddhism (http://stores.homestead.com/BCABookstore/Detail.bok?no=630)
In this book, Mark Blum offers a critical look at the thought and impact of the late 13th-century Buddhist historian Gyonen (1240-1321) and the emergent Pure Land school of Buddhism founded by Honen (1133-1212). Blum also provides a clear and fully annotated translation of Gyonen's Jodo homon genrusho, the first history of Pure Land Buddhism.

Charisma and Community Formation in Medieval Japan: The Case of the Yugyo-Ha, 1300-1700 (http://www.amazon.com/Charisma-Community-Formation-Medieval-Japan/dp/1885445024/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1306949223&sr=1-1)
The Yugyô-ha achieved success by basing its religious authority on a combination of Pure Land mysticism and the practices of fundraising hijiri. Between 1300 and 1700, the Pure Land Buddhist religious order known as the Ippen school Yugyô-ha (later the Jishu) established itself as the leading representative of nembutsu propagation in Japan. The theme of the order's history is the development of religious authority as a result of the struggle to normalize relations among the official head, sometimes obstreperous religious, and often interfering (usually warrior) lay patrons. This study demonstrates the value of the articulation in organizational studies of Weber's concept of charisma as a successful social relationship as well as that of a chosen career determined by culture and tradition. Indeed, the success of the Yugyô-ha was due to its ability to seize on the advantages of combining the principles and practices of two existing traditions, Pure Land mysticism and the fundraising hijiri movement.

31 Jul 11, 15:25
Before I forget...

In Mahayana Buddhism, generally, this term 'Pure Land' is on the teaching and practice on the dharma door of buddhanusmrti (contemplation of the Buddha's virtues, qualities, name & et al.) but not limited to the specific study and practice of Amitabha Buddha and his Sukhavati but any Pure Land of other Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in the tenfold directions but somehow the term has stuck with being associated with those who study and practice the dharma door of buddhanusmrti specifically dealing with Amitabha Buddha and His Sukhavati, being the most popular practice in East Asian Mahayana and also in Vajrayana based meditation & aspirational practices for rebirth in a Pure Land and their practice of phowa/powa or saṃkrānti.

The popularity is mainly attributed to its accessibility of practice to all & the various canonical exhortations of sūtras and śāstras, where Amitabha's Sukhavati and its related practice are praised as the foremost and most excellent of all expedient means and dharma doors. But of course having said that, it is also a general opinion that the best dharma door for one is the one that fits most with one's affinity and conditions for one's Liberation.

By right, from what I have read and known, 'Pure Land' or jìng tǔ is a Chinese translation that became popular and stuck as a designation whereas 'Sukhāvatī ' in one translation meant as 'Land of Bliss' or some translate as 'Land of Ultimate Bliss'. Of course when one reads on the qualities of the Sukhavati, both qualities of purity and bliss are present.

31 Jul 11, 16:50
What are the differences between Jodo Shu, & Jodo Shinshu and how do they differ from their Chinese counterparts? pure land seems to resonate with me but I'm a beginner in Buddhism.

31 Jul 11, 18:39
In my worthless opinion, in short:

a. Jodo Shu under Honen is said to have closer ideals to the Chinese Trad whereas Jodo Shinshu has certain unique 'radical ideas' of Shinran Shonin

b. The 'other power' is emphasised more in the Japanese counterparts whereas the Chinese Trad places equal importance on both 'self and other power'. Self effort is prized alongside the Other Power in the latter

c. So based on (b), the Japanese Trad views citta-prasada or clarity of mind/shinjin/zhen xin as a 'gift' from the other power to ignorant & samsaric minds through His Compassionate Vow Power and the Chinese Trad views it as an ongoing and gradual self effort of development aided alongside with the expedient of the Vow Power.

d. And the practice of buddhanusmrti or buddha mindfulness/contemplation/nembutsu/nian fo is held by the former as 'gratitude' for the 'gift' of irreversibility of Nirvana's assurance via Amida's Vow Power. The latter instead asserts it is an important expedient of both self and other power for the rebirth in Sukhavati on the causal ground and the final liberation of Nirvana on the fruition ground.

See also: 1 (http://www.shindharmanet.com/writings/loyalty.htm) & 2 (http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-BE/jbe105257.htm)

Lazy Eye
31 Jul 11, 19:57
What are the differences between Jodo Shu, & Jodo Shinshu and how do they differ from their Chinese counterparts? pure land seems to resonate with me but I'm a beginner in Buddhism.

As I understand it (and I'm no expert), Jodo Shinshu is all about developing deep faith (shinjin) in Amida Buddha and his Primal Vow. Shiran taught that, due to the extent of our defilements, there is nothing any of us can do to achieve our own liberation. Therefore the path to Buddhahood is through placing trust in Amida -- i.e. it's completely "other power" as plwk mentioned above.

So for Jodo Shinshu practitioners the whole point is to develop this abiding trust. This is different from, say, Chinese Pure Land where there is still the idea of "achieving" rebirth in sukhavati through moral behavior and chanting practice.

The Buddhist ethical precepts don't play the same role in Jodo Shinshu as in other Buddhist traditions. They are more like guidelines and Shinran considered it a mistake to think that following them will increase one's chances of rebirth in Sukhavati. His school of Buddhism was very popular among various classes of people -- prostitutes, hunters and fishermen, thieves, soldiers -- who felt that otherwise they were just destined for hell. Shinshu is egalitarian and inclusive; it doesn't matter who you are or what you have done, only trust in Amida is important.

If you're interested in this strand of Mahayana Buddhism, a very good introduction is Taitetsu Unno's River of Fire, River of Water (http://www.amazon.com/River-Fire-Water-Taitetsu-Unno/dp/0385485115).

The great Japanese haiku poet Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827) was a Jodo Shinshu priest and his poems convey the perspective well, IMHO.

Hope some of this is helpful!

05 Aug 11, 15:27
Nothing is ever simple is it lol thank you very much for the information I will read this.