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preot buddhist Jodo Shinshu presedinte Asociatia Buddhista Jodo Shinshu din Romania

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Orthodox Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Teachings. Official website of Amidaji temple.

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01. The Nembutsu liturgy of Amidaji temple (final version) - Jul 15, 2019 2:59:00 PM
Nembutsu service at Amidaji templeclick aici pentru versiunea  in romana
Although we also have other services, I  decided this will be the main liturgy at Amidaji temple. Unlike other services that you can see in various temples, this one is easier to follow, especially because all parts (including the Three Invitations) are recited, not chanted. 
What makes this service unique is also that it contains various types of recitations of the Name of Amida Buddha taken from the Larger Sutra (like the recitation of the Twelve Lights of Amida), as well as the Ten Character Name and Nine Character Name which were also recited by Shinran Shonin himself from time to time. 

Translations of each phrase to be recited are added so that you can always know what you recite. 

The reason we use this Sino-Japanese transliteration is that people of various countries and languages have a common liturgy when we meet and worship together in the same temple. Thus, be sure we'll do this service when you visit me at Amidaji! Any temple or dojo related with Amidaji that will be open in the future will also have this liturgy. 

A record of an older version can be found here (click here), on my youtube channel. Soon I will also record this new version and post it here. 

Of course, this type of service is NOT an obligation for people to do at home, as the follower can simply say Nembutsu in the form of Namo Amida Bu, Namo Amitabha, Namo  Amituofo, Namo Adida Phat, etc, without anything else. 


click here to download the version in pdf

●●
doshi: BU JO MI DA NYO RAI NIU DO JO
we respectfully call upon Amida Buddha to enter this place of practice[1]
doon: SAN GE RAKUas we joyfully scatter flowers of welcome
doshi: BU JO SHA KA NYO RAI NIU DO JOwe respectfully call upon Shakyamuni Buddha to enter this place of practice doon: SAN GE RAKUas we joyfully scatter flowers of welcome
doshi: BU JO JIP-PO NYO RAI NIU DO JOwe respectfully call upon all Buddhas from the ten directionsdoon: SAN GE RAKU  as we joyfully scatter flowers of welcome●
doshi: NAMO KIE BU, NAMO KIE HO, NAMO KIE SO [2]I take refuge in the Buddha, I take refuge in the Dharma, I take refuge in the Sanghadoon: NAMO KIE BU. NAMO KIE HO. NAMO KIE SOdoon: NAMO KIE BU. NAMO KIE HO. NAMO KIE SOdoon: NAMO KIE BU. NAMO KIE HO. NAMO KIE SO●
doshi: KI MYO JIN JI PO MU GE KO NYO RAI[3] ◙ I take refuge in/Homage to the Tathagata of Unhindered Light Pervading the Ten Quartersdoon: KI MYO JIN JI PO MU GE KO NYO RAI  ◙doon: KI MYO JIN JI PO MU GE KO NYO RAI  ◙doon: KI MYO JIN JI PO MU GE KO NYO RAI  ◙ ●
doshi: NA MO FU KA SHI GI KO NYO RAI [4]◙I take refuge in/Homage to the Tathagata of Inconceivable Light doon: NA MO FU KA SHI GI KO NYO RAI ◙doon: NA MO FU KA SHI GI KO NYO RAI ◙doon: NA MO FU KA SHI GI KO NYO RAI ◙●

doshi: NA MO A MI DA BU[5]◙I take refuge in/Homage to Amida Buddhadoon: NA MO A MI DA BU, NA MO A MI DA BU, NA MO A MI DA BU, NA MO A MI DA BU, NA MO A MI DA BU, NA MO A MI DA BU, NA MO A MI DA BU …………◙●
doshi: NA MO I take refuge in (homage to)
doon: MU RYO KO BU Buddha of Infinite LightMU HEN KO BU Buddha of Boundless LightMU GE KO BU Buddha of Unhindered Light MU TAI KO BU Buddha of Incomparable LightEN NO KO BU Buddha Lord of Blazing LightSHO JO KO BU Buddha of Pure LightKAN GI KO BU Buddha of the Light of JoyCHI E KO BU Buddha of the Light of WisdomFU DAN KO BU Buddha of Uninterrupted LightNAN JI KO BU Buddha of Inconceivable LightMU SHO KO BU Buddha of Inexpressible LightCHO NICHI GAK KO BUBuddha of the Light Outshining the Sun and Moon[6]●(repeat three times)

doshi: NA MO A MI DA BU ◙I take refuge in/Homage to Amida Buddhadoon: NA MO A MI DA BU, NA MO A MI DA BU, NA MO A MI DA BU, NA MO A MI DA BU, NA MO A MI DA BU, NA MO A MI DA BU, NA MO A MI DA BU …………◙[7]●
doshi: GA-N NI SHI KU DO KU[8]May the merits of the [Primal] Vow [of Amida]doon: BYO – U DO – U SE IS – SA – I be received equally by all beings DO – U HO – TSU BO DA – I SHI – N May all develop bodhicitta[9],O – U JO – U A – A – A – A – N RAK – KOKUAnd may they be born in the Land of Peace and Bliss                                                                      ●● ●     Explanations
Only the words in caps and bold are to be recited.”Doshi” (leader) – this word indicates that part is recited by the person who leads the recitation”Doon” means all those present recite together. If only one person makes the service, then he/she recites all lines. ● – one bell strike●● – two bell strikes●● ● – three bell strikes◙ - drum (the use of a drum is optional)
You can strike the bell from time to time, during the six character Name recitation, to change the rhythm (slower-faster-slower, etc) or simply to keep everyone alert.





[1] Sambujo – the Three Invitations are addressed to Amida, Shakyamuni and all Buddhas in the ten directions. The place of practice (dojo) where we invite these Honored guests, can be a temple, one’s own house or any place where people meet to say Nembutsu and listen to Amida Dharma. [2] Sankie – The Three Refuges (in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha). [3] KI MYO JIN JI PO MU GE KO NYO RAI: The Name of Amida Buddha with ten characters.[4] NA MO FU KA SHI GI KO NYO RAI: The Name of Amida Buddha with nine characters. [5] NA MO A MI DA BU: The Name of Amida Buddha with six characters. You can prolong the recitation of this Name as much as you like. [6] Recitation of the Twelve Lights of Amida Buddha as they appear in the Larger Sutra:“The Buddha of Infinite Life (Amida) is called by the following names: the Buddha of Infinite (Immeasurable) Light, the Buddha of Boundless Light, the Buddha of Unhindered Light, the Buddha of Incomparable ( Unequaled) Light, the Buddha of Light that is Lord of Blazing Light, the Buddha of Pure Light, the Buddha of the Light of Joy, the Buddha of the Light of Wisdom, the Buddha of Uninterrupted Light, the Buddha of  Inconceivable Light, the Buddha of Inexpressible Light, and the Buddha of  Light Surpassing the Sun and Moon”. [7] If you decide to make a longer Nembutsu service, you can now recite again the Twelve Lights of Amida and then continue with more recitations of the six character Name (Namo Amida Bu). You can repeat the Ten Lights recitations followed by Namo Amida Bu as many times as you like. [8] This part is called Eko or merit transference. In the practices based on personal power the practitioner “earns” virtues which he transfers for his own Enlightenment. But in the case of  Other Power (Pure Land) way, the transference of merits takes place from Amida Buddha to those who entrust to Him. This transference of merit (eko) carries the follower to the Pure Land where he attains Nirvana or perfect Enlightenment. Shinran Shonin says in a hymn:
“When sentient beings of this evil world
of the five defilements
Entrust themselves to the selected Primal Vow,
Virtues indescribable, inexplicable, and inconceivable
Fill those practitioners."

The merit transference from Amida to the practitioner has two aspects:  1) the merit transference of going forth (Oso-Eko) and 2) the merit transference of returning to this world (Genso-Eko).The first refers to the fact that through Amida's transference of merit we go to His Pure Land where we become Buddhas, while the second one means that after we become Buddhas in the Pure Land by sharing the same Enlightenment as Amida, we return to the various samsaric realms and universes, to save all beings.[9] Bodhicita or Bodhi Mind is the aspiration to attain Budhahood for oneself and all beings. This is fulfilled in the Awakening of Faith (shinjin) in the Primal Vow of Amida Buddha. Master Shan-tao said: “Awake your Bodhi Mind to Amida’s Compasion”, that is, aspire to your and other beings Liberation by relying on the Compasion of Amida (His Primal Vow). So, the Awakening of the Bodhi Mind, the obligatory condition in Mahayana for attaining the supreme Enlightenment, appears in Jodo Shinshu in the form of the entrusting heart (shinjin). Shinran Shonin said, “The mind aspiring to become Buddha
Is the mind seeking to save sentient beings;
The mind that seeks to save sentient beings
Is True Faith endowed by Amida’s Compassion.”
(Hymns on the Patriachs, 18)


02. El Camino de la aceptación- comentario sobre el Tannisho (edición gratuita) - Jul 8, 2019 7:17:00 PM
Portada de la versión inglesa
Traducido del inglés por:Juan Sebastián Hincapié Arana
Este libro es una adaptación de mis charlas de Dharma sobre "Tannisho– Notas lamentando las divergencias",dadas en el Dojo Tariki en Craiova durante los días habituales de práctica.Yuien-bo, el autor de Tannisho, advierte que este texto puede ser comprendido erróneamente por aquellos que todavía no están preparados para recibir el mensaje del Voto Primordial del Buda Amida:
"No se debe mostrar indiscriminadamente".
Con el mismo espíritu, el Maestro Rennyo agregó las siguientes palabras en el colofón (al final) de Tannisho:
“Esta escritura sagrada es una escritura importante en nuestra tradición. No debe mostrarse indiscriminadamente a quien carezca de bien kármico del pasado".
Sin embargo hoy en día, el Tannisho ya ha sido traducido e impreso en muchos idiomas, por lo que ya es accesible tanto para los que están abiertos como para aquellos que están aún cerrados a su maravillosa enseñanza. Por eso decidí que un comentario era necesario, ya que me concierne la manera como los principiantes o el público en general entienden las distintas partes de este importante texto.
La Fe (shinjin) puede ser despertada en nosotros por Amida si escuchamos Su Dharma. Al escuchar y comprender el contenido de la enseñanza con la cabeza, nuestros corazones pueden abrirse y recibir Fe. Por lo tanto, leer, escuchar y discutir los textos sagrados es algo  extremadamente importante.
El título de este libro, "El Camino de la aceptación", proviene del sentimiento principal que surge en mí al leer el Tannisho. Me siento amado y aceptado como soy, lleno de ilusiones y pasiones ciegas, apegos y limitaciones. No hay condiciones especiales demandadas por el Buda Amida para que pueda seguir este Camino. No hay obstáculos que me impidan convertirme en un Buda en Su Tierra Pura, una vez que esta vida haya terminado.
El Budismo Jodo Shinshu[1] es el Camino de la Aceptación, la puerta a través de la cual pueden entrar todos los perdedores espirituales. Cuando estás 100% convencido de que no puedes alcanzar la Budeidad en esta vida, entonces estás listo para el Camino Jodo Shinshu. Mientras aún tengas en tu mente el pensamiento más pequeño de mérito personal o algún tipo de pensamiento basado en "quizás pueda", no podrás ver y entrar por la puerta del Dharma del Nacimiento en la Tierra Pura del Buda Amida.
Haga clic aquí para descargar la versión en pdf:


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[1]Jodo Shinshu (japonés) significa “La Verdadera Enseñanza de la escuela de la Tierra Pura”

03. The testimony of Ananda and the audience gathered on Vulture Peak to the existence of Amida Buddha and His Pure Land – commentary on the sections 41 and 42 from the Larger Sutra - Jul 4, 2019 10:36:00 AM

This painting shows the manifestation of the Pure Land as shown to Ananda and the audience gathered on Vulture Peak. Ananda is in the middle with his right shoulder barred and facing Amida. Behind him sits a long-haired monk, who is Maitreya, the future Buddha. On his left sits Buddha Shakyamuni surrounded by monks, bodhisattvas and deities. A layman and laywoman are seen behind Maitreya worshiping Amida. Click for the source of this painting.
fragment from my commentary on the Larger Sutra- this is a work in progress and under constant revision -  click here to return to the table of contents
As we have seen in this sutra, Shakyamuni not only presented the story of Dharmakara becoming Amida, but described in many details the wonders of the Pure Land as well as the splendor of Amida and the enlightened beings living there. Then, in sections 41 and 42 He went even further and did something more extraordinary – He showed Amida and His Pure Land to the audience!!!
First, before Ananda made his request, and knowing in advance what he will say, Shakyamuni asked him to worship Amida, invoking the testimony of all Buddhas who always praise Amida’s Name and His method of salvation, thus encouraging all beings to entrust to Him and worship Him:
“The Buddha said to Ananda, ‘Rise to your feet, rearrange your robes, put your palms together, and respectfully revere and worship Amitayus (Amida). Buddha Tathagatas in the lands of the ten directions always praise with one accord that Buddha’s virtue of non-attachement and unimpeded activity.’”[1]
He was like saying, “Ananda, worship Amida! I am not the only one encouraging you to worship Amida, but all Buddhas encourage you to worship Amida! If you worship Amida, then you follow not only my teaching but the teaching of all Buddhas!”. Ananda did as instructed and after that he made the most important request of this sutra for the benefit of himself, the audience, as for us, the disciples of future generations:
 “Ananda stood up, rearranged his robes, assumed the correct posture, faced westward, and, demonstrating his sincere reverence, joined his palms together, prostrated himself on the ground, and worshiped Amitayus. Then he said to Śhakyamuni Buddha, ‘World-honored One, I wish to see that Buddha, His Land of Peace and Bliss, and its hosts of bodhisattvas and sravakas’
As soon as he had said this, Amitayus emitted a great light, which illuminated all the Buddha lands. The Encircling Adamantine Mountains, Mount Sumeru, together with large and small mountains and everything else shone with the same [golden] color. That light was like the flood at the end of the period of cosmic change that fills the whole world, when myriads of things are submerged, and as far as the eye can see there is nothing but the vast expanse of water. Even so was the flood of light emanating from Amitayus. All the lights of sravakas and bodhisattvas were outshone and surpassed, and only the Buddha’s light remained shining bright and glorious. At that time Ananda saw the splendor and majesty of Amitayus resembling Mount Sumeru, which rises above the whole world. There was no place that was not illuminated by the light emanating from His body of glory [Sambhogakaya or Dharmakaya as compassionate means – Amida’s transcendent body]. The four groups of followers of the Buddha in the assembly saw all this at the same time. Likewise, those of the Pure Land saw everything in this world.[2]
The passage is clear and can’t be misinterpreted. Ananda asked Shakyamuni to see Amida and His Pure Land - “I wish to see that Buddha, His Land of Peace and Bliss”, and then he actually saw Him – “Ananda saw the splendor and majesty of Amitayus”. In fact, not only him, but all those gathered there on Vulture Peak to listen to the Larger Sutra, saw Amida and the Pure Land – “the four groups of followers of the Buddha in the assembly saw all this at the same time”. Both those in this world and those in the Pure Land, saw each other – “likewise, those of the Pure Land saw everything in this world”.
No sincere follower and reader of the above lines can possibly misinterpret what happened there. The revelation of Amida and His Land really took place, and the audience literally saw them before their very eyes. There is no hidden, metaphorical or symbolical meaning in this. I repeat, the audience literally saw them before their very eyes. Anybody who tells you that you should not actually take into consideration this vision of Amida and His Land, as it was described in the sutra, is a person who lacks faith and who is consciously or unconsciously deceiving you.
Not only that Shakyamuni showed Amida and the Pure Land to the audience, but He also asked Ananda and Maitreya to confirm what they saw and heard:
“Then the Buddha said to Ananda and Bodhisattva Maitreya, ‘Have you seen that land filled with excellent and glorious manifestations, all spontaneously produced from the ground to the Heaven of Pure Abode?’
Ananda replied (in his name and in the name of Maitreya and all the audience), ‘Yes, I have’.
The Buddha asked, ‘Have you also heard the great voice of Amitayus expound the Dharma to all the worlds, guiding sentient beings to the Way of the Buddha?’
Ananda replied, ‘Yes, I have’.
The Buddha further asked, ‘Have you also seen the inhabitants of that land move freely, riding in seven-jeweled airborne palaces as large as a hundred thousand yojanas, to worship the Buddhas of the lands in the ten directions?’
‘Yes, I have’, replied Ananda.
‘Have you also seen that some of the inhabitants are in the embryonic state of rebirth?’
‘Yes, I have. Those in the embryonic state[3]dwell in palaces as high as a hundred joyanas or five hundred joyanas, where they spontaneously enjoy pleasures as do those in the Heaven of the Thirty-three gods’”.[4]Why do you think Shakyamuni Buddha asked them to confirm what they just saw and heard? Why He insisted to hear Ananda say with his own mouth, “yes I have seen” and “yes, I have heard”? It is because He wanted all beings, including us, disciples of later generations, to accept Amida as a real Buddha, and His Land as a real enlightened place where we should wish to go after death. It was for our sake that He told the story of Amida Buddha and enabled the audience to see Him and His Land, as He said in section 47:
“I have expounded this teaching (sutra) for the sake of sentient beings and enabled you to see Amitayus (Amida) and all in his Land. Strive to do what you should. After I have passed into Nirvana, do not allow doubt to arise."[5] 
The Larger Sutra was not the only occasion when Shakyamuni offered such visions. According to the Contemplation Sutra, Amida Buddha and His Pure Land were also shown to Queen Vaidehi, wife of King Bimbisara from Magadha[6]. Ananda and Mahamaudgalyayana, two of His main disciples, were themselves present as witnesses of this revelation. Here are the words of this sacred text:
“I [Vaidehi] beseech you, World-honored One, to reveal to me a land of no sorrow and no affliction where I can be reborn. I do not wish to live in this defiled and evil world of Jambudvipa where there are hells, realms of hungry ghosts, animals, and many vile beings. I wish that in the future I shall not hear evil words or see wicked people. World-honored One, I now kneel down to repent and beg you to take pity on me.’
Then the World-honored One sent forth from between his eyebrows a flood of light that was the color of gold and illuminated the innumerable worlds in the ten directions. Returning to the Buddha, the light settled on His head and transformed itself into a golden platform resembling Mount Sumeru. On the platform appeared the pure and resplendent lands of all the Buddhas in the ten directions. […] Innumerable Buddha lands like these, glorious and beautiful, were displayed to her.
Vaideiī then said to the Buddha, ‘O World-honored One, these Buddha-lands are pure and free of defilement, and all of them are resplendent. But I wish to be born in the Land of Utmost Bliss of Amitayus (Amida)’.”[7]
[…]“Vaidehi said to the Buddha, “World-honored One, through the Buddha’s power, even I have now been able to see that land’”.[8]
[…]  “The Buddha said to Ananda and Vaidehi, ‘Listen carefully, listen carefully and ponder deeply. I will expound for you the method of removing suffering. Bear my words in mind and explain them to the multitude of beings.’When these words were spoken, Amitayus appeared in the air above, attended on His left and right by the two mahasattvas Avalokitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta. So brilliant was their radiance that it was impossible to see them in detail. They could not be compared even with a hundred thousand nuggets of gold from the Jambu River.After she had this vision of Amitayus, Vaidehi knelt down in worship at Shakyamuni’s feet and said to Him, “World-honored One, through your power I have been able to see Amitayus and the two Bodhisattvas”.[9]
After the Contemplation Sutra was delivered to Queen Vaidehi, Shakyamuni Buddha returned with His companions to the Vulture Peak. There, Ananda told the audience all that happened, including the vision with Amida Buddha and His Pure Land:
“Then the World-honored One returned to Vulture Peak through the air. There Ananda fully explained to the assembly what had happened. Innumerable humans, devas, nagas, yaksas, and all other beings greatly rejoiced to hear the Buddha’s teaching”.[10]
As disciples who read and hear this teaching, long after Shakyamuni “passed into Nirvana”, we must be on guard against those false teachers and deluded scholars who are incapable of accepting the story of Dharmakara becoming Amida as it was told by Shakyamuni, and the testimony of Ananda, Mahamaudgalyayana, queen Vaidehi and the entire audience from the Vulture Peak who literary saw Amida Buddha and His Pure Land. No matter what nice or sophisticated words such people might use, we must by no means, be confused by them. Namo Amida Bu
to be continued 


[1] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.65.[2] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.65[3] The inhabitants of the Pure Land who are in embryonic state and “dwell in palaces as high as a hundred joyanas or five hundred joyanas” are beings born in the border land of the Pure Land who although enjoy immense pleasure, they are still not enlightened, while the inhabitants who “move freely, riding in seven-jeweled airborne palaces as large as a hundred thousand yojanas, to worship the Buddhas of the lands in the ten directions” are those born in the true fulfilled land of the Pure Land or the “center” of the Pure Land and they are perfectly enlightened, thus being able to travel everywhere in the ten directions either to save beings or worship and make offerings to all Buddhas. The beings in the first category entered the Pure Land with a faith mixed with doubt, saying Nembutsu while still clinging to their self-power, or through following mixed practices (followers of the 19thand 20th vows), while the beings in the latter category entered the Pure Land through the Gate of Faith or the Gate of the Primal Vow and immediately attained perfect Enlightenment, thus becoming Buddhas who manifest as Bodhisattvas. I will explain this difference between the two categories in my commentary on the next section of the Larger Sutra.  [4] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.65-66.[5] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.70[6] According to the story of this sutra, the queen and her husband were imprisoned by their son Ajatasatru, at the advice of Devadatta. Out of despair, the queen faced towards the place where Shakyamuni was staying at that moment and prayed that He send two of His major disciples to comfort her. Shakyamuni did this immediately, and He himself came to her through the air. The teaching He gave to the queen has been known since then as the Sutra on Visualization of the Buddha of Infinite Life (in short, the Contemplation Sutra):
“Vaidehi, thus confined, grew emaciated with grief and despair. Facing Vulture Peak, she worshiped the Buddha from afar and said, “O Tathagata, World-honored One, you used to send Ananda to comfort me. Now I am in deep sorrow and distress. Since there is no way of my coming to look upon your august countenance, World-honored One, I pray you send Venerable Mahamaudgalyayana and Venerable Ananda here to see me.”When she had said these words, tears of sorrow streamed down her cheeks like rain. Then she bowed toward the Buddha in the distance. Even before she raised her head, the World-honored One, who was then staying on Vulture Peak, knew Vaidehi’s thoughts and immediately ordered Mahamaudgalyayana and Ananda to go to her through the air; He himself disappeared from the mountain and reappeared in the inner chamber of the royal palace”.
Rennyo Shonin explained that at the time Vaidehi made her request, Shakyamuni Buddha was preaching the Lotus Sutra on Vulture Peak:
“Long ago, when Shakyamuni expounded the Lotus Sutra, the wondrous text of the One Vehicle, on Vulture Peak, Devadatta provoked Ajatasatru to acts of treachery; Shakyamuni then led Vaidehi to aspire to the Land of Serene Sustenance. Because Shakyamuni withdrew from the assembly gathered at Vulture Peak where He was expounding the Lotus Sutra, descended to the royal palace, and graciously set forth the Pure Land teaching for Vaidehi’s sake, Amida’s Primal Vow has flourished to this day. This is why we say that the teachings of the Lotus and the nembutsu were given at the same time”. (Rennyo Shonin Ofumi: The Letters of Rennyo, IV-3, BDK English Tripitaka Series, Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, p. 104) [7] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.70-71[8] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.79.[9] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.83-84.[10] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.100.

04. Listening the Dharma in the presence of Amida and attaining perfect Enlightenment - commentary on section 29th of the Larger Sutra - Jun 30, 2019 12:48:00 AM
 

fragment from my commentary on the Larger Sutra- this is a work in progress and under constant revision -  click here to return to the table of contents
“The Buddha said to Ananda, ‘When Amitayus (Amida) preaches the Dharma to sravakas and Bodhisattvas, they all assemble in the seven-jeweled lecture hall. There He fully expounds the teachings of the Way and proclaims the wonderful Dharma. The whole audience rejoices, comprehends, and attains Enlightenment. At that time a breeze spontaneously arises in each of the four directions and wafts over the jeweled trees, producing sounds of the pentatonic scales and causing innumerable exquisite flowers to fall like rain and scatter everywhere. Natural ways of glorification such as these are endlessly repeated. All the devas bring with them a hundred thousand flowers, pieces of aromatic wood, and thousands of musical instruments to use as offerings to the Buddha and the assembly of bodhisattvas and sravakas; they scatter flowers, diffuse perfumes everywhere, and play various kinds of music. They come and go in succession, giving way to each other. At such times their joy and happiness are beyond description.”[1]The key to understanding this passage is in the sentence – “the whole audience rejoices, comprehends, and attains Enlightenment”. This means that all the residents of the fulfilled land of  the Pure Land[2](the center of the Pure Land where those with complete faith in Amida arrive after death) are fully enlightened beings or Buddhas, no matter they are called Bodhisattvas or sravakas (now with the meaning of devout disciples).

The perception of time is different here in the human plane of samsaric existence than time in the Pure Land. Thus, if here we need minutes or hours, days, months and years to do various activities, in the Pure Land many things can be done at the same time. So, in the moment of birth in the Pure Land through the Gate of Faith (Gate of the Primal Vow) we automatically see Amida in all His glory, listen to His teaching in the seven jeweled lecture hall and attain perfect Enlightenment.
As I already explained when I commented on previous sections when the term humans or devas appear in relation to the inhabitants of the Pure Land, this does not refer to the fact that once born there we remain human beings as before or that in the Pure Land, we can find other unenlightened people from various samsaric states of existence like the gods. As Shakyamuni explained in the same sutra, all beings born in the Pure Land through the Gate of Faith  “are all of one form, without any differences, but are called ‘heavenly beings (devas)’ and ‘humans’ simply by analogy with states of existence in other worlds”. In truth, those born in the Pure Land are “unequaled in all the worlds, and their appearance is superb, unmatched by any being, heavenly or human”, and are “endowed with bodies of naturalness, emptiness, and infinity” which shows that they are Enlightened Persons whose essence is ultimate Dharmakaya beyond form.  So, “the whole audience” who “rejoices, comprehends, and attains Enlightenment” also includes those who were humans or devas in a previous existence  and who “bring with them a hundred thousand flowers, pieces of aromatic wood, and thousands of musical instruments to use as offerings to the Buddha and the assembly of bodhisattvas and sravakas” and who “scatter flowers, diffuse perfumes everywhere, and play various kinds of music”.
Of course that “at such times” ­– meaning when they are born in the Pure Land, see Amida, listen to His teaching and attain perfect Enlightenment, “their joy and happiness are beyond description”.
The breeze which “at that time” arises spontaneously in “each of the four directions” and who “wafts over the jeweled trees, producing sounds of the pentatonic scales and causing innumerable exquisite flowers to fall like rain and scatter everywhere” is the celebration of the attainment of perfect Enlightenment of the newly born in the Pure Land. If you read the sacred texts you see similar descriptions of flowers falling from the sky and celestial music being played spontaneously when somebody becomes a Buddha. However, this time, unlike Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha, who appeared to become a Buddha in our world, we will attain Enlightenment in the Pure Land and we’ll be celebrated there with music, flowers and various manifestations. 
“Natural ways of glorification such as these are endlessly repeated” because new beings come to be born in the Pure Land constantly from various realms of samsaric existence, and attain Enlightenment there.
When we exited our mother’s womb, parents and various relatives celebrated our first birthday  with flowers, music, and feast, thus forgetting that life contains suffering and leads inevitably to death. We also gave parties year after year to forget the ugly signs of impermanence. However, there is no better reason for celebration other than entering the Pure Land of Enlightenment and escaping once and for all from the repeated births and deaths.
to be continued 

[1] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.42-43[2] See the difference between the Fulfilled Land of the Pure Land (center of the Pure Land) and borderland of the Pure  Land at this link, http://amida-ji-retreat-temple-romania.blogspot.com/2018/05/birth-in-borderland-of-pure-land.html

05. Eight guidelines to protect and transmit the true faith in Amida Buddha - Jun 25, 2019 9:03:00 PM
Many people asked me for a detailed and strict guideline on how to think and act in matters related with faith (shinjin), so that they do not fall into wrong views, nor be a cause of wrong views in others. As you probably know if you read my book The Meaning of Faith and Nembutsu in Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, I always teach that genuine faith in Amida Buddha has eight aspects:
1) To accept the actual, literal existence of Amida Buddha and His Pure Land2) To accept the story of Amida  Buddha as told by Shakyamuni Buddha in the Larger Sutra3) To wish to be born in the Pure Land for the attainment of perfect Enlightenment/Buddhahood
4) To have the twofold profound conviction (nishu jinshin), which means to know that you are a person of deep karmic limitations, incapable of attaining Buddhahood through your own power, and that  only Amida Buddha can save you through His Vow Power (Other Power), without asking anything from you.5) To accept the Primal Vow of Amida Buddha without any doubt and be sure of your birth in the Pure Land6) To accept that birth in the Pure Land of Amida Buddha takes place after death7) To say the Name of Amida Buddha (Nembutsu)8) To not mix Nembutsu and devotion towards Amida Buddha with other faiths and practices from inside or outside of the Buddha Dharma.
The above elements are part of the mind/heart of faith (shinjin). They come naturally to a person of faith who is, according to the Masters of our lineage, a true disciple of Amida and all Buddhas[1]. Anything else, like having a focused and undistracted mind in your daily life, being a virtuous or non-virtuous person, having special or mystical experiences is irrelevant and NOT important in relation with faith of the Primal Vow.
So, those who really want to be in accord with Amida Dharma and protect the transmission of faith to other generations, helping themselves and others to not fall into wrong views must have faith themselves and posses the eight elements of faith.
Also, for those who asked for a detailed explanation of what to do and what not to do, I expressed these elements in the form of eight guidelines which resemble a samaya (set of precepts).  Here they are:
1) A true disciple of Amida and all Buddhas shall not himself deny, or encourage others to deny the actual, literal existence of Amida Buddha and His Pure Land. He must not create the causes, conditions, methods or karma of denying the existence of Amida Buddha and His Pure Land. As a true disciple of Amida and all Buddhas he must have devotion and faith in Amida Buddha, always helping sentient beings to entrust to Him and aspire to be born in His Pure Land.
2)  A true disciple of Amida and all Buddhas shall not himself deny or encourage others to deny the story of Amida Buddha as told by Shakyamuni in the Larger Sutra. He must not create the causes, conditions, methods or karma of denying it. As a true disciple of Amida and all Buddhas he must accept in faith the Larger Sutra and the story of Amida Buddha as told by Shakyamni there, always helping sentient beings to do the same.
3) A true disciple of Amida and all Buddhas shall not himself deny or encourage others to deny the importance of the wish to be born in the Pure Land for the attainment of perfect Enlightenment. He must not create the causes, conditions, methods or karma of stopping sentient beings from wishing to be born in the Pure Land for the attainment of perfect Enlightenment. As a true disciple of Amida and all Buddhas he must always encourage sentient beings to wish to be born in the Pure Land for the attainment of perfect Enlightenment.
4) A true disciple of Amida and all Buddhas shall not himself deny or encourage others to deny that they are persons of deep karmic limitations, incapable to attain Buddhahood through their own power, and that only Amida Buddha can save them through His Vow Power. He must not create the causes, conditions, methods or karma of denying salvation from samsara through Amida’s Power. As a true disciple of Amida and all Buddhas he must always encourage sentient beings to recognize themselves as persons of deep karmic limitations, incapable to attain Buddhahood through their own power, and to accept that only Amida Buddha can save them through His Vow Power, without asking anything from them.
5) A true disciple of Amida and all Buddhas shall not himself doubt or cause others to doubt the Primal Vow and birth in the Pure Land. He must not create the causes, conditions, methods or karma of doubting the Primal Vow of Amida Buddha and birth in the Pure Land. As a true disciple of Amida and all Buddhas he must always encourage sentient beings to accept the Primal Vow of Amida without any doubt and be sure of their birth in the Pure Land.
6) A true disciple of Amida and all Buddhas shall not himself deny or encourage others to deny that birth in the Pure Land takes place after death. He must not create the causes, conditions, methods or karma of denying that birth in the Pure Land takes place after death. As a true disciple of Amida and all Buddhas he must always encourage sentient beings to accept that birth in the Pure Land takes place after death.
7) A true disciple of Amida and all Buddhas shall not himself abandon or encourage others to abandon the saying of Amida Buddha’s Name. He must not create the causes, conditions, methods or karma of obstructing the saying of the Name of Amida Buddha. As a true disciple of Amida and all Buddhas he must always encourage sentient beings to say the Name of Amida.
8) A true disciple of Amida and all Buddhas shall not himself mix or encourage others to mix Nembutsu and devotion towards Amida Buddha with other faiths and practices from inside or outside of the Buddha Dharma. He must not create the causes, conditions, methods or karma of mixing Nembutsu and devotion towards Amida Buddha with other faiths and practices from inside or outside of the Buddha Dharma. As a true disciple of Amida and all Buddhas he must always encourage sentient beings to exclusively say the Nembutsu and devote themselves entirely to Amida Buddha.


[1] Click here to read my explanations on The True Disciple of Amida and all Buddhas, http://amida-ji-retreat-temple-romania.blogspot.com/2018/05/the-true-disciple-of-amida-and-all.html

06. Los 48 votos del Buda Amida (edición gratuita) - Jun 24, 2019 7:26:00 AM
Portada de la versión inglesa
Traducido del inglés por Diego Daleffe y Jaime Salvador Guzmán Valladares Revisado por Juan Sebastián Hincapié Arana
En el momento en que Dharmakara se convirtió en el Buda Amida, Sus 48 votos y Su Tierra Pura se transformaron en métodos reales y eficaces para la salvación de los seres sintientes. Este libro es mi intento personal de proporcionar explicaciones fáciles de entender sobre los votos, para que la gente pueda vivir de acuerdo con ellos y adquirir la verdadera y real salvación del nacimiento y la muerte.Para una mejor comprensión dividí los 48 votos del Buda Amida de la siguiente manera:
1. Votos sobre el Buda Amida y su Tierra Pura.Estos votos se explicarán en el primer capítulo. 2. Los votos relacionados con la salvación de todos los seres sintientes – Se explican en el segundo capítulo.3. Los votos que explican las características, las capacidades y las actividades de los seres que alcanzaron la Iluminación en la Tierra Pura después de haber nacido allí. Estos seres son llamados a veces seres humanos y devas en mi tierra, Sravakas en mi tierra o Bodhisattvas en mi tierra.
Estos votos se explicarán en el tercer capítulo.4. Los votos relacionados con los Bodhisattvas en otras tierras – Se explican en el capítulo cuarto.
Entre todos los 48 votos, Shinran Shonin y los otros Maestros de nuestra tradición prestan atención sólo a algunos, ignorando el resto. ¿A qué se debe eso? Debido a que no todos los votos del Buda Amida están directamente relacionados con nuestra salvación como seres ordinarios o no contienen referencias que puedan sernos útiles aquí en esta vida presente. De acuerdo con mi clasificación, podemos decir que las dos primeras categorías de votos son especialmente mencionados por Shinran y en los Escritos de los Maestros.
De este modo, el lector primero debe concentrar su atención en la comprensión de los votos que Shinran Shonin y los siete Maestros explican y  puede ignorar el resto, si lo desea. Sin embargo, debido al propósito de este libro, decidí explicar brevemente incluso los votos no mencionados por nuestros Maestros. Sin embargo debido a que mis conocimientos y comprensión son limitados, y yo mismo no soy un budista espiritualmente avanzado, mis explicaciones sobre los votos a los que Shinran no prestó atención también son limitadas. Así que por favor, trátenlas con sumo cuidado y tomen como esenciales los votos que realmente importan; los cuales son aquellos votos que el mismo Shinran considera importantes y lean mis explicaciones del resto de los votos sólo como una opción adicional.
Ninguna obra escrita puede considerarse perfecta y completa, de manera que espero realizar futuras mejoras del presente texto. Por esta razón, estaré encantado y agradecido de recibir comentarios y sugerencias de mis lectores.
Agradezco al Rev. Jokyo George Gatenby de Australia por sus valiosas recomendaciones y ayuda.

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07. Fundraising for the new Hondo (Amidado) of Amidaji temple - Jun 17, 2019 1:58:00 PM
Amidaji courtyard. In the far left is
the present Hondo and in the far right is
the library. The new Hondo (Amidado)
will be built near  the present Hondo
I have decided to make the building of the new Hondo (Dharma Hall) a priority for 2019. 
This will be placed near the present Hondo which will be transformed into the library (the present library will remain an accommodation place for visitors). The new Hondo will be called Amidado (The Hall of Amida) like it's done in other temples, Hongwanji included. 
the present HondoThe new Hondo will have 40 square meters (8 meters in length and 5 meters in width) and will be built from wood on a cement platform (the actual Hondo is 17 square meters). Unfortunately, I can’t afford to build it from bricks as I wished, because it would be too expensive. The cost of 80% of this new Hondo is around 1000 euro (building materials plus workers - the same I used for the new guestroom, bathroom, and kitchen), which include a cement platform, the walls, insulation for the outside walls, and a simple roof. 
th present Hondo and part of
the library(right)The insulation for the inside walls plus various other things that must be done inside can be postponed for the next year, but if I raise some extra funds, I will do them this year.
If any of you, the readers of this website and Dharma friends of Amidaji, can help with a little DONATION, I would be very grateful. Having no taxes or fees for Dharma activities, Amidaji depends on the generosity of its readers and Dharma friends.


PLEASE CLICK HERE IF YOU WISH TO DONATE (PayPal):



or to this link if you wish to use other methods,
http://amida-ji-retreat-temple-romania.blogspot.com/p/donation.html
The name of donors (no matter the amount offered) will be included in the dedication list of my new book. Thank you very much for your kindness and generosity!
Namo Amida Bu



08. El significado de la fe y el nembutsu en el Budismo Jodo Shinshu (edición gratuita) - Jun 13, 2019 7:04:00 AM

Portada de la versión inglesaTraducido del inglés por:Juan Sebastián Hincapié Arana
Este libro es, como muestra el título, un intento de explicar el significado de la fe y el Nembutsu de acuerdo con la enseñanza de nuestra escuela Jodo Shinshu. Comienzo mis explicaciones con el Voto Primordial del Buda Amida porque sin él no habría Jodo Shinshu. Como dijo Shinran:
"Si el Voto Primal de Amida es verdadero, la enseñanza de Shakyamuni no puede ser falsa. Si las enseñanzas del Buda son verdaderas, los comentarios de Shan-tao no pueden ser falsos. Si los comentarios de Shan-tao son ciertos, ¿pueden las palabras de Honen  ser mentiras? Si las palabras de Honen son ciertas, entonces seguramente lo que digo no puede ser vacío”. [1]
Toda escuela budista tiene un linaje de transmisión. La nuestra comienza con el Buda Amida, luego continúa con Shakyamuni, el Buda histórico, los siete Maestros, Shinran Shonin, Rennyo Shonin y cualquier verdadero maestro que vino después y fue leal al Voto Primordial. Lo que todos los representantes de nuestro linaje dijeron con una sola voz es que el Voto Primordial es verdadero y que contiene todo lo que necesitamos para alcanzar la Budeidad en la Tierra Pura de Amida.“Estar en concordancia con el Voto Primordial" es el lema de nuestra escuela y este libro hace todo lo posible para ilustrar justamente esto: estar de acuerdo, estar en concordancia con el Voto Primordial, para enfocar y orientar la mente de la gente hacia el Voto Primordial y hacer que sigan exclusivamente las exigencias del Voto Primordial. Que todos los seres que lo lean abandonen las enseñanzas equivocadas de los caminos no-budistas y, entre las diversas enseñanzas y prácticas budistas, elijan la que representa la verdadera razón por la que todos los budas vienen a este mundo: el Nembutsu de la fe, el Vehículo Único del Voto Primordial.
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[1] Tannisho, Capítulo 2 - The Collected Works of Shinran, (Las Obras Completas de Shinran) Shin Buddhism Translation Series, Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, Kyoto, 1997, p.662

09. Working on the kitchen of Amidaji and new plans for this year (2019) - Jun 11, 2019 5:57:00 PM
Amidaji kitchen now
below you will see
photos with all
the repairs
Last winter I started to repair and arrange a kitchen for Amidaji temple. First, I repaired the walls and roof, and this year I continued with the floor. A few weeks ago I bought a brand new stove on gas which was put into use when the first guests arrived in May. The repair of the walls, roof, and floor were very expansive (more than 500 euros) and I needed to pay two workers and two carpenters. Also, the stove on gas was 200 euro.
The next things related to the kitchen that I must do this year are the following:         - to add a cooker hood to the stove on gas        -  to buy a heater for the winter bathroom which I built last year
    -  due to the fact that the village where Amidaji is located is not connected to a gas network, I must use gas cylinders for the stove. This creates a problem (about which I did not know when I bought it) that only the stove eyes or burners can be used, and not the inside oven which works only for stoves connected to the gas network. This is why I now need to buy a separate electrical oven for meals that need to be cooked inside the oven.       -  to buy and install a hydrophore to pump water from the well (a cemented hole must be built near the well to place the hydrophore)  and bring it to the kitchen and bathroom (water pipes are also needed) Amidaji kitchen now. Bellow, you can
see photos with all the repairs        -  to buy and install an electric water boiler with which to warm the water for the kitchen and the bathroom 
The expenses related to the above will surely be more than 1000 euros as I would also need to pay specialized workers to do them.
Other things that I plan to do at Amidaji this year are:
-      -    a storeroom for the books. In July I receive 45 packages (2000 copies) of the Romanian edition of my new book The Meaning of Faith and Nembutsu in Jodo Shinshu Buddhism which was printed for free distribution by CBBEF in Taiwan, plus 1000 copies of the Spanish edition of The True Teaching on Amida Buddha and His Pure Land. More copies of other Spanish editions will follow this year, and I also need a larger place to store the packages (more than 30 boxes) of books I already have now and which are kept in the library. Because the library is too small and I also accommodate visitors there, a separate storeroom for all the boxes with books is very much needed.-         -   to finish and launch the new electrical system in the kitchen and the new guest room I arranged last year.Work on this new electrical system started last year but was stopped due to lack of funds. I now use the old electrical system which is very weak.-         -  to do some repairs to the Hondo (Dharma Hall)
me - giving a helping hand on the floorThe expenses related to the above will also be more than 1000 euro as I need to pay workers and an authorized electrician.

- if possible, I want to build or start building a new, larger Hondo (40 square meters) near the actual one and transform the actual Hondo in the library (the actual library will remain an accommodation place for visitors). This will cost minimum of 1000 euro.
I do not know how much of the above I will be able to do this year, but I will try my best to at least finish a part. It all depends on the funds I can raise.
working on the floorIf any of you, the readers of this website and Dharma friends of Amidaji, can help with a little DONATION. Having no taxes or fees for Dharma activities, Amidaji depends on the generosity of its readers and Dharma friends. PLEASE CLICK HERE IF YOU WISH TO DONATE (PayPal)
Namo Amida Bu
the finished floor of Amidaji kitchen
the stove on gas 
Amidaji kitchen nowAmidaji kitchen with visitors in a Nembutsu retreat


10. Virtues and activities of the Enlightened Bodhisattvas of the Pure Land – commentary of the sections 28 and 30 of the Larger Sutra - Jun 9, 2019 6:15:00 PM
Amida Buddha and His two attendand Bodhisattvas,
Avalokitesvara and Mahasthamapraptafragment from my commentary on the Larger Sutra this is a work in progress and under constant revision   click here to return to the table of contents
“The Buddha said to Ananda, ‘All the Bodhisattvas in the land of Amitayus will ultimately attain the stage of becoming a Buddha after one more life. Excepted are those who have made original vows for the sake of sentient beings, resolving to cultivate the merit of realizing their great vows to save all sentient beings.’”[1]
This fragment is clearly related with the 22nd Vow which I already explained in the chapter dedicated to the 48th Vows. Basically, it means, as I explained there, and at chapter 1 of this book (click here to read), that once we attain Buddhahood in the Pure Land, we act as Buddhas who manifest as Bodhisattvas.  The “stage of becoming a Buddha after one more life”, represents the capacity of those who attain Buddhahood in the Pure Land to endlessly manifest themselves in various places in the universe and become active Buddhas there for the sake of sentient beings. When we are born in the Pure Land we automatically gain the capacity to always playing the role of becoming Buddhas and teaching the Dharma like Shakyamuni himself. Shinran Shonin explained this in his Hymns of the Pure Land:
“Those who reach the Pure Land of happinessReturn to this evil world of the five defilements,Where, like the Buddha Shakyamuni,They benefit sentient beings without limit.”[2]
This means that once we become Buddhas we continually play various roles for sentient beings all over the samsaric universes, and especially the role of “becoming a Buddha” again and again like Shakyamuni, to spread the Dharma and encourage all beings to follow it. First, we pretend to be unenlightened, then we pretend to practice and attain Buddhahood, and then after the audience is convinced that we are Enlightened, we start teaching, and we repeat this process in various universes, spreading all kinds of Dharma gates and especially the Amida Dharma. It is important to understand that Buddhas just pretend to disappear into supreme Nirvana (parinirvana)  at the end of their physical body in a certain world, but in fact, they continually manifest for the sake of saving sentient beings. So, those who “ultimately attain the stage of becoming a Buddha after one more life” and those who “have made original vows for the sake of sentient beings, resolving to cultivate the merit of realizing their great vows to save all sentient beings” may appear to be two distinct categories of beings born in the Pure Land, but in fact, they are the same. The original vows are none other than the four Bodhisattva vows, namely, “1) no matter how perfect a Buddha would be, I vow to become like Him, 2) no matter how profound the Dharma (the teaching) would be, I vow to fully understand it all, 3) no matter how numerous the passions would be, I vow to conquer them all and, 4) no matter how numerous the beings would be, I vow to save them all.”Thus, one who actually becomes a Buddha (first vow) will clearly save all beings (fourth vow), so there can be no distinction between becoming a Buddha and keeping one’s original vows.
A Buddha only puts the show of disappearing into complete Nirvana after some time of teaching in a certain world, as Shakyamuni did in our world, in order to make us appreciate the time He is visible to us and to make us aware of impermanence and the need to not spend our lives in vain, but in reality, He has never disappeared, and always guides beings here and in other universes in the same time. We ourselves will be like Him when we attain Buddhahood in the Pure Land. We’ll constantly go to various places in samsara where we put the show of being born as unenlightened beings, practice, then attain Enlightenment and teach the Dharma, but in reality, we’ll never leave the sphere of Buddhahood and the enlightened place of the Pure Land. This is exactly how any great Bodhisattvas of the Pure Land (who are in fact, Buddhas who manifest as Bodhisattvas) behave, including the most famous of all – Avalokitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta. Shakyamuni explained:
“Ananda, each Sravaka in the Buddha land of Amitayus emits a light for one fathom around his body. The light of a Bodhisattva shines a hundred yojanas. There are two Bodhisattvas who are the most dignified; their majestic light reaches everywhere in the universe of a thousand million worlds.Ananda asked, ‘What are the names of those two Bodhisattvas?’The Buddha replied, ‘One is called Avalokitesvara and the other Mahasthamaprapta. They had both performed Bodhisattva practices in this world and, at the end of their lives, were born by transformation in that Buddha land.”[3]
First of all, the term “sravaka” may be mentioned here in relation with residents of the Pure Land who are only at the beginning of their career of saving sentient beings because they have just arrived there. Perhaps this is why their light is not described as so powerful like those who are older than them and whose light shine “a hundred yojanas” or like Avalokitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta who “are the most dignified” and whose “majestic light reaches everywhere in the universe of a thousand million worlds”. Being the oldest Bodhisattvas and saving sentient beings everywhere since immemorial times, they are described in a more exalted way.
The practices those two great Bodhisattvas performed are not just something of the past, and their staying in the Pure Land is not fixed. In the exact same time, they are in the Pure Land as the most exalted Bodhisattvas there, and in various places of the samsaric universes, teaching like Shakyamuni or helping beings in various ways and forms. “The end of their lives” means only the end of the state prior to attaining perfect Enlightenment (Buddhahood), but not a permanent end of their compassionate activities or their various manifestations outside of the Pure Land for the sake of saving and guiding unenlightened beings. Thus, while having access to ultimate Dharmakaya or Buddha nature, they stay in the Pure Land in their Sambhogakaya form, and also manifest infinite Nirmanakayas (transformation/adaptation) bodies to help all beings.It is extremely important to know that the way Avalokitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta help all beings is not something only they can do, but also what we’ll do upon birth in the Pure Land and attaining perfect Enlightenment there. As Buddhas who manifests as Bodhisattvas, all who are born in the Pure Land through the Gate of the Primal Vow will have access to the same ultimate Dharmakaya (Buddha nature) of Amida, Avalokitesvara, Mahasthamaprapta and all Enlightened beings, dwell forever in Sambhogakaya form in the Pure Land, and also manifest infinite Nirmanakayas (transformation/adaptation) bodies everywhere in the samsaric universes to help all beings.  They will have the marks of Buddhas - “the sentient beings born there all fully possess the thirty-two physical characteristics of a great being”, as well as “perfect wisdom with which they penetrate deeply into the nature of all dharmas and reach their subtle essence”. Here “dharmas” means phenomena (not Dharma or teaching with capital “D”), so dwellers of the Pure Land know the true nature behind all phenomena, which is clearly the wisdom only perfect Enlightenment brings.
“Their supernatural powers know no obstruction and their physical senses are sharp and clear”[4]. Their transcendent body in the Pure Land, as well as any manifestation they assume for the sake of sentient beings will not be limited by anything because their mind is enlightened.
They have eyes with which they see everywhere in all the samsaric realms, “With the physical eye they see clearly, discerning objects without error; the sight of their divine eye reaches everywhere without limit”[5]
They will not fall back in the samsaric states of existence, even when they go there to save others and play the role of becoming a Buddha again and again like Shakyamuni, or when they do various other activities for the sake of sentient beings. Taking the specific form of the beings they want to teach and save, they will, however, not experience their physical or mental limitations but “freely exercise supernatural powers and always remember their former lives”. Also, they will not be affected by attachments or delusions and will never again give rise to ego-centered thoughts and actions, but constantly live in accordance with the Dharma. Shakyamuni said:
“Whether going or coming, proceeding or remaining, their hearts are unattached, their acts are in accordance with their will and are unrestricted, and they have no thought of discrimination. In them, there is no idea of self or others, no idea of competition or dispute. With the heart of great compassion to benefit all living beings and with tenderness and self-control, they bear no enmity or grudge against anyone. Free of mental hindrances, they are pure in mind and without indolence. Unbiased, noble-minded, sincere, and tranquil, their hearts can revere, appreciate, and enjoy the Dharma.Having extinguished all evil passions, they are free of those tendencies that cause one to fall into evil realms. They have accomplished all the duties of a Bodhisattva and are fully endowed with immeasurable virtues. Having reached deep meditation and gained supernatural powers, transcendent knowledge, and wisdom, they are established in the seven practices leading to Enlightenment and are devoted to the Buddha-Dharma”.[6]
‘They have destroyed envy by not being envious of the superiority of others[7].
Having destroyed the hindrance of the three defilements, they revel in using their supernatural abilities. They possess all the powers of cause, condition, will, vow, skillful means, continuity, good, meditation, intelligence, and attentive hearing; the powers of generosity, precepts, patience, effort, concentration, and wisdom; the powers of right-mindedness, right-contemplation, and supernatural faculties; and the powers to train and guide beings in accordance with the Dharma.[8]They also possess the power of the six pāramitās - giving (dāna), morality (śīla), patience (kṣānti), effort (vīrya), meditation (dhyāna), and wisdom (prajnā) - and the power of right mindfulness, concentration, contemplation, the supernatural faculties, and transcendent knowledge, the power to tame and train living beings in the right way, as well as other powers.”[9]
“They are like the Himalayas, because the brilliance of their virtues is reflected evenly and clearly. They are like the great earth, because they have no discriminative thoughts, such as pure or impure, beautiful or ugly. They are like pure water, because they wash away afflictions and defilements. They are like the king of fire, because they burn the firewood of all evil passions. They are like a great wind, because they travel throughout the worlds without hindrance. They are like the sky, because they have no attachments. They are like lotuses, because nothing in the world can defile them. They are like a great vehicle, because they carry the multitude of beings out of birth and death. They are like a heavy cloud, because they cause the great thunder of the Dharma to roar and awaken the unenlightened. They are like a great rain, because they cause the nectar of the Dharma to fall like rain showers to nourish living beings. They are like the [Encircling] Adamantine Mountains, because demons and non-Buddhists cannot move them. They are like the king of the Brahma Heaven, because they are foremost in the performance of various good deeds. They are like the nyagrodha tree, because they afford shelter to all beings. They are like the uḍumbara flower, because they rarely appear in the world and are difficult to encounter. They are like the gold-winged garuḍa, because they subdue non-Buddhists. They are like a flock of playful birds, because they do not store things. They are like the king of bulls, because they are invincible. They are like the king of elephants, because they conquer  adversaries. They are like the king of lions, because they fear nothing. They are like the vast sky, because their great compassion reaches everywhere without discrimination”.[10]
Not only they do not give rise to attachments in the various samsaric worlds where they go to guide multitudes of unenlightened beings, but also have no attachment to the wonderful manifestations of the Pure Land[11]which means they are in the Pure Land not for their own enjoyment, but for helping others - “in regard to the myriads of things in that land, they have no thought of possession or attachment”[12].
While “the Bodhisattvas of lesser capacities”, that is, bodhisattvas in aspiration or training (not yet Enlightened)” attain two insights”, those who attained Buddhahood in the Pure Land and who have “superior capacities, attain innumerable [merits through the] insight into the non-arising of all dharmas. Those Bodhisattvas will not be subject to rebirth in evil realms before they become Buddhas. Excepted are those who seek birth in the worlds of other directions during the turbulent period of the five defilements, manifesting their forms in the likeness of the beings there, as in this world. They can freely exercise supernatural powers and always remember their former lives.’”[13]
As I explained often “insight into the non-arising of all dharmas (phenomena)” is the spiritual awakening in which one deeply understands that from the perspective of ultimate reality, nothing really arises or perishes. Anything that belongs to samsaric phenomena (dharmas) has no real existence – “they cultivate roots of virtue, revere the path of the Buddha, and know that all dharmas (phenomena) are completely tranquil and nonexistent”. The phenomena (dharmas) are ultimately void or empty of inherent existence because they come into being according to various causes and conditions, and are not existing independently by themselves. In contrast to this, the Buddha nature which does not depend on causes and conditions, is actually the only existent reality and is not void or empty of itself, but only empty of samsaric phenomena, empty of delusion, empty of suffering, empty of ignorance[14].  
“Those Bodhisattvas will not be subject to rebirth in evil realms before they become Buddhas”  -  once born in the Pure Land they will never retrogress into the lower realms, but immediately realize Buddhahood or perfect Enlightenment and attain “the insight into the non-arising of all dharmas (phenomena)”, that is, they know ultimate reality or Buddha-nature, as explained above.
“Excepted are those who seek birth in the worlds of other directions during the turbulent period of the five defilements, manifesting their forms in the likeness of the beings there, as in this world. They can freely exercise supernatural powers and always remember their former lives”[15] – those who attained Buddhahood or perfect Enlightenment in the Pure Land will go to various samsaric planes of existence, manifesting the form of beings living there and guide them in the Dharma. They will have no obstruction as they are already Enlightened, and are beyond suffering. Being perfectly enlightened, they of course, remember all their previous lives from before they attained Buddhahood, as well as the lives of all beings, they want to guide. This being the case, although such Enlightened Bodhisattvas (Buddhas who manifest as Bodhisattvas) understand the dharmas (phenomena) to be empty of inherent existence and the product of causes and conditions, this does not make them inactive but encourage them to work even harder for the benefit of ignorant unenlightened beings who are caught in the samsaric dream and believe to be true that which is empty and false,
“With the Buddha eye they completely realize the nature of dharmas (phenomena).Although they observe with the eye of equality that the three worlds are empty and nonexistent, they strive to learn the Buddha-Dharma (they naturally/automatically learn and know all Dharma methods) and acquire varied eloquence to rid living beings of affliction caused by the evil passions. Since all dharmas have arisen from suchness, the bodhisattvas see them as they really are and know skillful means of speech that will develop good habits and destroy bad ones in living beings. “[16]
The meaning of the last sentence is that both unenlightened phenomena or enlightened phenomena have the same base as the condition –  ultimate reality (suchness/Dharmakaya), but different causes,  1) delusion and attachments for unenlightened phenomena and 2) enlightenment, infinite wisdom and infinite compassion for enlightened phenomena. Being masters of phenomena (dharmas) these Enlightened Bodhisattvas know exactly what to say and do to guide beings in the various Dharma gates which they naturally/automatically learn and know.
“With the Dharma eye they observe and know thoroughly the teachings of the Way; with the wisdom eye they see truth and attain the other shore”[17]- they attained Buddhahood/the other shore of Nirvana.
They are not subject to karma and have no blind passions, “Their samsaric bodies and evil passions have been extinguished together with their remaining karmic tendencies”.[18]
Having no attachments, no ignorance and no blind passions, they automatically have no worldly or spiritual fear. This is because the Dharma liberated them,
“When they hear the profound Dharma their minds are free of doubt and fear”.[19]
They have infinite wisdom and infinite compassion which only Buddhas have, knowing all Dharma methods and being active in the liberation of all sentient beings,
“They are always able to cultivate great compassion, which is deep and subtle, embracing everything like the sky and bearing all like the earth. Having reached the end of the single path they have gone to the other shore. Since they have cut the net of doubt, wisdom arises in their minds. Within the Buddha-Dharma there is nothing that they do not comprehend. Their wisdom is like the ocean, and their samadhi is like the king of mountains. The light of their wisdom, being brilliant and pure, outshines the sun and moon. They are in complete possession of the pure, undefiled Dharma.”.[20]
When they use language, whatever words they say, their motivation is only to guide beings to the Dharma,
“They dislike secular talk, enjoying only right discourse on the Dharma.”[21]
Knowing the exact capacities of beings and what these can or cannot understand, they are the best teachers and have the best teaching methods,
“The Buddha said to Ananda, ‘The Bodhisattvas born in that Buddha land expound the Right Dharma whenever appropriate and, because they are in accord with the wisdom of Enlightenment, their expositions are infallible and free of error.’” [22]
 “With unhindered wisdom they expound the Dharma to others”[23].“With single heartedness they seek the Dharma tirelessly. Always desiring to expound the doctrine, they never grow weary. Striking Dharma drums and hoisting Dharma banners, they cause the sun of wisdom to shine forth and dissipate the darkness of ignorance. They perform the six acts of accord and respect, and always provide others with the gift of the Dharma. Strong willed and diligent, their determination never falters. Thus they become lamps for the world and fields of supreme merit; they always become teachers and harbor no thought of discrimination, aversion, or attachment. They seek only the right path, finding neither joy nor sorrow in other matters. They extract thorns of passion and give peace of mind to multitudes of beings. Because of their merit and wisdom, there is no one who does not revere them”.[24]
I repeat, as this is extremely important. The above qualities described and attributed to the Enlightened Bodhisattvas of the Pure Land will be ours when we’ll be born there after death and attain perfect Enlightenment, thus starting our endless career of active Buddhas, or Buddhas who manifest as Bodhisattvas for the sake of sentient beings. As Shakyamuni said, the qualities described by Him in the Larger Sutra are only a small part of what we’ll be like when we go to the Pure Land,
“Ananda, Bodhisattvas of that land have innumerable virtues such as these, of which I have given you only an outline. If I were to expound them in full detail, a thousand million kalpas would not be long enough to do so.”[25]
All those born in the Pure Land through the Gate of the Primal Vow, attained this birth and perfect Enlightenment through the Power of Amida. Also, all the supernatural capacities they receive as Enlightened Bodhisattvas (Buddhas who manifest as Bodhisattvas) are also ultimately, due to the Power of Amida. This includes travelling to other worlds and paying homage to various Buddhas who turn the Wheel of Dharma there,
“By the Buddha’s power, Bodhisattvas of that land go to innumerable worlds of the ten directions, in as short a time as it takes to eat a meal, in order to pay homage and make offerings to the Buddhas and World-honored Ones. If those Bodhisattvas so wish, countless and innumerable offerings, such as flowers, incense, music, silken canopies, and banners, spontaneously appear before them as soon as they are imagined. They are rare and marvelous, unlike anything in this world. They are, accordingly, offered to the assemblies of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Sravakas. The flowers remain in the sky and gather into canopies. Their brilliance is dazzling and their fragrance pervades everywhere. The flower canopies range in size from those of four hundred li in circumference up to those large enough to cover the universe of a thousand million worlds. As new flower canopies appear old ones disappear. These Bodhisattvas all rejoice together, and, while poised in midair, play heavenly music and praise the virtues of the Buddhas with hymns accompanied by wonderful sounds. They listen to the Dharma and attain immeasurable joy. After thus worshiping the Buddhas, they quickly return home to the Pure Land before their meal.”[26]
Why do we go to innumerable worlds to make offerings to the Buddhas living there, after we ourselves attained Buddhahood? Because in different ways and using various skillful means, all Buddhas protected us, and guided us towards Amida. As Shinran said,
“Sakyamuni and all the other Buddhas
Are truly our compassionate father and mother.
With various compassionate means they lead us to awaken
Supreme shinjin that is true and real."[27]
„Shinjin (faith) is bestowed through the compassionate means of Sakyamuni, Amida, and all the Buddhas in the ten quarters”[28]
 „The true and fundamental intent for which all the Buddhas, past, present, and future, appear in this world, is solely to teach the inconceivable Vow of Amida”[29]
Thus, upon attaining Enlightenment in the Pure Land we’ll naturally wish to say “thank you” to each one of them in particular.
to be continued 

[1] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.41[2] Shinran Shonin, Hymns of the Pure Land, The Collected Works of Shinran, Shin Buddhism Translation Series, Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, Kyoto, 1997, p.214 [3] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.41[4] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.42[5] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.44[6] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.43[7] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.45[8] This passage belongs to the translation done by Hongwanji International Center, Shin Buddhism Translation Series, volume II of The Three Pure Land Sutras, Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, Kyoto, 2009, p. 66[9] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.46[10] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.44-45[11] As explained, the wonderful manifestations of the Pure Land are enlightened manifestations themselves and unlike samsaric manifestations, they do not lead to attachment),[12] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.43[13] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.42[14] Such a teaching is present in many Mahayana sutras like Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra, Tathagatagarbha Sutra, Sutra of the Great Dharma Drum, Srimala’s Lion Roar Sutra, Angulimalya Sutra, etc. [15] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.42[16] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.44[17] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.43[18] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.44[19] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.44[20] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.44[21] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.44 [22] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.44 [23] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.44[24] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.45-46[25] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.46[26] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.46[27] Shinran Shonin, Hymn of the Two Gateways of Entrance and Emergence, The Collected Works of Shinran, Shin Buddhism Translation Series, Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, Kyoto, 1997, p.629[28] Shinran Shonin, Lamp for the Latter-Ages, letter 2, The Collected Works of Shinran, Shin Buddhism Translation Series, Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, Kyoto, 1997, p.527[29]  Shinran Shonin, Passages on the Pure Land Way, The Collected Works of Shinran, Shin Buddhism Translation Series, Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, Kyoto, 1997, p.260


11. Again on the idea that faith in Amida comes from Amida - very simple explanations - May 23, 2019 10:32:00 AM
There are many who get stuck at the idea of shinjin (faith) coming from Amida, or being Amida's gift. However, this is a very simple thing, and you should understand it in a simple way, so that it may not become an obstacle.

First of all, shinjin or simple faith in Amida is like when you do not know how to fix your car and you trust John who is a mechanic to fix it for you. In our case, you cannot attain Buddhahood by yourself and you trust Amida Buddha to help you attain it by taking you to  His Pure Land.Your trust in John arises because you heard he is a very skilled mechanic and you saw him doing other repairs. So, in truth, John is the one who makes you trust him.

Also, let’s say you have a best friend. To have faith in your best friend is, in fact, answering to his love and to him constantly being there for you, so in fact, your trust in him is his gift. You trust him because of him.

See, its nothing complicated here, so don't get stuck with the idea of shinjin or faith being a gift from Amida.  Even worldly faith in our unenlightened companions is like this. Our feelings for them is also their gift. We trust in them because they love us or because they trick us. Even trusting a good looking woman who makes you fall in love with her is also “her gift”, as she makes you love her/get attached to her. Of course, it's your own delusional need for human company at work here too (in Amida's case is your openess to Him), but her skills in seducing you make you definitely fall in love with her.

This is the mechanism of any faith – even if you decide to trust me as a friend, I  am also the one who makes you trust me (offering you the “gift” of trusting ) by my behavior and the things I do for you or the love I show to you. Its also the same with a mother. The unconditional love a mother sends to her child makes the child (influences the child to) trust her. Its nothing complicated here.

The power of a dictator makes all people tremble, the power of motherly love or friendly love, makes one entrust to one’s mother or friend. The Power of Amida's Infinite Compassion  makes (influences) those open to Him  to have faith in Him. 

Once we understood the above simple explanations of such a profound truth, we should not complicate our  minds anymore, nor wait for special things to happen,  but simply entrust to Amida.

You can read more on this topic at  this link (please read)


12. Visit of two friends from Brasil at Amidaji temple - May 22, 2019 7:06:00 AM

Fernando Campos, Josho and Thais Campos

These days at Amidaji I received the visit of Thais Campos and Fernando Campos (81 years old) from Brasil. We had a meaningful retreat filled with Nembutsu services and Dharma talks. As you know, Amidaji temple is always happy to receive visitors who are in a learning mood for hearing the Amida Dharma. Conditions for visitation are explained here (click here).







Night service in the Hondo of Amidaji
Dharma talks in the Hondo (Dharma Hall) of Amidaji
Senor Fernando lighting the candles at the altar
in the kitchen of Amidaji temple
enjoying Brasilian coffee and Dharma talks in front of the Hondo
(Dharma Hall) of Amidaji
Senor Fernando and Josho

13. LOS CUATRO PENSAMIENTOS PROFUNDOS QUE ORIENTAN LA MENTE HACIA EL DHARMA DE AMIDA (edición gratuita) - May 17, 2019 1:34:00 PM
Portada de la versión inglesa
Traducido del inglés por:Juan Sebastián Hincapié Arana
Los Cuatro Pensamientos Profundos son enseñanzas básicas, algo como una etapa preliminar a cualquier camino o práctica budista. Tienen el efecto de orientar la mente hacia el Dharma del Buda y deben ser un compañero constante no importa si uno es un principiante o un seguidor veterano. A veces se  denominan como las Cuatro contemplaciones, los cuatro Entendimientos o los cuatro Recordatorios. Dado que en este libro los explico en el contexto de la Puerta del Dharma de la Tierra Pura de la escuela Jodo Shinshu (El Dharma de Amida), decidí llamarlos los Cuatro Pensamientos profundos que orientan la mente hacia el Dharma de Amida. Estos pensamientos profundos son:
1. Preciosidad del nacimiento humano.2. La impermanencia y la muerte.3. Karma - la ley de causa y efecto4. El Samsara es sufrimiento.
Si uno contempla, entiende y nunca olvida estos cuatro pensamientos, entonces uno es un seguidor serio del Buda Shakyamuni y el Buda Amida. Comprender y recordar tal contemplación, no es algo especial; lo que sí tiene valor es poseer un simple entendimiento de que nuestra situación está definida por las anteriores cuatro verdades. Mi objetivo al escribir estas enseñanzas es utilizar la conciencia que proporcionan para convencer a mis a amigos en el Dharma de la importancia de tomar Refugio en el Buda Amida y aspirar a nacer en su Tierra Pura. Espero que los pasajes elegidos de varios textos sagrados y de los maestros antiguos, al igual que mis explicaciones, tengan un gran impacto en ellos, no solo a nivel intelectual sino también a un nivel más profundo, más emocional. El Dharma de Amida no es un mero objeto de estudio, sino la medicina más importante jamás ofrecida a los seres sintientes. La vida en forma humana, la impermanencia y la muerte, la ley del karma y los sufrimientos del Samsara son un asunto serio y por ende deben ser tratados con la mayor seriedad. Esta es la razón por la cual leer este libro no solo debería ser un proceso de acumulación de información, sino que también es una forma envolver al lector en una profunda contemplación sobre estas cuatro verdades.Lee y piensa profundamente en la rara oportunidad que tienes de haber nacido en forma humana. Lee y toma conciencia de tu propia impermanencia. Lee y déjate sorprender por la implacable ley del karma y los diversos sufrimientos de la existencia samsárica. Lee y date cuenta que no tienes otra elección más que refugiarte en el Buda Amida y aspirar a nacer en su Reino seguro e Iluminado.
Haga clic aquí para descargar la versión en pdf:

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My page on Academia.edu
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14. No alcohol and no worldly amusements in the temple - May 15, 2019 8:24:00 AM

As you may probably know, in many Buddhist temples around the world, Jodo Shinshu or not, members organize parties with music, alcohol, and dancing. Some say it relaxes people and brings them together. I say it is a smart trick of internal maras (one's own blind passions and ignorance) and/or external maras to make people forget the Dharma in the exact place where they have the chance to deepen its meaning, a subtle way of distracting them from Dharma and keeping them focused on their worldly passions and preoccupations.
Don't get me wrong, I do not forbid members to go to parties, drink, socialize or dance. They have all the time for entertainment, but the temple is not a social club, not a bar, and not a disco. It is also not karate, yoga, taichi or ikebana club, not a bazaar and not a platform for various worldly ideologies, as some use it from time to time. The temple is and must remain a place for Dharma. Here we come for a different purpose - to listen to the Amida Dharma, become aware of the delusional nature of samsara, of death and impermanence, and of the need to aspire for the liberation in the Pure Land of Amida Buddha. 
No matter how distracted we are in our daily life, we must not allow ourselves to be distracted at the place where we hear the Dharma. Here we must be focused on asking questions and solving our doubts, reading and contemplating the Dharmic truths, saying Nembutsu and keeping a Dharmic atmosphere where others are encouraged and supported to do the same.
If a sangha does not remain an exclusive place for Dharma, and I mean a 100% place for Dharma, it will sooner or later become a cause of spiritual downfall for its members. Unfortunately, many so-called temples of our days are partly or totally in this situation.We must be very careful indeed with what we do at the temple. Worldly music and entertainment strengthen our worldly passions and may give rise to improper behavior among members. Soon, people will come to the temple for fun and worldly enjoyments, like going to a disco club. Fights or rivalry may also occur which destroys Dharma friendship, the only friendship that matters in a sangha.
Keeping the temple free of any worldly entertainments is the best way to check the dedication of members or aspirants. Having nothing else to do than Dharma listening and Dharma practice, only those truly interesting in the Dharma will remain.
Question: Should meals be taken inside the temple?
Answer: Of course, members can eat together at the temple during retreats or religious celebrations and we do this at Amidaji, but the discussions should always be religious, while alcohol and any intoxicants that cloud the mind must be strictly avoided.

15. The miracle of Jodo Shinshu - May 10, 2019 4:13:00 PM
There is a famous dialogue between Rennyo Shonin and one of his disciples:

“Hokyo-bo said to Rennyo Shonin, ‘The Myogo (six character NA MO A MI DA BUTSU) you have painted has been destroyed by fire but it has become six Buddhas. How extraordinary!’
The Shonin remarked, ‘It is nothing extraordinary. Since the Buddha (that the Name represents) has become a Buddha, it is nothing extraordinary. What is extraordinary is that an evil bombu (ignorant being filled with blind passions) becomes a Buddha through a single thought of entrusting to Amida"

If you hear that a Buddha or a saint performed miracles, you might become happy and want to see that miracle for yourself, but you will always feel it is quite natural for such superior beings to perform miracles.

However, to hear that you, an ordinary person with strong attachments and blind passions, some of them known only to yourself and kept hidden with shame in the depths of your heart where no one can see them....you the reader of these lines and internet addict who like to read a lot about Buddhism, Nirvana, Buddha-nature, ultimate reality, and virtuous Masters of the past, but always finding yourself incapable to be like them….. imagine that YOU will become a Buddha!

You are sitting in front of your computer for many hours, surfing the internet, reading a lot of good teachings and wise Buddhist quotes, but never really being able to put them into practice for even 24 hours a day. From time to time, you practice a little bit of this, a little bit of that, some zazen, some vipassana, etc., and then you come back to the internet or books to read about the spiritual realizations of others. You read all those pages and try to practice this or that, but in the end you return to your true reality – the every day misery of living with your own ego and fighting with the ego of others.
You, who recognize yourself in my description, imagine that YOU WILL BECOME A BUDDHA! And to become a Buddha at the end of your life, you need nothing else than to entrust yourself completely to Amida!

When I heard for the first time about the promise of Amida, that ordinary people will become Buddhas, through simple faith in Him, I was struck with wonder and couldn’t believe my eyes and ears, as if I had seen or heard someone from another planet.

Soon, after realizing this is true and not just a parable with esoteric and hidden meaning, I found myself saying: “What am I waiting for?” For the first time I felt that Buddhism was speaking to me, and not only to supermen. Since then, every time I recall to mind the promise of Amida’s Primal Vow that everybody who entrusts to Him and says His Name will attain Buddhahood in His Pure Land after death, and realize that I myself will become a Buddha, I feel there is no greater miracle.




16. Favorable conditions for accepting the Larger Sutra in faith - commentary on verses 21 - 30 from section 27 of the Larger Sutra - Apr 28, 2019 8:46:00 AM

 fragment from my commentary on the Larger Sutra- this is a work in progress and under constant revision -  click here to return to the table of contents
After the episode with the visit of Bodhisattvas and prediction for their attainment of Buddhahood, Shakyamuni continues with explaining the conditions of meeting with the teaching of the Larger Sutra and how precious and inconceivable this Dharma is.
“Without a store of good from former lives,One cannot hear this sutra;But those who have strictly observed the preceptsCan hear the Right Dharma.
One who has met a World-honoured One in the pastCan accept this teaching.Such a person respectfully worships, hears,And upholds it, and rejoices so greatly as to dance.
Arrogant, corrupt, and indolent peopleCannot readily accept this teaching.But those who have met Buddhas in their former livesRejoice to hear it”[1]
There are two karmic causes explained here:  
1   1)  observance of precepts in a former life leads to birth in human form or a realm where one can meet and hear the Larger Sutra and especially the message of the Primal Vow which is the essence of this sutra. The Larger Sutra is called “the right Dharma” because, as I explained at chapter two, it is the true reason for Shakyamuni’s appearance in this world.2   2)  those who have met a Buddha or many Buddhas in the past and had devotion and respect towards them, are open enough to accept in faith the teaching of the Larger Sutra and especially the Primal Vow of Amida – this is the meaning of “one who has met a World-honoured One in the past can accept this teaching” and “those who have met Buddhas in their former lives rejoice to hear it”. To accept means to have faith. Such people accept all that Shakyamuni explained in the Larger Sutra, but also worship and entrust according to the requirements of Amida in His Primal Vow. They are disciples without any doubt, who are happy to hear about Amida’s wonderful and indiscriminative method of salvation – “such a person respectfully worships, hears,and upholds it, and rejoices so greatly as to dance”.
The good things we did in the past lives, like observing the precepts and being respectful to a Buddha led us to life in human form and to meeting, hearing and accepting the Larger Sutra. Even if now we are not able to observe precepts, we could do that in a former life and as we know from the Buddhist teaching on karma, observing precepts in a previous life has the karmic effect of being born a human or higher form of existence. This does not mean we always observed precepts in all our previous lives, but we had perhaps one life of great efforts in doing that. However, it is important to notice that even if we made great efforts in observing the precepts, and even met a Buddha in one of our previous lives whom we worshiped and respected, we still did not attain perfect Enlightenment because we did not abandon the reliance on the illusion of self-power. As Shinran said,
“Under the guidance of Buddhas who appeared in this world,
Three times the sands of the Ganges in number,
We awakened the aspiration for supreme Enlightenment,
But our self-power failed, and we continued to transmigrate.”[2]
Thus, we should not waste our time anymore in this life with self-power practices, but entrust completely to Amida Buddha about whose Primal Vow we learn in the Larger Sutra.  
Those who are arrogant, corrupt, and indolent people, cannot readily accept this teaching”. These are people who are proud of their so-called “spiritual achievements”, who believe that they can attain Buddhahood in their present bodies, but also people who although they are in human form and met with the teaching of the Larger Sutra they deny the existence of Amida and His Pure Land, or they refuse to entrust to Him completely. So, it is not enough to have observed precepts in a previous life, enjoy the karmic effect of being born a human being, and meeting the Larger Sutra. Many are now in human form and have met the Larger Sutra, but few actually accept the actual existence of Amida and His Pure Land who are the main elements  of the sutra. Many also do not rely exclusively on Amida’s power and are not in accord with His Primal Vow which is the essence of the Larger Sutra. These are people who although they did some good in a previous life, and were even capable of good moral behavior, they were not devotional and respectful enough towards Buddhas, and so they did not receive their blessing and guidance. When Shakyamuni mentioned the meeting of a Buddha or Buddhas, He surely did not refer to an occasional meeting but to worshipping, entrusting, and venerating those Buddhas. It is said in the sacred texts that one who venerates a Buddha, even if he does not live during a time when a Buddha is actually present in human form in his realm, for the true worshipper, it is like the Buddha is in the world. So, we can interpret the reference to meeting with a Buddha or Buddhas in two ways, 1) meeting and being in the presence of an actual great Buddha/Buddhas of the past whom the practitioner respected and worshipped, and/or 2) worshipping and having respect towards Buddhas in a previous life/lives, thus being in their presence even if he did not actually lived in the time of a great Buddha’s appearance in human form[3]. There is no doubt that one who met Buddhas in a previous life and who worshipped and venerated them will have the karmic tendency to continue with the same attitude in the present life. More than this, because all Buddhas praise Amida’s method of salvation, they are all guiding beings who are under their care and who worship them, towards faith in Amida. So, it is easier for one who has veneration and a respectful attitude towards various Buddhas to come to a point where he accepts in faith the teaching of the Larger Sutra and entrusts to Amida Buddha according to His Primal Vow.  
Shakyamuni urged us to take His teaching on Amida Buddha very seriously and emphasized the difficulty of birth in human form and of being able to meet with it and hear it:
“To obtain human life is difficult in the extreme;To meet a Buddha in this world is also difficult;It is difficult, too, for a person to attain faith and wisdom.Once you have heard the Dharma, strive to reach its heart[4].”[5]
No matter the circumstance we live in, no matter how hard our lives are, and no matter what suffering we encounter[6], we must not lose our life in vain, but hear Amida Dharma and entrust to it:
“Even if the whole world is on fire,Be sure to pass through it to hear the Dharma;Then you will surely enter the Buddha’s EnlightenmentAnd everywhere deliver beings from the river of birth and death.”[7]
All those who have faith in Amida Dharma, accept the Larger Sutra and are in accord with the Primal Vow of Amida which is the essence of this sutra, are Shakyamuni’s personal friends, no matter how high or low are they on a scale of spiritual evolution:
“If you have heard the Dharma (Amida Dharma/the Larger Sutra) and do not forget itBut adore and revere it with great joy,You are my good friend. For this reason,You should awaken aspiration for Enlightenment[8].”[9]
Attention here, as Shakyamuni wanted us to be very careful on this matter – to hear and entrust to His teaching on Amida Buddha in the Larger Sutra does NOT have anything to do with some kind of supernal wisdom or special qualities on the part of the follower. It does not mean to know, as a Buddha knows, all the “technical” details of the Pure Land and how Amida’s method of salvation presented in the Larger Sutra works. This is why Shakyamuni spoke the following verses:
“Neither sravakas nor bodhisattvas are able to knowThe Sage’s mind exhaustively;They are like those who are born blindAnd yet wish to guide others.”[10]
Here the term “sravakas” is used for a person in the spiritual state of aspiring for personal freedom from birth and death, and “bodhisattva” for a bodhisattva in training, who has not yet attained perfect Enlightenment (not a Buddha yet). If such people try to understand the impossible to understand details of the Pure Land and how Amida’s method of salvation works, and think they can teach others their limited understanding, they are like ignorant peasants who, after traveling by plane for the first time, they play smart about flying technology and pretend to know everything about plane engines.  
“The ocean of the Tathāgata’s wisdomIs deep, vast, and boundless.Even sages of the Hinayana cannot fathom it;Only the Buddha clearly knows it.”[11]
Only a Buddha can understand Amida Buddha, His Pure Land, as well as all the supernal details related to them:
“Let us suppose that all human beings,Without exception, have attained EnlightenmentAnd, with pure wisdom, realized original emptiness.Even if they pondered the Buddha’s wisdom for myriads of kalpas.
And expounded it with the utmost effort all through their lives,They would not come to exhaustive knowledge of it.The Buddha’s wisdom is thus limitlessAnd pure to its depths.”[12]
As I already explained in this book, the topic of the inconceivability of Amida Buddha's salvation is often mentioned in the sacred texts. Simply stated, unenlightened minds cannot understand the Enlightened Minds and work of Buddhas, just like an ignorant peasant who never got out of his village and who does not know how to read or write, cannot understand planes or the flying technology. Just like ignorant peasants who trust the pilot even if they don’t understand how the planes fly, we should, after hearing Shakyamuni’s teaching about Amida, have faith in Him and trust that He will save us, even if we do not know, like a Buddha knows, the exact way in which He will do that.
to be continued 

[1] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.40[2] Shinran Shonin, Hymns of the Dharma Ages (Shozomatsu Wasan), The Collected Works of Shinran, Shin Buddhism Translation Series, Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, Kyoto, 1997, p.403[3] It can also be the case that a person was born in the Pure Land of another Buddha and there, under the guidance of the Buddha of that realm, he heard about Amida and entrusted to Him, thus going from that realm to Amida’s Pure Land. 
[4] Here is a passage quoted by Shinran in the same line with the passage from the Larger Sutra, and which you might find useful: "Foolish beings of the lowest level, fettered by their karmic acts and blind passions, are transmigrating in the five evil courses for a hundred thousand myriads of kalpas. But suddenly hearing of the Pure Land, they awaken aspiration and seek to be born there. [...] All the Buddhas protect them, and enable them to advance directly toward Enlightenment.  Know that such an encounter is rare, even in a myriad kalpas. In a thousand lifetimes, a person might encounter the Vow but once. From this day to the very end of time, wherever you are, give praise to the Vow, and wherever you may go, encourage others to hear it.”Shinran Shonin (Gutoku's Notes), quoting The Commentary on the Amida Sutra by Yan-chao, master of the Vinaya school (Master Tai-chih)The Collected Works of Shinran, Shin Buddhism Translation Series, Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, Kyoto, 1997, p.598[5] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.41 [6] Also no matter how happy we are and how many pleasant distractions we encounter, we must not lose time but hear Amida Dharma and entrust to it. [7] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.41 [8] You should awaken aspiration for Enlightenment by relying on the Power and Primal Vow of Amida Buddha, which is the essence of the Larger Sutra.[9] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.41[10] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.40[11] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.40[12] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.40

17. Visit of Bodhisattvas from other worlds to Sukhavati and prediction for attaining Buddhahood for them and all beings – commentary on section 26 – 27 of the Larger Sutra - Apr 16, 2019 11:13:00 PM
 fragment from my commentary on the Larger Sutra- this is a work in progress and under constant revision -  click here to return to the table of contents
 As we have already seen in section 22 (“all Buddha Tathagatas in the ten directions, as numerous as the sands of the Ganges River, together praise the inconceivable, supernal virtue of Amitayus”[1]), Shakyamuni mentions again the praising of Amida and His virtues, in section 26:

“The Buddha said to Ananda, ‘The majestic virtue of Amitayus is boundless. All the innumerable, countless, and inconceivable Buddha Tathagatas in the worlds of the ten directions praise Him.’”[2]
Whenever we read about such praise by all Buddhas we should know it also means praising Amida’s method of salvation which, among the methods invented by all Buddhas, it is the easiest to bring ALL beings, no matter their spiritual evolution, to the attainment of Nirvana. By praising Amida and His merits, they automatically praise His Name as all His merits are manifested into His Name which is easy to pronounce by anybody. All such praising are related with the 17thVow where Dharmakara promised that when He becomes Amida, all Buddhas will praise His Name.

Not only Buddhas, but also Bodhisattvas praise and worship Amida. As I already explained in the first chapter of my commentary on this sutra, there are two types of Bodhisattvas: 1) Bodhisattvas in aspiration and 2) Bodhisattvas who already attained Buddhahood or perfect Enlightenment. The latter are called Enlightened Bodhisattvas or Buddhas who manifest as Bodhisattvas. I will especially insist more now on the first category because it’s of great importance for this chapter and for sections 26-27.
1. Bodhisattvas in aspiration (sometimes they are called “Bodhisattvas in training”) are those who have made the aspiration to attain Buddhahood for themselves and all beings, but who are still on the path and still unenlightened (not Buddhas yet). In this category of Bodhisattvas can be included all beings, no matter their level of spiritual achievement, as long as they wish to attain Buddhahood and freedom from samsara for themselves and all beings. To have this wish, which is called, the Bodhi Mind, makes everyone a Bodhisattvas in aspiration, even if his spiritual capacities are extremely low or practically non-existent. Thus, every Mahayana Buddhist, including a Jodo Shinshu follower can be called a Bodhisattva in aspiration because shinjin or faith in Amida is in fact, the Bodhi Mind. As Shinran said:
"Shinjin that is the inconceivable working of the power of the Vow
Is none other than the mind aspiring for great Enlightenment".[3]"The true entrusting heart is adamantine faith. Adamantine faith is the aspiration for Buddhahood. The aspiration for Buddhahood is the desire to save sentient beings. The desire to save sentient beings is the desire to embrace sentient beings and bring them to the Pure Land of Peace and Bliss. This desire is the great Bodhi-mind. This mind is the great compassion, for it arises from the wisdom of Infinite Light[4]".[5]
In our case, the Awakening of the Bodhi Mind – the aspiration to attain perfect Enlightenment or Budhahood for oneself and all beings is impossible to be fulfilled by self-power, as Shinran said:
„The aspiration for Enlightenment through self-power taught in the Path of Sages
Is beyond our minds and words;
We foolish beings ever sinking in transmigration -
How could we awaken it?

Under the guidance of Buddhas who appeared in this world,
Three times the sands of the Ganges in number,
We awakened the aspiration for supreme Enlightenment,
But our self-power failed, and we continued to transmigrate.”[6]
However, this Mind is fulfilled in the Awakening of Faith (shinjin) in the Primal Vow of Amida Buddha. Master Shan-tao said: “awake your Bodhi Mind to Amida’s Compassion”, that is, aspire to your and other beings Liberation by relying on the Compassion of Amida (His Primal Vow).So, the Awakening of the Bodhi Mind – the obligatory condition in Mahayana of attaining the supreme Enlightenment, appears in Jodo Shinshu in the form of faith (shinjin).Shinran Shonin said in the Hymns on Patriarchs:
“Faith is One Mind
One Mind is the Diamond-like Mind;
The Diamond-like Mind is the Bodhi-Mind;
This mind is given us by the Other-Power.”

The One Mind (Faith) represents the cause of Enlightenment. Since this is the Bodhi-
Mind, it means to aspire to the attainment of Buddhahood for oneself and others:
"To take refuge, with the mind that is single,
In the Buddha of Unhindered Light filling the ten quarters (Amida)
is, in the words of Vasubandhu, author of the Treatise,
The mind that aspires to attain Buddhahood.

The mind that aspires to attain Buddhahood
Is the mind to save all sentient beings;
The mind to save all sentient beings
Is true and real shinjin, which is Amida's benefiting of others."[7]
"True and real shinjin (faith) is the aspiration for Buddhahood. The aspiration for Buddhahood is the aspiration to save all beings. The aspiration to save all beings is the mind that grasps sentient beings and brings them to birth in the Pure Land of happiness".[8]
Thus, although we are ordinary beings filled with ignorance and blind passions, since we receive faith in Amida Buddha we can be called Bodhisattvas in aspiration. However, there are Bodhisattvas in aspiration that do not have faith in Amida but make great and sincere efforts on various paths of self-power. Many of them are more spiritually advanced than us, perhaps even on the ten bhumis (stages) but still they are not Enlightened and not Buddhas yet.
2. Bodhisattvas who already attained Buddhahood or perfect Enlightenment are any Buddhas who do not remain secluded in their Enlightenment, but continue to manifest in various forms, even taking the appearance of unenlightened beings, to help others. These are in fact, Buddhas who manifest as Bodhisattvas. In this category we find Avalokitesvara, Mahasthamaprapta, Samantabhadra, Manjusri, and many others, including the Bodhisattvas in the audience when the Larger Sutra was taught. In fact, all great Buddhas manifest as Bodhisattvas in various ways which are beyond our capacity to understand and in various places. For a more detailed explanation of such Bodhisattvas in the second category, please go back to the first chapter[9]. 
Visit of Bodhisattvas from other worlds - Larger Sutra mandala
source: http://web.mit.edu/stclair/www/horai/dai-26-27.htmNow let’s come back to the present discussion. Various Bodhisattvas from both categories visit Sukhavati in order to praise, honor and worship Amida Buddha and His assembly of Enlightened Bodhisattvas and disciples (sravaka):
“Innumerable and countless Bodhisattvas in the Buddha lands of the eastern direction, as numerous as the sands of the Ganges River, all without exception, visit Amitayus (Amida) in order to worship and make offerings to Him and to the assembly of Bodhisattvas and Sravakas.Having heard the teaching, they expound it to lead people into the path of the Buddha. As in the eastern direction, so it is in the southern, western, and northern, as well in the four intermediate directions and above and below.’”[10]
Again in this case, “sravaka” has the meaning of a disciple who heard with devotion the teaching and entrusted to it. Being now in the Pure Land such a sravaka is also Enlightened, so “the assembly of Bodhisattvas and Sravakas” mean enlightened beings in the Pure Land.
Enlightened Bodhisattvas visit the Pure Land out of gratitude for the guidance and help they received from Amida (and other Enlightened Ones who dwell there and showed them the path to Amida) when they were still in training, just like a student will always visit and respect his master no matter that now he became a master himself, while the Bodhisattvas in aspiration who are not yet enlightened, but possess the power of  seeing far and traveling through space may visit the Pure Land to receive teachings and surely, they will not limit themselves to a mere visitation but wish to be reborn there and attain Buddhahood, so that they can effectively save sentient beings everywhere.
Shakyamuni explained the visit of Bodhisattvas:
“In the eastern direction there are Buddha landsAs numerous as the sands of the Ganges River;Bodhisattvas dwelling in those landsGo to pay homage to Amitayus (Amida), the Enlightened One.
So it is in the southern, western, and northern directions,The intermediate directions, above, and below;Bodhisattvas dwelling in those landsGo to pay homage to Amitayus, the Enlightened One.
All those Bodhisattvas, taking with themExquisite heavenly flowers,Precious incense, and priceless robes,Make offerings to Amitayus, the Enlightened One.
Playing heavenly music in concert,Producing harmonious and delicate sounds,They praise the Most Honored One with hymns saying:
‘You have perfected supernatural powers and wisdom,With which you freely enter the gates of the profound Dharma;You also possess stores of merit and virtueAnd unparalleled supreme knowledge.
Illuminating the world with the sun of wisdom,You disperse the clouds of birth and death.’
Having reverently walked round Him three times,The bodhisattvas pay homage to the Unsurpassed One.”[11]
It is extremely important to notice the words, “all without exception”. So, ALL Bodhisattvas without exception will, sooner or later, visit the Pure Land of Amida and pay homage to Him. This is reinforced by mentioning all the directions of the universe and saying that ALL Bodhisattvas from all places visit the Pure Land. Thus, there is no Bodhisattva in aspiration who reached the power of seeing far and traveling through space that does not go to Amida for worship, instructions and prediction of attaining Buddhahood. The Buddhas themselves who are the Masters of these Bodhisattvas order them to go to Amida so that they can do the following:
-          attain Buddhahood (“realm of purity”):
“The Buddhas tell the Bodhisattvas to go and pay homageTo the Buddha of the Land of Peace and Provision.‘Listen to His teaching, joyfully receive and practice it,And then quickly reach the realm of purity.”[12]
-          acquire the same supernatural powers and capacity to help all beings as Amida through His Pure Land:
“‘When you go to His glorious Pure Land,You will instantly acquire supernatural powers.Having, without fail, received predictions from Amitayus,You will attain perfect Enlightenment.”[13]
“Bodhisattvas, if you make vowsThat your lands will be like this,While aspiring to save all beings everywhere,Your name will be renowned throughout the ten directions”.[14]
-          to be able to visit other Pure Lands, as the Pure Land of Amida is connected to all the enlightened realms and the spheres of activities of various Buddhas:
“In order to serve millions of Tathagatas,You can assume various forms and fly to those lands;After worshiping them with joyful hearts,You will return to the Land of Peace and Provision.’”[15]
So it seems that all those who became Buddhas in the past, are Buddhas of the present and will become Buddhas in the future, are the disciples of Amida, as they all have Amida in common, received or will receive teachings from Him. Nobody attains Buddhahood without Amida, as all Bodhisattvas go to Amida for instructions before they become Buddhas. This is why Rennyo Shonin said:
“Since Amida Tathagata is the original Teacher and Master of all Buddhas of the three periods (past, present and future), how can all the Buddhas who are His disciples not rejoice when we rely on that Buddha who is the Master? You must understand the grounds for this very thoroughly.“[16]
Before attaining Buddhahood, and while they are still Bodhisattvas in aspiration (training), but also after that, when they are Buddhas who manifest as Bodhisattvas, they never forget Amida, and constantly praise and worship Him.
But how is birth there possible for these Bodhisattvas as well as for all sentient beings no matter how high or low are they on the scale of spiritual evolution? The Buddhas say to their Bodhisattva disciples:
“By the power of that Buddha’s Primal Vow[17],All who hear His Name and desire BirthWill, without exception, be born in His landAnd effortlessly enter the stage of non-retrogression”.[18]
So in fact, the intention of the Buddhas is that their Bodhisattvas in training do not limit themselves to mere visitations, but go further and be reborn there. If we carefully re-read these lines through the eyes of the Primal Vow (like we should read the Larger Sutra in Jodo Shinshu),
“The Buddhas tell the Bodhisattvas to go and pay homageTo the Buddha of the Land of Peace and Provision.‘Listen to His teaching, joyfully receive and practice it,And then quickly reach the realm of purity.”[19]
we realize that listening to Amida’s teaching and joyfully receive it and practice it, means to listen to Amida’s Primal Vow in faith, entrust to Him, say His Name and wish to become a dweller ( be reborn in) of the Pure Land, and not just remain a visitor. This is also the meaning of “hear His Name and desire Birth” from the other stanza above this one.  
By remaining a visitor one cannot benefit from the enlightened transformative force of the Pure Land, so only if he becomes a dweller or inhabitant of the Pure Land, he can reach Nirvana (“the realm of purity”). When a highly advanced Bodhisattva in aspiration visits the Pure Land, he receives the main instruction of Amida Buddha which is basically contained in His Primal Vow – “entrust yourself to me (give up to the reliance on your self-power and rely exclusively and totally on my Power), say my Name in faith and wish to be reborn in my land”. If the Bodhisattva in aspiration does that (“listen to His teaching, joyfully receive and practice it” which also means to“hear His Name and desire Birth”), he automatically enters “by the power of that Buddha’s Primal Vow”in the stage of non-retrogression for attaining supreme Buddhahood – “effortlessly enter the stage of non-retrogression”, thus receiving the prediction for becoming a Buddha. Then he discards his body and is actually reborn in the Pure Land (“will, without exception, be born in His land”), which is also done “by the power of that Buddha’s Primal Vow”, giving up to his state of visitor and becoming a dweller or citizen of this Enlightened realm. Such a Birth is immediately followed by the attainment of Buddhahood, because by becoming part of the Pure Land whose essence is Nirvana or Buddhahood itself, one automatically becomes a Buddha.
For ordinary people like us who may be called Bodhisattvas only because shinjin (faith) is itself the Bodhi Mind, and who do not have the capacity to see and visit the Pure Land by themselves, such a process of entrusting to Amida, saying His Name in faith and wish to be born in His Land is done while we are still here in our present circumstances. Here too, by the Power of Amida’s Primal Vow, we enter the stage of non-retrogression, and we’ll be born in the Pure Land at the end of our samsaric bodies when we attain the same Buddhahood like the other Bodhisattva colleagues who were more advanced than us.
In our case and in this Saha world[20], the Buddha who encouraged us to go to the Pure Land is Shakyamuni and as I said, “visitation” is not an option for us, because we are not so advanced as to travel to the Pure Land first and see with our eyes its marvelous manifestations. Being so limited, we cannot see, but only hear about the Pure Land from the descriptions made by Shakyamuni, and taking His words for true, we aspire to be born there after death.
The advanced Bodhisattvas in training who reached their high spiritual stages through various practices based partially or totally on their own powers can, unlike us, the lowest of the low, see with their own eyes the amazing enlightened qualities of that realm and its capacity to act as a liberating ground for all beings:
“Having seen the glorious Pure Land,Wonderfully resplendent,They are led to awaken supernal aspirationAnd wish their lands to be like His”.[21]
In section 27 of the Larger Sutra, Shakyamuni describes a visit by such highly advanced Bodhisattvas in aspiration. Before all the visitors gathered there in His Pure Land, Amida manifests an amazing show of Light and gives each one of them the prediction for attaining Buddhahood after they, of course, accept His teachings:
“Then Amitayus, the Enlightened One,Changes His countenance and smiles;From His mouth come forth innumerable rays of Light,Which illuminate the worlds of the ten directions.
These rays of light return, encircle His bodyThree times, and enter the crown of His head.All devas and humans are delighted to see thisAnd are filled with great joy.
Avalokitesvara, the Exalted Being, having respectfully arrangedHis clothes and bowed his head,Asked the Buddha, ‘Why are you smiling?Reverently I inquire. Please tell me why.’
The Buddha’s majestic voice was like thunder,Producing wonderful sounds in the eight qualities of voice:‘Because I am about to give predictions to the Bodhisattvas.I shall now explain to you. Listen carefully!
I am fully aware of the vows of the BodhisattvasWho come from ten directions;They seek to glorify their pure lands.After receiving my predictions, they will become Buddhas.
While realizing that all dharmas  (phenomena) are like a dream,An illusion, or an echo[22],They will fulfill their excellent vowsAnd surely establish pure lands such as this.
Knowing that dharmas are like a flash of lightning or a shadow[23],They will pursue the Bodhisattva path to its endAnd amass a store of merit. After receivingMy predictions, they will become Buddhas.
While thoroughly knowing that the nature of all dharmasIs empty and without substance[24],They will single-mindedly seek to produce their pure landsAnd will surely establish lands such as this.’”[25]
I am always amazed when reading about the smile of Amida and the Light emanating from His mouth towards all “the worlds of the ten directions”, then coming back to Him, encircling Him three times and entering the crown of His head. There is something very important here because His smile and the Light manifestation is related to the predictions He is about to give for others attainment of Buddhahood.
First of all, that Light was not manifested only in the Pure Land, but sent towards all “the worlds of the ten directions”. This was especially done to show that the salvation offered by Amida is not limited to the spiritual elites who visited His Pure Land, but reaches all sentient beings, no matter where they are born in the samsaric “worlds of the ten directions”.  Thus, although Amida is shown giving predictions to the Bodhisatvas visiting His Pure Land, there is another more profound meaning here – that all beings in the ten directions, not only those who are able to visit His Pure Land, also receive the prediction that they will attain Buddhahood if they accept the Light that is sent to them, emanating from Amida’s mouth. To accept the Light emanating from Amida’s mouth means to hear His voice or His Primal Vow, as the Primal Vow is, in fact, Amida’s Call and Amida’s command for us. This Light (representing Amida’s main wish, His Primal Vow and His Call) goes to all sentient beings in “the worlds of the ten directions”, and it comes back to Him, surrounds Him three times, then enters the crown of His head, which means that those who accept this Light or entrust to Him and say His Name in faith, thus answering His Call, are people who worship Him in the perfect way as the Light they receive in their hearts goes back to Amida and surrounds Him three times (to encircle a Buddha image or statue three times is a well-known gesture of worship). They are also in agreement with Amida’s Mind which is represented by the fact that this Light enters the “the crown of His head”.  Again, the deeper meaning is that ordinary beings from all the ten directions, no matter how low they are on the scale of spiritual evolution can receive this prediction of attaining Buddhahood if they too accept Amida’s Light in their heart and mind, that is, if they entrust to Him and say His Name in faith. By having a simple faith and by being in accord with His Primal Vow, they become practitioners who perfectly worship Amida and who accord with Amida’s Mind and Amida’s wish.
Also the deep meaning of the verse “all devas and humans are delighted to see this (Amida’s Light) and are filled with great joy” is that all beings (not only highly advanced Bodhisattvas ) who entrust to Amida know they are saved from samsara and assured of the attainment of Buddhahood in the Pure Land. “Seeing” in this verse is not an ordinary seeing with the eyes of flesh, but seeing in the spiritual sense of accepting, understanding and entrusting, coming in accord with the goal of Amida’s Light. Their joy is like escaping a great burden, and if one is truly aware of what samsara really is, and truly wishes to escape it, he will feel relief at knowing he is finally assured of liberation. This is why the mention of “all devas and humans” is used here immediately after describing Amida’s Light which emanates from His mouth and goes to all directions. It is to show that all beings (“all devas and humans”is a generic title for all sentient beings) can receive this Light and benefit from it, receiving prediction for attaining Buddhahood, not only Bodhisattvas who visit the Pure Land and appear to be the main characters of sections 26 and 27.
As I have always said, those who entrust to Amida Buddha have various degrees of spiritual evolution. They may be the lowest of the low, very close to Enlightenment like Bodhisattvas who are able to visit the Pure Land, or somewhere in between. Some entrust to Amida while in human form, others in deva (gods) or spirit form, etc. Some hear the teaching about Amida while in their own realms (like us), while some, like highly advanced Bodhisattvas[26]can entrust to Amida after visiting His Pure Land and listening more to the teaching there. No matter what practices they followed to reach the highly advanced stages they are in now, they will all sooner, or later, entrust to Amida Buddha, say His Name in faith and worship Him. And they all will be helped by the Power of Amida to reach Buddhahood or perfect Enlightenment.
Things are very complex and impossible to understand with our limited minds, but contemplating these matters from the perspective of Amida’s Primal Vow, we are sure that all Buddhas had Amida as their teacher at one time or another, entrusted to Him, were helped by Him and attained Enlightenment through His supreme Power and guidance. How can things be otherwise when Amida has the most accessible method for attaining Buddhahood and the best Pure Land where ANYBODY can realize it? Certainly, the Bodhisattvas very close to Enlightenment are capable to appreciate more the technical details of the Pure Land of Amida after visiting it, seeing it with their very eyes and comparing it with other Pure Lands they traveled to until then. This is why they use Amida’s Land as a standard for their own future Pure Land or sphere of activity.
So again, highly advanced Bodhisattvas as well as ordinary beings from all the ten directions can receive the prediction of attaining Buddhahood from Amida if they entrust to Him and say His Name in faith. For us, such a prediction is none other than entering the stage of non-retrogression in this life about which I already talked about in a previous chapter.

to be continued 

the verses 21 to 30 from section 27 are explained here


[1] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.35[2] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.36[3] The Collected Works of Shinran, Shin Buddhism Translation Series, Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, Kyoto, 1997, p.354[4] Please check the chapter "Faith in Amida Buddha is not the creation of our minds” from The Meaning of Faith and Nembutsu in Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, free online edition on Amidaji website, http://amida-ji-retreat-temple-romania.blogspot.com/2018/07/new-book-meaning-of-faith-and-nembutsu.html#more  [5] Kyogyoshinsho – On Teaching, Practice, Faith, and Enlightenment, translated by Hisao Inagaki, Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p. 122[6] Shinran Shonin, Hymns of the Dharma Ages (Shozomatsu Wasan), The Collected Works of Shinran, Shin Buddhism Translation Series, Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, Kyoto, 1997, p.402[7]  Shinran Shonin, Hymns on the Patriachs , The Collected Works of Shinran, Shin Buddhism Translation Series, Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, Kyoto, 1997, p.365[8] Shinran Shonin, Passages on the Pure Land Way, The Collected Works of Shinran, Shin Buddhism Translation Series, Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, Kyoto, 1997, p.314[9] Chapter1 - "’Thus have I heard’ - The time and place of the deliverance of this sutra and the qualities of the audience – commentary on section 1 and 2” . Read from the passage “Now let’s move to the 2nd fragment of the Larger Sutra which describes the qualities of the Bodhisattvas in the audience” until the end of the chapter. [10] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.36-37[11] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.37.[12] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.39[13] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.39[14] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.39[15] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.39-40[16] Rennyo Shonin Ofumi, letter „On the ‚Loyal Retainer and the Faithful Wife’”, BDK English Tripitaka 105-II, 106-I, Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, 1996, Berkeley USA, p.44[17] Here I used the translation made by Hongwanji “Primal Vow” - Shin Buddhism Translation Series, volume II of The Three Pure Land Sutras, Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, Kyoto, 2009, p. 57, instead of “Original Vows” made by Zuio Hisao Inagaki[18] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.39[19] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.39[20] Saha world is our universe where Shakyamuni came and turned the Wheel of Dharma. [21] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.38[22] When “dharma” is written with small “d” it refers to phenomena. The verse should be understood in the sense that when attaining Buddhahood, they will realize that all phenomena of samsaric existence are illusory like a dream, and then, having no more traces of attachment and ignorance, they will finally be  able to benefit all beings in various ways, including the creation of their own Pure Land if they so wish. I have to mention here that an Enlightened person, especially one who attained Enlightenment in the Pure Land, can manifest other Pure Lands while in the same time, never moving from the Pure Land of Amida. [23] Phenomena (dharmas) are momentary appearances which may seem to be permanent only for the unenlightened eyes, but not to the all-knowing vision of a fully Enlightened One. [24] Because phenomena (dharmas) appear due to causes and conditions, they are said to be empty of themselves, or not truly existent. On the contrary, the Buddha nature, having no beginning and no end is truly existent, and so it is empty of other phenomena, but not empty of itself. After discovering this ultimate truth and dwelling in the Buddha nature, they will be able to manifest as many Pure Lands as they wish, without even leaving the Pure Land of Amida. Only one who has reached Buddhahood can manifest enlightened lands or Pure Lands. [25] The Three Pure Land Sutras - A Study and Translation from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki in collaboration with Harold Stewart, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, Kyoto, 2003, p.38[26] Of course, highly advanced Bodhisattvas can entrust to Amida even while in their own realms, and be born in the Pure Land without the need for a visit there, or they can entrust and also pay a visit, etc. These are matters impossible to understand with our limited minds, so it’s better to not insist on detailed explanations.

18. Invitation to become a patron (constant supporter) of Amidaji by little monthly donations - Apr 16, 2019 9:46:00 AM

Dear friends in the Dharma,
As you well know, all my Dharma activities, my books, and articles are available for FREE to all who wish to learn about the orthodoxJodo Shinshu Buddhist teaching. Also, at Amidaji temple there are NO taxes or fees for accommodation, religious services or teaching activities. Yes, I do have the printed editions of my books on sale on Amidaji website, but I also provide, (according to my religious vow), free online editions for those who can't afford or simply don't want to buy.  Also, printed editions are sometimes given as gifts at various occasions and to people who cannot read online or in pdf, and also cannot afford to buy.  I am glad to say that, for example, at every two printed copies sold per month, I have at least 50 copies downloaded for free. This is good news and a sign that what I teach and write is useful to many.
However, as you all know from your everyday life, everything costs money. The funds I use for my activities come from working here and there, sometimes as a security guard, from donations and very little from selling books. The fact that I have free online editions make very few people wanting to buy. Some advised me to suspend the free online editions in order to sell more books or to add a tax for membership, teachings, and retreats. I know the advisers are well intended and have a lot of financial arguments, but I refuse such a thing. The Dharma can't be sold, no matter what. During Shakyamuni Buddha's time teachers gave Dharma for free and people supported the teachers by free will donations. This has always been the principle I apply in my life as a priest and in my temple. 
Recently I took the decision to dedicate my next books to my Dharma friends and readers who supported me through donations and those who wish to do this in the future. So, all those who kindly give a constant donation every month, no matter its 1 euro, 5 euro, 10 euros, 20, 50 euros (dollars) or more, will be mentioned in the list of patrons and will be dedicated the new books I am working on. Also, in the list will be included the people (deceased or alive) in whose name a monthly donation is made. 
The more stable my situation is, the more time I can dedicate to writing and teaching. So, my plan is to raise a minimum amount monthly (perhaps around 300 euro/ month) for daily needs, maintenance of the temple, and teaching activities. Perhaps, if a constant number of people who read Amidaji website and benefit from it give at least 5 euro or 10 euro per month, or more, I will be able to raise that amount.
To give a little each month (or week if you wish) requires less effort on the part of the donor, but assures me a constant amount every month that can be used for the temple, various Dharma activities and for daily needs. Thus, every little help is gratefully received and very important.
If you wish to donate you can go to this link ( DONATION) where there is a PayPal donation box and two Bank accounts. There is also a DONATION boxin the left column of this website, too. Perhaps you can find a technical mean to schedule a small contribution for each month so that the funds go automatically at the end of the month to Amidaji. 
However, no matter how much you decide to donate, please don't forget what I always say - Donations do not solve the "matter of the greatest importance" of death and rebirth. Only through simple faith in Amida we can be born in the Pure Land and attain Buddhahood. Thus, donation is NOT a religious obligation, but a free-will gesture of help for which I am very grateful.
Yours in Namo Amida Butsu,
Josho
UPDATE: a friend suggested that I give special gifts to possible donors and patrons, but I don't know what special things I can give, except the gift of Amida Dharma which is not my property and which I share freely with everybody, no matter one is a donor or not. Advice, answering questions, guidance on the Jodo Shinshu path, hours of Dharma discussions if you need that, free accommodation at the temple, etc, all these are already freely given. I cannot take what I already give for free, and transform it into a special gift reserved only for patrons and occasional donors.
Even the incense or flowers I offer in the name of all donors at Amidaji altar, I also offer it in the name of all beings everywhere. My recent books have been dedicated to patrons, but also to all mother sentient beings, without exception, because this is the true spirit of gratitude and filial piety in the Buddha Dharma. As Shinran said, "all sentient beings, without exception, have been our parents and brothers and sisters in the course of countless lives in the many states of existence."





19. LAS VERDADERA ENSEÑANZA DEL BUDA AMIDA Y SU TIERRA PURA (edición gratuita) - Apr 15, 2019 6:04:00 PM
Portada de la versión inglesa
Traducido del inglés por:Juan Sebastián Hincapié Arana
Este libro es un proyecto a largo plazo que comenzó hace unos años como reacción a la aparición en la sangha internacional de algunas opiniones divergentes que amenazan con destruir las posibilidades de que muchas personas escuchen el genuino Dharma de Amida. También es un trabajo en progreso, y el lector puede esperar que vuelva, tarde o temprano, con nuevas ediciones y mejoras.
Como todos sabemos, el Dharma es el segundo de los Tres Tesoros (Buda, Dharma y Sangha) en los que todos nos refugiamos cuando nos convertimos en discípulos budistas. En pocas palabras, el papel de la Sangha es asegurar una transmisión genuina del Dharma como fue enseñado por el Buda Shakyamuni y los Maestros de nuestra tradición (Jodo Shinshu), para que todos podamos recibir fe (shinjin) y alcanzar la Budeidad en la Tierra Pura. Sin tal transmisión adecuada, en realidad no hay Sangha y no hay posibilidad para la liberación del nacimiento y la muerte, es decir, no hay posibilidad para convertirnos a nosotros mismos en budas.Más que esto, el Dharma es la medicina suprema dada por el Buda, el Doctor Supremo, y al recibirlo debemos tener la actitud de pacientes humildes cuya salud y salvación dependen totalmente de la prescripción del médico y la correcta administración de la medicina. Si somos sacerdotes o maestros, simplemente no podemos ser descuidados con la salvación de las personas del nacimiento y la muerte, de la misma manera en que un buen farmaceuta no le da veneno a quienes acuden a él buscando medicina prescrita por su médico.

Mientras nosotros mismos no seamos Médicos (seres iluminados / Budas), nosotros tampoco debemos cambiar la Medicina (el Dharma), sino actuar como un buen farmaceuta y dar a los demás exactamente lo que tiene el médico prescrito. En realidad, el Dharma de Amida no es nuestra propiedad y tratándose de él, deberíamos actuar solo como transmisores y no como creadores de la enseñanza.
Esto es exactamente lo que estoy tratando de hacer en este libro: mostrar la verdadera enseñanza sobre el Buda Amida y su Tierra Pura, y a su vez también contrarrestar algunos de los puntos de vista erróneos más difundidos de nuestro tiempo.
Haga clic aquí para descargar la versión en pdf:
My google drive
My page on Academia.edu
My page on Scribd.com


DONACIONES




20. No need for special consecration ceremonies for Amida's images - Apr 7, 2019 4:30:00 PM
Question: Should I ask a priest to consecrate the image of Amida Buddha before or after I install it on my altar?

My answer: There is NO need for that. You can simply ask nicely Amida Buddha to bless your image or statue, and I am sure He will not refuse you 🙂. But you do not even need to ask or think about a blesing or consecration as Amida's blessings are always received by those who have faith in Him. If you say Amida's Name in faith while looking to an image of Amida, that is all the consecration you need.

Why should somebody intervene between you and Amida Buddha? The role of the priest or teacher is only to guide you to become more open to Amida, answer your questions, teach you the right Amida Dharma, warn you against wrong views, etc, and nothing more. The priest does not have special powers to attract Amida's blessings than any other ordinary person of simple faith. So don't worry and don't fall prey to those who pretend to be followers of our school and assume such a fake mystical role.

Jodo Shinshu Buddhist path (Amida Dharma) is a personal relation between Amida Buddha and you. As long as you say His Name in faith, Amida is always present. In fact, He has been present for all beings since He attained Buddhahood, always trying His best to make them trust Him and connect to His Pure Land. However, because everything is cause and effect, one who is not opened or not connected to Amida, cannot receive His blessings, just like a TV set cannot work if its not connected to a power outlet.
21. Conditions to be accepted as a student at Amidaji temple - Apr 6, 2019 9:52:00 AM
Rev Josho Adrian Cirlea, resident priest
of Amidaji templethe following also applies to people who ask occasional teachings from me, or visit Amidaji, without engaging in a long teacher-student relationship
I already explained this many times, but I think is better to state it again in more detail, so that people who wish to receive guidance from me know what should expect. So, first, read this, then decide if you wish to continue or not.
I believe in discipline when it comes to teaching and listening to Amida Dharma. The main problem of international Jodo Shinshu sangha is doctrinal chaos and the fact that everybody can say and teach whatever one wants, and then every opinion no matter how false is accepted under the stupid idea of political correctness. This is wrongly understood freedom, or freedom without responsibility which leads to the proliferation of so many wrong views. However, this is NOT the way of Amidaji, and NOT my teaching style.

So, please do contact me or come to Amidaji only if you are in a learning mood and if you want to receive guidance from me. Don’t contact me to express your views and personal opinions on various Buddhist or worldly matters because I am NOT interested. I am here to help those who think they need my help. Period. Those who think they know better or disagree with my teaching style are invited to find somebody else. Amidaji temple, this website or the various pages I use to promote Amida Dharma are NOT forums, and the posts, articles, and instructions I offer are NOT an invitation to debate, but to listen deeply. 
I can talk many hours, offer many days, weeks, months, and years of guidance to those who are willing to learn, and a lot of people can testify to my dedication and the warm welcome they receive at Amidaji. You may contact me at any hour by email, chat or other means if you have questions and you will see that I answer quickly. I have patience with serious students who have difficulty in understanding and learning, I ask no fees or taxes for guidance and from those who come at Amidaji. My books and all the texts in use at my temple are available for free download. The library is opened too, for study and to borrow books. There is nothing I refuse to those who sincerely wish to learn the orthodox Jodo Shinshu teaching (Amida Dharma) and are willing to study seriously.
However, I kick out immediately anyone who is not serious enough and not truly willing to learn Amida Dharma. I don’t have time to lose with closed minds, with those who play smart with me, think they know better and insist on telling me their opinions when I have never asked them so, with those who are lazy and don’t read or don’t study what I told them to read and study, with impolite or undisciplined people, with those who are searching for debates, who distort Amida Dharma with their own opinions or who mix it with other paths from inside or outside the Buddha's teaching, etc.
It’s ok if people come to me and Amidaji with misunderstandings and errors, because the world nowadays is filled with wrong views and false teachers, and many are led into confusion, but if after being explained thoroughly what is true and false, one insists on his wrong views, then he will be asked to leave and find another teacher and temple. Further moaning and complaining will not be taken into consideration, as everybody is warned from the start who I and Amidaji are. Also, messages and letters containing frustrated reactions will not be read, because time is precious and does not worth spending it with endless and useless discussions.
The way of Amidaji is a total dedication to serious followers and people in a learning mood, and zero tolerance for proponents of wrong views, mixed practices and religions, lazy people and all those who don’t follow the instructions offered so generously at this temple.
I hope this short post will be clearly understood as I intended it -  a compassionate warning for those who are dishonest or simply cannot accommodate themselves with Amidaji orthodox teaching style and a compassionate welcome and encouragement for honest seekers who take the matter of death and after death seriously and are willing to learn how to escape it through Amida’s method of salvation.
Namo Amida Bu  


22. Si el Voto Primal de Amida es verdadero... - Apr 5, 2019 6:58:00 AM

Shinran Shonintraducido del inglés por Juan Sebastián Hincapié Arana

ShinranShonin dijo:
"Si el Voto Primordial de Amida es verdadero, la enseñanza de Shakyamuni no puede ser falsa. Si la enseñanza del Buda es verdadera, los comentarios de Shan-tao no pueden ser falsos. Si los comentarios de Shan-tao son ciertos, ¿pueden las palabras de Honen ser mentiras? Si Las palabras de Honen son ciertas, entonces seguramente lo que digo no puede estar vacío”. [1]
El Voto Primordial es verdadero. Esta es labase de nuestra fe y de todo el Dharma de Amida, que fue enseñado por Shakyamuni y por los Maestros en sucesión. Todo comienza con esto: el Voto Primordial es verdadero. Si nosotros aceptamos que el Voto Primordial es verdadero y confiamos en él sin duda alguna somos salvados; si no, esta vida en forma humana es desperdiciada:
"Si en esta vida aún estás enredado en una red de dudas, entonces
inevitablemente debes pasar una vez más por  la corriente de nacimiento y muerte a través de miríadas de kalpas”.[2]
En el Voto Primordial encontramos todo lo que necesitamos, y lo que Amida y Shakyamuni quieren que hagamos. Podemos decir que todo el budismo es
reducido para nosotros, al Voto Primordial.
Por supuesto, Shakyamuni enseñó a mucha cosas durante su vida, pero nada es más importante para nosotros que aquellos momentos preciosos en donde contó la historia del Buda Amida y su Voto primordial. Como dijo Shinran:
“Entretodas las enseñanzas que el Gran Sabio predicó en su vida, ninguna
supera este océano de virtudes [el Voto Primordial].”[3]
“Entre todas las enseñanzas queel Gran Sabio predicó en su vida nada sobrepasaesteoceano de virtudes (El voto primordial)”
Para Shinran y para nosotros "el Voto universal difícil de comprender es, de hecho, unGran barco que nos lleva a través del océano difícil de cruzar”. Es  La verdadera enseñanza fácil de practicar para los pequeños y necios. El camino recto y fácil de recorrer para los torpes e ignorantes”.
En el Voto Primordial, del Buda Amida hizo la siguiente promesa:
“Si, cuando alcance la Budeidad, los seres sintientes en las tierras de las diez direcciones que sinceramente y con alegría confíen en mí, deseando nacer en mi Tierra e invoquen mi nombre, incluso diez veces, no nazcan allí, que no alcance la Iluminación perfecta ".
Aquellos que tienen fe en Él, dicen Su Nombre y desean nacer en Su Tierra Pura, irán allí. Es tan simple como eso. Claramente, como dijo Shinran. anteriormente, es algo que incluso los "torpes e ignorantes" pueden seguir.
No haypráctica especial, ni elevadasvirtudes, ni capacidades espirituales, ni esto ni aquello, tampoco hay técnicas de meditación, ni retirarse a un monasterio; sino nada más que una simple fe, recitar su nombre (fe y recitar el nombre son lo mismo) y deseo de renacer en su tierra pura después de la muerte.
Los maestros de nuestra escuela siempre insistieron en que debemos estar de acuerdo con el Voto Primordial. Estar de acuerdo con el Voto Primordial significa que nosotros lo aceptemos como verdadero y efectivo para salvarnos, que digamos el Nombre con fe y deseo de nacer en la tierra de Amida.
Aceptar que el Voto Primordial voto como verdadero y efectivo también significa que aceptamos los elementos de este voto comoverdaderos y reales ¿Cuáles son estos elementos? Ellos son el Buda Amida y su tierra pura. Solo en relación con este Buda y su tierra pura.Hay una fe, un dicho del Nombre y un deseo de nacer. ¿Fe en quién? Es fe en Amida. ¿Diciendo el nombre de quién? Diciendo el nombre de Amida. ¿Deseando nacer en la tierra de quién? Deseando naceren la tierra de Amida.Si tenemos fe en alguien, entonces estamos seguros más allá de cualquier duda, qué él/ella es confiable y que mantendrá su promesa. Ahora voy a decir algo que puede parecer demasiado simple y obvio para ser mencionado, pero creer en la promesa de alguien significa que aceptamos su existencia también. Las personas vivas pueden hacer promesas, en nuestro caso es una persona viva, existente y real: El Buda Amida; no objetos materiales o personajes de ficción. Si lees Harry Potter o un libro sobre Papá Noel, o incluso Hamlet por Shakespeare, no puedes realmente creer que estos personajes son reales.Sabes que son parte de una ficción y lo que digan en sunovela específica, nunca pensarás que están realmente prometiéndote algo a ti personalmente ¿Por qué estoy diciendo esto y hago esta ridícula comparación? Es porque hoy en día algunos estudiosos confundidos yfalsos maestros en nuestra sangha internacional están tratando de convencer a la gente que el Buda Amida es solo otro personaje ficticio como Hamlet[4], y no una verdadera Persona Iluminada.También intentan presentar elotro elemento del Voto Primordial - la Tierra Pura - como inexistenteo algo que se logrará  en el aquí y el ahora, en esta misma existencia, y noun lugar donde deberíamos desear renacer después de la muerte, como lo principal el Voto nos insta a hacer.
La situación es muy complicada y llevaría muchas páginas eincluso libros enteros para describir en detalle los diversos aspectos de estospuntos de vistaerróneos y herejías, incluidos sus supuestos argumentos, o la razón por la cual sus autores están actuando así. Sin embargo, en este libro pretendo ofrecer no solo otra teoría u opinión personal, sino la única visión, lo que sí importa – la verdadera enseñanza sobre el Buda Amida y su Tierra Pura,tal como fue impartida por Shakyamuni y los Maestros de nuestra tradición.
Entonces, volviendo a nuestra línea de argumentos, solo si aceptamos la real
existencia del Buda Amida en Forma y Nombre y de Su Tierra Pura, podemos tener Fe genuina en Él, recitar su nombre y desear nacer en su Tierra Pura, podemos tener una fe genuina en Él, decir Su Nombre y desear nacer ahí porque el Buda Amida y su Tierra Pura son verdaderas y reales, su Voto primordial, en el cual nos exhorta a confiar en Él, decir su Nombre y Desear ir allí, es en sí mismo verdadero y real. No estamos hablando aquí de una promesa vacía hecha por una persona no iluminado ni por un ficticio personaje en un libro de fantasía, pero sobre la promesa de un verdadero Buda, la de un total iluminado llamado Amida. Dado que existe y es un Buda, entonces significa que es confiable y podemos dejar que nos lleve a su Tierra pura.
Ahora a continuación, ¿dónde oímos hablar de Amida Buddha, su tierra y su Voto Primordial? Oímos hablar de él en la enseñanza de Shakyamuni, el Buda histórico que apareció en nuestro mundo hace más de 2500 años.
Esta es otra razón para confiarle nuestro destino kármico a Amida, porque Shakyamuni es el testigo y el que nos contó la historia de Amida:
"Si el Voto Primordial de Amida es verdadero, la enseñanza de Shakyamuni no puede ser falsa"
El Maestro Seikaku hizo una declaración  simple acerca de aceptar el Voto  primordial por fe sobre la base de que Shakyamuni mismo nos habló deél y del que hizo este voto:
"Supongamos que un hombre en quien uno confía profundamente y de quien uno no tienemotivo de sospecha, te habla de un lugar que él conoce bien, de primera mano, diciendo que hay una montaña aquí, un río allá. Tú crees profundamente lo que dice, y después de que hayas aceptado estas palabras, te encuentras con otras personas que dicen que todo es falso. No hay montaña nirio.Sin embargo, ya que has escuchado lo que fue dicho por una persona que de la que no se debería pensar que hable de una simple fabricación, cien mil podrían decirte algo diferente pero no lo aceptarías. Más bien confiarías profundamente en lo que escuchaste primero. A esto se le llama confianza”Ahora, creyendo en lo que enseñó Sakyamuni, confiar en el Voto de Amida
y estar sin ninguna duda debería ser así”[5]
También los Maestros de nuestra tradición siguieron Shakyamuni, incluyendo a Shan-tao, Honen y Shinran[6]quienes aceptaron y nos transmitieron la verdad del Voto Primordial:

“Si la enseñanza del Buda es verdadera, los comentarios de Shan-tao  no pueden serfalsos. Si los comentarios de Shan-tao son ciertos, ¿pueden las palabas de Honen ser mentiras? Sí las palabras de Honen son ciertas, entonces seguramente lo que digo no puede estar vacío”.

Incluso si a veces usaban métodos diferentes, todos enseñaban queAmida y su tierra pura existen y que debemos tener fe y deseos de ir allá. Dicho esto, ahora paso a la siguiente fase de este libro, en la que trato de explicar con más detalle quién es el Buda Amida y su Tierra Pura. En mis explicaciones dependeré, por supuesto, no de mis propias opiniones, sino delas enseñanzas de Shakyamuni y los Maestros sucesores. Solo sometiendo mi mente y mi corazón a su enseñanza, y por lo tanto al Voto Primordial, las palabras que uso no serán vacías y falsas.



[1]Tannisho, capitulo 2 - The Collected Works of Shinran, (Las obras complete de Shinran) Shin Buddhism Translation Series, Jodo ShinshuHongwanji-ha, Kyoto, 1997, p.662[2]Kyogyoshinsho, capítulo I, The Collected Works of Shinran (Las obrasCompletas de Shinran) Translation Series, JodoShinshuHongwanji-ha, Kyoto, 1997, p.4[3] Idem, p.3 [4]  El Dr NobuoHaneda realmente dijo “Amida es un personaje ficticio como Hamlet o Fausto” en su artículo publicado en: http://www.livingdharma.org/Living.Dharma.Articles/WhatIsAmida-Haneda.html[5]Essentials of Faith Alone (Conceptos esenciales de la sola Fe) por Master Seikaku.[6] Al igual que Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu, T’an-luan, Tao-ch’o, Genshin y RennyoShonin.
23. Los que creen en un dios creador no pueden tener verdadera fe en Amida Buda - Mar 30, 2019 11:06:00 AM
traducido del inglés por Juan Sebastián Hincapié Arana

En los subcapítulos anteriores expliqué y contrarresté la visión eternalista de un dios creador supremo, y haré lo mismo con las opiniones falsas sobre el Buda Amida y su Tierra Pura en la segunda parte de este libro. Pero antes de terminar la primera parte, deseo presentarles mis respuestas a una pregunta muy importante planteada por un amigo del Dharma en relación con este tema.

Pregunta[1]:
"Muchas personas que terminan en el budismo Shin aquí en Occidente tienen muchos conceptos vestigiales de nuestros antecedentes de religiones abrahámicas –hayan sido "creyentes" o no- y llevan estas ideas vestigiales con ellos una vez comienzan su camino como budistas. Algunos no hacen esto, por supuesto, especialmente los que tienen una disposición seria para el estudio de las enseñanzas y consideran importante aprender lo que el Budha shakyamuni realmente enseñó. Pero por lo que sabes por tu tiempo tanto en el Zen como en sanghas del budismo Shin, tal estudio a menudo no es el enfoque principal, ni siquiera de la manera como lo es en las escuelas Teravada y las sanghas budistas tibetanas. Entonces, en tu opinión, basado en tu propia lectura y contemplación, ¿es posible para una persona ignorante, pero bien intencionada llegar a establecerse en shinjin (fe asentada) si él/ella nunca ha estudiado realmente el tema[2], y tiene Algunas ideas eternalistas mezcladas en su flujo mental? O ¿acaso es la presencia de tales pensamientos un obstáculo kármico que requiere ser tratado y removido antes de que la persona pueda recibir el regalo de la Fe  de Amida?
Respuesta: Yo pienso que eso depende de cuán importante sea el peso del eternalismo dentro de su corriente-mental. La mayoría de personas nacidas en el mundo de hoy, y especialmente aquellos que nacen en un contexto Judeo-Cristiano, poseen una información básica sobre la idea de un dios-creador, pero hago una diferencia en la manera en que reaccionan a ello, especialmente si se hacen llamar seguidores de la escuela Jodo Shinshu.
Algunos realmente no les importa mucho-si este dios creador existe o no-puesto que no lo encuentran importante, y por ende, no ocupa mucho espacio en sus mentes, mientras que otros si les importa, por lo que si ocupa un espacio importante en su mente.
Ambas categorías de personas pueden decir que confían en Amida, pero dudo que aquellos en la segunda categoría tengan una fe genuina. Si para la primera categoría el “dios creador” es solo una información con la cual prefieren no lidiar o no les interesa, para la segunda categoría claramente se trata de una presencia con repercusiones conscientes o inconscientes para ellos. Creo que para los segundos Amida es automáticamente percibido como este dios-creador, y de acuerdo con mi experiencia la mayoría de ellos incluso consideran a Amida como una criatura superior que de alguna manera es inferior a dios.
Pero no importa como sitúen a Amida en relación con este dios-creador, su apego a la idea de dios es la clave para comprenderlos. Este apego, en mi opinión, es un impedimento para un auténtico Shinjin, lo cual no es el caso para la primera categoría.
Las personas en la primera categoría, luego de escuchar la explicación Budista pueden dejar ir fácilmente la idea de un dios-creador, incluso si hasta el momento no sabían que debían de abandonarla, pero aquellos en la segunda categoría van a combatir la explicación e intentarán defenderla.
Por supuesto, no podemos saber a ciencia cierta que sucede dentro de nuestro corazón y solo Amida conoce si uno realmente tiene Shinjin o no, pero también podemos decir que las personas son como árboles y pueden ser conocidas por sus acciones, en nuestro caso por sus reacciones.
De la misma forma en que una persona que niega la existencia del Buda Amida definitivamente no tiene posibilidad de tener fe en Él, aquel que tenazmente se aferra a la idea de un dios-creador, no puede realmente tener encomendarse al Buda Amida como salvador supremo. También, como dije anteriormente, quien esta mental y espiritualmente apegado a la idea de un dios-creador va a relacionar, consciente o inconscientemente, al Buda Amida con este dios-creador, y va a creer a su vez que Amida es una criatura-una creación de este dios… No es una coincidencia que tengamos una explicación hecha por el Buda Shakyamuni hecha en términos humanos, de quien es un Buda, quien es Amida, y que es su Tierra Pura. Igualmente - y esto es extremadamente importante - en el voto primordial se nos dice que nos encomendemos y confiemos, que tengamos fe en el Buda Amida-lo cual significa SOLO en el Buda Amida. Tener fe en el Buda Amida significa aceptarlo a Él como único y supremo salvador, pero cuando nos aferramos a la idea de un dios-creador, esto también es una expresión de fe, la cual es dirigida a  ese dios. Aceptar la existencia de un dios-creador, o del Buda Amida, o cualquier figura divina no es un hecho científico pero un asunto de fe. Por lo tanto si escuchando la enseñanza del Buda Shakyamuni a cerca de la no existencia de un dios-creador algunos reaccionan agresivamente o intentan resistirla o incluso tratan de negarla, esto es una indicación de que realmente tienen fe en ese dios-creador.Su misma resistencia es una expresión de su fe errónea. Aquellos que dicen haber recibido shinjin (fe en Amida) pero se aferran a la idea de un dios-creador, de hecho tienen fe en un dios-creador, y una falsa y no consolidada (no asentada) fe en Amida.
Esta es mi opinión, la cual proviene no solo de mi contemplación de este asunto o de mis lecturas, sino que viene de mi experiencia como sacerdote y mi encuentro cara a cara con tales individuos.
Me preguntaste, "¿cuál es la comprensión mínima necesaria del Dharma del Buda que una persona DEBE tener para recibir El regalo de  la fe de Amida?”
No puedo hacer una lista completa y no puedo relacionarme con cada situación particular y con cada persona, pero puedo decir que se nos debe ayudar  a tener una mínima visión dhármica del mundo, por lo que una persona debe entender en términos sencillos lo que es el  karma (karma y la idea de un dios creador no pueden realmente coexistir, como expliqué en mis subcapítulos anteriores sobre este tema), lo que es el renacimiento como verdadero fenómeno lleno de insatisfacción constante, y que la verdadera Libertad (los Budas pueden ser explicados como verdaderamente Libres, teniendo compasión perfecta) de estos nacimientos y muertes repetidos es algo que él/ella debería desear ... y para que esta libertad venga rápida y ciertamente, uno necesita aceptar la mano amiga de Amida, como el único  y verdadero-Salvador.

Incluso una persona analfabeta puede tener una comprensión  mínima del karma, renacimiento (que puede explicarse en términos de la vida después de la muerte en varias formas), y de Amida Buddha como una Supremo Libre que manifestó un mundo / reino perfecto donde podemos aspirar a ir después de la muerte y convertirnos nosotros en Personas Libres (Budas) para luego regresar con el objetivo de salvar a los que amamos.

Podemos preguntarnos, si no consideramos que Shakyamuni sea el Maestro supremo que todo lo sabe en el universo (Maestro de todos los seres seres humanos, incluidos dioses y hombres), si pensamos que el Buda puede estar acertado en algunos asuntos e incorrecto en otros, como en su negación de la existencia de un dios creador supremo, entonces, ¿cómo podemos escucharlo con una mente y corazón abiertos  y aceptar su enseñanza sobre Amida Buddha de El Sutra grande (El Sutra de la vida infinita)?
Si Shakyamuni estaba equivocado en una sola cosa, entonces, ¿cómo podemos saber que Él no estaba mal cuando enseñó acerca de Amida y su tierra pura? Nosotros debemos recordar que Shakyamuni nos instó a aceptar sus enseñanzas sobre el Buda Amida con fe, y de que se trata de la enseñanza más difícil de aceptar por fe, entonces ¿cómo podemos hacer esto si no consideramos al Buda Shakyamuni como infalible en sabiduría? Realmente, o el Dharma entero de Shakyamuni debe ser cien por ciento verdadero o no lo es en lo absoluto.
Las personas no-iluminadas (no-Budas) que se llaman a sí mismos discípulos del Buda, no pueden, escoger por preferencias lo que les gusta y descartar lo que no les agrade de las enseñanzas del Buda. Todas las doctrinas budistas están interrelacionadas, y si uno le añade un elemento extraño, como por ejemplo, un llamado “dios-creador” todo el sistema budista queda por ende irreconocible. El Karma y la enseñanza sobre el Buda y la naturaleza Búdica no pueden coexistir con la idea de un dios-creador eterno y supremo. Así, antes de encomendarnos al Buda Amida, debemos primero ser auténticos discípulos del Buda Shakyamuni y aceptar de lleno Sus enseñanzas y explicaciones sobre el Samsara.



[1]Esta pregunta fue enviada a mí por Paul Roberts (Líder y profesor de la  sangha virtual True  Shin Buddhism Blogspot, mencionada  a continuación en el enlace de abajo) la conversación completa puede ser consultada aquí:https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/true_shin_buddhism/conversations/messages/7005[2] El tema mencionado aquí es el del eternalismo que asume la existencia de un ser todo poderoso-creador que esta eternamente presente.
24. Dos preguntas sobre la naturaleza búdica y el Samsara - Mar 29, 2019 10:52:00 AM



                                    traducido del inglés por Juan Sebastián Hincapié Arana
Pregunta 1: "¿De dónde surgió originalmente la naturaleza búdica dentro de nosotros?Pregunta 2: “¿Cuándo se produjo el proceso de autoengaño o sufrimiento por primera vez y por qué?
En primer lugar, no importa cuánto nos explique un Buda la naturaleza del universo, la naturaleza de Buda, el Nirvana, etc., mientras nosotros sigamos siendo seres no iluminados con capacidades mentales / espirituales limitadas, nosotros no podemos entenderlo realmente debido a esto el Buda solo nos ofreció algunos consejos o pistas (como las que presenté anteriormente), pero él no podría ofrecernos lo que queremos saber, y no porque él no lo conozca sino porque no poseemos las facultades decuadas ni la madurez espiritual para saber más. Solo imagina cómo puedes explicar una teoría física a un recién nacido o un bebé - no es porque no lo sepas, sino porque el bebé no puede realmente entenderlo en el nivel que se encuentra ahora. Nuestro cerebro o lo que llamamos la “mente” no puede procesar realmente la sabiduría de un Buda que naturalmente sabe todo. Así, solo cuando nosotros mismos alcancemos la Budeidad/iluminación podremos entender todo sobre la naturaleza búdica y el samsara, y todas nuestras preguntas serán contestadas o mejor dicho, no tendremos ninguna pregunta  ya para formular entonces naturalmente lo sabremos todo, y donde  no hay no hay ignorancia, no hay preguntas.Por eso el Buda insistió en que aquí y ahora deberíamos estar concentrados en seguir el Camino y llegar al Nirvana, como una persona herida por una flecha envenenada; primero se debe urgentemente extraer la flecha en lugar de tratar con teorías como, “¿de qué ave esta las plumas de la flecha’? ¿A quién pertenecía? a ", o" ¿qué tipo de madera se usó al hacer esa flecha?”, y así sucesivamente. 

La mente humana no iluminada es limitada y dualista, por lo que tiene la tendencia a pensar en términos de principio y fin. Pero este, "comienzo y  fin” son solo categorías mentales, nada más. Estas categorías pueden ser herramientas útiles, especialmente para tratar la vida cotidiana, pero cuando lo deseamos. Pero usarlas para entender la naturaleza del Nirvana o el Buda, no son útiles ya más, y más bien pueden convertirse en obstáculos. Así, ya que nosotros no podemos superar la dualidad, es imposible que podamos concebir lo que se encuentra más allá de un principio y  un fin. La verdad es que la mente desea mucho que exista un comienzo, porque esto le da una sensación de seguridad, estabilidad, y algún tipo de comprensión falsa que es, de hecho, un  concepto intelectual, y no un saber verdadero. Debido a que nuestra mente funciona en términos de “principio y final”, podría parecer seguro aceptar la idea de un dios creador. De hecho, la mente humana se siente más segura si envuelve con conceptos familiares al mundo. Entonces, para muchas personas, el asunto es no si "hay o no hay un dios creador", sino más bien, "debe haber un creador", y así harán todo lo posible para aferrarse a la idea de un dios creador.
Volviendo a la naturaleza búdica o Nirvana, a veces el Buda usó descripciones positivas y negativas de eso, para hacernos anhelar la libertad, o  y hacer que deseáramos convertirnos en Budas nosotros mismos, o darnos un punto de partida, pero también señaló que: "El Nirvana está más allá de los conceptos". Esto es para mostrarnos que no podemos aplicarle a estos términos ninguna categoría mental. Así, sin entrar en detalles que son imposibles de comprender con nuestras mentes limitadas, Nirvana o la naturaleza Búdica es el estado de la verdadera libertad, mientras que el Samsara es el estado de esclavitud o de atadura. Eres libre o no eres libre, o en otras palabras, eres ya sea un buda o un ser no iluminado. Ningún dios creó el estado de la esclavitud samsárica y su gran cantidad de reinos (como se explicó en el último subcapítulo), así como ningún dios creó el estado de verdadera libertad. Siendo Increado, el estado de Nirvana/ la naturaleza  Búdica no tiene principio ni fin, así que no podemos decir que vino de aquí o de allá. Solamente sobre las existencias kármicas podemos decir que se crean una y otra vez  por seres no iluminados que son auto-ilusionados /engañados. Pero en cuanto a la pregunta "cuando fue que este proceso de autoengaño o sufrimiento comenzó en primer lugar y por qué "- esta es una pregunta formulada en el sueño por una persona dormida (no-iluminado) que usa categorías del sueño, y con una mente que no conoce la libertad y el despertar, y que será respondida después del Despertar (la Budeidad) o mejor dicho, las preguntas desaparecerán naturalmente una vez se llegue a la iluminación/despertar. Una vez obtengamos la verdadera del sueño samsárico (el Buda significa “el despierto”) ya no habrá más Samsara para nosotros.
Esto es similar a la experiencia cotidiana de cada mañana cuando despertamos de un sueño y nos damos cuenta que el sueño no era real, mientras que el estado del despertar siempre estuvo presente, o la naturaleza búdica siempre estuvo ahí. Esto significa que el sueño era creado por nosotros y nuestras emociones mientras que el estado del despertar (Budeidad/Nirvana) es no-creado.  Aquello que siempre está ahí, increado y sin cambiar es esta realidad-cuando-despierto o la naturaleza búdica



25. Algunas explicaciones budistas sobre el origen y existencia del Universo - Mar 28, 2019 10:42:00 AM
                                                                         

    traducido del inglés por Juan Sebastián Hincapié Arana
“Considerar este mundo fantasma. Como una estrella al amanecer, una burbuja en un arroyo,  Un relámpago en una nube de verano.  Una lámpara parpadeante, un fantasma, y ​​un sueño”.Buda Shakyamuni
Pregunta: Si el Dharma del Buda niega la idea de un dios creador, entonces ¿Cómo se explica la existencia de los diversos mundos y universos?
En primer lugar, cuando se refiere a mundos y universos, el Dharma del Buda Los explica como lugares de renacimiento, o reinos samsáricos. Por lo tanto, son habitados por seres no iluminados en varias etapas de evolución o involución espiritual. Que yo sepa, la mayoría de los monoteístas dan el siguiente argumento en apoyo de su creencia en un supremo dios creador: “si ves una casa en un campo, te preguntas quién la construyó.De la misma manera, este mundo complejo es la creación de nuestro dios. Todo lo que existe tiene un creador ”. Esta es la base de su sistema de creencias, pero para los budistas el asunto se aborda erróneamente. Sí, en efecto, todo tiene un creador, pero no en la forma en que los monoteístas piensan. Preferiría decir que cada sueño tiene un creador: el soñador.¿Y quién es el soñador? Somos nosotros - los seres no iluminados con nuestro karma individual específico, pero también con el karma colectivo o las conexiones karmicas que creamos entre nosotros.
Los diversos mundos y universos están intrínsecamente vinculados con los seres que los habitan. Entonces, podemos decir que los primeros existen debido al karma de seres no iluminados o en otras palabras, el karma de los seres no iluminados es la causa principal de la existencia de los mundos y universos. Echemos un vistazo, por ejemplo, a los reinos del infierno. ¿Quiénes son los atormentadores, "guardias del infierno" o bestias aterradoras que aplican los diversos tormentos allí?¿Cuál es la verdadera naturaleza del bronce fundido, de las feroces montañas, ríos de fuego y los otros elementos materiales que se encuentran en los infiernos?[1] ¿Son acaso creados por alguien, y poseen una existencia propia? De acuerdo con la enseñanza Budista estos son la manifestación del karma maligno de los habitantes del infierno[2], así como los monstruos y sitios aterradores de nuestras pesadillas son creados por nuestros propios pensamientos y deseos. En las pesadillas los monstruos y los terroríficos lugares son muy reales para el soñador y esto es exactamente cierto para los habitantes de los infiernos.
Por lo tanto, no hay un dios creador que haya hecho el infierno o haya inventado los “guardianes infierno" para castigar a los pecadores ya que los pecadores mismos son responsables de la existencia de esos lugares. Cada pensamiento y acción de lo que hacemos es una causa que tendrá consecuencias (efectos). Si constantemente Pensamos en los malos pensamientos y acciones, cambiamos por ende nuestro mundo interior (nuestra corriente-mental) y, tarde o temprano, nos veremos rodeados por un malvado y doloroso mundo exterior (nuestros cuerpos y el medio ambiente). Así que, después de que dejemos esta forma humana y mundo, renaceremos en un cuerpo y un mundo que correspondan con (es un reflejo de) nuestras mentes y nuestro karma.
Así como los infiernos son el reflejo del karma más malvado de los seres, el resto de los planos de existencia (animales[3], fantasmas hambrientos, humanos, asuras o semidioses, y dioses), también aparecen debido al karma de los seres.
Así, podemos decir que los seis reinos de la existencia que son descritos en los textos sagrados, son, por un lado, seis dimensiones de consciencia o seis dimensiones de experiencias posibles que se manifiestan en nosotros, individualmente como las seis emociones negativas (odio/rabia, codicia, ignorancia, celos, orgullo, y distracción sensual/placentera[4]) y por el otro lado, son reinos reales en los cuales diversos seres renacen debido a su karma colectivo. Incluso mientras vivimos en nuestros cuerpos humanos, estamos conectados con cada dimensión/reino y tenemos en nosotros las semillas del renacimiento en cada uno de ellos.
De esta manera, durante nuestro periodo de vida, cuando experimentamos diversas emociones, participamos de algunas de las cualidades propias y los sufrimientos predominantes en otros reinos. Por ejemplo, cuando estamos dominados por el odio y la rabia, somos como seres infernales, cuando somos codiciosos sentimos algo parecido con quienes nacen en el reino de los fantasmas hambrientos (Pretas)[5], cuyos cuerpos son atormentados por sed o hambre insaciable; cuando pensamos en satisfacer nuestro deseo sexual, nos parecemos a los animales, cuando estamos llenos de orgullo, disfrutamos y sufrimos tal cual como los asuras (semidioses)[6], quienes siempre tienden a pelear. Cuando intentamos cultivar disciplina moral pero aun no podemos abandonar los celos puede que renazcamos mentalmente o físicamente en el reino humano[7].Igualmente, cuando las cinco emociones negativas (odio/rabia, celos, orgullo, codicia, e ignorancia) se encuentran en balance harmonioso (por esto se le llama “distracción placentera”) e intentamos incluso más fuertemente acumular buen karma, puede que incluso nos sintamos como aquellos dioses del reino del deseo[8], y después de morir puede que renazcamos allá. Si intentamos practicar varios tipos de samadhi, podemos disfrutar de placeres que son mucho más elevados que los deseos material y de esta manera después de la muerte podemos avanzar hasta ser dioses que viven en el mundo de la forma[9], el cual es más alto que el mundo del deseo) e incluso podemos ir más allá al reino de los dioses de la no-forma[10] y no poseer siquiera un cuerpo definido. En pocas palabras existen muchas y diversas experiencias que los seres sintientes pueden experimentar, desde deseos sexuales, odio, rabia, avaricia, celos, orgullo, distracciones placenteras hasta placeres espirituales y de absorción meditativa (los cuatro Dhyanas). Estas  experiencias pueden generar incluso en esta misma vida la experiencia de los planos de existencia correspondientes, los cuales, una vez el karma de haber nacido en el presente mundo se agote, nos llevarán de hecho consecuentemente a renacer en un plano de existencia especifico.
Por supuesto, estas emociones se encuentran a menudo en varias combinaciones dentro de nuestra conciencia, y somos una mezcla de odio, orgullo, deseo sexual, avaricia, codicia, etc., pero a veces nuestras vidas pueden ser dominadas por unas emoción específica, que por lo tanto puede pesar más que el resto, determinar nuestro futuro renacimiento. Hitler o Stalin, por ejemplo, son los perfectos ejemplos de seres que fueron dominados por el odio y la ira que resultó en asesinato en masa. Así, aunque hayan vivido más de cincuenta años en la forma humana y la dimensión humana, sus mentes ya se parecían a las de los habitantes del infierno, y estoy seguro de que después de su muerte física y al salir de este reino, su continuo mental renació en uno de los infiernos.
Como dije anteriormente, porque somos los creadores de nuestras emociones, somos también, los creadores de las dimensiones y reinos que corresponden a ellos. Al igual que en una noche soñamos con caminar en un hermoso jardín, por haber hecho algunas buenas acciones y tuvimos pensamientos compasivos hacia otros durante el día, también podemos renacer en un reino de dioses después de una vida en la que mantuvimos las emociones negativas en algún tipo de equilibrio, pero todavía no pudimos alcanzar la libertad de ninguna de ellas. O como en un pesadilla en la que somos cazados por feroces animales y monstruos, después de que estuvimos inmersos en pensamientos de odio y asesinato por un día o un semana, también podemos renacer en varios infiernos, después de una vida llena de matar constantemente y enojarse. Como tenemos en nosotros el potencial y la semilla de cada dimensión y reino, solo nosotros somos responsables de nuestro destino presente y futuro. Ningún llamado "dios creador" tiene algún papel en esto y nadie puede ser culpado, excepto nosotros. Según Shakyamuni Buda, aceptar la existencia de un dios creador socavaría la idea de responsabilidad moral, ya que significaría que la seis emociones negativas (o la potencialidad de tener tales emociones), que son las que crearon las causas para la transmigración de seres no iluminados habrían sido creados por él, y así se le podría culpar por no enderezar a sus criaturas:
Aquel  que tiene ojos puede ver la visión enfermiza¿Por qué Brahma [equivalente a la idea del dios creador] endereza a sus criaturas? Si su gran poder [Brahma] ningún límite puede restringir [si es omnipresente y omnipotente], ¿Por qué su mano rara vez se extiende para bendecir? ¿Por qué todas sus criaturas son condenadas al dolor? ¿Por qué no a todos les da felicidad? ¿Por qué prevalecen el fraude, las mentiras y la ignorancia [si es omnibevolente]? ¿Por qué triunfa la falsedad - la verdad y la justicia fallan? Te Cuento a ti Brahma entre los injustos, pues haz hecho un mundo en el que resguardar el mal”.[11]
El Buda Shakyamuni también dijo:
"Si un dios creador (Isvara) fuera a determinar la vida de todos los seres, Incluyendo su felicidad y miseria, virtud y vicio, entonces el hombre estaría cumpliendo los designios de ese dios. Por lo tanto, sería dios quien estaría siendo manchando por sus acciones”.
"Si existe algún señor todopoderoso para cumplir en cada criatura la felicidad o el dolor, y la acción buena o mala, ese señor estaría manchado de pecado .El ser humano no haría sino su voluntad (la de dios)".[12]
Así, los reinos mismos, los mundos y universos aparecen debido a causas y condiciones, que son, principalmente, nuestro propio karma, al igual que los hermosos sueños o pesadillas aparecen debido a nuestros propios pensamientos y acciones. Aunque todo el Samsara con su gran cantidad de mundos, y lleno con los seis tipos de seres, parece ser distinto y sólido, de hecho es en cierta forma un sueño e insustancial.Si un sueño es una manifestación individual de trazas kármicas, en el caso de Los reinos de la existencia, los rastros kármicos son colectivos. Debido al karma colectivo, los seres en cada reino comparten experiencias similares en un mundo consensual. El karma colectivo crea cuerpos, sentidos y Capacidades mentales que permiten a los individuos participar en potenciales compartidos y categorías de experiencia, mientras se hacen otros tipos de experiencias sean imposibles. Es por esto que, por ejemplo, algunos animales pueden escuchar sonidos que Los humanos no pueden[13], mientras que los humanos experimentan el lenguaje en formas en que los animales no pueden. Lo mismo puede decirse de cada categoría de seres de varias dimensiones de la existencia y mundos. Hay una famosa explicación budista que arroja luz sobre este asunto, según la cual el mismo río aparece como fuego para los habitantes del infierno, como una alucinación que desaparece rápidamente cuando se le acerca un fantasma hambriento, como un río de agua para los seres humanos y como río de ambrosía para los dioses. Esta muestra claramente que los seres no iluminados realmente ven lo que su karma los hace ver, y viven en lugares donde su karma los lleva a vivir -Lugares que son la manifestación de trazas kármicas. Así que si el mismo río se ve diferente para diferentes tipos de seres, algunos de ellos bebiendo de él, mientras otros se queman con él, entonces, en definitiva, ¿cuál es  la verdadera naturaleza del río?¿Existe realmente de manera independiente y distinta como una parte material del mundo?, o ¿es acaso solo un elemento del sueño samsárico? Si lo primero es verdad, entonces ¿por qué los Budas, que son los únicos Despertados que no son heridos ni influenciados por ello? Así, ahora podemos ver que aunque aparezca substancial y sólido ante seres apegados a las formas, de hecho se trata de un sueño insubstancial (el río, como ejemplo de los elementos del samsara)  para Aquellos que ven y viven en la Verdadera Realidad o la Budeidad. Como el Bodhisattva Nagarjuna explicó:
“No hay realidad en un sueño pero sin embargo creemos en la realidad de las cosas vistas en un sueño. Después de despertar [convirtiéndonos en budas], Reconocemos la falsedad del sueño y nos sonreímos. De la misma el misma. De esta manera, la persona que está profundamente en el sueño de las cadenas (samyojananidra) se aferra (abhiniviśate) a las cosas que no existen; pero cuando ha encontrado el Camino, en el momento de la Iluminación, entiende que no hay realidad y se ríe de sí mismo. 
Por eso se dice: como en un sueño Además, por el poder del sueño (nidrābala), el soñador vea algo donde no hay nada. Del mismo modo, por el poder del sueño de la ignorancia (avidyānidrā), una persona cree en la existencia de todo tipo de cosas que no existen, por ejemplo, "yo" y "mío"(ātmātmīya), masculino y femenino, etc. Además, en un sueño, nos divertimos, aunque no haya nada agradable allí estamos irritados aunque no hay nada irritante; Estamos asustados aunque no hay nada que temer allí. 
De la misma manera, los seres del triple mundo (traidhātukasattva), en el sueño de la ignorancia, se irritan aunque no hay nada irritante, se divierten aunque no hay nada ameno y se asustan aunque no hay nada que temer ”[14].
Los seres no iluminados están limitados física y mentalmente por su karma; nacen, viven, mueren y renacen de nuevo en los mundos de acuerdo con su karma. No pueden ir más allá de las limitaciones impuestas por su karma, por lo que no pueden ver ni entender que está más allá de su karma. Pero los Budas[15], que son totalmente libres de las ataduras del karma pueden moverse libremente[16] a través de los mundos samsáricos y universos-los sueños colectivos de los seres no-iluminados. Los budas no son creadores del mundo samsarico así, como  una persona no se puede crear el sueño de otro, son realmente maestros y salvadores, o en otras palabras: Despertadores de los demás. A través de diversos medios, es decir, diversos métodos del Dharma, tratan de despertar a los seres dormidos en el sueño samsarico.
Por lo tanto, como budistas, no podemos decir que un dios creador hizo el universo, porque eso negaría la ley del karma, según la cual se cosecha lo que se siembra, renacemos en los mundos y las dimensiones nos merecemos, junto con los seres con los que uno merece estar allí (a los cuales se está kármicamente vinculado). Como hemos visto, no podemos aceptar lógicamente, al mismo tiempo, la ley del karma y la existencia de un dios creador, pues las dos ideas claramente se excluyen mutuamente.
*
En lugar de un dios creador, el karma colectivo de una multitud de números de seres es la causa principal y primer impulso para la aparición de un nuevo universo. Este karma contiene todas las potencialidades de ese universo específico, incluidas sus leyes generales de física. Así, una vez que nace de  las causas que son el colectivo kármico, las leyes físicas le siguen correspondientemente.Estas leyes físicas serán responsables, por ejemplo, de lo que realmente sucede con los planetas, cambio de estaciones, y así sucesivamente. Es muy importante entender que si el karma colectivo es la causa principal para la formación / aparición de un nuevo universo, no todas las cosas que suceden a continuación en ese universo son debido al karma. Por ejemplo, cuando una hoja cae de un árbol, o cuando una roca cae de una montaña, no es el karma de la hoja o la roca caer, pero la simple ley de la gravitación. Si pasamos por la montaña cuando una roca cae, y somos golpeados en la cabeza, eso es karma, pero no importa que estemos o no, las rocas y las hojas caerán, y los planetas girarán alrededor del sol de manera natural, etc. Así, una vez que aparece un universo, no todo lo que sucede en él puede llamarse karma. Sin embargo, repito, el impulso y la causa primordial que llevó a ese universo a la existencia es el karma colectivo de los seres que tienen las causas para renacer en tales condiciones físicas.
Varios universos pueden tener diferentes leyes de la física, porque su formación se debió a un karma diferente con diferentes potencialidades, por lo que una vez que se forman, pueden desarrollarse de maneras  diferentes a la de nuestro propio universo. Por eso, lo que llamamos seres humanos aquí, pueden verse totalmente diferentes en otro universo, aunque las emociones básicas y el karma que genera el renacimiento en la dimensión humana es el mismo.
Ni la ley del karma, ni las diversas características físicas que aparecen en un universo específico, son creadas por un dios supremo. Al igual que cuando escupes en el aire, caerá en tu cara o cuando orinas contra el viento, te mojarás, cuando hagas una mala acción, automáticamente experimentarás (en esta vida o una próxima) el sufrimiento que  infligiste a los demás. . Estas cosas pasan sin la necesidad que un dios supremo dé una orden y diga, "de ahora en adelante si escupes en el aire, caerá sobre tu cara, o si orinas contra el viento, te mojarás”. Por lo tanto, la ley del karma, al igual que la ley de La gravedad, no tienen creador, ya que ambas existen por sí mismas.
Dado que los individuos y varios pequeños o grandes grupos  de seres  hacen ciertas elecciones, y siembran ciertas semillas, cosechan diversos resultados, que los llevan a renacer en diversos universos y reinos-que son a su vez un efecto del karma colectivo de dichos seres .Por lo tanto, la diferencia entre  seres no iluminados y los mundos y las dimensiones en las que viven no tienen origen en la voluntad de un dios creador, ni aparecen por casualidad, sino que son los huella material producida por el karma individual y el karma colectivo. Esto es una enseñanza importante que claramente separa el budismo de las religiones monoteístas. En resumen, el karma versus la voluntad de un dios son las dos explicaciones principales del mundo y los seres que viven en él de las cuales se puede elegir, y que lo definen a uno como un discípulo budista o un como un Externalista (no budista).
*
Según la enseñanza budista, hay un número infinito de Sistemas de mundos donde tienen lugar el renacimiento de los diversos seres[17]. Estos fueron clasificados en tres categorías: 
     1) un universo pequeño, que tradicionalmente se llama "pequeño mundo de mil”. Se compone de mil mundos. Cada uno de los mundos (a veces llamado "un mundo sumeru") contiene los diversos reinos / dimensiones de infiernos, fantasmas hambrientos, animales, humanos, asuras y dioses.
2.       2) Un universo medio, que tradicionalmente se llama "un mundo  mediode mil”. Se compone de mil pequeños universos (o “mil mundos pequeños de mil”). 

3. Un gran universo, que tradicionalmente se llama, "un gran mundo de mil". Este consta de mil universos medios (o mil mil mundos medianos). 
Estos diversos mundos pasan por un ciclo interminable de formación, existencia, destrucción y aniquilación después de lo cual son nuevamente formados, llegan a la existencia y son destruidos, aniquilados nuevamente. Los cuatro períodos de cambios cíclicos se llaman "kalpas":
1. Período (kalpa) de Formación o generación (vivartakalpa)2. Período (kalpa) de Duración o existencia (vivarta-siddha kalpa)3. Período (kalpa) de Destrucción (samvarta kalpa)4. Período (kalpa) de Aniquilación (samvarta-diddha kalpa)
Cada uno de estos periodos dura 20 kalpas medianos o intermedios[18](antara kalpa). Cuatro períodos de 20 kalpas medianos cada uno, son 80 kalpas medianos. 80 kalpas medianas es una gran kalpa (mahakalpa). Entonces, un ciclo cósmico compuesto de los cuatro periodos anteriores se llama una gran kalpa.
Un Buda puede asumir la responsabilidad del cuidado espiritual de un gran universo ("un gran millar de mundo"), que luego se convierte en ese el campo de acción de Buda, o "campo de Buda" (Buddhakshetra en Sanscrito). Esta También se le llama "tierra de Buda". El único gran universo en el que nosotros vivimos juntos con muchos tipos de seres visibles, invisibles y no humanos, se le llama "Saha". Los sutras dicen que un número infinito de tales grandes universos, o tierras de Buda, existen en las diez direcciones.
Ya que estos universos  están habitados por seres en diversas etapas de desarrollo espiritual, no deben confundirse con la Tierra Pura (Sukhavati), que es un Reino iluminado (fuera del Samsara) manifestado por el Buda Amida.
Por supuesto, no todos los mundos y universos aparecen o desaparecen al mismo tiempo. Cuando un universo es destruido, otro aparece mientras miríadas de otros universos están en su período de duración. Además, cuando la corriente mental de seres que transmigran a través de estos universos y planos de existencia durante los cuatro kalpas llegan a un período de destrucción o aniquilación, este no los destruye (a su corriente mental). Así, incluso si los cuerpos que reciben según su karma son destruidos, los seres renacen en otra parte, en otro reino del mismo universo o incluso otro universo distinto.
Está en la naturaleza de cada cosa compuesta, incluyendo planetas, mundos y universos el aparecer, crecer, decaer y disolverse. Cuando el karma colectivo que los trajo a la existencia se agota, ellos  aparecen nuevamente cuando se manifiesta otro karma colectivo.




[1] Hay ocho infiernos calientes y ocho infiernos fríos que se describen uno sobre otro como los pisos de un edificio. Los ocho infiernos calientes son: 1. El infierno de la repetición o El infierno reviviente, donde los habitantes se ven como enemigos mortales y luchan entre entre sí con armas enormes e inconcebibles creadas por su karma, hasta que todosSe cortan en trozos; entonces, cuando todos yacen muertos, una voz del cielo de ese infierno dice:“¡Revive!” e inmediatamente vuelven a la vida y reinician su lucha; 2. El infierno de loa Cuerda negra, donde los guardias del infierno se apoderan de los seres, tumbados en el suelo hecho de metal ardiente y marcado con "cordones de hierro caliente en ambas direcciones como un  carpintero hace marcas con su línea ”(Ojoyoshu) después de lo cual se cortan en pedazos, con sierras ardientes y hachas de hierro o destripadas con espadas a lo largo de estas líneas, solo para volver a ser completadas una vez más y el proceso se repite una y otra vez; 3. Infierno de la Asamblea o el Redondeo y el Infierno aplastante, donde los seres son aplastados por pares de enormes montañas o por las llamas cabezas de varios animales que los infiernos han matado en sus vidas pasadas y que ahora se lanzan el uno al otro, atrapando a los pobres en el medio y aplastándolos hasta matarlos; 4. El infierno de Lamentaciones, donde los seres son asados ​​en edificios de metal caliente sin salida, o se hierven y vierten cobre fundido en sus bocas que queman sus órganos internos; 5. Infierno de las grandes lamentaciones, donde los guardias ponen una multitud de víctimas en cobertizos de metal con paredes dobles ardiendo con fuego y como las puertas están todas selladas, los seres allí aúllan de dolor pensando que incluso si logran superar la primera puerta, no pueden atravesar la segunda; 6. El infierno del calor abrasador, donde los seres sufren al ser cocinados en enormes calderos de hierro rellenos de bronce fundido, y siempre que emergen, son agarrados por los guardias del infierno con ganchos de metal y golpeados en el la cabeza con martillos hasta que pierden el conocimiento; 7. El infierno del gran calor abrasador,donde los seres están bloqueados dentro de ardientes casas de metal donde los guardias del infierno los empalan a través de sus talones y el ano con tridentes de hierro caliente hasta que las puntas se empujan hacia afuera a través de los hombros y la parte superior de la cabeza; y 8. Infierno de sufrimiento sin Interrupción (Avici), donde se experimentan todos los tormentos de los infiernos anteriores en maneras más horribles y sin interrupción.Los ocho infiernos fríos están ubicados en el mismo nivel que los ocho infiernos calientes, pero en comparación con ellos, donde el fuego es dominante, aquí el ambiente kármico esCompuesto por montañas nevadas y glaciares, y los vientos son devastadores ventiscas. Estos infiernos son: 1. Infierno de ampollas (Arbuda), donde varias ampollas de hielo brotan en el cuerpo delos seres mientras están sumergidos en agua extremadamente fría o arrastrados por el viento; 2. Infierno Estallido de Ampollas (Nirarbuda), donde las ampollas se convierten en llagas abiertas; 3. El infierno de Dientes apretados (Atata), donde los dientes de los seres están fuertemente apretados debido al clima extremadamente frio; 4. Infierno de Lamentación (Hahava), donde los seres se lamentan grandemente mientras sus lenguas están paralizadas y les resulta difícil respirar o gritar; 5. Infierno de gemidos (Huhuva), donde las voces de los seres se resquebrajan y los largos gemidos escapan de sus labios; 6. El infierno de las grietas de Utpala (Utpala) o el Infierno de la flor azul, donde la piel de Los seres nacidos allí son azules y se dividen en cuatro piezas similares a pétalos; 7. El infierno del Loto de Grietas (Padma) o el infierno de la flor de loto, donde la carne roja y cruda de los seres se vuele visible, y el frío hace que se divida en ocho pedazos, lo que hace que se vea como un loto o flor; 8. El infierno de las grietas de gran loto (Mahapadma) o el gran infierno de loto. donde la carne del ser se vuelve rojo oscuro y se divide en dieciséis, treinta y dos y luego en innumerables piezas, que parecen una gran flor de loto; también varios gusanos penetran la carne agrietada y devuélvela con sus picos de metal.Según Shakyamuni, y varios maestros budistas que los explicaron, los Ocho infiernos calientes tienen sus propios infiernos adyacentes (utsadas):"Hay ocho infiernos allí que he revelado, difíciles de sacar, llenos de crueles seres, cada uno teniendo dieciséis utsadas (infiernos vecinos); tienen cuatro paredes y cuatro puertas;  son tan altos como son anchos; están rodeados por muros de fuego; su techo es fuego; su sol arde, fuego chispeante; y están llenos de llamas cientos de yojanas de alto”. (citado del Bodhisattva Vasubandhu, Abhidharmakosabhasyam)Otros tipos de infierno son también los infiernos temporales (pradesikanakara en Skt), que fueron creado a través de las acciones de un ser, dos seres, o muchos seres. Como el bodhisattva Vasubandhu explica, su variedad es excelente y su lugar no es fijo, por lo que pueden ser encontrados en ríos, montañas, desiertos y en otros lugares:“Están los infiernos pradesika (efímeros), creados por la fuerza de las acciones de un individuo acciones, las acciones de un ser, de dos seres, de muchos seres. Su variedad es grande; su lugar no está determinado: río, montaña, desierto y en otros lugares ”.(Abhidharmakosabhasyam) [2] Bodhisattva Vasubandhu, el 2do Patriarca de nuestra escuela Jodo Shinshu, también explicó esto en la cuarta estrofa de su Vijnaptimatravimsaka y dijo lo mismo en suAbhidharmakosabhasyam.[3] Los animales viven en varios lugares, no solo en el mundo humano, y sufren entre sí comiéndose unos a otros, y de la explotación. Son cazados o criados para su carne y diversos productos de sus cuerpos, experimentando así tormentos inconcebibles, y casi ninguno de ellos muere de manera natural.Bodhisattva Nagarjuna lamentó el estado de los animales en los siguientes versos:"Incluso en el estado de un renacimiento animal,Hay todo tipo de sufrimientos:Siendo sacrificados, atados, golpeados, y así sucesivamente.Para aquellos que han tenido que renunciar (la capacidad de) comportamiento constructivoconduciendo a (un estado de) paz,Hay un devoramiento extremadamente insoportable el uno del otro”.Algunos son matados por el bien de (sus) perlas o lana,O huesos, carne o pieles;Mientras que otros, siendo impotentes, son obligados a la servidumbre,Golpeado con patadas, puños o azotes, o con ganchos o con pinchazos.(Versos 89 y 90 de Carta a un amigo (bShes-pa'i springs-yig, Skt. Suhrllekha) porNagarjuna, traducido por Alexander Berzin, 2006)[4] La distracción placentera es cuando las otras cinco emociones se encuentran presentes en igual medida, balanceadas de forma harmoniosa.[5] Hay dos tipos de pretas (fantasmas hambrientos): 1. pretas que viven colectivamente, y  Pretas que viajan por el espacio. Entre los pretas que viven colectivamente, hay tres tipos: las pretas que sufren de oscurecimientos externos, las pretas que sufren oscurecimientos internos y pretas que sufren oscurecimientos específicos.Pretas que sufren de oscurecimientos externos son los pretas que sufren de intensa hambre y sed o de calor y frío insoportables. Así, sea cual sea el alimento o el agua que vean en la distancia, resulta no ser más que un espejismo, porque cuando se aproximan  se dan cuenta de que se desvaneció, se secó o que está custodiado por demonios armados que los vencen y ahuyentan.Pretas que sufren de oscurecimientos internos tienen bocas muy pequeñas, algunas no más grandes que el ojo de una aguja, y un estómago de gran tamaño de cientos de metros o incluso más.Cuando intentan beber agua, el calor de su respiración se evapora tan pronto como se va. por sus gargantas. De la misma manera, no importa cuánto coman, no pueden ser satisfechos debido a la contradicción entre sus bocas y sus estómagos, pero incluso si de alguna manera logran comer un poco, estallará en llamas durante la noche y quemará sus órganos internos También el movimiento corporal es extremadamente duro y doloroso para ellos debido a su extremidades similares a la hierba. Pretas que sufren de oscurecimientos específicos varían entre sí, de acuerdo con causas específicas que los llevaron a ese estado. Por ejemplo, algunos tienen muchas criaturas que viven en sus cuerpos y los devoran, o pueden tener su propia comida transformados en varias cosas inestables y sucias, mientras que otros cortan su propia carne y  la comen.Los Pretas que viajan por el espacio son varios tipos de pretas que son generalmente atormentados por el miedo constante y la alucinación. En general, quieren descargar. su dolor en los demás, por lo que dondequiera que vayan les hacen daño a otros, muchos de ellos caen en los infiernos cuando su vida como preta llega a su fin. Incluso cuando visitan sus familiares de la vida anterior, solo traen enfermedades, locura y varios otros sufrimientos .También sufren las percepciones distorsionadas de otro tipo de pretas, como percibir el sol del invierno como demasiado frío, o la luna demasiado caliente en la noche de verano. Su forma corporal puede ser de varios animales horribles, como perros feos, pájaros y otros. [6] Aunque los Asuras experimentan diversos placeres y abundancias que están lejos en superioridad a la de los humanos, e incluso rivalizan con la de los dioses, son constantemente atormentados por el orgullo, la pelea y la guerra.  Los Seres en el reino humano que son más. espiritualmente más avanzados que otros, pero quienes manifiesten fuertemente estas características nacerán entre los asuras. En su propio reino, los asuras se dividen en varios grupos y territorios y luchan guerras sin fin, mientras que también, dado que envidian los placeres de los reinos inferiores de los dioses, inician conflictos inútiles con ellos, que eventualmente pierden.En algunos textos, el reino de Asuras se cuenta entre los dioses inferiores, debido a  los placeres que se encuentran allí, o entre los reinos inferiores, junto con los infiernos, los animales y Pretas, por el dolor que se infligen a sí mismos. En conclusión, la vida como asura es algo lamentable, llena de alegrías y placeres más de lo que un humano puede imaginar, pero sin poder disfrutarlos por envidia, orgullo y conflictos. [7] La vida en forma humana no contiene tanto sufrimiento como en los infiernos, pretas y animales sin embargo contiene menos felicidad que en los reinos de los asuras y los dioses debido a esto incluso aunque tiene sus desventajas, el reino humano es el más deseable lugar de nacimiento, desde el punto de vista espiritual. Budas mismos, al aparecer en el mundo para hacer girar la rueda del Dharma, lo hacen en forma humana.Para ilustrar la extrema dificultad del renacimiento en el reino humano, en oposición a la reinos inferiores, el Buda Shakyamuni lo comparó con la probabilidad de que una tortuga ciega, emergiendo de las profundidades del océano solo una vez cada cien años, Encuentra un tronco de árbol con un agujero adecuado para meter su cabeza:"Antes, lo declaro, podría una tortuga de un ojo, tener oportunidad de empujar su cuello a través de un yugo de madera, si esta apareciera en la superficie del  mar solo una vez al final de cada cien años,  que un necio una vez ido a los tres reinos inferiores, pudiera renacer de nuevo como ser humano ".(Samyutta Nikaya. V. 455)Los textos sagrados a menudo insisten en que debemos apreciar la rara posibilidad de nacimiento en forma humana y hacer lo que podamos para ponerla en buen uso practicando el Dharma:“Es difícil nacer en la vida humana, ahora la estamos viviendo. Difícil es escuchar lasEnseñanzas del Bienaventurado, ahora las escuchamos. Incluso a través de los siglos de miríadas de kalpas, es difícil escuchar una doctrina tan excelente, profunda y maravillosa. Ahora somos capaces de oírla y recibirla. Entendamos a fondo el verdadero significado deLa enseñanza del Tathagata”.Sin embargo, los seres humanos, afligidos como están con los ocho sufrimientos, a saber,  nacimiento, vejez, enfermedad, muerte, separación de los seres queridos, reunión con las personas que odian, los deseos no cumplidos y el sufrimiento asociado con los cinco skandas (1. forma, 2.percepción, 3. concepciones e ideas, 4. volición y 5. conciencia o mente), encuentran muy difícil tener una verdadera evolución espiritual. Nacen con dolor, tienen un cuerpo frágil en comparación con la de muchos otros seres, y en general, su vida útil no es definitiva, ya que la muerte puede llegar en cualquier momento a jóvenes y adultos por igual. Además, su experiencia es contradictoria, cambiando rápidamente de placentera a dolorosa, y por lo tanto, nada es verdaderamente cierto en el reino humano. Debido a estas condiciones inherentes a seres humanos, a menudo pierden la rara oportunidad que tienen y caen de nuevo a los reinos inferiores.[8] En el mundo del deseo (Kamadhatu), hay seis clases de dioses con susreinos específicos.El primer reino es el cielo de los cuatro reyes (Caturmaharaja) ,. Como el maestro Genshinexplicó, "un día y una noche en el reino de los Cuatro Reyes es tan largo como cincuenta años deLa vida humana y la vida en el reino de los cuatro reyes dura quinientos años ”.El segundo reino es el cielo de los treinta y tres dioses (Trayastrimsa). Lo masDios importante de este reino es Sakra (o Indra en algunos textos).Como explicó el Maestro Genshin, “cien años de vida humana son iguales en longitud a un día y una noche en el cielo de los treinta y tres, y en este cielo la vida dura mil años".El tercer reino es el Cielo del Buen Tiempo (Yama o Suyama). Como explicó el Maestro Genshin, "doscientos años de vida humana son iguales en longitud a un día y una noche en el cielo de Yama, donde la vida dura dos mil años”.El cuarto reino es el Cielo de la Satisfacción (Tusita).La reina Maya, la madre del Buda Shakyamuni, renació allí cuando ella murió.Siete días después de dar a luz a él. Durante su vida terrenal, Shakyamuni hizo a menudo visitas a este reino (y otros reinos celestiales, también) para enseñar el Dharma a su madre y los dioses que viven allí. Como explicó el Maestro Genshin, “cuatrocientos años de vida humana son iguales en longitud a un día y una noche en Tusita, y en este cielo la vida continúa durante cuatro mil años ”.El quinto reino es el cielo del disfrute de los placeres proporcionados por ellos mismos.(Nirmanarati).Como explicó el Maestro Genshin, "ochocientos años de vida humana son iguales en longituda un día y una noche en Nirmanarati, donde la vida dura ocho mil años”.El sexto reino es el cielo del libre disfrute de las manifestaciones de otros.(Paranirmitavasavartin).Este reino está habitado por Maras, los demonios celestiales que usualmente van al otro.mundos para impedir que los practicantes avancen en el camino budista. El karma ellosacumulado en vidas pasadas fue lo suficientemente bueno como para hacerlos renacer en este alto cielo ,pero aun así, su lujuria por el poder y su egoísmo,  no fueron erradicados, ylos transforma en obstáculos vivos para otros seres. Así, hacen todo en su poder para que nadie llegue más alto que su plano de existencia.[9]En el Mundo de la Forma (Rupadhatu) hay cuatro esferas de reinos celestiales, comosigue:
El primer Dhyana, que contiene, 1. El cielo de los consejeros de Brahma(Brahmaparisadya), 2. El cielo de los sumos sacerdotes de Brahma (Brahmapurohita), 3.Cielo de Gran Brahma (Mahabrahman): aquí es donde Baka Brahma, el dios queEstaba bajo la ilusión de que él es supremo en el mundo, estaba morando.El Segundo Dhyana, que contiene, 1. El cielo de la luz menor (Parītta-ābha), 2.Cielo de la Luz Infinita (Apramāna-ābha), 3. Cielo de la Luz Suprema (Ābhāsvara)El Tercer Dhyana, que contiene, 1. El Cielo de la Pureza Menor (Parīttaśubha), 2.El cielo de la pureza infinita (Apramānaśubha), 3. El cielo de la pureza universal(Śubhakrtsna)El Cuarto Dhyana, que contiene: 1. Cielo sin nubes (Anabhraka), 2. Cielo de la Producción de méritos (punyaprasava)3. Cielo de los más grandes Frutos (Brhatphala), 4. Heaven Free of Trouble (Abrha), 5.El cielo sin aflicción (atapa)6. El cielo de excelente vista (Sudrśa), 7. El cielo de excelente observación(Sudarśana), 8. El cielo más alto (Akanistha)
[10]  En el Mundo de la No-forma (arupyadhatu) hay cuatro reinos celestiales como sigue:
Morada del espacio sin límites (ākāśa-ānantya-āyatana)Morada de la Conciencia Ilimitada (vijnāna-ānantya-āyatana)Morada de la nada (ākincanya-āyatana)Morada de Ni Pensamiento ni No-pensamiento (naiva-samjnā-na-asamjnā-āyatana)
[11] Bhuridatta Jataka, No. 453
[12] Mahabodhi Jataka, No. 528
[13] (Los Yogas tibetanos del sueño y el dormir)The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep, por Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, Snow Lion,Boston & London, 1998, p. 34.[14] Nagarjuna, Mahaprajñaparamitopadesa, Capítulo XI[15] Hay diez epitetos del Buda que muestra la consecución de su iluminación: 1. Tathagata (literalmente aquel que viene de la seidad– el término es construido como aquel que ha venido de y se ha ido a la seidad (realidad absoluta)2. Arhat (literalmente aquel digno de ofrendas”)3. El perfectamente iluminado y despierto.4. El que posee perfecto conocimiento y práctica5. El bien-ido6. El que tiene buen conocimiento del mundo7. El Insuperable8. Domador de personas9. Maestro de los Devas (dioses) y humanos.10. Honrado por el mundo                                                  [16] Hay seis poderes generales (habilidades / facultades sobrenaturales) atribuidas a losBudas: 1) la capacidad de ir a cualquier parte a voluntad, 2) la capacidad de ver cosas a cualquier distancia, 4) la capacidad de escuchar sonidos a cualquier distancia, 5) la capacidad de ver en las mentes de los demás, 6) la capacidad de recordar la propia vida anterior y la de los demás, y 7)La habilidad de eliminar todas las pasiones del mal.[17] Hay cuatro modos de nacimiento: (1) nacimiento desde el útero, como los seres humanos y algunos animales y devas (dioses) que habitan la tierra, (2) el nacimiento del huevo, como las aves y peces, (3) de la humedad, como algunos insectos y gusanos, y (4) nacimientos espontáneos, tales como dioses, pretas (espíritus hambrientos) y moradores del infierno. Voy a describir en detalle, en las siguientes páginas, las características de estos seres.[18] Un solo kalpa pequeño es tan largo que solo puede describirse metafóricamente.Según una metáfora, es incluso más largo que el período de tiempo requerido para que una persona pueda vaciar una ciudad amurallada llena de semillas de amapola de una yojana cúbica (una unidad equivalente a la distancia que un ejército real puede marchar en un día) en tamaño, removiendo una semilla cada cien años.Según otra metáfora es el tiempo requerido para que una roca, de 40 cúbicos ri de tamaño sea desgastada cuando una doncella celestial pasa por encima de la roca una vez cada tres años tocándola ligeramente con su túnica de plumas.Algunos académicos dicen que una kalpa es el equivalente a 1,000 yugas, o 4,320,000,000años.