Author Topic: A Question on Pure Lands, or Paradises  (Read 17032 times)

Damian.D

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A Question on Pure Lands, or Paradises
« on: May 15, 2011, 06:57:08 PM »
I have a question.

I have been told that when a practitioner becomes attained they can ascend to a pureland such as tushita, or kecara where they spend their days and nights hearing the buddhas expound the Dharma and everything is great.

1. Wouldn't you be a Buddha, and not require any more teaching?
2. If you were a Buddha, wouldn't you stay in Samsara for the sake of all sentient beings?
3. If you did make to such places, what karma would create the cause for you to return? And if so, how does karma still exist in these paradises as you need to be free of your karma to ascend there?
4. Is there such thing as a Buddha who still has some karma left to ripen in such pure lands?

Some weird thoughts early in the morning.

LosangKhyentse

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Re: A Question on Pure Lands, or Paradises
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2011, 07:03:06 PM »
I have a question.

I have been told that when a practitioner becomes attained they can ascend to a pureland such as tushita, or kecara where they spend their days and nights hearing the buddhas expound the Dharma and everything is great.

1. Wouldn't you be a Buddha, and not require any more teaching?
2. If you were a Buddha, wouldn't you stay in Samsara for the sake of all sentient beings?
3. If you did make to such places, what karma would create the cause for you to return? And if so, how does karma still exist in these paradises as you need to be free of your karma to ascend there?
4. Is there such thing as a Buddha who still has some karma left to ripen in such pure lands?

Some weird thoughts early in the morning.

1. You do not need to be a Buddha to ascend to a Buddha field.
2. If you were a Buddha you can have thousands upon tens of thousands of emanations. So you can be in hundreds of places at the same time.
3. Once you ascend to a pure land, you can by will take rebirth in samsara to benefit others as and when you like according to your attainments. Karma still exists, but not the same as in a desire realm because you would be in a pure realm and you do not necessarily be a Buddha since you are there.
Your practice in a pure land would be accelerated.
4. There is no Buddha that has karma left to ripen. A Buddha is fully awakened and all karmas finished.

I hope this helps.

TK

Helena

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Re: A Question on Pure Lands, or Paradises
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2011, 02:21:54 AM »
What a great sharing!

Thanks Damian for asking the question and TK for answering.

I know some of these questions may seem rather basic and elementary to the higher practitioners, but I have always appreciated them. It helps put into perspective why each of us are pursuing a Dharma path in the first place.

To become a Buddha and to reach Pure Lands are two different things - thanks for the clear explanation, TK.

Hence, to become a Buddha is the ultimate goal because as a Buddha, we can do so much more and be at many places at the same time.

Personally, I like the idea that all karma is finished.

Helena

hope rainbow

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Re: A Question on Pure Lands, or Paradises
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2011, 08:22:18 AM »
I have been told that when a practitioner becomes attained they can ascend to a pureland such as tushita, or kecara where they spend their days and nights hearing the buddhas expound the Dharma and everything is great.

I find this exercise revealing:

A.
I can identify 2 main qualities of a pure land:
- Buddhas are teaching all the time
- All conducive conditions are there for my Dharma practice

B.
Do I find these 2 qualities now, right where I am?

C.
If answer is no, then perhaps it is best to create causes for me to experience a pure land.
How? By engaging in the activities I would do in a pure land. That's just logical.

D.
If answer is yes, then it is likely that I have made prayers in the past so as to experience what I experience here and now.
(Aren't Buddhas teaching all the time? They are only a you-tube click away!)

Thus two questions (that are actually the same):

1.
Is it possible that I am in a pure land already, but I can't see it because I thought that in a pure land I would not sweat anymore, nor go to toilet, nor feel hungry now and then, nor catch a cold in winter, nor have to brush my teeth, nor be in a traffic jam, nor get a parking fine, nor need a mobile phone, nor have to pay credit card bills and rentals, or because I don't see people floating on pink lotus flowers and daikinis in the sky, and colorful flowers blooming under the steps of lamas, because the floor is not yet soft lapis lazuli with gold inlay vajras...

2.
Is it possible that a pure land is not a place, but a state of mind created through merits?

DSFriend

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Re: A Question on Pure Lands, or Paradises
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2011, 12:44:03 PM »
Appreciates the questions and answers very much.

is Buddha field and Pure Land the same?

kurava

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Re: A Question on Pure Lands, or Paradises
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2011, 03:15:26 AM »
Pure Land is a state where there is no true suffering.

Buddhas have attained the state free from sufferings. From this definition, I would think Buddha field  is similar to Pure Land.

vajrastorm

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Re: A Question on Pure Lands, or Paradises
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2011, 11:27:57 AM »
Pure Lands feature only in Mahayana Buddhism. I take it to mean that a Mahayana Buddhist, in keeping with their aspirations, would wish to be born in a lotus in a Pure Land, attain Enlightenment and return to Samsara to benefit other beings

With Bodhicitta motivation and aspirations, one would wish to be born in a pure land without the strong distractions of the desire realms of samsara. One can then engage in listening to the Dharma and practicing the Dharma with a pure mind and single-minded focus.

But the Pure Land must not be seen as an eternal place where one resides in a state of perpetual bliss, not heeding nor caring for the mother sentient beings in their misery and suffering in samsara. One has made vows, as Mahayana Buddhists, to return to samsara to benefit all mother beings and one has to honor one’s vows.

hope rainbow

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Re: A Question on Pure Lands, or Paradises
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2011, 01:33:23 AM »
Appreciates the questions and answers very much.

is Buddha field and Pure Land the same?

I don't know.

My take on this would be that a Buddha field is synonymous to either a merit field or a pure land.
Or is Buddha field something else?

PURE LAND
The pure land results from my actions, it is a karmic result.
Buddhas lead others to it by making them create the karmic causes to experience pure lands.

MERIT FIELD
The merit field is not, though the access I have to it results from my actions.
By the power of the actions I engage into from the merit field's ground, I boost my journey to a Buddha's Pure Land.

BUDDHA FIELD
?

vajrastorm

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Re: A Question on Pure Lands, or Paradises
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2011, 08:52:12 AM »
I agree with Kurava that Pure Land is similar to Buddha Field.

The Field of Merit is the ‘field’ of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and Enlightened Beings whom we have invited/invoked (in prayer) to come before us from their divine abodes. It is based on this merit field (that we have invoked) that we accumulate our merits and perform our purification of our negativities. According to the Lamrim, our Spiritual Guide (when we see him as a Buddha) is a supreme field of merit.

As the Lamrim says, we need to continually accumulate tremendous amounts of merits and perform tremendous amounts of purification (based on the merit field we have invoked) in order to clear our mind’s obscurations. Only then can we aspire to attain any realization.

thor

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Re: A Question on Pure Lands, or Paradises
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2011, 10:49:06 PM »
I have a question.

I have been told that when a practitioner becomes attained they can ascend to a pureland such as tushita, or kecara where they spend their days and nights hearing the buddhas expound the Dharma and everything is great.

1. Wouldn't you be a Buddha, and not require any more teaching?
2. If you were a Buddha, wouldn't you stay in Samsara for the sake of all sentient beings?
3. If you did make to such places, what karma would create the cause for you to return? And if so, how does karma still exist in these paradises as you need to be free of your karma to ascend there?
4. Is there such thing as a Buddha who still has some karma left to ripen in such pure lands?

Some weird thoughts early in the morning.

1. You do not need to be a Buddha to ascend to a Buddha field.
2. If you were a Buddha you can have thousands upon tens of thousands of emanations. So you can be in hundreds of places at the same time.
3. Once you ascend to a pure land, you can by will take rebirth in samsara to benefit others as and when you like according to your attainments. Karma still exists, but not the same as in a desire realm because you would be in a pure realm and you do not necessarily be a Buddha since you are there.
Your practice in a pure land would be accelerated.
4. There is no Buddha that has karma left to ripen. A Buddha is fully awakened and all karmas finished.

I hope this helps.

TK


This helps clarify things.
In my early buddhist days, I was confused by the difference between buddhas, arahats, bodhisattvas etc and when I first came across vajrayana buddhism and the concept of pure lands, that only added to the confusion. So thank you TK et al for your clear and concise answer. I only wish I had stumbled across this forum earlier, it would have helped so much during the buddhist self study courses. This is a great resource. Thank you to all who participate.

Damian.D

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Re: A Question on Pure Lands, or Paradises
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2011, 07:33:54 AM »
I have a question.

I have been told that when a practitioner becomes attained they can ascend to a pureland such as tushita, or kecara where they spend their days and nights hearing the buddhas expound the Dharma and everything is great.

1. Wouldn't you be a Buddha, and not require any more teaching?
2. If you were a Buddha, wouldn't you stay in Samsara for the sake of all sentient beings?
3. If you did make to such places, what karma would create the cause for you to return? And if so, how does karma still exist in these paradises as you need to be free of your karma to ascend there?
4. Is there such thing as a Buddha who still has some karma left to ripen in such pure lands?

Some weird thoughts early in the morning.

1. You do not need to be a Buddha to ascend to a Buddha field.
2. If you were a Buddha you can have thousands upon tens of thousands of emanations. So you can be in hundreds of places at the same time.
3. Once you ascend to a pure land, you can by will take rebirth in samsara to benefit others as and when you like according to your attainments. Karma still exists, but not the same as in a desire realm because you would be in a pure realm and you do not necessarily be a Buddha since you are there.
Your practice in a pure land would be accelerated.
4. There is no Buddha that has karma left to ripen. A Buddha is fully awakened and all karmas finished.

I hope this helps.

TK


These clear answers help a lot... Thank you TK, I think the main part i was confused about was the existence of Karma in pure lands.

So it is still possible to have karma in a pure land, and  would having karma in purelands it be magnified as the opposite to the accelerated results of practice in a pure land?

 

Big Uncle

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Re: A Question on Pure Lands, or Paradises
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2011, 04:17:44 AM »
I have a question.

I have been told that when a practitioner becomes attained they can ascend to a pureland such as tushita, or kecara where they spend their days and nights hearing the buddhas expound the Dharma and everything is great.

1. Wouldn't you be a Buddha, and not require any more teaching?
2. If you were a Buddha, wouldn't you stay in Samsara for the sake of all sentient beings?
3. If you did make to such places, what karma would create the cause for you to return? And if so, how does karma still exist in these paradises as you need to be free of your karma to ascend there?
4. Is there such thing as a Buddha who still has some karma left to ripen in such pure lands?

Some weird thoughts early in the morning.

1. You do not need to be a Buddha to ascend to a Buddha field.
2. If you were a Buddha you can have thousands upon tens of thousands of emanations. So you can be in hundreds of places at the same time.
3. Once you ascend to a pure land, you can by will take rebirth in samsara to benefit others as and when you like according to your attainments. Karma still exists, but not the same as in a desire realm because you would be in a pure realm and you do not necessarily be a Buddha since you are there.
Your practice in a pure land would be accelerated.
4. There is no Buddha that has karma left to ripen. A Buddha is fully awakened and all karmas finished.

I hope this helps.

TK


Wow! Thank Tk for this amazingly clear explanation. That means, when we enter a pure land/pure realm/buddha field, we are almost assured to become a Buddha because it accelerates our practice. Hence, we can emanate throughout the universe on the basis of our compassion that we generate there. No wonder, in Mahayana, the recommend practices / powas etc  to attain such pure lands.

WoselTenzin

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Re: A Question on Pure Lands, or Paradises
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2011, 09:29:44 AM »


1. You do not need to be a Buddha to ascend to a Buddha field.
2. If you were a Buddha you can have thousands upon tens of thousands of emanations. So you can be in hundreds of places at the same time.
3. Once you ascend to a pure land, you can by will take rebirth in samsara to benefit others as and when you like according to your attainments. Karma still exists, but not the same as in a desire realm because you would be in a pure realm and you do not necessarily be a Buddha since you are there.
Your practice in a pure land would be accelerated.
4. There is no Buddha that has karma left to ripen. A Buddha is fully awakened and all karmas finished.

I hope this helps.

TK

[/quote]

Thank you TK for the clear explanation.  It sheds some light for me now on why Chinese Mahayana practice is always towards achieving the direction of going to pureland.

In past I have been told that in this degenerate day and age, it is more realistic to work towards ascending pureland as once we are there, we will have all the favourable conditions for our Dharma practice as opposed to conditions in samsara.  As we are in pureland, we will not experience the sufferings we experience in samsara such as birth, aging, old age and death and other samsaric sufferings that comes with taking rebirth in samsara.  We will receive teaching directly from the Buddhas of that pureland and we will have sangha with high attainments to support us in our practice. What you said in your answer in No 2 that our practice in pureland will be accelerated tallies with what I have heard earlier.

I have always wondered if we can go to pureland if we have not achieve enlightenment.  Your answer in No 1 above answers my question that we need not become a Buddha to ascend Buddha field.

This also ties in with the Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkapa where if we remember the thread of cloud that connect our consciousness to Maitreya Buddha in Tushita pureland at the time of death, we can be reborn in Tushita pureland.


dsiluvu

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Re: A Question on Pure Lands, or Paradises
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2011, 07:39:51 PM »
Thank you all. This is a refreshing post...

This forum is really so helpful. There is a huge fountain of information, knowledge and so much sharing and discussion for everyone to learn.

So...in view of the answer that we need not be a Buddha to be in a pure land and continue our practice, hence we still have karma. We are still not entirely out of our deluded mind. So does this mean we can still commit negative actions in a pure land and if so what happens? Similar to what DD is asking, being in a pure realm accelerates our practice, then it should also magnify our negative actions ...and  what will happen then, will we be thrown out from the pure land back to samsara? Take a lower rebirth? Or is it quicker and easier to purify one's negative karma in the pure land?


triesa

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Re: A Question on Pure Lands, or Paradises
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2011, 02:22:44 AM »
Pure land is definitely a place that we all aspire to go after this life.............

How do we ensure a ticket to this pureland while we are in samsara?