Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

What are the foundations for belief in Pure Land Buddhism?

matthewmartinmatthewmartin Amateur BodhisattvaSuburbs of Mt Meru Veteran
I get that this isn't exactly physics here, you're not going to find proof in a laboratory (or can you?)

I've read elsewhere a Christian critique of Pure Land Buddhism, where it was suggested that PL is based on myths, while Christianity is based on historical personages. (I'll skip over the part about the Bible not being so exciting if you remove all the myths, gods, miracles, heaven & hell)

In PL- who wrote the relevant suttras & on what foundation are they considered to be more worth of trust, than say, Harry Potter? (Or maybe a better analogy, Robin Hood, a story where the author is lost and the characters may or not be historical)

It's an academic question, I find it difficult to believe much of either of them

Comments

  • CinorjerCinorjer Veteran
    edited October 2013
    Pure Land has its origins way back in India before Mahayana Buddhism was really a separate branch and there were many variations in practice. Amitabha Buddha was supposed to have been a King in ancient times who renounced his throne to become a Bodhisattva. The actual historical origin is now lost to us, but we know his name was used in mantras and a type of visualization meditation practice and became popular by the first century CE. The main Pure Land sutras are about as old and reliable as any of the Mahayana Sutras and we don't know who actually wrote them, any more than Christians know who wrote the Gospels.

    Also, any Christian who can't see that their belief in access to Heaven being through Christ and access to the Pure Land being through Amitabha are equally a matter of pure faith is just being stubborn. Jesus the Jewish Rabbi who preached for a few years and collected a small cult following is not the same figure worshiped today as the universal risen Messiah, Son of God who holds the keys to Heaven.

    JainarayanmatthewmartinInvincible_summerMaryAnne
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran
    How I wish That I had been an astute student of Buddhism for years that I might attempt to answer that question!

    This is indeed a very deep matter and I could not justly attempt to answer it. Maybe ten years hence I can.
    cvalue
  • Invincible_summerInvincible_summer Heavy Metal Dhamma We(s)t coast, Canada Veteran

    I get that this isn't exactly physics here, you're not going to find proof in a laboratory (or can you?)

    I've read elsewhere a Christian critique of Pure Land Buddhism, where it was suggested that PL is based on myths, while Christianity is based on historical personages. (I'll skip over the part about the Bible not being so exciting if you remove all the myths, gods, miracles, heaven & hell)

    In PL- who wrote the relevant suttras & on what foundation are they considered to be more worth of trust, than say, Harry Potter? (Or maybe a better analogy, Robin Hood, a story where the author is lost and the characters may or not be historical)

    It's an academic question, I find it difficult to believe much of either of them

    To give a glib answer...

    Faith is faith. To explain in an objective, evidence-based way would already be discrediting the effect that deep, spiritual feeling of faith can have on a person.

    If you don't believe it, then don't believe it. It sounds like you're saying "Hey guys, Pure Land is silly just like Christianity... am I right or am I right?"
  • matthewmartinmatthewmartin Amateur Bodhisattva Suburbs of Mt Meru Veteran

    If you don't believe it, then don't believe it. It sounds like you're saying "Hey guys, Pure Land is silly just like Christianity... am I right or am I right?"

    Theory of truth are different, they range from "what is feels good to believe is true" (copied from a website about Wicca), to "it's true if you see it during meditation" (seems to be a common TB theory), to "it's true (well, not proven false yet) if its measurable, has a falsifiable hypothesis, and has been independently produced evidence supporting the hypothesis" I honestly don't know what the PL theory of truth is.

    As for "silly", that's value judgements, which is different from being false under a given theory of truth.

    I mentioned that I'm not a believer because I'm not looking to join PL as a club because I've already suffered through prothletisation attempts, & didn't join. This isn't a call for people to encourage me to join the club or shore up my "faith", it's a question about a religion I don't understand & superficially looks so similar to Christianity it's difficult to turn off the Christian lens.
    Invincible_summer
  • The most reliable truth is truth into the nature of mind. Because you can see it directly rather than faith, though faith is needed in the path leading up to seeing the nature of mind. I guess that is so... I still don't know the truth. :D
    robotmatthewmartin
  • howhow Veteran
    edited November 2013
    A Truth is simply what ever is predictable.
    matthewmartin
Sign In or Register to comment.