Pure Land Buddhism


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Pure Land Buddhism

or

Amidism,

devotional sect of Mahayana BuddhismBuddhism
, religion and philosophy founded in India c.525 B.C. by Siddhartha Gautama, called the Buddha. There are over 300 million Buddhists worldwide. One of the great world religions, it is divided into two main schools: the Theravada or Hinayana in Sri Lanka and SE Asia, and
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 in China and Japan, centering on worship of the Buddha Amitabha. According to the Pure Land Sutras, composed in India in the 2d cent. A.D., Amitabha vowed to save all sentient beings by granting them rebirth in his realm, the "Western Paradise," a pure land endowed with miraculous characteristics ensuring its inhabitants easy entry into nirvananirvana
, in Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism, a state of supreme liberation and bliss, contrasted to samsara or bondage in the repeating cycle of death and rebirth.
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. Salvation could be attained by invoking the name of Amitabha with absolute faith in his grace and the efficacy of his vow. It was believed that Amitabha and his retinue would appear to the faithful at the time of death and convey them to his paradise. In both China and Japan the movement gained impetus from the idea of the "end of the Dharma," which divided the development of Buddhism into three ages: that of the true, the counterfeit, and the decaying dharma, that is, Buddhist teaching. Those living in the present final, degenerate age cannot attain enlightenment by the original means of self-effort, austerity, and superior knowledge and must rely entirely on faith. There were devotees of Amitabha in China as early as the end of the 3d cent. A.D.; the sect was officially founded in 402 by its first patriarch, Hui-Yuan. Later masters spread the faith among the masses, sometimes using evangelical methods, contrasting the torments of hell with the bliss of the "Western Paradise." In Japan, Pure Land Buddhism was established as a sect by Honen (1133–1212), who taught that even those who had mastered Buddhist philosophy "should behave themselves like simpleminded folk" and renounce all practices except the nembutsu, recitation of the formula Namu Amida Butsu [homage to Amitabha Buddha]. His disciple Shinran (1173–1262) carried Honen's teachings to their logical conclusion by abandoning monastic celibacy and marrying. Shinran held that reliance on one's own effort or on any practice other than the nembutsu would show lack of faith in Amitabha. He broke with Honen's followers on these issues and became the leader of the True Pure Land Sect, which grew to be the largest Buddhist sect in Japan. The numerous representations of Amitabha with his attendant bodhisattvas and the depictions of hell testify to the influence of Pure Land Buddhism on Chinese and Japanese Buddhist art. For translations of the Pure Land Sutras, see E. B. Crowell, Buddhist Mahayana Texts (1894, repr. 1969) and Alfred Bloom, Shinran's Gospel of Pure Grace (1965).
References in periodicals archive ?
however, so the question naturally arises whether interested candidates must endorse or "convert," one might say, to the BCA's Pure Land Buddhism.
At the same time, this study situates Japanese-Canadian IDPS in a transnational context, incorporating into the analysis their effort to retain Pure Land Buddhism (Jodo shinshu), which was then strongly tied with nationalism and the war effort of Imperial Japan.
At the same time, as Terry Watada, Ken Adachi, and Masako Iino have all pointed out, it was a focal point of the issei's ethno-religious identity since the early 20th century, and Pure Land Buddhism was the sole non-Christian church in Canada.
During this period of persecution, the underground Christians' religion and practice gradually fused with Pure Land Buddhism, the process of which can be observed in both their verbal and visual culture.
5) When severe persecution gradually pulled the Japanese away from the Jesuits' guidance, (6) their isolated Catholicism and imagery came to be conflated with Pure Land Buddhism, from which they adopted verbal, visual, and ritualistic elements to disguise their religion.
In Japan, Harold Stewart was highly regarded for his scholarly knowledge of Chinese and Japanese classical culture, and also of Pure Land Buddhism.
Black-and-white photographs of classical Japanese artwork illustrates this respectful chronicle of a Japanese Buddhist saint, who devoted himself to the spiritual path of Pure Land Buddhism.
He states, for instance, that he feels no inner incompatibility (iwakan) as a Christian towards historic Japanese Zen or Pure Land Buddhism.
Most Vietnamese lay people adhere to Pure Land Buddhism and hope that their actions today can influence their fate tomorrow.
This definition of Buddhism, however, ignores Pure Land Buddhism and its emphasis upon tariki (other power) and seems to imply that all Buddhism is similar to Zen's espousal of jiriki (self power).
Mantling the plot like an insect's web is the question of magical powers--an ability commonly attributed to attractive women in Japan--and its conflict with the most fundamental tenets of Pure Land Buddhism, which vehemently denies the validity of magic.
Tarutani carries the discussion through the principles and practices of Pure Land Buddhism and ends with the idea that generalizations do not work when combining Buddhism and psychotherapy.