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The "Earthly" Pure Land Thought and the Non-duality Dharma Door=人間淨土思想與不二法門
Author Yang, Tsen-wen (著)=楊曾文 (au.)
Source 中華國際佛學會議實錄(第3屆):人間淨土與現代社會: = The Record of Chung-Hwa International Conference on Buddhism(3rd): The "Earthly" Pure Land and Contemporary Society
Pages168 - 170
Publisher法鼓文化出版社=Dharma Drum Culture
Publisher Url
Location臺北市, 臺灣 [Taipei shih, Taiwan]
Content type會議論文=Proceeding Article
Note中英文提要; 中文論文提要:頁98-99.
KeywordAmitabha Buddha's Western Pure Land; Earthly Pure Land; Yang, Tsen-wen; 楊曾文; 彌陀西方淨土; 即心淨土; 不二法門; 人間淨土
AbstractFrom the general development process of Buddhism,it is not difficult to find the fact that the doctrine,organization and practice techniques of Buddhism is always changing lastly or slowly in accordance with the change of time. In the periods of Primitive Buddhism and Sectarian Buddhism,the ultimate goal of practice was to realize the non-residual nirvana with the extinction of body and mind,therefore the concept of Buddha's pure land,"earthly" pure land and a series of doctrine were suggested.

From the survey of the history of the translation of Chinese canons, although there are many sutras illustrating pure land and various theories on pure land,two main categories of pure land can be summarized:Firstly,the pure land characterized by the emphasis on the "other shore" which transcends the existing society. The representative sutras are the Aksobhya Buddha Land Sutra, the Infinite Longevity Sutra, etc.. The pure land was actualized by the bhikkhu or bodhisattva of long past who made great vows and had practiced the six paramitas and accumulated the merits for infinite time. Then,the pure land is used for the rebirth of those sentient beings who,made vows, practiced virtues, accumulated merits and recited the name of the Buddha before their death. Secondly,the pure land characterized by the concept that pure land is not separate from sentient beings, the pure land is nothing but the so-called dirty land,and the Buddha land is exactly the human world; they are not dualistic. The key point is the practitioner's (bodhisattva's) mind. "The purification of mind is the purification of Buddha land." "The straight mind is the pure land of bodhisattva." It especially stresses on the practitioner's cultivation of mental nature. Many works such as Hui Yuan's Chapter of the Mahayana Doctrine (fascicle No. 19) of Sui dynasty,Chi Tsang's My Understanding of Dharma Blossom Sutra, the Profound Doctrine of Mahayana (fascicle No. 19),etc. classified and explained the concept of pure land from different angle. However,if we classify carefully,the most important concepts of pure land are no other than the abovementioned two kinds.

China is a country of emphasizing the thinking of synthesis and integration. In the field of Buddhism,it is particularly outstanding. Since the Northern-Southern Dynasty,the Chinese Buddhism was basically Mahayana Buddhism,but in reality it blended harmoniously with the Hinayana Buddhism. The various Buddhist schools emerged in the Sui and T'ang Dynasties also integrated with each other gradually. Since Sung Dynasty,Ch'an School became the mainstream while blending with other schools. Judged from the viewpoint of the popular doctrine,the abovementioned two pure land thoughts exerted greater influence. As it is well known,the faith in the Amitabha Buddha's Western Pure Land is one of the most popular Buddhist faiths among Chinese ordinary people. In the meantime,the Buddhist schools with Ch'an School as the representative one emphatically promoted "understanding the mind and seeing the nature",suggesting the inter-penetrative identity of sentient beings and the Buddha as well as pure land and the real world. After Sung Dynasty,although Ch'an School and Pure Land School are united closely,the focus of "self-nature Amitabha and mind-only pure land" as suggested by some Ch'an monks was still one's mind-nature. We may say that this kind of pure land thought of the Ch'an School is the "earthly" pure land thought which was developed from the above-mentioned second pure land concept. The "earthly" pure land thought with Ch'an School as the representative was influenced,in particular,by the prajna Madhyamika, especially the non-duality thought of the Vimalakirti-nirdesa Sutra. This kind of pure land thought emphasized that this very mind is the Buddha, and only the mind can be the pure land,but it did not totally refute the ordinary people's faith in the Western pure land. This reflects its character of pragmatism.
Created date2000.12.05
Modified date2015.08.11

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