Thank you, @Acalaa,for such a beautiful, succinct reply!
Sadhu, Sadhu, Sadhu!
Actually, the suttas do in fact promote this. Consider MN1, with the famous:
Relishing is the root of suffering
This is an advanced sutta, but even here one can and should apply personal experience to verify the Buddha’s statement. For example, when I look back at my life experience and all my attempts to relish without suffering, I see that they have all failed and ended in suffering. The suffering may not be tremendous or sharp or dramatic, but it is always there. Relishing ice cream and gorging on an entire carton clearly leads to suffering. And although this ice cream example is quite contrived in its simplicity, the truth it embodies echoes with all my engagements with relishing.
To know the reality of Nibbana requires an understanding of suffering, not just the experience of suffering. And that understanding has to be personal. It has to be personal, because “tasting Nibbana” actually requires relinquishing identity view (i.e., the personal). Clearly that would be distressing personally.
Therefore, tasting Nibbana has to be approached in a bit of a roundabout manner, first proving to ourselves that lessening identity view lessens suffering.
So as you study the EBT’s, practice and relate them to your personal experience, you should experience the “Nibbana trailer”…“coming soon! the end of suffering!”. You should experience less suffering.
In other words, by studying the EBT’s and practicing, one’s suffering would lessen. I certainly have found so. Therefore I keep studying and practicing. And the reality of Nibbana in exact equal measure reaches out to support that study and practice.
By relating to Nirvana in personal terms, I meant conceptualizing and depicting the reality of Nirvana anthropomorphically.
You are making nibbana out in your own form, so to speak.
then they identify with extinguishment, they identify regarding extinguishment, they identify as extinguishment, they identify that ‘extinguishment is mine’, they take pleasure in extinguishment.
The statue of a Buddha symbolizes the reality of enlightenment that he embodies and exemplifies. By taking refuge in the Buddha, we take refuge in his enlightenment. This has always been the case, whether we are speaking of the historical Buddha or Amida Buddha.
Why not use the Buddha for that? I mean, you could use a statue of the Buddha, nothing wrong with that. Mind you, that has considerably more earth element and less water, etc, than the Buddha’s human body did but still.
The ascetic Gautama is about as present in the here-and-now as Amitāyur, what’s a parinirvāna between them really, anyways?
Because Sakyamuni passed away 2,500 years ago, he might not symbolize the ever-present reality of enlightenment as well as Amida Buddha, whose name means eternal life and boundless light.
Yes, I can see how the reduction of suffering is a useful pointer towards the goal, ie Nibbana.
Śākuamuni and Amitāyur share the same dharmakāya. What is it that draws you to Amitāyur particularly more than Śākyamuni?
In the teaching of Shinran, Amida Buddha is the Dharmakaya itself, and all other buddhas are manifestations of Amida Buddha. Also, in the teaching of Shinran, Buddha-nature, Nirvana, and the Dharmakaya are aspects of the same Ultimate Truth.
OK, I can get that. But pretty much any particular Buddha is the dharmakāya “itself” and all others imitations depending on the Japanese sect you choose.
So is it Ven Shinran that draws you more towards Amitāyur?
Also, by “take you as you are,” what do you mean?
I would have to say again that, while the historical Buddha passed away 2,500 years ago, the name Amida means eternal life. Just as we are means that, entrusting the name of Amida Buddha, who symbolizes the reality of enlightenment itself, we are made buddhas without any self-effort involved.
So it’s a matter of etymology? Or is it a matter of the afflicted being awakened?
If option 2 I would highly recommend Tantra.
I don’t understand what you are asking me.
Just a ‘heads-up’ that extended conversations between 2 participants can be done via the PM facility This helps to keep threads tidy and doesn’t clutter up the archiving system for those searching for specific topics. This is one of the things that differentiates this forum from a chat-room.
Since this has moved from a general discussion about Nibbana etc, to personal views about practice, could I suggest you take it to a PM
Sorry if my posting was unwelcome in this public. I thought it was a friendly enquiry for another’s perspective. I see this is unwanted. I will refrain from similar dialogue where I attempt to engage a “particular” person in the future.
That’s OK. I probably wasn’t clear enough. Either way I don’t have to opportunity to clarify my position. I have nothing but respect for you, and would never wish to disparage you, however different and divergent our spiritual inclinations are.
I will dedicate merit towards your birth in the Pure Land, as meagre my merit be.
Dear @Coemgenu Coemgenu, your questions were perceived as a friendly enquiry for anothers’ perspective
The issue for moderating is determining the ‘degree’ to which grey areas of the guidelines apply.
In this case 2 aspects intersect, non-EBT’s plus personal practice issues, additionally it appears to have come to a point of interest and discussion between just the two of you. As such the PM facility is really a perfect vehicle, and you would have no constraints on your dialogue Juggling the balance is never perfect, but when speaking in the yellow-moderation-colour posts, I am raising this on behalf of the mod team.
I sincerely hope that you and @Kensho both take this in the kindly and ‘administrative’ way that it is intended. This is in no way anything to do with not being welcome to post in the forum.
In the teaching of Shinran, Amida Buddha is the salvific activity of Nirvana in the world:
Nirvana has innumerable names. It is impossible to give
them in detail; I will list only a few. Nirvana is called
extinction of passions, the uncreated, peaceful happiness,
eternal bliss, true reality, dharmakaya, dharma-nature,
suchness, oneness and Buddha-nature.
Buddha-nature is none other than Tathagata. This Tathagata
pervades the countless worlds; it fills the hearts and minds
of the ocean of all beings. Thus plants, trees and land
all attain Buddhahood…
Dharmakaya-as-suchness has neither color nor form.
From this oneness was manifested form, called Dharmakaya-as-compassion (upaya).
Taking this form, the Buddha proclaimed his name as Bhiksu
Dharmakara and established the 48 great Vows… This
Tathagata has fulfilled the Vows which are the cause of his
Buddhahood, and is thus called “Tathagata of the fulfilled
body.” This is none other than Amida Tathagata.
The Ultimacy of Jodo Shinshu: Shinran's Response to Tendai
Buddha-nature, Suchness, Dharmakaya, and Nirvana are, according to Shinran, different names for the same Ultimate Truth.
The name and form of Amida Buddha are a skillful device (upaya) for making the reality of Nirvana knowable to unenlightened beings like ourselves.
Entrusting the name, Namu-Amida-Butsu, we are reborn into the Pure Land, the realm of Nirvana.
So, I do wonder, if so much faith is placed in Amida, which is a manifestation of the Buddha, then where does the faith in Shinran originate, since these teachings are his and not from an actual, fully enlightened Buddha? In other words, what inspires this faith in an unenlightened man’s teachings over those of an actual Buddha?