The Collection on the Mental Contemplation of Amida (Buddha)

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By Sramana Genshin of the Eshin In.

« The Sanskrit character “A” 1 is none other than the Principle of Emptiness. 2 The character of “Mi” is the Ten Dharma Realms resulting from causes and conditions.3 That is to say, it is none other than the Principle of Provisionality. 4 To which the Hundred Realms are in eternal compliance. 5 The character “Ta” is none other than the Principle of the Mean. 6 This Middle Way is identical with the Dharmakaya. It has been formerly said, that the sentient beings of the Ten Realms all call on Amida Buddha.

The Dharmakaya of Amida Buddha is the Originally Enlightened Tathagata, and the perfection of the mind. 7 The Sambhogakaya of Amida, is precisely the Rupakaya that is self enjoyed (as well as) enjoyed by others, that results from cultivation. The Nirmanakaya of Amida, is none other than the World of Ultimate Bliss. Amida Buddha is (both) the superior and inferior Nirmanakaya. 8

These Three Buddhas have transformational bodies beneficial to self and other; each body, each function, is eternal and unchanging. To one with Bodhicitta, it is as if all dharmas are alike Buddhas. All dharmas are none other than the Ten Realms. Consequently, if a Realm does not know Buddha Dharmas in this way, (the beings of it) cannot be reborn in the Pure Land. 9

One who engages Bodhicitta, knows all dharmas are alike Buddha Dharmas. This mind is none other than the karmic cause which results in the Pure Land. To be mindful for (but) ten moments in one’s contemplation of Principle {the absolute}, is the karma which assures rebirth. For those who now contemplate Principle for ten moments, the Dharma Realms are not different from The Middle Way. Samsara is none other than Nirvana.

(In the moment) one contemplates the character “A”, the Forty Two levels of Ignorance, 10 and the Mental Affliction of deluded views and perceptions in common with them, are instantaneously extinguished by becoming the Sambhogakaya Buddha. 11 (In the moment) one contemplates the character “Mi”, the Forty Two Types of Mental Afflictions (that arise from) the myriad phenomena,12 and the evil karma of the Three Lands, are instantaneously extinguished, by becoming the Nirmanakaya Buddha.13 (In the moment) one contemplates the character “Da”, the Forty Two Levels of Primary Afflictions and the karmic retribution of the Two Deaths, are instantaneously extinguished, by becoming the Dharmakaya Buddha.14 By contemplating the epithet’s “Ta” and “A” (which are the) Essence and Function; uncaused are all dharmas, empty and quiescent.15 The character “Mi” is the many causes and myriad forms. These Three Truths contain all dharmas. « 16

Here ends The Collection on the Mental Contemplation of Amida (Buddha).

Translation by Rev. Jikai Dehn.

 

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1)The text here uses the siddham character. It is very evident that this text, while Pure Land in context, is making connections to both esoteric and Tiantai concepts throughout.
2)The first of the Tiantai Three Truths.
3)The Ten Dharma Realms being namely: 1) Hells. 2) Hungry Ghosts. 3) Animals. 4) Asura. 5) Humans. 6) Deva. 7) Sravaka. 8) PratyekaBuddha. 9) Bodhisattva. 10) Buddha.
4)The second of the Tiantai Three Truths.
5)These are the Ten Realms mentioned above- each of which possess 10 Such-like Characteristics.
6)The Third of the Tiantai Three Truths.
7)The text specifically uses the term 本覚如来.
8)In Tiantai, there are both Superior and Inferior Nirmanakaya. The Superior Nirmanakaya is the body seen by other Bodhisattva- 16feet tall and possessing all its characteristics. The Inferior Nirmanakaya is the body of the Buddha as a historical figure which is visible to the unenlightened (those who have not entered the Bhumis).
9)This is translation is tentative, but it appears that the implication is that without this wisdom, one does not enter on self power.
10)One of the two types of ‘Not-knowing’ in Tiantai. In Tiantai usage it refers to the fact that views themselves are afflictions.
11)This is referencing the Tiantai concept of intersubsumption or the relationship between whole and part.
12)Refers to the other type of ‘Not-Knowing”. Literally, it is the mental affliction which results from the overwhelming details of phenomena.
13)This is referencing the Tiantai concept of intersubsumption or the relationship between whole and part.
14)This is referencing the Tiantai concept of intersubsumption or the relationship between whole and part.
15)Ti-Yong: A very important concept in Chinese Philosophy. In this context, it represents the Fundamental Nature of something, and its Outer Characteristics/ Appearances.
16)While the text, and it’s author, are Pure Land in their Outer Characteristics, it is very clear that the thought being presented here is without doubt orthodox Tiantai, coupled with Taimitsu in Fundamental Nature.

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