Showing posts with label T'AN-LUAN. Show all posts
Showing posts with label T'AN-LUAN. Show all posts

Friday, August 7, 2015

The grave karmic consequence of denying the transcendent reality of Amida Buddha


- based on Master T’an-luan’s Ojoronchu -

Master T'an-luan (476-542)
The Three Buddha Bodies (aspects) and the Two Buddha Bodies doctrines are usually not properly understood by those who don't accept the existence of the many transcendent Buddhas in Mahayana[1]. While the true reason for such an attitude is their materialistic vision of the universe, they often use the formless Dharmakaya (Dharmakaya of Dharma-nature) as an excuse and argument to reduce all transcendent manifestations to mere symbols or metaphors, or even go so far as to blame „folk Buddhism” for their presence in the canonical writings.
But surely, Master T’an-luan did not share such distorted views when he clearly said that exactly because Dharmakaya is formless, there is no form which it cannot manifest”:

„Unconditioned Dharmakaya is the body of Dharma-nature. Because Dharma-nature is Nirvanic, Dharmakaya is formless. Because it is formless, there is no form which it cannot manifest. Therefore, the body adorned with the marks of excellence is itself Dharmakaya”.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Master T’an-luan on Amida Buddha and the Pure Land (the doctrine of the two Buddha bodies)


                                      - based on his teachings in the Ojoronchu[1] -



Master T’an-luan (476-542)
According to T’an-luan, all Buddhas, including Amida, have two bodies (aspects):

„1. Dharmakaya of Dharma-nature and 2. Dharmakaya of Expediency.”
The first is the ultimate, unconditioned reality beyond form, which is equally shared by all Buddhas[2], while the second is the specific and particular manifestation of each Buddha for the sake of saving sentient beings.

The relation between the two is described as follows:

„From the Dharmakaya of Dharma nature originates the Dharmakaya of Expediency; through the Dharmakaya of Expediency, the Dharmakaya of Dharma nature is revealed. These two Dharmakayas are different, but inseparable; they are one but not the same.”[3]

This is a very important aspect that is not properly understood by those who don’t accept the existence of the many transcendent Buddhas in Mahayana[4]. While the true reason for such an attitude is their materialistic vision of the universe, they often use the formless Dharmakaya as an excuse and argument to reduce all transcendent manifestations to mere symbols or metaphors, or even go so far as to blame „folk Buddhism” for their presence in the canonical writings.
But surely, T’an-luan did not shared such distorted views when he clearly said that exactly because Dharmakaya is formless, there is no form which it cannot manifest”: