Thursday, February 7, 2008

Neither the Pure Land nor Hell

"Neither the Pure Land nor Hell exists outside oneself; both lie only within one’s own heart. Awakened to this, one is called a Buddha; deluded about it, one is called an ordinary person."

-from a letter titled "Hell is the Land of Tranquil Light" by Nichiren [from the translation in The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, published by Soka Gakkai (Tokyo, 1999)]

Just another quote illuminating the idea that samsara and nirvana are "not two". May you find it helpful.


  1. Yes, but practically speaking, "ordinary persons" might talk a lot about these matters, and have no real transformation. Into my opinion, only a Buddha can say things like this and truly understand them. For an ordinary person, to see Pure Land and Amida as being outside himself, aspire to be born there and entrust in Amida is beneficial and this simple faith can lead him to Buddhahood. No matter how many times ordinary people talk about non-duality, they will never escape it, so why not use it and make it a skillful mean? I think that Pure Land path is really doing this, which makes it different from the Zen path or other paths based on personal power. When reading your post, I suddenly remembered the words of Shinran Shonin in his Kyogyoshinsho:

    "But the monks and laity of this latter age and the religious teachers of these times are floundering in concepts of "self-nature" and "mind-only," and they disparage the true realization of enlightenment in the Pure Land Way."

  2. To give your reply the consideration and attention it deserves, I have answered it here.

    Thank you for your comments!


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