Sun

07

Sep

2014

Imagination

@Byodoin Temple on Oahu
@Byodoin Temple on Oahu

This base or seat for Amida Buddha is called "Renge-za 蓮華座" or "Renge-dai蓮華台" in Japanese.  As I introduced it before, "Renge(蓮華)" literally means lotus flower. "Za(座)" means "seat" and "Dai(台)" means "base."

The "renge" or the sacred Lotus flowers have been very important pedestals for Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, especially for Pure Land Buddhism.  

In its Meditation Sutra, 13 ways of mindful meditations are explained by Shakyamuni Buddha, through the desperate request by Queen Vaidehi.

As a result, she was able to meditate on Amida Buddha with two Bodhisattvas.  But Queen felt sorry only she was able to see Amida Buddha through the power of Shakyamuni Buddha.    

So the queen further asked Shakyamuni Buddha about the way to see Amida Buddha without relying upon the special power.

What a great compassion.  She asked the way of meditation not for herself, but for all the beings in the future.  The sutra continued,

" How shall all the beings of the future meditate on Buddha Amidayus and the two Bodhisattvas?" asked the queen.

Thus Shakyamuni Buddha answered, " Those who wish to meditate on that Buddha ought first to direct their thought as follows." 

Then Buddha explained to meditate on the huge scale of lotus  flower which was on the ground of seven jewels.....many leaves which have colors of hundred jewels...eighty-four thousand veins...each leaf has the kingly pearls to the numbers of a hundred millions, as ornaments for illumination...each pearl shoots out a thousand rays like bright canopies...

The sutra continued to say,

"such is the perception of the lotus flower pedesals, and it is the Seventh Meditation."

In my understanding, this 7th meditation on lotus flower is so important for those who wish to see Amida Buddha.

Why?

Because this meditation is very clear about for whom Shakyamuni Buddha taught.

This was not for queen herself, but for all the beings in the future which means for us.

In addition, it tells us importance of our imagination.

It's kind of sad we are sometimes very suspicious about the world Buddha has taught.  We tend to judge whether it's true or not, according to the science. 

However anything should be possible....That's what we call "imagination"

and it is imagination that can save us from the world of sufferings.

Ancient people were actually very good at imaginations.

They were able to see Gods in the mountain, in the ocean,in rising Sun and everywhere.

They were able to imagine their Universe and their life after this life.   In a sense, they were able to see the reality according to their imaginations. 

On the other hand, we, modern people are very poor at imagination.  We tend to be very suspicious about their imagination.

We see the same Sun every day, but many of us cannot see God there.

Many of us cannot imagine what will happen after our death.

And because it's hard to imagine the death and the world after death,

many of us feel great fear and worry about death.

But what if we can imagine the world after death?

I think what modern people need is more imagination.

And if we can read the sutras from the view point of imagination,

we can not only understand it rightly, but also we can go to the Pure land.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments: 1
  • #1

    mo (Saturday, 13 September 2014 23:49)

    Thank you once again for reminding us of the important things. The imaginations of the ancient people is something truly remarkable. I agree, more imagination is a positive thing.