Tag Archives: Jambudvīpa

Buddhist Hells

As is evident from this blog’s title, hell within Buddhism is pluralized as opposed to its singular Christian counterpart, for there are many hells—in some texts, vast panoramic cities of them. The English word hell is derived from a Northern European Goddess named Hel, meaning the one who “covers things up.” In point of fact, it was not until Milton’s majestic poem, Paradise Lost, which depicts Satan (Myself Am Hell) and hell’s “vast pandemonium”, along with Dante’s poem Inferno (from the larger Divine Comedy), that notions of hells fiery sulfuric-nature became imprinted within the Western psyche. Buddhist notions of hell antecede its Western equivalent: read more

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The Śrāvakian Stream

“Furthermore, Śāriputra, when Tathāgata Akhobhya expounds the Dharma, he can skillfully subdue countless sentient beings, making them all attain Arhatship; numerous are those who will dwell in the meditation of the eightfold liberation. read more

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Closing Teachings on Prajñāpāramitā

Painting by Peter Adams

At that time, Mañjuśrī addressed the Buddha, saying, “Bhagavān, in the cities and villages of Jambudvīpa, what should be the station of one who expounds the extremely profound Prajñāpāramitā?” The Buddha said to Mañjuśrī, “Now in this assembly, if there are people who hear Prajñāpāramitā, and all vow saying, ‘In a future life, I should always attain this manifestation of Prajñāpāramitā,’ then from this belief, in a future life, they will be able to hear this sūtra. It should be known that it is not from few good roots that such a person is able to accept and hear it with bliss. Mañjuśrī, if there is again someone who has heard this Prajñāpāramitā from you, then you should say, ‘In this Prajñāpāramitā, there is no Śrāvaka or Pratyekabuddha Dharma, or a Buddha Dharma, and also no dharmas of birth and death, of ordinary beings, and so on.’” Mañjuśrī addressed the Buddha, saying, “Bhagavān, suppose bhikus, bhikuīs, upāsakas, or upāsikās come and ask of me, ‘How does the Buddha expound Prajñāpāramitā?’ I would reply saying, ‘All dharmas are without conflicting characteristics, so how should the Tathāgata expound Prajñāpāramitā?’ Why? There is no perception of the existence of dharmas with which dharmas may conflict, and also no minds and consciousnesses of sentient beings which are able to know. read more

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