[Buddha-l] Re: Karma and ethics

Stephen Hodge s.hodge at padmacholing.freeserve.co.uk
Fri May 27 21:10:23 MDT 2005

Steven Lane wrote:

> That is the Tantric view but not the Pure Land view nor the view of the
> more enlightened East Asian Buddhists. In the Pure Land view in which the
> overwhelming majority of East Asian Buddhists subscribe, no vow can cause
> more suffering only less. You might want to read Yin Kuan on this.

So much confusion arises through sloppy translation, thus giving rise to 
prolonged discussions about a phantom issue.  The so-called vow in Tantra is 
samaya and the so-called vow in Pure land is pra.nidhaana, and the so-called 
vow in the Vinaya is something else which I can't remember right now.  Thus, 
to discuss all of these as though they were the same thing leads to 
confusion accompanied by lots of hot air.  Samaya means many things but in 
this context "commitment" is clearer or perhaps better still "sacramentum" 
in the original non-Christian sense.  Pra.nidhaana is a solemn aspiration or 
wish.  Failing to maintain a samaya is supposed to lead to all manner of 
very unpleasant things while failing to fulfil a pra.nidhana is just 

Pendantically yours (as usual),
Stephen Hodge 

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