Buddhism - Lesson 10

Mahayana Buddhist Schools and Lineages (Part 1)

Two invocational Mahayana Buddhist Schools are Chinese “Pure Land” Buddhism and Japanese “Pure Land” Buddhism.

Lesson 10
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Mahayana Buddhist Schools and Lineages (Part 1)

The Emergence of the “Great Vehicle”

Part 5

The first 10 minutes of this lecture is an overview of a test the students took. We left it in because it focuses on some of the main points of Buddhism by referring to student work. It also gives some basic instruction on how to present ideas and what it means to write a "compare and contrast" essay.

VI. Mahayana Buddhist Schools and Lineages

A. Chinese and Japanese Invocational Buddhism

1. Chinese “Pure Land” Buddhism – INVOCATIONAL

a. Dharmakara’s 18th vow

b. Amitaba / Amita Buddha

c. Body of Bliss (Trikaya) and the “pure land”

d. Nembutsu

2. Japanese “Pure Land” Buddhism - INVOCATIONAL

a. Honen (1133-1212) and Jodo-shu

b. Shinran (1173-1262) and Jodo-shin-shu

c. Substitutionary/vicarious atonement

Terms to Know from this lecture:

Pure Land

Class Resources

In this course, you will gain an in-depth understanding of Buddhism, including its historical background, key concepts, and major branches. You will explore the life and teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, and learn about the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Additionally, you will examine the differences between the major branches of Buddhism, such as Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana, and learn about various Buddhist practices and beliefs, including meditation, karma, rebirth, and the role of the Sangha. Lastly, you will study how Christians can bring hope to Buddhists by sharing the truths of God's character and the salvation of His Son. 


Dr. Timothy Tennent
Mahayana Buddhist Schools and Lineages (Part 1)
Lesson Transcript


Okay. As you can see, overall, the grades were quite good. I don't know. The terms were fairly straightforward. They were all taken off of the sheets, as I promised. So it's pretty straightforward. The two great renegotiations on page two, again, are some of you had the difficulty of not following the directions on an exam where you're ask, what is the significance of the to great renunciation? It isn't enough just to say what they are, because the point is the significance of the two, not just what are they. So I'm assuming you know the what? What are they? But what are they? Is the renunciation of his life of wealth, and later his renunciation of extreme asceticism. Those are the two great renunciation is the significance is this is the paradigm for the middle way that is most important. If you didn't say that, you definitely get points off because this becomes the great kind of paradigm for how Buddhism sees itself. The same with the second one how to the front of a truth relate to the doctrine protected. So part of again, I even put it in here, just to be clear, I assume you know the four double truths and what this is all part of is how do they relate to each other. So if you scratch out everything you said in terms of definition, then you have really what your answer is or lack of it. So many of you, of course, a lot of what he is telling me, what animal truths are and what putting them apart is when I've already said up front already some you know that. So the relationship, of course, is important because the fundamental truths point. The whole for truths is geared toward recognizing the particular source or the weak link in pretty small part.


So if you remember, one of the fundamental truths is this whole thing about craving or desire or Tonya, which initially broken, and that is the link and some part of that is focused on in the and there's other things you could say, but that's the main point. The goal of the three vehicles of modern Buddhism refers to the, of course, the three vehicles, Theravada Mahayana, Vajrayana, and refer to the our hot goal, the Buddhist site, the goal and the goal of becoming a living Buddha or even a lama. The contribution of Mahayana to ethics in the Eastern context is very significant because in Hinduism, as we mentioned, there was no basis in the karmic ideal for compassion for another or any kind of vicarious suffering, because this is brought into the Eastern context via Mahayana, it becomes very, very important. And for a Christian, this becomes extremely important for us in terms of Christian witnesses, we'll see today and later on next week and even more, the following the last week, we'll be developing this more. The three vehicles widely known as monastic, messianic and apocalyptic, respectively. It was interesting. Read your responses on this in a nutshell because it relates to Theravada, Mahayana and Vaswani and respectively. Then we're reminded, of course, that Theravada is their goal is the our heart is the monastic ideal, and therefore it because the idealizes, the monastic life is known as the monastic vehicle, the messianic. I think everybody got that right. That was pretty obvious that it got more gets more subtle as you go along, but it's more important to recognize the connection. Mahayana is known as messianic because of the Buddhist side. For ideal, which comes to save you. It's again, this whole introduction of vicarious ness into the Buddhist and Eastern context.


So because we have these whole pantheon of savior figures that can save, you will see it again today in pure land with Amitava, you have such a messianic. Apocalyptic, of course, is even more subtle. But again, it shows this the subtlety of these different vehicles because vision Jonah believes that we are living in the in times that we're living in this, you know, the coming of Shambhala or Shangri-La. And therefore, there's this apocalyptic eschatological context to the whole of us, right? Ranjana That the reason the Dalai Lama walks among us is because he's preparing us for the for the end of the ages. A lot of their tantric practices are meant to accelerate time so that even if you aren't literally living in the end times, you can be accelerated so that spiritually speaking you are. And all of that. The view of the Makaya in the School of Mid-America and you, Kara, is right from my book. We though we all discuss discussed it in class quite extensively. I told you in the preparation to go over this and most of you. It quite well. And this again, the distinction is the difference between emptiness and the concept of a sitter or mind and your car and how this understood. And most of you develop that quite, quite well. Karl, you missed this announcement before you came in, but I because of several problems in the way I asked the questions, I threw out the whole matching section to your, I'm sure your delight, because only three of you got them right. So therefore, it's. It was supposed to be 451623, I believe was the if I recall, the, uh, where it was supposed to be. Yeah. 451623. But five could have been a four there.


Some four could have been. I won or a four. And I finally realized that it was it was poorly tested. So I just threw it out because men judiciary is wisdom, but is also knowledge. Okay, that's pretty clear. I guess Tara is definitely the female voice of miracles. That was pretty clear. The Matrix, where I'm going to have problems because what I should have said rather than I should have put on there point blank that it was not just knowledge or enlightened insight, but also it was the future, future Buddha of outlook for compassion. But also that was one of the potential reincarnations of the Tibet that we had some confusion about. Look Smart looks from our virtual incarnation of De Lama and Vajrayana Pioneer Body pretty much knew that. And that's the will and the wheels of Thunderbolt. That one was clear, but there were problems with it, so I threw it all out. Finally, the main essay dealt with understanding how Buddhism is developed as a whole. Peace Mahayana and run China as an expansion or extension of the three jewels of terror of all of Buddhism. Well, first of all, you had to know what the three jewels of Theravada Buddhism were to answer the question. The three jewels were the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, the the the Buddha, the teaching and the community. And of course, we spent a lot of time and we even showed you the charts. Actually, I think I have the chart here. Yeah. Remember, this chart basically shows how and everyone had a copy of this, how the each of these is developed because in the Theravada, the little vehicle, the monastic vehicle, there is only one Buddha, there's only been one Buddha ever will be one Buddha.


So this gets expanded and extended in Mahayana to include the document cycle. Yeah, there's multiple Buddhas deified, multiplied, and ultimately you've got in Vajrayana on where everything is Buddha. Everyone has a Buddha nature. There's Buddha is walking among us, all of that. It's a it's a continual expansion of that. The same with the Dharma. You have essentially a closed canon type of talk, a text which contain the three baskets of conduct, discourses of my doctrines related to the monastic life in the story. And you basically have the fundamental truths, the two sermons. You have those 13 kind of seminal teachings. That's basically the core of Truvada. Well, Mahayana, of course, they they say that they have secret teachings. They open up the text to include new kinds of expansive ideas, including the body SOP ideal. So they expand the idea of the the teaching, the same advisor on piano. They have more tantric secret kinds of dharmic beliefs that expand the teaching of the Buddhism. So the Buddha, the Dharma, and then finally the song Heart the song. Hi. This is very limited to the monastic community. Then it's expanded to the laity. And so you have a much broader one point that many of you for some reason didn't mention. And I think it's in part because Paul Williams downplays it. But I try to really counterbalance that in the lectures and say, despite the fact that the Paul Williams downplays the laity sad, he was mainly talking about the the argument with the Marcus and Gigas, There's some debate about whether or not how much that comes out of the laity, clergy debate. But there's no question the Mahayana has an emphasis on laity that is not paralleled in the Theravada. So that's an expansion of what caste is the sangha, because the community and the what an ideal is is related to the monastic life, whereas now everybody can be a part of it.


And ultimately in Vajrayana honor, it actually encompasses the whole world. The whole world is apocalyptically involved in the Buddhist cosmic processes and all that. So you can see hopefully the three vehicle that many of you mentioned this the wheel of Dharma has turned three times. And I remember I told you that that was the way we want to unfold it in this class, that the despite some variation on how the term is used about turning little Dharma once or twice, the main way it's used in the way we're using the class is that each of these represents an additional turn of the wheel of Dharma, which again is further teachings and so forth. Okay, our next section, which is lecture number eight, we will be focusing on Buddhist schools and lineages. I want to go ahead and get some of this on the table for the sake of time. But after the break, I've asked three of you to briefly talk about your papers. I could have asked any number of you, but I'd ask three three of you to give a little brief summary of your project response paper. Starting today, the class is going to focus more and more on apologetics and Christian response. To Buddhism. But we do need to. There's a little ground that we need to cover, a little more ground in order to properly respond to Buddhism and also to constitute our having a real proper survey. And so we must deal with the issue of schools and lineages because we've not yet done that up to this point. All we have done essentially is outline through the three major branches of Buddhism. We've looked at Theravada, Mahayana, those are on Yano. What we have not really talked about much except in allusions is that within these different branches there are various schools or lineages, and what is a lineage? A lineage is a particular practice that dates back to normally a person that advocate a certain way of doing Buddhist practices within the Mahayana context, rather than develop this within Theravada and Vajrayana, which we could do with similar, almost exact same kind of lineages are present in in Theravada and environment renowned because they're so small that I decided to focus just on Mahayana to give you a feel for the way it develops.


And if you'll notice on your hand, if you have a handout, just look at A, B, C, and D to kind of get the global view of what we're doing. You notice and I'm uses to help us to to say a little more about Chinese and Japanese Buddhism. I'll say about Korea next week. But you notice that under a you have invocation of Buddhism and under be meditative Buddhism see rationalistic in for our day political okay Nietzsche, Rin Tin Di, John Zen you know pure land there's different terms for this, but these are different ways in which Buddhism is practiced. So just because someone is a mahayana does not mean that there is a singular practice of Buddhism. Now, one of these you'll find, especially if you're in Thailand, some of your interest in Thailand. Thailand will basically break all of these rules. So I'm going to give you the rules and then you can observe the way they're broken in Thailand. All right. The way that's originally done in Buddhism is that the lineages are kept very distinct and separate. So you have a real strong, you know, in vocational camp that really believes that this is the way to do Buddhism, that you have a strong meditative camp, you have a strong rationalistic camp. The political thing is a more recent development, but it's also there. But in some countries those lineages are kept very separate. And Korea is a good example. In Japan, even Japan to some degree, by comparison to places like Thailand, the lineages are kept very separate. So if you were to go and study as a Buddhist monk or a layperson, you could study a lineage in more or less a pure form. In many parts of Southeast Asia, including Thailand, these are all mixed together.


And so people will take a little bit of the invocation or a little bit of meditation, and they'll mix it together and they'll have they'll have their own little school and you'll learn both telling shuffling cards so you won't observe the purity of this in a place like Thailand, like you will in a place like Japan and even more Korea. But that's just the nature of what's happened in the modern period. So let's look at each of these and try to find a way to unfold it, what it means and how it's practice. And we're going to look at the most the most dramatic and major form of Buddhism. And Mahayana is the so called invocation of Buddhism. This is Buddhism made simple. You're finally getting to, I think, the ultimate expression of lay Buddhism. What it really comes down to, because I said before, even though I believe that the school of my yarmulke in your car is fundamental to understanding how Buddhist thinking and our response as Christians, many people on the streets are only going to know something like this. This is kind of down to earth, practical Buddhism. You recall that in the third century, Ashoka sent out missionaries in his famous Dharma conquest. So China is, of course, India's nearest neighbor to the east. And where I work, we're actually quite close to the Chinese border in north India. It's one because the way India goes, like this is like a gigantic diamond. And so when you actually get the father going to North India, you're actually getting closer to Pakistan and India somewhat and China simultaneously, because the way India is in these countries can encroaching on. And so the what today, the disputed region of India, if you actually look at a map of it's exaggeration of essentially in.


He is like a diamond. And in the north. Well, I work in a place about right in here, extreme north India. Now here's Pakistan and here's China. All right. This area up here, the Kashmir area, is currently disputed between India and Pakistan. There's debates about what belongs in the audience to Pakistan. So if you go to my office and see a map of India, it has all kinds of territory. That's actually Pakistan. But, you know, I mean, that's literally controlled and governance and people there, if you stopped everyone in the streets, where do you live? Is it Pakistan? But it's on the Indian map as well. In India, it's a big deal. There's a thing there's an area called the Line of Control. And they also say that's called where the Pakistanis actually control it, everything to the west of that. And then they gave a portion of this to China in order to bring China into this whole debate. All right. So there's actually a here a space in the north of India, this disputed between Pakistan, India and China. That's how close these three countries are. So it's not at all surprising that the first place once Buddhism came out of North India, because the Ashoka was a north Indian leader, was right into China. And interestingly, if you know your history, your European history, you know that Martin Luther is Martin Luther in part because his vision and his passion and his everything that he was coincided with a very important invention. What was that invention? The printing press. That's exactly right. And so, in a way, the message and the technology met and created possibilities. I mean, God, this is all in God's providence. Well, in the same way that the Buddha, the Dharma conquest, coincides with the emergence of printing in China.


Because if you know the story of Chinese printing, of course, far predates European printing. So eventually what happens is a kind of Chinese, what I would call the Buddhist equivalent to the translate ability factor in Christianity, which I think in some ways is unique to Christianity in some ways. It is not. Christianity is the only religion, war, religion whose primary source document our case. The New Testament is no language other than the founder. That's extremely important theologically. We make a lot of this in our anthropology class. But you have Jesus speaking Aramaic. The primary source documents are in coin a Greek. That's a that's very important theologically. Nobody else can say that. The Koran doesn't say that. The early Buddhist politics can say that. The Hindu Vedas can't say that. The Upanishads can't say that. Nobody else can say that. So everyone else has a locus in particular language. And then the question is, can that be translated into other languages properly? Well, the New Testament can be because from the very beginning it comes to us in translation. So we don't have any big hurdle to say, Well, gosh, we're all married to Aramaic. No one ever worries about Aramaic, even though we know that Jesus, when he spoke this one of them out of the parables, it was surely in our mark. So the Latin church, of course, perpetuated the idea of this. Somehow Latin was special and sacred. And there was a while people thought that calling a Greek was some kind of sacred language. And all that story, you probably know. But fundamentally, this was not good theology. The biblical theology is trained that ability. So the early Buddhist texts, when they get into China and they get put into Chinese, it does change things a lot.


And so it creates as what always happens when you translate the Bible into someone's own tongue, it spurns on the indigenous indigenization process. So Chinese Buddhism takes on its own life of its own. And so as you move further east into China, Korea and Japan, then eventually what happens is Buddhism begins to take on national hues. And you'll see that in some of the pictures I'm show this this morning. So the Buddhist message comes in. It may challenge existing values. And we often talk about that, about how Christianity comes into a particular context and challenges people's paganism or idolatry or whatever. That's true. But what we often don't look at enough is what happens in return to Christianity, because Christianity does come in and it does transform a culture. Also, the culture transforms the Christian message. Hellenism made an impact on how Christianity was articulated. There's some positive things to that because it shows that the Christian worldview could articulate itself in the context of Hellenistic thought. But once you begin to think that the gospel has to be communicated in Hellenistic terminology, then it becomes an impediment. That's just an ongoing kind of issue in the life of the church. So the same thing happens in Buddhism. There's this corrective. It works both ways. And Chinese culture made a huge impact on Buddhism. And by the way, this is a little footnote, but it also did it with Islam, because Islam, if they've done anything, they've insisted that the call to prayer is in Arabic. And I have sat in Eastern Europe, I've been in India and heard the call to prayer from mosque, the minarets, and it's always in Arabic. It doesn't matter if in Indonesia or wherever, but when you're in China, they call it a prayer.


It goes out in Chinese. And that says a lot about the power of Chinese culture to even impose on Islam that you don't speak Arabic in our country. This is China. If you're talk Arabic, go back to one of your own countries. I mean, there's that mentality. It's very, very powerful. So the Chinese culture, the virtue of its history, its antiquity, sheer numbers of people, of course, is most popular country in the world today. And the Chinese are very proud of that fact. When I was in China, they were always talking about that, you know, we're the most powerful. Did you know we're most popular culture in the world as if it was unknown, really, you know, But the Indians are really trying to catch up. And of course, the Indians have just passed the billion mark a year ago last August, and China's at 1.2 billion. India will be within the year to 1.1 billion. And they're really marking the days as people have already charted out. In fact, I have here in my little notebook that's 24. You have to have 23 here somewhere you have to go. I carry around my whole life and calendars, but I was reading the daily newspaper this summer and announced, you know, we're on our way to a purpose in China. And it's like I encourage people, you know, it says China has this policy No one child and all that you know, keep the population down. Okay. India's like, man, this is our chance. And so this this article I just left went through it. It proudly boasted, you know, did you know that in 1900 we only had 238 million people in India, one in 51 they had three and 51. And now we have over 1 billion.


Okay, it's in one 100 years. They went from 238 to 1 billion and went on to say we can pass China. I think they I don't know why I didn't write it down, but they had the date in there. Maybe it's just one of my scribbles, but they had dates of how long it would take to surpass China. There are different ideas about it, but some say 2020 and 2025, but very much in our lifetime. I think hopefully in our lifetime, I'll still be alive and kicking in 2025, 33 babies a minute are being born in India. So even while I'm talking about this, there's babies being born constantly. 869 babies per day are born in Delhi. And that's why it's so exciting and so interesting. 52% are men, which I guess means 48% are women. Though India also has a whole gas book called Eunuchs. Do you know that India has eunuchs? They are men, women and eunuchs, just like the Bible. They are people that are neither male and female, and they have like a whole race of people. And there's people who have ministry just to eunuchs in India. It's amazing. Anyway, they're hopefully going to surpass China, but because of Chinese population, culture and all of this, it becomes identified with Chinese culture. And we believe that the oldest printed book in the world, according to historians, is a Chinese version of the Diamond Cutter Sutra, which you immediately recognize is a Buddhist document, the Diamond Cutter Sutra, dated 868. So that's a long time for the Reformation. So this is again, one of the reasons why we've had to rethink European history, because we I know when I grew up, at least I'm sure it's not true. When you went through school, when I came to school, we were told that Europeans invented the printing press, Europeans invented gunpowder, all these things.


It turned out the Chinese had gunpowder and printing press hundreds of years before the Europeans did. By the seventh century, the number of Buddhist texts and sutures had exploded to tens of thousands, all claiming to be the words of Buddha, talked about the expansion of the Dharma. The Buddha was the most prolific writer in history. He passes. Chuck Swindell So what happened is, as these works began to be translated to Chinese and people going to examine them, scholars began to notice discrepancies between the sutras. As you might imagine, the sutras, unlike the commentaries, we're not allowed to disagree technically, because they were the actual words of Buddha. If you had, you know, 10,000 commentaries, then you could say, Well, you know, not now, I've got Nagarjuna and my Yamaoka. People disagree, or the carp who disagree. That's fair enough. But this is text that claims, in the words of Buddha. So there are certain ways they deal with it by saying, well, this is a more esoteric to. You can do that for a while. But there were actual problems and they basically said that people are on the eightfold path at different stages and they need different teachings based on where they are on the eightfold path. And so this is the way they kind of reconciled all of these different stages, and these became known as lineages. So the vocational versus devotional, I mean, the the meditative and so forth arise out of that. By the way, the all of the philosophical debates that we looked at, particularly Jamaica and Yogyakarta, they develop the exact same schools in China. They don't call them a car. They have their own term for them. They're called sun, moon and fire same, but these are all the same type things.


So you have the kind of replication of the whole Buddhist thing in China. What they do in each of the all of these lineages is they will read them back to a particular teacher and all them, of course, are claiming that theirs represent some more advanced teaching. That's a debate within these different lineages. And generally what they'll do is if they have a particular teacher that they believe had insights and would lead them on to this sublime teaching, they would erect a stupa to this teacher. And I believe we've already discussed the word stupa. Right. Stupa Stupa refers to a sacred ground, sacred memorial site that contains usually a relic physical or material relic of a particular Buddhist teacher. These stupas are all over China. I actually lived when I was our only one semester in China, but I was there for a semester and I live next to a very famous stupa that you just told people. It was called the Yellow Crane. You told me where you lived and they all really knew where you are because it's a famous stupa there all over China. And so many of these are identified with what is known as pure lan Buddhism. This is a form of Buddhism which developed out of Mahayana that we call invocation of Buddhism. And it it develops out of these so-called secret teachings, and it traces back to its lineage to a particular bodhisattva who is now known as Amitabh. It was in history, known as Dharma Kala, Dharma Khara. Now, according to the lineage legend, which all of them have legends about this, these two figures, Democrat once lived on Earth as a person. He worked his way through the eightfold path. He received enlightenment and at the end of his sojourn he was in a meditative state of Diana.


This is the meditation step we talked about with the six super analogies and all that. He took 48 different vowels at the conclusion of his life. You do not need to know the 48 vowels, but you do need to know the 18th vowel, because one of these is very important. And I was this morning, I had failed to actually type this on the overhead. So I apologize, but I'll read it to you and I'll give you the gist of it, because what you need to know is the gist of it, not the actual text of it. But he basically let me give you just a first and read it to you. He basically says, if I receive enlightenment, if I go into Nirvana or into some intermediate state of blessedness, that's a matter of some debate. Anyway. If I go into this blessedness, you accept me, the Buddha accepts him into enlightenment, then anybody who calls on my name will also achieve enlightenment. Otherwise, don't grant me enlightenment, just like the Apostle Paul saying in Romans nine. I wish that I myself my name blotted out the book of life for the sake of my brother. And according to the Flash, it's that kind of compassionate statement that this very self and makes that if I cannot bring with me the company of the laity, then I don't want to be enlightened. I will not go into enlightenment. So just deny it to me unless I can bring people with me who recite my name. Let me just read the actual vows to you. If oh blessed one when I have attained enlightenment, whatever beings on other worlds that lets us have conceived a desire for right perfect enlightenment, and having heard my name with fable intent, think upon me.


If when the time and moment of death are upon them, I surrounded by and at the head of my community of monks, do not stand before them to keep them from frustration. May I not on that account attained unexcelled, Right? Perfect enlightenment. In other words, the 18th vow basically says if I can't let them. I'll be safe through me then. I don't want anybody else. I won't be saved. Now, this becomes. This is why we could not leave this aside. And before we talked about Christian response to Buddhism, because this has has many, many important ramifications. What are they? What? Why is this important for us to think? I mean, quite apart from the fact that the vast majority of Chinese, Buddhist and Japanese Buddhist are pure island Buddhist. So this is a huge chunk of the actual the Buddhist that you'll meet on the street. I mean, apart from that itself, it's worth mentioning and talking about. But from a Christian point of view, why is it important? What is it? Why is this significant? This is a very important salvage my faith motif. This is a espoused justification by faith. This is vicarious atonement. This is the whole idea of justification via someone else's actions. This is a counterfeit, obviously, But nevertheless, it's an important precedent that Buddhists recognize they cannot save themselves. And you will see that in their own writings. I have it. I'll never read here. They themselves will say that I have used this in preaching to Buddhist audiences. I have said, even your own scholars have said and quoted these some of these texts. It's very, very powerful to see this. But you just stretching. Okay, Everybody can stretch, reach up. Praise God. Anyone who tells them, come back.


I'm down here and walk on my back and know. Okay. So in many ways, this is a very kind of typical story about a lineage. You have a well-known teacher who left and people rallied around him and they believe he's now a bodhisattva. So many of the bodhisattvas have human origin and this body suffer is known as a meta or amitava. This is the Buddha of Light or Amitava unexcelled, right? This is one of the most important terms I gave both because you hear interchangeably on Meta or Amitava just means light or unexcelled. Light is the name of this particular bodhisattvas. They believe this bodhisattva dwells in one of the upper chambers that we looked at in our original conception of the Wheel of Samsara. So they believe that when you die, you can go to heaven. That heavenly chamber is divided into many different realms, one of which is the called the Pure Land. So this is a basically a heavenly experience where you can die and go in and fellowship with your loved ones. And it's talked about in every bit of the way, the same way that people talk about going to heaven and in our context. So that's why we're very, very careful. That's why I keep coming back to the ontological side of this whole equation, because when a Buddhist talks about, you know, I'm looking forward to going into heaven and I've trusted Amitava, I put my faith in him. He'll save me someday, go to heaven to be with him. It sounds very similar and the language is very similar. But we recognize, of course, ontologically, there is no heaven, there is no way there's some sorrow. There is only emptiness, nothingness. And they don't believe in the actual ontology to Dharma, Kyra.


But what developed was in this pure land slums called pure land of the West. This is a further expansion or a more detailed description of the body of bliss. Remember the doctrine of trickle you the three bodies of Buddha. And what developed was the belief that if you called upon his name, you can be saved. So he dwells. This Dharma Khara is the human figure. He takes the vow saying, Anybody gets saved. I get saved. I want everybody to be saved. If they just think on me. We'll discuss what that means in the minute to think on him. He's renamed the Buddha of Light, but he's sort of light and he takes his place in this kind of enlarged conception of the Buddha's body, which now can contain this kind of heavenly, spacial conception, at least mentally spacial conception, where you can go and be with Buddha in the pure land. So you're essentially going into the body of Buddha in a kind of a broad sense and. They develop the doctrine of number two. This is an extremely important term missile. Definitely on your list of terms. Yeah. Pure land is a chamber inside the body of bliss. And the body of bliss is believed to be located in the upper chamber of the Wheel of Samsara number. So it refers to calling on the name of or invoking the name of a body. Saatva nimbu tsu calling in the name of. So this is the kind of summary word for invocation of Buddhism Nembutal soup. So the belief was if you called on his name ten times, this is one of the dominant ideas within pure lan, then you'll be saved. You would call out and you would say, For example, I'm in Taba, please save me.


This is one of the writings. He never fails to reach the lotus land of Bliss, who calls if once the name of Amida. Okay, so some people would argue that even if you said at one time sincerely, you could be saved, others said you should do it ten times because, you know, just in case you weren't sincere. I mean, it gets to be the funny thing about I say funny the tragic thing about it is that they cannot seem to really back away from the works writers this route of Buddhism, because Buddhism is the most works. Righteousness kind of orientation in the world makes Hinduism look like graceful. And so here you have this grace that breaks into Buddhism through the in the mood to doctrine that you, you know, you just put your faith and we talk about and you'll be saved. It sounds very simple because, well, how do you know if you have really put your faith how we talk about. So some say, you know, say it 10,000, say a hundred times, say it thousands of times. Hire people to say it for you. You know, when is it you put in a prayer? When you spend the prayer well, and you have how little boys have in the wheel day and night for you so that you make sure you've got that one time down, you know, this this kind of thing. So that becomes and even then, even here, a works rises can reassert itself, if not properly held in check. But look at some of these these are their writings. I think they're taken mainly from our textbook by the bury the Buddhist tradition. I see saw has his there hold that up I'm not sure the patron but if you've read this book yet, you'll never recognize these quotes because Muslims come from this sort of material.


Before we look at these quotes here, some examples of the picture of Amitava. And you'll notice certainly the features of the Buddha are changing. That is not an Indian face as a Chinese face. Now we need to come back to this point here later on. It's not a court. We have to be careful in our time. But this is an important thing that we we've also not yet discussed the murderers, the hand gestures. So maybe we'll try to come back to that at some point. But just get a look at some of these. Here's another one. Notice the Chinese features. So this is China reasserting themselves. Again, the murderers, this unfortunately, this has broken off. But in this partially broken off, these are really important hand gestures which we will need to discuss as well. But this is also two great pictures of Amitava. And this one especially, I think is nice because it brings out the infinite light or the unsurpassed light. Amitava Buddha You have the again, more of the hand gestures there. We need to say more. All of these have the mudra, the certain hand gestures, and we should take some time to look at that. But I want to make sure we're clear on the doctrine of of first of name boots. So this is on the one page testament. The method of final survey, which I have propound is not any sort of meditation. Now, this is again, a pure lineage statement when someone saying, I don't go for meditation, I go for invocation. This isn't in the pure world of where people follow these lineages very dedicatedly and they don't dip into everybody else. Today. There's been syncretism, especially in Southeast Asia, is not any meditation, but the mere repetition of the namo Amida Bootsie, the name of Amitava.


What about one maybe born into the land of perfect bliss without pedantic heirs, one should fervently practice the repetition of the name Amida, and that alone. Now that is Buddhism that you meet on the street. This is what you actually find many people doing, is they will go to the temple, they will invoke Amitava, and they will believe that that will save them and that's their Buddhism. Now, I personally believe that the syncretism is in large part due to the fact of the lack of peace people have about salvation. One is the one that is talking to Muslims Hindus. But as one common thread is, they will say, Do you know, do you have confidence that you're saved? Do you have any sense of assurance? So yes, I have assurance that I'm saved because the Bible gives me an assurance. Oh, we don't have that. We don't have that. It's one of the most important avenues for discussing the gospel is just to ask somebody and the rest of the Eastern world, which I really love in the East, is because they don't mind talking about these things in the West. If you're talking on the on the tea. Boston tea time, the guy next and you say, hey, you know, you go to church. Yeah. Oh, the guy next to you. Like the guy just asked me a religious question, you know, are you a fanatic? Okay. In India, if you ask somebody, you know, hey, you know something about anything religious, they all they just love talking about it. It's like, say, on the tea. It's almost like saying on the tee something like, Hey, what about the Patriots yesterday? Oh, yeah. If they don't know you, they'll they'll immediately engage with it because it's like a fair game discussion.


So our culture is a little funny about discussing religious things. I think they're probably not as bad as sometimes we we put it out to be. But still, I find if you go down to Harvard Square and you will say you want to just talk to people about the Lord, they're actually the best people to talk to are the Muslims and the clearly internationals, the Europeans, they're the ones that are showing you these European people, white skin. Stay away from them. Is the internationals that are there. Oh, they haven't talked to you about it. So in a way, it's kind of nice because you can have these discussions with people. And so, you know, you'll say, oh, to me, you know, you, you, you recite have a Buddha. Yes, I do it every day. Do you have assurance? How do you know you're say, I have no idea. Look at their own writings. Look, look at this. Yeah, I believe it. This is a How about this? Production of Grace is about. This is definitely your book. Wicked Men are more acceptable to Amitava mehta then good men, since the former throw themselves entirely on the mercy of the Buddha. While the latter might be termed to think that their chance of salvation were improved by their own meritorious conduct, if even good people can be born reborn in the pure land, how much more the wicked man Wow. That I don't know about you. That really strikes me. Why? Because that so much of what I believe as a Christian. Because it's only when you recognize your wickedness that you really are able to receive God's grace. So here are the Buddhists, their own writers, their own. This is not a Christian writer. This is a Buddhist speaker who is acknowledging that if if you just have as my grace, then we're up a creek that a paddle.


Yes, I know that. But the last part is the repetition. There. In the original lineage there is in the modern practice, it's not really that way. What what happened is people were not sure if we really going to trust Amitava. So the cell will go to the the Pure Land temple and we all recite Amitava. Then we'll go to the Zen temple and, well, there's a meditation, you know, and we'll kind of keep our bases covered. And that's what's happened. Is there a culture that the. What's with the gloves and stuff. Now you have to do. Is right. I mean, this last slide can be taken two ways. It could be just a statement of saying the real issue is your heart. It could be taken as I think you're taking me as as an internal mechanism. You know that now we're was we're lawless. We can do what we want to do. We can. And unfortunately, there has been some of that. But I wouldn't say that's a dominant interpretation of this, that, you know, long as I can say this, I may talk about I can go to a place that would probably a caricature, though there are some Buddhist who have advocated free sex and all that in light of these doctrines. But I think it's an aberration of the Buddhist ideal. Yes. The first thought possible in any possible connection or. No, it's a great question. Boy, I wasn't in the answer to that question. I've often ask the same question. There are different people have beliefs about it. I personally feel like that there is cross-pollination, that there is acknowledgment of Christian teaching and the Buddhist just need for it. Need for grace in their lives. But it's not as easy to prove as you might think.


It's not easy to prove. It's a great question, though. Yeah. When you find that answer to that question, email me. Yes. Since we're getting more apologetics now, if the situation where you share the gospel with your output, as they say. Oh, yes. That's just like saying the name on the top. And I'm saved because I've got it. And it's exactly the same wherever we go from from there. Right. That's a great question. Of course, what you have to do is the same when someone says, is it in India that they've put their trust in Christian? I mean, this is a common kind of step made. You have to ask what is the. What is the basis for a Christmas claim? What do we really know about Dharma, Kyra? On what basis do we believe that I'm a car? I can serve anybody? Christ lived the same as life. Christ rose from the dead and was victorious over death. That is such a powerful theological foundation to build a global proclamation on. Even the Buddha is in the grave. So I just have your wisdom. A car, burger, anything with. Oh, no, no. No one's greater than the Buddha. He was just a manifestation of the Buddha, of the body self. Okay, well. Well, even the Buddha is dead in the grave. Jesus of the risen Lord. Is there anybody in all of Buddhism that has defeated the grave, namely one person? They can't. Nobody's defeated the grave. So to me, you know, you have to reassert what is the basis of claims, because anybody can claim. I mean, you can tell me any Hulkster could come up and say, Confess my name and you'll be saved. Anybody can say that. But why don't you say you have to test the claim? What is the basis of it? I think that's part of the direction to to go in.


Listen to this. This is a lecture on Arjuna. He taught that the way of salvation by one's own efforts is like a toilsome journey by land. But that the way of faith in the merits of another is an easy voyage in a fellowship over smooth waters. What interesting metaphors for works versus faith grace that if a man put I'm sorry, he puts a man puts his truth in the fundamental vow of a me to heal a winter at once by Buddhist power into the class of those destiny born in the pure land. If a man enters into this faith, he'll acquire the merit of the great ocean of divine Treasurers. You'd be mistaken if you thought I knew of some way to obtain rebirth other than by saying that in boot. So that's the repetition of the name. Or if you thought I had some special knowledge. Religious texts not open to others. I believe salvation comes from a meter by saying and boots. Now, that's a pretty clear, blunt statement of your textbook where someone says, I don't accept the way of knowledge. This is a rejection of the way of knowledge. The other one clearly said, I don't want any meditative to reject the way of meditation. This is a very strong sense of our only hope is to trust in Amitava. Now, I want to come back to the question Carl raised, because this is what I would ultimately say. I would say, Well, let me tell you what your own writers have said. Now, this is their own Buddhist writers about the of this whole thing. What is the basis for Amitava is claim that he can save you through repetition of his name. By the way, this is in your in your textbook, so you can pick it up there whether that in boots brings rebirth into pure land or leads on to hell, I myself have no way of knowing.


This is their this is their words, not mine. But even if I had been misled by Honan, we have not discussed Honan yet. But he's one of the great teachers of this. Anyway, I've been misled by Honan and went to hell for sending him boot, so I would have no regrets. Why, if I were capable of attaining Boyhood on my own to the practice of some other discipline and yet went down to hell pretending to boot. So then I might regret having misled. But since I am incapable of practicing this disciplines, there can be no doubt I'd be doomed to hell anyway. I even even got so I was so worked at one time was admissions conference. This is actually Doug Stewart's church. This is several years ago. I haven't invited back. This is the reason that I always wrote about this. And I was talking about the power of the resurrection of Christ. And I quote this whole thing. No one had a clue what I was talking about, but I was telling them how even the Buddhist are basically saying here that if I had the ability to work my way out of my lawlessness, then okay, I'd like to try that, but I'm incapable of doing that. So I'm just all I know what to do with myself and Amitava, but I have no assurance that Amitava has the ability to save me. It's just the art is the best card I've got in my hands. I'm going to play. It is basically what he's saying is the best card I have. I have no idea if I win or not. I just play. It is the faith card. Like I know I'm unable to do myself. The mind works. That's a very powerful statement because this is from their own writers.


This is one of their great teachers. So it's not some marginal person. So to have this testimony I think is a great reminder of the inability for one to save themselves. Comments or questions about this whole concept of pure land reciting the name of Amitava. Yes. In fact, it's one that I need to. The and we need to get it to just interchangeable. And when they're 49 guys. Yes. Is that what you actually wrote or that kind of as well to make you say. No, I think they're actually alluding to in the larger context of the passage that Nagarjuna is emphasizing salvation by knowledge, and therefore they're actually showing how this is a way that that's not going to be as it looks like here. He's saying that Nagarjuna is actually promoting this. I don't think that's true. The problem that you have with both Nagarjuna and so many other great teachers is because they're known as the second Buddha. Another famous was Buddha Goza, which we haven't discussed in this class much, But Buddha goes to Nagarjuna. Everybody wants to substantiate their teaching through them. So you'll often have your say. Nagarjuna taught devotional in Buddhism, invoke some Buddhism knowledge, Buddhism, rationalistic, Buddhism, all this stuff. So you just have to accept that you're going to find that in the sectarian writings, because part of what the lineage is trying to do is trace everything they do back to some teacher. So it's like, you know, George Washington slept here kind of thing. He slept everywhere. He couldn't have possibly done it. But people felt like it was important to have that connection to. Yes. That the man that had. I know it's a good cost. I would say that there's some discrepancies in how it's used.


There are some people use the word borderland to refer to the body of Buddha, and kind of a general conception is like the set and the pure land is a subset of that. But other people in time, in the pure land, could say the Buddha land, because to them that is the Buddha land. And so I think you'll find some some variation on that. But all of for our purposes, these are all terms that are more or less interchangeable. I think pure land is the best way to designate it, because this is called Pure land Buddhism and is very prominent. I have a good friend who spent years working in Japan. In fact, he's still there, probably there are 30 years with the Christian Missionary Alliance, and he said that he hears people calling on Amitabh, his name in the busses, in the streets. It's of in people's language. They'll call upon Amitabh. It's very much a part of popular street culture. So this is this something that you will experience as if you're in China Japan especially. Yes. The inability of our weakness of. Yeah, that's a good question, too. I think that there's no doubt that you cannot assume any overlap in the use of the word sin or what that concept means, because you're right, I think the distinction that we make between sin and a sinner, you know, that you send because you are a sinner, you know Luther's non policy non bakery, as do you, You're not able not to sin because you are a sinner. Whereas Adam was passing non bakery, he was able not to sin, were not able not to sin. So I think in that sense there's no parallel in not only Buddhism, but Hinduism was long either in terms of a Christian view of sin, that you have a sin nature and it's not related to what you do.


What you do is just a the fruit of your sin nature. Buddhism has no clue about that. That does not penetrate the Buddhist theology. So you're right, sin in Buddhism, as in Hinduism, is more ritualistic. Even in Islam, it's largely ritualistic. Ritualistic as opposed to nature. Though Islam has a little more of the Judeo kind of influence. But essentially, you're right, it's based on I don't have the time to be a monk. I don't have desire to give up my life and go joining a monastery or whatever. Therefore, I'm going to go for what we talk about because it's simple. You go to the temple, you do it, you go away. Yes, it's is. It will be. My sin is more of the in ability to achieve the narrative works as a sary to feel some confidence. And so they had a sense of the weight of their inability. It is just natural guilt that they are not able to do anything that would give them some assurance of their salvation. So in the Buddhist seminal Buddhism, the original front of all truths, the whole thing is based on your renouncing this life and renouncing all desires. Well, most Buddhist don't renounce desires. They have all kinds of desires, and they feel bad about that. And so their inability to deal with that leads them to something like Pure Land, which says, Don't worry about that. Amitabh. I already denied it for you. And he's our he's not all his desires and he is you can be safe through him on his coattails. I was on Home Depot a few days ago and I was talking to the guy who sells nails down there. All right. I've seen that a couple of times. We've had a few conversations.


So we we thought the Lord. And so I say to him, Now, what's your background? He said, I'm a Catholic. I see you're a Catholic. What does that mean, You're a Catholic? What do you believe? Oh, I don't I'm not much of a church man. He said, I don't go to church, but I'm a Catholic. And I said, Well, what's that going to do for you? He said, Well, he said, My grandmother and my great aunt were really devout Catholics, and they'll put in a good word for me. He said he did this to me. And in fact, he said, I'll tell them, had a good word for you. So here I am and say because of his grandmother's Catholicism. So I said and I said, Now we got to revisit that. I says, I really seriously doubt whether your grandmother has any effect on whether or not you go to heaven or not, but we'll talk later. So I went to the next day or two and I said, by the way, I want to revisit this thing about your grandmother. Oh, I was just kidding you. I said, okay, good. I'm glad that's over with. Now, let's talk about I mean, kind of like trying to slowly. It's hard to talk to a guy who sells nails and I'm like, What? The Lord. But I'm solid. I can progress on this guy. But we've now got to the point where we're now at the point of discussion of what is the basis of salvation. It's not your grandmother, but that mentality, the kind of Catholic mentality that, you know, my grandmother was a faithful Catholic when I was a pastor. You always said to me, Oh, yeah, I had to go to visit my never church in their life.


I had an uncle who was a preacher, you know, and that was like, they're going to lean on that as it's like Buddhism. That's what Buddhism, vitamins. That's the Buddhist view of sin. You know, gosh, I can't be a preacher, I can't be a priest. I can't be. So therefore, I lean on somebody else. That's the mentality. You grow up in that mentality and you know, you can recognize it. Okay, two more. Let's go dancing then. Had a chance to speak. You were you just asked. All right, then. Like here is the projected or is this how do you work that? Well, that's a that's another good question. If you're in Sri Lanka, they would say this is a horrible heresy. But, you know, a place like Sri Lanka is kind of like the cradle of terracotta, you know, the pristine Buddhism. They're proud of that and they look at the whole world as corrupt Buddhism. But because of, you know, 80% of Chinese Buddhist are pure land, then that's a sort of dominant thing. There's not a marginalized group at all. So in China itself and Japan itself, you don't get the feeling that you're part of some heretical group. This is mainstream Buddhism. I think from our point of view, what I've observed in all of these religions is that they all gradually navigate toward the recognition of the inability to save oneself. And that that's a really important observation to make, because once you realize that every religion, including this, even Islam, people often think it's not true. It's true with Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism. They gradually develop this conception of we, we can't save ourselves, we need outside help. Well, that's a very important thing to recognize, because once you realize that you can't save yourself, then you begin to work on this whole.


But what is the basis of case? Like someone saying the guy that sells nails at Home Depot told me this week that his grandmother would help him be saved. Now, there's two ways looking at that. On one hand, you could say, well, what a stupid thing to think. This grandmother can help him. But on the positive side, it shows. I'm going to come back to him on this point. At some point, he must believe in his heart of hearts and he can't save himself now. Right now he's on the stage of saying the reason he can't save himself as a Catholic is because he doesn't go to church every Sunday. He said that to me. Actually, he made that point. I'm not a churchgoing man. So that told me that his mentality is if I just go to church every week, then I might have saved myself the my own action. And what he'll realize ultimately that will help me there. But he's not there yet. A lot of Buddhist are that mentality. And so I think that this is tragically normative Buddhism, even though it's a long mark away from official teaching of the seminal Buddhism. Okay. Let me just real quick say a word about what's done in Japan, because Japan's where the lineages are even more distinct. And we'll take a break. In Japan, the pure land broke into two sects based on two teachers. And I include these because these are very dominant. And your textbook quotes them constantly honing and shinning on. You can see their dates. 1133 1212 1133 to to I'm sure that should be 1262 not whatever that number is. Jodi Shu and how it got devoured like that. Jiro Shu and Jiro Shen Shu. Jiro Shu in Japanese means the pure land.


So it's the same thing. But Jiro Shin Shu is the true pure land. So it's like your typical, you know, the first that this charts and you know, the real the true version of this church or whatever you have, this breaks up like ups that happen. So Shimron was a disciple of Honan. And essentially this debate, this split in pure land, really came down to whether or not it was sufficient to say the name one time or not. There's no question about the basic fear to use the word theology or basic doctrine of boots so that one cannot save oneself, one needs the help of another. Amitava is sufficient to save you. They all agree with that. So in that sense, this is classic invocation of Buddhism. We can't save ourselves. We need the help of another. Amitava is sufficient to save us. But the question was whether or not there were multiple resuscitations required. Mahoning taught that multiple resuscitations of Amitabh his name was good because this was a meritorious experience to repeat the name of any body sort of light show. I made the same point I made earlier. Wait a minute. That's just another form of works righteousness. So Shimron said recite it only one time and the rest are done out of gratitude. The rest are done like thanking him for saving you past tense. This eventually developed into this is amazing because if you know Western theology, you're always amazed at how these same kind of things happen in Western theology because are in Eastern theology, because in the Western theology, you may have heard of the Catholic theologian Carl Rahner or H any are actually allude to him in my basic missions class and body. Here is that name found Mayor Carl Reiner.


Okay. Some of you have heard of Carl Reiner. He's a well known Catholic theologian who's now dead, but he taught what's called inclusive ism. I discussed this in my book. What he basically said was this was a mediating position between exclusive ism where Christ alone can save you and you must be mentally aware of Christ and pluralism, which means that there are all the many past salvation inclusive ism said that is only one way to save you. In the case of Carl Reiner, he says, only Christ can save you and only Christ does on the cross. But not everybody is aware of it. So what he says is Christ's death is ontologically necessary, but it's not epistemological. Necessary. In other words, it's important that it happened historically and in reality, but it's not important that you personally know about it. So, for example, if someone puts their faith in Krishna or and he mentions Amitava, the he see what's happened, Carl Reiner is observed this phenomena in Buddhism. So what he says is the the person falls down and says essentially, I cannot save myself. I need the help of another. So I cry out to Amitava because all I know to do, I mean all of these quotes we've seen. So what he says is God looks down and says, Even though Amitava is a nobody, I will count that faith as if it's faith in Christ. If I what I'm saying, that's a classic kind of inclusive ism mentality. So A, that's a huge issue because I don't believe personally that I make my case for this in my book, but I don't believe that putting your faith in Krishna or Amitava or any anybody else to put in the blank can be sufficient for one salvation.


And that's a huge gamble that we're playing with with the world. If we do that as an evangelical, I can't accept that because it means that Krishna has brought more people to the throne of grace than Christ has. I mean by proxy, at least it puts Christ as as wearing a mask. It takes away the importance of the preached word of Christ, where Paul says, how can they call on him of whom they have a heard, How can they preach? Can they preach unless they sent the whole Romans ten? And Shane, the sending church, the preaching witness, the hearing person, the believing heart who calls upon the Lord in this basically says You don't have to have a sending church, you don't have to have a preaching person. You just have to have a person who calls upon whatever. I can't accept it anyway. Buddhism had the same kind of development occur. They had their Carl Reiner, whose name is Enron, and Enron basically said, and maybe Carl Reiner got it from him because he's obviously hundreds of years before Carl Reiner. But someone said, What about the people who never heard talk about this? Like saying what you haven't heard about Christ has the same crisis. And so he said, maybe if someone in a distant land is falling down before some other deity and trust in that, they on a table count that as faith in him. So this is why when Carl Reiner called the whole world anonymous Christians, he said that, you know, everybody's a they just don't know it. So our job is to inform the world that they already are Christians. Christ already saved you, and that that Muslims and Buddhists are all just basically anonymous Christians. It's called Christopher Simpson Universalism.


My response to that was, well, there are Muslims who believe that we're all anonymous Muslims and there's Buddhists to believe are all anonymous Buddhist documents in my book. And so the whole point is, well, if if the Buddhists claim they're all anonymous Buddhists and we claim that they're anonymous Christians, then okay, we're cancel that out. There's no way you can make any ground on that. If Carl Reiner was the only one who taught this, then you might could get away with it. But it cannot sustain itself because it's an insult for me to go to a person who's an honest, believing Buddhist, because I believe, by the way, I believe very strongly in the dignity of unbelief, that God honors people's unbelief. You know, people are allowed to reject him. So here is a guy who's a Buddhist. Now, I want to convince him. I want I'm praying for him to come to Christ. But if he chooses to be a Buddhist, then that's his choice. He has to deal with that, just like I have to deal with the fact that I put my faith in Christ and I have to stand somebody stand up for that. But it's an insult me to say to him after the conversation, he says, No, no, I'm interested, Amitava. I can't go for this Christian thing for me to say to him. Patronizingly Well, I know you're really anonymous, Christian. That's an insult to him. That's an insult to his unbelief, because even God honors people's unbelief. People are allowed to disbelieve the gospel. And so you can't have a whole argument at the end of the whole thing, say, Well, I know that really you are a follower of the gospel. You just don't know it yet.


Well, the Buddhist has every right to turn to you and say, actually, it's the other way around. You are a committed Christian, but actually when you go to heaven, you'll find that Amitava will be there to meet you and Amitava will have saved you basements. 18th Vow And your whole thing about the Cross of Christ and resurrection is just a human, shadowy reflection of the 18 filmi tableaux that makes you run a little bit cold to think about it. But he has a right to say to me, if I can say to him, okay, let's stop there for our break, because we're getting a little bit I'm getting all wound up here.