Similarities and differences between Pureland and Christianity brought out by a short reflection upon The Lord's Prayer.
I have been thinking about the ways in which The Lord's Prayer could and could not be regarded as a Pureland Buddhist text...
The Hebrew "Abba" that Jesus used to address God is rather close to th Japanese Oyasamma ("honoured parent") that is used to refer to Amida Buddha.
who art in heaven
This is equivalent to "in the Pure Land"
hallowed be Thy Name
The hallowing of the Name is nembutsu practice.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven
The work of Buddha's is to create Pure Lands.
Give us each day our daily bread
Nourish us with both physical and spiritual food - but it is at this point in the prayer that a difference starts to enter between the Christian and Buddhist outlook, for this is where the Christian starts to think of God as controlling the universe. Amida does not have responsibility fo our food supply.
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us
We are all bombu, and it is beings such as we who are the special object of Amida's vow. In Pureland we would not petition Amida in this way. We would know that (a) we do trespass, (b) we are accpted. The issue of judgement and forgiveness is handled differently in Pureland.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
Here again the attitude is a little different, but the difference is not huge. Amida Buddha does deliver us from evil in the sense that if we have faith we pass to the Pure Land rather than circling in samsara reaping the consequences of past karma in confusing ways.
For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory
Amida is Amitabha - unmeasureable light
for ever and ever
and Amitayus - unmeasureably long lived
This word has many suggested etymologies but seems to be related to the word for faith. Of course, it also sounds not totally unlike Amida.
So putting all this together, if a similar prayer were constructed from an Amida Pureland perspective it might go something like this:
Coming from the Land of Bliss
Namo Amuida Bu
May your vows prevail
Here as in your precious land
May we who often fail
Be nourished by your kindly hand
We who tempted
We who succomb
We trust in you
We who are bombu
Let your Light shine
Unimpeded, imcomparable, and fine
Namandabu Namandabu Namandabu