Mahayana

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Mahayana

Postby clw_uk » Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:05 pm

What is the difference between what Mahayana teaches and what Theravada teaches?

I know there are differences such as the role of the Bodhisattva and that Mahayana teaches Buddha nature while Theravada doesnt, but apart from this is there any other difference?
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Mahayana

Postby bodom » Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:10 pm

A Basic Buddhism Guide: Differences betweenTheravada and Mahayana.

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/snapshot02.htm

The Buddhist Schools: Theravada and Mahayana

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/bud ... hools1.htm

Theravada - Mahayana Buddhism
Ven. Dr. W. Rahula

http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma3/theramaya.html


:namaste:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Mahayana

Postby clw_uk » Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:17 pm

Thanks BBB

:namaste:
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Mahayana

Postby bodom » Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:59 pm

:namaste:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Mahayana

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:14 pm

bodom_bad_boy wrote:A Basic Buddhism Guide: Differences betweenTheravada and Mahayana.

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/snapshot02.htm

The Buddhist Schools: Theravada and Mahayana

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/bud ... hools1.htm

Theravada - Mahayana Buddhism
Ven. Dr. W. Rahula

http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma3/theramaya.html


:namaste:


The problem with

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/snapshot02.htm

it is not very accurate.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Mahayana

Postby bodom » Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:16 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
bodom_bad_boy wrote:A Basic Buddhism Guide: Differences betweenTheravada and Mahayana.

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/snapshot02.htm

The Buddhist Schools: Theravada and Mahayana

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/bud ... hools1.htm

Theravada - Mahayana Buddhism
Ven. Dr. W. Rahula

http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma3/theramaya.html


:namaste:


The problem with

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/snapshot02.htm

it is not very accurate.


Would you care to elaborate tilt please?

:namaste:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Mahayana

Postby christopher::: » Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:39 am

clw_uk wrote:What is the difference between what Mahayana teaches and what Theravada teaches?

I know there are differences such as the role of the Bodhisattva and that Mahayana teaches Buddha nature while Theravada doesnt, but apart from this is there any other difference?


Theravada doesn't teach Buddha nature? I've been reading a book of lectures by Ajahn Chah, and didn't notice that. I guess what he calls Dhamma or Dhamma Nature sounds to me like much the same thing, what Zen teachers call Buddha Nature.

We don't usually get too hung up on words in Zen. Just try to be mindful of where they're pointing...

:smile:


"If we have awareness and understanding, if we study with wisdom and mindfulness, we will see Dhamma as reality. Thus, we sill see people as constantly being born, changing and finally passing away. Everyone is subject to the cycle of birth and death, and because of this, everyone in the universe is as One being. Thus, seeing one person clearly and distinctly is the same as seeing every person in the world.

In the same way, everything is Dhamma. Not only the things we see with our physical eye, but also the things we see in our minds. A thought arises, then changes and passes away. It is ''nāma dhamma'', simply a mental impression that arises and passes away. This is the real nature of the mind. Altogether, this is the noble truth of Dhamma. If one doesn't look and observe in this way, one doesn't really see! If one does see, one will have the wisdom to listen to the Dhamma as proclaimed by the Buddha.

Where is the Buddha?
The Buddha is in the Dhamma.
Where is the Dhamma?
The Dhamma is in the Buddha.
Right here, now!
Where is the Sangha?
The Sangha is in the Dhamma.

Whether a tree, a mountain or an animal, it's all Dhamma, everything is Dhamma. Where is this Dhamma? Speaking simply, that which is not Dhamma doesn't exist. Dhamma is nature. This is called the ''Sacca Dhamma'', the True Dhamma. If one sees nature, one sees Dhamma; if one sees Dhamma, one sees nature. Seeing nature, one know the Dhamma.

And so, what is the use of a lot of study when the ultimate reality of life, in its every moment, in its every act, is just an endless cycle of births and deaths? If we are mindful and clearly aware when in all postures (sitting, standing, walking, lying), then self-knowledge is ready to be born; that is, knowing the truth of Dhamma already in existence right here and now.

At present, the Buddha, the real Buddha, is still living, for He is the Dhamma itself, the ''Sacca Dhamma''. And ''Sacca Dhamma'', that which enables one to become Buddha, still exists. It hasn't fled anywhere! It gives rise to two Buddhas: one in body and the other in mind.

''The real Dhamma'', the Buddha told Ananda, ''can only be realized through practice''. Whoever sees the Buddha, sees the Dhamma. And how is this? Previously, no Buddha existed; it was only when Siddhattha Gotama3 realized the Dhamma that he became the Buddha. If we explain it in this way, then He is the same as us. If we realize the Dhamma, then we will likewise be the Buddha. This is called the Buddha in mind or ''Nāma Dhamma''.

Ajahn Chah
Dhamma Nature


http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Dhamma_Nature1.php
Last edited by christopher::: on Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Mahayana

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:03 am

bodom_bad_boy,

Item 5 of the list, as an obvious example:

5 Concept of Bodhicitta Theravada: Main emphasis is self liberation.
There is total reliance on one-self to eradicate all defilements
.
Mahayana: Besides self liberation, it is important for Mahayana followers to help other sentient beings

This is so singularly simplistic, making it essentially meaningless, but it is a typical sort of distinction made by Mahayanists who either know little about the Theravada or who should know better but are driven by sectarian needs.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Mahayana

Postby jcsuperstar » Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:09 am

the problem with the theravada/mahayana divide is there is also a mahayana/mahayana divide, things between mahayana sects can be just as different as between any mahayana sect and theravada.

the main differences are what texts are accepted as being spoken by the buddha, and just what exactly a buddha is.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Mahayana

Postby bodom » Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:37 pm

tiltbillings wrote:bodom_bad_boy,

Item 5 of the list, as an obvious example:

5 Concept of Bodhicitta Theravada: Main emphasis is self liberation.
There is total reliance on one-self to eradicate all defilements
.
Mahayana: Besides self liberation, it is important for Mahayana followers to help other sentient beings

This is so singularly simplistic, making essentially meaningless, but it is a typical sort of distinction made by Mahayanists who either know little about the Theravada or who should know better but are driven by sectarian needs.


Thank you for clarifying tilt.

:namaste:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Mahayana

Postby Jechbi » Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:18 am

Another difference (in some traditions any way) seems to be the approach to upaya. The basic idea seems to be that mundane wrong view can be made a condition for supermundane right view to arise (or at least that's how it seems to be presented sometimes). There are also basic differences in the understanding of the two truths.
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Re: Mahayana

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:43 am

Jechbi wrote:Another difference (in some traditions any way) seems to be the approach to upaya. The basic idea seems to be that mundane wrong view can be made a condition for supermundane right view to arise (or at least that's how it seems to be presented sometimes). There are also basic differences in the understanding of the two truths.
:|


I've just noticed difference in the traditions regarding the two truths but, I don't think I have anywhere near a clear perspective on the Theravada view. Can anyone point me towards a good reading on that subject?

Thank you! :buddha2:
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Re: Mahayana

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:59 am

Ven Dhammanando in the "antta" thread in the Classical Theravada forum:

Re: Anattā
by Dhammanando » Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:22 am

Hi Retro,


retrofuturist wrote:
What is the doctrine of the two truths?


From the Manorathapūraṇī:


duve saccāni akkhāsi
sambuddho vadataṃ varo
sammutiṃ paramatthañca
tatiyaṃ nupalabbhati

The Awakened One, best of speakers,
Spoke two kinds of truths:
The conventional and the ultimate.
A third truth does not obtain.

tattha:
saṅketavacanaṃ saccaṃ
lokasammutikāraṇaṃ
paramatthavacanaṃ saccaṃ
dhammānaṃ tathalakkhaṇan ti

Therein:
The speech wherewith the world converses is true
On account of its being agreed upon by the world.
The speech which describes what is ultimate is also true,
Through characterizing dhammas as they really are.

tasmā vohārakusalassa
lokanāthassa satthuno
sammutiṃ voharantassa
musāvādo na jāyatī ti

Therefore, being skilled in common usage,
False speech does not arise in the Teacher,
Who is Lord of the World,
When he speaks according to conventions.
(Mn. i. 95)



Conventional truth (sammuti-sacca):

1. Treats of concepts (paññatti), i.e., things which are mere speech, such as 'self', 'person', 'life', 'butter-jar' etc.
2. Is used to expound teachings whose meaning warrants interpretation (neyyattha).
3. Is chiefly, though not exclusively, the province of the Sutta and Vinaya Piṭakas.

Ultimate truth (paramattha-sacca):

1. Treats of real existents (dhammā), such as the earth element, eye-consciousness, greed, Nibbāna, etc.
2. Is used to expound teachings whose meaning is definitive (nītattha).
3. Is chiefly, though not exclusively, the province of the Abhidhamma Piṭaka.


From Nyanatiloka's Dictionary of Buddhist Terms"


Paramattha (-sacca, -vacana, -desanā): ‘truth (or term, exposition) that is true in the highest (or ultimate) sense’, as contrasted with the ‘conventional truth’ (vohāra-sacca), which is also called ‘commonly accepted truth’ (sammuti-sacca; in Skr: saṃvṛti-satya). The Buddha, in explaining his doctrine, sometimes used conventional language and sometimes the philosophical mode of expression which is in accordance whith undeluded insight into reality. In that ultimate sense, existence is a mere process of physical and mental phenomena within which, or beyond which, no real ego-entity nor any abiding substance can ever be found. Thus, whenever the suttas speak of man, woman or person, or of the rebirth of a being, this must not be taken as being valid in the ultimate sense, but as a mere conventional mode of speech (vohāra-vacana).

It is one of the main characteristics of the Abhidhamma Piṭaka, in distinction from most of the Sutta Piṭaka, that it does not employ conventional language, but deals only with ultimates, or realities in the highest sense (paramattha-dhammā). But also in the Sutta Piṭaka there are many expositions in terms of ultimate language (paramattha-desanā), namely, wherever these texts deal with the groups (khandhā), elements (dhātu) or sense-bases (āyatana), and their components; and wherever the 3 characteristics (ti-lakkhaṇa, q.v.) are applied. The majority of Sutta texts, however, use the conventional language, as appropriate in a practical or ethical context, because it “would not be right to say that ‘the groups’ (khandhā) feel shame, etc.”

It should be noted, however, that also statements of the Buddha couched in conventional language, are called ‘truth’ (vohāra-sacca), being correct on their own level, which does not contradict the fact that such statements ultimately refer to impermanent and impersonal processes.

The two truths - ultimate and conventional - appear in that form only in the commentaries, but are implied in a sutta-distinction of ‘explicit (or direct) meaning’ (nītattha, q.v.) and ‘implicit meaning (to be inferred)’ (neyyattha). Further, the Buddha repeatedly mentioned his reservations when using conventional speech, e.g. in D. 9: “These are merely names, expressions, turns of speech, designations in common use in the world, which the Perfect One (Tathāgata) uses without misapprehending them.” See also S. I. 25.

The term paramattha, in the sense here used, occurs in the first para. of the Kathāvatthu, a work of the Abhidhamma Piṭaka (s. Guide, p. 62). (App: vohāra). The commentarial discussions on these truths (Com. to D. 9 and M. 5) have not yet been translated in full. On these see K N. Jayatilleke, Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge (London, 1963).

Sammuti-sacca: ‘conventional truth’, is identical with vohāra-sacca (s. paramattha-sacca).

Vohāra-desanā: ‘conventional exposition’, as distinguished from an explanation true in the highest sense (paramattha-desanā, q.v.). It is also called sammuti-sacca (in Sanskrit saṃvṛti). (App.).

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Mahayana

Postby Dhammanando » Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:29 am

Hi Drolma,

Drolma wrote:I've just noticed difference in the traditions regarding the two truths but, I don't think I have anywhere near a clear perspective on the Theravada view. Can anyone point me towards a good reading on that subject?


I recommend Karunadasa's article, Dhamma Theory

http://www.zeh-verlag.de/download/dhammatheory.pdf

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
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Re: Mahayana

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:51 am

Thank you Tilt and Venerable :namaste:
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Re: Mahayana

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:48 am

i was thinking about the origins of the mahayana buddha, and wondering if it is a sort of mistaking the buddha for the dhamma. the dhamma was not born with our buddha, but was rediscovered by him. the dhamma has an eternal quality, comming into the world whenever it is needed, or lost. and the buddha says he who sees the dhamma sees me.
so it could be easy to assume that the buddha has this same quality as the dhamma, that he is eternal, primordial, comming back to us when ever neeed or lost. and since all buddhas know this same dhamma, you get the impression that all buddhas are the same buddha or manifestations of the same primordial dhamma, or buddha. just a thought.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Mahayana

Postby christopher::: » Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:23 pm

jcsuperstar wrote:i was thinking about the origins of the mahayana buddha, and wondering if it is a sort of mistaking the buddha for the dhamma. the dhamma was not born with our buddha, but was rediscovered by him. the dhamma has an eternal quality, comming into the world whenever it is needed, or lost. and the buddha says he who sees the dhamma sees me.
so it could be easy to assume that the buddha has this same quality as the dhamma, that he is eternal, primordial, comming back to us when ever neeed or lost. and since all buddhas know this same dhamma, you get the impression that all buddhas are the same buddha or manifestations of the same primordial dhamma, or buddha. just a thought.


That makes sense to me, jcs. When a Zen Buddhist says that all people are actually buddhas or have Buddha Nature what we mean (i think) is that all beings have the potential to awaken, to express the dhamma perfectly, to become enlightened. The primordial dhamma you speak of sounds very much like what we call Dhammakaya.

This is one reason i shake my head a bit whenever i hear a Mahayana Buddhist saying to be a Buddha is somehow "superior" to being an Arahant. Every description i've ever heard of an Arahant sounds like what we Zen Buddhists call a Buddha.

I could be wrong with any or all of the above, so please don't whack me on the head with a stick. In Zen though we don't hold onto words or categories too tightly. They're usually pointing to something that may simply be indescribable, from our present point of view...

:smile:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Mahayana

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:14 pm

tiltbillings wrote:bodom_bad_boy,

Item 5 of the list, as an obvious example:

5 Concept of Bodhicitta Theravada: Main emphasis is self liberation.
There is total reliance on one-self to eradicate all defilements
.
Mahayana: Besides self liberation, it is important for Mahayana followers to help other sentient beings

This is so singularly simplistic, making essentially meaningless, but it is a typical sort of distinction made by Mahayanists who either know little about the Theravada or who should know better but are driven by sectarian needs.


This is embarrassing and in fact it misrepresents Mahayana on a certain level.

/\
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Re: Mahayana

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Fri Feb 06, 2009 4:07 pm

According to the Abhidhamma and certain passages in the Pali Canon, not every being is capable of Enlightenment in a particular Lifetime, which seems to preclude the idea that we're all born with an inherent "Buddha Nature" just waiting to emerge. I'll give some examples:

In Nina van Gorkon'sAbhidhamma in Daily Life she says in the Chapter on Bhvangha-Citta:
All bhavanga-cittas during a lifespan are of the same type as the patisandhi-citta of that life. If one is born with two hetus, with alobha (non-attachment or generosity) and adosa (non-aversion or kindness), but without wisdom, then all bhavanga-cittas have only two hetus. Such a person can cultivate wisdom, but he cannot become enlightened during that life.

http://www.vipassana.info/nina-abhi-12.htm

Which seems to have support in the Pali suttas in such passages as this one from Dhammapada:

Though a fool, through all his life, associates with a wise man, he no more understands the Dhamma than a spoon (tastes) the flavour of soup.
http://www.serve.com/cmtan/Dhammapada/fool.html

Which I take to mean a person born without panna can never "get" dhamma. We've all encountered this type of person. Ms. van Gorken goes on to say:

If one is born with three hetus, which means that one is born with alobha, adosa and panna (wisdom), all bhavanga-cittas are accompanied by these three sobhana hetus (beautiful roots) as well. Thus that person is more inclined to cultivate wisdom and he can attain enlightenment during that life. If one is born with somanassa (happy feeling), all bhavanga-cittas of that life are accompanied by somanassa.


Just something to think about. :lol:

J
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