Extra-Canonical Theravada Texts

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Extra-Canonical Theravada Texts

Postby Buddha's Dancer » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:14 pm

Dear Fortunate Ones

I want to tell you about my collection of extra-canonical Theravada texts, in case some of you don't know about these extraordinary works.
Leaving aside the Milindapanha and Pitakopadesa, these are the texts I love that fall into the category of extra-canonical Theravada

Birth Stories of the Ten Bodhisattas
Jewels of the Doctrine
The Legend of Queen Cama
The Jinacarita
In Praise of Mount Samanta
The Dathavansa
The Mahavamsa
The Culavamsa
The Mahavastu*
The Storehouse of Sundry Valuables*
Rules For Nuns*

*Warning: Contains some Mahayanist doctrine/elements.

These are all wonderful texts and readily available and worthy of study and reflection and meditation.
If any have any more to add, please do.
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Re: Extra-Canonical Theravada Texts

Postby Mawkish1983 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:38 am

Buddha's Dancer wrote:Warning: Contains some Mahayanist doctrine/elements.

:jumping: :lol:
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Re: Extra-Canonical Theravada Texts

Postby Sanghamitta » Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:24 am

I used to wonder what the " Heathen" might feel about having to be rescued from their darkness...I think I am beginning to see just what it is like
when another mission sets up its tent near the village. :tongue:
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

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Re: Extra-Canonical Theravada Texts

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:02 am

Sanghamitta wrote:I used to wonder what the " Heathen" might feel about having to be rescued from their darkness...I think I am beginning to see just what it is like
when another mission sets up its tent near the village. :tongue:
Just ignore any attempts at being told what position is the proper one.
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: Extra-Canonical Theravada Texts

Postby Sanghamitta » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:10 am

:reading: :shrug:

Oh sorry Tilt, I have just rembered your smilophobia.. :smile:
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

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Re: Extra-Canonical Theravada Texts

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:14 am

Sanghamitta wrote: :reading: :shrug:

Oh sorry Tilt, I have just rembered your smilophobia.. :smile:

The problem is that I have not a clue as to what " :reading: :shrug: " is supposed to be telling me. Anyway, I kind of sort of in a way think you might have missed the paronomastic drollery of my above comment, for which I was feeling quite pleased with myself. Alas, I shall shuffle of to bed.
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: Extra-Canonical Theravada Texts

Postby Sanghamitta » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:18 am

Your paranomastic drollery ( I had to look that up ) was fully appreciated. Alas my response failed to convey that appreciation by my resorting to ambiguious and infantile visual imagery..sleep well.

Mission-position...see.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

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Re: Extra-Canonical Theravada Texts

Postby Paññāsikhara » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:14 am

Buddha's Dancer wrote:Dear Fortunate Ones

I want to tell you about my collection of extra-canonical Theravada texts, in case some of you don't know about these extraordinary works.
Leaving aside the Milindapanha and Pitakopadesa, these are the texts I love that fall into the category of extra-canonical Theravada

Birth Stories of the Ten Bodhisattas
Jewels of the Doctrine
The Legend of Queen Cama
The Jinacarita
In Praise of Mount Samanta
The Dathavansa
The Mahavamsa
The Culavamsa
The Mahavastu*
The Storehouse of Sundry Valuables*
Rules For Nuns*

*Warning: Contains some Mahayanist doctrine/elements.

These are all wonderful texts and readily available and worthy of study and reflection and meditation.
If any have any more to add, please do.


ummm, are you sure these are ex-canonical Theravada texts? (Unless by "ex-" you mean "totally outside of...".)
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: Huifeng's Prajnacara Blog.
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Re: Extra-Canonical Theravada Texts

Postby Sanghamitta » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:19 am

By which criterion the Bible is an extra- canonical text.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

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Re: Extra-Canonical Theravada Texts

Postby Paññāsikhara » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:41 am

Sanghamitta wrote:By which criterion the Bible is an extra- canonical text.


Don't worry, that doesn't contain Mahayana tenets, only Divyayana stuff there, I'm sorry to say. A bit of Nirayayana, too, actually.
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: Huifeng's Prajnacara Blog.
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Re: Extra-Canonical Theravada Texts

Postby Sanghamitta » Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:59 pm

Hmm I'm not sure Venerable..Thich Naht Hahn seems to like it.. :smile:
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

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Re: Extra-Canonical Theravada Texts

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:36 pm

Paññāsikhara wrote:
Buddha's Dancer wrote:Dear Fortunate Ones

I want to tell you about my collection of extra-canonical Theravada texts . . . .


ummm, are you sure these are ex-canonical Theravada texts? (Unless by "ex-" you mean "totally outside of...".)
This is a well-meaning but misguided case of the name Theravada being used as a substiture for the word hinayana.
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: Extra-Canonical Theravada Texts

Postby Buddha's Dancer » Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:34 pm

In any event there are some more I neglected:

Mahabodhivamsa
Thupavamsa
Dipavamsa

I know there are at least a few more notables I've forgotten.
Whether they should be classed ex-canonical from some or other school, they are predominantly Pali and occasionally Sinhalese texts authored by highly adept and enlightened devotees of the Buddha, beautifully written in prose and verse, and to any follower of Buddhism of any sect, these stories are inspiring and enlivening and highly auspicious!
And come highly recommended and are every bit as precious and virtuous as their better-known canonical brethren.
Sabba mangalam!
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Re: Extra-Canonical Theravada Texts

Postby BlackBird » Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:40 pm

Buddha's Dancer wrote:and are every bit as precious and virtuous as their better-known canonical brethren.


Respectfully friend, I think that is a matter of opinion :)

metta
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"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

Nanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma | Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca
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Re: Extra-Canonical Theravada Texts

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:58 pm

Buddha's Dancer wrote:I know there are at least a few more notables I've forgotten.
Whether they should be classed ex-canonical from some or other school, they are predominantly Pali and occasionally Sinhalese texts authored by highly adept and enlightened devotees of the Buddha, beautifully written in prose and verse, and to any follower of Buddhism of any sect, these stories are inspiring and enlivening and highly auspicious!
And come highly recommended and are every bit as precious and virtuous as their better-known canonical brethren.
Sabba mangalam!


Sorry but not everyone likes the commentaries or pays them to much attention.
They are after all not always in accordance with the Dhammavinaya the Buddha made available.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Extra-Canonical Theravada Texts

Postby Buddha's Dancer » Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:39 am

BlackBird wrote:
Buddha's Dancer wrote:and are every bit as precious and virtuous as their better-known canonical brethren.


Respectfully friend, I think that is a matter of opinion :)

metta
Jack :heart:


Have you read them??
Also, simply the fact of something being a matter of opinion does not make the opinion wrong.
To establish the truth or otherwise of a statement or thesis you need to use logic. The use of logic is well established in the Buddhist tradition and you may have recourse to it to establish correctness or otherwise in any case.
However, merely saying that some claim is mere opinion and hoping to thereby establish a connotation of incorrectness, is not sound logic according to Buddhist traditions of logic.
Generally, logical correctness is established on the bases of direct valid perception, valid inference, and valid believable scriptures.
I mention this because it is important to keep these things in mind when stating opionions and attempting to refute same. Otherwise it merely becomes one person's opinion against another's and nothing is proved. However, by employing logic, one can arrive the truth of the matter.
In my opinion.
:)
And to the other man, they are in accord with the Dhamma vinaya.
They are written by the great Theras, masters of the Pali and Sinhalese tradition - how could they disagree with the Tathagata??
But if you dont pay them any attention, it is your decision. Many people dont pay lovely lotus flowers any attention - but it is not the flowers' fault!
Or, if there is a passage or passages you found are at variance with the Dhammavinaya, please let me know, I havent found any of those passages yet - only verses of uplift (udanas) which are on par with the pitaka itself!
So, I recommend these works! Especially Dathavamsa, History of the Tooth Relic - it is quite delightful!
Last edited by Buddha's Dancer on Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Extra-Canonical Theravada Texts

Postby Ben » Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:49 am

Hi Buddha's Dancer

You are welcome here. Just as all people who share an interest in the Theravada, regardless of which school or tradition they follow, are welcome here.
But as you are beginning to pick up, there are some sensitivities with regards to non-Theravadin and revisionistic interpretations of Theravadin literature. You need to be aware of those sensitivities even, as I am sure, your intention is not to prosetylize or to correct others.
Thank you for joining us and sharing your enthusiastic love of the Dhamma!
metta

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Re: Extra-Canonical Theravada Texts

Postby Buddha's Dancer » Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:55 am

Ben wrote:Hi Buddha's Dancer

You are welcome here. Just as all people who share an interest in the Theravada, regardless of which school or tradition they follow, are welcome here.
But as you are beginning to pick up, there are some sensitivities with regards to non-Theravadin and revisionistic interpretations of Theravadin literature. You need to be aware of those sensitivities even, as I am sure, your intention is not to prosetylize or to correct others.
Thank you for joining us and sharing your enthusiastic love of the Dhamma!
metta

Ben


Oh no. Quite so. There can be no proselytization outside of reason, otherwise it becomes nothing by schismatization.
So any claim made must be susceptible to logical enquiry, otherwise it is not worth the claim.
For example, saying to a person who is fond of rhodedendrons, "Why look, this rose has a wonderful fragrance", one can confidently stand by this opinion with sound reason without fear of offending the other party. Why? Because the relative phenomena in question do not impinge on the other and there aren't reasonable grounds to take offence.

Far be it from me to make any claim which cannot stand up to reasonable scrutiny. If after being logically scrutinized in accord with Buddhist prinicples of logic there is incorrectness exposed, I would be first to renounce the claim.
In this realm of reasonableness there is no connotation of schismatization, quite the opposite. The claims are based on direct valid perception or valid inference or valid scriptures and they may be critiqued via the same modes of reasoning.
However, merely saying "With respect, friend, your opinions are just that - opinions" and attemtping thereby to infer incorrectness does not establish anything more than another opinion on top of the original opinion, and this second and any subsequent opinions are not established as any more or less correct (valid) than the first. This, indeed, is the realm of schismatization, not reason.
Therefore, reason and logic in accord with Buddhist principles must be resorted to to arrive at something approaching the truth of the matter.
One can certainly begin to enquire into the principles of direct valid perception, for example, by studying the Abhidhamma, in relation to the skandhas, ayatanas, dhatus, etc.
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Re: Extra-Canonical Theravada Texts

Postby pt1 » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:12 am

And another thing good to be aware of is that many dedicated theravadins nowadays have little regard for abhidhamma and commentaries. Whether this is simply due to never having the chance to read these, or simply because they place their faith in some of the modern teachers who likewise have very little regard for those parts of the theravadin teachings, I don't know. Either way, the suttas are next in line to loose the mainstream credibility, and occasionally there are calls for stripping the canon down to only those suttas that can be directly attributed to the Buddha, or only those that don't show the signs of tampering, or only those that can be historically placed at the time of the first council, etc.

I guess the point is that the decline of the teachings is normal, I mean, the sasana has to decline and then end in one way or another, so trying to force people to accept this or that text as canonical or extra-canonical just won't work in the long run. Providing links to some of these works on the other hand might be very helpful. I.e. those who feel the inclination to read them can do so. I for one never even heard about some of the works you mention so it'd be interesting to read a short description about them and a link where they can be found if the inclination arises.

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Re: Extra-Canonical Theravada Texts

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:19 am

Greetings pt1,

pt1 wrote:I guess the point is that the decline of the teachings is normal


It depends how you look at it, doesn't it? Some might see it as reversing the decline, undoing damage that's been done?

As for myself, I'm not going to say it's one or the other... in the interests of balance, I just wanted to call out this unstated assumption of yours.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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