Similarities of Mahayana and theravada

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Re: Similarities of Mahayana and theravada

Postby daverupa » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:55 am

Mahayana requires tathāgatagarbha, wholly foreign to the Theravada milieu.

Some Mahayana requires Bardo, also wholly foreign to the Theravada milieu (which rejects antarābhava altogether).

Mahayana employs a heavily-developed trikaya model, wholly undeveloped in Theravada.

---

These facts will mean different things for different people.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Similarities of Mahayana and theravada

Postby ground » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:32 am

Vlcimba wrote:Let's forget about the differences shall we :)? Just to be simple, I think they share rather similar goals and of course their teacher: the Buddha.

It is not that they (the teachings) would share goals but the people clinging to those teachings share a common goal: To overcome the dilemma of being alive as a human.

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Re: Similarities of Mahayana and theravada

Postby Vlcimba » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:07 am

ground wrote:
Vlcimba wrote:Let's forget about the differences shall we :)? Just to be simple, I think they share rather similar goals and of course their teacher: the Buddha.

It is not that they (the teachings) would share goals but the people clinging to those teachings share a common goal: To overcome the dilemma of being alive as a human.

Kind regards



Or rather out of the samsara. "human" is just another realm. Not reborn as a human doesn't mean you are out of the samsara. You maybe in better realms like devas and asuras. The best way of putting it, I guess , is to Attain enlightenment and seek liberation( or nirvana ).
Form is emptiness. Emptiness is form--- Heart sutra
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Re: Similarities of Mahayana and theravada

Postby suttametta » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:34 am

Dan74 wrote:
suttametta wrote:It's something like trying to find the commonalities between science and astrology.


I find this a very ill-informed analogy.

For starters life is not science. Practice is not science. If one approaches life and practice in the same way one approaches science, one would end up an emasculated rump of a being, inauthentic and grotesque.

Mahayana practice that I have known is not like astrology. That is offensive and untrue. Rather it has been a wise and patient guide illuminating aspects of my life that had remained obscured, until the entire view is changed. It has been an inspiration to press on and revive practice even as old habits seem to gain an upper hand. It has been a relationship with reality that has become more and more intimate, just as one falls out of love with oneself and discovers the world. It has filled my heart with gratitude at the best of times and with shame that I fail to do justice to this path, at the worst. It has been neither about reifying self, nor reaching out for bliss or brahman, as you described, but about discovering what this is. And shedding all it is not.

And as for whynotme is describing, I can only shrug and say this has nothing to do with the Mahayana practice that have been taught.


I understand where you are coming from. It's my opinion. The Pali framework is scientific in my view. I feel the Mahayana invokes psychobabble and pseudoscience to covert its syncretization with Vedism.
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Re: Similarities of Mahayana and theravada

Postby whynotme » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:02 am

santa100 wrote:
Whynotme wrote:
"Mahayana and vajrayana are some other monks' teaching, no more, no less"


Then basically you are saying that Mahayana and Vajrayana do not practice the 3 characteristics, 4 NT, 8 NP, and 12 DO. I simply disagree..

Dear santa100,

Yes, we as individuals have the right to agree or to disagree, it isn't a big deal

It seems you lack basics understanding of normal language when it comes to faith. By saying commentary is monks' teaching, I don't simply reject them all as false, some may be right, some may be false. Similar to Mahayanan is monks' view, not buddha, it is monk view doesn't mean all of it is false. Use your logic, is that the right thinking?

You seem to be more concerned on the name or the label, 4 nt, 8np, 3 characteristics. It is just a name, the label. If someone says he practices 8np then you believe he truly does? That called naive.

If I declare myself an arahant, full with knowledge of 4 nt, 8np,.. then do you believe me?

If mahayana says it practices 8np, then you will believe it is true, coz it says so? It practices 8np when it says there is a path more noble than 8np? OK, that is your right, you have all rights to believe what you want and I don't want to discuss about faith without reason. Again, it is not a big deal, we are just buddhists, come in peace, not coming for confrontation.

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Re: Similarities of Mahayana and theravada

Postby whynotme » Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:13 am

Dan74 wrote:And as for whynotme is describing, I can only shrug and say this has nothing to do with the Mahayana practice that have been taught.

Dear Dan74

I know you came from zen, and I myself came from zen too, also I know some other mahayana traditions as well.

As for your state: this has nothing to do with the mahayana practice that have been taught, would you care to point out which one is wrong? It may make thing clearer

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Re: Similarities of Mahayana and theravada

Postby Nyana » Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:30 am

Dan74 wrote:
suttametta wrote:It's something like trying to find the commonalities between science and astrology.


I find this a very ill-informed analogy.

Indeed.

Dan74 wrote:And as for whynotme is describing, I can only shrug and say this has nothing to do with the Mahayana practice that have been taught.

Me either.
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Re: Similarities of Mahayana and theravada

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:51 am

In this and in the other thread, I am waiting for those less than thrilled with what is called the Mahayana to show some actual understanding of the history of the collection of schools/movements as well as the various teachings generally grouped together and called the Mahayana. It has been a disappointing and tedious wait.
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.

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Re: Similarities of Mahayana and theravada

Postby manas » Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:28 am

Vlcimba wrote:Let's forget about the differences shall we :)? Just to be simple, I think they share rather similar goals and of course their teacher: the Buddha.


Hi Vicimba,

I was wondering what inspired you to begin this thread? Because in my experience most folks here are already trying to be tolerant of others' views. Is this a reminder, maybe?

In my case, lately I have grown weary of thinking that my perception of reality is necessarily the most correct one. It seems so petty to think in this way. I'm more interested in just brightening this mind, so that somehow, between now and the day that I meet my inevitable end, I finish up wiser than when I began. As for who is right, how on earth can we be the judge? More than two and a half thousand years have passed since the Buddha passed away. I don't know how anyone can be so bold as to state that they have the 'real, true doctrine'. All of us, Theravada, Mahayana or Whatever-yana, are all going by probabilities, not certainties,.

I want to live an 'enlightened' life. I want to spread love, to heal hurt, and to live wisely. And when I meet people who embody this, whether they call themselves Theravada, Mahayana, or Joe Bloggs, matters not much; they have my respect.

Ok that's enough 'bordering on heresy' from me for one day

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Re: Similarities of Mahayana and theravada

Postby Dan74 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:26 am

whynotme wrote:
Dan74 wrote:And as for whynotme is describing, I can only shrug and say this has nothing to do with the Mahayana practice that have been taught.

Dear Dan74

I know you came from zen, and I myself came from zen too, also I know some other mahayana traditions as well.

As for your state: this has nothing to do with the mahayana practice that have been taught, would you care to point out which one is wrong? It may make thing clearer

Regards


Hi whynotme,

Well my experience of Zen practice is that it is very down to earth and pragmatic - it deals with the now, rather than doctrines and dogmas. For instance I would not ask my teacher about Tathagatagharba or the Bodhisattva ideal unless this was directly relevant to what I was facing in my life right now - a question from the heart rather than waxing lyrical about all these big words like we tend to do here. And if she gave a talk about it, she would relate it very much to our life/practice right now, rather than postulating something as existing, positing views or establishing positions.

My practice has also been very much about the Noble Eightfold Path and in fact my Zen teacher has given talks directly on this subject. I was taught that without living right, meditation is not going to be right - that sila is the basis for practice. Zen practice that I know is also about relating every aspect of our lives back to practice rather than going through the motions. About recognizing how we engage with various aspects of our lives, seeing where the Brahmaviharas/Paramitas are lacking and cultivating them. About being present, facing life squarely and engaging fully - giving of yourself completely to everything you do. This happens gradually as the conceit of self wears off and one naturally comes to serve others rather than gratifying imaginary needs, to act appropriately to the situation.

So I fail to see which part of this is at odds with what the Buddha taught. Sure people can find plenty to criticize within the massive Mahayana corpus, from sectarianism to atman sounding doctrines. But what relevance this actually has to many many Mahayana practitioners out there, is another question entirely.

It sounds like it was directly relevant to Paul's (suttametta) practice, but not at all to mine so far.

manas wrote:
In my case, lately I have grown weary of thinking that my perception of reality is necessarily the most correct one. It seems so petty to think in this way. I'm more interested in just brightening this mind, so that somehow, between now and the day that I meet my inevitable end, I finish up wiser than when I began. As for who is right, how on earth can we be the judge? More than two and a half thousand years have passed since the Buddha passed away. I don't know how anyone can be so bold as to state that they have the 'real, true doctrine'. All of us, Theravada, Mahayana or Whatever-yana, are all going by probabilities, not certainties,.

I want to live an 'enlightened' life. I want to spread love, to heal hurt, and to live wisely. And when I meet people who embody this, whether they call themselves Theravada, Mahayana, or Joe Bloggs, matters not much; they have my respect.


PS Couldn't agree more - too much hubris around already and I think we should all try to focus on our practice and refrain from over-reaching.

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Re: Similarities of Mahayana and theravada

Postby mfesmith » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:56 pm

suttametta wrote:I understand where you are coming from. It's my opinion. The Pali framework is scientific in my view. I feel the Mahayana invokes psychobabble and pseudoscience to covert its syncretization with Vedism.


This says loads about you as a Western-educated consumer of Asian religions, and very little about the Mahāyāna.
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Re: Similarities of Mahayana and theravada

Postby whynotme » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:21 pm

Dan74 wrote:Hi whynotme,

Well my experience of Zen practice is that it is very down to earth and pragmatic - it deals with the now, rather than doctrines and dogmas. For instance I would not ask my teacher about Tathagatagharba or the Bodhisattva ideal unless this was directly relevant to what I was facing in my life right now - a question from the heart rather than waxing lyrical about all these big words like we tend to do here. And if she gave a talk about it, she would relate it very much to our life/practice right now, rather than postulating something as existing, positing views or establishing positions.

My practice has also been very much about the Noble Eightfold Path and in fact my Zen teacher has given talks directly on this subject. I was taught that without living right, meditation is not going to be right - that sila is the basis for practice. Zen practice that I know is also about relating every aspect of our lives back to practice rather than going through the motions. About recognizing how we engage with various aspects of our lives, seeing where the Brahmaviharas/Paramitas are lacking and cultivating them. About being present, facing life squarely and engaging fully - giving of yourself completely to everything you do. This happens gradually as the conceit of self wears off and one naturally comes to serve others rather than gratifying imaginary needs, to act appropriately to the situation.

So I fail to see which part of this is at odds with what the Buddha taught. Sure people can find plenty to criticize within the massive Mahayana corpus, from sectarianism to atman sounding doctrines. But what relevance this actually has to many many Mahayana practitioners out there, is another question entirely.

It sounds like it was directly relevant to Paul's (suttametta) practice, but not at all to mine so far.

Thank you for your clarification, I also knew how mahayana works in real life

Regards
Last edited by whynotme on Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Similarities of Mahayana and theravada

Postby whynotme » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:33 pm

tiltbillings wrote:In this and in the other thread, I am waiting for those less than thrilled with what is called the Mahayana to show some actual understanding of the history of the collection of schools/movements as well as the various teachings generally grouped together and called the Mahayana. It has been a disappointing and tedious wait.

Actually I don't care about history of mahayana, just like I don't care about history of Christian or Muslim. Even history of Therevada, they are all out of my interest and I only care about history of Nikayas and Vinaya, coz I just want to know which is the true teaching of the Buddha. I am just a truth seeker, not a savant

If you set your standard high, then your disappointment isn't something special. Also, history of those traditions isn't important, bc I just look at their current state and theory. It works like that in science and technology, you don't need to know much about history, you just look at the logic of the current problem.

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Re: Similarities of Mahayana and theravada

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:45 pm

whynotme wrote:I am just a truth seeker
Of course you are.
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: Similarities of Mahayana and theravada

Postby mfesmith » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:48 pm

whynotme wrote: It works like that in science and technology, you don't need to know much about history, you just look at the logic of the current problem.


And thus, very important knowledge it lost to the ages, like for example, how to treat ill people when there is no electricity and antibiotics.
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Re: Similarities of Mahayana and theravada

Postby whynotme » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:49 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
whynotme wrote:I am just a truth seeker
Of course you are.

No, I just used the word to emphasis the problem. I don't need your recognition and also you can't confirm what I am

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Re: Similarities of Mahayana and theravada

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:50 pm

whynotme wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
whynotme wrote:I am just a truth seeker
Of course you are.

No, I just used the word to emphasis the problem. I don't need your recognition and also you can't confirm what I am

Regards
You missed the point.
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: Similarities of Mahayana and theravada

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:51 pm

mfesmith wrote:
whynotme wrote: It works like that in science and technology, you don't need to know much about history, you just look at the logic of the current problem.


And thus, very important knowledge it lost to the ages, like for example, how to treat ill people when there is no electricity and antibiotics.
Honestly, Malcolm, this thread is not worth the effort.
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: Similarities of Mahayana and theravada

Postby whynotme » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:54 pm

mfesmith wrote:
whynotme wrote: It works like that in science and technology, you don't need to know much about history, you just look at the logic of the current problem.


And thus, very important knowledge it lost to the ages, like for example, how to treat ill people when there is no electricity and antibiotics.

That is another problem, but it isn't related to the scientific method.

Science is the modern term for wise, carefulness, logic, reason which isn't anything bad at all. Without those attributes, everything will be a mess

Regards
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Re: Similarities of Mahayana and theravada

Postby manas » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:13 am

Regarding the original posting,

well we had better learn how to accept each other, because if different strands of Buddhism can't get along, I don't see how we can expect the rest of the world to, with their more rigid, theistic religions. We ask Christians, Muslims and Jews to live peacefully together and tolerate each others' differences, and yet I sometimes sense bitterness between Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist practitioners. Is this reasonable?

Anyway, just to reiterate - it is mostly not a problem here on Dhamma Wheel, ime. There is the occasional thread where someone seems to create that division, but mostly, I find that people here prefer to just 'live and let live'.

:anjali:
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