Why do Buddhists always revert back to siddhartha gautama?

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Why do Buddhists always revert back to siddhartha gautama?

Postby clw_uk » Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:07 am

Why do Buddhists, at least on internet discussion forums, always revert back to the first Arahant in india (siddhartha gautama) instead of referring to modern day arahants?

IMO we can take the core teachings from siddhartha and gain better elaborations from modern ajahans (such as Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Sumedho and Ajhan Buddhadasa) since they communicate via our modern languages and use our modern terms and concepts

After all there was never only one "person" enlightened


Thoughts?
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Re: Why do Buddhists always revert back to siddhartha gautam

Postby chownah » Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:38 am

I think you would understand better why Buddhists on THIS forum stay with Gotamma by studying what Theravada
Buddhism is since this is a forum for discussing Theravada Buddhism. In brief it means that THIS forum is for discussion of the Buddha's teachings as described in the Pali scriptures and how these scriptures were passed down through the ages. If you study this a bit you will find that Theravada Buddhism recognizes ONLY Gotamma as having been a very special kind of arahant with knowledge developed to am extremely much higher level than the typical arahant. The term used for his status is thatagata so go read about the meaning of this.

Your post is a bit like walking into a Mosque and asking "why are there so many Muslims here?" :smile:
chownah
P.S. There is another forum called Dharma Wheel where people discuss Buddhism in very much more the same way that you suggest. You might go check it out.
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Re: Why do Buddhists always revert back to siddhartha gautam

Postby clw_uk » Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:42 am

chownah wrote:I think you would understand better why Buddhists on THIS forum stay with Gotamma by studying what Theravada
Buddhism is since this is a forum for discussing Theravada Buddhism. In brief it means that THIS forum is for discussion of the Buddha's teachings as described in the Pali scriptures and how these scriptures were passed down through the ages. If you study this a bit you will find that Theravada Buddhism recognizes ONLY Gotamma as having been a very special kind of arahant with knowledge developed to am extremely much higher level than the typical arahant. The term used for his status is thatagata so go read about the meaning of this.

Your post is a bit like walking into a Mosque and asking "why are there so many Muslims here?" :smile:
chownah



Yet all arahants experience the same realisation, all walked the same path and all are equal to the Buddha, except he got
There on his own and they got their by his instruction.

Oh and we aren't Muslims
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Re: Why do Buddhists always revert back to siddhartha gautam

Postby clw_uk » Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:00 am

Also people in Buddhas time didn't just go to him but also to the other arahants

So if Theravada just means listening to one arahant, that doesn't seem to keep in line with how dhamma was taught :shrug:
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Re: Why do Buddhists always revert back to siddhartha gautam

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:09 am

Hi Craig,
clw_uk wrote:Why do Buddhists, at least on internet discussion forums, always revert back to the first Arahant in india (siddhartha gautama) instead of referring to modern day arahants?

IMO we can take the core teachings from siddhartha and gain better elaborations from modern ajahans (such as Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Sumedho and Ajhan Buddhadasa) since they communicate via our modern languages and use our modern terms and concepts

I think that's actually what most people do. They just put different weights on the interpretations of the Buddha-Dhamma by:
  • The teachers they know personally;
  • Their own experience;
  • Ancients such as Acharia Buddhaghosa and the unnamed commentators that he quotes;
  • Modern teachers such as Ajahn Buddhadasa, Bhikkhu Bodhi, Bhikkhu Nanananda, Bhikkhu Nanavira, Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Maha Boowa, Ajahn Brahm, ... [Who are by no means consistent...];
  • Interpretations of the Suttas that they thought of themselves, independent of any of the above...
I think that covers the possibilities. It seems to me to be a matter of different mixtures rather than rigid categories.

:anjali:
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Re: Why do Buddhists always revert back to siddhartha gautam

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:11 am

clw_uk wrote:

Yet all arahants experience the same realisation, all walked the same path and all are equal to the Buddha, except he got
There on his own and they got their by his instruction.
How do you know who is and is not an arahant?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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People live in one another’s shelter.
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Re: Why do Buddhists always revert back to siddhartha gautam

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:39 am

Good posts above; I think it is a mix of approach most people use. And as tilt suggests, how do we know which modern teachers are arahants? But we do accept the enlightenment of the historical Buddha (Buddhists anyway) and have the Pali Canon for reference in that regard. I guess you could say it is the common denominator among Buddhists that all can agree on that and it might be an 'appeal to authority' except that it is the primary reference for Buddhists who prefer something along the lines of "original Buddhism" or "early Buddhism".

For example, if you have 2 modern teachers and they have very different views on some matter, how would you check to settle to see which one is more in line with the teachings of Buddhism / the Dhamma? You might check with the 4 great standards, which is from the Pali Canon, which is based on the teachings of . . . well, Buddha.
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Re: Why do Buddhists always revert back to siddhartha gautam

Postby cooran » Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:10 am

clw_uk wrote:Why do Buddhists, at least on internet discussion forums, always revert back to the first Arahant in india (siddhartha gautama) instead of referring to modern day arahants?

IMO we can take the core teachings from siddhartha and gain better elaborations from modern ajahans (such as Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Sumedho and Ajhan Buddhadasa) since they communicate via our modern languages and use our modern terms and concepts

After all there was never only one "person" enlightened


Thoughts?

Hello clw_uk,

It would be extremely difficult (impossible, i believe) to ascertain if someone is an Arahant nowadays. This thread might be of
interest:
Arahants
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1323

With metta,
Chris
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---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Why do Buddhists always revert back to siddhartha gautam

Postby santa100 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:24 am

clw_uk wrote:Why do Buddhists, at least on internet discussion forums, always revert back to the first Arahant in india (siddhartha gautama) instead of referring to modern day arahants?


Because most of the time, the Buddha already had an answer to your question... :smile:

Then a bhikkhu might say: ‘In such and such a residence several elder bhikkhus are dwelling who are learned, heirs to the heritage, experts on the Dhamma, experts on the discipline, experts on the outlines. In the presence of those elders I heard this; in their presence I learned this: “This is the Dhamma; this is the discipline; this is the Teacher’s teaching!”’ That bhikkhu’s statement should neither be approved nor rejected. Without approving or rejecting it, you should thoroughly learn those words and phrases and then check for them in the discourses and seek them in the discipline. If, when you check for them in the discourses and seek them in the discipline, [you find that] they are not included among the discourses and are not to be seen in the discipline, you should draw the conclusion: ‘Surely, this is not the word of the Blessed One, the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One. It has been badly learned by those elders.’ Thus you should discard it.

“But … if, when you check for them in the discourses and seek them in the discipline, [you find that] they are included among the discourses and are to be seen in the discipline, you should draw the conclusion: ‘Surely, this is the word of the Blessed One, the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One. It has been learned well by those elders. ~~ AN 4.180 ~~
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Re: Why do Buddhists always revert back to siddhartha gautam

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:36 am

Hi Santa,

I think there are two questions:
1. What the Buddha taught.
2. What is useful elaboration.
The quote you gave is about the first issue. About the second we have suttas such as:
"As for the individual who has attained neither internal tranquillity of awareness nor insight into phenomena through heightened discernment, he should approach an individual who has attained both internal tranquillity of awareness & insight into phenomena through heightened discernment... and ask him, 'How should the mind be steadied? How should it be made to settle down? How should it be unified? How should it be concentrated? How should fabrications be regarded? How should they be investigated? How should they be seen with insight?' The other will answer in line with what he has seen & experienced: ...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

When, on observing that the monk is purified with regard to qualities based on delusion, he places conviction in him. With the arising of conviction, he visits him & grows close to him. Growing close to him, he lends ear. Lending ear, he hears the Dhamma. Hearing the Dhamma, he remembers it. Remembering it, he penetrates the meaning of those dhammas. Penetrating the meaning, he comes to an agreement through pondering those dhammas. There being an agreement through pondering those dhammas, desire arises. With the arising of desire, he becomes willing. Willing, he contemplates (lit: "weighs," "compares"). Contemplating, he makes an exertion. Exerting himself, he both realizes the ultimate meaning of the truth with his body and sees by penetrating it with discernment. ...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life. When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & comrades, he can be expected to develop & pursue the noble eightfold path.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Savatthi in the Eastern Monastery, the palace of Migara's mother, together with many well-known elder disciples — with Ven. Sariputta, Ven. Maha Moggallana, Ven. Maha Kassapa, Ven. Maha Kaccana, Ven. Maha Kotthita, Ven. Maha Kappina, Ven. Maha Cunda, Ven. Revata, Ven. Ananda, and other well-known elder disciples. On that occasion the elder monks were teaching & instructing. Some elder monks were teaching & instructing ten monks, some were teaching & instructing twenty monks, some were teaching & instructing thirty monks, some were teaching & instructing forty monks. The new monks, being taught & instructed by the elder monks, were discerning grand, successive distinctions.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

It seems that, from the earliest times, elaboration by skilled instructors was important for those who did not have personal instruction from the Buddha.

:anjali:
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Re: Why do Buddhists always revert back to siddhartha gautam

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:59 am

:goodpost:

One extra comment: the Buddha couldn't refer anyone to printed texts in the absence of a real live teacher or 'admirable friend' but we can and do. And all the arguments for and against the advice of particular people apply, more or less, to the texts.

:namaste:
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Re: Why do Buddhists always revert back to siddhartha gautam

Postby BlackBird » Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:31 am

The Buddha is perfectly enlightened. Nobody knows more than the Buddha. Modern teachers IMO, I'm not sure many of them are even they're sotapatti let alone arahants, and even if there are a few arahants out there - The Buddha still had a much better understanding than they do. I have a lot of faith in the Nikayas, I've read a good deal of them, under a very critical and skeptical eye, and to the best of my knowledge - I cannot find a single contradiction. The Buddha has stated his Dhamma is free of patchwork, and so because it is perfect, why do you need to go seeking your Dhamma elsewhere?

That's not to say that modern teachers don't have a lot of value. It's nice to listen to Dhamma talks. The Buddha cannot help you with specific meditation problems you might run into, because he's not here, so it's good for many people to have a bhavana teacher and someone who can give practical life advice in regards to virtue. But to compare these teachers to the Buddha himself - There's no way you can do that. No teacher on Earth can compare to the Buddha.

I would have thought this would be completely self evident. What are the advantages of not giving the Buddha absolute primacy?
"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: Why do Buddhists always revert back to siddhartha gautam

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:43 am

BlackBird wrote:The Buddha is perfectly enlightened. Nobody knows more than the Buddha. Modern teachers IMO, I'm not sure many of them are even they're sotapatti let alone arahants, and even if there are a few arahants out there - The Buddha still had a much better understanding than they do. I have a lot of faith in the Nikayas, I've read a good deal of them, under a very critical and skeptical eye, and to the best of my knowledge - I cannot find a single contradiction.
I would have thought this would be completely self evident.

Agreed.

BlackBird wrote:What are the advantages of not giving the Buddha absolute primacy? I can't think of any.

Something I have been thinking for a long time and may have said once or twice before is relevant here: If you think of Buddhism as "Religion", the Buddha's words, the revelation of the founder, are the be-all and end-all; but if you think of it as "Science", the Buddha's words are more analogous to the writings of someone like Isaac Newton, i.e. immensely important but always subject to improvement and correction.
In reality, Buddhism isn't quite a religion and isn't quite a science, but I for one am reluctant to abandon the possibility of important additions to the original teachings.

:namaste:
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Re: Why do Buddhists always revert back to siddhartha gautam

Postby reflection » Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:51 am

First off, I think the 'always' is a bit strong since many people refer to modern day teachers. But, aside from the good replies already given, I think good teachers themselves also refer to the Buddha and the suttas. And they'll say to compare their words by the suttas.

As for this board, most discussions end up about being one view versus another. We could go by our teachers and it'll be like "my teacher is more enlightened than yours". It'll be a battle of faith, because we can only take on faith who is enlightened. And that won't really be very helpful for anybody.
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Re: Why do Buddhists always revert back to siddhartha gautam

Postby BlackBird » Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:52 am

Kim OHara wrote:
BlackBird wrote:What are the advantages of not giving the Buddha absolute primacy? I can't think of any.

Something I have been thinking for a long time and may have said once or twice before is relevant here: If you think of Buddhism as "Religion", the Buddha's words, the revelation of the founder, are the be-all and end-all; but if you think of it as "Science", the Buddha's words are more analogous to the writings of someone like Isaac Newton, i.e. immensely important but always subject to improvement and correction.
In reality, Buddhism isn't quite a religion and isn't quite a science, but I for one am reluctant to abandon the possibility of important additions to the original teachings.

:namaste:
Kim


If wish to hold on to the possibility that he didn't teach the Dhamma perfectly like he has said in the Suttas that he has done (The Dhamma is well expounded by the Blessed one), then I think there's still a bit of resistance to give him the positition in your life that he deserves - That of a seer who can guide you, as an ignorant and deluded being to the light of stream entry.

I don't encourage anyone to surrender their skepticism to the Buddha without a proper and thorough reading of the Suttas, but at some point I think it's necessary or further progress becomes impossible and one begins to merely tred water.

There is the case where you recollect the Tathagata: 'Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy and rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the world, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher of divine & human beings, awakened, blessed.' At any time when a disciple of the noble ones is recollecting the Tathagata, his mind is not overcome with passion, not overcome with aversion, not overcome with delusion. His mind heads straight, based on the Tathagata. And when the mind is headed straight, the disciple of the noble ones gains a sense of the goal, gains a sense of the Dhamma, gains joy connected with the Dhamma. In one who is joyful, rapture arises. In one who is rapturous, the body grows calm. One whose body is calmed experiences ease. In one at ease, the mind becomes concentrated.

...

"Furthermore, there is the case where you recollect the Dhamma: 'The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One, to be seen here & now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the wise for themselves.' At any time when a disciple of the noble ones is recollecting the Dhamma, his mind is not overcome with passion, not overcome with aversion, not overcome with delusion. His mind heads straight, based on the Dhamma. And when the mind is headed straight, the disciple of the noble ones gains a sense of the goal, gains a sense of the Dhamma, gains joy connected with the Dhamma. In one who is joyful, rapture arises. In one who is rapturous, the body grows calm. One whose body is calmed experiences ease. In one at ease, the mind becomes concentrated.

- http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

So to cut a long story short: The Buddha has said he has known and seen the Dhamma perfectly, unexcelled by anyone else. He has said he is a perfect teacher, unexcelled by anyone else, and he has said he has taught the Dhamma perfectly, unexcelled by anyone. So to say that there might be aspects of Dhamma out there that he hasn't taught? No. There was plenty of knowledge the Buddha attained to but did not teach and he gave a perfect explanation why: Because they're not connected with the path leading to cessation.

Teachers are good for clarifying the meaning of the Suttas, but if they introduce new concepts foreign to the Dhamma, I am not interested in them beyond my curiosity of the world's diversity.


with metta
Jack
"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: Why do Buddhists always revert back to siddhartha gautam

Postby Kusala » Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:47 am

clw_uk wrote:Why do Buddhists, at least on internet discussion forums, always revert back to the first Arahant in india (siddhartha gautama) instead of referring to modern day arahants?

IMO we can take the core teachings from siddhartha and gain better elaborations from modern ajahans (such as Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Sumedho and Ajhan Buddhadasa) since they communicate via our modern languages and use our modern terms and concepts

After all there was never only one "person" enlightened


Thoughts?


This says it all, "The Buddha foresaw that people would introduce what he called 'synthetic Dhamma' - and when that happened, he said, the true Dhamma would disappear (SN 16:13). He compared the process to what happens when a wooden drum develops a crack, into which a peg is inserted, and then another crack, into which another peg is inserted, and so on until nothing is left of the original drum-body. All that remains is a mass of pegs, which cannot come near to producing the sound of the original drum (SN 20:7). "
Image

Homage to the Buddha
Thus indeed, is that Blessed One: He is the Holy One, fully enlightened, endowed with clear vision and virtuous conduct, sublime, the Knower of the worlds, the incomparable leader of men to be tamed, the teacher of gods and men, enlightened and blessed.

Homage to the Teachings
The Dhamma of the Blessed One is perfectly expounded; to be seen here and now; not delayed in
time; inviting one to come and see; onward leading (to Nibbana); to be known by the wise, each for himself.
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Re: Why do Buddhists always revert back to siddhartha gautam

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:34 am

BlackBird wrote:If wish to hold on to the possibility that he didn't teach the Dhamma perfectly like he has said in the Suttas that he has done (The Dhamma is well expounded by the Blessed one), then I think there's still a bit of resistance to give him the positition in your life that he deserves - That of a seer who can guide you, as an ignorant and deluded being to the light of stream entry.

I don't encourage anyone to surrender their skepticism to the Buddha without a proper and thorough reading of the Suttas, but at some point I think it's necessary or further progress becomes impossible and one begins to merely tred water.

... So to cut a long story short: The Buddha has said he has known and seen the Dhamma perfectly, unexcelled by anyone else. He has said he is a perfect teacher, unexcelled by anyone else, and he has said he has taught the Dhamma perfectly, unexcelled by anyone. So to say that there might be aspects of Dhamma out there that he hasn't taught? No. There was plenty of knowledge the Buddha attained to but did not teach and he gave a perfect explanation why: Because they're not connected with the path leading to cessation.

Hi, Jack,
In my terms, that presents almost a textbook case of Buddhism-as-religion. It's your choice - always - but I don't like* the way it closes off the opportunities for enriching and developing our knowledge.
I think it is potentially unhealthy, in the same way that Islam's view of the Koran (finished, closed, perfect, unalterable) is potentially unhealthy (and I'm not really picking on Islam, here - some Christian sects do the same). There are a few kinds of problems with that approach. One is that texts require interpretation and therefore interpreters; another is that the audience to whom they were first said was living under very different conditions from us; another is that some parts of the teachings (Bible as well as Tipitaka!) have been shown to be just plain wrong when taken literally and have had to to be, um, renegotiated as metaphor to avoid making the whole religion laughable. (I'm thinking particularly of the history/cosmology sections.)

* I am saying "I don't like" as if it's merely personal preference but it's a bit stronger and deeper than that, including "I think it is unhelpful".

But to each his own ... which, btw, is another reason for not being too narrow about things :tongue:

:namaste:

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Re: Why do Buddhists always revert back to siddhartha gautam

Postby BlackBird » Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:40 am

I'm sorry but that's what the Buddha has said himself and if you want to call it unhealthy, then that's on you. I find it strange that you take issue against something the Buddha has been pretty categorical about. To do so really means that you value your own intellect and views as much as you do his, for if it were not so, you could not take that position given what he has said about the perfection of his expounding of the Dhamma, of his abilities as a teacher and of the perfection of the Dhamma itself.

You say that parts of the tipitaka have been proven wrong. Well I'm not sure which parts you refer to, but I only take the Nikaya's to be authoratitive, and to me, nothing in them has been proven wrong, they can be trusted from cover to cover.

It's one of those rare things that is quite black and white. I have faith that the Buddha was telling the truth when he said he was perfectly enlightened and the uncomparible teacher of gods and mankind and that the Dhamma was well expounded by the Blessed One, but I guess not everyone shares that faith.

I get that some people just aren't ready to accept that the Buddha's perfect and you and I are not, but there does have to come a time... Or else, as I said, you either start treading water, or you fall off the path altogether <- I have done both, several times, and I have seen the error of my ways - So I speak from experience on this one. Eventually one must put the Buddha above ones own intellect, we are after all, ignorant and deluded as to the real nature of existence.

Finally, Kim, having this view that the Buddha is supreme doesn't close off anything. My reading is as diverse as ever, and I am learning new things every day. I take mundane knowledge where I find it, and that's fine. I read a book on I ching the other day, it was good, I was reading passages from the bible the other week, and it was alright. But there's a point you arrive at where you're like - Okay - This is mundane truth, but what I'm seeking is supermundane truth, and so mundane truth has it's place, but it's not within the scope of the Buddha Dhamma. The Buddha Dhamma is exalted!

And yes, it is Buddhism-as-religion. If you've read the suttas it's hard to get the impression the Buddha wanted it any other way. If you want to be secular, and mix and match religious ideas that's fine, it's your life, but don't call mine unhealthy, because the Buddha would speak in praise of it. He was quite categorically in favour of saddha.

What is Saddha?

faith, confidence.

A Buddhist is said to have faith if "he believes in the Perfect One's (the Buddha's) Enlightenment" (M 53; A.V, 2)

Seemingly one would struggle to think of the Buddha as perfectly enlightened (or as the Perfect One for that matter) if they did not hold that he has primacy over all other teachers. Could one really be said to have faith at all?

It's funny, I sort of get the feeling that practising the Buddha's teachings the way the Buddha intended is something that's a little bit under fire here.

:anjali:
Last edited by BlackBird on Sun Jul 07, 2013 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"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: Why do Buddhists always revert back to siddhartha gautam

Postby reflection » Sun Jul 07, 2013 12:10 pm

To trust the suttas blindly is to trust mount Meru is the center of the universe and a lot of other stuff like that. To each his own, of course. But, it's a plain fact that some (parts) of the suttas are later additions, not from the time of the Buddha. This is 100% surely the case because the various versions that survived are not identical. If they are not identical, there is almost no need to explain they can't all be original. There are other things that point to this as well, like more recent grammar, second hand perspectives in the narrative, etc. I'm by all mean no expert on this, but just to have a little knowledge about this I think is quite useful. So by all means the suttas are not a thing to be trusted blindly.

But then still the suttas overall are a very reliable account of the teachings. We shouldn't take them blindly, but it is the prime source where all later teachings are based upon, and so I think it is good people go back to these suttas. Of course I do support modern day explanations and even additional teachings; in many ways can they be useful and correct. Especially when talking about meditation it is useful to use teachings and analogies that fit better to the current time. And also on other fields can modern interpretations be useful. But if we are trying to figure out what the Buddha meant, those are not the best thing to go by.
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Re: Why do Buddhists always revert back to siddhartha gautam

Postby BlackBird » Sun Jul 07, 2013 12:13 pm

Nobody said anything about blind faith reflection. My faith is reasoned in the application of the Suttas to my daily life, my bhavana and the wisdom that has arisen from it. Having faith in the Nikayas does not thereby equal faith in some idea about Mt. Meru. Furthermore you cannot say on good authority that there is anything near scholarly consensus that the first four nikayas have anything in them that could be considered a later addition.

Bit of projection being done here, and it's unwarranted.
Last edited by BlackBird on Sun Jul 07, 2013 12:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"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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