The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby tiltbillings » Tue May 25, 2010 11:48 pm

Dexing wrote:The Arahant path is actually venerated in proper Mahayana practice.
Not quite so, given the Mahayana redefinition of the arhat notion.

Triumphalism and assumption of superiority is a mark of improper understanding and practice.
You forgot supersessionism. The term hinayana, coined by Mahayanists, embodies triumphalism, and assumption of superiority and supersessionism.
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: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby Dexing » Wed May 26, 2010 12:10 am

Hi tiltbillings,

The quote of yours in my previous post just now shows you hold the same view of what I'm saying about Classical teachings. So I'm not sure what you are interested in arguing about. You are apparently familiar with the Suttas as well.

What claim exactly do you want me to back up?

And I'm sorry if you find the term Hinayana derogatory. My Mahayana teachers have never used it in such a way, but only to show that it is "Small Vehicle" because it's scope of emptiness is not as broad as that in the "Large Vehicle". That's just a simple observation. Small Vehicle teachings hold phenomena such as the Five Aggregates to be existent, albeit temporary and interdependent. It is "small" because it only deals with the emptiness of Selfhood. While the other is "large" because it deals with the entire non-existence of all such phenomena altogether. It rejects even Causes & Conditions because those objects are only illusory.

Translating it as the "Lesser Vehicle" or using it to mean it is an inferior path is just wrong. So I say triumphalism, assumption of superiority and supersessionism is a mark of improper understanding and practice.

Even supersessionism is incorrect, if you take the example of learning addition and subtraction, and then learning negative numbers. You never discard your foundation of addition and subtraction as useless. It becomes a part of you, then you no longer need to study it, but use it in your current studies.

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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby Dexing » Wed May 26, 2010 12:13 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Dexing wrote:The Arahant path is actually venerated in proper Mahayana practice.
Not quite so, given the Mahayana redefinition of the arhat notion.


It is simply not the ultimate goal of the Mahayana, but it is certainly worthy of veneration, and the Arhats are very much held in a high position for their level of attainment. Look at so many ordinary beings still moved by I-my-me. What is there to not respect about the Arhats? It is simply not the ultimate goal, but that does not lower their status as "Worthy Ones".

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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 26, 2010 12:16 am

Dexing wrote:Hi tiltbillings,

The quote of yours in my previous post just now shows you hold the same view of what I'm saying about Classical teachings. So I'm not sure what you are interested in arguing about. You are apparently familiar with the Suttas as well.

What claim exactly do you want me to back up?
The views that you claim about the Theravada. Any of them. Let us see the sutta verfication of your claims about the limited view of self supposedly held by the Theravada.

It is simply not the ultimate goal of the Mahayana, but it is certainly worthy of veneration, and the Arhats are very much held in a high position for their level of attainment. Look at so many ordinary beings still moved by I-my-me. What is there to not respect about the Arhats? It is simply not the ultimate goal, but that does not lower their status as "Worthy Ones".
Realkly? And the support for that in the suttas is what?
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: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 26, 2010 12:20 am

Dexing wrote:
Translating it as the "Lesser Vehicle" or using it to mean it is an inferior path is just wrong. So I say triumphalism, assumption of superiority and supersessionism is a mark of improper understanding and practice.

Even supersessionism is incorrect, if you take the example of learning addition and subtraction, and then learning negative numbers. You never discard your foundation of addition and subtraction as useless. It becomes a part of you, then you no longer need to study it, but use it in your current studies.
In Sanskrit and Pali, hina comes from the root ha: to abandon, to forsake, to avoid, to leave behind which gives us hina: inferior, low, poor, miserable, vile, base, abject, contemptible, despicable, rejected, thrown away, scorned. In idiomatic English hinayana would be the "piss-poor vehicle" or the "garbage vehicle." In and of itself, the word hinayana is an ugly derogatory, divisive, derisive epithet. It is a put down term, which is then coupled with a nasty us-versus-them polemic.

in the Asokadattavyakarana Sutra, Asokadatta, a 12 year old princess who refused to stand and make obeisance to (“Hinayana”) monks when they entered the palace, said to her father: ”Your Majesty, why should one who follows the path leading to supreme enlightenment, who is like the lion, king of beasts, salute those who follow the Hinayana, who are like jackals?

Your Majesty, if one is already engaged in a virtuous effort to seek the great, pure path, should he associate with S'raavakas of small and few good roots?

Your Majesty, if a person wishes to go to sea of great wisdom to seek thorough knowledge of the great Dharma in its entirety, does he bother to turn to S'raavakas, whose knowledge, based upon the Buddha's oral teachings, is as limited as the water in a cow's hoof print?

Your Majesty, if one wishes top reach Buddhahood, [the spiritual] Mount Sumeru, and acquire the infinite body of a Tathaagata, should he pay homage to S'raavakas, who seek only as much samaadhi power as could be confined to the space of a tiny mustard seed?” [And on and on and on]
-- A Treasury of Mahayana Sutras, Garma Chang page 116.
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: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby Dexing » Wed May 26, 2010 12:26 am

tiltbillings wrote:Let us see the sutta verfication of your claims about the limited view of self supposedly held by the Theravada.


I never said there was a limited view of self. The not-self teachings are the same. There is no personal self to be found within the Five Aggregates.

What I have said is that Theravada does not deny phenomenal existence altogether, not simply saying all dhammas are dependently originated. I cannot find Sutta verification of something that was never taught in them.

If you can find it, please share.

Realkly? And the support for that in the suttas is what?


Personally I would say it is common sense. Why would that require scriptural support? Whoever says Arhats are not worthy of veneration are obviously misguided. Using "I-my-me" to tear down the position of one far beyond attachment to "I-my-me" is clearly another mark of a lack of proper understanding and practice. What further support is necessary?

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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby Dexing » Wed May 26, 2010 12:31 am

tiltbillings wrote:In Sanskrit and Pali, hina comes from the root ha: to abandon, to forsake, to avoid, to leave behind which gives us hina: inferior, low, poor, miserable, vile, base, abject, contemptible, despicable, rejected, thrown away, scorned. In idiomatic English hinayana would be the "piss-poor vehicle" or the "garbage vehicle." In and of itself, the word hinayana is an ugly derogatory, divisive, derisive epithet. It is a put down term, which is then coupled with a nasty us-versus-them polemic.


I'm sorry you feel that way. But in Chinese the terms are Xiǎochéng 小乘 and Dàchéng 大乘, which mean literally "Small Vehicle" and "Large Vehicle", taught to me to be termed this way for the reasons I explained.

in the Asokadattavyakarana Sutra, Asokadatta, a 12 year old princess who refused to stand and make obeisance to (“Hinayana”) monks when they entered the palace, said to her father:.....
[And on and on and on] -- A Treasury of Mahayana Sutras, Garma Chang page 116.


And what was the father's response?

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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 26, 2010 1:10 am

Dexing wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:In Sanskrit and Pali, hina comes from the root ha: to abandon, to forsake, to avoid, to leave behind which gives us hina: inferior, low, poor, miserable, vile, base, abject, contemptible, despicable, rejected, thrown away, scorned. In idiomatic English hinayana would be the "piss-poor vehicle" or the "garbage vehicle." In and of itself, the word hinayana is an ugly derogatory, divisive, derisive epithet. It is a put down term, which is then coupled with a nasty us-versus-them polemic.


I'm sorry you feel that way. But in Chinese the terms are Xiǎochéng 小乘 and Dàchéng 大乘, which mean literally "Small Vehicle" and "Large Vehicle", taught to me to be termed this way for the reasons I explained.
It is not how I feel. It is simply what the ugly term hinayana means. The fact that Chinese softpedeled the term hinayana is an interesting indication of just hopw bad it is.

in the Asokadattavyakarana Sutra, Asokadatta, a 12 year old princess who refused to stand and make obeisance to (“Hinayana”) monks when they entered the palace, said to her father:.....
[And on and on and on] -- A Treasury of Mahayana Sutras, Garma Chang page 116.


And what was the father's response?[/quote]"There, there, there. You are a naughty little girl. Go to your room."
Except she chews him out further, then chews out Shariputra and a bunch of others until the "Buddha" says she is going to become a Buddha.
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: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby Dexing » Wed May 26, 2010 1:35 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Dexing wrote:I'm sorry you feel that way. But in Chinese the terms are Xiǎochéng 小乘 and Dàchéng 大乘, which mean literally "Small Vehicle" and "Large Vehicle", taught to me to be termed this way for the reasons I explained.
It is not how I feel. It is simply what the ugly term hinayana means. The fact that Chinese softpedeled the term hinayana is an interesting indication of just hopw bad it is.


Well, I'm not here to discuss terminology anyhow, but sincere practice. I use the terms "Small Vehicle" and "Large Vehicle" for the reasons I explained, which has nothing to do with triumphalism, assumed superiority or supersessionism. That is not true practice.

Anyway, if you are at all interested in discussing the position of Bodhisattvahood not being possible through Theravada practice due to Theravada teachings not touching upon the non-existence of all phenomena, which is the realization of a Bodhisattva, I'll be happy to continue.

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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 26, 2010 1:41 am

Dexing wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Dexing wrote:I'm sorry you feel that way. But in Chinese the terms are Xiǎochéng 小乘 and Dàchéng 大乘, which mean literally "Small Vehicle" and "Large Vehicle", taught to me to be termed this way for the reasons I explained.
It is not how I feel. It is simply what the ugly term hinayana means. The fact that Chinese softpedeled the term hinayana is an interesting indication of just hopw bad it is.


Well, I'm not here to discuss terminology anyhow, but sincere practice. I use the terms "Small Vehicle" and "Large Vehicle" for the reasons I explained, which has nothing to do with triumphalism, assumed superiority or supersessionism. That is not true practice.
Characterizing the Theravada via the Mahayana polemic, as you have done, you are showing us triumphalsim, etc.

Anyway, if you are at all interested in discussing the position of Bodhisattvahood not being possible through Theravada practice due to Theravada teachings not touching upon the non-existence of all phenomena, which is the realization of a Bodhisattva, I'll be happy to continue.
Please show using using the Pali suttas that this - Theravada practice due to Theravada teachings not touching upon the non-existence of all phenomena - is, indeed, an accurate reflection of the Theravada.

Also, is an arahant a tathagata?
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: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby Dexing » Wed May 26, 2010 1:54 am

tiltbillings wrote:Characterizing the Theravada via the Mahayana polemic, as you have done, you are showing us triumphalsim, etc.


I guess it is a matter of perspective then. If you wish to see it that way. I have explained the position clearly and you have not been able to counter it in any way.

Please show using using the Pali suttas that this - Theravada practice due to Theravada teachings not touching upon the non-existence of all phenomena - is, indeed, an accurate reflection of the Theravada.


I've already said I cannot show Sutta reference of something that was never taught in the Pali Suttas. However, if you can find it, please share.

Also, is an arahant a tathagata?


This question seems a bit leading. I'm not interested in argument, or terminology, but discussing sincere practice.

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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 26, 2010 2:40 am

Dexing wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Characterizing the Theravada via the Mahayana polemic, as you have done, you are showing us triumphalsim, etc.


I guess it is a matter of perspective then. If you wish to see it that way. I have explained the position clearly and you have not been able to counter it in any way.
Only if you ignore the actual meaning of the term hinayana, a demeaning, divisive, derisive term coined by Mahayanists and, as I have shown, used in their sutras to negatively characterize the supposed hinayana.

Your claim that the Mahayana respects the Theravada falls short in that it characterizes the Theravada in polemical terms of the Mahayana's own devising without any consideration for how the Theravada actuaslly sees itself. The Mahayana does not get to define the Theravada. It has no objective basis for doing so.

you wrote:
I wrote:Please show using using the Pali suttas that this - Theravada practice due to Theravada teachings not touching upon the non-existence of all phenomena - is, indeed, an accurate reflection of the Theravada.


I've already said I cannot show Sutta reference of something that was never taught in the Pali Suttas. However, if you can find it, please share.
If it was not taught by the Buddha, then why would one think that these later Mahayana polemical notions have anything to do with the the Theravada? You claim it, but you cannot show that they have.

Also, is an arahant a tathagata?


This question seems a bit leading. I'm not interested in argument, or terminology, but discussing sincere practice.
But it has to do with what the Buddha taught and it has to with practice.
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: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby Dexing » Wed May 26, 2010 4:20 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Dexing wrote:I have explained the position clearly and you have not been able to counter it in any way.
Only if you ignore the actual meaning of the term hinayana, a demeaning, divisive, derisive term coined by Mahayanists and, as I have shown, used in their sutras to negatively characterize the supposed hinayana.


Why do you keep carrying on about the term if you don't like it? I wasn't even using the term. I've only been saying Small and Large Vehicle, and I have explained their meanings as used in my tradition of practice to be quite far from any sort of demeaning term.

Moreover, you have only supplied half of a conversation from a Sutra.


tiltbillings wrote:
Dexing wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Please show using using the Pali suttas that this - Theravada practice due to Theravada teachings not touching upon the non-existence of all phenomena - is, indeed, an accurate reflection of the Theravada.


I've already said I cannot show Sutta reference of something that was never taught in the Pali Suttas. However, if you can find it, please share.
If it was not taught by the Buddha, then why would one think that these later Mahayana polemical notions have anything to do with the the Theravada? You claim it, but you cannot show that they have.


I didn't say "not taught by the Buddha". I said; "not taught in the Pali Suttas".

I am not a historian, but a practitioner. From studying Classical teachings and through personal practice, I have found that what is taught in the Large Vehicle logically follows. So I believe it was taught by the Buddha and try to follow it.

However, I don't hold onto the opinion of either the historian or the practitioner. It's really not that important.

tiltbillings wrote:
Dexing wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Also, is an arahant a tathagata?

This question seems a bit leading. I'm not interested in argument, or terminology, but discussing sincere practice.
But it has to do with what the Buddha taught and it has to with practice.


It appears to be a leading question. I'm not sure why you raised it, since it is off topic. I'm not interested in playing that game.

The issue is the Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada.

I have made my case that the Bodhisattva's realization is the absolute unreality of the phenomenal world, not just Dependent Origination, Causes & Conditions, Impermanence, etc., but the non-existence of all phenomena, for example the Five Aggregates as having never been produced nor extinguished, not attributed to Causes & Conditions because they have never existed. They are illusory and unreal, not "existing but just temporary and interdependent, lacking an eternal substance".

Since this teaching doesn't appear in the Pali Suttas, I don't see that a follower of these scriptures can follow the Bodhisattva path.

Now if you want to take a position against this, you simply have to show that such a teaching does in fact exist within the Pali Suttas, since that is the basic realization of a Bodhisattva as taught all over Large Vehicle Sutras.

If you can find that, I will stand corrected.

But if you cannot find those teachings present in the Pali Suttas, then I rest my case and should withdraw from the topic.

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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby ground » Wed May 26, 2010 4:26 am

Dexing wrote:Anyway, if you are at all interested in discussing the position of Bodhisattvahood not being possible through Theravada practice due to Theravada teachings not touching upon the non-existence of all phenomena, which is the realization of a Bodhisattva, I'll be happy to continue.

:namaste:


Just wanted to mention that Dexing's extreme position cannot be considered to represent the Mahayana point of view generally. It may be his and his teachers or his schools position but not Mahayana generally.

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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby Dexing » Wed May 26, 2010 4:32 am

TMingyur wrote:
Dexing wrote:Anyway, if you are at all interested in discussing the position of Bodhisattvahood not being possible through Theravada practice due to Theravada teachings not touching upon the non-existence of all phenomena, which is the realization of a Bodhisattva, I'll be happy to continue.

:namaste:


Just wanted to mention that Dexing's extreme position cannot be considered to represent the Mahayana point of view generally. It may be his and his teachers or his schools position but not Mahayana generally.

Kind regards


Well, we haven't continued the conversation. Obviously if you just stop here it is exactly Nihilism, but if you study and practice beyond this point you will see the Mahayana teaching of "All things are created by mind alone".

So it is not Nihilistic, nothing exists, and that's it. It's not that sort of extreme view, and it is found explicitly all over Mahayana Sutras. If you are interested I will provide numerous sources to demonstrate the point.

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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby Ben » Wed May 26, 2010 4:37 am

Dexing wrote:I have made my case that the Bodhisattva's realization is the absolute...


All you have done is make unsubstantiated claims.

Since this teaching doesn't appear in the Pali Suttas, I don't see that a follower of these scriptures can follow the Bodhisattva path.


One could also say, reflecting your logic: "Since this teaching doesn't appear in the Pali Suttas, then perhaps it wasn't part of the Buddha's teaching."

Now if you want to take a position against this, you simply have to show that such a teaching does in fact exist within the Pali Suttas, since that is the basic realization of a Bodhisattva as taught all over Large Vehicle Sutras.


It seems hypocritical and arrogant of you to not back up your own statements yet expect Tilt and other members of a Theravadin discussion board to do so.
You will be taken more seriously if you back up your claims.
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby ground » Wed May 26, 2010 4:40 am

Dexing wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
Dexing wrote:Anyway, if you are at all interested in discussing the position of Bodhisattvahood not being possible through Theravada practice due to Theravada teachings not touching upon the non-existence of all phenomena, which is the realization of a Bodhisattva, I'll be happy to continue.

:namaste:


Just wanted to mention that Dexing's extreme position cannot be considered to represent the Mahayana point of view generally. It may be his and his teachers or his schools position but not Mahayana generally.

Kind regards


Well, we haven't continued the conversation. Obviously if you just stop here it is exactly Nihilism, but if you study and practice beyond this point you will see the Mahayana teaching of "All things are created by mind alone".

So it is not Nihilistic, nothing exists, and that's it. It's not that sort of extreme view, and it is found explicitly all over Mahayana Sutras. If you are interested I will provide numerous sources to demonstrate the point.

:namaste:


Dexing

Your position is an extreme position. It is not only extreme as to the aspect of "existence" but it is also extreme as to your assertion that Theravada practice cannot entail access to the "true nature" [your wording being replaced] of all phenomena.

But since I would not even discuss this on a Mahayana forum I will leave it at that.

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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby Dexing » Wed May 26, 2010 4:43 am

Ben wrote:
Dexing wrote:I have made my case that the Bodhisattva's realization is the absolute...


All you have done is make unsubstantiated claims.

Now if you want to take a position against this, you simply have to show that such a teaching does in fact exist within the Pali Suttas, since that is the basic realization of a Bodhisattva as taught all over Large Vehicle Sutras.


It seems hypocritical and arrogant of you to not back up your own statements yet expect Tilt and other members of a Theravadin discussion board to do so.
You will be taken more seriously if you back up your claims.
kind regards

Ben


What I have said is that certain teachings don't appear in the Pali Suttas. How am I to prove that? Do you want me to post every Sutta to show that it isn't present? Rather, if someone can find that it is, then I will stand corrected.

If it is the realization of a Bodhisattva that I am talking about that you wish me to back up, then I will provide many Sutra references. Up until now, no one really seems interested in taking on the discussion. No one has asked for that.

Tiltbillings asked me to use the Pali Suttas to somehow show that these teachings aren't present there. I don't understand how I am expected to do that. You must find it there. If you cannot, then that rests my case.

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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby Dexing » Wed May 26, 2010 4:48 am

TMingyur wrote:Dexing

Your position is an extreme position. It is not only extreme as to the aspect of "existence" but it is also extreme as to your assertion that Theravada practice cannot entail access to the "true nature" [your wording being replaced] of all phenomena.

But since I would not even discuss this on a Mahayana forum I will leave it at that.

Kind regards


I have only stated half of the view in Mahayana regarding phenomenal existence, because as of yet, no one has expressed interest in that, and I don't wish to litter a Theravada forum with that if it is not welcome.

It is really not only my view, but is stated explicitly in the Mahayana Sutras.

Does anyone object to me supplying the sources for my statements from the Mahayana Sutras here, so we can have a close look at how they might differ from the teachings found in Theravada?

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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby Dexing » Wed May 26, 2010 4:51 am

It is almost midnight where I am now, and I must be off.

Hopefully 5 more pages don't show up before I can respond tomorrow night. It's difficult to keep track of things.

Good day/night to everyone.

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