Do you find Hinayana offensive?

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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:21 am

Let me add to the above. Not all Mahayanists on E-Sangha were hardline sectarians, not by a long shot.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:54 am

is it safe to say that

A - using hinayana as a term for theravada is not appropriate for a variety of reasons already detailed.
B - looking at the term (hinayana) can be done without it being inappropriate.
C - misrepresenting groups or individuals words in a way which can be devisive on this forum is not appropriate.
D - sometimes (as in this case) outside (non-theravadin) views can be discussed in the discovering theravada sub-forum.
E[dit] - maybe this thread (or atleast part of it) could be pinned somewhere, as I am sure others will ask this same question in the future.
these are just the main points I have from ths thread! any others?
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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Postby catmoon » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:08 am

maybe

F. The sects that were originally referred to as Hinayana are all extinct?
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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:23 am

catmoon wrote:maybe

F. The sects that were originally referred to as Hinayana are all extinct?


May we ask, O Catmoon, what schools they were in the first place? :)
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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Postby LauraJ » Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:27 pm

Manapa wrote:is it safe to say that

A - using hinayana as a term for theravada is not appropriate for a variety of reasons already detailed.
B - looking at the term (hinayana) can be done without it being inappropriate.
C - misrepresenting groups or individuals words in a way which can be devisive on this forum is not appropriate.
D - sometimes (as in this case) outside (non-theravadin) views can be discussed in the discovering theravada sub-forum.
E[dit] - maybe this thread (or atleast part of it) could be pinned somewhere, as I am sure others will ask this same question in the future.
these are just the main points I have from ths thread! any others?


That seems like a good summary Manapa.
It is a bit of a curiosity to me, that very nice teachers I've met who don't have English as a first language have used the term Hinayana when talking about motivation for practice or motivation for enlightenment. And these people wouldn't ever put other Buddhists down, I feel sure about that. They seem like darn nice, really happy people. So it has been a little bit curious to me even though I just choose to avoid the word myself.

Personally I learned a little bit here. Thanks to all :)
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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:33 pm

If an extremely large group of people are hurt by the use of the term does it matter what it "really" means? What do you gain by using it? Don't use it.
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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:36 pm

pink_trike wrote:Drive all Blame into One (Lojang slogan)

Lojong isn't practicing being a doormat either.
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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Postby pink_trike » Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:54 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings pink_trike,

pink_trike wrote:Unfortunately the modern tendency is to banish words rather than educate as to their correct context, meaning, and usage. So much easier to throw words in jail. Bad words, Bad!! :rofl: Perhaps we should start burning the books that used that term, or any other term that we imagine has the power to offend the frightened and hyper-vigilant "I" that rejects ownership of its feelings of diminishment and projects the generation of these feelings of diminishment onto the word and those who use it so that the "I" can do battle with what it generated and then frightened itself with.

That's all I have to say. If I continue I'll just be repeating.


I can't help feeling you're arguing against straw men here. It's hard to tell whether you've actually listened to what people have been trying to tell you... people who, by and large by the look of their responses, do not get all freaked out if someone else uses the term "hinayana" despite your implications that they do.

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Retro. :)

Hi Retro,

I'm not arguing.

Let me clarify once again. I don't support the use of the word as a sectarian slam. I am questioning why the word shouldn't be used in its narrow, benign and correct form. And I'm questioning why some people insist that it shouldn't even be used in its correct, narrow and benign form - in a tradition that they know very little about. If someone insists the word shouldn't even be used correctly and benignly within a different tradition and won't accept that this usage isn't a slam at them and the tradition they adhere to, then I think its reasonable to suspect there are personal issues lurking in the shadow.

This is why I point out that the mind loves to assign blame for its defensiveness to something "out there" and then fight it.
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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Postby pink_trike » Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:00 pm

BlackBird wrote:I'm not trying to be patronizing here, so I hope this will not be taken in that manner, also it's very big so I'm sorry if it's not to your liking but it gets the point across rather well :)

Image
:anjali:

Hi Blackbird,

Its a good message that always applies, but I'm curious...do you think that the temperature is high in this thread? I'm not seeing that. Are you uncomfortable with extended dialog that fleshes out and clarifies detail and attempts to iron out kinks of misunderstanding between people? In other traditions extended debate of even minute points is considered to be a necessary and healthy way of grinding the mill of knowledge to extract refined understanding.
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Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:48 pm

:offtopic: I think this thread has gone as far as it is going to go! :focus:
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: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:51 pm

catmoon wrote:maybe

F. The sects that were originally referred to as Hinayana are all extinct?

The use of hinayana to refer to other schools of Buddhism is a Mahayana sectarian classification. No school of Buddhism referred to themselves as hinayana. There is no objective reason to use that term in referring other schools of Buddhism, though one certainly can say that the Mahayana in talking about other schools of Buddhism called them 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: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:14 pm

pink_trike wrote: I don't support the use of the word as a sectarian slam. I am questioning why the word shouldn't be used in its narrow, benign and correct form.

As I have said, the word has a meaning and function solely with the (Tibetan version of the) Mahayana, as the above quote I gave by Acharya Ray indicates. Solely within a Mahayana context the word hinayana has its place, but it has no place as an "objective" way of classifying other schools of Buddhism.

The reality of the word is that the "narrow, benign and correct form" is a later evolution of the term that has not supplanted the broad, sectarian, and malign aspects of the term, as it was originally coined and encased in its texts, and which are still used by some Mahayanists to include those schools that some Mahayana followers think are inferior to the Mahayana.

and won't accept that this usage isn't a slam at them and the tradition they adhere to, then I think its reasonable to suspect there are personal issues lurking in the shadow
.
The reality is, however, the term hinayana with all its attendant polemical, non-benign sectarian baggage, is not infrequently used by Mahayanists. It is not the latter "narrow, benign and correct form" that is being objected to or argued against. That is solely an internal Mahayana usage.
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: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:46 pm

Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:The reality is, however, the term hinayana with all its attendant polemical, non-benign sectarian baggage, is not infrequently used by Mahayanists. It is not the latter "narrow, benign and correct form" that is being objected to or argued against. That is solely an internal Mahayana usage.


That is a particularly pertinent point give the OP's question...

I was posting on anouther forum and I used the term Hinayana. Some one said that it was a offensive term to use. I did not mean it as that. I had thought that Hinayana was a branch of Buddhism like Mahayana. Also I thought that Theravada was a branch of Hinayana much in the same way Zen or Tibetan is a branch of Mahayana. I remeber being told that Thereavada was the only surviving school of Hinayana. Am I correct in this understanding or have I been mislead?


It is obvious the sense in which A Medic had been introduced to the term as a Mahayana practitioner.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Postby Tex » Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:12 pm

No, I'm not offended by Hinayana, any more than I would be offended by being called a honky (racial slur against white people). They're just words.

I do think it's important to point out the error when people use Hinayana incorrectly, though, without getting offended by it.
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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Postby pink_trike » Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:47 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
pink_trike wrote: I don't support the use of the word as a sectarian slam. I am questioning why the word shouldn't be used in its narrow, benign and correct form.

As I have said, the word has a meaning and function solely with the (Tibetan version of the) Mahayana, as the above quote I gave by Acharya Ray indicates. Solely within a Mahayana context the word hinayana has its place, but it has no place as an "objective" way of classifying other schools of Buddhism.

The reality of the word is that the "narrow, benign and correct form" is a later evolution of the term that has not supplanted the broad, sectarian, and malign aspects of the term, as it was originally coined and encased in its texts, and which are still used by some Mahayanists to include those schools that some Mahayana followers think are inferior to the Mahayana.

and won't accept that this usage isn't a slam at them and the tradition they adhere to, then I think its reasonable to suspect there are personal issues lurking in the shadow
.
The reality is, however, the term hinayana with all its attendant polemical, non-benign sectarian baggage, is not infrequently used by Mahayanists. It is not the latter "narrow, benign and correct form" that is being objected to or argued against. That is solely an internal Mahayana usage.

THen we are in agreement. :smile:
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:24 pm

Tex wrote:No, I'm not offended by Hinayana, any more than I would be offended by being called a honky (racial slur against white people). They're just words.

I do think it's important to point out the error when people use Hinayana incorrectly, though, without getting offended by it.

The issue, for me, is not getting offended by the word; rather, it is the distortion of the Theravada that goes with the baggage associated with the word.
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: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:25 pm

pink_trike wrote:THen we are in agreement. ::

Yes.
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: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:23 am

LauraJ wrote:
It is a bit of a curiosity to me, that very nice teachers I've met who don't have English as a first language have used the term Hinayana when talking about motivation for practice or motivation for enlightenment. And these people wouldn't ever put other Buddhists down, I feel sure about that. They seem like darn nice, really happy people. So it has been a little bit curious to me even though I just choose to avoid the word myself.



I think this issue has caused more than a few problems over the years.

As a translator, both written and oral, I am very often called upon to be the oral translator of a range of highly regarded Chinese Buddhist teachers to communicate to an English speaking audience. It is not at all uncommon when they way in which they may mean a word, and the way in which it comes out in a literal English translation, has a fair gap between the two. There are a number of factors here, too, culture, language, etc. etc...

Furthermore, in a range of English material put out by Buddhist groups who are also not native English speakers, and are trying to deal with multi-tradition English speaking Buddhists while themselves coming from single-traditional backgrounds, also leads to a range of problems. I have seen Chinese Buddhist dictionaries which translate 小乘 (= Hinayana) as "Theravada", partly because they have heard that it is not at all proper and correct to use the term "Hinayana" (as per general convention), but in the end, it makes an even greater mess of the situation!

It also pays to cut a little slack to those working across languages, don't jump the gun - there aren't too many native Sanskrit speaking Buddhists around, and to find the meaning intended behind an eight letter word.
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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Postby catmoon » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:02 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:
catmoon wrote:maybe

F. The sects that were originally referred to as Hinayana are all extinct?


May we ask, O Catmoon, what schools they were in the first place? :)



Certainly you may ask, Venerable One, but for goodness' sake don't expect a coherent answer from ME. I was just kiting an idea. My references are: It's something I heard a guy say somewhere a while ago. Impressive, yes?
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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Postby JeffR » Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:47 pm

Yes.

Although the sadness I feel is in compassion for the ignorance of the user.
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