Why did you choose Theravada?

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tiltbillings
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:49 am

BlackBird wrote:I think it has a lot to do with projection TheReductor.
Reread his msg. Might it not be an expression of irony?
Tilt, are you angry?
No. Simply asking a question. it is all too easy to make statements without putting one's money where the mouth has flapped, which doers not make for dialogue.


Are either of you harboring resentment?


Not today.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby Tex » Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:49 am

thereductor wrote:After all, its not like the entire foundation of Buddhism rests on Gotama's actual, real and tangible enlightenment experience, right?


I think some might argue that it does.

Edit: Apparently I missed the irony too by not reading closely enough, apologies. But I do think it's worth noting that this is not the first time I've heard it suggested that "it doesn't matter if the Buddha was real or not". It most certainly does.
Last edited by Tex on Sat Dec 26, 2009 5:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement."-- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby pink_trike » Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:51 am

tiltbillings wrote:Given how busy you are with all those turkeys and what you do seem to have a surprising amount of time for the snideness.

Dinner is at 9:30 pm. It's 8:50 pm. I've have somewhere around 5000 books in no particular order. Tilt, I'm so very sorry I can't cancel everything, sort through my books and papers, and attend to your demand. :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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Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby BlackBird » Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:53 am

tiltbillings wrote:Reread his msg. Might it not be an expression of irony?


Well, now that you mention it.

:anjali:
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby pink_trike » Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:57 am

BlackBird wrote:Pink Trike, are you angry?


Not in the slightest. :tongue:

M'gawd...non-issue. :rofl:
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Dec 26, 2009 5:22 am

pink_trike wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Given how busy you are with all those turkeys and what you do seem to have a surprising amount of time for the snideness.

Dinner is at 9:30 pm. It's 8:50 pm. I've have somewhere around 5000 books in no particular order. Tilt, I'm so very sorry I can't cancel everything, sort through my books and papers, and attend to your demand.
No one, as has been said before, demanded anything, nor has anyone insisted that you back-up your claim NOW. When asked to back up your claim, you responded with: "Too busy right now, and its irrelevant to me whether he lived or not. If it matters to you, do the research (outside of institutional Buddhism)." Looks like a brush-off. In further exchanges you did not even get the question straight, and finally we find out you are up to your armpits in turkeys, though still finding time to try to brush off the question. Simply saying: "I am too busy now, but will get back to you when I have time" would have saved a lot of bytes.

Have a good meal, have a good retreat, and when you get back, you can rummage through your 5,000 books and back up your claim that Increasingly, scholars are unable to find any solid evidence of it...evidence that should be available if he actually lived and wasn't just a conceptual devise, especially this part "wasn't just a conceptual devise [sic]."
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby Reductor » Sat Dec 26, 2009 5:31 am

pink_trike wrote:
As for this disagreement, isn't it silly?


More than a little :tongue:


Yes, it is.

...why should Buddhists get a little uptight with such an offhanded statement?


Fear? Insecurity? intolerance?



I wouldn't place the blame on any of those.

I am a religious Buddhist, and as such I do take the existence of Buddha for granted: on faith, if you like.
Because this is how I approach the material I must admit that I was a little dismayed at your reference
to this debate.

Mostly I am bothered by your egocentric thinking. You state that you don't feel the existence of Buddha matters, so
it shouldn't be such a matter for the rest of us.


...its not like the entire foundation of Buddhism rests on Gotama's actual, real and tangible enlightenment experience, right?


That's debatable, but the foundations of the Dharma surely don't depend on it. [the term "enlightenment" is a poorly understood translation that's created much confusion and delusion].



True, I suppose, in that enlightenment is a broad term. However, the term is understood in the Theravada
tradition, when used in conjunction with the Buddha, to mean unbinding from samsara. The unbinding
that he experienced is certainly at the foundation of the Buddha Dhamma. If you haven't read
any of the cannon, then I suppose you might be confused by the above terms broadness.


And why wouldn't a religious person just accept your statement and not call bullocks?


My statement that secular scholars are having trouble finding a Buddha that actually lived? Since that debate really does exist and it has for a long time, what's to call bullocks on?

Can't they see that you're too busy


I should drop everything and start looking through books. Saying "I'm busy" 3 times isn't acceptable to religious people? My, my...

Can't they just not care too?


Now that you mention it, it does seem like they're a bit touchy around certain subjects that maybe rub up against their comfort zone. I stated a fact (yes, there is a debate). I offered no opinion regarding that debate. Why all the reactivity and urgency? :rolleye:

Anyway, gotta go or I'll burn the pies. When I have time and it seems interesting enough I'll dig out some info. Please, don't anyone hold their breath. :smile: I'm into retreat starting monday and won't be back until the 4th.


Again, egocentric. To you such matters don't matter. To many of us, they do. Since you made an reference
to a debate that might well cause dissension, then positioned yourself as a person both to busy and apathetic (in relation
to said debate) to further elaborate on your reference, I would say you are at fault in the strife here seen. In spite
the fact that you didn't state an opinion, you kind of stirred the pot.

Now to say that was your intention: it is well beyond my place to say. But I would certainly say you were
negligent of your words, at the least.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72


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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Dec 26, 2009 6:17 am

Greetings Alan,

Why did you choose Theravada?


Because it's the only school of Buddhism that gives primacy to the suttas - the suttas (and vinaya as well) being the scriptures widely accepted by Buddhist scholars as the being most accurate record of what the Buddha taught. (For the sake of argument, I'll accept the agamas as equivalent to the suttas)

alan wrote:What I'd really like to know is, are there specific Mahayana concepts that anyone here rejected? If so, why?


Anything that isn't found in the suttas, but especially the tri-kaya.

As for the "why?"... because such concepts are not found in the suttas and much of it makes a mockery of what is actually found in the suttas.

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


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


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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby seanpdx » Sat Dec 26, 2009 6:56 am

Ugh. Just reading the last four pages makes me want to chain smoke.

Is there, and has there been, and on-going academic debate about the existence of a flesh-and-blood Buddha? Yes. If this comes as a surprise to anyone, well... there are plenty of other things scholars have to say about buddhism that are probably even more surprising. If this sort of thing is disturbing or uncomfortable, stay away from anything published by a scholar.

Would a search on the internet come up with any meaningful information? Maybe, maybe not. I wouldn't hold my breath, though. Read academic journals and books. The kind you buy.

Does tilt have a point about backing up a claim that's been made? Yup.

Does trike have a point about being too busy to back up said claim? Yup.

Are _sanskrit_ scholars _increasingly_ finding that the Buddha likely didn't exist? Dunno. The existence of an historical Buddha isn't my primary interest of study. But I've read enough to know that the debate exists. Believe me, if it would take me less than five minutes to spit out some citations, I would, just to end this topic. But let's face it... most subscribers to religion are not at all interested in what scholars have to say, because scholars have a tendency to pull the rug out from under hundreds or thousands of years of tradition.

FWIW, Gombrich argues that the Buddha died in 404 BCE. Now to prove that said person was actually the Buddha. =D

p.s., what retro said =D :goodpost:

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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby dhamma follower » Sat Dec 26, 2009 7:04 am

alan wrote:What I'd really like to know is, are there specific Mahayana concepts that anyone here rejected? If so, why?
Web searches have resulted in "there isn't really a big difference" articles, but surely there must be.
Thanks!


I didn't choose Theravada. I wanted to learn massage and was sent off by the massage teacher to a meditation center which was Theravada and the experience turned out to be what I really had been looking for...

I have no intention to find "fault" in either tradition though. For exemple, my mom has a lot of wrong views, but it doesn't make her a wrong person. I still admire her for many qualities. Sometime, I realize that what I thought "wrong" in her is not so wrong...

The same goes with traditions. For me,I am trying to be more aware of the tendency to grasp at right/wrong rather than to determine what is right/wrong. Of course, It's important to distinguish right teaching from wrong teaching. What I mean is true answers only reveals through practice. The answers change over the time too. So, an open attitude is helpful.

Nonetheless, I do feel it's a blessing to have gone across Theravada and having been practicing with its tools.

Thanks to the Lord Buddha !

D.F.

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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Dec 26, 2009 7:22 am

seanpdx wrote:Are _sanskrit_ scholars _increasingly_ finding that the Buddha likely didn't exist? Dunno.

Not that I have seen in scholarly journals (the kind you buy or read in a university library reading rooms).

Late 19th and early to mid-20th century scholars argued about this sort of thing. Increasingly, contrary to what pt has claimed, scholars of early Buddhism accept that there was such a personage as the Buddha. Can we be 100% certain? No. But the likelihood that the Buddha existed, taught, and founded an order of monastics is a far more reasonable point of view than not. Scholarly popular books such as Rupert Gethin’s FOUNDATIONS OF BUDDHISM and Peter Harvey’s INTRODUCTION TO BUDDHISM, as well as Richard Gombrich's HOW BUDDHISM BEGAN and WHAT THE BUDDHA THOUGHT, make that point drawing from the most recent scholarship.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby Jechbi » Sat Dec 26, 2009 7:31 am

Mawkish1983 wrote:I wonder if the caustic atmosphere I am perceiving here is my own mental construction...
You're not alone.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.

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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Dec 26, 2009 7:43 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Anything that isn't found in the suttas, but especially the tri-kaya.

As for the "why?"... because such concepts are not found in the suttas and much of it makes a mockery of what is actually found in the suttas.
That is a little harsh, maybe.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby Monkey Mind » Sat Dec 26, 2009 7:53 am

My university has a really good graduate studies library. If they dont't have something, they will arrange to get it on loan from even better libraries. What type of scholars? Is this a debate with historians, or archeologists, or social anthropologists? Point me in the right direction, and I will dig for journals. I can be patient, if it takes you a few days to get back to me, that's fine.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710

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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:05 am

Monkey Mind wrote:My university has a really good graduate studies library. If they dont't have something, they will arrange to get it on loan from even better libraries. What type of scholars? Is this a debate with historians, or archeologists, or social anthropologists? Point me in the right direction, and I will dig for journals. I can be patient, if it takes you a few days to get back to me, that's fine.
It is an historical debate, but you will a variety of different types involved. It is primarily a Buddhologist concern. Start with Richard Gombrich. He has articles in any number of journals, and what is useful, in addition to his own arguments, are the footnotes, which lead you further discussions. Heinz Bechert and Etienne Lamotte are two other names as well as Peter Harvey and Rupert Gethin. It may not be just journal but also books. If I were at home at present I could give a bit more detail.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:59 am

tiltbillings wrote:
seanpdx wrote:Are _sanskrit_ scholars _increasingly_ finding that the Buddha likely didn't exist? Dunno.

Not that I have seen in scholarly journals (the kind you buy or read in a university library reading rooms).

Late 19th and early to mid-20th century scholars argued about this sort of thing. Increasingly, contrary to what pt has claimed, scholars of early Buddhism accept that there was such a personage as the Buddha. Can we be 100% certain? No. But the likelihood that the Buddha existed, taught, and founded an order of monastics is a far more reasonable point of view than not. Scholarly popular books such as Rupert Gethin’s FOUNDATIONS OF BUDDHISM and Peter Harvey’s INTRODUCTION TO BUDDHISM, as well as Richard Gombrich's HOW BUDDHISM BEGAN and WHAT THE BUDDHA THOUGHT, make that point drawing from the most recent scholarship.


Yeah, that pretty much sums up what I have seen too. I was struggling to even think of any living / modern Sanskrit scholars who suppose that the Buddha did not exist.

I've just started on Bronkhorst's "Greater Magadha", which, given Bronkhorst's pretty darn critical / skeptical approach, should have something if anybody does! Problem is, I also just finished his "Buddhist Teaching in India", published in late 2009 (I got it on the same day that Amazon says it was published!), and even though that is the perfect opportunity for him to make such a comment - he does not. Doesn't even mention any debate about it, either. And the whole book is about debates and that sort of thing.

I, too, am wondering what sort of "_sanskrit_ scholars _increasingly_ finding that the Buddha likely didn't exist". I'm always up for a good scholarly debate! :D
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: Huifeng's Prajnacara Blog.

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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:03 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:

I, too, am wondering what sort of "_sanskrit_ scholars _increasingly_ finding that the Buddha likely didn't exist". I'm always up for a good scholarly debate!
I am interested as well. When pink-trike gets unbusy maybe he'll show us what we are missing.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby PeterB » Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:48 am

groan...head in hands...sigh...

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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:50 am

PeterB wrote:groan...head in hands...sigh...

There, there, there
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby PeterB » Sat Dec 26, 2009 10:03 am

But Tilt, all that "Buddha as Sun Myth " stuff is just so OLD.....and deeply deeply life suckingly tedious.


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