Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Yes, all the time
14
20%
Sometimes, in passing
30
43%
No, I only read the Tipitaka
26
37%
 
Total votes : 70

Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:14 am

Alright I've been following this thread, hoping for some good comments on texts that people found helpful, and those that people found unhelpful, but I just keep seeing people biting each other's ankles like my very small dog.

All so very :offtopic:
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby Nyana » Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:27 am

Wizard in the Forest wrote:I just keep seeing people biting each other's ankles like my very small dog.

This is a rather complex discussion in a context like this. This complexity doesn't easily lend itself to simplistic answers. Maybe you would be better served at this point to just be diligent in your own study and practice?

All the best,

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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:31 am

No it is not. It's clear. The topic is "Do you read the Mahayana Sutras?". Why are people instead fighting about what is Mahayana and what is Theravada here? You're having 4 different conversations. Nana do you recommend any Mahayana Suttas that are helpful to practice that you would recommend, and why?
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby Nyana » Tue Dec 14, 2010 2:02 am

Wizard in the Forest wrote:Nana do you recommend any Mahayana Suttas that are helpful to practice that you would recommend, and why?

Yes, I've already offered some recommendations. The following three sūtra studies by Boucher, Nattier, and Silk all contain complete translations of important early Mahāyāna sūtras: the Rāṣṭrapālaparipṛcchā Sūtra, the Ugraparipṛcchā Sūtra, and the Ratnarāśi Sūtra.

Ñāṇa wrote:The six perfections taught in the bodhisattvayāna are all contained in the standard threefold higher training (i.e. adhiśīlaśikṣā, adhicittaśikṣā, adhiprajñāśikṣā). The only difference is that bodhisattvas have a different goal than śrāvakas. And to this end a bodhisattva must be thoroughly knowledgeable of both the śrāvakayāna and the bodhisattvayāna. This is the knowledge of all paths (mārgākārajñatā).

A comprehensive reading of some early sūtras will also reveal fundamental commonalities in terms of practice. For example:


These sūtras are concerned with the ethical conduct and correct practice of ascetic bodhisattvas. They are not polemical attacks against an imagined "hīnayāna." They do however, criticize the complacency of "dress up" ascetics (i.e. śramaṇa monks who look the part, and can talk the talk, but don't walk the walk). These sūtras were still held in high regard and quoted centuries later by Mahāyāna authors such as Śāntideva and Vimalamitra. Personally, I see a fair bit of common ground here between what these teachings have to offer and the teachings of the modern Thai forest teachers.

And regarding some well considered historical correspondence and interaction between Mahāyāna and Theravāda:

Ñāṇa wrote:For anyone interested, here are some informative resources: Bodhisattva Path: Historical Aspects In Theravāda.

All the best,

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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Tue Dec 14, 2010 2:14 am

Thanks Bro, I hope this ends the sectarian clashes.
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby Phra Chuntawongso » Tue Dec 14, 2010 2:48 am

No I don't.I think I will be busy enough reading the ones we tend to use for a few years at least.
Of course as I originally came to buddhism via the Vajrayana tradition I have read some of their suttas.
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby Virgo » Tue Dec 14, 2010 2:51 am

Wizard in the Forest wrote:Thanks Bro, I hope this ends the sectarian clashes.

OK let's end the sectarian clashes. Let's just accept the Mahayana. This way more people can be convinced that the Sravaka path (path to Arahantship) is lesser than the Mahayana path which is exclusively to full Buddhahood (note that Theravada contains both a path for Arahantship and a path to full Buddhahood, but probably less than 1% of Mahayana teachers teach a Sravaka path to their students). Those people can then read sutras which literally mock Theravadins and Sravakas and say that their path is inferior. Based on that pressure and rhetoric people who might otherwise work for the ending of suffering in this lifetime can instead make a vow for Buddhahood even though there are countless other bodhisattvas out there, and they can take 3 countless aoens to do it (as per Mahayana doctrine), inevitably going to hell countless times in the process and experiencing countless types of suffering in samsara until they eventually reach their goal, or eventually meet the path in some lifetime aeons from now again and decide to end their suffering instead of continue, because they have been convinced that is the right path by the "compassionate" vehicle which tells you that if you don't put off liberation and instead suffer for countless aeons that you are of inferior moral standing, a lower being. Don't believe me? Go read the Mahayana sutras. Or if you are intent on Buddhahood you can practice the path for it in Theravada and still believe the things the Buddha has said in the Pali suttas rather than controversial things from much later works.

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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby ground » Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:05 am

Virgo wrote:... (as per Mahayana doctrine), inevitably going to hell countless times in the process and experiencing countless types of suffering in samsara until they eventually reach their goal, ...


As per Mahayana doctrine this is not true :)


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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby m0rl0ck » Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:14 am

Sanghamitta wrote:
If you do not identify with either....indeed if you see the Theravada as a "sect" why do you visit a website that says clearly as its subheader

" A Buddhist discussion forum on the Dhamma of the THERAVADA" ? :shrug:


Its a correct usage of the word and the word that ajahn brahm used in the video i linked to.
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby m0rl0ck » Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:17 am

Wizard in the Forest wrote: I just keep seeing people biting each other's ankles like my very small dog.

All so very :offtopic:

:clap:

Some seem to mistake argumentative for smart :)
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:27 am

Virgo wrote:OK let's end the sectarian clashes. Let's just accept the Mahayana.


That is not fair. I don't even believe in Mahayana doctrines.

This way more people can be convinced that the Sravaka path (path to Arahantship) is lesser than the Mahayana path which is exclusively to full Buddhahood (note that Theravada contains both a path for Arahantship and a path to full Buddhahood, but probably less than 1% of Mahayana teachers teach a Sravaka path to their students).


So why are you fighting about it? That's Mahayana, we're a Theravada forum.

Those people can then read sutras which literally mock Theravadins and Sravakas and say that their path is inferior.


I know what you're talking about, but this doesn't make up the whole of Mahayana suttas, and to me I give suttas like that no attention. I hated much of the Lotus Sutra as well. There's also that one with the householder that was supposedly better than the Buddha's 2 highest disciples, but that's hard to take seriously.

Based on that pressure and rhetoric people who might otherwise work for the ending of suffering in this lifetime can instead make a vow for Buddhahood even though there are countless other bodhisattvas out there, and they can take 3 countless aoens to do it (as per Mahayana doctrine), inevitably going to hell countless times in the process and experiencing countless types of suffering in samsara until they eventually reach their goal, or eventually meet the path in some lifetime aeons from now again and decide to end their suffering instead of continue, because they have been convinced that is the right path by the "compassionate" vehicle which tells you that if you don't put off liberation and instead suffer for countless aeons that you are of inferior moral standing, a lower being.


You're preaching to the choir here. I have always asked if everyone becomes Mahayana, who will attain liberation? There's no flavor of liberation and no sense of release. HOWEVER, why is there the need to fight about their doctrine without referring at least once to the literal text you're talking about (to warn people off)?

Don't believe me? Go read the Mahayana sutras. Or if you are intent on Buddhahood you can practice the path for it in Theravada and still believe the things the Buddha has said in the Pali suttas rather than controversial things from much later works.


Kevin, man, there's no need to convince me, but you need to actually focus on the topic and if you're going to criticize Mahayana suttas, actually name them and say why they are worthy of such criticism.
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby plwk » Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:36 am

Another thread of.... Image
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:39 am

Greetings Virgo,

There's a certainly irony to your above comment.

It directly parallels the relationship between A (Buddhavacana) and B (Theravada) we discussed in an earlier topic. Only in your case, you're establishing A as Theravada and B as Mahayana.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby Virgo » Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:01 am

Hi Wizard in the Forest, I won't address all your points, for the sake of brevity, however, I will just say that while my thread was a response to you it was really meant for anyone who reads it, it was more of a general statement that I wanted to make.

Hi Retro, I understand the correlation you are making, but I certainly hope you don't think the "Theravada" is as bad for what you consider to be "Buddhavacana" as the Mahayana is for the Theravada..

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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:07 am

It's okay Kevin, no problem for me. I just think there's no need to get all wound up. We're all friends here! I know some Mahayana suttas are particularly ridiculous, but it's better to put a name of a Sutta to give credence to what you say.

No need to jump up on the :soap:
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:07 am

Greetings Kevin,

Virgo wrote:Hi Retro, I understand the correlation you are making, but I certainly hope you don't think the "Theravada" is as bad for what you consider to be "Buddhavacana" as the Mahayana is for the Theravada..

I don't suggest how inherently bad or good any of it is... I'm just highlighting the parallel and the irony.

I'll let those more versed in these respective sects/schemas/philosophical positions etc. make cases for their respective value judgements. My standard criteria (Four Great References) of what the Buddha taughts vs what the Buddha didn't teach, don't provide any basis for differentiating between the respective merits of the Theravada and Mahayana bodhisatt(v)a paths. To me it's clear that neither are Buddhavacana, and to even say they're implied in the suttas is a stretch.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
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: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby Virgo » Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:36 am

Wizard in the Forest wrote:It's okay Kevin, no problem for me. I just think there's no need to get all wound up. We're all friends here! I know some Mahayana suttas are particularly ridiculous, but it's better to put a name of a Sutta to give credence to what you say.

No worries friend. There are intellectual points being made here but no impassioned hostility being shown. I do not lay any blame at all on Mahayanists, nor do I particularly criticize them because I feel they are just sentient being doing what they think is best, as far as they see it. I only lay blame on the doctrine which they adhere to, not on those individuals. Actually, Ñāṇa (Geoff) and myself exchanged some very cordial pm's during this exchange and we respect each other very much. As far as getting worked up is concerned, I have had the merit in this life to study in some depth all of the existing known Buddhist sects as well as to have touched the deathless state once. I am not heated nor concerned. I hesitated very much to write the things I wrote and I reviewed in my mind many times what the outcome might be. I read Suttas by the Buddha on how contemplatives should speak and I also read about when and why a Tathagata speaks about something, trying to get an inspired example from how Buddhas speak about tough things.

As far as the Mahayana Suttas in question, the Lotus is certainly a big one, but there are many. In fact, Sariputta who was a Chief disciples of the Buddha and foremost in wisdom is constantly shown to be a fool in Mahayana sutras. It is a reoccurring theme in them.
Wizard in the Forest wrote:No need to jump up on the :soap:


I believe I answered this with the above statements.

Kevin
Last edited by Virgo on Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby Virgo » Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:38 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Kevin,

Virgo wrote:Hi Retro, I understand the correlation you are making, but I certainly hope you don't think the "Theravada" is as bad for what you consider to be "Buddhavacana" as the Mahayana is for the Theravada..

I don't suggest how inherently bad or good any of it is...
Retro. :)

Very well. I respect your opinions. The only thing I will say is that it could be inferred (though perhaps incorrectly) from what you wrote that you feel that the Theravada is as bad for Buddhavacana as I feel the Mahayana is for Theravada.

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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:47 am

Greetings Kevin,

Virgo wrote:Very well. I respect your opinions. The only thing I will say is that it could be inferred (though perhaps incorrectly) from what you wrote that you feel that the Theravada is as bad for Buddhavacana as I feel the Mahayana is for Theravada.

No, no... only that the bodhisatt(v)a elements of both are not Buddhavacana.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby Virgo » Tue Dec 14, 2010 5:03 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Kevin,

Virgo wrote:Very well. I respect your opinions. The only thing I will say is that it could be inferred (though perhaps incorrectly) from what you wrote that you feel that the Theravada is as bad for Buddhavacana as I feel the Mahayana is for Theravada.

No, no... only that the bodhisatt(v)a elements of both are not Buddhavacana.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Yet drawn from it.

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