Dhamma

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Dhamma

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:35 pm

Hi friends,

Do Theravadans believe that dhamma existed before Gotama Buddha?

Thanks,
Drolma
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Re: Dhamma

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:46 pm

Greetings,

Drolma wrote:Do Theravadans believe that dhamma existed before Gotama Buddha?


Yes.

"Whether a Tathagata appears or not, this condition exists and is a natural fact, a natural law; that is, the principle of conditionality.

"The Tathagata, enlightened to and awakened to that principle, teaches it, shows it, formulates it, declares it, reveals it, makes it known, clarifies it and points it out, saying,

"'See here, conditioned by ignorance are volitional impulses.'

"This suchness, monks, this invariability, this irreversibility, that is to say, this law of conditionality, I call the principle of Dependent Origination." [S.II.25]


In the following sutta, the Buddha explains his discovery of the Dhamma, comparing it to the rediscovery of an lost ancient city...

SN 12.65 - Nagara Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

"It is just as if a man, traveling along a wilderness track, were to see an ancient path, an ancient road, traveled by people of former times. He would follow it. Following it, he would see an ancient city, an ancient capital inhabited by people of former times, complete with parks, groves, & ponds, walled, delightful. He would go to address the king or the king's minister, saying, 'Sire, you should know that while traveling along a wilderness track I saw an ancient path... I followed it... I saw an ancient city, an ancient capital... complete with parks, groves, & ponds, walled, delightful. Sire, rebuild that city!' The king or king's minister would rebuild the city, so that at a later date the city would become powerful, rich, & well-populated, fully grown & prosperous.

"In the same way I saw an ancient path, an ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times. And what is that ancient path, that ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times? Just this noble eightfold path: right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. That is the ancient path, the ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times. I followed that path. Following it, I came to direct knowledge of aging & death, direct knowledge of the origination of aging & death, direct knowledge of the cessation of aging & death, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of aging & death. I followed that path. Following it, I came to direct knowledge of birth... becoming... clinging... craving... feeling... contact... the six sense media... name-&-form... consciousness, direct knowledge of the origination of consciousness, direct knowledge of the cessation of consciousness, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of consciousness. I followed that path.

"Following it, I came to direct knowledge of fabrications, direct knowledge of the origination of fabrications, direct knowledge of the cessation of fabrications, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of fabrications. Knowing that directly, I have revealed it to monks, nuns, male lay followers & female lay followers, so that this holy life has become powerful, rich, detailed, well-populated, wide-spread, proclaimed among celestial & human beings."


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: Dhamma

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:05 pm

One of the incredible features of Buddhism is that a follower can attain to the same level as the founder. For Buddhism, there is no real 'founder' since the Buddha just re-discovered the teachings.

For example, in Judaism, Abraham and Moses are considered the founders who made the covenant with God and provided the Law (Torah) and there cannot be another one to do so. In Christianity, there can only be one Christ. In Islam, Muhammad is considered the seal or final prophet. Whereas, in Buddhism, anyone can attain enlightenment and reach the same wisdom and title as the Buddha, an enlightened one.
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Re: Dhamma

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:22 pm

hi
Simple answer Yes
and I see fuller answers have been given so wont add
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: Dhamma

Postby Element » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:27 pm

The word dhamma means 'that which supports, that which maintains, that which upholds'.

All Indian religions are dhamma and use the word dhamma.

However, Buddha-Dhamma is the Dhamma of the Buddha.

Whilst, this natual truth always existed, it was not known or realised before the Buddha.
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Re: Dhamma

Postby Dhammakid » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:36 am

Element wrote:The word dhamma means 'that which supports, that which maintains, that which upholds'.

All Indian religions are dhamma and use the word dhamma.


Yes, I have noticed this too.

Element wrote:Whilst, this natual truth always existed, it was not known or realised before the Buddha.


Well, according to the above sutta excerpts, this statement is wrong. The Buddha made it very clear he rediscovered the Noble Eightfold Path, just as a traveler rediscovers a lost city. He also said noble ones of the past practiced precisely this N8P.

Unless I'm reading his words wrongly...

Namaste,
Dhammakid
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Re: Dhamma

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:54 am

Dhammakid wrote:Unless I'm reading his words wrongly...

Namaste,
Dhammakid


You are reading it correctly. There were 28 known samma-sam-buddhas before the Buddha-Gotama of our time.
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Re: Dhamma

Postby Element » Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:02 am

TheDhamma wrote:You are reading it correctly. There were 28 known samma-sam-buddhas before the Buddha-Gotama of our time.

This I do not believe. Whilst the suttas say so, I do not believe there were any Buddhas before Gotama.

We are only 2500 years after the Buddha, which is only 31 lifetimes. During that time, world human population has multiplied enormously.

2,500 years before the Buddha, there were hardly any human beings and those who existed were scratching out subsistance existence.

Buddha cannot arise is such worlds because a Buddha must renounce the extremes of sensuality & materiality.

Thus I do not believe there was ever a Buddha before the Gotama, even if the suttas say so.

Archeology has mapped human civilisation.

All this talk about Golden Ages, etc, is just non-sense.
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Re: Dhamma

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:12 am

Greetings,

Is there any mention anywhere of whether any of these previous Buddhas were inhabitants of other planets or realms?

Space is a pretty big place.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Dhamma

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:11 am

I just read about the 28 samma-sam-buddhas, Dipankara, and the "Thousand Buddhas."

Thanks for all the good info! :D
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Re: Dhamma

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:29 am

retrofuturist wrote:Is there any mention anywhere of whether any of these previous Buddhas were inhabitants of other planets or realms?
Space is a pretty big place.

Could be . . . The Canon mentions aeons between some samma-sam-buddhas, so it could be between the destruction and re-birth of the planet and/or world system.
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