Brahmanism and dhamma

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Brahmanism and dhamma

Postby Lazy_eye » Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:40 pm

Hi everyone,

The sramanic influence on the dhamma seems obvious, but are there teachings in the Pali Canon which incorporate aspects of Brahmanism? I ask because I've long been intrigued by the wording used to describe Mundane Right View:

There is what is given and what is offered and what is sacrificed; there is fruit and result of good and bad actions; there is this world and the other world; there is mother and father; there are beings who are reborn spontaneously; there are in the world good and virtuous recluses and brahmins who have realized for themselves by direct knowledge and declare this world and the other world.


As I understand it, Brahmanism placed heavy emphasis on offerings and sacrifices, and it stressed filial bonds and continuation of the family line. Its goal was to secure happiness in this world and fortunate entry into the other world. Mundane Right View echoes such concerns. In general, the "householder" version of the Buddha's teachings seems to emphasize similar themes, although the prescribed methods are different.

I guess "sacrifice" here does not refer to Vedic rituals. Still, the appearance of this term seems interesting -- also, the fact that the Buddha specifically mentions brahmins and recluses (sramana, I assume?) by name.

Anyone know more about this?

LE
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Re: Brahmanism and dhamma

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:51 am

Hi Lazy_eye,

You might find the books by Richard Gombrich, such as What the Buddha Thought
http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/97 ... ha-Thought
http://www.amazon.com/Buddha-Thought-BU ... 1845536142
and How Buddhism Began interesting, since Gombrich has studied the background belief systems quite extensively.

I don't find all of his conclusions completely compelling, but he offers a lot of useful insight into which Brahminic concepts the Buddha was debunking or (more interestingly) subtlety rearranging, undermining, or poking fun at.

Mike
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Re: Brahmanism and dhamma

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:08 am

Greetings Lazy Eye,

Yes... the Buddha often adjusted the meaning of existing phraseology to bring it in alignment with the Dhamma.

In the context of sacrifice, see...

DN 5: Kutadanta Sutta
http://www.dhammaweb.net/Tipitaka/read.php?id=5

It's important to be very clear on what the Buddha meant by certain words lest we inadvertently take on their Brahman, Jain or Hindu meanings. It is good to see you giving thought and due attention to such issues.

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: Brahmanism and dhamma

Postby Goedert » Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:06 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Lazy Eye,

Yes... the Buddha often adjusted the meaning of existing phraseology to bring it in alignment with the Dhamma.

In the context of sacrifice, see...

DN 5: Kutadanta Sutta
http://www.dhammaweb.net/Tipitaka/read.php?id=5

It's important to be very clear on what the Buddha meant by certain words lest we inadvertently take on their Brahman, Jain or Hindu meanings. It is good to see you giving thought and due attention to such issues.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Thank you for the link retro.

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Re: Brahmanism and dhamma

Postby Lazy_eye » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:13 am

Thanks Mike and Retro. The Gombrich looks like a must-read -- I'm going to order it.

And Retro, yes, I was looking at the "Jainworld" website recently and noticing the surface similarities.
:anjali:
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