Theravada "leader(s)"

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Admiral
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Theravada "leader(s)"

Postby Admiral » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:27 pm

Hi everybody :group:

I've read some Dalaï lama's books but the fact he's often referring to Mahayana sutras led me to think : "If Dalaï-Lama's the spiritual leader of Mahayana Buddhism (or at least Tibetan Buddhism), then are there any... leading figures in Theravada Buddhism?"

Or, if not, which "spiritual" well known masters would you recommend me to read? Like Bhikkhu Bodhi...

Thanks a lot :)

Metta,

anko.

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Re: Theravada "leader(s)"

Postby Fede » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:42 pm

The Dala Lama is not the spiritual leader of Mahayana Buddhism. He is the Temporal Leader of Tibet, and the Spiritual Lama of one single Tibetan Buddhist School, The Gelupa. (The others being Kagyu, Shakya and Nyingma).
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

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Re: Theravada "leader(s)"

Postby Admiral » Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:42 pm

Fede wrote:The Dala Lama is not the spiritual leader of Mahayana Buddhism. He is the Temporal Leader of Tibet, and the Spiritual Lama of one single Tibetan Buddhist School, The Gelupa. (The others being Kagyu, Shakya and Nyingma).


I'm really sorry, I was almost sure that he wasn't the spiritual leader of Mahayana Buddhism, but I didn't knew thhat he was the "Spiritual lama" of only one Tibetan Buddhist School. But he's for sure seen as some kind of a leader, isn't he? Are there any "emblematic" teachers (in the same idea) in Theravada Buddhism? I'd like to get a list, to have some name to search on, read their biographies and read their books. Sorry if I wasn't clear... :embarassed: that's why I posted it in the "Discovering Theravada" section ! But thanks for this answer... ;)

Metta,

anko :heart:

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Re: Theravada "leader(s)"

Postby Fede » Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:57 pm

That's ok.

It's a common mistake.
but actually, in a similar vein I don't think there is any one specific outstanding authority figure in Theravada.
There are however, several extremely respected and prominent teachers.

AFAIK.....(And trust me, I am 'Mrs Ignorant' on this factor, and many others....)
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/

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Re: Theravada "leader(s)"

Postby Admiral » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:05 pm

Fede wrote:That's ok.

It's a common mistake.
but actually, in a similar vein I don't think there is any one specific outstanding authority figure in Theravada.
There are however, several extremely respected and prominent teachers.

AFAIK.....(And trust me, I am 'Mrs Ignorant' on this factor, and many others....)


Thanks a lot for this clarification :)

Are there any of these teachers that are respected and "approved" by most of Theravada buddhists? I think Bhikkhu Bodhi is, as well as Ajahn Chan and Thich Nhat Hanh... Am I right? :embarassed: do you know any other as known as these three teachers? :)

Metta,

anko.

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Re: Theravada "leader(s)"

Postby Upasaka Sumana » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:07 pm

IMHO the most prominent Theravada master might be Mahāsi Sayādaw - he was a questioner and final editor at the Sixth Buddhist Council.

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Re: Theravada "leader(s)"

Postby Goofaholix » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:33 pm

Stefan wrote:IMHO the most prominent Theravada master might be Mahāsi Sayādaw - he was a questioner and final editor at the Sixth Buddhist Council.


I think the OP was expecting someone who is alive today.

Theravada is very decentralised and abbots and lineages seem to do their own thing unless they really cross the line.

Thailand has a supreme patriarch (or two?) and I think other countries do as well, but these are not famous teachers and I very rarely hear of them.

Short answer is no, and I don't think we need one either.
"Right effort is effort with wisdom. Because where there is wisdom, there is interest. The desire to know something is wisdom at work. Being mindful is not difficult. But it’s difficult to be continuously aware. For that you need right effort. But it does not require a great deal of energy. It’s relaxed perseverance in reminding yourself to be aware. When you are aware, wisdom unfolds naturally, and there is still more interest." - Sayadaw U Tejaniya

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Re: Theravada "leader(s)"

Postby Modus.Ponens » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:39 pm

Admiral wrote:Thanks a lot for this clarification :)

Are there any of these teachers that are respected and "approved" by most of Theravada buddhists? I think Bhikkhu Bodhi is, as well as Ajahn Chan and Thich Nhat Hanh... Am I right? :embarassed: do you know any other as known as these three teachers? :)

Metta,

anko.


Hi Admiral

The two most influential (recent) masters of Theravada buddhism are Ajahn Chah and Mahasi Sayadaw. Others may be Sayadaw U Pandita (disciple of Mahasi Sayadaw), Ajahn Sumedho (disciple of Ajahn Chah), Ajahn Thanissaro (forest monk; makes most of the translations to the access to insight site's suttas) and Bhikkhu Bodhi (great scholar; made translations of the Majjhima Nikaya and of Samyuta Nikaya and is making the translation of the Angutara Nikaya).

Thich Nhat Hanh is not Theravada.

Metta
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Re: Theravada "leader(s)"

Postby Admiral » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:32 pm

Thanks a lot for all these answeeers :group:

Stefan wrote:IMHO the most prominent Theravada master might be Mahāsi Sayādaw - he was a questioner and final editor at the Sixth Buddhist Council.


I didn't even knew him :reading: thanks a lot for that :)


Goofaholix wrote:Theravada is very decentralised and abbots and lineages seem to do their own thing unless they really cross the line.
Thailand has a supreme patriarch (or two?) and I think other countries do as well, but these are not famous teachers and I very rarely hear of them.
Short answer is no, and I don't think we need one either.


Thanks for the clarification Goofaholix! I don't really think we need one, I was just curious about it.... :)

Modus.Ponens wrote:Hi Admiral

The two most influential (recent) masters of Theravada buddhism are Ajahn Chah and Mahasi Sayadaw. Others may be Sayadaw U Pandita (disciple of Mahasi Sayadaw), Ajahn Sumedho (disciple of Ajahn Chah), Ajahn Thanissaro (forest monk; makes most of the translations to the access to insight site's suttas) and Bhikkhu Bodhi (great scholar; made translations of the Majjhima Nikaya and of Samyuta Nikaya and is making the translation of the Angutara Nikaya).

Thich Nhat Hanh is not Theravada.
Metta


I thought Thich Nhat Nanh was Theravada because I've seen him quoted several times on that forum, so I thought he was a highly influential teacher in Theravada :embarassed:
Thanks a lot for that list, now I've a lot of biographies to read and even more books to find ... that's what I wanted to know :D haha!

metta,

anko.

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Re: Theravada "leader(s)"

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:33 pm

I forget the exact sutta, but it is probably the parinibbana sutta (DN 16) where some monks ask the Buddha who will lead them after he is gone. The Buddha responds to let the Dhamma be your guide, your refuge.

I think Theravada has taken this (probably correctly) to mean that there should not be any one singular pope or centralised authority like a Vatican or Dalai Lama.

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Re: Theravada "leader(s)"

Postby Fede » Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:13 pm

:shock: well will ya look at that...........








I was right....... :jawdrop:



:jumping:
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/

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Re: Theravada "leader(s)"

Postby unspoken » Sat Aug 28, 2010 2:16 am

Buddhism biggest teacher are the Buddha.
We all are the brother and sisters in the dhamma.
The leader will and only will be 'ourself' as the attainment of Nibana will only be 'ourself'.
we are wise enough to know not necessary to have a leader to help us make decision because each and everyone of us knows what way we want to walk and head.

Sadhu~

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Re: Theravada "leader(s)"

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Aug 28, 2010 2:20 am

Greetings,

David N. Snyder wrote:I forget the exact sutta, but it is probably the parinibbana sutta (DN 16) where some monks ask the Buddha who will lead them after he is gone. The Buddha responds to let the Dhamma be your guide, your refuge.

I think Theravada has taken this (probably correctly) to mean that there should not be any one singular pope or centralised authority like a Vatican or Dalai Lama.

Well said David. (and yes, it is DN16)

Metta,
Retro. :)
Through corruption of the Dhamma comes corruption of the discipline, and from corruption of the discipline comes corruption of the Dhamma. This is the first future danger as yet unarisen that will arise in the future. You should recognize it and make an effort to prevent it. (AN 5.79)

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Never again...

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Re: Theravada "leader(s)"

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:08 am

Modus.Ponens wrote:
The two most influential (recent) masters of Theravada buddhism are Ajahn Chah and Mahasi Sayadaw. Others may be Sayadaw U Pandita (disciple of Mahasi Sayadaw), Ajahn Sumedho (disciple of Ajahn Chah), Ajahn Thanissaro (forest monk; makes most of the translations to the access to insight site's suttas) and Bhikkhu Bodhi

where?

ajahn chah though highly respected isn't so influential, in Thailand in fact he's just one of many famous forest monks. ajahn Buddhadasa however changed the way many people thought and, think about the dhamma in a practical way and it was ajahn mun who is thought of as the one who brought to life the Thai forest tradition . mahasi sayadaw i will agree with. also S.N. Goenka, millions have taken his courses. Ajahn Brahm is reported to draw huge crowds to his talks while you posted ajahn sumedho, who doesn't seem too popular outside of his own circle. ajahn Thanissaro is popular because of A2I and his online dhamma talks but again this is a western thing, the thai ajahns whose work he translates are far more known than him in asia. P.A. Payutto is a highly respected monk in thailand, but rarely mentioned in the west. Paw Auk Sayadaw is pretty popular too. there some other really popular monks in asia who are well represented in the west either. i'm pretty sure there are many more asian Buddhists to be influenced than western ones so leaving the results of the "popularity contest" limited to just the monks we get translations of is quite absurd really.
really though none of them are anything like a dalai lama is thought to be. no popes or god kings or whatever else. which is a good thing in my opinion
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: Theravada "leader(s)"

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:37 am

Haha! Preface most of the above posts with "in the eyes of English speaking Buddhists". Which are, as we know, a tiny minority of the Buddhist world.

Oh, and the Dalai Lama isn't even the head of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, actually.
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Re: Theravada "leader(s)"

Postby lojong1 » Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:52 am

Thus I have heard from Wiki: "The Dalai Lama is often thought to be the director of the Gelug School, but this position belongs officially to the Ganden Tripa, which is a temporary position appointed by the Dalai Lama who, in practice, exerts much influence."

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Re: Theravada "leader(s)"

Postby pilgrim » Sat Aug 28, 2010 4:44 am

Modus.Ponens wrote:
Hi Admiral

The two most influential (recent) masters of Theravada buddhism are Ajahn Chah and Mahasi Sayadaw. Others may be Sayadaw U Pandita (disciple of Mahasi Sayadaw), Ajahn Sumedho (disciple of Ajahn Chah), Ajahn Thanissaro (forest monk; makes most of the translations to the access to insight site's suttas) and Bhikkhu Bodhi (great scholar; made translations of the Majjhima Nikaya and of Samyuta Nikaya and is making the translation of the Angutara Nikaya).

Thich Nhat Hanh is not Theravada.

Metta

Bear in mind though, we are only speaking of the world of english-speaking Buddhists. There are others unknown to us simply because their influence did not extend into the international audience.

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Re: Theravada "leader(s)"

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:01 am

jcsuperstar wrote:. there some other really popular monks in asia who are well represented in the west either.

this was supposed to read : are NOT well represented in the west either

sorry
jc
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the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: Theravada "leader(s)"

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:04 am

jcsuperstar wrote:
jcsuperstar wrote:. there some other really popular monks in asia who are well represented in the west either.

this was supposed to read : are NOT well represented in the west either

sorry
jc
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Re: Theravada "leader(s)"

Postby unspoken » Sun Aug 29, 2010 6:12 am

Buddhist Buddhist in the West,
Do not differentiate each of the rest,
If you are bounded by the views of directions,
what makes you free from affliction?

As a dog losing its way in the woods,
what leads it back to it's home?
Scents of happiness and joyful far around,
sounds of its mother howl,
will takes it back to it's "house".

Be the leader of your own karma, is the leader we wanted the most.

Sukhi Hotu


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