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Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha? - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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clw_uk
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Re: Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Postby clw_uk » Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:31 pm

Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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cooran
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Re: Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Postby cooran » Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:40 pm

No no no. It is much easier to alter written words than if there are lots of groups of bhikkhus memorising and chanting the same thing across the country. They gathered together regularly, in the same way they chant the Patimokha nowadays. This was the purpose of the Bhanakas, the recitation groups formed while the Buddha was alive, to safeguard and chant the Teachings. Thus you had the Majjhima Bhanakas and the Digha Banakas etc.

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

saltspring
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Re: Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Postby saltspring » Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:48 am

No no no. It is easier to doctor the spoken word. Writing parchment can be carbon dated so at least you have an exact date of the text as well as the ink, also technology can easily show if a document has been altered over time or erased. I also find the last words of the Buddha to be highly suspect, they read like a group of monks pushing an agenda. Did he really spend his last few moments discussing sangha minutiae? Having said this I have faith in the Pali canon, I feel the Buddha's intentions and insights rise above later deviations, made by competing factions.

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Dhammanando
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Re: Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:23 am


mudra
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Re: Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Postby mudra » Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:45 am

I think we all agree that faith based on conviction is a powerful thing, and gives a significant boost to our practice. The Buddha obviously didn't urge us investigate his words because he had doubts, but because a certain type of doubt prevents us from truly practicing dhamma as much as any other kilesa. So our investigation's purpose is to give strength to our practice.

For sure faith that the Pali Canon goes back to the Buddha is important to Theravadin practitioners (in fact for Buddhists other than just Theravadins too), but if that faith is not based on strong conviction arising from successful investigation it is sort like a false bravado that could crumble easily if seriously challenged.

In the end the issue is the methodology of the investigation. One needs to develop proper tools - sound concepts and inferences, based on 'perfect' reasons, applicable to the predicate ('goes back to the Buddha') and the subject ('the Pali Canon') of our conclusions. One such touchstone would be consistency - for example using the Four Arya Truths as yardstick - and developing from there. Historical record could be another.

I think just stating "it's a historical fact" by itself is not necessarily satisfactory to give rise to the power of conviction.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:13 am


mudra
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Re: Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Postby mudra » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:27 am


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cooran
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Re: Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Postby cooran » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:36 am

Regular recitations by extremely large groups of bhikkhus is not the one-on-one game of Chinese Whispers. I realise that many posting in this thread are not Theravadins, but it is offensive to categorise the regular meetings of the Ariya Sangha of those times, and the Bhikkhu Sangha of today in this way. All traditions accept the Pali Canon - and all Traditions have regular recitations of the Bhikkhu Rules which they accept as coming from the Buddha.

Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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tiltbillings
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Re: Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:59 am


mudra
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Re: Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Postby mudra » Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:32 am


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tiltbillings
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Re: Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:42 am


Yeshe
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Re: Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Postby Yeshe » Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:45 am

Views vary so widely - from those who, like fundamentalist Christians or Moslems, believe every word to be derived from Buddha (or even his actual words) to those who point to the absence of hard evidence in the form of contemporary textual records, and the near certainty of errors of memory, transcription and translation.

If we test the Pali (or even Sanskrit) scriptures for ourselves as 'Dhamma' and find that there is truth and effectiveness in them, then as I believe Buddha intended, the Dhamma is all we need, whatever its source.

In the end the issue misses the point spectacularly. It's the old 'who fired the arrow' story - never mind, just take it out.

By the way - you get 16,742 angels on a pinhead. :)

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Cittasanto
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Re: Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:28 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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gavesako
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Re: Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Postby gavesako » Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:44 pm

Check out this article about the historicity of the Pali texts:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... historical
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
- Translations and history of Pali texts
- Sutta translations

Yeshe
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Re: Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Postby Yeshe » Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:37 pm


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Avery
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Re: Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Postby Avery » Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:28 am


green
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Re: Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Postby green » Sat Mar 14, 2009 7:03 pm

I actually like the repetition of the actual Tipitika. It really helps reinforce an idea or concept and helps memorize the passage.

Reading translations and Pali tipitika without these repetitions becomes a hassle for someone practicing and appreciating the repetitions.

Yeshe
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Re: Pali Canon - can it be attributed back to the Buddha?

Postby Yeshe » Sat Mar 14, 2009 7:33 pm



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