Historical researches about the origin of Pitakas?

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.

Historical researches about the origin of Pitakas?

Postby whynotme » Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:38 am

Hi,

I know there are many statement about the origin of Pitakas, like Abhidhamma wasn't taught in the Buddha's era.. But sometimes I want reliable links or sources or books for reference, as I want to be careful about those important issues. Please list the sources about the origin of Pitakas and discuss about them, what's right, what's wrong, which one is true?

Regards.
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Re: Historical researches about the origin of Pitakas?

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:12 am

Hav you looked at DW's Early Buddhism forum? http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewforum.php?f=29
There are lots of answers there. Especially look at the recommendations in the 'Gombrich' thread, http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=8190.

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Re: Historical researches about the origin of Pitakas?

Postby cooran » Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:32 am

Hello all,

Tri-Pitaka (or Tipitaka)
Tripitaka is the collection of the teachings of the Buddha over 45 years in the Pali language, and it consists of Sutta - conventional teaching, Vinaya - disciplinary code, and Abhidhamma - moral psychology.

The Tripitaka was compiled and arranged in its present form by those Arahants who had immediate contact with the Master Himself.

The Buddha has passed away, but the sublime Dhamma which He unreservedly bequeathed to humanity still exists in its pristine purity.
Although the Master has left no written records of His Teachings, His distinguished disciples preserved them by committing to memory and transmitting them orally from generation to generation.

Immediately after the final passing away of the Buddha, 500 distinguished Arahants held a convention known as the First Buddhist Council to rehearse the Doctrine taught by the Buddha. Venerable Ananda, the faithful attendant of the Buddha who had the special privilege of hearing all the discourses the Buddha ever uttered, recited the Dhamma, whilst the Venerable Upali recited the Vinaya, the rules of conduct for the Sangha.

One hundred years after the First Buddhist Council, during King Kalasoka, some disciples saw the need to change certain minor rules. The orthodox monk said that nothing should be changed while the others insisted on modifying some disciplinary rules (Vinaya). Finally, the formation of different schools of Buddhism germinated after this council. And in the Second Council, only matters pertaining to the Vinaya were discussed and no controversy about the Dhamma was reported.

In the 3rd Century B.C. during the time of Emperor Asoka, the Third Council was held to discuss the differences of opinion held by the Sangha community. At this Council the differences were not confined to the Vinaya but were also connected with the Dhamma. At the end of this Council, the President of the Council, Ven. Moggaliputta Tissa, compiled a book called Kathavatthu refuting the heretical, false views and theories held by some disciples. The teaching approved and accepted by this Council was known as Theravada. The Abhidhamma Pitaka was held in Sri Lanka in 80 B.C. is known as the 4th Council under the patronage of the pious King Vattagamini Abbaya. It was at this time in Sri Lanka that the Tripitaka was first committed to writing.

The Tripitaka consists of three sections of the Buddha's Teachings. They are the Discipline (Vinaya Pitaka), the Discourse (Sutta Pitaka), and Ultimate Doctrine (Abhidhamma Pitaka).
http://www.budsas.org/ebud/whatbudbeliev/62.htm


After the Final Extinction (Parinirvana) of the Buddha, and the cremation of his body, the community of monks chose five hundred Arahants ('worthy ones', 'perfected ones') to work together to compile the doctrine and the discipline, in order to prevent the true doctrine from being submerged in false doctrines.

Each of the recensions of the Vinaya now available contains an appendix which narrates how one of the senior monks, Mahakasyapa, presided over this assembly, which worked systematically through everything the Buddha was remembered to have said and produced an agreed canon of texts embodying it. The versions differ over the details but agree in broad outline.

The Arahants met in Rajagrha, since that great city could most easily support such a large assembly for several months. The organisation of the Buddhists tended to centre on great cities as it was apparently not possible in any other way to convene a meeting large enough to be authoritative for the entire community, given its democratic constitution.

Ananda, who being the Buddha’s personal attendant, had heard the discourses more than anyone else, first recited the ‘doctrine’ (dharma). Mahakasyapa asked him about all the dialogues, etc., he remembered and the assembly endorsed his versions as correct. The doctrine compiled in this way became known as the Sutra Pitaka, the collection of sutras (the term pitaka probably signifies a 'tradition' of a group of texts).

The discipline was similarly recited by Upali, a specialist in that subject, and codified as the Vinaya Pitaka.

On the third pitaka (Abhidhamma) which should make up the Tipitaka ('Three Pitakas') there is disagreement. The Sthaviravada and Mahasamghika versions do not mention its recitation, and since the agreement of these two schools should establish the oldest available textual tradition it appears that originally there were only two Pitakas. However, even the Mahasamghika account mentions the Abhidhamma as among the texts handed down after the rehearsal. The Mahisasaka version makes no mention of a third Pitaka.The Sarvastivada and Dharmaguptaka Vinayas on the other hand have Ananda reciting the Abhidhamma as well as the Sutra. The Kasyapiya (=Haimavata) mentions the Abhidhamma Pitaka without saying who recited it. A later text of the Sarvastivada School, the Asokavadana states that Kasyapa recited the Matrka or Matrka Pitaka (two versions of the text). The same tradition is found in the Vinaya of the Mula Sarvastivada School, a late offshoot of the Sarvastivada which thoroughly revised and enlarged its Tipitaka. 'Whether a Matrka or Abhidhamma was actually recited at the First Rehearsal or not, all the early schools were equipped with a third, Abhidhamma Pitaka.
http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/his ... ollect.htm

with metta
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Re: Historical researches about the origin of Pitakas?

Postby Zom » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:22 pm

Very interesting work of Ven. Sujato - History of Mindfulness

(many thoughts and arguments concerning the "origins of Pitakas" and much more)

http://santifm1.0.googlepages.com/webmind.pdf :reading: :thumbsup:
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Re: Historical researches about the origin of Pitakas?

Postby morning mist » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:47 pm

Someone wrote an interesting review of Sujato's mental proliferation:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Jhanas/message/8535?var=1

"While the bhikkhu sounds all full of authority, I am sure after a few more years of study, reflection and
meditation this bhikkhu might have dug deep enough into the fundamental
premises of Theravadan Buddhism to find a need to revise his effort and
present us with something more worthy to read."

I couldn't agree more with the reviewer.
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Re: Historical researches about the origin of Pitakas?

Postby Zom » Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:59 pm

I couldn't agree more with the reviewer.


The critique is just like that: "I didn't read it, but I don't agree" :D
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Re: Historical researches about the origin of Pitakas?

Postby morning mist » Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:12 pm

I believe the reviewer did made an effort to read it but was so turned off he can't bring himself to finish the paper. Have you ever read a book where you just couldn't bring yourself to finish it no matter how much you force yourself because the argument just didn't add up , or it is just plain boring because it is obvious that it is a recording of someone's excessive mental proliferation. We can discuss the various mistakes in there if you like.

I actually don't have an issue with monks who spent many years developing meditation then write a book on meditation techniques such as Satipatthana. I am not too sure about a bhikkhu spending a lot of his time proliferating about satipatthana and writing about Satipatthana ( and numerous other things/ books) when he could be using that time in the monastic life to develop it instead. It shows through his writing . What the reviewer wrote was just right on.


" I am sure after a few more years of study, reflection and
meditation this bhikkhu might have dug deep enough into the fundamental
premises of Theravadan Buddhism to find a need to revise his effort and
present us with something more worthy to read."

.
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Re: Historical researches about the origin of Pitakas?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:27 pm

The Four Great References are a good place to start, but if you really want to understand then do more practice. The Dhamma cannot be understood by reasoning alone, as the Mahāsī Sayādaw says in his Discourse on Dependent Origination
When the Buddha was first considering whether or not to teach, he thought, “This truth that I have realised is very profound. Though it is sublime and conducive to inner peace, it is hard to understand. Since it is subtle and not accessible to mere intellect and logic, it can be realised only by the wise.”

Too much discrimination (paññā) and not enough faith (saddhā) will only lead to more doubts. Reading, discussing, and reflection all involve discursive thought and intellect. There comes a point where they cannot penetrate any further, then one has to let go of analytical thinking, and return to the meditation cushion or the walking path.

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Re: Historical researches about the origin of Pitakas?

Postby Zom » Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:10 pm

I actually don't have an issue with monks who spent many years developing meditation then write a book on meditation techniques such as Satipatthana. I am not too sure about a bhikkhu spending a lot of his time proliferating about satipatthana and writing about Satipatthana ( and numerous other things/ books) when he could be using that time in the monastic life to develop it instead. It shows through his writing . What the reviewer wrote was just right on.


But even if it is like that - it does not make his ideas and arguments incorrect just simply because of "thinking too much".
It's just like these sayings: "He is not Thai, that is why he can't understand buddhism" or "This essay is wrong, simply because my personal beliefs don't correspond with it". Such an argumentation is quite poor.

If you want to show that he is wrong - you have to give more weighty reasons. But, perhaps, the problem is that you don't have too much knowledge of the ancient texts to give detailed and weighty counter-arguments. So the only thing remaining is to say that "he is just wrong because of too much thinking" ,) I see it this way.

As a buddhologist essay I find "History of Mindfulness" an excellent work, very interesting and inspiring.
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Re: Historical researches about the origin of Pitakas?

Postby morning mist » Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:24 pm

Zom wrote: If you want to show that he is wrong - you have to give more weighty reasons.


I didn't want to go into detail in discussing various mistakes in his essay, but we can if you wanted to.

Btw, is there a pdf. version where you can copy/paste the quote that you want to discuss. You can't highlight passages that you wanted to go back and address, nor can you paste the section you wanted to address without having to retype the entire passage . This is another reason why the other reviewer haven't addressed it point by point yet. Having to retype it word by word is too much, considering it is not one which I particularly enjoy going through even once. If you have a link to a file which you can copy/ paste each passage to address, that would be great.
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Re: Historical researches about the origin of Pitakas?

Postby Zom » Sat Sep 10, 2011 9:32 pm

If we skip the details, can you point to some major mistakes?
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Re: Historical researches about the origin of Pitakas?

Postby morning mist » Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:35 pm

For example, this is what he wrote about the Satipatthana :

"The contemplation of dhammas has also undergone large scale expansion. The original text included just the five hindrances and the seven awakening factors. The five aggregates, six sense media, and four noble truths were added later."

There are some discussions in the comment here:
http://sujato.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/ ... ndfulness/

There really is no pdf. file that allow people to paste and discuss point by point ?
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