Which one is true?

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

Which one is true?

Postby DarwidHalim » Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:08 pm

Which one is true:
1. Theravada split from Mahayana
2. Mahayana split from Theravada
3. Since day one, they never split, but already had a group of monks who have different understanding, which finally regroup to several schools, such as Mahayana, Theravada, Sautrantika, etc.

Another question is:
Can the difference in languages (Pali and Sanskrit) becomes the basis of authenticity of the teaching?
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Which one is true?

Postby DarwidHalim » Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:25 pm

Since when the word Theravada appears in Buddhist community?
Since the day of Buddha?
Since one day after he passed away?
Since the existence of other buddhist schools?

There is one thing that we may need to consider.

If I say something is black, it must have white. Without knowing white, the word black is not necessary.

Similarly, the word Theravada must exist dependent on the existence of other schools at that time which has different view. Otherwise, why people create a name Theravada?

Therefore, the existence of Theravada must exist at the same time with the existence of other Buddhist school. They have to appear at the same time.

Since it must have minimum 2 schools to appear at the same time, on what basis someone is so proud and so arrogantly telling my school is the authentic one?
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Which one is true?

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:19 pm

From around 350 BCE to 200 BCE there were many early schools of Buddhism rivaling / competing with Theravada but they no longer exist.

What Buddhism was called at the time of the Buddhist Councils:

* The time of the Buddha: "Buddhism" is called Dhamma-Vinaya
* First Council: Dhamma-Vinaya (483 BCE)
* Second Council: Dhamma-Vinaya (350 BCE)
* Third Council: Vibhajjavada ("doctrine of analysis") and shortly thereafter: Theravada (250 BCE)
* Fourth Council: Theravada (100 BCE)

Mahayana probably developed around 100 BCE to 100 CE.
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Re: Which one is true?

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:29 pm

DarwidHalim wrote:Another question is:
Can the difference in languages (Pali and Sanskrit) becomes the basis of authenticity of the teaching?


Not by itself. But I think the linguists might say that Pali is closer to the Magadhi language that the Buddha actually spoke.

Also, the Buddha is quoted as saying, “I allow you, O Bhikkhus, to learn the word of the Buddhas each in his own dialect” (Cullavaga, Vinaya), which seems in line with his other teachings on reaching the most number of people and not creating an elite group of only those educated enough to know the Brahmin language of Sanskrit. That is one theory of why he spoke and taught in Magadhi / something similar to Pali to deliberately avoid Sanskrit.
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Re: Which one is true?

Postby daverupa » Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:34 pm

David N. Snyder wrote: * First Council: Dhamma-Vinaya (483 BCE)


On a side note, I want to mention that Gombrich suggest a parinibbana date of ~404 BCE, with the second council very roughly 65 years later. It doesn't adjust the Mahayana date range you mention, but it's worth noting.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Which one is true?

Postby DarwidHalim » Sat Nov 26, 2011 2:50 am

Before he became a Buddha, there is no Buddhist teaching. Hindu teaching is definitely there. It is too naïve to think that Buddha and his followers only know 1 language.

In Hindu, Sanskrit is also the language of Hinduism. During that time, we cannot say I only know Pali, I don’t know Sanskrit, or vice versa. Someone can know several languages. Since Buddha has been exposed to Hindu culture, we cannot say he only know Pali or Magadhi. Siddhartha Gautama crossed many regions in India. He doesn’t just stay in 1 region. He himself is also exposed to Hindu culture, where Sanskrit is already quite common during that period.

His followers are not only from 1 region, but from several regions speaking different languages. We cannot say none of his followers only knows Pali, or only Sanskrit. His followers may know few other languages.

According to the best guess of historians, Buddha spoke Magadhi. However, can the historian guess Siddhartha only know Magadhi? He doesn’t know Pali, Sanskrit, or other dialects?

In fact, if we think Buddha spoke Magadhi, all scriptures in Pali should be rejected.

Although some claims Magadhi is similar with Pali, no matter how you think, they are different. Just because some words may be similar, it doesn’t mean if I say Magadhi, you who speak Pali can fully understand what I say.

If the language alone is the criteria to check the validity of dharma, only dharma text in Magadhi should be accepted as authentic.
Besides that, none of them are authentic, not Pali, nor Sanskrit.

The writing of Dharma heavily depends on his students. Do you think his students are only exposed to 1 language? If previously his student is Brahmin and Hindu background, where he is more familiar to Sanskrit, why he has to write down what he has learnt only in Magadhi, only in Pali, or only in Sanskrit ?

Chinese, African, and Western go to Thailand to study under 1 teacher who speaks Thai. The students know Thai. However, when they come back to their own country, there is no reason why the students cannot record the teaching in their own languages.

Do you think during Buddha’s time, his students cannot write down or make a note what they has learned? Do you think all of his students have exceptional memory, where they can remember exactly what the Buddha has spoken? Do you think Buddha dharma in writing is only available after Buddha’s death? Do you think there are no missing personal notes? Do you think the students cannot make small note depending on their mother tongue, whether it is Magadhi, Pali, or Sanskrit?

Thinking the authenticity of Buddhist teaching can only appear in 1 language is actually already weird. India is a multicultural country and multi languages. Buddha himself across so many regions and having so many students with different backgrounds and different mother tongues.

Based on what reasons the authenticity of Buddha dharma has to simply appear in just 1 language?
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Which one is true?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:26 am

DarwidHalim wrote:Before he became a Buddha, there is no Buddhist teaching. Hindu teaching is definitely there. It is too naïve to think that Buddha and his followers only know 1 language.


Who said he only knew one language? Not me, nor anyone else that I can see. I have no idea how many languages he could speak, maybe 1, 2, 3, who knows?

In fact, if we think Buddha spoke Magadhi, all scriptures in Pali should be rejected.


That conclusion does not follow at all.

If the language alone is the criteria to check the validity of dharma, only dharma text in Magadhi should be accepted as authentic.
Besides that, none of them are authentic, not Pali, nor Sanskrit.


False premise. Why would language alone be the criteria?

The writing of Dharma heavily depends on his students. Do you think his students are only exposed to 1 language? If previously his student is Brahmin and Hindu background, where he is more familiar to Sanskrit, why he has to write down what he has learnt only in Magadhi, only in Pali, or only in Sanskrit ?


Irrelevant.

Chinese, African, and Western go to Thailand to study under 1 teacher who speaks Thai. The students know Thai. However, when they come back to their own country, there is no reason why the students cannot record the teaching in their own languages.


Of course, which is why I quoted the Buddha: “I allow you, O Bhikkhus, to learn the word of the Buddhas each in his own dialect” (Cullavaga, Vinaya).

Based on what reasons the authenticity of Buddha dharma has to simply appear in just 1 language?


No one suggested that it should be in only one language. “I allow you, O Bhikkhus, to learn the word of the Buddhas each in his own dialect” (Cullavaga, Vinaya).
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Re: Which one is true?

Postby DarwidHalim » Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:10 am

" “I allow you, O Bhikkhus, to learn the word of the Buddhas each in his own dialect”"

If this is the case, on what reason some Theravada said Sanskrit is not a buddhist teaching?
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Which one is true?

Postby DarwidHalim » Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:12 am

"False premise. Why would language alone be the criteria?"

This is the question where some hard-cores need to ponder.

THe classic reason that Sanskrit is not buddhist teaching is therefore totally BASELESS and NONSENSE.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Which one is true?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sat Nov 26, 2011 5:25 am

DarwidHalim wrote:Which one is true:
1. Theravada split from Mahayana
2. Mahayana split from Theravada
3. Since day one, they never split, but already had a group of monks who have different understanding, which finally regroup to several schools, such as Mahayana, Theravada, Sautrantika, etc.

Another question is:
Can the difference in languages (Pali and Sanskrit) becomes the basis of authenticity of the teaching?


None of them.
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: Huifeng's Prajnacara Blog.
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Re: Which one is true?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Nov 26, 2011 5:55 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:
DarwidHalim wrote:Which one is true:
1. Theravada split from Mahayana
2. Mahayana split from Theravada
3. Since day one, they never split, but already had a group of monks who have different understanding, which finally regroup to several schools, such as Mahayana, Theravada, Sautrantika, etc.

Another question is:
Can the difference in languages (Pali and Sanskrit) becomes the basis of authenticity of the teaching?


None of them.
I was going to say that.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Which one is true?

Postby Bankei » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:56 am

DarwidHalim wrote:Which one is true:
1. Theravada split from Mahayana
2. Mahayana split from Theravada
3. Since day one, they never split, but already had a group of monks who have different understanding, which finally regroup to several schools, such as Mahayana, Theravada, Sautrantika, etc.

Another question is:
Can the difference in languages (Pali and Sanskrit) becomes the basis of authenticity of the teaching?


None is true.
-----------------------
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Re: Which one is true?

Postby Oh.Wow » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:18 am

In my opinion the differences between Mahayana Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism are inherently irrelevant. The only way one could truly verify what the truth really is regarding this topic is if one built a time machine, traveled back to the past, and made empirical social observations regarding the status of relationships between various monks, their beliefs, and their practices in many increments over a long stretch of time. From what I have learned, the only thing that is really worth thinking about is your own immediate experience, for that is where the only real and effective truth can be derived.
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Re: Which one is true?

Postby carlosm » Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:13 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Paññāsikhara wrote:
DarwidHalim wrote:Which one is true:
1. Theravada split from Mahayana
2. Mahayana split from Theravada
3. Since day one, they never split, but already had a group of monks who have different understanding, which finally regroup to several schools, such as Mahayana, Theravada, Sautrantika, etc.

Another question is:
Can the difference in languages (Pali and Sanskrit) becomes the basis of authenticity of the teaching?


None of them.
I was going to say that.


Hi, could you follow on that? or at least point to some reading in the topic? Serious 'newbie' here.
Thanks, metta
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Re: Which one is true?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:31 am

Maybe start with a good book on Buddhist history.
Perhaps A K Warder's, or Hirakawa's (trs. Groner),
or Lamotte (if you can find it!)

~~ Huifeng
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: Huifeng's Prajnacara Blog.
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Re: Which one is true?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:42 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:Maybe start with a good book on Buddhist history.
Perhaps A K Warder's, or Hirakawa's (trs. Groner),
or Lamotte (if you can find it!)

~~ Huifeng
Much easier to get, much more up to date would be Peter Harvey's INTRODUCTION TO BUDDHISM. It is a balanced, well done survey of the history of Buddhist ideas and culture, and can be had cheaply used.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Which one is true?

Postby DarwidHalim » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:36 am

We will be able to find several books which show us te claim. But I never see a book that show me a proof, which support their claim.

For example,
There is a claim that Magadhi is similar with Pali.

This is a claim. We heard it everywhere.

Why you who claim such and such, don't just show us the example?

Don't show us just few sentences, but show us a variety of sentences which compare Magadhi and Pali. We don't need a rocket science to conclude for ourselves whether both languages are same or not, like what have been claimed.

Show us how it is pronounced as well.

Not all of us simply buy the claim.

Show us the proof.

If some of you know which book or source that can show me the proof, not the claim, I will really thanks to you Guys.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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