Is mahayana Buddism?

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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby ground » Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:33 am

whynotme wrote:Hi everyone,

This is a therevada forum, so I assume most of you are Therevadists. What do you think about Mahayana? Do you consider it part of Buddism? Do you consider ordination under those traditions?

Regards

Being neither Theravadin nor Mahayanist I am in a position to compare neutrally. Since buddhism is about overcoming stress through overcoming the consciousness of self I can confirm that Mahayana is on the same track. It is just that the Mahayana teachings mostly do not tell explictely about this track but apply skillful means instead.

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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby DarwidHalim » Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:57 am

Assuming Mahayana is not buddhism, how can it survive for so long and so wide?

Why in the history of buddhism in the past up to now, there are monks or scholars who are initially Theravada adopt Mahayana's view?

Although there are people who said Prajnaparamita Sutta is not possible to be stored in Naga's realm, they themselves contradict their own scripture that said Naga has protected Buddha during his meditation in Bodghaya.

The question is: If Naga can protect Buddha's body, why he cannot protect Buddha's teaching?

Up to now, I never see any scholars from any buddhist schools able to successfully challenge the content of Sunyata as explained in the Prajnaparamitta sutta.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:16 am

tiltbillings wrote:Ñāṇa is quite correct in his statement. The stuff on ATI is both sectarian and highly dated.


I will bow to your scholarship anytime, Tilt. Can you cite a more reputable source re. this topic? :anjali: Ron
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:25 am

Ron-The-Elder wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Ñāṇa is quite correct in his statement. The stuff on ATI is both sectarian and highly dated.


. . . Can you cite a more reputable source re. this topic? :anjali: Ron
Let me point you to Buddhist Thought: A Complete Introduction to the Indian Tradition by Paul Williams for a discussion of the origins of the Mahayana that takes into account the more recent threads of scholarship on the subject. Also, Few Good Men: The Bodhisattva Path According to the Inquiry of Ugra (Ugrapariprccha) (Studies in the Buddhist Traditions) by Jan Nattier, who reasonably argues that the Mahayana arose as a back to the basics movement among forest monks belonging to various pre-Mahayana schools.

See for very concise and partial synopsis of these two authors works can be found in this section of the longer article on the Mahayana: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahayana#O ... 1y.C4.81na


The Mahayana did not arise out of Vinaya issues with the Mahasanghikas, nor did it arise as a doctrinal split with any one school where the "Mahayanists" said "Poop on you guys, we are leaving."

One of the cardinal features that helped give rise to the Mahayana was a redefining of the Buddha, elevating him and in the process devaluing the arahant, which resulted in making Buddhahood the goal. In the very early Mahayana movements the arahant was also seen seen a legitimate goal of practice, unlike how it became later perceived by later, more polemical Mahayanists. This separation of the Buddha from the arahant, which is not something one finds in the Pali suttas, was, in good part, a result of the Buddha-ology that arose after the death of the Buddha, where the Buddha's story was fleshed out via hagiography, where the Buddha's status was elevated, giving rise to the idea of the bodhisatta/bodhisatva quite beyond what one finds in the suttas, which gave rise to the idea that that one could also become a bodhisatta/bodhisatva with the idea of becoming a Buddha. Some monks within the sangha of the various schools took this as being a sole goal of their practice.

The Mahayana followers in India followed the Vinayas of the Mainstream Schools in which they ordained -- that is to say, often within the same monastery one could find followers of a Mainstream School and followers of the Mahayana, both keeping the same Vinaya, and this phenomenon was not confined to any one Mainstream School. The Mahayana in India was pretty much a minority movement. Also, keep in mind there is no "the Mahayana." "The Mahayana" was and is a collection of lines of thought and practices that share some general common features, but the various Mahayana schools have also had significant doctrinal variances and they argued among each other over probably everything, which seems to be a Buddhist trait that still plays itself out (but never here on this forum).
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:38 am

And for a chatty discussion of some of the issues, you can listen to a talk by Ven Huifeng
(who occasionally posts here as Paññāsikhara), hosted by Ven Sujato, here:
http://www.dhammanet.org/download.php?view.435

[It's always nice to hear Dharma delivered in New Zealand English, at least that's my opinion...]

:anjali:
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby reflection » Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:53 am

Opinions and views vary even within Therevada and even more so within Mahayana. Some 'Mahayana' schools may be closer to what the Buddha actually taught than certain 'Therevada' schools, and the other way around. So these labels are more artificial than anything else. It's not very useful to put entire groups of practitioners under one banner, in my opinion. What matters is that we look into our heart to find out what is the truth. It doesn't need a name and it doesn't belong to one particular school.

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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Dan74 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:02 am

tiltbillings wrote: Also, keep in mind there is no "the Mahayana." "The Mahayana" was and is a collection of lines of thought and practices that share some general common features, but the various Mahayana schools have also had significant doctrinal variances and they argued among each other over probably everything, which seems to be a Buddhist trait that still plays itself out (but never here on this forum).


I beg to differ!

:lol:

Over the various iterations of this theme, I have kind of developed an itch that flares up in reaction to a confusion of the academic and the practical that may or may not be there.

I mean none of us here are practicing Theravada and even fewer are practicing Mahayana. Instead we are (hopefully) taking to heart some instructions and stories on and off the cushion in the light of our aspiration to awaken (whatever that means to all of us). This may all be painfully obvious to most and if so I apologize but in these discussions which invariably turn academic I am left wondering what real differences can be extracted between those who practice according to different traditions and indeed what similarities can be found between those who practice in the same tradition. And of what relevance are the supposed differences in the traditions discussed by the scholar to the practice of individual practitioners like you and me?

64000 different dispositions and 64000 different dharmic gates, goes the saying...
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:04 am

Dan74 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: Also, keep in mind there is no "the Mahayana." "The Mahayana" was and is a collection of lines of thought and practices that share some general common features, but the various Mahayana schools have also had significant doctrinal variances and they argued among each other over probably everything, which seems to be a Buddhist trait that still plays itself out (but never here on this forum).


I beg to differ!...
You may beg to differ, but you really did not address what I said.
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.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:05 am

Ron-The-Elder wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:
Ron-The-Elder wrote:You will note that your citations are cited as hypothesies, which means that it remains conjecture.

This isn't conjecture: The first schism had nothing to do with the eventual rise of the Mahāyāna.

It's erroneous to equate the Mahāsāṅghikas with the Mahāyāna.


Respectfully, Your "opinion" apparently does not agree with that of the author you personally cited. Next time choose someone, who agrees wih your views, instead of contradicting yourself. He states otherwise. :anjali: Ron

yet the Mahayana rose in a different point in time which the first paper by Lance Cousins clearly agrees with, as is there agreement to it being different development. No Conjecture there!
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Nyana » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:27 am

Ron-The-Elder wrote:Respectfully, Your "opinion" apparently does not agree with that of the author you personally cited. Next time choose someone, who agrees wih your views, instead of contradicting yourself. He states otherwise.

Since the Prebish paper is silent on the issue, you're probably referring to the Cousins paper. But Cousins doesn't contradict anything I've said. Regarding the historical associations he says (emphasis added):

    The later literature on the schools reflects a later situation when the Mahāsāṅghikas had largely adopted the Mahāyāna. Sarvāstivādin writers may attribute Mahāyānist notions to the Mahāsāṅghikas in order to discredit one or both. Mahāyānist writers of a later date (e.g. Paramārtha) associate the two in order to show the antiquity of the Mahāyāna. Probably most later Mahāsāṅghikas believed that their particular tradition had always been Mahāyānist. It is however clear that the Mahāyāna cannot be this early.

Thus, he suggests some motives for later positions taken from various quarters. But he does not say that first schism gave rise to the Mahāyāna. Nor does he say that the Mahāsāṅghikas of this period are to be equated with the Mahāyāna.

Now, to go further into the issue, there is no doubt that certain later Mahāsāṅghika notions were prominent in the historical development of Mahāyāna ideas. But so were trends occurring in other sectarian quarters, most notably Sarvāstivāda sources. For example, Schrnithausen has shown that early Mahāyāna Yogācāra texts rely heavily upon the Sarvāstivāda Āgamas. And based on a number of Chanjing texts now only extant in Chinese translation, Deleanu, Yamabe, and Seton have each shown that there were a spectrum of proto-Mahāyāna & Mahāyāna ideas being articulated and developed amongst authors in the first centuries CE who otherwise indicate Sarvāstivāda doctrinal affiliations. Therefore, the historical development of Mahāyāna ideas is quite dynamic, and occurred in various diverse Indian Buddhist communities.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:49 am

:twothumbsup:
Ñāṇa wrote:
Ron-The-Elder wrote:Respectfully, Your "opinion" apparently does not agree with that of the author you personally cited. Next time choose someone, who agrees wih your views, instead of contradicting yourself. He states otherwise.

Since the Prebish paper is silent on the issue, you're probably referring to the Cousins paper. But Cousins doesn't contradict anything I've said. Regarding the historical associations he says (emphasis added):

    The later literature on the schools reflects a later situation when the Mahāsāṅghikas had largely adopted the Mahāyāna. Sarvāstivādin writers may attribute Mahāyānist notions to the Mahāsāṅghikas in order to discredit one or both. Mahāyānist writers of a later date (e.g. Paramārtha) associate the two in order to show the antiquity of the Mahāyāna. Probably most later Mahāsāṅghikas believed that their particular tradition had always been Mahāyānist. It is however clear that the Mahāyāna cannot be this early.

Thus, he suggests some motives for later positions taken from various quarters. But he does not say that first schism gave rise to the Mahāyāna. Nor does he say that the Mahāsāṅghikas of this period are to be equated with the Mahāyāna.

Now, to go further into the issue, there is no doubt that certain later Mahāsāṅghika notions were prominent in the historical development of Mahāyāna ideas. But so were trends occurring in other sectarian quarters, most notably Sarvāstivāda sources. For example, Schrnithausen has shown that early Mahāyāna Yogācāra texts rely heavily upon the Sarvāstivāda Āgamas. And based on a number of Chanjing texts now only extant in Chinese translation, Deleanu, Yamabe, and Seton have each shown that there were a spectrum of proto-Mahāyāna & Mahāyāna ideas being articulated and developed amongst authors in the first centuries CE who otherwise indicate Sarvāstivāda doctrinal affiliations. Therefore, the historical development of Mahāyāna ideas is quite dynamic, and occurred in various diverse Indian Buddhist communities.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Dan74 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:50 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Dan74 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: Also, keep in mind there is no "the Mahayana." "The Mahayana" was and is a collection of lines of thought and practices that share some general common features, but the various Mahayana schools have also had significant doctrinal variances and they argued among each other over probably everything, which seems to be a Buddhist trait that still plays itself out (but never here on this forum).


I beg to differ!...
You may beg to differ, but you really did not address what I said.


I am sorry, I was just attempting to make a joke in reference to your last sentence.

As is often the case with my humour, the only person amused is me.

:oops:
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:20 am

Dan74 wrote:
I am sorry, I was just attempting to make a joke in reference to your last sentence.

As is often the case with my humour, the only person amused is me.

:oops:

Image
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: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:27 am

whynotme wrote:HiThis is a therevada forum, so I assume most of you are Therevadists. What do you think about Mahayana? Do you consider it part of Buddism? Do you consider ordination under those traditions?


Historically Buddhism has adapted to many times and places, and is a very broad church. All traditions have the goal of enlightenment, though the path and goal are expressed differently in differently schools.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Nyana » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:39 am

mikenz66 wrote:And for a chatty discussion of some of the issues, you can listen to a talk by Ven Huifeng
(who occasionally posts here as Paññāsikhara), hosted by Ven Sujato, here:
http://www.dhammanet.org/download.php?view.435

An informative talk. The first hour is relevant to some issues under discussion here. Thanks for posting it.

BTW, Ven. Huifeng also mentions that he was involved in the writing and editing of some of the Wikipedia pages on these subjects.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:46 am

Hi Geoff, Yes, Ven Huifeng is good value. I am only sorry that I only met him once (in Hong Kong) and didn't make enough effort to see him again. At that time he gave me a copy of Richard Gombrich's "What the Buddha Thought". He has an Engineering degree as well as his PhD in Buddhist studies...

:anjali:
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Kim OHara » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:27 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Geoff, Yes, Ven Huifeng is good value.

Agreed.
And since we are encouraged to judge trees by their fruit, as Will suggested, that makes (some of) Mahayana good value too.

:namaste:
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby whynotme » Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:18 pm

DarwidHalim wrote:Assuming Mahayana is not buddhism, how can it survive for so long and so wide?

Why in the history of buddhism in the past up to now, there are monks or scholars who are initially Theravada adopt Mahayana's view?

Although there are people who said Prajnaparamita Sutta is not possible to be stored in Naga's realm, they themselves contradict their own scripture that said Naga has protected Buddha during his meditation in Bodghaya.

The question is: If Naga can protect Buddha's body, why he cannot protect Buddha's teaching?

Up to now, I never see any scholars from any buddhist schools able to successfully challenge the content of Sunyata as explained in the Prajnaparamitta sutta.

Dear Halim,

Your questions are invalid:
Assuming Mahayana is not buddhism, how can it survive for so long and so wide?

Assuming Christianity is not buddhism, how can it survive for so long and so wide?
Assuming DarwidHalim is not admin, how can he survive for so long and so wide?

There isn't anything related between survive so long so wide and is buddhism. Also, the Buddha predicted Buddhism won't last long.

Here:
Why in the history of buddhism in the past up to now, there are monks or scholars who are initially Theravada adopt Mahayana's view?

Why in the history of buddhism in the past up to now, there are monks or scholars who are initially Theravada adopt Christianity's view?
Why in the history of Isham in the past up to now, there are jihad or scholars who are initially Islamist adopt Christianity's view?

Again, there is nothing related between being converted and is buddhism. A person can be convert from one faiths to another.

And here:
Up to now, I never see any scholars from any buddhist schools able to successfully challenge the content of Sunyata as explained in the Prajnaparamitta sutta

I can tell you, there is life on a planet xyz at billion billion km away. Can you challenge the content of that statement? Of course you can't but that state is still false because I just said that out of nothing.

As a normal person, I can't challenge the content of Bible, the Nikayas, the mahayana suttas.. I believe there are some truths in other religions as the Buddha already said they may have divine eye to see the invisible world, so part of bible or mahayana may be true

While I can not challenge the content of those sutta, they still have the posibility to be false and of course, true. But as a normal person I can judge the visible parts. I read about Christianity, Nikayas, mahayana suttas and compare them. I see the Nikayas is the best at the parts I can verify, so I choose it, and I am originally from mahayana. When I compare science and Nikayas, I still choose Nikayas..

That is how a normal person doing his homework. .

Regards.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby whynotme » Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:26 pm

Thank you all for the history, but I saw many problems with modern mahayana.

There are branches of mahayana like Shaolin temple, the monks train and teach other martial art with weapons. That is the art to harm and to kill. I saw many mahayanist monks use money against the patimokkha. And I heard there are branches in Japan or Tibet where monks can have sexual intercouse (which by patimokkha automatic lose their ordination).

Do you show respect to those monks? I see many problems if someone with good dhamma reputation paying them respects.

1/ The masses without dhamma knowledge will have faith in them then seek false teaching and advice from those monks, which will harm them in the future.
2/ Those monks have people respects will become arrogant, doing false actions and in turn will harm them back.

So because of metta or happiness for the masses, one should point out clearly what is right. Also in patimokkha The Buddha also taught how a layperson should react when there is seperation in the Sangha.

To me, the problems of mahayana are:

1/ Many of their suttas are claimed that were taught by the Buddha but werent' (by the historians and they content contradict to Nikayas). So the mahayana original teachers must all lying about it. It is one of 5 baisc actions leading to hell, so by lying, the original authors of mahayana show a very low level of enlightenment.

2/ The Buddha taught about carefully making decisions, even when putting faith on him. But the mahayanists are very naive. They easily have faith in anything without carefully learning and comparison. They ignore the historians, the evidences, and science. That is totally against the teaching of the Buddha and will bring back suffering.

3/ The mahayana always makes things mystery and complicated, they like the unseenable world which a normal person cannot verify. This no way the teaching of a good teacher let alone the best teacher of mankind.

That is my opinion about mahayana, what do you think about it?.
I know that even in therevada there are views similar to mahayana. Or untill we are stream enterer, each lay person can have his own view include wrong views no matter what our teachers, so don't take it seriously because I just want to make it more simple using just a word mahayana. It is normal and commonly to discuss with label if everyone is mature enough.

Regards
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:56 pm

Sects, sects, sects — that's all you people ever think about!

Mahāyāna, Theravāda — its all just Papañca

Just try to understand the Dhamma (i.e. the Four Noble Truths) and develop the path of insight.
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