Is mahayana Buddism?

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby whynotme » Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:04 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote: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.

Sir, what is wrong with sects?

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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:16 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote: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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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:48 am

whynotme wrote:Sir, what is wrong with sects?
A sect has split off and deviated from the true Dhamma. There were no sects when the Buddha started teaching. Most of the monks followed the teaching diligently and gained personal realisation of the Dhamma for themselves. There was no danger for them to fall into wrong views again.

Devadatta created the first schism in the Sangha — the first sect. A hundred years after the Buddha's passing away, other monks started accepting money, and doing other things contrary to the Buddha's teaching. The Second Buddhist Council was held to re-affirm what was the true Dhamma and true Vinaya.

Nowadays, there are many more sects that follow their own ideas, not the Buddha's teaching. To learn how to discriminate between Dhamma and non-Dhamma, one should study the Dhamma/Vinaya carefully and practice in accordance with the teaching to the best of one's ability.

Don't pay any attention to what others do, one should follow the Sallekha Dhamma and try to develop the Noble Eightfold Path. If you keep to the path, you won't get side-tracked in the forest of views.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:20 am

Greetings,

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Nowadays, there are many more sects that follow their own ideas, not the Buddha's teaching. To learn how to discriminate between Dhamma and non-Dhamma, one should study the Dhamma/Vinaya carefully and practice in accordance with the teaching to the best of one's ability.

:goodpost:

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:49 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Nowadays, there are many more sects that follow their own ideas, not the Buddha's teaching. To learn how to discriminate between Dhamma and non-Dhamma, one should study the Dhamma/Vinaya carefully and practice in accordance with the teaching to the best of one's ability.

:goodpost:

Metta,
Retro. :)

Agreed!
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 whynotme » Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:41 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
whynotme wrote:Sir, what is wrong with sects?
A sect has split off and deviated from the true Dhamma. There were no sects when the Buddha started teaching. Most of the monks followed the teaching diligently and gained personal realisation of the Dhamma for themselves. There was no danger for them to fall into wrong views again.

Devadatta created the first schism in the Sangha — the first sect. A hundred years after the Buddha's passing away, other monks started accepting money, and doing other things contrary to the Buddha's teaching. The Second Buddhist Council was held to re-affirm what was the true Dhamma and true Vinaya.

Nowadays, there are many more sects that follow their own ideas, not the Buddha's teaching. To learn how to discriminate between Dhamma and non-Dhamma, one should study the Dhamma/Vinaya carefully and practice in accordance with the teaching to the best of one's ability.

Don't pay any attention to what others do, one should follow the Sallekha Dhamma and try to develop the Noble Eightfold Path. If you keep to the path, you won't get side-tracked in the forest of views.

Thank you sir

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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby m0rl0ck » Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:01 pm

sect
(skt)
n.

1. A group of people forming a distinct unit within a larger group by virtue of certain refinements or distinctions of belief or practice.
2. A religious body, especially one that has separated from a larger denomination.
3. A faction united by common interests or beliefs.

What the above definition doesnt mention is that each one thinks it has an exclusive chokehold on truth and authenticity. :D
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:53 pm

And here I was, tinking that Venerable Pesala was making Ajhan Brahm's joke about sects. It turns out that it was a teaching. :mrgreen:

Where is your recently found humour vein, Bhante? :tongue:

No disrespect meant.

:anjali:
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:16 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:And here I was, tinking that Venerable Pesala was making Ajhan Brahm's joke about sects. It turns out that it was a teaching. :mrgreen:

Where is your recently found humour vein, Bhante? :tongue:

No disrespect meant.

:anjali:

Here I was, thinking it was both a joke and a teaching. ;)

:namaste:
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Nyana » Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:23 am

FTR, according to the Mahāyāna Adhyāśayasaṃcodana Sūtra as quoted by Śāntideva in his Compendium of Training (Śikṣāsamuccaya), four principles indicate that an utterance (or statement, teaching, etc.) is compatible with the speech of the Buddha:

(i) it is connected with truth, not with what is untrue;
(ii) it is connected with dharma, not with what is not dharma;
(iii) it leads to giving up defilement, not to increasing defilement;
(iv) it points out the praiseworthy qualities of nirvāṇa, not those of saṃsāra.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:48 am

If you want to see the Dhamma in the Mahayana get hold of Herbert Guenther's translation of Gampopa's THE JEWEL ORNAMENT OF LIBERATION, which can be gotten used fairly cheaply.
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 whynotme » Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:59 am

Ñāṇa wrote:FTR, according to the Mahāyāna Adhyāśayasaṃcodana Sūtra as quoted by Śāntideva in his Compendium of Training (Śikṣāsamuccaya), four principles indicate that an utterance (or statement, teaching, etc.) is compatible with the speech of the Buddha:

(i) it is connected with truth, not with what is untrue;
(ii) it is connected with dharma, not with what is not dharma;
(iii) it leads to giving up defilement, not to increasing defilement;
(iv) it points out the praiseworthy qualities of nirvāṇa, not those of saṃsāra.

Well, the Buddha said that one will make jewel dhamma disappear sooner and get bad kammas when say something the Buddha didn't told as he told, say something he told as he didn't told:
Like the most of mahayana suttas weren't told by the Buddha but said were told by him (this action will make dhamma disappear sooner)
Like said that arahant is inferior to Bodhivastta when comes to freedom (the Buddha didn't taught that but said that taught that, also this action will make dhamma disappear sooner).
Praiseworthy qualities of Nirvana but attack an arahant to attain that for himself (this too, will make dhamma disapper sooner)

Most of mahayana suttas are like that, they contradict themselves. If they want to tell something, why fakes it as the Buddhas words? Why don't be themselves like many other monks? The Nikayas weren't all said by the Buddha but people have no problem with that, why mahayanists needed to lie? Is lying connected with truth? Is lying connected with dharma?

Compatibility is one thing, lying about dhamma is a whole different thing.

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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Nyana » Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:14 am

whynotme wrote:Well, the Buddha said....

How do you know what the Buddha said? Were you there?
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby whynotme » Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:33 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
whynotme wrote:Well, the Buddha said....

How do you know what the Buddha said? Were you there?

Of course not I was not there, but it is in Nikaya. It is well preserved and doesn't contradict itself.

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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Dan74 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:49 am

whynotme wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:FTR, according to the Mahāyāna Adhyāśayasaṃcodana Sūtra as quoted by Śāntideva in his Compendium of Training (Śikṣāsamuccaya), four principles indicate that an utterance (or statement, teaching, etc.) is compatible with the speech of the Buddha:

(i) it is connected with truth, not with what is untrue;
(ii) it is connected with dharma, not with what is not dharma;
(iii) it leads to giving up defilement, not to increasing defilement;
(iv) it points out the praiseworthy qualities of nirvāṇa, not those of saṃsāra.

Well, the Buddha said that one will make jewel dhamma disappear sooner and get bad kammas when say something the Buddha didn't told as he told, say something he told as he didn't told:
Like the most of mahayana suttas weren't told by the Buddha but said were told by him (this action will make dhamma disappear sooner)
Like said that arahant is inferior to Bodhivastta when comes to freedom (the Buddha didn't taught that but said that taught that, also this action will make dhamma disappear sooner).
Praiseworthy qualities of Nirvana but attack an arahant to attain that for himself (this too, will make dhamma disapper sooner)

Most of mahayana suttas are like that, they contradict themselves. If they want to tell something, why fakes it as the Buddhas words? Why don't be themselves like many other monks? The Nikayas weren't all said by the Buddha but people have no problem with that, why mahayanists needed to lie? Is lying connected with truth? Is lying connected with dharma?

Compatibility is one thing, lying about dhamma is a whole different thing.

Regards.


Dear whynotme

First we do not know for certain whether or not all some or none of the Mahayana sutras were taught by the Buddha in the literal sense or in some other sense we may not be ready to understand.

Second, since teachings were often passed orally before being written down, the origin of the teachings could have been very obscure even 2 thousand years ago. Were they taught by a great arahat? Were they taught by the Buddha himself? Were they received as revelations?

In any case this kind of simplistic notion that they were forgeries, as if the author tried to fake the Buddha's signature on them and pass them off as the original teachings is very far from the truth. I know people try to use them to discredit Mahayana as opposed to authentic and true Theravada, but the reality is very different. Theravada itself contains many teachings ascribed to the Buddha that modern scholarship puts in grave doubt. So what of it? People search for the authentic Buddhavacana, expending a great deal of effort.

To me, it seems kind of absurd. If the Buddha's teachings work, then people do attain liberation. Why not be open to other teachers who had the chance to absorb and develop some of the teachings? I mean Euclid was the father of Geometry, but we don't only study Euclid, do we?

Anyway, all this has been said before and by greater people than anyone here, so no one will be convinced. Ajahn Amaro studied Mahayana, Ajahn Chah and Ajahn Dune Athulo quoted Mahayana masters, Bhikkhu Bodhi studies and lives with Mahayana monks. And? People will still imply that it is Adhamma, corrupted, perverse, etc, just like our Ven Pesala did in his more outspoken times.

Well, what can I say? To each their own. Not everybody has to love Mahayana, but refraining from passing judgment of what one does not understand, refraining from generating unwholesome thoughts and speech towards fellow Buddhists, is probably a good idea for everyone.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:23 am

Dan74 wrote:People will still imply that it is Adhamma, corrupted, perverse, etc, just like our Ven Pesala did in his more outspoken times.

I haven't changed my views. I don't want to start sect-bashing by mentioning any particular teachings here, but pointing out what is Adhamma as Adhamma is not unwholesome kamma. Whatever its source, Adhamma is still Adhamma, so its nothing to do with Mahāyāna vs Theravāða. Anyone could quote the genuine words of the Buddha, but twist their meaning to something else, e.g. saying that the Buddha approved of killing because of what he said in the Kesi Sutta.

This teaching is from the Anguttaranikāya:
Not Dhamma

140. Those monks who explain what is not Dhamma as not Dhamma, work for the welfare, happiness, and benefit of gods and men. They make much merit and preserve the true Dhamma.

141. Those monks who explain what is Dhamma as Dhamma, work for the welfare, happiness, and benefit of gods and men. They make much merit and preserve the true Dhamma.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby whynotme » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:01 am

Dear Dan,

Of course we can't certain 100% about everything, you can doubt everything, it is critical thinking, it is everyone's right. But in the end if you do it rightly, smarty, wisely and carefully, you still have one conclusion no matter where you start.

I.e you can doubt there isn't Buddha, there isn't truth, death is the end, then we are all doomed the same, no matter Buddhist or not, but by choosing Buddhist faith, you lose nothing while choose not, you gain nothing. The same result for everyone..
And if there is Buddha, there is truth, the is the way, then choosing Buddhism, one gets this life, gets next lives while ones who choose not lose it all.

It is like gamble to a normal person because we don't know, we don't see the invisible world, we don't see previous or next lives, we can't judge based on ourselves. But after comparison other chances with its possibility, in the end the only smart way is choosing to believe there is the Buddha and there is dhamma coz by betting on it, you will it all if it is true while lose nothing if it is false. It is a very scientific calculation, of a smart gambler.

Guess where I learnt this type of gambling: the Nikaya. No way, no word, no magical power, no superpower can change this fact. It is the best way one can gamble his own life.

Now after the first step, you must do more homework. We believe there is Buddha, there is dhamma but we don't know where it is or what is true. There are just several options: Mahayana and Therevada (to be simple). Noway both or all because they contradict each other.

If all Mahayana and Therevada are the same, are not the Buddha's teaching, not the dhamma. So there is truth out there but we can't reach it then we again all doomed the same no matter what we do, then choose whatever you like. Well, there is a great news because no need to get trying with your choosing because it leads to nowhere.

Now if Therevada or Mahayana contains the truth, choose one for yourself. I don't want to go in detail about this part coz I told it earlier. The choosing was done very carefully in a very scientific manner, not by feeling, love or hate or just random. This is faith with wisdom, faith with brain, faith while see, hear, learn, not a blind faith.

Where did I learn this kind of calculation, again it is Nikaya, none of this in Mahayana or maybe I haven't meet that mahayana sutta coz I read Nikaya much more. But I have a very open mind, even critics about Buddhism, about Therevada, about Mahayana, I see them all as fair as possible. If mahayanists or non Buddists teach me something useful, I will learn all, and I learnt alot from mahayanists. In the future if there is evidence otherwise, I can review it with open eye, but every review must be done carefully, clearly, fairly with reason. As the current state, no way I see mahayana suttas as the true dhamma.

And lastly, I don't think point out other wrong view as bad action. Hell, if I have wrong views (of course I still have) I wish everyone point out for me even using harsh way, it hurts at first but will be better with time, that is the attitude of true friends, not hiding each others faults.

Regards
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:32 am

:goodpost:

There are ways of deciding what is Dhamma and what is Adhamma.

Four Great References

A Brief Discourse to Gotamī

Eight Thoughts of a Great Man

etc., and of course there is also the Kesamutti Sutta, which is often misquoted and/or misinterpreted.

Whatever you decide, your future happiness depends on it, so take due care, and keep examining your view to see if it is complete. Right view (sammāditthi), doesn't mean only right view as opposed to wrong view (micchā ditthi), it means perfect view — just as Sammāsambuddha means the Perfectly Enlightened Buddha.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Dan74 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:38 am

Dear whynotme

You make too many unwarranted assumptions in your long post for me to list, but thank you for taking care to write it.

To you the way you go about it must seem scientific, objective and correct, but to me it is full of logical holes and biases. Indeed, some great contemporary Theravada teachers, like Joseph Goldstein, to name one, think that practicing both Theravada and Mahayana works very well, and have discovered that they do not contradict each other, as far as their practice is concerned. How is this possible? Are they deluded or are you?




whynotme wrote:Dear Dan,

Of course we can't certain 100% about everything, you can doubt everything, it is critical thinking, it is everyone's right. But in the end if you do it rightly, smarty, wisely and carefully, you still have one conclusion no matter where you start.

I.e you can doubt there isn't Buddha, there isn't truth, death is the end, then we are all doomed the same, no matter Buddhist or not, but by choosing Buddhist faith, you lose nothing while choose not, you gain nothing. The same result for everyone..
And if there is Buddha, there is truth, the is the way, then choosing Buddhism, one gets this life, gets next lives while ones who choose not lose it all.

It is like gamble to a normal person because we don't know, we don't see the invisible world, we don't see previous or next lives, we can't judge based on ourselves. But after comparison other chances with its possibility, in the end the only smart way is choosing to believe there is the Buddha and there is dhamma coz by betting on it, you will it all if it is true while lose nothing if it is false. It is a very scientific calculation, of a smart gambler.

Guess where I learnt this type of gambling: the Nikaya. No way, no word, no magical power, no superpower can change this fact. It is the best way one can gamble his own life.

Now after the first step, you must do more homework. We believe there is Buddha, there is dhamma but we don't know where it is or what is true. There are just several options: Mahayana and Therevada (to be simple). Noway both or all because they contradict each other.

If all Mahayana and Therevada are the same, are not the Buddha's teaching, not the dhamma. So there is truth out there but we can't reach it then we again all doomed the same no matter what we do, then choose whatever you like. Well, there is a great news because no need to get trying with your choosing because it leads to nowhere.

Now if Therevada or Mahayana contains the truth, choose one for yourself. I don't want to go in detail about this part coz I told it earlier. The choosing was done very carefully in a very scientific manner, not by feeling, love or hate or just random. This is faith with wisdom, faith with brain, faith while see, hear, learn, not a blind faith.

Where did I learn this kind of calculation, again it is Nikaya, none of this in Mahayana or maybe I haven't meet that mahayana sutta coz I read Nikaya much more. But I have a very open mind, even critics about Buddhism, about Therevada, about Mahayana, I see them all as fair as possible. If mahayanists or non Buddists teach me something useful, I will learn all, and I learnt alot from mahayanists. In the future if there is evidence otherwise, I can review it with open eye, but every review must be done carefully, clearly, fairly with reason. As the current state, no way I see mahayana suttas as the true dhamma.

And lastly, I don't think point out other wrong view as bad action. Hell, if I have wrong views (of course I still have) I wish everyone point out for me even using harsh way, it hurts at first but will be better with time, that is the attitude of true friends, not hiding each others faults.

Regards
_/|\_
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby ground » Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:01 am

whynotme wrote:What do you think about Mahayana? Do you consider it part of Buddism?

It is an very idealistic version of buddhism. But in that aspect it is not very different from Theravada. Theravada is slightly less idealistic. "Idealistic" here means follow an idea of an ideal, wanting to become identical with one's ideation of an ideal.

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