Question about Theravada tradition

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
dude
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Re: Question about Theravada tradition

Postby dude » Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:26 pm


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Dan74
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Re: Question about Theravada tradition

Postby Dan74 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:38 pm

If you are interested in actual facts and research as opposed to some misinformation, you could try



or

_/|\_

ubeysekaramapa
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Re: Question about Theravada tradition

Postby ubeysekaramapa » Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:55 am

I like to pause two questions:

1) can suicide solve the problem of dukka?

If not, how did Buddha declare Ven. Channa who committed suicide , as an arahant? He committed suicide due to unbearable pain as explained by him to Ven Sariputta (See Cannovada Sutta -114 in MN). That means, he was not an arahant when he committed suicide; but in the process of death by suicide he became an arahant!

2) Why is DUKKA not found in Girimananda Sutta? It is a sutta related by the Buddha to Ven. Ananda to be conveyed to Ven.Girmananda who was sick.

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Javi
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Re: Question about Theravada tradition

Postby Javi » Sun Dec 27, 2015 4:33 pm

Geography, culture and time, lots of time.
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Tārakā timiraṃ dīpo māyāvaśyāya budbudaḥ supinaṃ vidyud abhraṃ ca evaṃ draṣṭavya saṃskṛtam — A shooting star, a clouding of the sight, a lamp, An illusion, a drop of dew, a bubble, A dream, a lightning’s flash, a thunder cloud — This is the way one should see the conditioned — Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Question about Theravada tradition

Postby Coëmgenu » Tue Jul 26, 2016 10:05 pm

Last edited by Coëmgenu on Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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cappuccino
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Re: Question about Theravada tradition

Postby cappuccino » Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:53 am


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Dhamma_Basti
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Re: Question about Theravada tradition

Postby Dhamma_Basti » Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:50 am

To the question of Wesley1982:
We have a split between the Sthaviravādins and the Mahāsāṃghikas not long after the Buddha died, and as the legend goes the Mahāsāṃghikas, who went to the east, we more inclined to magic and worship than the Sthaviravādins, who went to the west and focussed more on meditation.

If you read what the japanese scholars usually write you get the impression that Mahāyāna must have started with the earliest days of the Mahāsāṃghikas. This is not entirely impossible, I personally believe that many of the elements that later developed into Mahāyāna are there in the Mahāsāmghika-sources. Especially if one reads the Mahāvastu, the focus of magic, supernatural powers, worship of the Buddha as a deity etc. seems to have it's echo there.
However what we today call Mahāyāna is usually something different. In order to get to the gist of this movement we need some more ingredients, for example the tathāgatagarbha-doctrine. So probably the full development of Mahāyāna-concepts was not complete until the Tathāgatagarbha-Sūtra, the Mahāparinirvāṇa-mahāsūtra and some related texts. The Mahāyāna-traditions themselves seem to have their difficulties in labeling stuff as Mahāyāna, as this was only done at a later point of time. So we end up with the Vaitulya/Vaipulya-confusion and the question what actually is early Mahāyāna, who composed it, why it was done and where it started is until today very much unsolved.
And also the attempt to associate Mahāyāna with one certain school or group seems rather unfruitful to me. I have the impression that Mahāyāna is something that went on across boundaries of certain sects, similar to the anti-war movement in the USA in the 60s (which might was generally associated with the left-winged political parties, but in no way limited to one group or one party) or the nationalistic movement that we have nowadays in Europe. They do generally share a common goal (or at least a direction) but there can be very different when one looks into the details.

Coëmgenu: Yep it is a difficult question. There is also a lot of pre-mahāyāna stuff transmitted in the northern tradition, yet this material has not been widely studied yet. This is partly due to the fact those people who are able to deal with the earliest chinese translations (such as Seishi Karashima) usually have a mahāyāna-background and are not much interested in the study of the non-mahāyāna-material. The few people who do engage in the studies of chinese pre-mahāyāna-material usually are not deeply trained in dealing with chinese sources, so there is some room to improve here. :)

To give an example the last month I was doing a comparison of the different transmissions of a small portion of the Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra. The MPS is not a bad Sūtra to start with since it is quite long, has been well transmitted in a lot of different languages and contains some passages which are of importance for the later doctrinal developments.
My impression is that in order to gain an impression of what the original text might have looked like we usually have to go through comparative study.
In the case of the MPS the northern and southern transmission complement each other quite well, so by comparison it is possible to puzzle together what the original might have been once. The northern transmission seems to be generally the older one in this case, at least concerning the fragment that I went through. This one can see in the fact that the Pāli-Version sometimes has a tendency to simplify, cut down, harmonize and 'arrange' stuff more readily than the sanskrit fragments. This gives the Pāli version a rather dry appearance. the Sanskrit version however suffers from the fact that some of the passages appear to have been written with a sort of 'creative genius' attitude, not always strictly focussed on telling what exactly happened. This is especially true if one looks at the earliest chinese translations (Taishō No. 5 and No. 6, probably 200-250CE).
In general I do however hold the view that the Pāli-canon is preferable to the Mūlasarvāstivāda-material when it comes to antiquity, but in order to get the oldest layer comparison is unavoidable.

By the way, as the master Karashima himself discovered, the term 'mahāyāna' is propably a wrong retranslation of a middle word that once was 'mahājñāna' 'the great knowledge'.
It does make a lot of sense since the southern transmission (and early indian sources in general) don't talk much of vehicles, but are focussed on knowledge and the ways to achieve it. :)
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Coëmgenu
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Re: Question about Theravada tradition

Postby Coëmgenu » Sat Aug 13, 2016 8:56 pm


justindesilva
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Re: Question about Theravada tradition

Postby justindesilva » Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:51 am

To inquisitive Wesley 82
Good question and In my knowledge a Prince from South india in the 5th century by the name of Bodhidharma travelled to China . After a spiritual confrontation with a then king of China he travelled in China Japan and closet territories.
He established the zen (Chan) schools of Buddhism in China and Japan. He established a buddhist practise of martial arts in order to protect the villagers from robbers and set up schools in a similar manner.
The zen buddhist monks protected the villagers within the precepts of buddhism. Finally mixed with various cultures other patterns of martial arts were established.
How ever zen buddhism if well followed with meditation will carry one to liberation of the mind. But it is my view it is a more domesticated pattern of buddhism created within buddhist principles not to be treated lightly.
In comparison may I indicate that " thera" means a priest.
(This may be verified by going in to webs introducing Bodhidharma)

Caodemarte
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Re: Question about Theravada tradition

Postby Caodemarte » Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:00 pm

Sorry, but the story of Bodhidharma and Zen in the comment seems to be entirely made up and completely fanciful without even a legendary basis. If you are interested in this topic, please check any standard source.

It is probably a mistake to think of early Theravada and Mahayana (of which Vajrayana is a subset) as distinct ideological movements rather than as broad tendencies, slowly jelling into fairly distinct groupings. In SE Asia Theravada was an alternative "reform" movement that came after and replaced Vajrayana so it clearly developed there after Vajrayana. I suspect the same is true in India as well, that Theravada was a reform movement that developed in reaction to Vajrayana and possibly proto- Mahayanist schools. What seems clear is that Theravada looked back to the 3rd Council for inspiration (so did not start as an identifiable movement until at least a century later). So using that date as a rough guide and depending on when you decide Mahayana started (from the first mention of the bodhisattva ideal?) there is a strong case that Mahayana predates Theravada or developed at roughly the same time.

However, this is interesting only from the historical point of view. From the religious point of view, it matters less "what Buddha historically said" or "what document is older than which" than what results from practice (or so I believe the Buddha said :smile: ). So the primary question becomes " Is it true and is it useful?"

justindesilva
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Re: Question about Theravada tradition

Postby justindesilva » Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:44 pm

Re the former comment please see www.patheos.com
The fact that a Prince from Pallava (south india) who was named Bodhi Dharma is a well known fact. The fact that The shaolin temple is started by Bodhi Dharma is also written in zen texts. Shaolin temple is the place where martial arts of kungfu nature started.
It is at the Shaolin temples a training of using our body and limbs as weapons in combat started.
Heavy emphasis of meditation and discipline is maintained at the Shaolin temples. Unlike in Theravada tradition such emphasis on sutra by Lord Buddha is not heavily emphasised in zen buddhism.
Zen which also extended from China to Japan were used in war fare too. Zen as dhyana is domesticated by applying it in to drawing art, sculpture còoking and many household works .
Therefore we have to accept the fact that Zen schools started in China and Japan with a view to liberate people from suffering in a different manner from traditional Theravada style. Of course There are certain sutra in zen buddhism too.
Something very interesting with zen masters is using riddles to explain buddhist principles.Any person interested in such riddles can find them in zen literature.
The Americans who went to Japan brought martial arts to the west leaving its spiritual value . Hence the real value of zen buddhism cannot be embraced by the modern western world who take martial arts as only a form of combat.
I conclude this with metta thoughts.

Caodemarte
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Re: Question about Theravada tradition

Postby Caodemarte » Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:33 pm

Respectfully I am not aware of even a legend that Bodhidharma travelled to Japan. In any case, that would be highly unlikely. There are many legends concerning his origin with Persia, Central Asia, India being the most common. There are few facts. The legend that he taught martial arts to monks ( not villagers) or was connected to Shaolin seems to have originated well, well after his death and historians generally discount Shaolin claims of a connection to him (so you are free to believe it as possibly true, but not as an established fact). However,none of this is probably germane for a Theravada discussion forum so I will be quiet now. If you are interested in Bodhidharma, what Zen practices actually are, it's history, and what is taught in that school I would again suggest you look at standard sources or visit a Zen center. But that is up to you of course! :namaste:

justindesilva
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Re: Question about Theravada tradition

Postby justindesilva » Tue Aug 23, 2016 4:05 pm

With due respect to the former reply I understand that it is a good remark as still the stand of Bodidarma is being questioned by some schools.
How ever my anxiety in bringing in the story is to highlight that buddhism was taken to China and Japan 500 years after buddhism was estsblished in India.
Close upon Parinibbana of Lord Buddha the first sangayana of buddhism of was held led by Ananda thera and other disciples of lord Buddha.
Lord Buddha also sent his disciples around india and closest countries to liberate the common population.
After 250 years of buddha parinirvana Mihindu maha arahat thera brings in buddhism of Theravada tradition to sri lanka and the then king of Sri lanka embraced Theravada buddhism.
Similarly Theravada buddhism Is established in Burma and Thailand.
It is after 500 years later buddhism is brought in to China and Japan and it appears to be mixed with ancient and Tao traditions of China and was established in shaolin temples.
Hence It is clear in an answer to the original question Theravada is a life form preached by budda and zen and vajrayana (as in Tibet) was established much later outside India or Magada .
With this explanation I too wish to close my debate. With due respect to all.

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Dhamma_Basti
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Re: Question about Theravada tradition

Postby Dhamma_Basti » Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:27 pm

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