Theravada or Mahyanaa

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
paulbear
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:46 am

Theravada or Mahyanaa

Postby paulbear » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:06 am

I've recently started my research and desire to practice Buddhism but I came across a dilemma and I'm not sure the significance or the importance of choosing one. I've come across different opinions via internet but I would like to ask here Are these 2 branches similar and what is the differences. I was thinking I should research both and see what resonates more is this wise? Blessings and peace Paul

User avatar
Cittasanto
Posts: 6524
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin
Contact:

Re: Theravada or Mahyanaa

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:45 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

User avatar
Monkey Mind
Posts: 538
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:56 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest, USA

Re: Theravada or Mahyanaa

Postby Monkey Mind » Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:10 pm

I practice in the Theravada tradition, but from time to time I visit Zen or Shambala etc. centers for some excellent discussions and teachings. No one has ever "carded" me, demanded that I pledge loyalty or asked me to leave. I guess my point is, try a variety of centers and see which is the best fit for you. If you like the teachings provided and the community that gathers, then you found a good place.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710

User avatar
Modus.Ponens
Posts: 2637
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:38 am
Location: Gallifrey

Re: Theravada or Mahyanaa

Postby Modus.Ponens » Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:48 pm

Before being a theravada buddhist, I was a tibetan buddhist.

The advice I have is for you not to believe when someone says that this vehicle is faster than the other vehicle. That was the reason I prefered tibetan buddhism: because of its autoproclaimed superiority both in speed and in the sense that those who practice vajrayana are of superior capacities.

Once you take this nonsense out of the way, just choose the one that is more truthful in your opinion. Joining a religion is not just about choosing what one likes. It's also about choosing what is true, even if it is at times unpleasant. Of course it's important to feel confortable in your religion otherwise you'll probably leave it.
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

paulbear
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:46 am

Re: Theravada or Mahyanaa

Postby paulbear » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:20 pm

Thank you for the responses, I truly appreciate the feedback. Paul

whynotme
Posts: 479
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:52 am

Re: Theravada or Mahyanaa

Postby whynotme » Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:50 pm

You should ask yourself what is your goal? If you want to relax, whatever will be good.

If you want to find the truth, or if you already knew the goal of the Buddhism and want to achieve it. Start at wherever you want, Theravada or Mahayana is not important, it is yourself that matter. You should keep your mind opened, hear different people, traditions, carefully and wisely try to follow them, compare them and learn from it. If you keep the right direction, wherever you started, you still will go to the finish.

Let be the follower of the truth in whatever form it is, than a follower of a tradition. Be fair and calm and keep your mind open
Please stop following me

User avatar
Dan74
Posts: 3012
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: Theravada or Mahyanaa

Postby Dan74 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:16 pm

I think people have given very good replies and avoided generalising about either one of the schools.

While Theravada is certainly no monolith and teachers' styles in particular differ widely, Mahayana is even more of a motley crew not even being one school but an umbrella term for many schools. Plus these days there are also hybrids like Theravada/Zen (Subhana Barzaghi), Theravada/Dzogchen (Joseph Goldstein), Zen/Dzogchen (Denko Mortensen) to name just a few.

From my perspective it is important to find a reputable teacher, check him/her out personally and commit to the practice. You might find out that 20 years down the track you change, but it won't be time wasted, that's for sure.
_/|\_

User avatar
Kim OHara
Posts: 4346
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: Theravada or Mahyanaa

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:45 am


User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
Posts: 3670
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: Theravada or Mahyanaa

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:58 am

Check out my article on the various types of vehicles (yāna) in vogue these days.

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Theravada or Mahyanaa

Postby daverupa » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:46 am


User avatar
beeblebrox
Posts: 939
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:41 pm

Re: Theravada or Mahyanaa

Postby beeblebrox » Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:13 pm


User avatar
mettafuture
Posts: 393
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:13 pm

Re: Theravada or Mahyanaa

Postby mettafuture » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:34 pm

In my humble and frank opinion, Theravada and Zen Buddhism are the only Buddhisms worth researching.

barcsimalsi
Posts: 385
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:33 am

Re: Theravada or Mahyanaa

Postby barcsimalsi » Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:52 am

From my shallow observation;
Theravada practitioners are mostly Buddhists who are yet to let go of their agnostic or atheistic view. While Mahayana guides Buddhists who still fancy faithful traditions and rituals.
It is more like Atheism vs Pagansim with the help of Buddha's footsteps.

As long as the 4noble truths and noble 8fold path are primary, different practitioners still end up achieving equal illumination.

User avatar
Monkey Mind
Posts: 538
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:56 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest, USA

Re: Theravada or Mahyanaa

Postby Monkey Mind » Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:57 am

"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710

Raitanator
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:49 pm

Re: Theravada or Mahyanaa

Postby Raitanator » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:21 pm

I would go with Theravada first in either cases. I believe Theravada-tradition has the best teachings about karma.

lojong1
Posts: 580
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:59 am

Re: Theravada or Mahyanaa

Postby lojong1 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:50 pm

I consider Theravada to be Mahayana, which includes Hinayana.

User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Theravada or Mahyanaa

Postby daverupa » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:58 pm


User avatar
Cittasanto
Posts: 6524
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin
Contact:

Re: Theravada or Mahyanaa

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:11 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

lojong1
Posts: 580
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:59 am

Re: Theravada or Mahyanaa

Postby lojong1 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:25 pm

Thank you cittasanto,
So...I'm not 100% whackjob from every perspective, thanks for that :smile:

User avatar
Cittasanto
Posts: 6524
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin
Contact:

Re: Theravada or Mahyanaa

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:33 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.


Return to “Connections to Other Paths”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 31 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine