Proper context for pejorative words sometimes?

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.

Proper context for pejorative words sometimes?

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:43 am

Theravada means the ‘doctrine of the elders’. The term Hinayana has also been used for this form of Buddhism, but it is a misnomer. This term has been used by the Mahayana Buddhists, who reckoned that they were followers of the ‘greater vehicle’. The Mahayanists to differentiate themselves from the Theravadins called the latter Hinayana, the lesser vehicle. In the pre-Mahayana period there was truly a collateral sect called the Hinayana, but this sect is not the Theravada of today. This confusion was unfortunate, and therefore, it is better to avoid the term Hinayana altogether. Any attempt to label two different forms of Buddhism as ‘greater’ and ‘lesser’ is odious.
--Source

Hi all,

This is confusing to me. The term "Hinayana" was used before the break-up of the Sangha by Theravadan practitioners? What does it mean that the "Hinayana" of that time was different from the Theravada of today?

I've always thought that the term Hinayana was only pejorative. But I once saw Retro mention that there are appropriate uses for the word. Please play nice. I'm not trying to create divisions or open the door for ridiculing Mahayana. I put this in the "Discovering Theravada" section in hopes of just just getting information and clarification.

Thanks muchly,
Drolma

:anjali:
User avatar
Ngawang Drolma.
 
Posts: 805
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:38 pm

Re: Proper context for pejorative words sometimes?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:47 am

Hinayana, the garbage vehicle, is a construction of the Mahayana. Haven't a clue as what this gentleman is talking about.

Ngawang Drolma wrote:
Theravada means the ‘doctrine of the elders’. The term Hinayana has also been used for this form of Buddhism, but it is a misnomer. This term has been used by the Mahayana Buddhists, who reckoned that they were followers of the ‘greater vehicle’. The Mahayanists to differentiate themselves from the Theravadins called the latter Hinayana, the lesser vehicle. In the pre-Mahayana period there was truly a collateral sect called the Hinayana, but this sect is not the Theravada of today. This confusion was unfortunate, and therefore, it is better to avoid the term Hinayana altogether. Any attempt to label two different forms of Buddhism as ‘greater’ and ‘lesser’ is odious.
--Source

Hi all,

This is confusing to me. The term "Hinayana" was used before the break-up of the Sangha by Theravadan practitioners? What does it mean that the "Hinayana" of that time was different from the Theravada of today?

I've always thought that the term Hinayana was only pejorative. But I once saw Retro mention that there are appropriate uses for the word. Please play nice. I'm not trying to create divisions or open the door for ridiculing Mahayana. I put this in the "Discovering Theravada" section in hopes of just just getting information and clarification.

Thanks muchly,
Drolma

:anjali:
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 18351
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Location: Turtle Island

Re: Proper context for pejorative words sometimes?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:51 am

Greetings Laura,

This is confusing to me. The term "Hinayana" was used before the break-up of the Sangha by Theravadan practitioners?


No, prior to Mahayana, there were other early schools of Buddhism, and Mahayana classified all of these, collectively, as Hinayana. Of these, only the one that went on to be known retrospectively as Theravada, survives today.

What does it mean that the "Hinayana" of that time was different from the Theravada of today?


This just means that what came to be known as Theravada was only one of the 18 (?) earlier schools.

I've always thought that the term Hinayana was only pejorative.


Likewise.

But I once saw Retro mention that there are appropriate uses for the word.


In a solely Mahayana or Vajrayana environment where it can be a handy distinction... but I've also seen Mahayanists and Vajrayanists use alternative expressions which are not pejorative such as Shravakayana or Nikaya Buddhism. Obviously my preference would be for one of the latter two, but it's not really my place to say what other traditions (or religions) should do.

Please play nice. I'm not trying to create divisions or open the door for ridiculing Mahayana. I put this in the "Discovering Theravada" section in hopes of just just getting information and clarification.


If you have any follow up questions, feel free to ask.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14517
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Proper context for pejorative words sometimes?

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:53 am

Thank you both. I had a feeling this was bad info.
Retro I've seen the word Nikaya before but didn't know what it meant. That one's a keeper :)

Kindly,
Drolma
User avatar
Ngawang Drolma.
 
Posts: 805
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:38 pm

Re: Proper context for pejorative words sometimes?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:22 am

Greetings Laura,

Ngawang Drolma wrote:Retro I've seen the word Nikaya before but didn't know what it meant. That one's a keeper :)


It points, in essence to those who base their practice on the teachings of the AN, DN, MN, SN & KN.

I suppose that ignores Abhidhamma, but y'know... an improvement on "hinayana".

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14517
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Proper context for pejorative words sometimes?

Postby cooran » Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:49 am

Hello Drolma, all,

You may find these articles on "The Term Hinayana from a Theravada Perspective" of interest:

http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index. ... opic=21602

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7051
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Proper context for pejorative words sometimes?

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:59 am

Retro wrote:AN, DN, MN, SN & KN


Hi Retro :) Can you help me with decoding please?
It is good to know the exact meaning of Nikaya, thanks.

And Chris, great link! I'll investigate that discussion.

Kindly,
Drolma
User avatar
Ngawang Drolma.
 
Posts: 805
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:38 pm

Re: Proper context for pejorative words sometimes?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jul 15, 2009 6:02 am

Greetings Laura,

Here you go..

The Sutta Pitaka of the Pali Canon
http://www.vipassana.com/canon/sutta.php

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14517
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Proper context for pejorative words sometimes?

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Wed Jul 15, 2009 6:08 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Laura,

Here you go..

The Sutta Pitaka of the Pali Canon
http://www.vipassana.com/canon/sutta.php

Metta,
Retro. :)


Perfect, thanks :)

Best,
Laura
User avatar
Ngawang Drolma.
 
Posts: 805
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:38 pm

Re: Proper context for pejorative words sometimes?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:10 am

hinayana was originally used for non-buddhist schools, which aimed at enlightenment such as the Jains, or some Buddhist schools whose existence were the result of Schism, and I think it would be fair to say the middle vheicle could be Arahant aimed schools and greater Vihicle may of been Boddhisattva ideal aimed, or vice versa depending on who was using the term, or hinayana may also of been used for those aiming at some point on the stream lower than Arahant but not the Boddhisatva path.

the 18 or so Schools weren't all due to schisms (the newer school or branch advocating something which is not dhammavinaya would be a schism) but rather a different philosophic emphasis or way to explain something which is a valid and suits some people.

only the Sthaviravada Vinaya liniages remain, the tibetan schools being part of the Sarvastivada recession and china, Taiwan, japan etc being the Dharmaguptaka recession which is the same brach as the theravadan = Vibhajjavāda

if we look at theravada, Mahayana & Vajrayana today, within each group there are sometimes many different nuances in teaching, but none are actually considdered not buddhist, or schismatic groups with the exception of one Tibetan group (NKT) and a Mahayana group or theravadin group but don't remember the name, I don't think there are any groups which could be called propperly any more schism groups and possibly some of the mix and match groups about could bt that is a seperate thing mostly outside of the vinaya recessions so couldn't acctually be classed as such propperly at least I don't think.

I know one monk dissagrees with me on some of these points (outside of this group) and some of this has been peiced to gether from different sources from seperate inquiries but I havn't seen heard etc anything which is verified from more than one persons point of view or source which has convinced me that I am wrong, so if anyone knows of anything which proves anything wrong please let me know! I do love being wrong about this sort of stuff
(bounties will be given depending on how wrong you proove me :guns: )
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
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."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5655
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Proper context for pejorative words sometimes?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:18 am

Ngawang Drolma wrote:Thank you both. I had a feeling this was bad info.
Retro I've seen the word Nikaya before but didn't know what it meant. That one's a keeper :)

Kindly,
Drolma

these are reasonable articles
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikaya_Buddhism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nik%C4%81ya
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
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."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5655
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Proper context for pejorative words sometimes?

Postby Ben » Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:27 am

Hi Drolma

I remember a couple of years ago Rev. Eijo (from e-sangha) wrote an essay on the historical context of the term Hinayana and the conclusion, which I remember, was that the term always was used as a pejorative.
Kind regards

Ben
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global Relief
UNHCR Syria Emergency Relief AppealTyphoon Haiyan Relief AppealKiva: (person to person micro-finance)

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15785
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Proper context for pejorative words sometimes?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:27 am

Manapa wrote:hinayana was originally used [by whom?] for non-buddhist schools, which aimed at enlightenment such as the Jains, or some Buddhist schools whose existence were the result of Schism,


Source?
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 18351
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Location: Turtle Island

Re: Proper context for pejorative words sometimes?

Postby cooran » Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:48 am

Hello all,

This may be of interest:
"Between the 1st Century B.C. to the 1st Century A.D., the two terms Mahayana and Hinayana appeared in the Saddharma Pundarika Sutra or the Sutra of the Lotus of the Good Law.
About the 2nd Century A.D. Mahayana became clearly defined. Nagarjuna developed the Mahayana philosophy of Sunyata and proved that everything is Void in a small text called Madhyamika-karika. About the 4th Century, there were Asanga and Vasubandhu who wrote enormous amount of works on Mahayana. After the 1st Century AD., the Mahayanists took a definite stand and only then the terms of Mahayana and Hinayana were introduced.

We must not confuse Hinayana with Theravada because the terms are not synonymous. Theravada Buddhism went to Sri Lanka during the 3rd Century B.C. when there was no Mahayana at all. Hinayana sects developed in India and had an existence independent from the form of Buddhism existing in Sri Lanka. Today there is no Hinayana sect in existence anywhere in the world."
http://zencomp.com/greatwisdom/ebud/ebdha125.htm

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7051
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Proper context for pejorative words sometimes?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:13 am

Chris wrote:Hello all,

This may be of interest:
"Between the 1st Century B.C. to the 1st Century A.D., the two terms Mahayana and Hinayana appeared in the Saddharma Pundarika Sutra or the Sutra of the Lotus of the Good Law.
About the 2nd Century A.D. Mahayana became clearly defined. Nagarjuna developed the Mahayana philosophy of Sunyata and proved that everything is Void in a small text called Madhyamika-karika. About the 4th Century, there were Asanga and Vasubandhu who wrote enormous amount of works on Mahayana. After the 1st Century AD., the Mahayanists took a definite stand and only then the terms of Mahayana and Hinayana were introduced.

We must not confuse Hinayana with Theravada because the terms are not synonymous. Theravada Buddhism went to Sri Lanka during the 3rd Century B.C. when there was no Mahayana at all. Hinayana sects developed in India and had an existence independent from the form of Buddhism existing in Sri Lanka. Today there is no Hinayana sect in existence anywhere in the world."
http://zencomp.com/greatwisdom/ebud/ebdha125.htm

metta
Chris


I have heard that small pockets of Mahayana were around in the early stages of forming within the same monestaries as other schools in india, but I doubt the validity of this remark as being more than an over and under estimate I think it is more likely some early forms of mahayana existed before the actual formation as groups in and of themselves not a cople of monks here and there, more like a couple of monestaries here & there seams likely to me.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
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."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5655
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Proper context for pejorative words sometimes?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:18 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Manapa wrote:hinayana was originally used [by whom?] for non-buddhist schools, which aimed at enlightenment such as the Jains, or some Buddhist schools whose existence were the result of Schism,


Source?



read further

some of this has been peiced to gether from different sources from seperate inquiries

tiltbillings wrote:
Manapa wrote:hinayana was originally used [by whom?] [b]

lotus sutta I believe is the first, and chris gives one reference.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
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."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5655
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Proper context for pejorative words sometimes?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:42 am

Okay.

hinayana was originally used for non-buddhist schools, which aimed at enlightenment such as the Jains, or some Buddhist schools whose existence were the result of Schism, At first was not clear, but is now.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 18351
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Location: Turtle Island


Return to Discovering Theravāda

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: ihrjordan and 7 guests