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Theravada Buddhism vs The Rest! - Dhamma Wheel

Theravada Buddhism vs The Rest!

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
MoDi
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Theravada Buddhism vs The Rest!

Postby MoDi » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:20 pm

I'm not posting this to cause a stir, but really, I just want to know what everyone thinks.

Lately I've been trying to decide which buddhist path is right for me. I started to get lured into Vajrayana (Tibetan) Buddhism, but then decided it may not be for me. So what I wanted to ask is, Why does it feel, at least to me (again, not trying to start a flame war here), that Vajrayana Buddhism appears to boast that they're the only real way to achieving nirvana?

Okay, I've just re-read what I wrote, and I really don't mean it to come off sounding like that, but I don't know what other way to phrase what I'm trying to convey here. I feel like Vajrayana Buddhism comes off as, perhaps, like Catholicism comes off in Christianity. Does that make sense? Like, they have the Pope, and everything is very old school and ritualized. Only difference is, in Christianity it's thought everyone will get to heaven as long as they are good and accept Christ. But with these different sects of Buddhism, I feel as if it's presented as if there's some sort of... snobbery? Is that a good word? Like, if you don't have a Vajrayana Guru to follow, you just won't become enlightened. Sure, in this life you may subscribe to a Theravadan way, but that's just temporary and maybe your next life you'll be "lucky enough" to have a Vajrayana Guru.

Does this make sense? Again, I'm not trying to put Theravada Buddhism down, I'm merely relaying what I'm perceiving to be going on within the communities (very subtly, at least). That's the impression I get as a new-comer to Buddhism.

Also, I just want to close with that I love Thervada tradition and am asking all of this because I was thinking that this path may be the path I do want to pursue. I have a lot of fascination with the Thai Forest Tradition, and I soon want to take refuge in the 3 jewels. But then the whole Vajrayana tradition throws me off, because I keep thinking that I need to have a guru or it's not "real" and I am not really learning anything. You know? Basically, I'm very confused and almost consumed by guilt that I am straying from the Vajrayana path.

Any insights/help would be much appreciated.

:namaste:

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Theravada Buddhism vs The Rest!

Postby m0rl0ck » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:30 pm

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

MoDi
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Re: Theravada Buddhism vs The Rest!

Postby MoDi » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:39 pm


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polarbear101
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Re: Theravada Buddhism vs The Rest!

Postby polarbear101 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:47 pm

I suppose you could always ask yourself, did the Buddha actually teach Vajrayana? I think doing some research on what is actually likely to be the teaching of the historical samana Gotama, whom we call the Buddha, is the ideal starting point of any serious investigation into buddhism. But anyway, that's just my take on it.

Here's a good starting source:

http://santifm.org/santipada/2010/what- ... ly-taught/

You may also want to check out the early buddhism resources thread here: viewtopic.php?f=29&t=3167


:anjali:
Last edited by polarbear101 on Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

MoDi
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Re: Theravada Buddhism vs The Rest!

Postby MoDi » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:49 pm


MoDi
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Re: Theravada Buddhism vs The Rest!

Postby MoDi » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:50 pm

Oh I see you've included a link after an edit. Thank you. I will look into it.

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Aloka
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Re: Theravada Buddhism vs The Rest!

Postby Aloka » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:58 pm


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Modus.Ponens
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Re: Theravada Buddhism vs The Rest!

Postby Modus.Ponens » Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:09 pm

As long as you don't buy the story that the vajrayana is the fastest vehicle, I think that after an investigation into the history of buddhism you'll make a good choice. Even if you don't chose theravada, you'll have the information that the suttas (Nikaya or Agama) and the vinaya are the most reliable scriptures in the various canons _ from the historical point of view. And that's a really big treasure to have.
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)

MoDi
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Re: Theravada Buddhism vs The Rest!

Postby MoDi » Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:32 pm


MoDi
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Re: Theravada Buddhism vs The Rest!

Postby MoDi » Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:34 pm


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Modus.Ponens
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Re: Theravada Buddhism vs The Rest!

Postby Modus.Ponens » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:07 pm

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)

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Myotai
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Re: Theravada Buddhism vs The Rest!

Postby Myotai » Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:38 pm

Hope this guy is doing ok...

:anjali:

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Kusala
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Re: Theravada Buddhism vs The Rest!

Postby Kusala » Thu Nov 06, 2014 6:34 am

Image

"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

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Wri
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Re: Theravada Buddhism vs The Rest!

Postby Wri » Thu Nov 06, 2014 5:23 pm

I don't think you need to follow any one tradition unless you are planning on ordaining ;)

I consider myself mainly Theravada, since that was where I first started learning Buddhism and the concepts were delivered in ways that I immediately understood. I think having a main path helps keep you focused and grounded. However, it wouldn't be fair to yourself to completely lock yourself away, would it? I like to take dhamma influence from wherever provides a good practice based on reasoning and experience. It's okay to consider yourself mainly Theravada and take influence from Vajrayana, Zen, or other traditions. There are some conflicting elements, sure, but you are free to have your own practice. In lay life, it helps you to be very adaptable in this chaotic society. If and when you ordain, you will want to have one path to focus on. Although it doesn't hurt to listen to other traditions and support them as well. The only downside to opening yourself up to all traditions, is that it can become very confusing. What training do I need and at what time? It's difficult to answer this yourself. You have to think deeply and trust your instincts.

Hope this helps :anjali: and this is only my experience, so please use your own reason to find what's best for you.
Keep your mind steady and rest within the winds of experience.
May I show unconditional love to all beings.

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Mkoll
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Re: Theravada Buddhism vs The Rest!

Postby Mkoll » Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:29 pm

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

Bakmoon
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Re: Theravada Buddhism vs The Rest!

Postby Bakmoon » Sat Nov 08, 2014 6:08 pm

The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.


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