Individual wrote:These views seem to simplify Buddhist history as an interaction between the two sects of Theravada and Mahayana, but it seems likely to me to have been more complicated than that.
The past importance (that is, the relevance or coherence to early Buddhism) of views held by now dead sects cannot be underestimated. Some sects now dead may have actually held views closer to early Buddhism than any living Buddhist sect today.
Conversely, all living Buddhist sects today may hold views not held by early Buddhists.
It seems at least historically significant that Pudgalavada (the idea of personhood, with personhood being notself) was a mainstream view at one point,
What I mean is, that's a very big change to happen -- it's impossible to suggest that Theravada is early Buddhism unchanged.
Mahayana, for instance, may have had more than one origin -- perhaps some early Mahayanists were in fact forest monks
one theory of their origin, not necessarily being known as Mahayana at that time and possibly composed of various "schools" (among the early 18) and Theravadins or whatever they may have been called at that time, or whatever number, name, or sectarian division they might have been, may have been composed of scholastic monks. It seems reasonable to me that the context in which the dhamma was practiced -- the division between monks focusing on memorizing, maintaining, and teaching scripture vs. monks focusing on solitary meditation could lead to a division and social bigotry, by which you have one side of over-analytic dogmatists, while on the other side, you have blathering pseudo-nihilistic poets (see the list of the ten defilements of insight in the Theravadin commentaries and the 10 bhumis of Mahayana for examples of both).
clw_uk wrote:However i want to get as close as i can to the earliest teachings and since Theravada and the Pali canon is the oldest i follow that
clw_uk wrote:Mahayana is a complicated issue, no real set explanation on how it came to be from what i have read. I did read however that it seems to have been an attempt to go back to the forest instead of the towns (although later this changed)
tiltbillings wrote:Actually, there is no point in commenting on following paragraphs other than to ask where are getting this stuff? There are very good histories out there you might care to study.
Craig - However i want to get as close as i can to the earliest teachings and since Theravada and the Pali canon is the oldest i follow that
Indiv. No, the Nikayas of the Pali canon (which are the Agamas of the Mahayana canon) and some Mahayana sutras are the earliest.
Mahayana is a complicated issue, no real set explanation on how it came to be from what i have read. I did read however that it seems to have been an attempt to go back to the forest instead of the towns (although later this changed)
Indiv. But then what about the Rhinoceros Sutra -- a very early Buddhist text which advocates the solitary ascetic lifestyle? I thought that this was an ideal of Theravadins, like the Thai Forest tradition, and only Zen Buddhists and some Tibetans hold this same view?
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