where did the mahayana come from

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fig tree
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Re: where did the mahayana come from

Postby fig tree » Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:15 am

Dharmajim wrote:Historically I think what gave birth to this tradition is the placement of the paramitas at the center of practice and interpretation; this would necessarily replace such practice structures as the 37 limbs.

I've long been curious about the origin of the paramitas as a grouping. To me it seems anomalous for it to occupy a special place in the career of the Bodhisatta. Does it appear anywhere else that might hint at a separate origin? Is it explained anywhere why such a practice would be especially suitable for a bodhisatta?

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Re: where did the mahayana come from

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:50 am

fig tree wrote:
Dharmajim wrote:Historically I think what gave birth to this tradition is the placement of the paramitas at the center of practice and interpretation; this would necessarily replace such practice structures as the 37 limbs.

I've long been curious about the origin of the paramitas as a grouping. To me it seems anomalous for it to occupy a special place in the career of the Bodhisatta. Does it appear anywhere else that might hint at a separate origin? Is it explained anywhere why such a practice would be especially suitable for a bodhisatta?

Fig Tree


Hi Fig Tree

My Last retreat the Monk (Tahn Manpo) spoke about these in the talks!
they aren't actually a list found in the suttas but individually they are talked about in them, but my guess is that they are perfected by perfecting the 8-fold Path, not through any specific practice although some are tools to aid the practice or be mindful of the practice!

disclamer :- this is a mix between what was said and what I think on them which may not be 100% accurate to the actual topic :soap:
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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."

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Re: where did the mahayana come from

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:20 am

from what i've gathered, the perfections were perfected over many many life times as a bottisatta, these stories are laid out in the jataka tales

the buddha chose to take a billion life times to do this, but since he did it theres no need for us to, though i guess you could if you wanted to. the difference i see here in mahayana and theravada is the mahayana take these vows as if they have some sort of control over their lives simple by vowing, i think think now of when i was a mahayana buddhist, i couldnt keep my marraige together how was i expected to keep an untold number of future lives together... :jawdrop:
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: where did the mahayana come from

Postby Bankei » Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:54 am

One of the more recent theories on the origin of the Mahayana is that it was a 'back to basics' movement by forest monks who tried to move away from the up and coming Abhidhammist approach and back to the teachings of the Buddha. The laxness of vinaya was only a later characteristic.

Another theory by Hirakawa, is that the Mahayana arose out of lay communities that grew up around Stupas. I think this theory has been discredited my many scholars now.

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Re: where did the mahayana come from

Postby Heavenstorm » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:16 am

For a start, the development of Mahayana was never a single movement or one event thingy as portrayed by some in this thread. It was a group of reactionary movements that span over centuries. So, the causes for the rising of Mahayana are numerous although they carry a similar motivation.

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Re: where did the mahayana come from

Postby Bankei » Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:49 pm

Yes, very good point Heavenstorm

I am recall now that Gregory Schopen has commented that there is a strange lack of Mahayana inscriptions in India until much later - maybe 400AD. Mahayana is supposed to have arisen around the 1st century and there are plenty of inscriptions from this time, but nothing 'mahayana' about them.
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Re: where did the mahayana come from

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:58 am

"... even after its initial appearance in the public domain in the 2nd century
[Mahayana] appears to have remained an extremely limited minority movement - if
it remained at all - that attracted absolutely no documented public or popular
support for at least two more centuries. It is again a demonstrable fact that
anything even approaching popular support for the Mahayana cannot be documented
until 4th/5th century AD, and even then the support is overwhelmingly monastic,
not lay, donors ... although there was - as we know from Chinese translations - a large
and early Mahayana literature there was no early, organized, independent,
publicly supported movement that it could have belonged to."

-- G. Schopen "The Inscription on the Ku.san image of Amitabha and the
character of the early Mahayana in India." JIABS 10, 2 pgs 12
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: where did the mahayana come from

Postby srivijaya » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:23 pm

jcsuperstar wrote:where did the mahayana come from

whats "our side of the story"?


A question of two parts. The Mahayana arose in order to rectify the incorrect views of some schools, which were subsequently termed Hinayana.
It is a mistake to equate these now-defunct schools with the Theravadan tradition, as they are nothing to do with it.

I am always astonished at how many Buddhists, across all traditions make this fundamental error. The Theravadans have no case to answer, as they were never amongst any Hinayana sects, listed within the Mahayana tenets.

In the Indian Mahayana Buddhist monasteries, such as Nalanda, monks studied four systems of Buddhist tenets. Two – Vaibhashika and Sautrantika – were subdivisions of the Sarvastivada school within Hinayana. The other two – Chittamatra and Madhyamaka – were subdivisions within Mahayana.

http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/ar ... sion_.html

Dhammanando wrote:Not very much is said on the subject, for the polemical thrust of post-canonical Pali texts is directed chiefly against the doctrines of the Sabbatthivāda (Skt. Sarvāstivāda school) and its many off-shoots and the various Puggalavādin schools.


One thing in common there. Neither liked the Sarvāstivādas.

The paucity of Theravadan comment seems to indicate that there has been, historically, little connection between the two.

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Re: where did the mahayana come from

Postby clw_uk » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:52 pm

I know this is a bit off topic but why did no one agree with the Sarvāstivādas. I cant find any info on them myself
“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised." Verses on the Faith Mind, Sengcan

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Re: where did the mahayana come from

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:07 pm

clw_uk wrote:I know this is a bit off topic but why did no one agree with the Sarvāstivādas. I cant find any info on them myself


Get Rupert Gethin's THE FOUNDATIONS OF BUDDHISM, which is an inexpensive paperback.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: where did the mahayana come from

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:54 pm

jcsuperstar wrote:from what i've gathered, the perfections were perfected over many many life times as a bottisatta, these stories are laid out in the jataka tales

the buddha chose to take a billion life times to do this, but since he did it theres no need for us to, though i guess you could if you wanted to. the difference i see here in mahayana and theravada is the mahayana take these vows as if they have some sort of control over their lives simple by vowing, i think think now of when i was a mahayana buddhist, i couldnt keep my marraige together how was i expected to keep an untold number of future lives together... :jawdrop:


Hi jcsuperstar,

Another way to understand this is that these vows are related to motivation for practice in the here and now.

Kindly,
Drolma

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Re: where did the mahayana come from

Postby clw_uk » Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:37 pm

Thanks Tilltbillings

:namaste:
“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised." Verses on the Faith Mind, Sengcan

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Re: where did the mahayana come from

Postby mountain » Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:04 pm

All religions must evolve if they are to become universal. I would see Mahayana as that vehicle which suits some cultures and not others. The history of Buddhism often does not carry such sharp deliniations as many would wish.If we do believe in skillful teaching then it must be dynamic rather than static. Just an opinion.
John

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Re: where did the mahayana come from

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:17 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
clw_uk wrote:I know this is a bit off topic but why did no one agree with the Sarvāstivādas. I cant find any info on them myself


Get Rupert Gethin's THE FOUNDATIONS OF BUDDHISM, which is an inexpensive paperback.


ive seen this book around would you recomend it over all?
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: where did the mahayana come from

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:25 pm

Me: "Get Rupert Gethin's THE FOUNDATIONS OF BUDDHISM, which is an inexpensive paperback."

jc: ive seen this book around would you recomend it over all?

It is a very good work by a scholar who is also a Buddhist.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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tiltbillings
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Re: where did the mahayana come from

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:11 am

Also, I'd recommend Paul Williams', a Mahayana specialist, BUDDHIST THOUGHT. It is in paper and can be gotten cheaply used. His chapter on the origin of the Mahayana is excellent.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: where did the mahayana come from

Postby jcsuperstar » Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:08 am

thanks
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: where did the mahayana come from

Postby clw_uk » Sat Feb 14, 2009 1:07 am

There is a website here that gives some bare info on the beginings of mahayana and doctrinal differences


http://wisdomquarterly.blogspot.com/200 ... rence.html
“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised." Verses on the Faith Mind, Sengcan


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