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Why Theravada? - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Why Theravada?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Anagarika
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby Anagarika » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:58 pm

For me, it was important to source the school closest to the teachings of the Buddha. The scholarship in the area of the etiology of the Dhamma reflects that the Pali Canon captures to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty the teachings of Gautama Buddha. Many of the Ajahns and teachers that teach from the Theravada and Early Buddhism perspective are highly credible. We have today teachers like Vens. Thanissaro, Bodhi, Brahm, Gunuratana, and others who are highly intelligent people (some with strong science and research backgrounds) who likely wouldn't waste their time on a fool's errand. Lifetimes have been spent on this Dhamma, and have yielded sound roadmaps for the navigation of mind/ life and release from samsara as the Buddha intended.

After starting with Korean Zen, and spending some back and forth time with other Mahayana traditions, when the time came for me to commit to a practice and a school, there was no question other than choosing Pali Canon/Theravada. There is so much positive to be said of Mahayana, but to be critical, in some respects Mahayana has taken the Buddhavacana and created a practice out of completely new cloth. The Buddha's Vinaya is rejected. The Canon is displaced by 8th century fabrications that were geared more to nationalistic concerns, than Dhamma. Buddha is said to have made statements in later sutras that no independent scholar accepts as valid or true.

There is so much cohesiveness, intelligence, wisdom and authenticity in the Pali Canon based schools, that to practice otherwise would suggest a rejection of Buddhism in favor of, for example, "Dogenism." Try going to a Zen sangha and learning jhana. It was the Buddha who advised his monks to practice jhana, to meditate in a certain way, and this practice was later rejected by Mahayana schools seeking to "brand" themselves in a more populist manner. All forms of meditation are beneficial, but it seems to me important to practice meditation the way that the Buddha taught it.

It's a bit like the barrel analogy. There is a beauty and simplicity to a well made oak barrel. Start creating cracks and pounding pegs into it, and soon it is no longer a barrel, and it no longer holds water. Maybe I'm a jerk for saying this, but the Dhamma can be considered medicine for a deluded society, so why not try to get the antidote as effective and pure as we possibly can?

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Myotai
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby Myotai » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:20 pm

I guess its down to the interpretation of 'pure'.

Matteo1972
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby Matteo1972 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:34 pm


Matteo1972
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby Matteo1972 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:41 pm


rohana
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby rohana » Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:33 pm

"Delighting in existence, O monks, are gods and men; they are attached to existence, they revel in existence. When the Dhamma for the cessation of existence is being preached to them, their minds do not leap towards it, do not get pleased with it, do not get settled in it, do not find confidence in it. That is how, monks, some lag behind."
- It. p 43

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Myotai
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby Myotai » Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:41 pm

..interesting stuff this :coffee:

I personally can't see anything wrong in the Historical Buddhas teachings being embelished. Though I can also see the attraction in feeling a fidelity to the Pāli Nikāyas.

Though the writings of Honghzhi Zhengue, Dogen etc do have a beautiful ring that for many takes them closer to the Buddhas intention I am sure.

What do others think?

M...

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Anagarika
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby Anagarika » Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:12 pm

Myotai, my own bias is that so long as one is mindful of the Pali Buddhavacana, there is indeed a treasure of wisdom in the Mahayana. The Heart Sutra, for example is a beautiful expression. So long as one understands that the statements attributed to the Buddha in many Mahayana sutras are not Buddhavacana, then these teachings and poems certainly have benefit for practitioners. The Bodhisattva ideal is valuable, absolutely. My own sense is that Japanese Zen got into deep waters when various 8-13th century CE schools were competing with each other for the attention and patronage of the Emperors' and the laity's dana. Dogen for example, spent some time ridiculing other contemporary teachers, while promoting his own view of the world/dharma. All of this energy might have been better spent understanding the foundational Agamas (as Dogen undoubtedly did) along with the Chinese Tiantai Dhyanas, and teaching them as they were taught when Dhamma came to China. That's my two (unscholarly) cents. The need to create new "brands" in Japan seems to me to have lead to confusion and some corruption of the dharma. This dharma then made its way to the west, where it flourishes, albeit in contradiction to a lot of what is offered in the Dhamma of the Pali Canon.

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Kusala
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby Kusala » Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:24 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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Dan74
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby Dan74 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:07 am

Last edited by Dan74 on Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
_/|\_

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Ben
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby Ben » Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:28 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

nibbuti
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby nibbuti » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:13 am


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Dan74
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby Dan74 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:49 am

I guess certainty and simplicity tend to appeal more than lack of such. If you have a question, or have interest in a dialogue, I will be happy to engage, nibbuti.
_/|\_

Reductor
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby Reductor » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:04 pm


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kirk5a
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby kirk5a » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:56 pm

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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kc2dpt
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:50 pm

Last edited by kc2dpt on Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
- Peter


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Dan74
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby Dan74 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:59 pm

Peter,

When the Venerable says that 'Mahayana sutras don't have a taste of liberation' he is spreading his delusion and the worst kind of sectarianism. I am not saying he is wrong in everything, nor that he is a bad monk, etc. But on this point he is plain wrong and spreading his delusion which serves to undermine people's Dharma practice and is therefore very harmful. I am just calling him out on it, not being aggressive.

If a Mahayana monk says that Theravada doesn't have a taste of liberation, is a despicable vehicle, etc I think I would word my reply even more strongly. It is not simply a matter of his opinion when it is a youtube video made for public consumption. It is propaganda. And as such it must be called out.

Edit: I may have had another one of his videos in mind, Folks. I have watched several and can't recall which is the nasty one.
_/|\_

nibbuti
Posts: 155
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Location: Germany

Re: Why Theravada?

Postby nibbuti » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:34 am


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daverupa
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby daverupa » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:57 am


User avatar
Dan74
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby Dan74 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 1:12 am

Last edited by Dan74 on Fri Oct 04, 2013 1:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
_/|\_

nibbuti
Posts: 155
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Location: Germany

Re: Why Theravada?

Postby nibbuti » Fri Oct 04, 2013 1:21 am



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