should there be a modern theravada

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should there be a modern theravada

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:41 am

the branch of theravada we all have now comes from the Mahavihara, which as i understand it was not originally the only game in town as far as theravada was concerned. it's just what we have now thanks to an accident of history (or many accidents whatever)

do you think there is a respectable and respectful way to make a different branch of theravada?

how does one go about this? has it already happened in institutionalised theravada? or is it mostly a western lay movement?

actually any and all thoughts on this subject are welcome.

especially from our ordained members who's lives are more closely tied into how the dhamma plays itself out, is there a fear of change in this regard in the sangha that you can see?
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Re: should there be a modern theravada

Postby Dhammanando » Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:17 am

Hi JC,

do you think there is a respectable and respectful way to make a different branch of theravada?


What do you mean by a different branch of the Theravada? For example, would Theravadin organizations like those of Sri Goenka and Acharn Sujin (which are independent of the traditional framework of bhikkhusangha-&-laity symbiosis) qualify?

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: should there be a modern theravada

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:46 am

What do you mean by a different branch of the Theravada? For example, would Theravadin organizations like those of Sri Goenka and Acharn Sujin (which are independent of the traditional framework of bhikkhusangha-&-laity symbiosis) qualify?


Bhante,

I am not sure they would say that? Please be a bit more expansive by what you mean by this.

the branch of theravada we all have now comes from the Mahavihara, which as i understand it was not originally the only game in town as far as theravada was concerned.


Also the original question seems to be talking about this a bit further back in time.
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: should there be a modern theravada

Postby Dhammanando » Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:59 am

Hi Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:I am not sure they would say that? Please be a bit more expansive by what you mean by this.


I just meant that they espouse the Theravada Dhamma, but don't have any formal affiliation with the Theravada bhikkhusangha. In contrast, for example, with the English Lay Buddhist Association that operates at the Thai temple in Wimbledon or the various local Buddhist house groups under the guidance of Ajahn Sumedho's Forest Sangha.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: should there be a modern theravada

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:21 am

I just meant that they espouse the Theravada Dhamma, but don't have any formal affiliation with the Theravada bhikkhusangha.


Bhante,

Is this a problem? If so, why?

Joseph Goldstein, whom I like very much as a teacher, continues to practice under the guidance of Ven U Pandita, though I am not sure that one would say that IMS has a formal affliation with Ven U Pandita, though he has taught there a number of times, as have other monks.
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: should there be a modern theravada

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:09 am

i dont really know what i'm getting at....

but what about how some monks accept the reinstatement of nuns, this is bound to cause a problem in the future....

do you think we'll break into two theravadas completely? or will it be similar to mahanikaya and dhammayuta?
Last edited by jcsuperstar on Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: should there be a modern theravada

Postby Dhammanando » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:23 am

Hi Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:Is this a problem? If so, why?


No, I didn't mean to suggest that it was a problem. I was just trying to ascertain what JC meant by "different branch of the Theravada."

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: should there be a modern theravada

Postby Individual » Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:58 pm

Dhammanando wrote:Hi Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:Is this a problem? If so, why?


No, I didn't mean to suggest that it was a problem. I was just trying to ascertain what JC meant by "different branch of the Theravada."

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu

A "different branch of Theravada" could mean one of the following:
  • Bhikkhus teaching dhamma in a more modern way, while not splitting away from the current Theravadin Sangha.
  • Laypeople teaching dhamma in a more modern way, while still being affiliated with Bhikkhus, or directly taught by them.
  • Laypeople forming their own "sects," or "sanghas," to teach dhamma in a more modern way, possibly even with a brand-new system of monastic ordination and code of Vinaya.
  • Laypeople forming their own communities to teach and discuss dhamma in a modern way without monastic oversight or approval, while avoiding the controversy of calling it a "new branch of Theravada" or a "sangha", and without forming their own system of monastic ordination or code of Vinaya.
  • Bhikkhus teaching dhamma in a more modern way, with a sectarian split from the current Theravadin Sangha.

Hence, the ambiguity. :)
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Re: should there be a modern theravada

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:07 pm

I like Individual's analysis, but prefer it to remain the first two options, not the last three.

There should not be any new 'branches' set-up. It sounds too schismatic. Fortunately we don't have any Pope or Vatican in Buddhism, so there can be some minor differences of opinion and we can all still be Theravadins. Even among Classical Theravadins or Modern Theravadins, just as in any married couple, there are going to be differences of opinion. I don't know if there are any two people in the world who agree on every issue and have the exact same stand on every issue. Maybe there is, but I have not seen it. :popcorn: Therefore, the minor differences are just that, no need for new branches, schools, or sects (within Theravada).
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