nowheat wrote:I don't believe the canon can possibly be perfect transmission;
tiltbillings wrote:nowheat wrote:I don't believe the canon can possibly be perfect transmission;
It very well may not be. It is a shame we do not have another complete set of texts in an Indic language; however, even if the canon is not a "perfect transmission" that in and of itself does not become a basis for then dismissing doctrines and ideas contained in the canon as being interpretation and the like, as one might do with the idea of rebirth - not without a significant and careful amount of justification.
We can certainly look at the canon and ask it questions, but we also need not push into the answers the texts can give us - sometimes with ease or sometimes begrudgingly - what we want or wish to hear in return.
The funny thing, to me, is that when I began reading the suttas, the first thing I noticed that I hadn't picked up in all my book-reading was the Buddha's sense of humor. I disbelieved myself at first, that I was seeing wry humor, outright irony, and even spoofing in what I was reading. Admittedly there's a great deal of very dry stuff in between the funny bits, but they are certainly there. And quite revealing.
Which have been transmitted via the bleak process you outlined, though it probably is far less bleak that outlined above.pink_trike wrote:
Its the practices.
tiltbillings wrote:Which have been transmitted via the bleak process you outlined, though it probably is far less bleak that outlined above.pink_trike wrote:
Its the practices.
Chris wrote: .
As I understand it, the Pali Suttas are teaching vehicles whose meanings are densely packed layer on layer.
pink_trike wrote:tiltbillings wrote:Which have been transmitted via the bleak process you outlined, though it probably is far less bleak that outlined above.pink_trike wrote:
Its the practices.
"Bleak" is a state of mind that you're projecting onto this process.
Paññāsikhara wrote:PT - you make some good points. However, since our material for this period is not just in one form, and we often have a range of material which comes from different transmitted traditions of it, in multiple languages, which often split apart and probably did not really meet again from a point not long after the Buddha's parinibbana, we can compare these various traditions. On comparison, we can often identify errors in one or other tradition, and thus identify something which is probably what was being transmitted at the point of the split. Moreover, there are still some cultures which largely follow these traditions, and have not really been influenced by various western religions or scientific ideas to the degree that those of us sitting here typing on PCs have most likely been.
So, with the willingness to investigate these various traditions, I don't think that it is quite as obscure or "corrupted" as you seem to imply.
pink_trike wrote:Any body of information that extends back 2,500 - 3,500 years or more has to be deconstructed to some extent or it becomes simply fairy tales.
Mr Pink wrote:"The Buddha said it, I believe it"...
Dan74 wrote:My understanding is that Theravada has often throughout its history identified itself as the tradition that preserves the Dhamma. So with that in mind it is easy to see how attitudes that you describe could develop. They are a bit of an overkill, a misplaced emphasis. But this is only human and of course only a fraction of Theravada practitioners would share these attitudes I imagine.
If you go to other traditions which are less text-dependent, like Zen, for instance, you sometimes find the other extreme - an embarrassing lack of awareness of basic Buddhist teachings or views that run counter to the scriptures.
AN 8.53 Gotami Sutta: To Gotami wrote:I have heard that at one time the Blessed One was staying at Vesali, in the Peaked Roof Hall in the Great Forest.
Then Mahapajapati Gotami went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, stood to one side. As she was standing there she said to him: "It would be good, lord, if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in brief such that, having heard the Dhamma from the Blessed One, I might dwell alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, & resolute."
"Gotami, the qualities of which you may know, 'These qualities lead to passion, not to dispassion; to being fettered, not to being unfettered; to accumulating, not to shedding; to self-aggrandizement, not to modesty; to discontent, not to contentment; to entanglement, not to seclusion; to laziness, not to aroused persistence; to being burdensome, not to being unburdensome': You may categorically hold, 'This is not the Dhamma, this is not the Vinaya, this is not the Teacher's instruction.'
"As for the qualities of which you may know, 'These qualities lead to dispassion, not to passion; to being unfettered, not to being fettered; to shedding, not to accumulating; to modesty, not to self-aggrandizement; to contentment, not to discontent; to seclusion, not to entanglement; to aroused persistence, not to laziness; to being unburdensome, not to being burdensome': You may categorically hold, 'This is the Dhamma, this is the Vinaya, this is the Teacher's instruction.'"
That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, Mahapajapati Gotami delighted at his words.
Mv 6.40.1 Vinaya-samukkamsa: The Innate Principles of the Vinaya wrote:Now at that time uncertainty arose in the monks with regard to this and that item: "Now what is allowed by the Blessed One? What is not allowed?" They told this matter to the Blessed One, (who said):
"Bhikkhus, whatever I have not objected to, saying, 'This is not allowable,' if it fits in with what is not allowable, if it goes against what is allowable, this is not allowable for you.
"Whatever I have not objected to, saying, 'This is not allowable,' if it fits in with what is allowable, if it goes against what is not allowable, this is allowable for you.
"And whatever I have not permitted, saying, 'This is allowable,' if it fits in with what is not allowable, if it goes against what is allowable, this is not allowable for you.
"And whatever I have not permitted, saying, 'This is allowable,' if it fits in with what is allowable, if it goes against what is not allowable, this is allowable for you."