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Agenda of the four Nikayas - Dhamma Wheel

Agenda of the four Nikayas

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Brizzy

Agenda of the four Nikayas

Postby Brizzy » Sun May 09, 2010 1:32 pm

Hi

Having been accused in recent posts of having an "agenda" although I dont quite understand or accept this, I thought I might make this posting my " Agenda of the four Nikayas"

A thought about paramis.............

It is said in the commentaries that to become a great disciple, you must practice the ten paramis for an incalcuable age and 100000 aeons. Yet in the sutta



It is said that in this present aeon where the Buddha Kakusanda and our own buddha appeared the Venerable Mahaamoggallaana was Mara and descended to the great Hell. This does not seem to square with the commentaries.

A thought about Bodhisatta path...........

Nowhere in the four main Nikayas is a Bodhisatta path mentioned. The only time the Buddha refers to a Bodhisatta is in the context of a Buddhas last existence, his own or a former Buddhas. The Buddha mentions in sutta



where he encountered the dhamma of the previous Buddha and had to be dragged by the hair to actually see the Buddha Kassapa. This would intimate that this was our Buddha's first major encounter with the Dhamma, which was in the present aeon. There is no other mention of our Buddha meeting any other Buddha.

There is no mention in the four Nikayas of an aspiration to be a Buddha, this is the same for his disciples.

If our Buddha under Buddha Kassapa was practicing Dhamma to the fullest then he would have attained ariya. It cannot be, that you can practice fully and by a "wish" not achieve the results. See the following sutta


If our Buddha was not pre-destined to be a Sammasambuddha then the suttas which declare that he hesitated to teach become clearer, it was still in the balance whether he would be a Sammasambuddha or a Pratyekabuddha. It was due to the efforts of a Great Brahma that tipped the balance.

The four Nikayas stand out as the words of the Buddha, all of the above is not very important but it highlights the huge disparity between what the Buddha actually SAID and what has become accepted as his teaching.

I have highlighted in previous postings my doubts about momentary concentration/path & fruit having to happen immediately and numerous other teachings that somehow do not make it into the four Nikayas, which brings me to my question..............................Why do people accept teachings that were not the Buddha's words/teachings and in many cases do not have the "flavour" of the suttadhamma?

:smile:

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bodom
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Re: Agenda of the four Nikayas

Postby bodom » Sun May 09, 2010 1:56 pm

How does this "issue" affect YOUR practice? Why should it matter to you? I like pepsi, you like coke. I will not fret over why you like coke while drinking my pepsi. I will just drink my pepsi. If you prefer suttas to commentaries so be it. Suttanta based practitioners need to realise that the commentaries are now as much a part of early Buddhism as the Nikayas. Do the commentaries hold as much weight as the actual Nikayas? Obviously not. But this does not make them dispensible. It is 2000 years later and the commentaries and Abhidhamma are not going anywhere. If there are apparent differences and inconsistencies between the suttas, and the commentaries and Abhidhamma, then this is for each practitioner to look into for themselves. I could fret that 90% of the Buddhist population is practicing Mahayana, but at the end of the day its about MY practice not YOURS and YOUR practice not MINE. Different strokes for different folks.

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

Brizzy

Re: Agenda of the four Nikayas

Postby Brizzy » Sun May 09, 2010 8:55 pm


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cooran
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Re: Agenda of the four Nikayas

Postby cooran » Sun May 09, 2010 9:24 pm

---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Tex
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Re: Agenda of the four Nikayas

Postby Tex » Sun May 09, 2010 10:41 pm

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." -- Heraclitus

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Re: Agenda of the four Nikayas

Postby retrofuturist » Sun May 09, 2010 11:34 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Agenda of the four Nikayas

Postby Ben » Mon May 10, 2010 2:24 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]..

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Re: Agenda of the four Nikayas

Postby retrofuturist » Mon May 10, 2010 3:44 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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cooran
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Re: Agenda of the four Nikayas

Postby cooran » Mon May 10, 2010 3:57 am

Hello Retrofuturist,

There is no dispute because, as Bhikkhu Bodhi says, all schools of buddhism agree on this point. Maybe read the rest of the article?

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: Agenda of the four Nikayas

Postby retrofuturist » Mon May 10, 2010 4:06 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Agenda of the four Nikayas

Postby tiltbillings » Mon May 10, 2010 4:22 am


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Re: Agenda of the four Nikayas

Postby retrofuturist » Mon May 10, 2010 4:25 am

Greetings Tilt,

I concur with your assessment.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Agenda of the four Nikayas

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon May 10, 2010 4:29 am

I think Bhikkhu Bodhi is saying that the Theravada has the bodhisatta concept, but for the samma-sam-buddhas and it is the Mahayana who took that "seed" and transformed it to apply to all practitioners, monastic and lay. He is not saying that the bodhisatta concept applies to all of us. And the Buddha himself did attain Nibbana and parinibbana, not some cosmic eternal state.
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Re: Agenda of the four Nikayas

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon May 10, 2010 4:39 am

In regard to the Nikayas, I can see how one could hold either a 'classical' or 'modern - back to the Suttas' view:

Classical - In the Vinaya, the Cullavagga, it clearly states: "Thus did the venerable Mahâ Kassapa question the venerable Ânanda as to the occasion of the Sâmañña-phala, and as to the individual concerned. And in like manner did he question him through the five Nikâyas, and as he was successively asked, so did Ânanda make reply."

It mentions five Nikayas and the later commentaries mention the Abhidhamma. From this perspective, why not practice according to all of the Canon as Buddhavacana and come and see for ourselves if any of it is out of place.

Modern, Suttanta - The account of the First Council mentions only five Nikayas and the Patimokkha, no mention of the Abhidhamma. Why waste time with material that is probably not Buddhavacana and are most likely later additions.

So it probably comes down to whether you have time to examine all of the Canon, including the Abhidhamma and Commentaries or if you should focus efforts on the material that is clearly the earliest and Buddhavacana. Or from the other point of view, if it is better to examine all of the Canon and Commentaries rather than spending the time on scholarly studies of the texts to determine if they are later additions or not when that time could have been spent on the Canon and Commentaries and the practice.
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Re: Agenda of the four Nikayas

Postby Dan74 » Mon May 10, 2010 4:40 am

hiya folks! :hello:

some thoughts that came to mind while reading the above... FWIW

Whether taking refuge in the Buddha or chanting the name of Avalokiteshvara, devotion is a powerful way to break the hold of the entrenched egotistic habits.

Whether it takes incalculable aeons or one lifetime, complete dedication is a prerequisite, and this surely depends on requisite factors, that may indeed take aeons to master. Indeed for us they have taken a few already, haven't they? And we may still be dabbling compared to the Arahats. It is simply about kamma and isn't viriya (a word I learned from retro :namaste: ) a conditioned attribute? Dependent on causes and conditions? In other words cultivation. For instance when the allure of samsara is strong, viriya for practice isn't going to be strong.

And lastly, whether all sects reflect the Dhammavinaya or not is hard to tell for those of us "lost in the weeds", and give or take, that's probably all of us here. Going and meeting some outstanding teachers of different sects tends to disabuse oneself of a penchant for sectarianism - they are shining examples of Dhammavinaya in practice. So when David (and others) say "Why waste time with material that is probably not Buddhavacana and are most likely later additions" there seems to be an assumption being made that only what is recorded in the Pali suttas is conducive to awakening. Well, if the Buddha was really the Buddha, then many have awakened and many have had the capacity to help others awaken. Rejecting their words as not Buddhavacana is simply wrong.

Of course if the guidance contained in the Pali Nikayas sustains and nourishes your practice, I don't see why you need to look elsewhere. Particularly if other material doesn't resonate and even jars with the suttas. On the other hand, some practitioners thrive on contradictions as it compels them to investigate themselves instead of relying on the written word.
_/|\_

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Re: Agenda of the four Nikayas

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon May 10, 2010 5:02 am

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Re: Agenda of the four Nikayas

Postby Dan74 » Mon May 10, 2010 5:16 am

Yes, David, when I reread it I saw you were listing approaches. Sorry for misrepresenting!

And of course I know the quote and have no issue with it. At the time of saying this, both Discourses and Discipline must've been well-remembered by the monks, otherwise this may also be a later addition to solidify the Suttanta position and close the Dhamma, so to speak. :shrug:
_/|\_

Brizzy

Re: Agenda of the four Nikayas

Postby Brizzy » Mon May 10, 2010 9:17 am



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