Did the Buddha go to Sri Lanka?

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.

Re: Did the Buddha go to Sri Lanka?

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:33 am

maybe there was no reason to go
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: Did the Buddha go to Sri Lanka?

Postby EricJ » Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:45 am

jcsuperstar wrote:maybe there was no reason to go
The propagation of the Dhamma? Did the Buddha not exhort his followers to spread the Dhamma the world over? If he travelled to some places would he not have travelled to other places out of compassion for all sentient beings? Think about how many Europeans, Africans, Australians, Pacific Islanders, South Americans, and North Americans could have taken refuge over the course of thousands of years if the Buddha had visited these places. If the Buddha only visited countries which are historically Buddhist (such as Sri Lanka, Burma, and Thailand), it seems he was holding out on the rest of the world.

I think that retrofuturist's idea is much more logically sound. Is there even any sort of sutta which would suggest the Buddha visited other places, aside from those suttas which detailed the Buddha's powers?

Regards,
Eric
I do not want my house to be walled in on sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.- Gandhi

With persistence aroused for the highest goal's attainment, with mind unsmeared, not lazy in action, firm in effort, with steadfastness & strength arisen, wander alone like a rhinoceros.

Not neglecting seclusion, absorption, constantly living the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma, comprehending the danger in states of becoming, wander alone like a rhinoceros.
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Re: Did the Buddha go to Sri Lanka?

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:31 am

EricJ wrote:
jcsuperstar wrote:maybe there was no reason to go
The propagation of the Dhamma? Did the Buddha not exhort his followers to spread the Dhamma the world over? If he travelled to some places would he not have travelled to other places out of compassion for all sentient beings? Think about how many Europeans, Africans, Australians, Pacific Islanders, South Americans, and North Americans could have taken refuge over the course of thousands of years if the Buddha had visited these places. If the Buddha only visited countries which are historically Buddhist (such as Sri Lanka, Burma, and Thailand), it seems he was holding out on the rest of the world.

I think that retrofuturist's idea is much more logically sound. Is there even any sort of sutta which would suggest the Buddha visited other places, aside from those suttas which detailed the Buddha's powers?

Regards,
Eric

if we just look at the suttas that deal with him in India there were many who did not covert to his teachings after hearing him speak. there were those who turned against him. those who tried to humiliate him, kill him etc. this was in his own culture, how much more would it be in another? the Buddha knew when to a person would accept his teachings and when they would not. there is no reason to believe that if the Buddha went to those places that they would have accepted him or his teachings. and maybe he did? maybe the teachings died out?
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Re: Did the Buddha go to Sri Lanka?

Postby EricJ » Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:48 am

jcsuperstar wrote:if we just look at the suttas that deal with him in India there were many who did not covert to his teachings after hearing him speak. there were those who turned against him. those who tried to humiliate him, kill him etc. this was in his own culture, how much more would it be in another? the Buddha knew when to a person would accept his teachings and when they would not. there is no reason to believe that if the Buddha went to those places that they would have accepted him or his teachings. and maybe he did? maybe the teachings died out?
So, are you saying that there wouldn't have been some people who would have accepted the Buddha's teachings in non-Indian cultures? The Thai and Burmese cultures would have been fairly different from the Mahajanapada/Maghadan cultures at the time that the Buddha supposedly visited these places, before Southeast Asia was taken in to the Indian cultural sphere.

Did the Buddha hold back his teachings even for those who rebuffed his message?

If it was necessary to believe or speculate that the Buddha visited places outside of India, surely that facet of the Buddha's life would have been mentioned in the suttas. It also seems entirely too coincidental that the places with folkloric visits by the Buddha also happen to be solidly Buddhist countries.
I do not want my house to be walled in on sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.- Gandhi

With persistence aroused for the highest goal's attainment, with mind unsmeared, not lazy in action, firm in effort, with steadfastness & strength arisen, wander alone like a rhinoceros.

Not neglecting seclusion, absorption, constantly living the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma, comprehending the danger in states of becoming, wander alone like a rhinoceros.
- Snp. 1.3
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Re: Did the Buddha go to Sri Lanka?

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:43 am

no one ever said it was necessary, these are just stories tied to certain places. folklore.

what do you mean "hold back the teachings"? if one isnt ready and so you dont teach him, you didnt hold anything back, you just didnt waste your time talking, basically, to yourself.
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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: Did the Buddha go to Sri Lanka?

Postby Ben » Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:00 am

Anyway...
With all due respect to the OP and all participants in this thread, I don't think it really matters whether the Buddha went anywhere outside of India or whether he could have taught people from other lands.
The important thing to remember is that we have the teachings and the opportunity to put the teachigns into practice.
So I recommend that you all get busy with practicing Dhamma!
kind regards

Ben
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Re: Did the Buddha go to Sri Lanka?

Postby EricJ » Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:58 pm

jcsuperstar wrote:no one ever said it was necessary, these are just stories tied to certain places. folklore.
I agree, which is why I voiced my skepticism that the Buddha actually visited these places and why I agree with retrofuturist's idea concerning the reasoning behind these stories.

jcsuperstar wrote:what do you mean "hold back the teachings"? if one isnt ready and so you dont teach him, you didnt hold anything back, you just didnt waste your time talking, basically, to yourself.
The Buddha was a convincing and brilliant teacher, a teacher who knew how to skillfully appeal to those who would have seemed like "lost causes" to others. Are there any stories of the Buddha encountering and instructing a person who didn't go on to take refuge? I am genuinely curious about this, because I am not quite as familiar with the suttas as many of the members of this board.

:anjali:
Eric
I do not want my house to be walled in on sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.- Gandhi

With persistence aroused for the highest goal's attainment, with mind unsmeared, not lazy in action, firm in effort, with steadfastness & strength arisen, wander alone like a rhinoceros.

Not neglecting seclusion, absorption, constantly living the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma, comprehending the danger in states of becoming, wander alone like a rhinoceros.
- Snp. 1.3
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Re: Did the Buddha go to Sri Lanka?

Postby jcsuperstar » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:27 am

EricJ wrote:
jcsuperstar wrote:no one ever said it was necessary, these are just stories tied to certain places. folklore.
I agree, which is why I voiced my skepticism that the Buddha actually visited these places and why I agree with retrofuturist's idea concerning the reasoning behind these stories.

jcsuperstar wrote:what do you mean "hold back the teachings"? if one isnt ready and so you dont teach him, you didnt hold anything back, you just didnt waste your time talking, basically, to yourself.
The Buddha was a convincing and brilliant teacher, a teacher who knew how to skillfully appeal to those who would have seemed like "lost causes" to others. Are there any stories of the Buddha encountering and instructing a person who didn't go on to take refuge? I am genuinely curious about this, because I am not quite as familiar with the suttas as many of the members of this board.

:anjali:
Eric

yes, in fact the 1st person he met after he decided to teach and monks leaving the sangha too, his attendant prior to Ananda left him, also there were monks who left with Devadata too.
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: Did the Buddha go to Sri Lanka?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:39 am

Greetings Ben,

Ben wrote:With all due respect to the OP and all participants in this thread, I don't think it really matters whether the Buddha went anywhere outside of India or whether he could have taught people from other lands.
The important thing to remember is that we have the teachings and the opportunity to put the teachigns into practice.
So I recommend that you all get busy with practicing Dhamma!

A good recommendation indeed... though if there were some "evidence" that these traditional claims are false, then this may have a knock-on effect on the credibility of other writings from the same source.

If these same sources also contributed to the Dhamma which has also been handed down over time, certain aspects of the Dhamma which you rightly encourage us to practice may also have question marks placed over their authenticity as a result.

Sure... they're a couple of big ifs, but I don't think they can be ignored, particularly in a sub-forum dedicated to "textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts."

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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Re: Did the Buddha go to Sri Lanka?

Postby Ben » Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:09 am

Hi Retro

I'm not particularly worried about whether there is evidence that the Buddha went to Sri Lanka.
He could have gone or it could be sheer hagiography, but its essentially immaterial unless its a source of inspiration to practice.

To paraphrase the old axiom: the proof of the efficacy of the Dhamma is in its practice.
Metta

Ben
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Re: Did the Buddha go to Sri Lanka?

Postby EricJ » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:19 am

jcsuperstar wrote:yes, in fact the 1st person he met after he decided to teach and monks leaving the sangha too, his attendant prior to Ananda left him, also there were monks who left with Devadata too.
But you say he did in fact teach these people, despite the fact that he would have known whether or not they would go for refuge and realize the fruits of Dhamma? Respectfully, this seems to contradict this post:

"if one isnt ready and so you dont teach him, you didnt hold anything back, you just didnt waste your time talking, basically, to yourself."

I apologize for continuing a discussion which, as Ben and others have said, is irrelevant in practical terms. However, this discussion is within a topic concerning whether the Buddha visited a place outside of where he is recorded to have visited in the suttas. I think that if he is said to have taught in places outside of India, it is legitimate to widen the discussion to address why he would have visited one place using his powers and not done the same in other places.

I also want to add that I am not questioning that the Buddha would have had the power to appear and reappear in other places. Obviously, I can't confirm or deny this since I was not there and I have not attained the sammasambodhi which would allow me to do such a thing. But if there is anyone who I would believe could have done such a thing, it is the Tathagata, and I found myself without doubt in that respect.
I do not want my house to be walled in on sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.- Gandhi

With persistence aroused for the highest goal's attainment, with mind unsmeared, not lazy in action, firm in effort, with steadfastness & strength arisen, wander alone like a rhinoceros.

Not neglecting seclusion, absorption, constantly living the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma, comprehending the danger in states of becoming, wander alone like a rhinoceros.
- Snp. 1.3
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Re: Did the Buddha go to Sri Lanka?

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:23 am

it doesn't contradict what i say unless there is some law or whatnot that says the Buddha must teach everyone he meets, what it shows is that your idea of just because he teaches or would teach than the teaching would survive or be put into practice whatever vs what i said is maybe there was no reason to go.
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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