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Mānava-Dharmaśāstra vs. Vaca Sutta - Dhamma Wheel

Mānava-Dharmaśāstra vs. Vaca Sutta

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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OcTavO
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Mānava-Dharmaśāstra vs. Vaca Sutta

Postby OcTavO » Thu Jul 15, 2010 3:18 am

I just read an excerpt of the Hindu Mānava-Dharmaśāstra:

Satyam bruyatpriyam bruyanna bruyatsatyamapriyam. Priyam cha nanrtam bruyadesa dharmah sanatanah.

Which translates to:

Speak the truth, speak the truth that is pleasant. Do not speak the truth to manipulate. Do not speak falsely to please or flatter someone. This is the quality of the Sanatan Dharma.

I found it fascinating that this is very close to the Vaca Sutta on Right Speech, here translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu on Access to Insight:

It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will. A statement endowed with these five factors is well-spoken.

The Mānava-Dharmaśāstra dates from a very similar era to the early oral transmission of Buddhist thought. It's generally accepted that the Buddha's teachings expanded upon (and altered) the prevailing Dharma beliefs at the time, but the proximity of these two statements made me wonder... are there other examples where the two traditions converge as closely as this?

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Re: Mānava-Dharmaśāstra vs. Vaca Sutta

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Jul 15, 2010 3:24 am

i dont know about Hinduism but i've read some Jain texts long ago that were almost verbatim prajnaparamita texts
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: Mānava-Dharmaśāstra vs. Vaca Sutta

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Jul 15, 2010 3:26 am

also just to throw this out there, don't assume just because text are similar that they borrowed from one another or that if it's Hindu then it had to come first.
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: Mānava-Dharmaśāstra vs. Vaca Sutta

Postby Kenshou » Thu Jul 15, 2010 3:40 am

It really isn't that hard to find similar looking stuff in two different schools of thought when they developed in similar places at similar times.

Not that it isn't interesting, though.

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Re: Mānava-Dharmaśāstra vs. Vaca Sutta

Postby OcTavO » Thu Jul 15, 2010 4:53 pm


Freawaru
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Re: Mānava-Dharmaśāstra vs. Vaca Sutta

Postby Freawaru » Thu Jul 15, 2010 5:09 pm


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Re: Mānava-Dharmaśāstra vs. Vaca Sutta

Postby OcTavO » Thu Jul 15, 2010 5:21 pm


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tiltbillings
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Re: Mānava-Dharmaśāstra vs. Vaca Sutta

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 15, 2010 5:29 pm

In the Bhagavad Gita, a text which post dates the Buddha, chapter XVI, 8:

'The universe," they say, "is without truth [asat that which open to destruction and change, without an atman/brahman, the Absolute within each of us],"
Without basis/unstable [having no solid ground apratis.t.ham], without a God;
Brought about by a mutual union,
How else? It is caused by lust alone.'


This is a good caricature of the Buddhist position, and certainly the Buddhist position is that the world is unstable, constantly in change, without a basis or essence - an atman/brahman -, and is without a god, "Brought about by a mutual union," and "caused by desire," all of which could be used to describe the Buddhist position, but no one else of the time.

And the Gita goes on, XVI, 9:

Holding this view,
These men of lost souls, of small intelligence,
And of cruel actions, come forth as enemies
Of the world for it destruction.

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Re: Mānava-Dharmaśāstra vs. Vaca Sutta

Postby Freawaru » Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:38 pm


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Sobeh
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Re: Mānava-Dharmaśāstra vs. Vaca Sutta

Postby Sobeh » Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:02 pm


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Re: Mānava-Dharmaśāstra vs. Vaca Sutta

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:39 pm


vitellius
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Re: Mānava-Dharmaśāstra vs. Vaca Sutta

Postby vitellius » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:43 pm

First, we need to admit that "Laws of Manu" are post-Buddhist and post-Asokan. Suttas were already there by that time.

Speak the truth, speak the truth that is pleasant. Do not speak the truth to manipulate. Do not speak falsely to please or flatter someone. This is the quality of the Sanatan Dharma.
It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will. A statement endowed with these five factors is well-spoken.

I would say that these two are rather different. I guess that some similar sayings about truthful, non-manipulative, pleasant speech may be found in Christianity, New Age or wherever.

Satyam bruyatpriyam bruyanna bruyatsatyamapriyam. Priyam cha nanrtam bruyadesa dharmah sanatanah.
kālena ca bhāsitā hoti, saccā ca bhāsitā hoti, saṇhā ca bhāsitā hoti, atthasaṃhitā ca bhāsitā hoti, mettacittena ca bhāsitā hoti.

And wording is different: only one quality is the same: satya and sacca; all other are different.

There are some similarities between "Hindu" (e.g. Yoga Sutras) and Early Buddhist texts, but most probably there is no connection between these two fragments.
Last edited by vitellius on Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mānava-Dharmaśāstra vs. Vaca Sutta

Postby vitellius » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:53 pm



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