Richard Gombrich

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Re: Richard Gombrich

Postby Shonin » Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:09 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Paññāsikhara wrote: Also, in standard PTS mode, he tends to think of almost all other forms of Buddhism as types of corruption or degradation of the teachings. . . . .
Some of it is pretty gawdawful.


Perhaps, but that's not the same as to say that "almost all other forms of Buddhism as types of corruption or degradation of the teachings" nor even that Pali Buddhism is 'the best'.
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:15 am

Shonin wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Paññāsikhara wrote: Also, in standard PTS mode, he tends to think of almost all other forms of Buddhism as types of corruption or degradation of the teachings. . . . .
Some of it is pretty gawdawful.


Perhaps, but that's not the same as to say that "almost all other forms of Buddhism as types of corruption or degradation of the teachings" nor even that Pali Buddhism is 'the best'.
Which is why I worded what I said the way I did.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Postby rowyourboat » Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:25 pm

How Buddhism do you think he has understood, the man who doesn't consider himself a Buddhist?

I'm not surprised they have shut down the post of Professor of Buddhism, after his retirement.

I met him once and found him saying that Buddhists weren't compassionate enough. He didn't quite seem to understand the compassion wasn't the point of Buddhism.

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Re: Richard Gombrich

Postby mudra » Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:58 am

rowyourboat wrote:
I met him once and found him saying that Buddhists weren't compassionate enough. He didn't quite seem to understand the compassion wasn't the point of Buddhism.

RYB


Depends on what particular type of Buddhism you follow...
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:33 am

rowyourboat wrote:How [much] Buddhism do you think he has understood, the man who doesn't consider himself a Buddhist?
Don't be too quick to dismiss Gombrich. There is no reason you must agree with on everything he says or anything he says, but he is an interesting writer who is looking at early Buddhism in historical terms, which is quite useful. One of the things he has brought to the fore, which is almost totally missing from the commentaries is the brahmanical context within which the Buddha taught, and understanding that opens up the Buddha's teachings even more, giving us a view of just how creative and insightful the Buddha was as he responded to the brahmanical ideas and in putting forth his own. It adds a richness to the Buddha's teachings, which did not appear in a vacuum.

As Gombrich states: "I have the greatest difficulty in accepting that the main edifice [of the Pali Texts] is not the
work of one genius."
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Postby Ben » Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:45 am

Yes, I was so singularly impressed with How Buddhism Began that I read it again, cover to cover after finishing it the first time.
I would love to get my hands on 'What the Buddha Thought', but I think it might have to wait until aftr my trip to Myanmar as I'm going into serious money-saving mode.
I guess I could always sell the kids...
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: Richard Gombrich

Postby Reductor » Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:48 am

Ben wrote:Yes, I was so singularly impressed with How Buddhism Began that I read it again, cover to cover after finishing it the first time.
I would love to get my hands on 'What the Buddha Thought', but I think it might have to wait until aftr my trip to Myanmar as I'm going into serious money-saving mode.
I guess I could always sell the kids...


Actually, I was thinking of scanning my copy of What the Buddha Thought and loading it up to scribd. I am not sure, however, if that is good and proper. Does anyone know?

EDIT: no, going by the legal documents on scribd it doesn't appear ok. I'll have to read it more closely however, when daylight shines.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: Richard Gombrich

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:33 am

Hi Ben, What the Buddha Thought costs 15 pounds/26 AUD here: http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/97 ... ha-Thought

TheBookDepository is my first stop if I'm trying to buy a book, since they don't have the crippling shipping charges (for those of use not in the US or the UK etc) of *m*z*n and others...

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Re: Richard Gombrich

Postby suanck » Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:29 am

mikenz66 wrote:What the Buddha Thought costs 15 pounds/26 AUD here: http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/97 ... ha-Thought

TheBookDepository is my first stop if I'm trying to buy a book, since they don't have the crippling shipping charges (for those of use not in the US or the UK etc) of *m*z*n and others...

Mike


Thanks for the info. I've also placed an order with the above online bookshop for 2 books:

1) What the Buddha Thought, Richard Gombrich
2) Buddhist Teaching in India, Johannes Bronkhorst

Suan.
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Postby Ben » Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:24 am

Hi thereductor,
thereductor wrote:Actually, I was thinking of scanning my copy of What the Buddha Thought and loading it up to scribd. I am not sure, however, if that is good and proper. Does anyone know?

EDIT: no, going by the legal documents on scribd it doesn't appear ok. I'll have to read it more closely however, when daylight shines.

As you know, I am a great fan of scribd, but I would be surprised that it would be a breach of copyright and scribd's TOS if you scanned and uploaded the work without the author's permission unless its copyright had expired.

MikeNZ66 wrote:Hi Ben, What the Buddha Thought costs 15 pounds/26 AUD here: http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/97 ... ha-Thought

TheBookDepository is my first stop if I'm trying to buy a book, since they don't have the crippling shipping charges (for those of use not in the US or the UK etc) of *m*z*n and others...

I remember you mentioning the book depository a while ago. I just purchased Andrew Olendzki's new book 'Unlimiting Mind' and a couple of Kabat-Zinn's CDs on mindfulness - all for my wife. And you guessed it, I purchased them from amazon! In future, I'll check out the book depository first.
kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Postby Aloka » Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:26 am

.


I was very disappointed to see that one has to be a member of Facebook in order to download the scribd copy of 'How Buddhism Began.."

Parts of it are also available to read at Google books.

http://books.google.com/books?id=aIOY5g9npMEC&dq=how+buddhism+began+richard+gombrich&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=COyNTMr-CMLAswalytWWAg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&sqi=2&ved=0CCAQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=false




This lecture of Richard Gombrich's might be of interest to anyone who hasn't already read it :

"Kindness and Compassion as means to Nirvana in Early Buddhism "

http://www.ocbs.org/content/blogcategory/29/121/



metta,

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Re: Richard Gombrich

Postby Ben » Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:43 am

Hi Aloka

I don;t think you need to be a member of facebook rather, one can log-in to scribd using their facebook id. In the sameway one can log-in to flickr using their yahoo id. I'm pretty sure that's how it works.
kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Postby Mr. G » Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:24 am

Aloka wrote:.





This lecture of Richard Gombrich's might be of interest to anyone who hasn't already read it :

"Kindness and Compassion as means to Nirvana in Early Buddhism "

http://www.ocbs.org/content/blogcategory/29/121/





Aloka


I just read the chapter on that in his book "What the Buddha Thought" which I'm really enjoying.

Is this idea generally accpeted in orthodox Theravada? I can't imagine it would be.
Even if my body should be burnt to death
In the fires of hell,
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice
- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Postby mudra » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:39 am

I am about a quarter of the way through How Buddhism Began, and am enjoying. A couple of standpoints I don't agree with (and probably many fellow Buddhists wouldn't also) but the man is intelligent, thoroughly read and knowledgeable, and presents his arguments coherently - whether one agrees or not.
(I like his observation on the Buddha having a sense of humor).

Thanks Thereductor, Ben and all for pointing me to this book. And Ven P, after reading just a quarter of this book I think your advice makes even more sense.

Mike, I still haven't managed yet to find an electronic version on Scribd of What the Buddha Thought (obviously thereductor you are still doubtful whether that is the right thing to do, I am too new to Scribd to even understand how it works!) nor any other electronic downloadable version. Physical delivery to Indonesia can be problematic!

Again, thank you all! :anjali:
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Postby Nyana » Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:57 am

suanck wrote:Buddhist Teaching in India, Johannes Bronkhorst

Hi Suan & all,

For anyone who is interested there are a number of Bronkhorst's papers and such available on the Université de Lausanne Unisciences site.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:49 pm

Hi Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:As Gombrich states: "I have the greatest difficulty in accepting that the main edifice [of the Pali Texts] is not the
work of one genius."


Unless someone has gone the whole hog with vipassana (all 16 nanas) there is no way to know what a genius he is. It's not possible to know how deep this dhamma is. It is not possible to know how hard the sangha has practised. There is no true saddha until then.

with metta

RYB
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& Upekkha
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Postby Reductor » Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:17 pm

rowyourboat wrote:Hi Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:As Gombrich states: "I have the greatest difficulty in accepting that the main edifice [of the Pali Texts] is not the
work of one genius."


Unless someone has gone the whole hog with vipassana (all 16 nanas) there is no way to know what a genius he is. It's not possible to know how deep this dhamma is. It is not possible to know how hard the sangha has practised. There is no true saddha until then.

with metta

RYB


You're being kind of narrow, RYB.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: Richard Gombrich

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:40 pm

thereductor wrote:
rowyourboat wrote:Hi Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:As Gombrich states: "I have the greatest difficulty in accepting that the main edifice [of the Pali Texts] is not the
work of one genius."


Unless someone has gone the whole hog with vipassana (all 16 nanas) there is no way to know what a genius he is. It's not possible to know how deep this dhamma is. It is not possible to know how hard the sangha has practised. There is no true saddha until then.

with metta

RYB


You're being kind of narrow, RYB.


:smile: Well 'aveccapasadha' unshakeable faith arises at that point, according to the dhamma ie at the point of becoming a stream entrant (ie 16 vipassaan knowledges); because they have seen the path through their own experience and it it unlike anything a mind has experienced for the whole of samsara. To figure out this path takes a genius. Yes, morality and concentration was already around. But this vipassana is something beyond what a normal human mind can figure out.. and to teach it to people in way that some might grasp it is even more genius. Imagine one fish teaching another fish how to walk on land, or a bird to fly in space. It is of that magnitude.

:anjali: with metta

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Re: Richard Gombrich

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:42 pm

rowyourboat wrote:

Unless someone has gone the whole hog with vipassana (all 16 nanas) there is no way to know what a genius he is.
And you know this from direct experience?
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Postby Reductor » Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:13 pm

rowyourboat wrote: :smile: Well 'aveccapasadha' unshakeable faith arises at that point, according to the dhamma ie at the point of becoming a stream entrant ...


Not quite what I meant, as I'm not one to argue against unshakable faith. I mean that there's more than one way to approach the Buddha's genius other than the practice path of ourselves; and subsequently I feel that Gombrich's view is no less valid by virtue of its perspective.

I would also caution the absolutist reference to the 16 nana and their necessity for 'true' saddha, as not all of us are either aware of what they entail or necessarily subscribe to their being typical of progress. Doing so seems, perhaps, a narrow view.

As for your above assessment to the magnitude of the Buddha's teaching, from the pov of a practitioner, I do concur. I cannot fathom a more wondrous and important teaching than his.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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