Original teachings of the Buddha

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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rachmiel
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Original teachings of the Buddha

Post by rachmiel »

I'm guessing this has been asked and answered (probably multiple times) and apologize for ringing this bell again. But ...

Could someone please point me to a website or book that presents, in as approachable/concise a form as possible, the original teachings of the Buddha?

I'm researching the differences/similarities between the Buddha's and Krishnamurti's teachings, and I want to make sure that the Buddha's teachings I reference are really *his* rather than interpreted/modified by others.

Thanks!
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Original teachings of the Buddha

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala »

Take a look at the Introductory Resources thread.
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Caodemarte
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Re: Original teachings of the Buddha

Post by Caodemarte »

rachmiel wrote:I'm guessing this has been asked and answered (probably multiple times) and apologize for ringing this bell again. But ...

Could someone please point me to a website or book that presents, in as approachable/concise a form as possible, the original teachings of the Buddha?

I'm researching the differences/similarities between the Buddha's and Krishnamurti's teachings, and I want to make sure that the Buddha's teachings I reference are really *his* rather than interpreted/modified by others.

Thanks!
Every interpretation of Buddhism believes that it is the original teachings of Buddha, usually with very good reason. Usually the differences are not so important; sometimes they may be. You'd be better off picking one school or group of texts and then contrasting that with Krishnamurti. So the "Buddhism as taught by Ledi Sayadaw or John Doe in such and such texts," rather than wade into the morass of implicty or accidentally claiming that you personally know what "Original Buddhism" is.
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rachmiel
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Re: Original teachings of the Buddha

Post by rachmiel »

Aha.

I figured that the sutta pitakas of the Pali Canon were as close as it got to "what the Buddha said/taught." But based on what you wrote I did some digging and found that many (most?) agree with you, that it's virtually impossible to establish with certainty which Buddhist school's dogma/writings hew closest to the Buddha's actual words.

So how about this:

What sources are considered by Buddhist scholars to be among "the truest" to the Buddha's actual teachings?
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rachmiel
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Re: Original teachings of the Buddha

Post by rachmiel »

For example, something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Buddhas-Words-An ... 0861714911

?
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aflatun
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Re: Original teachings of the Buddha

Post by aflatun »

rachmiel wrote:Aha.

I figured that the sutta pitakas of the Pali Canon were as close as it got to "what the Buddha said/taught." But based on what you wrote I did some digging and found that many (most?) agree with you, that it's virtually impossible to establish with certainty which Buddhist school's dogma/writings hew closest to the Buddha's actual words.

So how about this:

What sources are considered by Buddhist scholars to be among "the truest" to the Buddha's actual teachings?
I think most would say the Pali Nikayas, and among academics there are some who then stratify these further into 'early' and 'late' or 'what Buddha actually said' vs 'later elaboration'

Even if you think that particularly academic approach holds water you'll still come up against the issue of interpretation as alluded to by Caodemarte above. It's not really comforting but in the end I think you'll have to simply do your best, listen respectfully (but critically) to the Noble Ones (and decide who these are) and rely on your own progress and hard work to iron out the details.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16
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aflatun
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Re: Original teachings of the Buddha

Post by aflatun »

rachmiel wrote:For example, something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Buddhas-Words-An ... 0861714911

?
That's highly regarded around here, yes. It's freely available on the internet if you look, but I'm not sure if those PDFs violate Venerable Bodhi's wishes.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16
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mikenz66
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Re: Original teachings of the Buddha

Post by mikenz66 »

Bhikkhu Bodhi's introductory notes to each chapter, and most of the suttas, are available here:

In the Buddha's Words - Open Source Version
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=14640

However, it's an inexpensive paperback (or E-book), so anyone interested in studying it would probably be best to simply purchase it.

:anjali:
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rachmiel
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Re: Original teachings of the Buddha

Post by rachmiel »

Excellent, thanks mikenz66 (not 666?). :namaste:
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Caodemarte
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Re: Original teachings of the Buddha

Post by Caodemarte »

aflatun wrote:
rachmiel wrote:Aha.

I figured that the sutta pitakas of the Pali Canon were as close as it got to "what the Buddha said/taught." But based on what you wrote I did some digging and found that many (most?) agree with you, that it's virtually impossible to establish with certainty which Buddhist school's dogma/writings hew closest to the Buddha's actual words.

So how about this:

What sources are considered by Buddhist scholars to be among "the truest" to the Buddha's actual teachings?
I think most would say the Pali Nikayas, and among academics there are some who then stratify these further into 'early' and 'late' or 'what Buddha actually said' vs 'later elaboration'

Even if you think that particularly academic approach holds water you'll still come up against the issue of interpretation as alluded to by Caodemarte above. It's not really comforting but in the end I think you'll have to simply do your best, listen respectfully (but critically) to the Noble Ones (and decide who these are) and rely on your own progress and hard work to iron out the details.
I think age is not the best guide, especially from a Theravada viewpoint. Several of the Mahayana Agamas predate the Pali Nikayas. There is a very strong argument that the Mahayana movement, depending on how you define it, predates Theravada (remember Theravada looked back to the 3rd Council for inspiration; it did not start there). Fortunately, basic agreement about what constitutes the essence of Buddhism, especially in practice, far exceeds disagreement. If you are going to do a comparison it is best to use "Buddhism as presented by" x (say Bikkhu Bodhi) rather than some generic version. Fortunately, what matters in Buddhism is not so much an argument from authority (even Buddha) and who said what, but what is tested in experience and logic and, above all, what works. But as wisely said above, just do your best.
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Mkoll
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Re: Original teachings of the Buddha

Post by Mkoll »

Caodemarte wrote:Several of the Mahayana Agamas predate the Pali Nikayas.
Would you mind providing some references for this? Thanks.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
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retrofuturist
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Re: Original teachings of the Buddha

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings Rachmiel,

The topic on the Chronological order of the Suttas may also be useful.

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

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aflatun
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Re: Original teachings of the Buddha

Post by aflatun »

Several of the Mahayana Agamas predate the Pali Nikayas. There is a very strong argument that the Mahayana movement, depending on how you define it, predates Theravada
I'm with Mkoll, if you could direct us to sources on both of these counts that would be great. To be transparent my motivation is genuine interest, not disputation, as I am greatly inspired by much in that tradition and find no conflict with Pali Buddhism (or much that's terribly distinct), so thanks in advance!
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16
Caodemarte
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Re: Original teachings of the Buddha

Post by Caodemarte »

Mkoll wrote:
Caodemarte wrote:Several of the Mahayana Agamas predate the Pali Nikayas.
Would you mind providing some references for this? Thanks.
Jan Nattier's "A Guide to the Earliest Chinese Buddhist Translations: Texts from the Eastern Han "Dong Han" and Three Kingdoms "San Guo" Periods" details the history of the early Chinese Buddhist translations. Many of the Chinese translations of the Agamas were apparently from Central Asian sources which seem to predate Pali versions or sourced from earlier texts. The Central Asian sects which apparently supplied the stories or texts were clearly older than Theravada. A side by side comparison of similar stories from the different canons shows what also appears to be insertions of phrasing that appear to be elaborations or explanations in the Pali text in some stories. This typically occurs in later versions.

Some stories are nearly identical. Some have differences of varying degrees of importance. Let me stress that which version of which story is older than another is interesting only from the historical viewpoint. It does not indicate which is "truer" or more useful.
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Mkoll
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Re: Original teachings of the Buddha

Post by Mkoll »

Got it. Can you tell me what pages that is discussed on? Thanks.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
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