Milindapañha's incorporation into the canon

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Coëmgenu
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Milindapañha's incorporation into the canon

Post by Coëmgenu »

Does anyone know any good books or materials on the historical context for the Burmese incorporation of the Sarvа̄stivа̄din Nа̄gasenabhikṣusūtra into the Pali Canon as the Milindapañha?
The thus come thus gone,
who has neither came nor went,
enthroned on men’s breath,

like the still turtle,
withdraws six appendages
and is clothed in light --

illuminating
the unilluminated
with three shining cures.
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robertk
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Re: Milindapañha's incorporation into the canon

Post by robertk »

The Milinda panha - a genuine book of the Theravada- was not part of the canon in the 4th council (and last) in Sri Lanka .
It has always been a revered ancillary work.

It seems to have been added to the Burmese canon at the rehearsals of the past councils they had last century due to their estimation for its undoubted importance and efficacy.
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robertk
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Re: Milindapañha's incorporation into the canon

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Coëmgenu wrote: Sat Oct 03, 2020 2:39 am Does anyone know any good books or materials on the historical context for the Burmese incorporation of the Sarvа̄stivа̄din Nа̄gasenabhikṣusūtra into the Pali Canon as the Milindapañha?
Mod note: For any discussion of non-Theravada works, such as Sarvа̄stivа̄din based ones, please see www.dharmawheel.net or possibly 'connections to other paths' forum .
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Coëmgenu
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Re: Milindapañha's incorporation into the canon

Post by Coëmgenu »

robertk wrote: Sat Oct 03, 2020 4:04 am
Coëmgenu wrote: Sat Oct 03, 2020 2:39 am Does anyone know any good books or materials on the historical context for the Burmese incorporation of the Sarvа̄stivа̄din Nа̄gasenabhikṣusūtra into the Pali Canon as the Milindapañha?
Mod note: For any discussion of non-Theravada works, such as Sarvа̄stivа̄din based ones, please see www.dharmawheel.net or possibly 'connections to other paths' forum .
Are you unaware of what the Nа̄gasenabhikṣusūtra is? I am not sure of why on earth you would post such a thing. I can only imagine because of ignorance. The Milindapañha is a Theravadin work according to the larger Burmese tradition. Do you want to relegate them to "Connections to Other Paths?" What a moderator stance to take.
The thus come thus gone,
who has neither came nor went,
enthroned on men’s breath,

like the still turtle,
withdraws six appendages
and is clothed in light --

illuminating
the unilluminated
with three shining cures.
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robertk
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Re: Milindapañha's incorporation into the canon

Post by robertk »

Coëmgenu wrote: Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:38 am
robertk wrote: Sat Oct 03, 2020 4:04 am
Coëmgenu wrote: Sat Oct 03, 2020 2:39 am Does anyone know any good books or materials on the historical context for the Burmese incorporation of the Sarvа̄stivа̄din Nа̄gasenabhikṣusūtra into the Pali Canon as the Milindapañha?
Mod note: For any discussion of non-Theravada works, such as Sarvа̄stivа̄din based ones, please see www.dharmawheel.net or possibly 'connections to other paths' forum .
Are you unaware of what the Nа̄gasenabhikṣusūtra is? I am not sure of why on earth you would post such a thing. I can only imagine because of ignorance.
This 'bhikṣusūtra' you mention is, I surmise, a Sanskrit translation of the original Pali work, and possibly with adulterations that align it with its Sarvastivadin followers beliefs. That is all well and good , except that this is a Theravada forum .
I am not sure of why on earth you would post such a thing. I can only imagine because of ignorance. The Milindapañha is a Theravadin work according to the larger Burmese tradition. Do you want to relegate them to "Connections to Other Paths?" What a moderator stance to take
.
No I do not want to relegate the original Milindapanha to "Connections to other paths"- discussions on it fit well within Classical or General Theravada Forum. As I wrote earlier: The Milinda panha - a genuine book of the Theravada- ....
[..] has always been a revered ancillary work.

Another idea, if your aim is to suggest that the Sarvа̄stivа̄dins have the original text, that Venerable Nagasena was in fact a Sarvа̄stivа̄din and that the Theravada copied it from them and lied about its history, would be to post in the Early Buddhism section. Although you might still run into issues with other mods - it could run afoul of the rule against i. Proselytizing and evangelizing other paths or doctrines..unless posed very delicately.
Also, I think other large forums including suttacentral are very amenable to this sort of discussion
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Re: Milindapañha's incorporation into the canon

Post by Coëmgenu »

robertk wrote: Sat Oct 03, 2020 10:10 am
Coëmgenu wrote: Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:38 am
robertk wrote: Sat Oct 03, 2020 4:04 am

Mod note: For any discussion of non-Theravada works, such as Sarvа̄stivа̄din based ones, please see www.dharmawheel.net or possibly 'connections to other paths' forum .
Are you unaware of what the Nа̄gasenabhikṣusūtra is? I am not sure of why on earth you would post such a thing. I can only imagine because of ignorance.
This 'bhikṣusūtra' you mention is, I surmise, a Sanskrit translation of the original Pali work, and possibly with adulterations that align it with its Sarvastivadin followers beliefs. That is all well and good , except that this is a Theravada forum .
I figured it must be ignorance.

They are the same work. Completely. The Sarvāstivādin is the original. This is not to be debated with someone who has no idea what he is talking about, as you have already admitted. Please do not clog up this thread with more irreverent off-topic chatter and, if it please you, instead address the question in the OP:

Does anyone know any good books or materials on the historical context for the Burmese incorporation of the Sarvа̄stivа̄din Nа̄gasenabhikṣusūtra into the Pali Canon as the Milindapañha?

If we want to be generous to your claims of a pure Theravadin pedigree, we can do that, but I'll have none of this "Don't talk about a text that I have no clue about because I think it is wrong." There have been no changes made between the Nа̄gasenabhikṣusūtra and the Milindapañha because Sarvastivada and Theravada are so close, no changes were needed. Yes, the Pali text still has Sarvastivadin Abhidharmika points being spouted by Ven Nagasena, such as that space is an unconditioned dharma. If it is to be the case that we are to take the Milindapañha as a purely Theravadin literary creation, is has to stem from the time period when Theravada and Sarvastivada were not yet schismed and were still collectively Vibhajyavāda, the school of analysis.
The thus come thus gone,
who has neither came nor went,
enthroned on men’s breath,

like the still turtle,
withdraws six appendages
and is clothed in light --

illuminating
the unilluminated
with three shining cures.
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Coëmgenu
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Re: Milindapañha's incorporation into the canon

Post by Coëmgenu »

Coëmgenu wrote: Sat Oct 03, 2020 4:32 pm
robertk wrote: Sat Oct 03, 2020 10:10 am
Coëmgenu wrote: Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:38 am
Are you unaware of what the Nа̄gasenabhikṣusūtra is? I am not sure of why on earth you would post such a thing. I can only imagine because of ignorance.
This 'bhikṣusūtra' you mention is, I surmise, a Sanskrit translation of the original Pali work, and possibly with adulterations that align it with its Sarvastivadin followers beliefs. That is all well and good , except that this is a Theravada forum .
I figured it must be ignorance.

They are the same work. Completely. The Sarvāstivādin is the original. [...] There have been no changes made between the Nа̄gasenabhikṣusūtra and the Milindapañha because Sarvastivada and Theravada are so close, no changes were needed. Yes, the Pali text still has Sarvastivadin Abhidharmika points being spouted by Ven Nagasena, such as that space is an unconditioned dharma.
I just did some research to make sure the above was completely true. It turns out there are seven additional questions in the NB-sutra that are not in the Milinda. These questions have no Sarvāstivāda-specific content and, like the majority of the work, are to do with universals of Śrāvaka Buddhism, but I will concede that if anyone wants to discuss these specific seven questions they can inquire in "Connections to Other Paths."
The thus come thus gone,
who has neither came nor went,
enthroned on men’s breath,

like the still turtle,
withdraws six appendages
and is clothed in light --

illuminating
the unilluminated
with three shining cures.
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robertk
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Re: Milindapañha's incorporation into the canon

Post by robertk »

I figured it must be ignorance.

They are the same work. Completely. The Sarvāstivādin is the original. This is not to be debated with someone who has no idea what he is talking about, as you have already admitted. Please do not clog up this thread with more irreverent off-topic chatter and, if it please you, instead address the question in the OP:
According to Theravada - and this is a Theravada forum - it was compiled in Pali , and Nagasena was a Theravada Bhikkhu.
Not irrelevant.
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Re: Milindapañha's incorporation into the canon

Post by Coëmgenu »

robertk wrote: Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:48 pm
I figured it must be ignorance.

They are the same work. Completely. The Sarvāstivādin is the original. This is not to be debated with someone who has no idea what he is talking about, as you have already admitted. Please do not clog up this thread with more irreverent off-topic chatter and, if it please you, instead address the question in the OP:
According to Theravada - and this is a Theravada forum - it was compiled in Pali , and Nagasena was a Theravada Bhikkhu.
Not irrelevant.
A Theravādin bhikkhu who counts ākāśa as an unconditioned dharma. Of course.

:juggling:

Magadhi Prakrit was not spoken in the Greco-Bactrian kingdom that King Menander ruled. They spoke Gandhari. Venerable Nagasena had no reason to know Magadhi Prakrit or its later form Pāli, because he had all of the Buddha's suttas in Gandhari. Nor was it the language of his native Kaśmir. The ur-text was translated from Gandhari, substantiable via points of early Chinese translation, and translated into Pāli to generate the Milinda literature. Because the translation is of good quality, almost nothing at all is changed. Deniers of this can establish no Theravādin presence historically in the kingdoms of Greco-Bactria. This is not an issue of being anti-Theravādin. Some Theravādins imported an exemplary treatise from the northern tradition either pre-schism or post. This is directly speaking about Theravāda Buddhism.

They did not speak Pāli in King Menander's lands.
Last edited by Coëmgenu on Sat Oct 03, 2020 6:46 pm, edited 7 times in total.
The thus come thus gone,
who has neither came nor went,
enthroned on men’s breath,

like the still turtle,
withdraws six appendages
and is clothed in light --

illuminating
the unilluminated
with three shining cures.
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Coëmgenu
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Re: Milindapañha's incorporation into the canon

Post by Coëmgenu »

Let's end the off-topic chatter of whether or not Venerable Nāgasena is clearly still a Sarvāstivādin in the Pāli translation of this material.

Relevant to the OP:

1) The Milinda is not canonical in Siamese and Sinhala traditions.
2) The Milinda is canonical in the Burmese tradition.

Question -- when was this distinction formalized and what was the historical context?

This is what would be relevant and on-topic.
Coëmgenu wrote: Sat Oct 03, 2020 4:32 pm If it is to be the case that we are to take the Milindapañha as a purely Theravadin literary creation, is has to stem from the time period when Theravada and Sarvastivada were not yet schismed and were still collectively Vibhajyavāda, the school of analysis.
I mispoke here. If we suggest that Venerable Nāgasena is identified as of the same sect as the Theravādins, then that means he must come from before the Sarvāstivāda and Vibhajyavāda split, before the North-South Sthāvira divide, back when they were all Sthāviravādins.There is nothing wrong with suggesting this, but it invites that the ur-Sthāviravādins listed space as an unconditioned and the later Theravādins rebelled against this. This is not a narrative that I imagine any Theravādin would want to be true, and it needn't be. It makes more sense that Venerable Nāgasena is an āryaśrāvaka of the northern tradition celebrated in the south as well.
The thus come thus gone,
who has neither came nor went,
enthroned on men’s breath,

like the still turtle,
withdraws six appendages
and is clothed in light --

illuminating
the unilluminated
with three shining cures.
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mikenz66
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Re: Milindapañha's incorporation into the canon

Post by mikenz66 »

This is fascinating. Clearly the Theravada school did not develop in a vacuum...

However, perhaps the discussion of such relationships would be better in:
Early Buddhism
Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.

viewforum.php?f=29

where comparison between schools is the point.

:heart:
Mike
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Coëmgenu
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Re: Milindapañha's incorporation into the canon

Post by Coëmgenu »

Eh, it can be moved if it pleases people. I'm done defending the inquiry as on-topic for general Theravāda conversation.
The thus come thus gone,
who has neither came nor went,
enthroned on men’s breath,

like the still turtle,
withdraws six appendages
and is clothed in light --

illuminating
the unilluminated
with three shining cures.
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Re: Milindapañha's incorporation into the canon

Post by Dhammanando »

Coëmgenu wrote: Sat Oct 03, 2020 2:39 am Does anyone know any good books or materials on the historical context for the Burmese incorporation of the Sarvа̄stivа̄din Nа̄gasenabhikṣusūtra into the Pali Canon as the Milindapañha?
Chris Clark's The Sixth Buddhist Council: Its Purpose, Presentation, and Product (Journal of Burma Studies, vol. 19, #1, June 2015, pp. 79-112), is the most thorough English account I've yet seen of the Sixth Council and its aftermath, but he merely mentions the addition of the Milindapañha to the Khuddaka Nikāya without stating any reason for it.

http://www.chrisclark.bio/wp-content/up ... -2015b.pdf
Coëmgenu wrote: Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:25 pm It turns out there are seven additional questions in the NB-sutra that are not in the Milinda.
The differences are much greater than that. For a start the Milinda is about twice as long as the NBS. The first three of its seven sections more or less correspond to the whole of the NBS. See Thích Minh Châu's comparative study:

https://www.budsas.org/ebud/milinda/ml-00.htm
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Re: Milindapañha's incorporation into the canon

Post by robertk »

see here for posts on space viewtopic.php?f=18&t=38263
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Re: Milindapañha's incorporation into the canon

Post by Coëmgenu »

Dhammanando wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 3:40 am
Coëmgenu wrote: Sat Oct 03, 2020 2:39 am Does anyone know any good books or materials on the historical context for the Burmese incorporation of the Sarvа̄stivа̄din Nа̄gasenabhikṣusūtra into the Pali Canon as the Milindapañha?
Chris Clark's The Sixth Buddhist Council: Its Purpose, Presentation, and Product (Journal of Burma Studies, vol. 19, #1, June 2015, pp. 79-112), is the most thorough English account I've yet seen of the Sixth Council and its aftermath, but he merely mentions the addition of the Milindapañha to the Khuddaka Nikāya without stating any reason for it.

http://www.chrisclark.bio/wp-content/up ... -2015b.pdf
Thanks, bhante.
Dhammanando wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 3:40 am
Coëmgenu wrote: Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:25 pm It turns out there are seven additional questions in the NB-sutra that are not in the Milinda.
The differences are much greater than that. For a start the Milinda is about twice as long as the NBS. The first three of its seven sections more or less correspond to the whole of the NBS. See Thích Minh Châu's comparative study:

https://www.budsas.org/ebud/milinda/ml-00.htm
It looks like I'll be making a companion "Connections" thread then after all and that I ought to apologize to Robert. I was aware of the Milinda text being much longer, but had attributed it to sections of the NBS being lost or the Chinese translation being of only excepts and/or incomplete rather than the Milinda being substantially expanded. I wasn't aware of the disparities in the information presented by the "narrator," having only looked at the parallels in the actual dialogue attributed to King Menander and Ven Nagasena before. Thank you for this resource.
The thus come thus gone,
who has neither came nor went,
enthroned on men’s breath,

like the still turtle,
withdraws six appendages
and is clothed in light --

illuminating
the unilluminated
with three shining cures.
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