Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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adeh
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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Post by adeh »

From what I 've read the word hinayana is the word often used as a synonym for these groups and not Theravada...I've just recently read a book by Kogen Mizuno called "Buddhist Sutras" and he uses the word hinayana to describe anything that is not mahayana or tantric, and he includes Theravada as one of the hinayana schools.
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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Post by 5heaps »

tiltbillings wrote:Also, contrary to what many Mahayanists might think, the Theravada is not hinayana, the garbage vehicle, or even the "lower" vehicle.
Why?

From the mahayana pov, any vehicle leading to liberation which does not include bodhichitta as a path is by definition "lower". In the same way that shravaka arhats have far fewer good qualities than pratyekabuddha arhats, they are by definition lesser. I hope this is ok with retro to say, I am merely responding to the points you're bringing up (it's not my intention to senselessly bring these things up).
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."
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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Post by 5heaps »

Paññāsikhara wrote:So, having rejected "hinayana" (obviously!) and "mainstream" as terms to describe non-Mahayana groups as a whole, do you have any other terms that will work? I think that this is an important question. If we are keen to drop the nasty terms as long gone history, how are we to proceed in the present?
It's also sometimes called shravakayana.
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."
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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Post by 5heaps »

tiltbillings wrote:
Paññāsikhara wrote: "Small vehicle" is no compliment, but they don't think that it is a nasty insult, either.
If we always think that when modern Anglophone Mahayanists use the word "hinayana" they mean it as "inferior / despicable vehicle", then we are probably misrepresenting them.
But misrepresentation seems par for the course in a lot of things in this area. :sigh:
when Mahayanists assume that their understandings of notions such as what a Buddha is, arahant, nibbana, bodhi are all appropriately applied without question to the Theravada.
Do you have an example Tilt?

For example, in general, the mahayana tenets are based on first understanding and mastering the non-mahayana tenets. It's literally impossible to have a mahayana realization without having non-mahayana realizations. So an implication is that any mahayana scholar is by definition very knowledgeable in non-mahayana. (/hides from retro)
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."
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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Post by DNS »

5heaps wrote: From the mahayana pov, any vehicle leading to liberation which does not include bodhichitta as a path is by definition "lower". In the same way that shravaka arhats have far fewer good qualities than pratyekabuddha arhats, they are by definition lesser. I hope this is ok with retro to say, I am merely responding to the points you're bringing up (it's not my intention to senselessly bring these things up).
5heaps,

Which message from retro are you responding to? The last one I see from him is this:
retrofuturist wrote:
This subforum is "A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravada (The Way of the Elders)", not about how great (or otherwise) Mahayana Buddhism is.

As for the Terms Of Service, you'll find them here - http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Of particular relevance is the following...
Dhamma Wheel is an environment for the discussion of the Theravada. All are welcome but are required to abide by the TOS. Special forums have been created for special areas of interest so please respect these boundaries. Dhamma Wheel administrators and moderators reserve the right to edit inappropriate content, and to remove or transfer any posts or threads that are not relevant to the sub-forum in which they are posted. Any subject matter that may be off-topic or is intended only to cause disruption or harm to others may be removed without notice. This includes the badmouthing of other Buddhist discussion forums, trolling, solicitation of funds and proselytizing.
And then your response referring to Theravada as "lower." How is that a response to the TOS retro quoted? It appears more like a direct attack on the TOS and Theravada.
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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Post by mikenz66 »

Hi 5heaps,
5heaps wrote: From the mahayana pov, any vehicle leading to liberation which does not include bodhichitta as a path is by definition "lower". ...
Of course, that's fine. No one is disputing that from the POV of (some?) Mayahana schools Theravada and other non-Mayahana schools are missing something. Similarly, I would not expect you to be surprised that the standard Theravada POV is that those views are completely irrelevant and can therefore be safely ignored. There are, therefore, some rather basic points of disagreement, and it is important to be respectful of the existence of those contradictions, rather than to try to pretend that they don't exist, or, worse, to be condescending, which could take these forms:
Mahayana Buddhist: "Theravada, etc, is OK as far as it goes, but the poor dears will see their errors eventually when they become Arahats and discover that it's not really the final goal."
Theravada Buddhist: "Mahayana is OK, I guess. The poor dears are a bit deluded about all this Bodhisattva stuff, but since it's just a skilful way of making them play nice it doesn't really do much harm, and they'll come right in the end when they figure it out."

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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Post by Cittasanto »

mikenz66 wrote:Hi adeh,
adeh wrote:I think "Theravada" sounds just fine....and we should keep on insisting that the other traditions use it and stop using the term "hinayana".
Obviously, if someone is actually talking about Theravada.

However, the key point that Paññāsikhara has made many times is that it is misleading to use the term "Theravada" for pre-Theravada Buddhism, or to use it as a collective label for the numerous (non-Mahayana) schools that existed alongside it. There were significant doctrinal differences, some of which are presented in the Theravada Canon and make interesting reading...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/abhi/index.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
V. Kathavatthu ("Points of Controversy").
Another odd inclusion in the Abhidhamma, this book contains questions and answers that were compiled by Moggaliputta Tissa in the 3rd century BCE, in order to help clarify points of controversy that existed between the various "Hinayana" schools of Buddhism at the time.
English translations:
* Points of Controversy, translated from the Pali by S.Z. Aung and C.A.F. Rhys Davids (Oxford: Pali Text Society, 1915).
Metta
Mike
Hi Mike
Theravada is the pali version of the sanskrit Sthaviravāda school which name is used as the umbrella term for all the schools of buddhism who are not part of the Mahasanghika school/umbrella. it is an umbrella term, aswell as being the modern name of the Sri Lankan school.

* Sthaviravāda
o Pudgalavāda ('Personalist') (c. 280 BCE)
+ Vatsīputrīya (under Aśoka) later name: Saṃmitīya
+ Dharmottarīya
+ Bhadrayānīya
+ Sannāgarika
o Vibhajjavāda (prior to 240 BCE; during Aśoka)
+ Mahīśāsaka (after 232 BCE)
+ Kāśyapīya (after 232 BCE)
+ Dharmaguptaka (after 232 BCE)
+ Theravāda (c. 240 BCE)
o Sarvāstivāda (c. 237 BCE)
+ Mūlasarvāstivāda (third and fourth centuries)
+ Sautrāntika (between 50 BCE and c. 100 CE)
* Mahāsaṃghika ('Majority', c. 380 BCE)
o Ekavyahārikas (under Aśoka)
o Lokottaravāda
o Gokulika (during Aśoka)
o Bahuśrutīya (late third century BCE)
o Prajñaptivāda (late third century BCE)
o Cetiyavāda
o Caitika (mid-first century BCE)
o Apara Śaila
o Uttara Śaila
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Buddhist_Schools" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Post by Kare »

5heaps wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Also, contrary to what many Mahayanists might think, the Theravada is not hinayana, the garbage vehicle, or even the "lower" vehicle.
Why?

From the mahayana pov, any vehicle leading to liberation which does not include bodhichitta as a path is by definition "lower". In the same way that shravaka arhats have far fewer good qualities than pratyekabuddha arhats, they are by definition lesser. I hope this is ok with retro to say, I am merely responding to the points you're bringing up (it's not my intention to senselessly bring these things up).
It is rather strange that the theravada manages quite well on its own, while the mahayana seems to have a deep need for kicking at other schools in order to justify their existence.

If the mahayanaists insist on this, we might one day find that the theravadists get tired of meekly bowing for all this rather unpolite sectarian propaganda, and pick up some old arguments from the non-mahayana side of the debate. I do not want to present those arguments here. In my view they are better forgotten, like the mahayana arguments ought to be.

But if the mahayana should insist on their argumentation, the debate might heat up to a level none of us would be happy with.

Therefore it would be much wiser to put that old-fashioned sectarianism to sleep and learn to accept that although history has created different kinds of buddhism, there is no 'higher' or 'lower' way. The important differences are not the differences between the schools, but maybe rather between the individual practitioners.
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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Post by mikenz66 »

Hi Manapa,
Manapa wrote: Theravada is the pali version of the sanskrit Sthaviravāda school which name is used as the umbrella term for all the schools of buddhism who are not part of the Mahasanghika school/umbrella.
I'm not completely clear what you are suggesting. I take it you mean that if one wants to refer to all those non-Mahayana schools one can say "Sthaviravāda". (But definitely not "Theravada", which is a subset). Is that right?

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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Post by cooran »

Well said Kåre!

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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

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:anjali:
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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Post by retrofuturist »

Kåre is cool 8-)

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Post by Cittasanto »

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Manapa,
Manapa wrote: Theravada is the pali version of the sanskrit Sthaviravāda school which name is used as the umbrella term for all the schools of buddhism who are not part of the Mahasanghika school/umbrella.
I'm not completely clear what you are suggesting. I take it you mean that if one wants to refer to all those non-Mahayana schools one can say "Sthaviravāda". (But definitely not "Theravada", which is a subset). Is that right?

Mike
Hi Mike,
Essentially yes, although Theravada & Sthaviravāda are the same word in different languages so technically the same thing. I give an alternative for Theravada & Sthaviravāda when refering to the early schools of this line earlier as early thera schools which i think is less confusing than the actual terms and gives a time context but when talking about post Mahayanas formation the current names or groupings should be used not terms such as non-mahayana or hinayana which are essentially meaning the same thing.
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill
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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Post by Mawkish1983 »

Manapa wrote:terms such as non-mahayana or hinayana which are essentially meaning the same thing.
I'm not sure that they do mean the same thing. Non-mahayana just means all schools not mahayana. The word Hinayana has a place within Mahayana as a name of a practice focused on the defilements (from what I understand from earlier in the thread) but NOT as a description of non-mahayana schools. <shrugs> I'm amazed this discussion is still going.
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Re: Do you find Hinayana offensive?

Post by Cittasanto »

non- indicates without, or the opposite of as well as not, which also indicates the opposite, plus if you take in the use of the word great and look at antonyms in the thesaurus it would give exactly the same meaning as hinayana.

so non-mahayana could mean
the school that is not great
school without greatness
or unimportant, lowly or at best ordinary school, no real difference between the two except one uses two different languages
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill
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