Ajahn Brahm and Theravada

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Disciple
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Re: Ajahn Brahm and Theravada

Post by Disciple »

Why is he considered controversial by some theravadins?
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Ontheway
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Re: Ajahn Brahm and Theravada

Post by Ontheway »

Disciple wrote: Thu Dec 23, 2021 2:34 am Why is he considered controversial by some theravadins?
Because certain things he said contradicted with Theravada Buddhism. We need to know what "Theravada" really is and the history behind it.

One can appreciate his input and contribution in Buddhism, but to put as him as a representative of "Theravada" Buddhism, is a "No".
Last edited by Ontheway on Thu Dec 23, 2021 2:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Those streams which flow throughout the world, Ajita", said the Lord, "Mindfulness serves to curb them in, This I call the restraint of the streams. But wisdom only turns them off."

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mikenz66
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Re: Ajahn Brahm and Theravada

Post by mikenz66 »

Disciple wrote: Thu Dec 23, 2021 2:34 am Why is he considered controversial by some theravadins?
Beats me. It would be impossible to find any teacher who is completely in line with suttas, abhidhamma, and commentaries. If they are in line with the commentaries, it will be claimed by some that they are following a distorted teaching that doesn't follow the suttas.. If they are not in line with abhidhamma and commentaries, it will be claimed by some that they are not really Theravada. Most of the other teachers mentioned in this thread don't pay much, if any, attention to abhidhamma and commentaries, so I can't see why Ajahn Brahm would be considered particularly controversial compared to them.

In fact, most of Ajahn Brahm's teaching is quite consistent with traditional Theravada, doctrine even if he doesn't appear to pay a lot of attention to it (traditional interpretations of dependent origination, jhana, etc).

So, whether Ajahn Brahm, or any other teacher, is "controversial" is actually a matter of personal preference.

There was controversy in some circles over his decision to conduct bhikkhuni ordinations at his monastery a few years ago, and the Ajahn Chah group of forest monasteries disowned him at that point. However, bhikkhuni ordination had been going on for some time before that, this just happened to be the first in Australia and the first at an Ajahn Chah affiliated monastery.

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Mike
Inedible
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Re: Ajahn Brahm and Theravada

Post by Inedible »

SarathW wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 9:24 am I am not sure whether we can consider anyone who rejects Abhidhamma as Theravada.
How bad can it really be to prefer Suttas which were taught on Earth?
SarathW
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Re: Ajahn Brahm and Theravada

Post by SarathW »

Inedible wrote: Thu Dec 23, 2021 6:09 am
SarathW wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 9:24 am I am not sure whether we can consider anyone who rejects Abhidhamma as Theravada.
How bad can it really be to prefer Suttas which were taught on Earth?
I see your point.
However, we can't discard Sutta commentaries.
It is like you are having only software without hardware to run it.
We need both to function it better,
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
BrokenBones
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Re: Ajahn Brahm and Theravada

Post by BrokenBones »

Inedible wrote: Thu Dec 23, 2021 6:09 am
SarathW wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 9:24 am I am not sure whether we can consider anyone who rejects Abhidhamma as Theravada.
How bad can it really be to prefer Suttas which were taught on Earth?
I actually agree that there could be doubt as to their therevada credentials... but if they follow the suttas they are Buddha's disciples.

Or do you disagree Sarath?

I don't recall the sutta that states we take refuge in the therevada sect.
Disciple
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Re: Ajahn Brahm and Theravada

Post by Disciple »

mikenz66 wrote: Thu Dec 23, 2021 3:31 am
Disciple wrote: Thu Dec 23, 2021 2:34 am Why is he considered controversial by some theravadins?
Beats me. It would be impossible to find any teacher who is completely in line with suttas, abhidhamma, and commentaries. If they are in line with the commentaries, it will be claimed by some that they are following a distorted teaching that doesn't follow the suttas.. If they are not in line with abhidhamma and commentaries, it will be claimed by some that they are not really Theravada. Most of the other teachers mentioned in this thread don't pay much, if any, attention to abhidhamma and commentaries, so I can't see why Ajahn Brahm would be considered particularly controversial compared to them.

In fact, most of Ajahn Brahm's teaching is quite consistent with traditional Theravada, doctrine even if he doesn't appear to pay a lot of attention to it (traditional interpretations of dependent origination, jhana, etc).

So, whether Ajahn Brahm, or any other teacher, is "controversial" is actually a matter of personal preference.

There was controversy in some circles over his decision to conduct bhikkhuni ordinations at his monastery a few years ago, and the Ajahn Chah group of forest monasteries disowned him at that point. However, bhikkhuni ordination had been going on for some time before that, this just happened to be the first in Australia and the first at an Ajahn Chah affiliated monastery.

:heart:
Mike
Strange. As long as the core beliefs such as anatta, kamma, rebirth, dependent origination, emptiness etc. are accepted I wouldn't have an issue with any monk.
bpallister
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Re: Ajahn Brahm and Theravada

Post by bpallister »

I really enjoy Ajahn Brahm's dhamma talks
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suriyopama
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Re: Ajahn Brahm and Theravada

Post by suriyopama »

A quote from Ajahn Brahm:

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