Why we still need monks and nuns

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom
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David N. Snyder
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Why we still need monks and nuns

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:59 am

Great post by Ven. Dhammika today regarding a corrupted version "translation" of the Dhammapada:

http://sdhammika.blogspot.com/2013/08/t ... apada.html

For example the Buddha of both the Pali Theravada and the Sanskrit Mahayana sutras was disparaging of dancing while Tai Sheridan apparently enjoys it and therefore Dhammapada verse 16 can be rendered as “do good dance joyfully”.


What is very familiar about The Bare Bones Dhammapada is the assumption underlying it: “I happen to believe in and like (fill in the gap) and that’s what the Buddha taught.”


And then what one of the comments were to Ven. Dhammika's blog post:

To be honest, I'm quite horrified to read the brief synopsis offered in your blog (as well as on the Amazon page for the book), as it confirms a serious concern about the state and fate of Buddhism in the West. However, it also brings forth much gratitude for the small, but growing, western monastic Sangha. dedicated to the Word of the Buddha, and fidelity to the ancient texts.


Of course, monastic teachers could do that too, but probably more likely to occur among lay people who want to market the Dhamma/Dharma.

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Re: Why we still need monks and nuns

Postby Samma » Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:40 am

If someone is looking to a zen priest with no pali for a re-interperation of the dhammapada what do they expect? Best that can be said is it is free on amazon (4/5 stars), so the guy seems well meaning, but seriously misguided.

"All it does is offer cryptic verses, some of which are actually quite poetic, but that in no way reflect either the Buddha’s words or intent."

in the course of the future there will be monks who won't listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — are being recited. They won't lend ear, won't set their hearts on knowing them, won't regard these teachings as worth grasping or mastering. But they will listen when discourses that are literary works — the works of poets, elegant in sound, elegant in rhetoric, the work of outsiders, words of disciples — are recited. They will lend ear and set their hearts on knowing them. They will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.
"In this way the disappearance of the discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — will come about.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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Re: Why we still need monks and nuns

Postby Terasi » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:28 am

A lot of this author's books appear when someone searches for free books on Buddhism (for example: http://www.freebooksifter.com/?c=260). They say there is no such thing as bad publicity, but it actually is if integrity of a teaching is considered otherwise it will be just like that drum in Ani Sutta above. Sorry for my ignorance, but it would be good if free and good Theravada books could be more detectable in radars for general public? There are so many good free books and teachings online, but if you aren't already into Theravada, you wouldn't even know their existence.

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Re: Why we still need monks and nuns

Postby beeblebrox » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:05 pm

I always thought these sort of thing seemed a bit ironic...

The Buddha's teaching involves impermanence; the dukkha; the nature of the five aggregates; the four noble truths (including the first one, not in the least); the practice of diminishing our greed (towards what seems to be the so-called words of Tathagata, for example... apprehended through the five aggregates, no less), our dislike (towards things that are adhammic, for example) and the delusion (of how these seem to work against each other to make up the practice); etc.

When these are viewed in a certain way, it will point us to the nibbana... won't it? What are your thoughts on this?

:anjali:

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Re: Why we still need monks and nuns

Postby Jhana4 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:39 pm

FYI, I'm sure David knows this, but for others Venerale Dhammika is the author of The Broken Buddha
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

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Re: Why we still need monks and nuns

Postby Jhana4 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:48 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:
And then what one of the comments were to Ven. Dhammika's blog post:

To be honest, I'm quite horrified to read the brief synopsis offered in your blog (as well as on the Amazon page for the book), as it confirms a serious concern about the state and fate of Buddhism in the West. However, it also brings forth much gratitude for the small, but growing, western monastic Sangha. dedicated to the Word of the Buddha, and fidelity to the ancient texts.



I don't think that blog post comment is fair for two reasons.

The first reason is that Asians have done plenty of "corruption" of the Buddhist teachings themselves. Look at how different some Mahayana schools are from the Pali Canon. Look at Nichren Buddhism. The life of many lay Buddhists in Asia ( and even monks ) is far removed from meditation and a study of the dhamma as found in the suttas.

The second reason is that Buddhism, in terms of meditation and study of the Pali Canon had been in a long decline until western scholars revived those things through their interests starting in the 19th century. The west has also made significant contritubtions towards de-corrupting the dhamma.

No disrespect to anyone, I know the mileage varies by individual as far as what I wrote goes. There are shining lights on both sides of the globe and there are people on both sides of the globe Buddhism would be better off without. I'm also amazed someone had the arrogance to do what the author of that "dhammapada" did.

I'm grateful that Venerable Dhammika posted his book review on his blog, as it doesn't mater if "the correct answer" can be looked up somewhere, with this subject or any. Many people on the internet will not do that and people with authority in a particular subject have better things to do with their time. Hence misinformation spreads. His short accessible review will be there for people to know that this "dhammapada" was one man's creative writing project.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

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Re: Why we still need monks and nuns

Postby Uilium » Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:32 pm

Terasi wrote:A lot of this author's books appear when someone searches for free books on Buddhism (for example: http://www.freebooksifter.com/?c=260). They say there is no such thing as bad publicity, but it actually is if integrity of a teaching is considered otherwise it will be just like that drum in Ani Sutta above. Sorry for my ignorance, but it would be good if free and good Theravada books could be more detectable in radars for general public? There are so many good free books and teachings online, but if you aren't already into Theravada, you wouldn't even know their existence.


Google this: "(dhamma OR vipassana OR mindfulness OR Theravada OR bhante OR bhikkhu) filetype:pdf" for a megaton of dhamma and meditation instruction. Buddhists, at least as far as I have seen, don't seem to be in a rush to tell other people about the dhamma. Call me ignorant but I want to go tell someone about how not to suffer...It's like show and tell, I'm just saying "hey, check this out!". :meditate:


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