Dhamma Ending Age

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Re: Dhamma Ending Age

Postby reflection » Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:10 pm

I myself am more 'concerned' with people neglecting the importance of things like renunciation, the precepts, the ordained sangha, samadhi. Disregarding parts of the training, rather than the Dhamma. Because I feel people who have a natural incentive to understand the Dhamma will quite easily pick out the teachings that are right and dismiss those that are not. But that will then be based upon their following the training.

However, my primary concern lies with the samadhi. I feel many teachers don't represent it well. The fact the sutta says it can be one of the reasons for the Dhamma to decline is quite remarkable in that it does not mention other path factors specifically.

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Re: Dhamma Ending Age

Postby Will » Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:25 pm

The 'people' upon which rests the burden of saving or purifying the dispensation are the monastics. We lay folk are mainly cheerleaders & dhamma protectors for them. (Yes, stipulation that there can be some very good practitioners who are not monastics.)
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Re: Dhamma Ending Age

Postby Jason » Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:30 am

Personally, I don't put too much stock in the whole 'we're living in a degenerate age' thing. One reason is that much of what forms the textual basis for this idea is of a fairly late date and/or commentarial literature. The Anagatavamsa, for example, is a relatively late text and isn't canonical. The Gandhavamsa ascribes authorship to the elder Kassapa, the author of the Mohavicchedani (12th -13th century CE). And the 500 year prophecy, which deals with both the brute survival of the teaching and the survival of the teaching unadulterated with 'synthetic Dhamma' (saddhamma-patirupa), isn't only somewhat controversial and considered by many to be a later addition these days, but also held by many who do accept it as being conditional (i.e., subject to change). Many hold, for example, that the acceptance of the additional rules on the part of the bhikkhunis and the subsequent council after the Buddha's death altered this, acting as conditions for the teachings' survival far into the future.

Whatever the case, one of the things I like about the Thai Forest Tradition, besides their focus on practicing, is their belief that awakening is still a possibility and open to all. There was a time not that long ago in Theravada when it was generally believed that it's no longer possible to become an arahant — that we're living in a 'degenerate age' full of false teachings and ineffectual practitioners — therefore monks usually spent most of their time studying the texts in order to preserve what's left of the 'true Dhamma' and try to become at least stream-enterers by intellectually understanding concepts such as not-self. Both monastics and non-monastics alike thought it was better to study the texts and to make merit than to practice meditation, hoping to eventually be reborn in a better time and place where the Dhamma and the ability to attain awakening will be restored by the next Buddha, Mettaya (hence the popularity of the Anagatavamsa). But thanks to monks like Ajahn Sao and Ajahn Mun in Thailand, as well as other contemporaries like Mingun Jetavana Sayadaw in Burma, who decided to start putting the Buddha's teachings on meditation back into practice and strive for liberation, that's changed.

Certainly things aren't perfect, and there are many challenges facing sincere practitioners; but far from being in a 'degenerate age' here in the West, I think things are actually looking up. I attended the ordination of Tan Sudhiro's at Abhayagiri last month, for example, and the ceremony seemed especially auspicious as it had a full quorum of ten monks — double the number of monks needed to perform it outside of the Ganges valley (ten vs. five) — illustrating the growing strength of Buddhism in the West. On top of that, monks are going on tudong (we actually managed to time our trip down to Abhayagiri so that we could meet up with and offer a meal to the two tudong monks walking from Abhayagiri to the Pacific Hermitage in White Salmon, Washington), and new and dedicated lay-groups and monasteries are popping up everywhere. In addition, we have access to a vast storehouse of teachings, from ancient Pali and Sanskrit texts to those of many skilled teachers, helping point the way forward.
"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" (AN 7.58).

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Re: Dhamma Ending Age

Postby Arjan Dirkse » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:40 pm

If getting rid of superstitious trappings you don't believe in, while embracing a Buddhist practice you feel is helpful and beneficial to yourself and others, is a sign of the dhamma ending age, then please let the dhamma end today. :tongue:

We get terribly hung up on definitions and doctrinal delineations on forums such as these. But Buddhism is spreading, is thriving, and it's definitely a force for good. If the interest of its followers is more about achieving happiness and doing good things, like safeguarding the environment, or helping people in difficult circumstances, fighting inequality or exploitation etc, than in "keeping the faith pure", then that is only a good thing.
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Re: Dhamma Ending Age

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:01 pm

Will wrote:In Mahayana there are teachings about the symptoms of the end of the Dharma dispensation. After reading some here about this Dhammakaya group, I thought that sure fits in with Dharma Ending Era that Mahayana sutras report.

But, aside from the fact that the Sasana of our Buddha is impermanent, are there any suttas that lay out the signs of degeneration of said Dhamma?



The Dhamma will always be there if people practice to let go, of everything


Since there are many people who still practice the path of complete non-attachment, we are not in in a "Dhamma ending age"
“Happy is the man who has broken the chains which hurt the mind, and has given up worrying once and for all.” Ovid
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Re: Dhamma Ending Age

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:03 pm

Will wrote:One example of fake Dhamma, are the Dhamma lite followers. They classify rebirth & deva realms as cultural trappings and simply toss them aside. That makes them adherents of wrong view - but they probably will find a way rationalize their notions as correct and the tradition (which they also are not fond of) as wrong.

Reflection has a very strong case.



Dhamma lite, I wonder who decides what that is?


Why is not accepting or denying literal Hell realms after physical death "Dhamma Lite"?


Never seen how it is in the Suttas, or in Theravada tradition :reading:

"Dhamma lite" does seem to be a modern concept though, stemming from Vajrayana (as if Vajrayana wasnt watered down :? )
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Re: Dhamma Ending Age

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:25 pm

Whatever the case, one of the things I like about the Thai Forest Tradition, besides their focus on practicing, is their belief that awakening is still a possibility and open to all.



Sadhu!


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Re: Dhamma Ending Age

Postby reflection » Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:30 am

I don't use the term "dhamma ending age", but I don't think the number of practitioners says anything about whether the dhamma is declining or not. What determines if the dhamma is still alive, is if there are enlightened beings, not the amount of total practitioners. You can have millions of practitioners, but if nobody gets to the end of the path, there is no dhamma. And these beings that are 'crossed over' I feel are rare, at least much rarer than they supposedly were in the time of the Buddha.

But it's not a thing to worry about because it is not really in our hands whether the dhamma will live or die, so it doesn't change anything for the practice itself. Not for me anyway.

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Re: Dhamma Ending Age

Postby Aloka » Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:20 am

Will wrote:One example of fake Dhamma, are the Dhamma lite followers. They classify rebirth & deva realms as cultural trappings and simply toss them aside. That makes them adherents of wrong view - but they probably will find a way rationalize their notions as correct and the tradition (which they also are not fond of) as wrong.


Good grief! I thought that the "Dharma Lite" expression which was invented by the Tibetan Buddhist Alexander Berzin, and promoted at places like E-Sangha had died a natural death - and here it is re-surfacing on the internet again!

http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/approaching_buddhism/introduction/dharma_lite.html

:)
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Re: Dhamma Ending Age

Postby Aloka » Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:30 am

Jason wrote:Whatever the case, one of the things I like about the Thai Forest Tradition, besides their focus on practicing, is their belief that awakening is still a possibility and open to all


Absolutely, Jason. Personally, I have great confidence in the Thai Forest Tradition.

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Re: Dhamma Ending Age

Postby Will » Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:25 pm

Aloka wrote:
Will wrote:One example of fake Dhamma, are the Dhamma lite followers. They classify rebirth & deva realms as cultural trappings and simply toss them aside. That makes them adherents of wrong view - but they probably will find a way rationalize their notions as correct and the tradition (which they also are not fond of) as wrong.


Good grief! I thought that the "Dharma Lite" expression which was invented by the Tibetan Buddhist Alexander Berzin, and promoted at places like E-Sangha had died a natural death - and here it is re-surfacing on the internet again!

http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/approaching_buddhism/introduction/dharma_lite.html

:)


You do not care for 'the "Dharma Lite" expression' - fine. How about Wrong View Dharma? Ignoring or denying hell or deva realms, rebirth, kamma etc., all of which were taught by Buddha in the suttas, is a blunder. How big a blunder depends on how mild or strong the intent of the person ignoring or denying.
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Re: Dhamma Ending Age

Postby clw_uk » Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:54 pm

You do not care for 'the "Dharma Lite" expression' - fine. How about Wrong View Dharma? Ignoring or denying hell or deva realms, rebirth, kamma etc., all of which were taught by Buddha in the suttas, is a blunder. How big a blunder depends on how mild or strong the intent of the person ignoring or denying.


Or not ignoring or denying but using these concepts in a different way :shrug:

Furthermore you will need to prove that holding to a view of "after death I will be reborn as a slug" , is essential to buddhadhamma. That is to say a person cannot let go of everything without accepting that view
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Re: Dhamma Ending Age

Postby Aloka » Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:58 pm

Will wrote:
Aloka wrote:
Will wrote:One example of fake Dhamma, are the Dhamma lite followers. They classify rebirth & deva realms as cultural trappings and simply toss them aside. That makes them adherents of wrong view - but they probably will find a way rationalize their notions as correct and the tradition (which they also are not fond of) as wrong.


Good grief! I thought that the "Dharma Lite" expression which was invented by the Tibetan Buddhist Alexander Berzin, and promoted at places like E-Sangha had died a natural death - and here it is re-surfacing on the internet again!

http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/approaching_buddhism/introduction/dharma_lite.html

:)


You do not care for 'the "Dharma Lite" expression' - fine. How about Wrong View Dharma? Ignoring or denying hell or deva realms, rebirth, kamma etc., all of which were taught by Buddha in the suttas, is a blunder. How big a blunder depends on how mild or strong the intent of the person ignoring or denying.


I don't believe in fundamentalist views, for sure, because that's what causes more suffering in the world. Trying to intimidate others on the internet is also a "blunder".

Setting aside certain beliefs and saying "I don't know about this, I have no personal experience of it and want to focus on practice in the here and now" isn't "wrong view Dharma." - because I've also spoken to teachers from 2 different traditions about it and value their opinions.
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Re: Dhamma Ending Age

Postby clw_uk » Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:14 pm

Setting aside certain beliefs and saying "I don't know about this, I have no personal experience of it and want to focus on practice in the here and now" isn't "wrong view Dharma." - because I've also spoken to teachers from 2 different traditions about it and value their opinions.


Sadhu


:goodpost:


:namaste:
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Re: Dhamma Ending Age

Postby Arjan Dirkse » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:17 am

Will wrote:
Aloka wrote:
Will wrote:One example of fake Dhamma, are the Dhamma lite followers. They classify rebirth & deva realms as cultural trappings and simply toss them aside. That makes them adherents of wrong view - but they probably will find a way rationalize their notions as correct and the tradition (which they also are not fond of) as wrong.


Good grief! I thought that the "Dharma Lite" expression which was invented by the Tibetan Buddhist Alexander Berzin, and promoted at places like E-Sangha had died a natural death - and here it is re-surfacing on the internet again!

http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/approaching_buddhism/introduction/dharma_lite.html

:)


You do not care for 'the "Dharma Lite" expression' - fine. How about Wrong View Dharma? Ignoring or denying hell or deva realms, rebirth, kamma etc., all of which were taught by Buddha in the suttas, is a blunder. How big a blunder depends on how mild or strong the intent of the person ignoring or denying.


What does Buddha say about denigrating the beliefs and practices of others?

Let's not pretend there is only one valid interpretation.
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Re: Dhamma Ending Age

Postby Will » Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:12 am

Whether 'wrong View Dhamma' or 'counterfeit Dhamma' or Dhamma lite - it is all rooted in Wrong View. And as fundamentalist as it may appear, there is only 'one valid interpretation' - that of Buddha.

See this old thread on Wrong View: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=16691

He also said in A 1 (sutta 318) that 'There is nothing worse than wrong view'.
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Re: Dhamma Ending Age

Postby reflection » Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:39 am

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Re: Dhamma Ending Age

Postby Aloka » Fri Jul 12, 2013 5:55 am

Whatever "Dhamma Age" it is, its always worth keeping this in mind....

Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings;
Radiating kindness over the entire world:
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.

By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.

(from Karaniya Metta Sutta: The Buddha's Words on Loving-Kindness)

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/snp/snp.1.08.amar.html


and to quote Ajahn Amaro from a talk called "I am a Buddhist, why am I so angry?" which he gave a couple of years ago:

"Righteous views are not right view"


Anyway... I recall an old saying "A woman's work is never done," so that's all from me now, its time to have a cuppa and start the new day.

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Re: Dhamma Ending Age

Postby Arjan Dirkse » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:05 am

Will wrote:
He also said in A 1 (sutta 318) that 'There is nothing worse than wrong view'.


Really? Well then he's wrong. :tongue:

Your argument is an appeal to authority. People are so quick to assume that literally everything the Big Guy is supposed to have said according to their own scriptures must be literally true, while everything else, and any other opinion can therefore easily be discarded as "wrong view".
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Re: Dhamma Ending Age

Postby Amila K » Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:11 pm

clw_uk wrote: Will wrote:In Mahayana there are teachings about the symptoms of the end of the Dharma dispensation. After reading some here about this Dhammakaya group, I thought that sure fits in with Dharma Ending Era that Mahayana sutras report.

But, aside from the fact that the Sasana of our Buddha is impermanent, are there any suttas that lay out the signs of degeneration of said Dhamma?






Dear Will,

I think already you have decided about ending age by reading !The way you think wont help to get an idea.Also don't forget King Ashoka timely gave a rebirth so still we are talking and illustrating about the wisdom and the road conditions to the same.You don't wary people are there who already teach to the future about the Buddhism. I have taken your topic as a bridge to the my ultimate question.My hint is how many times Buddha visited to sri lanka?

:?:
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