The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby m0rl0ck » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:09 pm

Aloka wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:No its more in the line of sectarian squabbling. One shudders to think what kind of karma this stuff creates


I think most people would agree that "Hinayana" is a pejorative term when used today.



I wasnt arguing that it isnt. I wasnt argueing anything. I was making an observation on the discussion itself. If you are quoting me to argue with me, let me make it clear again, I was making an observation on the discussion as a whole and not on the use of hinayana or any other term. So if you are looking to pick an argument, at least argue with me based on what i actually said rather than on your assumptions.
Once again, i dont know how this happend, but apparently at least one person here seems to have somehow gotten the idea that i am somehow defending the term hinayana. I categorically am NOT. The comment i made above was referring to the discussion itself. What a bunch of argumentative pita's some of you all are.
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:32 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Individual wrote:but good Theravadins avoid extremes, and the result is that great Theravadins like Ajahn Chah and Buddhadasa do not seem to differ significantly from great Mahayana teachers. The words may be different, but the essence is the same. And in any case, the terminology within Mahayana varies just as widely.
Utter nonsense. "Good Theravadins?" Because they fit the Mahayana view of things? Really?

On one level it's fine, as long as one takes the statement to be no different from:
"... good Mayahanists avoid extremes and the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh do not seem to differ significantly from great Theravada teachers..."

:anjali:
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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby Aloka » Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:05 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:
Aloka wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:No its more in the line of sectarian squabbling. One shudders to think what kind of karma this stuff creates


I think most people would agree that "Hinayana" is a pejorative term when used today.



I wasnt arguing that it isnt. I wasnt argueing anything. I was making an observation on the discussion itself. If you are quoting me to argue with me, let me make it clear again, I was making an observation on the discussion as a whole and not on the use of hinayana or any other term. So if you are looking to pick an argument, at least argue with me based on what i actually said rather than on your assumptions.
Once again, i dont know how this happend, but apparently at least one person here seems to have somehow gotten the idea that i am somehow defending the term hinayana. I categorically am NOT. The comment i made above was referring to the discussion itself. What a bunch of argumentative pita's some of you all are.



I wan't meaning to pick an argument, just making a point. Please dont take things so seriously Morlock !

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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby BlackBird » Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:01 pm

Individual wrote:Mahayana:
  • Buddhism throughout Asia (China, Korea, Tibet, Japan, etc.), more predominant
  • Looser orthodoxy, greater variation of views
  • More terminology
  • Various Sanskrit texts (and other languages?) translated to Chinese, Korean, and Tibetan, while individual sects emphasize certain suttas more than others
  • Emptiness is a fundamentally important teaching, referenced frequently
  • Primary emphasis is on enlightening all beings, the bodhisattva vow.
  • Goal is to be a bodhisattva, to become a Buddha. Bodhisattva path is superior to Hinayana path (selfish enlightenment).
  • Arahant is inferior to Buddha
  • Gautama Buddha didn't really die; it was just an illusion to teach us a lesson and the Buddha is more like an eternal cosmic spirit that comes and goes from time-to-time for our benefit, teaching us practices which are both exoteric and esoteric.
  • Vegetarianism is mandatory or at least strongly encouraged, in order to practice compassion and non-violence


Thanks for the list. Unfortunately the Buddha of the suttas would disagree with much of the Mahayana doctrine, and it comes back to a matter of authenticity, an argument that Mahayanists are often at pains to avoid, sometimes even going as far to discredit the idea that there was a Buddha at all by falling back on the agnostic position that it 'doesn't matter.' However their private view of things is most likely to remain that which is found in the Mahayana scriptures, essentially that the Buddha was enlightened a very long long time ago, and manifested himself on Earth as Gotama Buddha. All the hinayana stuff found in the suttas about his quest for enlightenment? Well he was really just fooling people, skillful means so he could show the sravakas how to put some effort in.

The truth (however painful) seems to be that most, if not all of the Mahayana doctrines that place their focus on trumping the so called 'hinayana' practice, originate from material that is not the word of the historical Buddha. The response to this is that the Mahayana Sutras are surely the works of enlightened beings. However there is not a shred of argument to support the claims that those invented the Sutras were enlightened, and therefore it is merely an article of faith.

Not a solid footing to build your vehicle on, in my opinion.

Following that is usually a side-step: 'It doesn't matter, what's important is the practice in the here and now.' But really, why walk a very long path if you cannot reason your faith that it leads in the direction it advertised?

A certain degree of self-concern is necessary I guess, to question the validity of one's path, a self-concern - perhaps the baby, that was thrown out with the bathwater of the self-orientated quest for nibbana.

It might be claimed that I am setting up a straw man here, but I have seen these arguments put forth on much more than one occasion.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby Individual » Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:20 pm

BlackBird wrote:Thanks for the list. Unfortunately the Buddha of the suttas would disagree with much of the Mahayana doctrine, and it comes back to a matter of authenticity, an argument that Mahayanists are often at pains to avoid, sometimes even going as far to discredit the idea that there was a Buddha at all by falling back on the agnostic position that it 'doesn't matter.' However their private view of things is most likely to remain that which is found in the Mahayana scriptures, essentially that the Buddha was enlightened a very long long time ago, and manifested himself on Earth as Gotama Buddha. All the hinayana stuff found in the suttas about his quest for enlightenment? Well he was really just fooling people, skillful means so he could show the sravakas how to put some effort in.

The truth (however painful) seems to be that most, if not all of the Mahayana doctrines that place their focus on trumping the so called 'hinayana' practice, originate from material that is not the word of the historical Buddha. The response to this is that the Mahayana Sutras are surely the works of enlightened beings. However there is not a shred of argument to support the claims that those invented the Sutras we're enlightened, and therefore it is merely an article of faith.

Not a solid footing to build your vehicle on, in my opinion.

Faith in general, or just faith in Mahayana Buddhism? :)

And what exactly is a solid footing upon which to build a vehicle of liberation?
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby BlackBird » Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:43 pm

Individual wrote:Faith in general, or just faith in Mahayana Buddhism? :)


Faith without reason in general is not good thinking and shows either a lack of critical thought, or concern for one's own existential welfare.

Individual wrote:And what exactly is a solid footing upon which to build a vehicle of liberation?


[Reason] and [concern for the wellbeing of oneself] and [others]. Mahayana certainly ticks the box for the most latter of the three, the first two I am drawing into question.

"Monks, these four types of individuals are to be found existing in the world. Which four? The one who practices neither for his/her own benefit nor for that of others. The one who practices for the benefit of others but not for his/her own. The one who practices for his/her own benefit but not for that of others. The one who practices for his/her own benefit and for that of others.

"Just as a firebrand from a funeral pyre — burning at both ends, covered with excrement in the middle — is used as fuel neither in a village nor in the wilderness: I tell you that this is a simile for the individual who practices neither for his/her own benefit nor for that of others. The individual who practices for the benefit of others but not for his/her own is the higher & more refined of these two. The individual who practices for his/her own benefit but not for that of others is the highest & most refined of these three. The individual who practices for his/her own benefit and for that of others is, of these four, the foremost, the chief, the most outstanding, the highest, & supreme. Just as from a cow comes milk; from milk, curds; from curds, butter; from butter, ghee; from ghee, the skimmings of ghee; and of these, the skimmings of ghee are reckoned the foremost — in the same way, of these four, the individual who practices for his/her own benefit and for that of others is the foremost, the chief, the most outstanding, the highest, & supreme.

"These are the four types of individuals to be found existing in the world."

- http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby m0rl0ck » Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:45 am

BlackBird wrote:
Individual wrote:Mahayana:
  • Buddhism throughout Asia (China, Korea, Tibet, Japan, etc.), more predominant
  • Looser orthodoxy, greater variation of views
  • More terminology
  • Various Sanskrit texts (and other languages?) translated to Chinese, Korean, and Tibetan, while individual sects emphasize certain suttas more than others
  • Emptiness is a fundamentally important teaching, referenced frequently
  • Primary emphasis is on enlightening all beings, the bodhisattva vow.
  • Goal is to be a bodhisattva, to become a Buddha. Bodhisattva path is superior to Hinayana path (selfish enlightenment).
  • Arahant is inferior to Buddha
  • Gautama Buddha didn't really die; it was just an illusion to teach us a lesson and the Buddha is more like an eternal cosmic spirit that comes and goes from time-to-time for our benefit, teaching us practices which are both exoteric and esoteric.
  • Vegetarianism is mandatory or at least strongly encouraged, in order to practice compassion and non-violence


Thanks for the list. Unfortunately the Buddha of the suttas would disagree with much of the Mahayana doctrine, and it comes back to a matter of authenticity, an argument that Mahayanists are often at pains to avoid, sometimes even going as far to discredit the idea that there was a Buddha at all by falling back on the agnostic position that it 'doesn't matter.' However their private view of things is most likely to remain that which is found in the Mahayana scriptures, essentially that the Buddha was enlightened a very long long time ago, and manifested himself on Earth as Gotama Buddha. All the hinayana stuff found in the suttas about his quest for enlightenment? Well he was really just fooling people, skillful means so he could show the sravakas how to put some effort in.

The truth (however painful) seems to be that most, if not all of the Mahayana doctrines that place their focus on trumping the so called 'hinayana' practice, originate from material that is not the word of the historical Buddha. The response to this is that the Mahayana Sutras are surely the works of enlightened beings. However there is not a shred of argument to support the claims that those invented the Sutras were enlightened, and therefore it is merely an article of faith.

Not a solid footing to build your vehicle on, in my opinion.

Following that is usually a side-step: 'It doesn't matter, what's important is the practice in the here and now.' But really, why walk a very long path if you cannot reason your faith that it leads in the direction it advertised?

A certain degree of self-concern is necessary I guess, to question the validity of one's path, a self-concern - perhaps the baby, that was thrown out with the bathwater of the self-orientated quest for nibbana.

It might be claimed that I am setting up a straw man here, but I have seen these arguments put forth on much more than one occasion.



I dont know any mahayana buddhists who deny there was a buddha :rofl: you all are just making stuff up now. Great fiction tho, carry on. But i understand, its about discrediting another sect of buddhism so you can feel superior. Happens all the time, and you all arent the only ones who indulge in this sort of thing, carry on.
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby Virgo » Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:51 am

m0rl0ck wrote:I dont know any mahayana buddhists who deny there was a buddha :rofl: you all are just making stuff up now. Great fiction tho, carry on. But i understand, its about discrediting another sect of buddhism so you can feel superior. Happens all the time, and you all arent the only ones who indulge in this sort of thing, carry on.

Those who have studied the texts know that they say he was just an apparition, an image generated by the mind of the primordial Buddha (or some other Buddha) who attained enlightenment aeons ago. His flesh and blood wasn't real.

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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby Nyana » Sat Dec 18, 2010 3:27 am

BlackBird wrote:Faith without reason in general is not good thinking and shows either a lack of critical thought, or concern for one's own existential welfare.

[Reason] and [concern for the wellbeing of oneself] and [others]. Mahayana certainly ticks the box for the most latter of the three, the first two I am drawing into question.

Who's "Mahāyāna"?...

Ven. Ñāṇananda:

    “Teach­ers like Nāgār­juna brought to light what was already there [in the Pāli suttas] but was hid­den from view. Unfor­tu­nately his later fol­low­ers turned it in to a vāda.”

    He goes on to quote two of his favourite verses from Ven. Nāgārjuna’s Mūlamād­hya­makakārikā (as usual, from memory):

    “Śūnyatā sarva-dṛṣtīnaṃ proktā niḥsaranaṃ jinaiḥ,
    yeṣāṃ śūnyatā-dṛṣtis tān asād­hyān babhāṣire” [MK 13.8]

    The Vic­to­ri­ous Ones have declared that empti­ness is the relin­quish­ing of all views. Those who are pos­sessed of the view of empti­ness are said to be incorrigible.

    “Sarva-dṛṣti-prahāṇāya yaḥ sad­dhar­mam adeśayat,
    anukam­pam upādāya taṃ namasyāmi gau­tamaṃ” [MK 26.30]

    I rev­er­ently bow to Gau­tama who, out of com­pas­sion, has taught the doc­trine in order to relin­quish all views.

    Bhante doesn’t bother trans­lat­ing the verses; the ones pro­vided above are by David Kalupahana.

    “When I first read the Kārikā I too was doubt­ing Ven. Nāgārjuna’s san­ity” he laughs. “But the work needs to be under­stood in the con­text. He was tak­ing a jab at the Sarvās­tivādins. To be hon­est, even the oth­ers deserve the rebuke, although they now try to get away by using Sarvās­tivāda as an excuse. How skilled Ven. Nāgār­juna must have been, to com­pose those verses so ele­gantly and fill­ing them with so much mean­ing, like the Dhamma­pada verses. It’s quite amazing.”

BlackBird wrote:It might be claimed that I am setting up a straw man here, but I have seen these arguments put forth on much more than one occasion.

The "arguments" you mention were certainly not used by Nāgārjuna or any other Indian Mahāyāna author that I've ever read.

All the best,

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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby ground » Sat Dec 18, 2010 3:29 am

What can be nicely detected in this forum is that there is really a bunch of views within the Theravada. So any statement like "The Thervada is this or that" is incorrect because actually one would have to say "This Thervada practitioner has this or that view which may be cagtegorized as this or that". But this of course holds true for what is called here "the Mahayana" as well.
Therefore the only consistent way to look at things in the context of this thread is to analyse statements or assertions of individual practitioners and therefore as to the "Mahayana/non-Mahayana" differentiation the only consistent way of differentiation is the motivation of the individual practitioner regardless of what tradition/school she/her is following.

But of course the "Mahayana/non-Mahayana" differentiation I make here is from a Mahayana perspective. If I would say "This Theravada practitioner is a Mahayana practitioner" the Theravada practitioner referred to would perhaps feel appropriated or - due to sectarian conditioning - even offended.

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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby Cloud » Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:01 am

Yes, rather than use Mahayana to describe practitioners of other schools, perhaps refer to the specific "intent" by the word "bodhicitta" instead.

A Theravada practitioner, a Mahayana practitioner and a Vajrayana practitioner should all be held equal if their intent is the same... for the well-being of all beings and not just their own. This keeps the divisive fighting between schools out of the equation. Even if one has selfish intent at the outset, the opening of the eye of Dharma will change one's perspective soon enough. This is unavoidable; one cannot awaken without at the same time developing boundless compassion for all life.

It should not be regarded as offensive if one should call upon the compassionate view and intent of "bodhicitta" by all who seek awakening; as we've already seen, saying that one of another school is Mahayana or non-Mahayana is not taken well. :) Mahayana is a collection of teachings and a viewpoint or focus upon an ideal that it considers the most noble, but it is not about schools... it's about the people, and the school that is chosen does not reflect selfish intent, neither necessarily an unselfish one. It more than not reflects a temperament, as each school varies in many ways the same as each individual does. We all follow the Buddha's teachings, or at least what we personally consider to be the best teachings to guide us (all) toward liberation.

The fighting, the judging, is just not worth the effort. All that it does is tighten the knots of clinging and of aversion.
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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby Virgo » Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:47 am

TMingyur wrote:What can be nicely detected in this forum is that there is really a bunch of views within the Theravada. So any statement like "The Thervada is this or that" is incorrect because actually one would have to say "This Thervada practitioner has this or that view which may be cagtegorized as this or that". But this of course holds true for what is called here "the Mahayana" as well.
Therefore the only consistent way to look at things in the context of this thread is to analyse statements or assertions of individual practitioners and therefore as to the "Mahayana/non-Mahayana" differentiation the only consistent way of differentiation is the motivation of the individual practitioner regardless of what tradition/school she/her is following.

But of course the "Mahayana/non-Mahayana" differentiation I make here is from a Mahayana perspective. If I would say "This Theravada practitioner is a Mahayana practitioner" the Theravada practitioner referred to would perhaps feel appropriated or - due to sectarian conditioning - even offended.

Kind regards

On most points you can pretty clearly say the "Theravada" says this or that not by looking at what it's practitioners might say, but by looking at the texts, commentaries, treatisies, etc. within that school and to what they say. It is exactly the same for Mahayana schools. All "Theravadins" will have some of their own pet views to some degree or another with may not necessarily resonate with the texts of the school. We all have different mental accumulations after all. We need to look at texts, and not just what Ajahn this or bhikshu that says when we really look at these things. These things were the realm of experts in their fields. The only time we should define things by what this or that teacher says, if they did not write treatises which a school is based on, is if what they say in the majority view, or a widely held view in their school even if it does not align with the original texts of that school.

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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby ground » Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:00 am

Virgo wrote:We need to look at texts, and not just what Ajahn this or bhikshu that says when we really look at these things.

I agree

Virgo wrote:The only time we should define things by what this or that teacher says, if they did not write treatises which a school is based on, is if what they say in the majority view, or a widely held view in their school even if it does not align with the original texts of that school.

I think here I do not agree. Because if majorities become dominant criteria then this enhances the decline of the teachings. The original texts of a tradition have to be the measure of validity. Interpretation is one thing, but contradiction is not acceptable.


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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby Virgo » Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:17 am

TMingyur wrote:
Virgo wrote:The only time we should define things by what this or that teacher says, if they did not write treatises which a school is based on, is if what they say in the majority view, or a widely held view in their school even if it does not align with the original texts of that school.

I think here I do not agree. Because if majorities become dominant criteria then this enhances the decline of the teachings. The original texts of a tradition have to be the measure of validity. Interpretation is one thing, but contradiction is not acceptable.


Kind regards

Yeah I agree too. But if a majority of them hold a view that does not agree with their "schools" texts - especially if multiple teachers teach it - we can kind of have to make a note of it when talking about the point and the school.

It would be better if they would just splinter off I guess, but a lot of people like the renound that the school they originally hail from holds, even if they don't agree with that schools points, and they are too attached to relinquish that school because it would mean they would have to relinquish that attribute from which they benefit, or they are too lazy, or just averse to being a smaller movement, or are just so deluded and unlearned that they really have no clue about it.

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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby Individual » Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:14 am

BlackBird wrote:
Individual wrote:Faith in general, or just faith in Mahayana Buddhism? :)


Faith without reason in general is not good thinking and shows either a lack of critical thought, or concern for one's own existential welfare.

Based on what reasoning do you accept the miracles of the Buddha in the suttas, or the Agganna sutta, or all the mystical beings, like nagas, gandhabbas, etc..

BlackBird wrote:
Individual wrote:And what exactly is a solid footing upon which to build a vehicle of liberation?


[Reason] and [concern for the wellbeing of oneself] and [others]. Mahayana certainly ticks the box for the most latter of the three, the first two I am drawing into question.

If I might ask, what is reason? :)
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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby BlackBird » Sat Dec 18, 2010 10:24 am

m0rl0ck wrote:I dont know any mahayana buddhists who deny there was a buddha :rofl:


Please read carefully, I didn't say that there are Mahayanists who deny that there was a Buddha, I said arguments have been put forth to discredit the idea of a historical Buddha, falling back on the agnostic position that it doesn't matter, for the purposes of argument.

m0rl0ck wrote: you all are just making stuff up now. Great fiction tho, carry on.


Please don't accuse me of lying, I'm not lying and I stand to gain nothing by doing so.
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'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby m0rl0ck » Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:46 pm

BlackBird wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:I dont know any mahayana buddhists who deny there was a buddha :rofl:


Please read carefully, I didn't say that there are Mahayanists who deny that there was a Buddha, I said arguments have been put forth to discredit the idea of a historical Buddha, falling back on the agnostic position that it doesn't matter, for the purposes of argument.




What you said was
Unfortunately the Buddha of the suttas would disagree with much of the Mahayana doctrine, and it comes back to a matter of authenticity, an argument that Mahayanists are often at pains to avoid, sometimes even going as far to discredit the idea that there was a Buddha at all by falling back on the agnostic position that it 'doesn't matter.'


So show me this sect of mahayaha buddhists whose doctrine includes the idea that there was no Buddha and it doesnt matter. Where are they? How about a link?
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby BlackBird » Sat Dec 18, 2010 9:44 pm

Firstly I didn't say it was a sect, secondly I didn't say they possessed a doctrine that there was no Buddha, I said that I have seen Mahayanists who have attempted to discredit the idea of a historical Buddha by taking up the position of agnosticism, for the purposes of an argument. I then qualified this by speculating upon what their personal view was more likely to be. Please do not misinterpret what I am saying.

The posts I am referring to are buried somewhere in this forum, perhaps from around January this year, and I will suss them out in my own time. My post was highly inflammatory and designed to be so, but I find it interesting that again we're going down a tangent instead of addressing the real issue - Authenticity.

Edit: This is the thread I was speaking of: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=3064&hilit=historical+buddha&start=140
You'll find a post of mine in a similar vein (if not more friendly and humble than I am these days) about halfway down, and the responses that follow, not just from the Ven. Huifeng but also from others have helped shape my opinion on this. To clarify it seems I have wrongly attributed (in my own mind) at least one clear cut statement to bhante, which is otherwise present on the following page (page 9) by another practitioner but I still feel the general drift of the response conforms to what I thought it had.

As I can feel a sh*tstorm brewing (and boy do I deserve some flack for this) I have to say that this particular point is tangential to what the point I am trying to make, it is an example of sidestepping the issue - Authenticity.

The most important thing for me is that there was a being who knew and saw the way the mind really works, he knew and saw the way the world and existence operate, he had knowledge and understanding beyond any other being and he offered a teaching that would lead to an end to suffering, this is evidenced to me in the Nikayas of the Pali Canon. A lot of time has passed since he ceased to be and my quest is to find out what he really taught. This is because I do not believe that everything out there is what the Buddha himself had said and if he has not said it nor endorsed it, being the supreme teacher, is it really worth practicing? It is clear to me that if it didn't come from a Buddha, or an Ariya, then it must be taken with a grain of salt and this is the line to which I slice my Dhamma-pie. I know what I have said will offend some, and for that I apologize to you, I have not exercised right speech, but I have said it nevertheless and I will be the one to experience it's results.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby m0rl0ck » Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:19 pm

BlackBird wrote:Firstly I didn't say it was a sect, secondly I didn't say they possessed a doctrine that there was no Buddha, I said that I have seen Mahayanists who have attempted to discredit the idea of a historical Buddha by taking up the position of agnosticism, for the purposes of an argument. I then qualified this by speculating upon what their personal view was more likely to be. Please do not misinterpret what I am saying.



Oh ok, well if you are talking about individuals who represent themselves as buddhists saying whatever, well of course you will find the occaisional crank or two. Stephen Batchelor, to pick a well known example, represents himself as buddhist and as far as i can tell is a materialist and a nihilist. I think your actual intent was to slander mahayana buddhism in general. I think you should apply principles of authenticity to what you say as well as to what you profess.
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby KonstantKarma » Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:59 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
KonstantKarma wrote:Ah, thanks. I was having the hardest time finding the difference from one to the other.
And in the Mahayana, you say sometying bad about some sutras, you get bad breath and go to hell.


So that's what I did.
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