The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:01 am

Individual wrote:Technically, Theravada could be considered a form of Mahayana.
Spoken like a Mahayanist, but Theravada is not a form of Mahayana.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:08 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Individual wrote:Technically, Theravada could be considered a form of Mahayana.
Spoken like a Mahayanist, but Theravada is not a form of Mahayana.


Tilt, I don't know of any Mahayana practitioners who would call Theravada "technically" a form of Mahayana.
Please don't lump the bizarre statements of one person onto the rest of us!
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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby m0rl0ck » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:39 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:"In the wild", it is really quite hard to make such a clear distinction between Chan and Pure Land.
The vast majority of Chinese Buddhists do not identify themselves to any particular school, eg. "I am a Chan Buddhist" or "I am a Pure Land Buddhist" at all.
The fact that in terms of ordination lineages the Linji zong is by far the largest does not say much about the actual practices of those people associated with this lineage, be they monastic or lay. One can find everything from the Kosa to Tiantai, from Jingtu to Huayan, from Mijiao to Lvzong.
Unless one wishes to put it the other way around, and say that what is now called Chan contains all the forms of classic Chinese Buddhism, plus the modern Humanistic Buddhism, in addition to Tibetan Buddhist influences and also Theravada Buddhism as well.
This is how Chinese Mahayana Buddhism exists "in the wild". It is going to get even more complex this century, too, by the way. That is obvious.


Thank you for clearing that up for me. I was hoping you would make an appearance in this thread :bow:
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 17, 2010 7:22 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Individual wrote:Technically, Theravada could be considered a form of Mahayana.
Spoken like a Mahayanist, but Theravada is not a form of Mahayana.


Tilt, I don't know of any Mahayana practitioners who would call Theravada "technically" a form of Mahayana.
Please don't lump the bizarre statements of one person onto the rest of us!
Now you know of one. Individual has identified himself to me in a PM as a Mahayanist, which is probably no secret, given in his signature he links the Diamond Sutra (and the translation is not even Conze's). Also, there are Mahayanists (some) who try to subsume the Theravada, claiming that the Mahayana includes the Theravada and it is with the Mahayana that we get the Buddha's full teachings. So, it is more likely that a Mahayanist would say something as off-the-wall as Individual's statement than a Theravadin: Technically, Theravada could be considered a form of Mahayana.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby ground » Fri Dec 17, 2010 7:53 am

Someone in whom the Mahayana motivation is awakened can be considered a Mahayana practitioner regardless of what tradition's teachings she/he is following.
Someone in whom no Mahayana motivation is awakened or who has lost this motivation can be considered a non-Mahayana practitioner regardless of what tradition's teachings she/he is following.


This is how it is taught by Great Bodhisattvas.


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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:17 am

TMingyur wrote:Someone in whom the Mahayana motivation is awakened can be considered a Mahayana practitioner regardless of what tradition's teachings she/he is following.
From a Mahayana standpoint, maybe, but the Mahayana is not the arbiter of all things Buddhist.
Someone in whom no Mahayana motivation is awakened or who has lost this motivation can be considered a non-Mahayana practitioner regardless of what tradition's teachings she/he is following.
I see no real world evidence that Mahayanists, those with the supposed "Mahayana motivation," are any more compassionate or wiser than Theravadin practitioners (who may never have heard of the Mahayana or who even directly reject the Mahayana).
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby ground » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:25 am

tiltbillings wrote:
TMingyur wrote:Someone in whom the Mahayana motivation is awakened can be considered a Mahayana practitioner regardless of what tradition's teachings she/he is following.
From a Mahayana standpoint, maybe, but the Mahayana is not the arbiter of all things Buddhist.

I agree as to "the Mahayana" because the arbiter can only be wisdom which usually is something buddhists are striving for.

tiltbillings wrote:
Someone in whom no Mahayana motivation is awakened or who has lost this motivation can be considered a non-Mahayana practitioner regardless of what tradition's teachings she/he is following.
I see no real world evidence that Mahayanists, those with the supposed "Mahayana motivation," are any more compassionate or wiser than Theravadin practitioners (who may never have heard of the Mahayana or who even directly reject the Mahayana).

I did not put this forth intending comparison, competition or speculating about others' qualities or achievements.

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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby Cloud » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:29 am

To say that one has or doesn't have "Mahayana motivation" and then is either Mahayana or non-Mahayana is akin to the koan "does a dog have Buddha-nature?". It's wrong from the get-go! :)

The intention to awaken not only for one's self but for all sentient beings does not belong to Mahayana; Mahayana has no permanent or abiding self. It is a collection of teachings with emphasis on this intent; but it does not own this intent, and this intent is not called the Mahayana motivation.

This more than anything seems to be a sore point and something to look into... that one school judges another as inferior. With this logic, Mahayana then would be inferior to Vajrayana or Zen. Let us not get so stuck in our clinging to one tradition that we make this mistake. Each school or tradition can take on the aspects of a "self"; realize that these schools are tools and nothing more. Use them and then discard them; all motivation and intent is your own, and we as humans already have such great hearts of wisdom within us before ever hearing of these forms of Buddhism.

Find the Buddha within, and let your awakened heart speak out of compassion and wisdom.

Namaste
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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:43 am

TMingyur wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
TMingyur wrote:Someone in whom the Mahayana motivation is awakened can be considered a Mahayana practitioner regardless of what tradition's teachings she/he is following.
From a Mahayana standpoint, maybe, but the Mahayana is not the arbiter of all things Buddhist.

I agree as to "the Mahayana" because the arbiter can only be wisdom which usually is something buddhists are striving for.
Yes, and there those Mahayanists who hold that the Thertavada does not have the capacity for proper wisdom: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=6536&start=20#p103998 And without the proper wisdom, no proper compassion/motivation.

tiltbillings wrote:
Someone in whom no Mahayana motivation is awakened or who has lost this motivation can be considered a non-Mahayana practitioner regardless of what tradition's teachings she/he is following.
I see no real world evidence that Mahayanists, those with the supposed "Mahayana motivation," are any more compassionate or wiser than Theravadin practitioners (who may never have heard of the Mahayana or who even directly reject the Mahayana).

I did not put this forth intending comparison, competition or speculating about others' qualities or achievements.
The problem is that the comparision is already built into the Mahayana structure. If it is not Mahayana, it is hinayana, and one is better than the other. Fortunately there are Mahayanists who see beyond that.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby Aloka » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:45 am

TMingyur wrote:Someone in whom the Mahayana motivation is awakened can be considered a Mahayana practitioner regardless of what tradition's teachings she/he is following.
Someone in whom no Mahayana motivation is awakened or who has lost this motivation can be considered a non-Mahayana practitioner regardless of what tradition's teachings she/he is following.



And what is the value of such speculative chit-chat ?Is this what the Buddha taught ? How can we truly know about anothers inner awakening anyway ? In general, 'Mahayana ' or 'non- Mahayana' is irrelevant to our practice in the here and now.
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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:46 am

Cloud wrote:This more than anything seems to be a sore point and something to look into... that one school judges another as inferior. With this logic, Mahayana then would be inferior to Vajrayana or Zen. Let us not get so stuck in our clinging to one tradition that we make this mistake. Each school or tradition can take on the aspects of a "self"; realize that these schools are tools and nothing more. Use them and then discard them; all motivation and intent is your own, and we as humans already have such great hearts of wisdom within us before ever hearing of these forms of Buddhism.
The reality is that the judgments are out there, they need to be acknowledged, understood and responded to.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:47 am

Aloka wrote: In general, 'Mahayana ' or 'non- Mahayana' is irrelevant to our practice in the here and now.
Totally. See: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=6566&p=104316#p104316
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby ground » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:47 am

Cloud wrote:To say that one has or doesn't have "Mahayana motivation" and then is either Mahayana or non-Mahayana is akin to the koan "does a dog have Buddha-nature?". It's wrong from the get-go! :)

It is not wrong but it is a conventional differentiation.

Cloud wrote:The intention to awaken not only for one's self but for all sentient beings does not belong to Mahayana; Mahayana has no permanent or abiding self. It is a collection of teachings with emphasis on this intent; but it does not own this intent, and this intent is not called the Mahayana motivation.

A definition stands for the definiendum. You are actually saying "the definition does not belong to the definiendum."

Cloud wrote:With this logic, Mahayana then would be inferior to Vajrayana or Zen.

What definition of "Zen" and "Vajrayana" do you apply that makes you infer this?

Cloud wrote:Let us not get so stuck in our clinging to one tradition that we make this mistake.

Sorry, but why do you equate "putting forth definitions" with "clinging". Definitions simply are a means to specify what one is talking about when applying certain terminology.

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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby ground » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:54 am

Aloka wrote:
TMingyur wrote:Someone in whom the Mahayana motivation is awakened can be considered a Mahayana practitioner regardless of what tradition's teachings she/he is following.
Someone in whom no Mahayana motivation is awakened or who has lost this motivation can be considered a non-Mahayana practitioner regardless of what tradition's teachings she/he is following.



And what is the value of such speculative chit-chat ?Is this what the Buddha taught ?

It is differentiation based on definition.

Whether the Buddha taught that or not is dependent on the meaning of "teaching" one is willing to apply.

Aloka wrote:How can we truly know about anothers inner awakening anyway ?

Why are you asking? I don't think that we can know.

Aloka wrote:In general, 'Mahayana ' or 'non- Mahayana' is irrelevant to our practice in the here and now.

This is your point of view that does not necessarily have to be shared by others.


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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby KonstantKarma » Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:39 pm

Cloud wrote:To say that one has or doesn't have "Mahayana motivation" and then is either Mahayana or non-Mahayana is akin to the koan "does a dog have Buddha-nature?". It's wrong from the get-go! :)

The intention to awaken not only for one's self but for all sentient beings does not belong to Mahayana; Mahayana has no permanent or abiding self. It is a collection of teachings with emphasis on this intent; but it does not own this intent, and this intent is not called the Mahayana motivation.

This more than anything seems to be a sore point and something to look into... that one school judges another as inferior. With this logic, Mahayana then would be inferior to Vajrayana or Zen. Let us not get so stuck in our clinging to one tradition that we make this mistake. Each school or tradition can take on the aspects of a "self"; realize that these schools are tools and nothing more. Use them and then discard them; all motivation and intent is your own, and we as humans already have such great hearts of wisdom within us before ever hearing of these forms of Buddhism.

Find the Buddha within, and let your awakened heart speak out of compassion and wisdom.

Namaste


:goodpost:

I wonder if this back-and-forth school comparison thing is something humans do world-wide, or is it something we do more here in the west since most of us were Christian and did it as Baptists-Methodists-Catholics-Lutherans-Presbyterians and each had the "right view" of the path?
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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby ground » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:01 pm

KonstantKarma wrote:I wonder if this back-and-forth school comparison thing ...


Actually it is not a comparison of schools.


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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby m0rl0ck » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:11 pm

TMingyur wrote:
KonstantKarma wrote:I wonder if this back-and-forth school comparison thing ...


Actually it is not a comparison of schools.


Kind regards


No its more in the line of sectarian squabbling. One shudders to think what kind of karma this stuff creates
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby ground » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:19 pm

Patience, m0rl0ck .. patience!

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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby Individual » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:00 pm

Paññāsikhara wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Individual wrote:Technically, Theravada could be considered a form of Mahayana.
Spoken like a Mahayanist, but Theravada is not a form of Mahayana.


Tilt, I don't know of any Mahayana practitioners who would call Theravada "technically" a form of Mahayana.
Please don't lump the bizarre statements of one person onto the rest of us!

Bizarre? is this incorrect?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinayana#H ... av.C4.81da

If Theravada is not Hinayana (which I would not regard it as), it is either Mahayana or something outside the Buddha-dhamma entirely.

The specific emphasis by Theravada on various things could be Hinayana if taken to an extreme (attachment to the Pali text, accepting the Five Aggregates as paramatha, so you yourself can live out in the woods alone and be happy), 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.
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Re: The specific differences between Mahayana and Theravada?

Postby KonstantKarma » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:05 pm

This was actually the hardest time I've had with Buddhism, and the biggest reason it took me so long to look into it. I don't know much about the history, the various schools, the different lines of thought...so I've read this thread with some interest (until I got lost).
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