Is mahayana Buddism?

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Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby whynotme » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:15 pm

Hi everyone,

This is a therevada forum, so I assume most of you are Therevadists. What do you think about Mahayana? Do you consider it part of Buddism? Do you consider ordination under those traditions?

Regards
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:46 pm

whynotme wrote:Hi everyone,

This is a therevada forum, so I assume most of you are Therevadists. What do you think about Mahayana? Do you consider it part of Buddism? Do you consider ordination under those traditions?

Regards

it is part of Buddhism, although a later development.
The vinaya lines still existing are all from early Buddhist schools.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:12 pm

The Mahayana resulted from a schism within the early sangha after Buddhas death. They have the right to call themselves what they wish. Since the disagreements were primarily due to differences regarding the Vinaya Rules for Monks, I see no problem so long as they do not change Bubbha's core teachings re. The Four Noble Truths and their supporting factors: impermanence, dependent arising, kamma, and emptiness.
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-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Nyana » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:36 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:The Mahayana resulted from a schism within the early sangha after Buddhas death.

No, it didn't. The Mahāyāna didn't result from any schism, and has nothing to do with sectarian Buddhism. The Mahāyāna isn't an ordination lineage and has never "split" from any ordination lineage. There are three existing ordination lineages: Mūlasarvāstivāda, Dharmaguptaka, and Theravāda. All three are descended from the ancient Sthaviravāda.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:41 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:The Mahayana resulted from a schism within the early sangha after Buddhas death. They have the right to call themselves what they wish. Since the disagreements were primarily due to differences regarding the Vinaya Rules for Monks, I see no problem so long as they do not change Bubbha's core teachings re. The Four Noble Truths and their supporting factors: impermanence, dependent arising, kamma, and emptiness.

I believe you are confusing the first schism with the mahasangha (dont know the sanskrit spelling off hand) and the development of the Mahayana which is a different thing.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby santa100 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:20 pm

Of course Mahayana is a Buddhist school. They observe, study, and practice 3 characteristics, 4 NT, 5 precepts, 8 NP, 12 DO, etc. just like Theravada..
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:42 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
Ron-The-Elder wrote:The Mahayana resulted from a schism within the early sangha after Buddhas death. They have the right to call themselves what they wish. Since the disagreements were primarily due to differences regarding the Vinaya Rules for Monks, I see no problem so long as they do not change Bubbha's core teachings re. The Four Noble Truths and their supporting factors: impermanence, dependent arising, kamma, and emptiness.

I believe you are confusing the first schism with the mahasangha (dont know the sanskrit spelling off hand) and the development of the Mahayana which is a different thing.


You may be right. Thank you for the correction. This from a wiki re origins of Mahayana:



Early Mahayana Buddhism
Main article: Mahāyāna
The origins of Mahāyāna, which formed between 100 BCE and 100 AD,[149] are still not completely understood.[150] The earliest views of Mahāyāna Buddhism in the West assumed that it existed as a separate school in competition with the so-called "Hīnayāna" schools. The split was on the order of the European Protestant Reformation, which divided Christians into Catholic and Protestant.[149] Due to the veneration of buddhas and bodhisattvas, Mahāyāna was often interpreted as a more devotional, lay-inspired form of Buddhism, with supposed origins in stūpa veneration.[151] The old views of Mahāyāna as a lay-inspired sect are now largely considered misguided and wrong.[152]


There is no evidence that Mahāyāna ever referred to a separate formal school or sect of Buddhism, but rather that it existed as a certain set of ideals, and later doctrines, for bodhisattvas.[153] Initially it was known as Bodhisattvayāna (the "Vehicle of the Bodhisattvas").[149] Paul Williams has also noted that the Mahāyāna never had nor ever attempted to have a separate Vinaya or ordination lineage from the early schools of Buddhism, and therefore each bhikṣu or bhikṣuṇī adhering to the Mahāyāna formally belonged to an early school. This continues today with the Dharmaguptaka ordination lineage in East Asia, and the Mūlasarvāstivāda ordination lineage in Tibetan Buddhism. Therefore Mahāyāna was never a separate rival sect of the early schools.[154] From Chinese monks visiting India, we now know that both Mahāyāna and non-Mahāyāna monks in India often lived in the same monasteries side by side.[155]
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_i ... a_Buddhism
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But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:56 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
Ron-The-Elder wrote:The Mahayana resulted from a schism within the early sangha after Buddhas death.

No, it didn't. The Mahāyāna didn't result from any schism, and has nothing to do with sectarian Buddhism. The Mahāyāna isn't an ordination lineage and has never "split" from any ordination lineage. There are three existing ordination lineages: Mūlasarvāstivāda, Dharmaguptaka, and Theravāda. All three are descended from the ancient Sthaviravāda.


Apparently "Access to Insight" does not agree with you:

100 -444/-380
100 years after the Buddha's Parinibbana the Second Council convenes in Vesali to discuss controversial points of Vinaya. The first schism of the Sangha occurs, in which the Mahasanghika school parts ways with the traditionalist Sthaviravadins. At issue is the Mahasanghika's reluctance to accept the Suttas and the Vinaya as the final authority on the Buddha's teachings. This schism marks the first beginnings of what would later evolve into Mahayana Buddhism, which would come to dominate Buddhism in northern Asia (China, Tibet, Japan, Korea). {1}
source: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/history.html
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Nyana » Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:13 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:Apparently "Access to Insight" does not agree with you:

100 -444/-380
100 years after the Buddha's Parinibbana the Second Council convenes in Vesali to discuss controversial points of Vinaya. The first schism of the Sangha occurs, in which the Mahasanghika school parts ways with the traditionalist Sthaviravadins. At issue is the Mahasanghika's reluctance to accept the Suttas and the Vinaya as the final authority on the Buddha's teachings. This schism marks the first beginnings of what would later evolve into Mahayana Buddhism, which would come to dominate Buddhism in northern Asia (China, Tibet, Japan, Korea). {1}
source: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/history.html

Bullitt or his source is mistaken. The first schism had nothing to do with the eventual rise of the Mahāyāna. Moreover, the early Mahāyāna texts and commentators drew ideas from various Nikāya sects, including those descended from the Sthaviravāda.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:32 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:
Ron-The-Elder wrote:The Mahayana resulted from a schism within the early sangha after Buddhas death.

No, it didn't. The Mahāyāna didn't result from any schism, and has nothing to do with sectarian Buddhism. The Mahāyāna isn't an ordination lineage and has never "split" from any ordination lineage. There are three existing ordination lineages: Mūlasarvāstivāda, Dharmaguptaka, and Theravāda. All three are descended from the ancient Sthaviravāda.


Apparently "Access to Insight" does not agree with you:

100 -444/-380
100 years after the Buddha's Parinibbana the Second Council convenes in Vesali to discuss controversial points of Vinaya. The first schism of the Sangha occurs, in which the Mahasanghika school parts ways with the traditionalist Sthaviravadins. At issue is the Mahasanghika's reluctance to accept the Suttas and the Vinaya as the final authority on the Buddha's teachings. This schism marks the first beginnings of what would later evolve into Mahayana Buddhism, which would come to dominate Buddhism in northern Asia (China, Tibet, Japan, Korea). {1}
source: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/history.html


Mahasanghika (which I spelt mahasangha earlier) is not the Mahayana, which is a different development, aproximately 500 years after the parinibbana due to different reasons and was from Sthaviravadins, they held certain mahasangha teaching later but the development is different.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Nyana » Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:59 pm

Concerning the first schism, Lance Cousins, The ‘Five Points’ and the Origins of the Buddhist Schools:

    What is important is that the picture which now emerges is one in which the earliest division of the saṅgha was primarily a matter of monastic discipline. The Mahāsāṅghikas were essentially a conservative party resisting a reformist attempt to tighten discipline. The likelihood is that they were initially the larger body, representing the mass of the community, the mahāsaṅgha.

Another informative paper on this subject is Śaikṣa-dharmas Revisited: Further Considerations of Mahāsāṃghika Origins by Charles S. Prebish.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby manas » Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:28 pm

Hi whynotme,

I've asked the same question in my heart a few times, also. But I feel uneasy about us discussing it here so publicly, because 1. Mahayana Buddhists will only take offense, rather than get convinced and won over (thus it would not be worth the resulting discord between our different modes of practice), and 2. Ordinary, interested non-Buddhist visitors might construe from the title "Ah, the Buddhists are just as sectarian as the Christians...and I thought they were different...oh well".

But, that's just my own opinion :anjali: .
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:54 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:Concerning the first schism, Lance Cousins, The ‘Five Points’ and the Origins of the Buddhist Schools:

    What is important is that the picture which now emerges is one in which the earliest division of the saṅgha was primarily a matter of monastic discipline. The Mahāsāṅghikas were essentially a conservative party resisting a reformist attempt to tighten discipline. The likelihood is that they were initially the larger body, representing the mass of the community, the mahāsaṅgha.

Another informative paper on this subject is Śaikṣa-dharmas Revisited: Further Considerations of Mahāsāṃghika Origins by Charles S. Prebish.


You will note that your citations are cited as hypothesies, which means that it remains conjecture. Therefore, at this point it appears that none of this can be stated with certainty.

Let us be satisfied to state that research regarding this topic is ongoing. :anjali: Ron
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Nyana » Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:08 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:You will note that your citations are cited as hypothesies, which means that it remains conjecture.

This isn't conjecture: The first schism had nothing to do with the eventual rise of the Mahāyāna.

It's erroneous to equate the Mahāsāṅghikas with the Mahāyāna.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:32 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
Ron-The-Elder wrote:You will note that your citations are cited as hypothesies, which means that it remains conjecture.

This isn't conjecture: The first schism had nothing to do with the eventual rise of the Mahāyāna.

It's erroneous to equate the Mahāsāṅghikas with the Mahāyāna.


Respectfully, Your "opinion" apparently does not agree with that of the author you personally cited. Next time choose someone, who agrees wih your views, instead of contradicting yourself. He states otherwise. :anjali: Ron
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:43 am

Ron-The-Elder wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:
Ron-The-Elder wrote:You will note that your citations are cited as hypothesies, which means that it remains conjecture.

This isn't conjecture: The first schism had nothing to do with the eventual rise of the Mahāyāna.

It's erroneous to equate the Mahāsāṅghikas with the Mahāyāna.


Respectfully, Your "opinion" apparently does not agree with that of the author you personally cited. Next time choose someone, who agrees wih your views, instead of contradicting yourself. He states otherwise. :anjali: Ron
Ñāṇa is quite correct in his statement. The stuff on ATI is both sectarian and highly dated.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Dan74 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:08 am

manas wrote:Hi whynotme,

I've asked the same question in my heart a few times, also. But I feel uneasy about us discussing it here so publicly, because 1. Mahayana Buddhists will only take offense, rather than get convinced and won over (thus it would not be worth the resulting discord between our different modes of practice), and 2. Ordinary, interested non-Buddhist visitors might construe from the title "Ah, the Buddhists are just as sectarian as the Christians...and I thought they were different...oh well".

But, that's just my own opinion :anjali: .


I think constructive well-substantiated criticism can be very valuable and shouldn't be held back. The thing that can be disappointing sometimes is when people assert what is neither well-informed nor coming from any insight or understanding of the tradition. Then a question may be more appropriate than an assertion. Like "how come in Mahayana they.... when the Buddha taught....?"

From my perspective (as a Mahayana - Korean Zen tradition) I just check if the teachings are conducive to liberation, to the letting go of ignorance and delusion, to growth of wholesome qualities and see if this is exemplified in leading practitioners of the tradition. I also see if the teachings and practices are in line with what the Buddha is said to have taught in Pali scriptures and if not, I try to inquire and understand the discrepancy.
Last edited by Dan74 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby pilgrim » Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:41 am

santa100 wrote:Of course Mahayana is a Buddhist school. They observe, study, and practice 3 characteristics, 4 NT, 5 precepts, 8 NP, 12 DO, etc. just like Theravada..

There is a lot of overlap with Theravada. But there is also quite a bit that is further out there. This is especially observable the further Mahayana Buddhism spread from India as in the various Japanese sects.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Will » Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:13 am

As the Xtian bible puts it: "Judge a tree by its fruit." Mahayana has produced hundreds of bodhi-filled folks over the centuries. So their doctrines cannot be that horrid.
This noble eightfold path is the ancient path traveled by all the Buddhas of eons past. Nagara Sutta
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby manas » Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:16 am

Dan74 wrote:
manas wrote:Hi whynotme,

I've asked the same question in my heart a few times, also. But I feel uneasy about us discussing it here so publicly, because 1. Mahayana Buddhists will only take offense, rather than get convinced and won over (thus it would not be worth the resulting discord between our different modes of practice), and 2. Ordinary, interested non-Buddhist visitors might construe from the title "Ah, the Buddhists are just as sectarian as the Christians...and I thought they were different...oh well".

But, that's just my own opinion :anjali: .


I think constructive well-substantiated criticism can be very valuable and shouldn't be held back. The thing that can be disappointing sometimes is when people assert what is neither well-informed nor coming from any insight or understanding of the tradition. Then a question may be more appropriate than an assertion. Like "how come in Mahayana they.... when the Buddha taught....?"

From my perspective (as a Mahayana - Korean Zen tradition) I just check if the teachings are conducive to liberation, to the letting go of ignorance and delusion, to growth of wholesome qualities and see if this is exemplified in leading practitioners of the tradition. I also see if the teachings and practices are in line with what the Buddha is said to have taught in Pali scriptures and if not, I try to inquire and understand the discrepancy.


Hi Dan,

it's hard for me to quickly write a detailed reply as I'm very busy today, and didn't sleep too much last night...but I do agree with the sum and substance of what you say. My main concern was the title, I mean whereas Theravadans and Mahayanists have often stated that their particular way is the most pure one, asking if it is even Buddhism goes a bit further. My concern is regarding amity & mutual respect between various Buddhist schools, that's all. (When I google 'Dhamma Wheel' quite often a specific topic heading comes up underneath the main link to this site. So I try to remain aware that whatever we say here, can be viewed by anyone, and to be mindful of possible outcomes of what we, as a Buddhist Forum, say. And I know that sectarianism is a big issue in the world right now, and we could use less of it, not more. Having said that, I am not implying that the OP intended to increase it at all, rather that this could be a sort of 'unintended consequence' sometimes, if we do not choose how we phrase things with care.)

with metta! :anjali:
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