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Difference between "Modern" and "Classical" Theravada ... - Dhamma Wheel

Difference between "Modern" and "Classical" Theravada ...

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
cookiemonster
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Difference between "Modern" and "Classical" Theravada ...

Postby cookiemonster » Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:13 am

... can anyone tell me what the differences are? Thank you.

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mikenz66
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Re: Difference between "Modern" and "Classical" Theravada ..

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:58 am


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Modus.Ponens
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Re: Difference between "Modern" and "Classical" Theravada ..

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:38 am

The difference is mainly on the level of authority atributed to the Abidhamma and the commentaries, particularly the Visuddhimagga.

It is clear, by modern historical studies, that the Abidhamma is not the word of the Buddha or one of his contemporaneous disciples. And a later commentary such as the Visuddhimagga has as much value as what a good contemporaneous teacher teaches.

So, in general, the classical theravada places more authority on the abidhamma than in the discourses. The "modern" theravada is whatever teachings that are not bounded by this traditional view; and it includes different aproaches.

What matters are the pratical consequences of this difference. The crucial one I'm aware of is how each group (with few exceptions) practice jhana.
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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mikenz66
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Re: Difference between "Modern" and "Classical" Theravada ..

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:58 am


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Modus.Ponens
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Re: Difference between "Modern" and "Classical" Theravada ..

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:56 am

He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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mikenz66
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Re: Difference between "Modern" and "Classical" Theravada ..

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:48 pm


cookiemonster
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Re: Difference between "Modern" and "Classical" Theravada ..

Postby cookiemonster » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:16 pm

Thanks for the insight regarding both! Much appreciated.

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Modus.Ponens
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Re: Difference between "Modern" and "Classical" Theravada ..

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:19 pm

He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Re: Difference between "Modern" and "Classical" Theravada ..

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:53 pm


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Re: Difference between "Modern" and "Classical" Theravada ..

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:11 pm

He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Modus.Ponens
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Re: Difference between "Modern" and "Classical" Theravada ..

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:54 pm

He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

rohana
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Re: Difference between "Modern" and "Classical" Theravada ..

Postby rohana » Sun Oct 13, 2013 9:09 pm

"Delighting in existence, O monks, are gods and men; they are attached to existence, they revel in existence. When the Dhamma for the cessation of existence is being preached to them, their minds do not leap towards it, do not get pleased with it, do not get settled in it, do not find confidence in it. That is how, monks, some lag behind."
- It. p 43

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kc2dpt
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Re: Difference between "Modern" and "Classical" Theravada ..

Postby kc2dpt » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:15 am

- Peter


plwk
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Re: Difference between "Modern" and "Classical" Theravada ..

Postby plwk » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:28 am

The difference is...
In the former, in ten words, only one word in tĕn or none comes with diacritical marks
In the latter, in ten words, ăll tĕn ărĕ lŏădĕd wĭth sŭch...

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retrofuturist
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Re: Difference between "Modern" and "Classical" Theravada ..

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:48 am

Greetings,

I'm sure there have been those throughout history who have followed a modus operandi equivalent to what has been defined here as Modern Theravada (i.e. those who were content with what had been transmitted via the suttas, who did not wish to build upon the corpus).

Of course it's those who built upon the corpus who have had their texts and interpretations transmitted through time, but it would be folly to neglect the existence of "suttavada" practitioners (for want of a better word) over the centuries simply because they're not identifiable through the advent of their own additional documentation (i.e. not identifiable via textual analysis) in the way the Sri Lankan Mahaviharans are, for example.

Most traditional/conservative standpoints are generally defined in terms of what they don't change/append, rather than what they evolve. David Snyder has often pointed out the irony that what is classed as "modern" is in some respects actually more conservative, in the sense of generally emphasizing the oldest strata of Buddhist teaching.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

cookiemonster
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Re: Difference between "Modern" and "Classical" Theravada ..

Postby cookiemonster » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:53 pm

So basically it boils down to:

1. Suttas only as authoritative, or
2. Suttas plus the ancient commentaries elevated into authoritative interpretations.

?

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Modus.Ponens
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Re: Difference between "Modern" and "Classical" Theravada ..

Postby Modus.Ponens » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:47 pm

Very roughly, yes. There is, as far as I can tell, a lot of golden material in the commentaries. The problem is when they are elevated to the same level as the suttas. Same with the abhidhamma.
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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retrofuturist
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Re: Difference between "Modern" and "Classical" Theravada ..

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:47 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine


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