Non-Mahavihara Theravada?

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Non-Mahavihara Theravada?

Postby greenjuice » Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:42 am

Are there any Theravadins, that is- people accepting the Tipitaka, but that don't follow the Mahavihara interpretation, but Jetavana or Abhayagiri? Or are there people following the Mahasanghika/ Lokittaravada interpretation instead of the Sthaviravada one, and I'm not talking about Mahayana and those who accept extra sutras.
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Re: Non-Mahavihara Theravada?

Postby cooran » Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:53 am

Hello green juice,

This previous thread may be of interest:

How Theravada is Theravada? - Exploring Buddhist identities
viewtopic.php?f=29&t=12929

With metta,
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Re: Non-Mahavihara Theravada?

Postby greenjuice » Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:12 am

I'm guessing there is no pdf of that book :popcorn:
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Re: Non-Mahavihara Theravada?

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:39 am

greenjuice wrote:Are there any Theravadins, that is- people accepting the Tipitaka, but that don't follow the Mahavihara interpretation, but Jetavana or Abhayagiri?


I think too little is known about the teachings of the Jetavana or Abhayagiri Vihāras for anyone to really be able to follow them, although I suppose someone who prefers the Vimuttimagga to the Visuddhimagga might loosely be called an adherent of the Abhayagiri Vihāra school.

Or are there people following the Mahasanghika/ Lokittaravada interpretation instead of the Sthaviravada one, and I'm not talking about Mahayana and those who accept extra sutras.


There are plenty of Theravādins holding to notions that happen to parallel those which the Kathāvatthu Commentary attributes to this or that long-extinct school. For example, Mahāsaṅghika-like ideas about the nature of the Buddha can be found in the Thai forest tradition. But I haven't yet heard of anyone knowingly embracing Mahāsaṅghika doctrines after studying them. This has happened, however, with the Sammitiyas, Vatsīputriyas and other pudgalavādin schools. Their pudgala doctrine was famously revived in Germany by Georg Grimm and his following and in Ceylon by the Pali scholar Rev. A.P. Buddhadatta.
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Non-Mahavihara Theravada?

Postby greenjuice » Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:30 am

Interesting info, thanks. First time I hear about contemporary pudgalavadins. I cannot find much online resources about both of those mentioned 'personalists', I suppose there are no organisations following their teachings?

Also, are there any Buddhist teachers or groups that accept the Pali canon, without accepting the later Mahayana sutras, but do explicitly accept the doctrines associated with various mahayana schools like citta as the real self, and the notion of Buddha-nature/ eternal Buddha?
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Re: Non-Mahavihara Theravada?

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:17 pm

greenjuice wrote:I suppose there are no organisations following their teachings?


There used to be the Altbuddistische Gemeinde, founded by Georg Grimm in Utting am Ammersee. But it had already sunk into hebetude when I dropped by in 1991 while on my way to visit the concentration camp at Dachau. And now I've just learned from Google that it finally folded in 2002:


    Founded in1921, the Community of Early Buddhism (Altbuddhistische Gemeinde), was dissolved at the end of 2002, and the lighthouse of religious Buddhist teaching probably extinguished in Germany.
    [...]
    Almost without a whimper the Community of Early Buddhism disappeared from the landscape of German Buddhism and with it the great work of the most significant Buddhist philosopher of the West – Georg Grimm. How could such a precious heritage seem to disappear so completely in the dark of history? Here and there was in the Buddhist world to hear, especially in Germany and Austria, regret and sympathy, but also less positive reactions came from those individuals who represent a nihilistic or syncretic interpretation of the teachings of the Buddha.
    http://www.georg-grimm.at/prolog/prologue-engl/

And in the photograph below we can see some rare specimens of real live Bavarian Personalists in the wild:

pugg.jpg
pugg.jpg (140.09 KiB) Viewed 645 times

(Pudgalavadus teutonicus bavariæ)

Also, are there any Buddhist teachers or groups that accept the Pali canon, without accepting the later Mahayana sutras, but do explicitly accept the doctrines associated with various mahayana schools like citta as the real self, and the notion of Buddha-nature/ eternal Buddha?


I don't know. There are certainly Theravadin teachers who are given to expressing themselves in a manner that suggests they may subscribe to such ideas. Some of the monks (and nearly all of the nuns) who've had a long-term association with Ajahn Sumedho come to mind. But the general want of clarity in the Dhamma talks of these people makes it hard to say for sure if this is really what they mean.
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Non-Mahavihara Theravada?

Postby pulga » Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:08 pm

And then there is Mrs. Rhys Davids -- a long-time president of the Pali Text Society no less -- and those who came under her influence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caroline_A ... hys_Davids
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Re: Non-Mahavihara Theravada?

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:22 am

Dhammanando wrote:
greenjuice wrote:I suppose there are no organisations following their teachings?


There used to be the Altbuddistische Gemeinde, founded by Georg Grimm in Utting am Ammersee. But it had already sunk into hebetude when I dropped by in 1991 while on my way to visit the concentration camp at Dachau. And now I've just learned from Google that it finally folded in 2002:
...

Some of us were talking about him back in May - http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=17307 - and that thread may be of interest now.

:namaste:
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Re: Non-Mahavihara Theravada?

Postby BlackBird » Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:13 pm

I'm one of those non-mahaviharan Theravadans. No Abhidhamma or flux or 3-life-time interpretation of dependent arising for me. The commentaries are not seen by me to have been created by Ariyans but by scholar monks, and by their own admission where they differ from the Suttas, the Suttas are to be given primacy, so I do. I don't throw the baby out with the bathwater mind you, but I don't trust the commentaries as being authoritative and I evaluate any point made within the prism of my heterodox ideas.

In essence, I only take the Digha, Majjhima, Samyutta, Anguttara, and portions of the KN (Dhammapada, Sutta Nipata, Udana & Itivuttaka, Theri/Theragatha, Khuddakapatha, & Jatakas) to be Buddhavacana, along with the Vinaya these are the only books I accept to be the historical Buddha's teachings.

At times I have been arrogant, dismissive and mean towards Mahaviharan followers. I have long since grown up and realized that while I think I might be on the right track, I cannot be sure and until that time where I might be sure, I have no right to dismiss the Orthodox as being wrong, and myself right. These days when speaking with orthodox Theravadins I try to focus on the large amount of stuff we have in common rather than the details to which we differ. But this is merely a disclaimer, as because of my past abrasive rantings people can be quick to jump on the defensive when I state my beliefs.

If you're interested more in what I and others like me think, there are links in my signature.

metta
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Re: Non-Mahavihara Theravada?

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:21 pm

Hi greenjuice,

I get the impression from your posts that you are having some issues with the Theravada concepts of anatta, nibbana. You also appear to like the Pali Canon and want something close to the original teachings. Nothing wrong with that, I am sure there a number of people with similar issues. One method is to just put it aside for now and continue with your practice. Another is to continue on with your practice, perhaps even following some of those other early schools including the pudgalavādin ones. And then when you make more progress along the Path, you will either confirm those pudgalavādin views or accept anatta fully; through experience.

I imagine at virtually any Theravada Dhamma center there will be some who hold some type of pudgalavādin views, others that follow Theravada Commentaries, others that are Suttanta only, others that are Abhidhammikas, etc. We'll find out which one was right on the "other shore". Theravada / Buddhism is big enough to accommodate us all. :toast:
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Re: Non-Mahavihara Theravada?

Postby Beneath the Wheel » Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:51 pm

Is there a book or article or anything where I can read more about the differences between these views being discussed? I've heard it mentioned before that Thai Forest monks may have some views that don't agree with orthodox Theravada teachings and I want to explore this, as I don't normally dig that deep.
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Re: Non-Mahavihara Theravada?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:58 pm

Hi Beneath the Wheel,

There are literally hundreds of threads on this site discussing different interpretations.
Here's a recent one about Ajahn Mun: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=19302

:anjali:
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Re: Non-Mahavihara Theravada?

Postby Beneath the Wheel » Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:31 pm

Thanks for the link. I realize now I should have split my post into two questions:

1) Asking for information about the specific views themselves - Mahavihara, Jetavana, Abhayagiri?, etc.
I realize I can probably rely on wikipedia but I was holding out for something more academic I guess.

2) These views as they relate to Thai Forest monks. I'll take a look at that thread you mentioned. Thanks again.
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Re: Non-Mahavihara Theravada?

Postby Jayantha-NJ » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:08 am

BlackBird wrote:I'm one of those non-mahaviharan Theravadans. No Abhidhamma or flux or 3-life-time interpretation of dependent arising for me. The commentaries are not seen by me to have been created by Ariyans but by scholar monks, and by their own admission where they differ from the Suttas, the Suttas are to be given primacy, so I do. I don't throw the baby out with the bathwater mind you, but I don't trust the commentaries as being authoritative and I evaluate any point made within the prism of my heterodox ideas.

In essence, I only take the Digha, Majjhima, Samyutta, Anguttara, and portions of the KN (Dhammapada, Sutta Nipata, Udana & Itivuttaka, Theri/Theragatha, Khuddakapatha, & Jatakas) to be Buddhavacana, along with the Vinaya these are the only books I accept to be the historical Buddha's teachings.




At first I was reading this post thinking what the heck does this all mean. I suppose I am one of these non-mahaviharan theravadans as well, the person that I guess could be considered my only teacher, Bhante G, only teaches what he sees as the true teachings of the budda, exactly as you've described, no abhidamma or commentaries and the four Nikayas.

coincidentally enough I never really looked into them before finding monastics who don't teach them, which kind of leads me to want to check them out for myself, have never gotten around to it though.
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Re: Non-Mahavihara Theravada?

Postby greenjuice » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:49 pm

BlackBird wrote:I'm one of those non-mahaviharan Theravadans. No Abhidhamma or flux or 3-life-time interpretation of dependent arising for me.

So, you accept the 2-lives interpretation of DA?

David N. Snyder wrote:Hi greenjuice,

I get the impression from your posts that you are having some issues with the Theravada concepts of anatta, nibbana. You also appear to like the Pali Canon and want something close to the original teachings. Nothing wrong with that, I am sure there a number of people with similar issues.

Well, I was a Christian until I started being sceptical and went agnostic on pretty much all questions. After reading a lot of philosophical works, and having contemplated a lot about pretty much everything, based on purely cognitive rational inquiry I came to hold views similar to Hinduism and Buddhism. The important part of those views is of course ethics, and Pali canon is the only teaching that I found that is accordance with what I consider correct ethics, so that's a big part of why I'm into Theravada, even though I am not a Theravadin, and my other views are most likely looked down upon as false by pretty much all Theravadins.

And then when you make more progress along the Path, you will either confirm those pudgalavādin views or accept anatta fully; through experience.

I'm not so much inclined to accept pudgalavadin views, as much a view that is closer to Jainism/ Hinduism, although I could agree with what Buddha says in the suttas, being that he does leave room to also hold such a view.
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