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Will the Dhamma be forgotten....? - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Laurens
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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Postby Laurens » Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:19 pm

When you're lost in dangerous waters, you need to cling to your life raft.
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

Carl Sagan

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:01 pm

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Annapurna
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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Postby Annapurna » Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:51 pm

http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

Sanghamitta
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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Postby Sanghamitta » Fri Dec 11, 2009 4:01 pm

The reason given for doubting that we have a true record of the Buddhas teaching the absence of a written record, is actually a great strength. Because they were commited to memory, and not modern scattered memory, but the memory of those who had been trained in memorisation from early childhood. And then repeated continously down the centuries with the old men making sure that the repetition was correct, it was communal not a matter of individual endevour with pen and ink. Its repetition has not altered in the last hundred years , there is no reason to suspect that it changed in the first hundred years.

:anjali:
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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Kare
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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Postby Kare » Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:48 pm

Should words of Dhamma be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should words of Dhamma be forgot,
and the Buddhasasana ?

CHORUS:
For Buddhasasana, my jo,
for Buddhasasana,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for the Buddhasasana.
Mettāya,
Kåre

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cooran
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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Postby cooran » Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:06 pm

---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Annapurna
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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Postby Annapurna » Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:00 pm

http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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cooran
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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Postby cooran » Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:23 pm

Hello Annabel, Sanghamitta, all
(previously posted in the Great Rebirth Debate thread - but I don't know how to just give a link to a post.)

The Suttas are not 'sound bites' recorded as the Buddha spoke. They are compacted summaries of what was said, rehearsed and agreed upon by the Arahants at the Great Councils and memorised and chanted together by large groups of monks called Bhanakas (Reciters).

"Writing was unknown then, and so the Buddha’s sayings, as collected by his disciples, were committed to memory by a group of monks and were handed down to their disciples orally. There were probably two such groups, who, in order to distinguish themselves from each other, became known as Digha-Bhanakas and Majjhima-bhanakas. The other two Nikayas were later developments, their object being only to rearrange the topics dealt with in the Digha and the Majjhima".
http://www.quangduc.com/English/history ... ars07.html

The Suttas are teaching vehicles whose meanings are densely packed layer on layer. They are not to be read as an ordinary page of print, but require 'unpacking' by someone learned in the Dhamma. This condensed form was necessary in order that the Teachings would not be lost in the years before they were finally put into writing ~ engraved on leaves in Sri Lanka. It allowed them to be memorised by the large groups of bhikkhus (bhanakas) assigned to each portion of the Tipitaka. They are not verbatim reports of chats and conversations. This memorisation is said to have commenced before the parinibbana of the Buddha. Anything that is repeated is to be seen as something important which was highlighted by the repetition.

The Suttas are rather like the memory prompts - the dot points of the most important information to be transmitted - similar to those a public speaker carries for reference.
"Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata -- deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness -- are being recited. We will lend ear, will set our hearts on knowing them, will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.' That's how you should train yourselves." (Ari sutta).

.... with regard to the accuracy of oral traditions ... Anthropologists agree that oral teachings are generally more accurate and less prone to "improving" than are written teachings

The Pali Suttas are summaries of what the Buddha meant to be passed on - and great care was taken, while he was alive and afterwards, to memorise them in a form that could not be distorted, and by a method that did not allow of deliberate alterations to meaning and content. The recitations were going on for the forty five years of the Buddha's teaching life. The repetitions in the suttas are pointer to the most important parts.

Venerable Mahá Kassapa, the elected head of the First Council. Cúlavagga Xl,1,1 (ii,284) reiterated:
"Come, friends: let us recite the Teaching and the Discipline before what is not the Teaching shines forth and the Teaching is put aside, before what is not the Discipline shines forth and the Discipline is put aside, before those who speak what is not the Teaching become strong and those who speak what is the Teaching become weak, before those who speak what is not the Discipline become strong and those who speak what is the Discipline become weak."

So the system was in place before the Buddha passed away. The Pali suttas are extremely condensed summaries of the Buddha's teachings, packed with meaning, which need to be unpacked by those learned in the Dhamma. They were preserved in that form to aid memorising and chanting by the large groups of Bhikkhus called Bhanakas (Reciters) i.e. Majjhima-bhanakas, Digha-bhanakas etc. Each group was allocated a small portion of the Tipitaka to keep pristine and pass on. This began even while the Buddha was alive.

It was only hundreds of years later in Sri Lanka, in a time of famine and warfare, with many bhikkhus dying, and with Buddhism all but wiped out in India, that the MahaSangha decided the Teachings needed to be written down. They were engraved on Ola Leaves. Many of us have been to Sri Lanka and have had the inestimable good fortune to have seen demonstrations of this being done at the ancient rock temple of Aluvihara Temple (where the Tipitaka was originally written down) in the Matale district 26 km from Kandy.


metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Kare
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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Postby Kare » Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:24 pm

Mettāya,
Kåre

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cooran
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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Postby cooran » Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:58 pm

Yes, Kare, you've posted that untranslated quote before in:
Those good old light bulbs again ...
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=1011&p=12691&hilit=bulbs#p12612
which was on-topic and appropriate in The Lounge.
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Kare
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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Postby Kare » Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:20 pm

Mettāya,
Kåre

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Annapurna
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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Postby Annapurna » Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:45 am

http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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Kare
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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Postby Kare » Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:30 pm

Mettāya,
Kåre

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tiltbillings
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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:57 pm


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Kare
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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Postby Kare » Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:33 pm

Mettāya,
Kåre

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:08 pm

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Annapurna
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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Postby Annapurna » Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:24 pm

http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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Kare
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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Postby Kare » Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:37 pm

Mettāya,
Kåre

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tiltbillings
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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:43 pm


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Kare
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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Postby Kare » Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:00 pm

Mettāya,
Kåre


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