The current tradition of Theravada

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yamaka
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The current tradition of Theravada

Post by yamaka » Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:36 am

Dear all,

From the Jataka commentaries(Atthakatha) which compiled at the Mahavihara, the preface of the book had stated:

Mahiṃsāsakavaṃsamhi, sambhūtena nayaññunā;

Which means the teaching/tradition of the Theravada in Sinhalese was inherited from the Mahisasaka School, is that correct?


:anjali:

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cooran
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Re: The current tradition of Theravada

Post by cooran » Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:40 am

Hello yamaka,

This might be of interest:

‘’According to A.K. Warder, the Indian Mahīśāsaka sect also established itself in Sri Lanka alongside the Theravāda, into which these members were later absorbed.[18] It is known that Faxian obtained a Sanskrit copy of the Mahīśāsaka Vinaya at the Abhayagiri Vihara in Sri Lanka, c. 406 CE. The Mahīśāsaka Vinaya was then translated into Chinese in 434 CE by Buddhajiva and Zhu Daosheng.[19] This translation of the Mahīśāsaka Vinaya remains extant in the Chinese Buddhist canon as Taishō Tripiṭaka 1421.[20’’
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahisasaka" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

with metta
Chris
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Paññāsikhara
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Re: The current tradition of Theravada

Post by Paññāsikhara » Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:42 am

yamaka wrote:Dear all,

From the Jataka commentaries(Atthakatha) which compiled at the Mahavihara, the preface of the book had stated:

Mahiṃsāsakavaṃsamhi, sambhūtena nayaññunā;

Which means the teaching/tradition of the Theravada in Sinhalese was inherited from the Mahisasaka School, is that correct?


:anjali:
Without giving a black or white answer as correct or incorrect, a number of people, both ancient and modern, have noted the very close connections and affinities between the Mahavihara and Mahisasaka traditions.

From Bareau, 1955, pg. 183 (English translation):
If, as is probable, the Mahīśāsakas and the Theravādins constituted a single sect at the beginning, that of the Vibhajyavādins, we must confess that we know that the doctrine of the former is somewhat different from that of the latter. The latter seems more archaic, which may be explained by the relative insular isolation of the Theravādins about the 2nd century before our era. It seems that the Theravādins were the portion of the Vibhajyavādins who lived in Ceylon from the end of the 3rd century or the beginning of the 2nd century C.E., and the Mahīśāsakas were those who lived on the Indian sub-continent and whose doctrine changed more quickly.
ibid. pp. 205-6:
The examination of theses particular to the Theravādins, such as we know from the Kathāvatthu, allows the question thus asked to be resolved. The Theravādins reject the theses characteristic of the Mahāsāṇghikas, the <206> Vātsīputrīyas, the Sarvāstivādins and the Kāśyapīyas. Therefore they are part of the group of sects coming from the trunk of the Sthaviras which belong neither to the subgroup of the Vātsīputrīyas nor that of the Sarvāstivādins. Their strong opposition to the latter is clearly affirmed by the fact that they reject the compromise thesis of the Kāśyapīyas. Thus they are related to the Mahīśāsakas and the Dharmaguptakas. Even a superficial examination of the doctrines shows that they should not be identified with either of the two, certain theses of whom they reject, but rather that they are related to the former.

This fact is confirmed by the examination of some philological information. Przyluski and Hofinger, in their studies on the first two councils, have shown how many of the accounts of these in the Vinayapiṭaka of the Theravādins and in those of the Mahīśāsakas are similar.1156 Minayeff and La Vallée Poussin cite a Ceylonese tradition according to which the Theravādin Canon was borrowed from the Mahīśāsakas.1157 Although this information is obviously wrong, nonetheless it is significant. Finally, the list of sects furnished by the Ceylonese tradition differs from all the other lists in that it presents the Mahīśāsakas as one of the two mother sects along with the Vātsīputrīyas, coming from the trunk of the Sthaviras. Actually, it makes the Sabbatthivādins, the Dhammaguttikas, the Kassapikas, the Saṇkantikas and the Suttavādas come from the Mahīṣāsakas. This anomaly has its exact counterpart in the one which closes the list of the Sarvāstivādins of the north-west, which makes all the Sthavira sects with the exception of only the Haimavatas come from the Sarvāstivādins. Finally, we should not forget that it was in Ceylon that Fa-hien found the Mahīśāsaka Vinayapiṭaka in 412 of our era.1158 All of this proves that the Ceylonese tradition had undergone strong influences of the Mahīśāsakas and that the latter resided in Ceylon and southern India. Nevertheless, and we repeat, the Theravādins are not Mahīśāsakas.

1156 Przyluski: Concile de Rājagṛha, p. 307 to 332; Hofinger: Concile de Vaiśali, p. 161 to 168.
1157 Legge: Record of buddhist kingdoms, p. 111.
1158 L.V.P.: L’Inde au temps des Maurya, p. 133 to 139.
Hope this sheds some light on your query.

~~ Huifeng
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: Huifeng's Prajnacara Blog.

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yamaka
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Re: The current tradition of Theravada

Post by yamaka » Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:21 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:
yamaka wrote:Dear all,

From the Jataka commentaries(Atthakatha) which compiled at the Mahavihara, the preface of the book had stated:

Mahiṃsāsakavaṃsamhi, sambhūtena nayaññunā;

Which means the teaching/tradition of the Theravada in Sinhalese was inherited from the Mahisasaka School, is that correct?


:anjali:
Without giving a black or white answer as correct or incorrect, a number of people, both ancient and modern, have noted the very close connections and affinities between the Mahavihara and Mahisasaka traditions.

From Bareau, 1955, pg. 183 (English translation):
If, as is probable, the Mahīśāsakas and the Theravādins constituted a single sect at the beginning, that of the Vibhajyavādins, we must confess that we know that the doctrine of the former is somewhat different from that of the latter. The latter seems more archaic, which may be explained by the relative insular isolation of the Theravādins about the 2nd century before our era. It seems that the Theravādins were the portion of the Vibhajyavādins who lived in Ceylon from the end of the 3rd century or the beginning of the 2nd century C.E., and the Mahīśāsakas were those who lived on the Indian sub-continent and whose doctrine changed more quickly.
ibid. pp. 205-6:
The examination of theses particular to the Theravādins, such as we know from the Kathāvatthu, allows the question thus asked to be resolved. The Theravādins reject the theses characteristic of the Mahāsāṇghikas, the <206> Vātsīputrīyas, the Sarvāstivādins and the Kāśyapīyas. Therefore they are part of the group of sects coming from the trunk of the Sthaviras which belong neither to the subgroup of the Vātsīputrīyas nor that of the Sarvāstivādins. Their strong opposition to the latter is clearly affirmed by the fact that they reject the compromise thesis of the Kāśyapīyas. Thus they are related to the Mahīśāsakas and the Dharmaguptakas. Even a superficial examination of the doctrines shows that they should not be identified with either of the two, certain theses of whom they reject, but rather that they are related to the former.

This fact is confirmed by the examination of some philological information. Przyluski and Hofinger, in their studies on the first two councils, have shown how many of the accounts of these in the Vinayapiṭaka of the Theravādins and in those of the Mahīśāsakas are similar.1156 Minayeff and La Vallée Poussin cite a Ceylonese tradition according to which the Theravādin Canon was borrowed from the Mahīśāsakas.1157 Although this information is obviously wrong, nonetheless it is significant. Finally, the list of sects furnished by the Ceylonese tradition differs from all the other lists in that it presents the Mahīśāsakas as one of the two mother sects along with the Vātsīputrīyas, coming from the trunk of the Sthaviras. Actually, it makes the Sabbatthivādins, the Dhammaguttikas, the Kassapikas, the Saṇkantikas and the Suttavādas come from the Mahīṣāsakas. This anomaly has its exact counterpart in the one which closes the list of the Sarvāstivādins of the north-west, which makes all the Sthavira sects with the exception of only the Haimavatas come from the Sarvāstivādins. Finally, we should not forget that it was in Ceylon that Fa-hien found the Mahīśāsaka Vinayapiṭaka in 412 of our era.1158 All of this proves that the Ceylonese tradition had undergone strong influences of the Mahīśāsakas and that the latter resided in Ceylon and southern India. Nevertheless, and we repeat, the Theravādins are not Mahīśāsakas.

1156 Przyluski: Concile de Rājagṛha, p. 307 to 332; Hofinger: Concile de Vaiśali, p. 161 to 168.
1157 Legge: Record of buddhist kingdoms, p. 111.
1158 L.V.P.: L’Inde au temps des Maurya, p. 133 to 139.
Hope this sheds some light on your query.

~~ Huifeng
Thanks a lot for the information given.

I have a doubt, which during the 3rd Sangha council(Based on Mahavamsa/Dipavamsa), the Ashoka king sent out a missionary Sangha team(led by Ven. Mahinda) to Ceylon, which is belongs to the Theravada school, why the Mahisasaka sect. was able to influence the Theravada sects teachings, especially the Mahavihara elders?


:anjali:

Paññāsikhara
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Re: The current tradition of Theravada

Post by Paññāsikhara » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:43 am

I think that the problem with the question is that 1. it assumes that at the time the Mahavihara was the "Theravada school" per se; 2. that the influence came after the move to Lanka; and 3. that even after moving to Lanka, there could be no influence from other schools. May want to think about those assumptions a bit.

~~ Huifeng
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: Huifeng's Prajnacara Blog.

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