Dispensation of Buddha

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thepea
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Dispensation of Buddha

Post by thepea »

"Ven. Ledi Sayadaw firmly believed that at the beginning of the Second Dispensation of the Buddha, Vipassana will return to India from Myanmar and will benefit people for a long time. Sayagyi U Ba Khin was also of the opinion that Vipassana will continue in its pure form during the Second Buddha Sasana, that is, for the next 2500 years. He sent our Principal Teacher Acharya Goenkaji to India for this express purpose. Goenkaji too is confident that the teaching of the Buddha will remain in its pristine purity for the entire duration of the Second Dispensation of the Buddha."
From a vipassana newsletter.

This is something that until recently I have had no interest in researching, its funny how Dhamma talks are given and you hear them over and over again and something you have heard many times suddenly grabs hold of your curiosity.

Could someone explain the dispensation of the Buddha is it 5000 yrs or 2500 yrs. According to Goenka tradition we are 50 some odd yrs into second 2500 yr period?

This tradition holds the belief that the technique of vipassana was lost in other countries, but Burma maintained the purity of this technique and it is now to spread around the world. What are peoples opinions about this?

Mr Goenka has stated that in countries such as Sri Lanka the texts were maintained in their purity but panna was lost, this is a touchy subject, but listening to Mr Goenka saying these statements, they seem very arrogant, but everything this tradition teaches has coincided with my direct experience. I'm not saying that I have experienced everything but what I have experienced fits very accurately within this traditions teachings. It has left me questioning the monastics of other traditions at this moment and I would like to hear what others have to say in regards to this.

So according to what I've been taught(perhaps misinterpreted) is that the dhamma was lost globally but preserved in Burma(the country of gold), 50 some years ago it began to spread throughout the world from this country in its pristine purity. These statements really challenge Theravaden monastic traditions of other countries(what have they been practicing?), and this leaves me in a place where I'm curious to hear what others have to say about this.

I believe the Buddha said something to the effect that we are to question everything, accept nothing as the truth, until we experience this for ourselves. Well I have had nothing occur in my meditation that has brought me to understand these timelines any better, I am simply acknowledging this as a possible truth, basically giving credit to Mr Goenka that he knows better and that one day I will be at a place where I know this as a truth.

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Dhammanando
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Re: Dispensation of Buddha

Post by Dhammanando »

thepea wrote:Could someone explain the dispensation of the Buddha is it 5000 yrs or 2500 yrs. According to Goenka tradition we are 50 some odd yrs into second 2500 yr period?
According to the Theravāda calendar the halfway point (i.e. 2500 years from the Parinibbāna) was reached in 1957, the so-called Buddha Jayanti year. There is a tradition (I forget the source of it but I think it’s from some mediæval Ceylonese text) that from this year on the Dispensation would undergo something of a resurgence. And so in Theravāda countries (more so in Ceylon and Burma than in Thailand) it was marked in a variety of ways, perhaps most significantly by the holding of the Sixth Council in Burma.
thepea wrote:This tradition holds the belief that the technique of vipassana was lost in other countries, but Burma maintained the purity of this technique and it is now to spread around the world. What are peoples opinions about this?
There is no evidence for this whatsoever, and much evidence to the contrary. Essentially it’s an unsupported faith claim, most likely generated by an excess of proselytical zeal, Burmese national chauvinism and wishful thinking. You will find analogous superiority claims in virtually all the modern Burmese and Thai meditation traditons.
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Dispensation of Buddha

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala »

I think the technique of vipassanā is lost as soon as we stop meditating and starts reading.

Don't get me wrong. Reading and asking questions is very helpful. If you wish to travel to a distant, unfamiliar place, you would do well to read up first about the route to your intended destination, and as you travel on the journey, you should keep asking questions to confirm that you're still on the right track.

However, if you want to get there, you have to keep walking.
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Ben
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Re: Dispensation of Buddha

Post by Ben »

thepea wrote:"Ven. Ledi Sayadaw firmly believed that at the beginning of the Second Dispensation of the Buddha, Vipassana will return to India
Where does Ledi Sayadaw say this?
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

thepea
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Re: Dispensation of Buddha

Post by thepea »

Dhammanando wrote:According to the Theravāda calendar the halfway point (i.e. 2500 years from the Parinibbāna) was reached in 1957, the so-called Buddha Jayanti year. There is a tradition (I forget the source of it but I think it’s from some mediæval Ceylonese text) that from this year on the Dispensation would undergo something of a resurgence. And so in Theravāda countries (more so in Ceylon and Burma than in Thailand) it was marked in a variety of ways, perhaps most significantly by the holding of the Sixth Council in Burma.
I thought the dhamma was to deteriorate in 500 yr. increments, panna going after first 500 then Samadhi practices second 500 yrs. and then sila third 500 yrs. or something to this effect.
Dhammanando wrote:There is no evidence for this whatsoever, and much evidence to the contrary. Essentially it’s an unsupported faith claim, most likely generated by an excess of proselytical zeal, Burmese national chauvinism and wishful thinking. You will find analogous superiority claims in virtually all the modern Burmese and Thai meditation traditons.
This is where my curiosity/faith is challenged, there are so many stories of monks taking actions that seem only possible with a lack of experiential wisdom. For one with wisdom there is no possible way for these actions to take place as one would immediately feel the sting generated from these actions. It seems from a distant perspective that these monks must not be putting Buddhas teachings into practice.

I am not suggesting that you or any of the monks here at DW fit into this category, but it does seem that what some of these monks are practicing must be different. Observing Mr Goenka actions and the actions of his AT's and his teachers, I have not come across any of their actions to lead me to believe that these people are not taking steps toward Nibanna. I cannot in all honesty say this of the monastics of this world, some do not seem to be on the path, some do not seem to be practicing Dhamma. And yes I know that this is judgmental and its better to simply practice and not concern with the actions of others, but I believe this is something that is keeping me from openly accepting Buddhism as Dhamma. There is a part of me which does not wish to be associated with Buddhism.

Because I have only experienced the most gracious and kind teachers within this Goenka tradition, I have a very pure outlook of this tradition, Mr. Goenka and his teachers do not strike me as the types to say such comments and hold such beliefs for no reason other than excitement for their own tradition, or a belief. I get the feeling these statements are meant to cut deeply at these other traditions, and are coming from a depth of understanding that currently I don't posess. Otherwise it just doesn't seem to fit into the discourses, or this tradition, why bring this up? Why do they go out of their way to create a distinction between Buddhism and Dhamma?

thepea
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Re: Dispensation of Buddha

Post by thepea »

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:I think the technique of vipassanā is lost as soon as we stop meditating and starts reading.

Don't get me wrong. Reading and asking questions is very helpful. If you wish to travel to a distant, unfamiliar place, you would do well to read up first about the route to your intended destination, and as you travel on the journey, you should keep asking questions to confirm that you're still on the right track.

However, if you want to get there, you have to keep walking.
I hope that by asking questions and challenging Buddhism, this is not an indication of lack of practice. I believe that due to continuous daily practice this invites a place where I am beginning to explore some of these more obscure teachings. It is also possible to remain with sensations and interact with people here while both reading and typing. I observe craving when logging on in hopes that people may have responded in kind, and I observe aversion when I feel that I am being misunderstood and treated unfairly. It is always a good opportunity to be aware and choose to respond rather than react blindly.

I will admit that with a very young and busy family, awareness often takes a back seat, but every moment is an opportunity to start again.

thepea
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Re: Dispensation of Buddha

Post by thepea »

Ben wrote: Where does Ledi Sayadaw say this?
This was a direct quote from a vipassana newsletter, I'm not sure where they got the quote from. perhaps it was something heard and passed down from one teacher to another?

What is your understanding of this?

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retrofuturist
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Re: Dispensation of Buddha

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings thepea,
thepea wrote:This was a direct quote from a vipassana newsletter
Do you mean this one?

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

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

thepea
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Re: Dispensation of Buddha

Post by thepea »

Paul Davy wrote:Do you mean this one?

That very well could be the original letter, the one I originally read was a local vipassana newsletter.

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Ben
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Re: Dispensation of Buddha

Post by Ben »

thepea wrote:
Ben wrote: Where does Ledi Sayadaw say this?
This was a direct quote from a vipassana newsletter, I'm not sure where they got the quote from. perhaps it was something heard and passed down from one teacher to another?

What is your understanding of this?
Hagiography.
I've read nothing in Ledi Sayadaw's works that he had that belief or prediction. I recommend Eric Braun's excellent work on Ledi Sayadaw.

http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/boo ... 44419.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

thepea
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Re: Dispensation of Buddha

Post by thepea »

Ben wrote: Hagiography.
I've read nothing in Ledi Sayadaw's works that he had that belief or prediction.
OK, this is why I mentioned that it may have been something passed on from teacher to teacher. Are you suggesting this is false?

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Ben
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Re: Dispensation of Buddha

Post by Ben »

thepea wrote:
Ben wrote: Hagiography.
I've read nothing in Ledi Sayadaw's works that he had that belief or prediction.
OK, this is why I mentioned that it may have been something passed on from teacher to teacher. Are you suggesting this is false?
I am not going to say it is false. What I will say is really a reiteration of what Ven Dhammanando has already eloquently put forward above. My observation, after thirty plus years association with the Goenka 'tradition', there is quite a bit of mythologising. Having said that, as Venerable has pointed out, it's not that unusual. My response to it is to take it with a grain of salt and concentrate on the practice.
Goenkaji mentions in the ten-day discourses of using the "laser light of vipassana" to see into the deep recesses of your mind. When I did that I also turned that unwavering objective self-reflexivity on my relationship with my teacher, the efficacy of the method and his teachings. Needless to say it was extremely difficult but at the same time I have not jumped ship (so to speak).
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

thepea
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Re: Dispensation of Buddha

Post by thepea »

Ben wrote:there is quite a bit of mythologising.
We are not talking about enough passage of time to call this a myth, it seems some of the Buddhas teachings could be viewed as myths(many generations passing telling a story), but this seems very easily to have been passed on from one teacher to another, and we can trace this back to the source. These guys just don't seem the type to make this stuff up.
Ben wrote:Having said that, as Venerable has pointed out, it's not that unusual.
It seems quite unusual, for these individuals to partake in false speech.
Ben wrote:
Goenkaji mentions in the ten-day discourses of using the "laser light of vipassana" to see into the deep recesses of your mind. When I did that I also turned that unwavering objective self-reflexivity on my relationship with my teacher, the efficacy of the method and his teachings. Needless to say it was extremely difficult but at the same time I have not jumped ship (so to speak).
I'm not following your point??

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DNS
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Re: Dispensation of Buddha

Post by DNS »

thepea wrote: Could someone explain the dispensation of the Buddha is it 5000 yrs or 2500 yrs.
The suttas do not mention any set date for the disappearance of the Dhamma. They describe conditions that will lead to the decline and eventual disappearance of the Dhamma, but no dates are given. I am not sure which commentary, but there is one that mentions the 5,000 years of the Dispensation. The current era we are in, there can be no arahants, but anagami (non-returner) state can still be attained (according to the Commentary).

SarathW
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Re: Dispensation of Buddha

Post by SarathW »

Well there is a good challenge (becoming an Arahant) if any one to take it up!

In regard to op Arthur C. Clarke predict that only Buddhism will survive by year 2050.

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=16297&hilit" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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