Shravasti Dhammika

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Re: Shravasti Dhammika

Post by form » Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:20 pm

SarathW wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:38 am
No.
I started listening to his Dhamma talk.
I just finished this.
I have no doubt that he has earned lot of practical expeience.

I know him personally and have lunch with him many times. What i benefitted most from his books is his recommendation to examine the various causation chains in the suttas. I especially appreciate his honesty and being straighforwardness although we do not agree on everything in Buddhism. And yes, his emphasis on practicality is valuable.

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Re: Shravasti Dhammika

Post by SarathW » Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:54 pm

Zom wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:43 pm
I take his vision of another "organized religion" to be unwise.
I'd say naive and idealistic.
Agree.
This will do even worse damage to already damaged image of Buddhism.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Shravasti Dhammika

Post by Zom » Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:51 pm

This will do even worse damage to already damaged image of Buddhism.
You mean general image or that one presented in Broken Buddha? If second, this book is very good for "hardcore neophytes", but not for those who just started to learn smth about Buddhism.

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Re: Shravasti Dhammika

Post by Volovsky » Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:58 pm

I stopped reading his Broken Buddha, after I reached this place:
I recall visiting a tea plantation one afternoon with the late Venerable Sivali of Khandaboda, a dedicated monk and skillful meditation teacher. The manager of the plantation walked a quarter of a mile down the steep hillside to welcome us and then asked if we would like a cup of tea. We said yes and he walked back up the hill to his bungalow, prepared our tea and brought it down to us. As I sipped mine I noticed that Sivali was looking rather coy and not drinking his. I looked at the tea, saw that it had milk in it and knew straight away why.* [*According to the Vinaya, milk is a food and so to drink tea with milk in the afternoon is to break the rule against eating after midday.] A few minutes later the manager also noticed that Sivali was not drinking his tea and came over to see what the problem was. Sivali gently told him and the solicitous and embarrassed man took his cup, threw the tea out and ran all the way back up the hill to get him another one without milk in it. If an ordinary person were as fussy about not having milk in their tea after midday we would dismiss it as just a silly eccentricity. But why would an otherwise decent intelligent person dedicated to the practice of letting go, being content with what is and developing a kind heart be prepared to cause embarrassment and inconvenience over such a minor thing?
So, the Ven. Dhammika had broken the rule, but Ven. Sivali wanted to keep the Vinaya pure. And Ven. Dhammika criticizes him for this... :roll: I wasn't interested in reading it any further.

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Re: Shravasti Dhammika

Post by DooDoot » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:18 am

StormBorn wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 2:47 pm
The Broken Buddha
I am reading it over breakfast. I acknowledge its from 2001 but.... :shock:
Few of my observations about Theravada are original, they are the sort of things one often hears about it from former Theravadins, Mahayanists and others. Nor are they particularly contemporary. In the famous Vimalakirtinidesa Sutra for example, a Mahayana work dating from the early centuries of the Common Era, the layman Vimalakirti pretends to be sick and the Buddha one by one asks the monks to go and visit him. Each of them refuses because they know Vimalakirti is wiser than they and the idea of being seen learning from a lay person is too much for their monkish self image. But the Buddha is insistent and so they decide to go all together. Many of Vimalakirti’s friends have also come to see him and so he takes the opportunity to teach the Dhamma. But just as he begins there is a disturbance in the audience. Sariputta, here representing the archetypal ‘Hinayana’ monk, cannot find a chair that will make him higher than the lay people in the audience so Vimalakirti magically manifests ‘allowable’ furniture and then begins his sermon. Half way through Sariputta interrupts the Dhamma talk yet again. Vimalakirti asks what the problem is this time and Sariputta replies that he and the other monks must eat before noon and the time is getting near. Vimalakirti manifests food for the monks and while they tuck in he continues expounding the good Dhamma. When the sermon is finally finished the heavens open and celestial blossoms fall from the sky and stick to the congregation. Sariputta and the other monks indignantly brush the blossoms off saying as they do, ‘We monks are not allowed to decorate ourselves.’ Although in less exalted settings, such behavior could be observed in a Theravadin monastery even today, even in the West. ....

I have quoted frequently from several books, in particular The Buddhist Monastic Code by Thanissaro Bhikkhu and The Buddhist Monk’s Discipline – A Layman’s Guide by Ariyeseko, both of which represent the orthodox Theravadin standpoint. I have disagreed with most of what these venerable authors say....
I am only to page 4 but it sounds like: "Buddha is Broken because Buddha is not in the Image of Christ".

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Re: Shravasti Dhammika

Post by DooDoot » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:36 am

SarathW wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:27 am
I am not the 5th or 9th reincarnation of a great lama, I have not recived any empowerments or initiations, I am not the holder of any lineage, I am yet to attain any of the jhanas, I am not a widely respected teacher, I am not a stream enterer (at least I don't feel like one)and I do not have many disciples. Nontheless, you may find some of my observations and musings interesting. I have been a Buddhist monk for 32 years and am the spiritual advisor to the Buddha Dhamma Mandala Society in Singapore.
What a humble statement from a great man!
I was always taught "humility" is a form of conceit. Also, I was taught a monk should never make a statement about attainments, either for or against. If the monk says he is not enlightened, this may diminish faith. If a monk says he is enlightened, he can be accused of lying. It seems like SarathW above might be creating a god in his own image. :mrgreen:

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Re: Shravasti Dhammika

Post by SarathW » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:38 am

Volovsky wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:58 pm
I stopped reading his Broken Buddha, after I reached this place:
I recall visiting a tea plantation one afternoon with the late Venerable Sivali of Khandaboda, a dedicated monk and skillful meditation teacher. The manager of the plantation walked a quarter of a mile down the steep hillside to welcome us and then asked if we would like a cup of tea. We said yes and he walked back up the hill to his bungalow, prepared our tea and brought it down to us. As I sipped mine I noticed that Sivali was looking rather coy and not drinking his. I looked at the tea, saw that it had milk in it and knew straight away why.* [*According to the Vinaya, milk is a food and so to drink tea with milk in the afternoon is to break the rule against eating after midday.] A few minutes later the manager also noticed that Sivali was not drinking his tea and came over to see what the problem was. Sivali gently told him and the solicitous and embarrassed man took his cup, threw the tea out and ran all the way back up the hill to get him another one without milk in it. If an ordinary person were as fussy about not having milk in their tea after midday we would dismiss it as just a silly eccentricity. But why would an otherwise decent intelligent person dedicated to the practice of letting go, being content with what is and developing a kind heart be prepared to cause embarrassment and inconvenience over such a minor thing?
So, the Ven. Dhammika had broken the rule, but Ven. Sivali wanted to keep the Vinaya pure. And Ven. Dhammika criticizes him for this... :roll: I wasn't interested in reading it any further.
This is a hard one for me.
Once I forgot my Dana promised to a monk. The monk calls me at 11.00 am and said people are waiting for me. I asked for what. He said I promised to bring Dana for monks. I got ready quickly draw 80kkm and by the time I got close to the temple, it was 12.15. I went to the Chinese takeaway and got some food and went to the temple.
Chief monk ate the food. The assistant monk ate but with a grumpy face.
I am so grateful for both monks for accepting my food even if they have to break the Vinaya.
I like to know the opinion form monks in this forum.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Shravasti Dhammika

Post by SarathW » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:40 am

DooDoot wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:36 am
SarathW wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:27 am
I am not the 5th or 9th reincarnation of a great lama, I have not recived any empowerments or initiations, I am not the holder of any lineage, I am yet to attain any of the jhanas, I am not a widely respected teacher, I am not a stream enterer (at least I don't feel like one)and I do not have many disciples. Nontheless, you may find some of my observations and musings interesting. I have been a Buddhist monk for 32 years and am the spiritual advisor to the Buddha Dhamma Mandala Society in Singapore.
What a humble statement from a great man!
I was always taught "humility" is a form of conceit. Also, I was taught a monk should never make a statement about attainments, either for or against. If the monk says he is not enlightened, this may diminish faith. If a monk says he is enlightened, he can be accused of lying. It seems like SarathW above might be creating a god in his own image. :mrgreen:
I am not a monk and you can't accuse me of this.
Does it say in the Vinaya that monk is not allowed to say that he is not an Ariya?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Shravasti Dhammika

Post by DooDoot » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:47 am

Volovsky wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:58 pm
So, the Ven. Dhammika had broken the rule, but Ven. Sivali wanted to keep the Vinaya pure. And Ven. Dhammika criticizes him for this... :roll: I wasn't interested in reading it any further.
I pointed out its from 2001. Anicca (change) can occur. Since Dhammika is now my "local monk", I am keen to read more:
It should come as no surprise that in its two thousand year history Theravada has produced no great religious thinkers – no Augustine, Aquinas or Erasmus, no Nagarjuna, Tsong Khapa or Dogen.
Its improving but nothing novel:
In the 5th century C.E the monk Buddhaghosa composed commentaries on the Tipitaka in which he fixed the developments and interpretations that had taken place up till then.* Since then these commentaries have been considered the ultimate authority and Theravada has remained virtually unchanged. Richard Gombrich correctly says, ‘To this day Buddhaghosa’s Buddhism is in effect the unitary standard of doctrinal orthodoxy for all Theravada Buddhists.’ Theravadins see the Buddha’s words through the lens of these commentaries’ turgid and often fantastic pedantry rather than allowing them to speak for themselves. Most Theravadins will side with Buddhaghosa’s interpretation even where it contradicts the Buddha’s words.
Last edited by DooDoot on Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Shravasti Dhammika

Post by SarathW » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:54 am

It should come as no surprise that in its two thousand year history Theravada has produced no great religious thinkers – no Augustine, Aquinas or Erasmus, no Nagarjuna, Tsong Khapa or Dogen.
There is no need to re-invent the wheel.
Buddha's teaching is still available in its pristine condition.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Shravasti Dhammika

Post by DooDoot » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:56 am

SarathW wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:54 am
Buddha's teaching is still available in its pristine condition.
Its not "pristine" if you not understand it.

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Re: Shravasti Dhammika

Post by SarathW » Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:09 am

Its not "pristine" if you not understand it.
Well. Whatever I understand is pristine enough.
:D
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Shravasti Dhammika

Post by DooDoot » Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:11 am

He seemed to equate all "enlightenment" with "arahantship" but, apart from that error, Thanissaro gets licked:
At an early period Theravada excluded the lay community from the possibility of attaining Nirvana, if not officially then actually. As its name implies, Theravada pertains primarily to elder monks, not to lay men and certainly not to nuns or lay woman. By the time of the Milindapanha (1st cent C.E ?)
it had become orthodox doctrine that in the rare event a lay man attains enlightenment he would have to become a monk the same day or die. Thanissaro seems to imply that it is impossible for a lay person to become enlightened also. He says; ‘(We) should note at the inset that Dhamma and
Vinaya function together. Neither without the other can attain the desired goal. In theory they may be separate, but in the person who practices them they merge as qualities developed in the mind and character...’ The Vinaya is an essential factor for awakening, lay people do not practice Vinaya and
therefore they can not become enlightened. This does not correspond very well with what the Buddha taught but of course the Buddha was not a Theravadin. The suttas mention lay people who became awakened. Further, we are told that for the first twenty years of the Buddha’s ministry there was no Vinaya. If what Thanissaro says is true, one may well ask how all those who became enlightened during that period manage to do so? And what of the great Tibetan, Ch’an and Zen masters who did not practice the Vinaya or at least not the Theravadin Vinaya? According to Thanissaro’s criteria they too should be excluded from the possibility of awakening. What also are we to make of Bhaddali’s interesting observation that when there was less Vinaya there were more arahats (M.I,444)?
After some interesting comments, its back to Protestantism (ignoring the suttas that actually say laypeople where generally often taught differently to monks; eg MN 143):
So it has come to be that Theravadians are actually divided into two distinct groups - part-time Buddhists who practice basic Dhamma as and when they can ( lay people) and the ‘real’ Buddhists who practice Dhamma fully (monks). Lawrence Mills, himself a Theravadin monk for more than thirty years before disrobing and taking a Tibetan teacher, describes Theravada as being ‘twotiered.’ He writes; ‘In this model, the monastics are superior, while the laity regard themselves as inferior to the monks, a situation often to the detriment of both. The monks can become too proud of their exalted state, while the laity feel not only second-class but also unable to practice very much.’
Last edited by DooDoot on Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:02 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Shravasti Dhammika

Post by DNS » Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:13 am

DooDoot wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:51 am
form wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:30 am
He lives in Townsville, Australia now.
Can you or anyone say exactly where he lives in Townsville? Email address? Thanks :)
DooDoot wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:47 am
I pointed out its from 2001. Anicca (change) can occur. Since Dhammika is now my "local monk", I am keen to read more:
You and Ven. Dhammika both live in the same town/city? If so, wow, small world. Tell him I say "hi" when you see him.

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Re: Shravasti Dhammika

Post by DooDoot » Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:15 am

DNS wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:13 am
You and Ven. Dhammika both live in the same town/city? If so, wow, small world. Tell him I say "hi" when you see him.
Thanks David. I haven't met Dhammika yet but my local friends have, including the past. In fact, I had a chance to attend a talk last year but totally forgot. Afternoons tropical naps on a Sunday can cause forgetfulness.

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