Manopubbangama wrote: ↑
Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:47 am
AgarikaJ wrote: ↑
Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:41 am
So coming back to @Manopubbangama; what might be a critera to reject part of the Suttas? They are likely different for everybody. @retrofuturist has described his for the Abhidhamma; personally I get very careful with Suttas, when the Parallels show large differences or even have a storyline which seems inherently more logical. To know if anybody others' or my interpretation of things is "more right" will often be impossible to proove.
You and I have not always agreed on everything, one thing you said that I disagreed with was:
It is quite interesting, to my mind, that this less threatened, more open view of womanhood spread very quickly throughout Sri Lanka and the whole of maritime Southeast Asia and was only centuries later overcome by Mahaviharan dogmatism (what we call nowadays 'Theravada').
So I respect your intellectual consistency in responding with a criteria
which is parallels showing differences.
@Manopubbangama, those two things should not be mixed up, if you want clear and helpful (for you) answers to your question.
One is a critical analysis of the Pali canon leading to a practice best suited to the one doing it. The other is a critical engagement of how "Theravada" through the ages has interpreted said canon and interacts with the world around it nowadays.
Now it is my view that the 'Mahaviran dogmatism' I have written about took away a lot of the culturally valuable and enriching traditions that have developed in Maritime South-East Asia, in interaction with the spirit of the teachings, so is to my mind not always a good reflection of the True Dhamma. It is in my own opinion not a more orthodox view of the Dhamma (as "Theravada" often prides itself), it is a diminished, overly rigid one.
This feeling of me is also based on the fact that much of modern Theravada actually does not look at the Suttas at all but is often more concerned with some nearly-modern commentaries to them, which has fostered a worldview that is restricted -- and to my mind is not always paying due respect to the openness the Buddha showed when interacting with the people around him and a discernment for the subtleness of his teaching tailored exactly to the specific situations he encountered.
This has close to nothing to do with the Pali Suttas as written, but in turn restricts the whole intellectual discourse and sets all too often a bad ground tone in a discussion, as it can force people to go at things with a dry, limited, legalistic attitude devoid of being able to give any intellectual leeway and to allow for the fact that they have nothing more than one of several possible interpretations to offer (case in point, that people react aggressive and feel that somehow their practice or they have been criticized personally when the above is nothing more than a very general statement).
What this can lead to -- and I observe this often on this very forum -- is that those who seem the most knowledgeable in the actual Suttas are harsh in their speech to the point that I have to question if they have actually internalized even the precepts or have understood that the expression of practising the Dhamma can only be amity, benevolence and equanimity instead of combativeness.
While others base their whole argument on a position coming from some local tradition, and it becomes obvious from their whole line of argumentation that they have never once reflected on the fact, that they are actually only fighting to be right in a maybe unfounded opinion, one of many competing and similarly unfounded ones (they might of course be very right, but as I said earlier, most of the times it will be impossible to ever proove who is 'more right', as the facts are lost in time).
Both phenomena are sides of the same coin. But to confound controversy over cultural tradition with an argument about the validity or not of any part of the Pali canon is a mistake that leads to only more confusion and acrimony instead of more clarity.
The teaching is a lake with shores of ethics, unclouded, praised by the fine to the good.
There the knowledgeable go to bathe, and cross to the far shore without getting wet.