Who is a Theravadin?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Ceisiwr
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Who is a Theravadin?

Post by Ceisiwr »

Greetings everyone,

I’ve noticed that quite a lot of people who claim to be Theravada barely read or make use of the Abhidhamma, even rejecting it all together in favour of the suttas only. Others have interpretations that deviate from the commentaries and the views of the Kathāvatthu. Others still draw on Pali suttas and Saravastivada Agamas. Sometimes even Mahāyāna ideas are drawn upon. So, my question is, what is the bare minimum required to be classed as a Theravadin? For example, a person who rejects the Abhidhamma and only relies upon the suttas are they Theravadin or closer to being Neo-Sautrāntikas?

Metta

:)
Last edited by Ceisiwr on Fri May 01, 2020 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“His deliverance, being founded upon truth, is unshakeable. For that is false, bhikkhu, which has a deceptive nature, and that is true which has an undeceptive nature—Nibbāna. Therefore a bhikkhu possessing this truth possesses the supreme foundation of truth. For this, bhikkhu, is the supreme noble truth, namely, Nibbāna, which has an undeceptive nature.

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
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Sam Vara
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Re: Who is a Theravadin?

Post by Sam Vara »

Ceisiwr wrote: Fri May 01, 2020 8:01 pm Greetings everyone,

I’ve noticed that quite a lot of people who claim to be Theravada barely read or make use of the Abhidhamma, even rejecting it all together in favour of the suttas only. Others still have interpretations that deviate from the commentaries and the views of the Kathāvatthu. Others still draw on Pali suttas and Saravastivada Agamas. Others again sometimes make use of Mahāyāna ideas. So, my question is, what is the bare minimum required to be classed as a Theravadin? For example, a person who rejects the Abhidhamma and only relies upon the suttas are they Theravadin or closer to being Neo-Sautrāntikas?

Metta

:)
What about people like me who don't reject the Abhidhamma, but can't understand what little of it they have read, and don't have enough time and commitment? :toilet:

(Personally, I'd like a nice long label containing the term "neo" somewhere in it, and to not have to share it with people I don't like...)
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NuanceOfSuchness
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Re: Who is a Theravadin?

Post by NuanceOfSuchness »

Ceisiwr wrote: Fri May 01, 2020 8:01 pm Greetings everyone,

I’ve noticed that quite a lot of people who claim to be Theravada barely read or make use of the Abhidhamma, even rejecting it all together in favour of the suttas only. Others still have interpretations that deviate from the commentaries and the views of the Kathāvatthu. Others still draw on Pali suttas and Saravastivada Agamas. Others again sometimes make use of Mahāyāna ideas. So, my question is, what is the bare minimum required to be classed as a Theravadin? For example, a person who rejects the Abhidhamma and only relies upon the suttas are they Theravadin or closer to being Neo-Sautrāntikas?

Metta

:)
I enjoy many of your postings but I'm slightly bemused to see such a seemingly incongruent delivery. Did you sneeze while on the uptake of a hiccup?
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Who is a Theravadin?

Post by Ceisiwr »

NuanceOfSuchness wrote: Fri May 01, 2020 8:34 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Fri May 01, 2020 8:01 pm Greetings everyone,

I’ve noticed that quite a lot of people who claim to be Theravada barely read or make use of the Abhidhamma, even rejecting it all together in favour of the suttas only. Others still have interpretations that deviate from the commentaries and the views of the Kathāvatthu. Others still draw on Pali suttas and Saravastivada Agamas. Others again sometimes make use of Mahāyāna ideas. So, my question is, what is the bare minimum required to be classed as a Theravadin? For example, a person who rejects the Abhidhamma and only relies upon the suttas are they Theravadin or closer to being Neo-Sautrāntikas?

Metta

:)
I enjoy many of your postings but I'm slightly bemused to see such a seemingly incongruent delivery. Did you sneeze while on the uptake of a hiccup?
Ha, I’ve edited it. Better?
“His deliverance, being founded upon truth, is unshakeable. For that is false, bhikkhu, which has a deceptive nature, and that is true which has an undeceptive nature—Nibbāna. Therefore a bhikkhu possessing this truth possesses the supreme foundation of truth. For this, bhikkhu, is the supreme noble truth, namely, Nibbāna, which has an undeceptive nature.

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Who is a Theravadin?

Post by Ceisiwr »

Sam Vara wrote: Fri May 01, 2020 8:20 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Fri May 01, 2020 8:01 pm Greetings everyone,

I’ve noticed that quite a lot of people who claim to be Theravada barely read or make use of the Abhidhamma, even rejecting it all together in favour of the suttas only. Others still have interpretations that deviate from the commentaries and the views of the Kathāvatthu. Others still draw on Pali suttas and Saravastivada Agamas. Others again sometimes make use of Mahāyāna ideas. So, my question is, what is the bare minimum required to be classed as a Theravadin? For example, a person who rejects the Abhidhamma and only relies upon the suttas are they Theravadin or closer to being Neo-Sautrāntikas?

Metta

:)
What about people like me who don't reject the Abhidhamma, but can't understand what little of it they have read, and don't have enough time and commitment? :toilet:

(Personally, I'd like a nice long label containing the term "neo" somewhere in it, and to not have to share it with people I don't like...)
I would class that as still accepting it. By barely read I mean they don’t attach much importance to it.
“His deliverance, being founded upon truth, is unshakeable. For that is false, bhikkhu, which has a deceptive nature, and that is true which has an undeceptive nature—Nibbāna. Therefore a bhikkhu possessing this truth possesses the supreme foundation of truth. For this, bhikkhu, is the supreme noble truth, namely, Nibbāna, which has an undeceptive nature.

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
Spiny Norman
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Re: Who is a Theravadin?

Post by Spiny Norman »

I tried to be a Theravadan, but it was too much like hard work. :tongue:
Buddha save me from new-agers!
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Who is a Theravadin?

Post by Ceisiwr »

Dinsdale wrote: Fri May 01, 2020 8:43 pm I tried to be a Theravadan, but it was too much like hard work. :tongue:
:jumping:
“His deliverance, being founded upon truth, is unshakeable. For that is false, bhikkhu, which has a deceptive nature, and that is true which has an undeceptive nature—Nibbāna. Therefore a bhikkhu possessing this truth possesses the supreme foundation of truth. For this, bhikkhu, is the supreme noble truth, namely, Nibbāna, which has an undeceptive nature.

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
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NuanceOfSuchness
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Re: Who is a Theravadin?

Post by NuanceOfSuchness »

Ceisiwr wrote: Fri May 01, 2020 8:01 pm Greetings everyone,

I’ve noticed that quite a lot of people who claim to be Theravada barely read or make use of the Abhidhamma, even rejecting it all together in favour of the suttas only. Others have interpretations that deviate from the commentaries and the views of the Kathāvatthu. Others still draw on Pali suttas and Saravastivada Agamas. Sometimes even Mahāyāna ideas are drawn upon. So, my question is, what is the bare minimum required to be classed as a Theravadin? For example, a person who rejects the Abhidhamma and only relies upon the suttas are they Theravadin or closer to being Neo-Sautrāntikas?

Metta

:)
You can only be something in the moments that the environment informs you as something and since the environment is always changing then how you define yourself will also change and even those definitions don't hold any meaningful truth. They are attires we wear when they are due to be worn but even while we wear them we have a greater awareness that they come and go, almost playfully. This includes defining yourself within the context of various schools of Buddhist thought which, in my carefully considered view, fuels ever greater forms of divisiveness and thus finger-pointing. When the time is conducive to such things then there's no harm in viewing yourself as Theravadin as long as you can laugh at yourself when someone promptly offloads the issues with Theravada. If you find yourself becoming defensive, then you're taking the role of a Theravadin far too seriously. It seems you may already be in that region due to the nature of your question.
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Re: Who is a Theravadin?

Post by Wizard in the Forest »

I don't know what you are talking about, I study a liturgical language and read all the Abhidhamma teachings, and Practice all things a Theravada Buddhist does. Am I still a Theravada Buddhist?

Probably, but what does this have to do with self appellation? Some people call themselves that because they were born in a Theravada Buddhist country and haven't even read the Suttas much less the Abhidhamma teachings. Am I more Theravada Buddhist than they are? Of course not, that's absurd.
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Re: Who is a Theravadin?

Post by cappuccino »

Ceisiwr wrote: So, my question is, what is the bare minimum required to be a Theravadin?
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Re: Who is a Theravadin?

Post by Spiny Norman »

cappuccino wrote: Fri May 01, 2020 10:41 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: So, my question is, what is the bare minimum required to be a Theravadin?
Buddha is your teacher
That applies to all Buddhist schools, doesn't it?
Buddha save me from new-agers!
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Re: Who is a Theravadin?

Post by cappuccino »

Dinsdale wrote:
cappuccino wrote:
Ceisiwr wrote: So, my question is, what is the bare minimum required to be a Theravadin?
Buddha is your teacher
That applies to all Buddhist schools, doesn't it?
No…
Last edited by cappuccino on Fri May 01, 2020 11:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Who is a Theravadin?

Post by Ceisiwr »

I’m merely asking for a proper definition of “Theravadin”?
“His deliverance, being founded upon truth, is unshakeable. For that is false, bhikkhu, which has a deceptive nature, and that is true which has an undeceptive nature—Nibbāna. Therefore a bhikkhu possessing this truth possesses the supreme foundation of truth. For this, bhikkhu, is the supreme noble truth, namely, Nibbāna, which has an undeceptive nature.

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
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Re: Who is a Theravadin?

Post by cappuccino »

Ceisiwr wrote: I’m merely asking for a proper definition of “Theravadin”?
learning from the Buddha's words
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Re: Who is a Theravadin?

Post by DooDoot »

Ceisiwr wrote: Fri May 01, 2020 8:01 pmbarely read or make use of the Abhidhamma, even rejecting it all together in favour of the suttas only.
Possibly you need to actually know the Abhidhamma and how it differs from Sutta before asking the above question.

The Abhidhamma can itself clearly distinguish, in itself, its own teachings from the suttas. Thus the Abhidhamma itself acknowledges it can be different to the suttas.

The Abhidhamma to support its views even intentionally changes the Pali of a teaching for its own purposes.

For example, the Abhidhamma, when referring to the sutta version of D.O. spells the word 'sankhara' per the suttas as plural. But for its own purposes & explanation of D.O., the Abhidhamma spells the word 'sankhara' as singular.

Possibly you need to actually know the Abhidhamma and how it differs from Sutta before asking the above question.

:smile:
Last edited by DooDoot on Fri May 01, 2020 11:27 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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