Poll: What do you consider authoritative?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

What do you consider authoritative?

I consider the Pali Canon (Vinaya, Suttas and Abhidhamma), commentaries and Visuddhimagga authoritative (either completely or for the most part).
14
26%
I consider only the Pali Canon (Vinaya, Suttas and Abhidhamma) authoritative (either completely or for the most part).
1
2%
I consider only the Pali Vinaya and Suttas authoritative (either completely or for the most part).
18
34%
I consider only the Pali Suttas as authoritative (either completely or for the most part).
4
8%
I consider only the Pali Vinaya as authoritative (either completely or for the most part).
0
No votes
I consider a specific Bhikkhu/Bhikkhuni or other teacher's teaching as authoritative over all other sources.
0
No votes
I do not consider anything authoritative but my own interpretation, and use what I please from all sources.
8
15%
My views are Mahayana, Vajrayana, some kind of blend of these with the Theravada, or other and do not fit any of these categories.
8
15%
 
Total votes: 53

SteRo
Posts: 2387
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:27 am

Re: Poll: What do you consider authoritative?

Post by SteRo »

DooDoot wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 7:17 am
SteRo wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 4:41 am
same lineage.
sounds like the lineage above has only ever had one member in it.... :)
Actually yes, the number of paths equals the number of spheres of experience. Nevertheless there are spheres of experience that are closer than others and in this context the term 'lineage' is used.
So even though there are three main lineages, that of listeners, pratyekabuddhas and bodhisattvas there is a huge number of sub-lineages within each of these main lineages.
To the spheres of experience ("users") it may concern: When applying words no truth or reality is claimed. Language only knows the extremes of (+)-affirming experience ("is", "has", "does", etc.) and (-)-negating experience ("isn't", "hasn't", "doesn't", etc.) but it does not know the 'zero'-(0)-experience of non-apprehension. Therefore every linguistic expression might erroneously appear as claim though it is only a preliminary suggestion.

User avatar
robertk
Posts: 3770
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Poll: What do you consider authoritative?

Post by robertk »

Digha Nikaya:
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .vaji.html
And there the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Now, bhikkhus, I shall make known to you the four great references. [37] Listen and pay heed to my words." And those bhikkhus answered, saying:

"So be it, Lord."

8-11. Then the Blessed One said: "In this fashion, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu might speak: 'Face to face with the Blessed One, brethren, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or: 'In an abode of such and such a name lives a community with elders and a chief. Face to face with that community, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or: 'In an abode of such and such a name live several bhikkhus who are elders, who are learned, who have accomplished their course, who are preservers of the Dhamma, the Discipline, and the Summaries. Face to face with those elders, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or: 'In an abode of such and such a name lives a single bhikkhu who is an elder, who is learned, who has accomplished his course, who is a preserver of the Dhamma, the Discipline, and the Summaries. Face to face with that elder, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation.'

"In such a case, bhikkhus, the declaration of such a bhikkhu is neither to be received with approval nor with scorn. Without approval and without scorn, but carefully studying the sentences word by word, one should trace them in the Discourses and verify them by the Discipline. If they are neither traceable in the Discourses nor verifiable by the Discipline, one must conclude thus: 'Certainly, this is not the Blessed One's utterance; this has been misunderstood by that bhikkhu — or by that community, or by those elders, or by that elder.' In that way, bhikkhus, you should reject it. But if the sentences concerned are traceable in the Discourses and verifiable by the Discipline, then one must conclude thus: 'Certainly, this is the Blessed One's utterance; this has been well understood by that bhikkhu — or by that community, or by those elders, or by that elder.' And in that way, bhikkhus, you may accept it on the first, second, third, or fourth reference. These, bhikkhus, are the four great references for you to preserve."
From the Commentary to the Parinibbana Sutta:4 great references
“But in the list [of four things] beginning with sutta, sutta means the three baskets [Suttanta, Vinaya, Abhidhamma] which the three Councils recited.

Accordance with sutta’ means legitimate by being in accord [with what is explicitly legitimate].

The word of a teacher’ means the commentary.

One’s own opinion’ means one’s own illumination through grasping an analogy or one’s consequent understanding.

Of these, sutta should not be rejected, for he who rejects that rejects the Buddha himself. If what is legitimate by being in accord agrees with the sutta, it should be accepted, but otherwise not. If the word of a teacher agrees with the sutta, it should be accepted, but otherwise not.

One’s own opinion is weakest of all, but if it agrees with the sutta, it should be accepted, but otherwise not.

The three Councils’ are the one of five hundred monks, the one of seven hundred, the one of a thousand. Only a sutta transmitted through them is authoritative; any other is a contemptible sutta, not to be accepted. Even though words and syllables appear in the latter, they should be known as ones which do not appear in the Sutta, are not found in the Vinaya.

User avatar
No_Mind
Posts: 2136
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:12 pm
Location: India

Re: Poll: What do you consider authoritative?

Post by No_Mind »

"I do not consider anything authoritative but my own interpretation, and use what I please from all sources" for me.

Would like to know the other seven like minded souls.

:namaste:
"The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”― Albert Camus

SteRo
Posts: 2387
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:27 am

Re: Poll: What do you consider authoritative?

Post by SteRo »

No_Mind wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 2:31 pm
"I do not consider anything authoritative but my own interpretation, and use what I please from all sources" for me.
I thought about it but considered that "my own interpretation" to be too conceitful and ungrateful towards the traditions. Because where would one be able to start if there wouldn't be the transmitted teachings of the different traditions? Therefore the last option appeared more appropriate.
To the spheres of experience ("users") it may concern: When applying words no truth or reality is claimed. Language only knows the extremes of (+)-affirming experience ("is", "has", "does", etc.) and (-)-negating experience ("isn't", "hasn't", "doesn't", etc.) but it does not know the 'zero'-(0)-experience of non-apprehension. Therefore every linguistic expression might erroneously appear as claim though it is only a preliminary suggestion.

User avatar
salayatananirodha
Posts: 754
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:34 am
Contact:

Re: Poll: What do you consider authoritative?

Post by salayatananirodha »

16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/wp-conte ... _Heart.pdf
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

User avatar
No_Mind
Posts: 2136
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:12 pm
Location: India

Re: Poll: What do you consider authoritative?

Post by No_Mind »

SteRo wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 3:09 pm
No_Mind wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 2:31 pm
"I do not consider anything authoritative but my own interpretation, and use what I please from all sources" for me.
I thought about it but considered that "my own interpretation" to be too conceitful and ungrateful towards the traditions. Because where would one be able to start if there wouldn't be the transmitted teachings of the different traditions? Therefore the last option appeared more appropriate.
Just for clarification.

"My own interpretation" does not mean not knowing, reading, understanding, absorbing interpretations of others. It just means not being rigid, not willing to accept any interpretation just because others accept it.

Caveat - I don't believe in memorizing the Dhamma which is why I have really vague memory of exact sutta texts. But I do remember the gist and its purport with lot of accuracy. Perhaps I am quite unorthodox.

Anyway not to derail a great topic with off-topic remarks. :focus:

:namaste:
"The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”― Albert Camus

SteRo
Posts: 2387
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:27 am

Re: Poll: What do you consider authoritative?

Post by SteRo »

No_Mind wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 3:28 pm
SteRo wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 3:09 pm
No_Mind wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 2:31 pm
"I do not consider anything authoritative but my own interpretation, and use what I please from all sources" for me.
I thought about it but considered that "my own interpretation" to be too conceitful and ungrateful towards the traditions. Because where would one be able to start if there wouldn't be the transmitted teachings of the different traditions? Therefore the last option appeared more appropriate.
Just for clarification.

"My own interpretation" does not mean not knowing, reading, understanding, absorbing interpretations of others. It just means not being rigid, not willing to accept any interpretation just because others accept it.
That's in line with the Kalama sutta except that the Kalama sutta assigns authority to "the wise" and the advice given by "the wise".
... When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

... When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html




Who are "the wise"?
"A person endowed with three things is to be recognized as a wise person. Which three? Good bodily conduct, good verbal conduct, good mental conduct. A person endowed with these three things is to be recognized as a wise person.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
"The ignorance with which the wise person is obstructed, the craving with which he is conjoined, through which this body results: that ignorance has been abandoned by the wise person; that craving has been destroyed. Why is that? The wise person has practiced the holy life for the right ending of stress. Therefore, at the break-up of the body, he is not headed for a [new] body. Not headed for a body, he is entirely freed from birth, aging, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. He is, I tell you, entirely freed from stress & suffering."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
"These two are wise people. Which two? The one who sees his transgression as a transgression, and the one who rightfully pardons another who has confessed his transgression. These two are wise people."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
"As for the course of action that is unpleasant to do but that, when done, leads to what is profitable, it is in light of this course of action that one may be known — in terms of manly stamina, manly persistence, manly effort — as a fool or a wise person. For a fool doesn't reflect, 'Even though this course of action is unpleasant to do, still when it is done it leads to what is profitable.' So he doesn't do it, and thus the non-doing of that course of action leads to what is unprofitable for him. But a wise person reflects, 'Even though this course of action is unpleasant to do, still when it is done it leads to what is profitable.' So he does it, and thus the doing of that course of action leads to what is profitable for him.

"As for the course of action that is pleasant to do but that, when done, leads to what is unprofitable, it is in light of this course of action that one may be known — in terms of manly stamina, manly persistence, manly effort — as a fool or a wise person. For a fool doesn't reflect, 'Even though this course of action is pleasant to do, still when it is done it leads to what is unprofitable.' So he does it, and thus the doing of that course of action leads to what is unprofitable for him. But a wise person reflects, 'Even though this course of action is pleasant to do, still when it is done it leads to what is unprofitable.' So he doesn't do it, and thus the non-doing of that course of action leads to what is profitable for him.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
To the spheres of experience ("users") it may concern: When applying words no truth or reality is claimed. Language only knows the extremes of (+)-affirming experience ("is", "has", "does", etc.) and (-)-negating experience ("isn't", "hasn't", "doesn't", etc.) but it does not know the 'zero'-(0)-experience of non-apprehension. Therefore every linguistic expression might erroneously appear as claim though it is only a preliminary suggestion.

KenD
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:25 am

Re: Poll: What do you consider authoritative?

Post by KenD »

Changed answer from #2 to #4.

Have great respect for the entire Pali cannon. Not a scholar or an intellectual, but strive to practice the Buddha Dhamma based on right view.

Having studied the Manual of Abhidhamma under the guidance of a Burmeese monk, I found much wisdom and insight in the sections on consciousness and mental factors. However much of the material dealing with the cognitive process, matter, and conditionality seemed to be arbitrary, overly complicated, frankly incomprehensible. (Over my head) Therefore of little value in establishing right view.

It appears that much of the Vinaya was given to us by the Tathagata, but even he allowed that the minor rules were subject to change. They seem to have been established in the culture of the time. As a lay person, this section of the Pali Tipitaka does not seem particularly relevant.

Having read much of the Nikayas, I have nothing but praise and gratitude to the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha for providing this path for us. There is sufficient material in even a few suttas such as Mn10, Mn117, and Mn118 to support a lifetime of practice
MN 118

User avatar
Ceisiwr
Posts: 7701
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am

Re: Poll: What do you consider authoritative?

Post by Ceisiwr »

KenD
Having read much of the Nikayas, I have nothing but praise and gratitude to the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha for providing this path for us. There is sufficient material in even a few suttas such as Mn10, Mn117, and Mn118 to support a lifetime of practice
:goodpost:
“Bhikkhus, whatever is not yours, abandon it. When you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness. ” SN 35:101

User avatar
Nicholas Weeks
Posts: 1492
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:26 pm
Location: California

Re: Poll: What do you consider authoritative?

Post by Nicholas Weeks »

Just discovered this poll, so picked the bottom choice. Not being fixated on precise doctrinal maps I take a simplistic view. Using Dhammapada verse 183 I see adequate guidelines in many spiritual practices, provided they are traditional. Traditional means producing good or better people over many centuries.
Not doing anything wicked
undertaking of what is good,
purification of one’s mind
is the teaching of the Buddhas.
Good is virtue until life’s end, good is faith that is steadfast, good is the acquisition of wisdom, and good is the avoidance of evil. Dhammapada

Post Reply