Question about Theravada tradition

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Re: Question about Theravada tradition

Post by justindesilva » Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:44 pm

Re the former comment please see
The fact that a Prince from Pallava (south india) who was named Bodhi Dharma is a well known fact. The fact that The shaolin temple is started by Bodhi Dharma is also written in zen texts. Shaolin temple is the place where martial arts of kungfu nature started.
It is at the Shaolin temples a training of using our body and limbs as weapons in combat started.
Heavy emphasis of meditation and discipline is maintained at the Shaolin temples. Unlike in Theravada tradition such emphasis on sutra by Lord Buddha is not heavily emphasised in zen buddhism.
Zen which also extended from China to Japan were used in war fare too. Zen as dhyana is domesticated by applying it in to drawing art, sculpture còoking and many household works .
Therefore we have to accept the fact that Zen schools started in China and Japan with a view to liberate people from suffering in a different manner from traditional Theravada style. Of course There are certain sutra in zen buddhism too.
Something very interesting with zen masters is using riddles to explain buddhist principles.Any person interested in such riddles can find them in zen literature.
The Americans who went to Japan brought martial arts to the west leaving its spiritual value . Hence the real value of zen buddhism cannot be embraced by the modern western world who take martial arts as only a form of combat.
I conclude this with metta thoughts.

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Re: Question about Theravada tradition

Post by Caodemarte » Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:33 pm

Respectfully I am not aware of even a legend that Bodhidharma travelled to Japan. In any case, that would be highly unlikely. There are many legends concerning his origin with Persia, Central Asia, India being the most common. There are few facts. The legend that he taught martial arts to monks ( not villagers) or was connected to Shaolin seems to have originated well, well after his death and historians generally discount Shaolin claims of a connection to him (so you are free to believe it as possibly true, but not as an established fact). However,none of this is probably germane for a Theravada discussion forum so I will be quiet now. If you are interested in Bodhidharma, what Zen practices actually are, it's history, and what is taught in that school I would again suggest you look at standard sources or visit a Zen center. But that is up to you of course! :namaste:

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Re: Question about Theravada tradition

Post by justindesilva » Tue Aug 23, 2016 4:05 pm

With due respect to the former reply I understand that it is a good remark as still the stand of Bodidarma is being questioned by some schools.
How ever my anxiety in bringing in the story is to highlight that buddhism was taken to China and Japan 500 years after buddhism was estsblished in India.
Close upon Parinibbana of Lord Buddha the first sangayana of buddhism of was held led by Ananda thera and other disciples of lord Buddha.
Lord Buddha also sent his disciples around india and closest countries to liberate the common population.
After 250 years of buddha parinirvana Mihindu maha arahat thera brings in buddhism of Theravada tradition to sri lanka and the then king of Sri lanka embraced Theravada buddhism.
Similarly Theravada buddhism Is established in Burma and Thailand.
It is after 500 years later buddhism is brought in to China and Japan and it appears to be mixed with ancient and Tao traditions of China and was established in shaolin temples.
Hence It is clear in an answer to the original question Theravada is a life form preached by budda and zen and vajrayana (as in Tibet) was established much later outside India or Magada .
With this explanation I too wish to close my debate. With due respect to all.

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Re: Question about Theravada tradition

Post by Dhamma_Basti » Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:27 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Dhamma_Basti wrote: This one can see in the fact that the Pāli-Version sometimes has a tendency to simplify, cut down, harmonize and 'arrange' stuff more readily than the sanskrit fragments. This gives the Pāli version a rather dry appearance. the Sanskrit version however suffers from the fact that some of the passages appear to have been written with a sort of 'creative genius' attitude, not always strictly focussed on telling what exactly happened.
The "creative genius" thing made me LOL.
We do have two versions of the Mahāparinirvāṇa-Sūtras in sanskrit out there, one is pre-mahāyāna, one is mahāyāna. My comment about the creatuve genius was meant with regard to the non-mahāyāna-version. i am burning to do a comparision of these two texts, to see what the differences really are. but it is true that already the non-mahāyāna-version includes a lot more miracles and strange stuff than the pāli-version does. :)
This is very interesting, it certainly complicates the Parable of the Burning House in the Lotus Sūtra, do you have any links that elaborate on Karashima's findings vis-a-vis "mahājñāna/mahāyāna"?
I fear I have to disappoint you, since this was heard by me in a talk he gave last year at the university of Hamburg, and I assume that he did not yet publish on this issue (or maybe he did so, but only in japanese, who knows...).
Caodemarte wrote: It is probably a mistake to think of early Theravada and Mahayana (of which Vajrayana is a subset) as distinct ideological movements rather than as broad tendencies, slowly jelling into fairly distinct groupings. In SE Asia Theravada was an alternative "reform" movement that came after and replaced Vajrayana so it clearly developed there after Vajrayana. I suspect the same is true in India as well, that Theravada was a reform movement that developed in reaction to Vajrayana and possibly proto- Mahayanist schools. What seems clear is that Theravada looked back to the 3rd Council for inspiration (so did not start as an identifiable movement until at least a century later). So using that date as a rough guide and depending on when you decide Mahayana started (from the first mention of the bodhisattva ideal?) there is a strong case that Mahayana predates Theravada or developed at roughly the same time.
Totally agree. I think that the terms Theravāda/Hīnayāna are label applied only after the term Mahāyāna was widely accepted, in order to address those parties who did not share the new concepts in debate.
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