Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
chownah
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Post by chownah » Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:48 pm

Sanjay PS wrote:
i think it is entirely uncalled for us laity to evaluate or contemplate a" perceived " or factual short coming of those who have donned the robe . There is the proper Sangha in place to deal and manage any conducts that spills over the Vinaya . Whenever we pay our deep respects to the members of Sangha it is the qualities of the Sangha to which we stand inspired , and not an action of any individual . And i am sure , its only with a natural feeling that what we provided the best .
Sanjay,
I am confused as to who "we" refers to......from my experience what you say does not apply to all Buddhists.
chownah

Sanjay PS
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Post by Sanjay PS » Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:18 pm

chownah wrote:
Sanjay PS wrote:
i think it is entirely uncalled for us laity to evaluate or contemplate a" perceived " or factual short coming of those who have donned the robe . There is the proper Sangha in place to deal and manage any conducts that spills over the Vinaya . Whenever we pay our deep respects to the members of Sangha it is the qualities of the Sangha to which we stand inspired , and not an action of any individual . And i am sure , its only with a natural feeling that what we provided the best .
Sanjay,
I am confused as to who "we" refers to......from my experience what you say does not apply to all Buddhists.
chownah
Chownah ,

We applies to anyone who has great reverence to The Buddha , The Dhamma and The Sangha , immaterial of whether one calls himself or herself as a Buddhist or not . And i am sure, i am just but a drop in the ocean of gratitude .

sanjay
The Path of Dhamma

The path of Dhamma is no picnic . It is a strenuous march steeply up the hill . If all the comrades desert you , Walk alone ! Walk alone ! with all the Thrill !!

U S.N. Goenka

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Modus.Ponens
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Post by Modus.Ponens » Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:32 pm

arijitmitter wrote:
Modus.Ponens wrote: Nothing of what you said contradicts the phrase that I wrote: If there was a monastic movement in that direction, there would be a schism.
"Schism of what" in my previous post to be read as "does it matter." If Thai Buddhism vanished tomorrow or Dharamsala Buddhism vanished tomorrow - if there were no longer any ordained monks (assume all ordained monks were abducted by aliens tonight) will our search for Dhamma end or slow down ?

There appears to be a clear divide among those who have read this thread. I am more democratic and unwilling to accept anything on blind faith and question anything that seems slightly inappropriate. Perhaps this comes, because as a householder I lead a life that can be called an urban monk.

Yesterday at the monastery I attend, I was asked by the abbot that since I am already following Dhamma with such gusto and am single why do I not think of becoming a monk. I said I have been toying with the idea for last 2 months but I have to look after my mother and can only consider it once she passes away. I am already 43 and change and do not think becoming a Bhikkhu at a reasonably advanced age of 44 to 60 is a good idea.

The abbot appreciated my candor and said the door is always open for me (Please bear in mind that on June 1, 2013 I walked into his monastery and declared I want to be converted to being a Theravadin Buddhist so my rise in his eyes has been quite fast. Not all lay devotees get an invitation to be a monk after 4 months and 25 days. So I must have some "monk" potential). This is not to be arrogant but to show that i am apart from being argumentative at times a deeply dedicated person on path of Dhamma.

What struck me is he was willing to bring up the discussion of becoming a monk with a person as unorthodox as me. That itself speaks volumes about any possible "schism"

:anjali: Arijit
Jesus. Man, your attitude is the one of intelectual pride, not intelectual rigour. If you stop to think for half an hour you'll understand why it would be catastrophic if the ordained sangha disapeared tomorrow. But think about it, not from the perspective of "organised religion is crap", but from the objective perspective. I've seen many, many people along the years come here with the same I-know-better attitude. And it's all the same: intelectual vanity. Most people like you don't have the courage to think in a different manner. You are so proud of your own understanding of things, your own views, that you think such an absurd thing as the ordained sangha being obsolete. You went for refuge 5 months ago. Don't be so proud of views on something you know little of.
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

arijitmitter
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Post by arijitmitter » Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:33 pm

Sanjay PS wrote: i think it is entirely uncalled for us laity to evaluate or contemplate a" perceived " or factual short coming of those who have donned the robe . There is the proper Sangha in place to deal and manage any conducts that spills over the Vinaya . Whenever we pay our deep respects to the members of Sangha it is the qualities of the Sangha to which we stand inspired , devoid of the individuals inclination . And i am sure , a natural feeling of gratitude emanates with reverence making us want to provide the best .
Can you explain this by your concept of self correcting Sangha ?

http://news.yahoo.com/scandal-jet-setti ... 38071.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOaLYryhivQ

These monks did not buy their ipod and sunglasses and expensive luggage the day the video was shot. It must have been on going.

How is this different than the German Bishop who spent $ 43 million to renovate his home and $ 15000 on a bathtub ?

http://news.yahoo.com/pope-banishes-ger ... 54932.html
Last edited by arijitmitter on Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

arijitmitter
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Post by arijitmitter » Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:38 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:
arijitmitter wrote:
Modus.Ponens wrote: Nothing of what you said contradicts the phrase that I wrote: If there was a monastic movement in that direction, there would be a schism.
"Schism of what" in my previous post to be read as "does it matter." If Thai Buddhism vanished tomorrow or Dharamsala Buddhism vanished tomorrow - if there were no longer any ordained monks (assume all ordained monks were abducted by aliens tonight) will our search for Dhamma end or slow down ?

There appears to be a clear divide among those who have read this thread. I am more democratic and unwilling to accept anything on blind faith and question anything that seems slightly inappropriate. Perhaps this comes, because as a householder I lead a life that can be called an urban monk.

Yesterday at the monastery I attend, I was asked by the abbot that since I am already following Dhamma with such gusto and am single why do I not think of becoming a monk. I said I have been toying with the idea for last 2 months but I have to look after my mother and can only consider it once she passes away. I am already 43 and change and do not think becoming a Bhikkhu at a reasonably advanced age of 44 to 60 is a good idea.

The abbot appreciated my candor and said the door is always open for me (Please bear in mind that on June 1, 2013 I walked into his monastery and declared I want to be converted to being a Theravadin Buddhist so my rise in his eyes has been quite fast. Not all lay devotees get an invitation to be a monk after 4 months and 25 days. So I must have some "monk" potential). This is not to be arrogant but to show that i am apart from being argumentative at times a deeply dedicated person on path of Dhamma.

What struck me is he was willing to bring up the discussion of becoming a monk with a person as unorthodox as me. That itself speaks volumes about any possible "schism"

:anjali: Arijit
Jesus. Man, your attitude is the one of intelectual pride, not intelectual rigour. If you stop to think for half an hour you'll understand why it would be catastrophic if the ordained sangha disapeared tomorrow. But think about it, not from the perspective of "organised religion is crap", but from the objective perspective. I've seen many, many people along the years come here with the same I-know-better attitude. And it's all the same: intelectual vanity. Most people like you don't have the courage to think in a different manner. You are so proud of your own understanding of things, your own views, that you think such an absurd thing as the ordained sangha being obsolete. You went for refuge 5 months ago. Don't be so proud of views on something you know little of.
Well thankfully my abbot has a different idea :smile:

I never said organised religion is crap and never said Sangha is obsolete. Then I will not have been a dutiful disciple of Buddha. But yes I question the "do not question" mindset you so amply display. Sorry for the "schism".

All I said was if aliens abducted the whole Sangha of monks tonight our search for Dhamma will continue unabated. How is that intellectual vanity / lack of intellectual rigor. Are you saying my self confidence that I can do it on my own with or without Sangha is a bad thing ? Well Ajahn Brahm was excommunicated. He is following the path of Dhamma quite well on his own. Will you not agree ?

All that few of us said here was that perhaps a small change in keeping with the times is needed instead of blind allegiance. If you feel threatened by that suggestion then you lack intellectual rigor since the ability to entertain opposing ideas in the mind is mark of an intellectual.

Kindly do not use words like Jesus. It is taking the Lord's name in vain. No reason why we cannot be polite to other religions.

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daverupa
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Post by daverupa » Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:23 pm

arijitmitter wrote:Kindly do not use words like Jesus. It is taking the Lord's name in vain. No reason why we cannot be polite to other religions.
Well, it's part of certain colloquial speech phrases in the West, so to that extent it's not taking the Lord's name in vain, it's speaking casually.

Besides, "Jesus" is based on a mistranslation. The lad's name was Joshua.

:focus:
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Mr Man
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Post by Mr Man » Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:15 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Mr Man wrote:If we look at the "The Ten Reasons For Setting Down The Rules Of A Mendicant" http://cittasanto.weebly.com/2/post/201 ... 11511.html (thank you Cittasanto).
That is a very free translation. This is mine:
  1. For the excellence of the Saṅgha (Saṅghasuṭṭhutāya).
  2. For the well-being of the Saṅgha (Saṅghaphāsutāya).
  3. To control wicked individuals (Dummaṅkūnaṃ puggalānaṃ niggahāya).
  4. For the comfort of well-behaved bhikkhus (Pesalānaṃ bhikkhūnaṃ phāsuvihārāya).
  5. To restrain present taints (Diṭṭhadhammikānaṃ āsavānaṃ saṃvarāya).
  6. To prevent the arising of future taints (Samparāyikānaṃ āsavānaṃ paṭighātāya).
  7. To arouse faith in those who lack faith(Appasannānaṃ pasādāya).
  8. To strengthen faith in those who have faith(Pasannānaṃ bhiyyobhāvāya).
  9. To establish the true Dhamma (Saddhammaṭṭhitiyā).
  10. To support the Vinaya (Vinayānuggahāya).” (A v 70)
Thank you Bhikkhu Pesala. Cittasanto does say on his blog "All translations here are from Pali to English by Cittasanto, done for personal reflection and understanding, not as expert translations. Please read translations by other translators who are far more skilled in the Pali language such as Thanissaro Bhikkhu (Ajahn Geoff) or Ven. Bhikkhu Bhodhi." So possibly it wasn't the best source.
:anjali:

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Modus.Ponens
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Post by Modus.Ponens » Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:17 pm

arijitmitter wrote:
Modus.Ponens wrote:
Jesus. Man, your attitude is the one of intelectual pride, not intelectual rigour. If you stop to think for half an hour you'll understand why it would be catastrophic if the ordained sangha disapeared tomorrow. But think about it, not from the perspective of "organised religion is crap", but from the objective perspective. I've seen many, many people along the years come here with the same I-know-better attitude. And it's all the same: intelectual vanity. Most people like you don't have the courage to think in a different manner. You are so proud of your own understanding of things, your own views, that you think such an absurd thing as the ordained sangha being obsolete. You went for refuge 5 months ago. Don't be so proud of views on something you know little of.
Well thankfully my abbot has a different idea :smile:

I never said organised religion is crap and never said Sangha is obsolete. Then I will not have been a dutiful disciple of Buddha. But yes I question the "do not question" mindset you so amply display. Sorry for the "schism".

All I said was if aliens abducted the whole Sangha of monks tonight our search for Dhamma will continue unabated. How is that intellectual vanity / lack of intellectual rigor. Are you saying my self confidence that I can do it on my own with or without Sangha is a bad thing ? Well Ajahn Brahm was excommunicated. He is following the path of Dhamma quite well on his own. Will you not agree ?

All that few of us said here was that perhaps a small change in keeping with the times is needed instead of blind allegiance. If you feel threatened by that suggestion then you lack intellectual rigor since the ability to entertain opposing ideas in the mind is mark of an intellectual.

Kindly do not use words like Jesus. It is taking the Lord's name in vain. No reason why we cannot be polite to other religions.
First of all I was responding to alan. He said "I suggest we throw away the old rulebook, and come up with a new way of understanding how to live and teach.". If being against this is having blind faith, I don't know what to tell you.

I was writing more text to reply, but I realise it's futile and, worse, food for mine and your defilements. I just hope that you reflect on the outstanding value of the ordained sangha in this world.
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

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mikenz66
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:46 pm

arijitmitter wrote: If Thai Buddhism vanished tomorrow or Dharamsala Buddhism vanished tomorrow - if there were no longer any ordained monks (assume all ordained monks were abducted by aliens tonight) will our search for Dhamma end or slow down ?
Sure would have for me. In my experience, Buddha-Dhamma isn't just some intellectual pursuit based on analysing ancient texts. [In my day job I do intellectual analysis, so I do actually tend to do a lot of it when it comes to Dhamma, but I don't think it's as important as many modern Buddhists think...]

I've not been a monk, but, like anyone who hangs around a monastery for a while, it becomes obvious that there is more to Buddhism than intellect, and that many of the lay people who get up early to feed the monks are actually much more developed than I am, though they probably can't quote all the suttas that I can... Without the focus of our monastery, developing a long-term approach to Dhamma would be very difficult for m.

As I said, I haven't been a monk, but I have had some retreat experience that has some relevance to the topic of discussion. On retreats I'm treated roughly as a novice monk, eating at the same time as the monks (at a different table), and having lay people almost tripping over each other to put the food they cooked on my tray. The food is usually amazing, and generally 3-4 times what I could usefully eat. Occasionally it's not so amazing. After a few days of this routine, it's interesting to see how the mind is working with it: The hope that I'll get one of my favourite dishes; the disappointment when I don't; sometimes the realisation that this whole eating thing is a bit of a waste of time, getting in the way of my practice by both taking up time and making me sleepy for the next couple of hours.

My impression is that a large part of the monastic training is to deal with such feelings in the long term. Sometimes having wonderful food, sometimes not, sometimes being taken somewhere, sometimes not.

I could easily find things to criticise about monastics I've observed, here or in Thailand. However I would question the usefulness of that (apart from the truly outrageous, of course). The monastic training is like the precepts - it's a training. Some are doing well with it, some not.

Overall, the whole system has given me an enormous amount of help in understanding Dhamma. I personally wouldn't have any understanding if I had only had ancient books to rely on. Of course, others may have different experiences.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Post by PeterB » Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:34 pm

daverupa wrote:
arijitmitter wrote:Kindly do not use words like Jesus. It is taking the Lord's name in vain. No reason why we cannot be polite to other religions.
Well, it's part of certain colloquial speech phrases in the West, so to that extent it's not taking the Lord's name in vain, it's speaking casually.

Besides, "Jesus" is based on a mistranslation. The lad's name was Joshua.

:focus:
Not so actually. That's another latinisation.
The lad's name is Y'shua. :focus:

arijitmitter
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Post by arijitmitter » Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:15 am

daverupa wrote:
arijitmitter wrote:Kindly do not use words like Jesus. It is taking the Lord's name in vain. No reason why we cannot be polite to other religions.
Well, it's part of certain colloquial speech phrases in the West, so to that extent it's not taking the Lord's name in vain, it's speaking casually.

Besides, "Jesus" is based on a mistranslation. The lad's name was Joshua.

:focus:
Just to correct your mistake -
"How do you define the sin of taking the Lord's name in vain?
Well that's a quote from the Ten Commandments: "Don't take the name of the Lord your God in vain." The idea of vanity (and I think the Hebrew carries this connotation) is "don't empty the name."
So it doesn't just refer to a certain tone of voice or a certain use of the word. It's dealing with God and speaking of God in a way that empties him of his significance.
This includes both throw-away words—like "God!" or "Jesus!"—as well as speaking about him in trifling and flippant ways. Not just swear ways but cheap ways, low and insignificant ways that just treat him like a commodity. And when you hear them you sense that there is no weight to that sentence, no corresponding emotion to that statement. It seems to have just been gutted."
http://www.christianity.com/theology/wh ... 00552.html

I almost turned a Catholic at age 25, so I have slightly more knowledge of Christianity than can be expected of a person who is not Christian. It is a part of colloquial speech in West and I am more than familiar with that also thanks to things like books and movies and television. Colloquial speech can be quite flowery. It is best to abstain from it when discussing serious topics.

:focus:
Last edited by arijitmitter on Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

dagon
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Post by dagon » Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:25 am

arijitmitter wrote:
daverupa wrote:
arijitmitter wrote:Kindly do not use words like Jesus. It is taking the Lord's name in vain. No reason why we cannot be polite to other religions.
Well, it's part of certain colloquial speech phrases in the West, so to that extent it's not taking the Lord's name in vain, it's speaking casually.

Besides, "Jesus" is based on a mistranslation. The lad's name was Joshua.

:focus:
Just to correct your mistake -
"How do you define the sin of taking the Lord's name in vain?
Well that's a quote from the Ten Commandments: "Don't take the name of the Lord your God in vain." The idea of vanity (and I think the Hebrew carries this connotation) is "don't empty the name."
So it doesn't just refer to a certain tone of voice or a certain use of the word. It's dealing with God and speaking of God in a way that empties him of his significance.
This includes both throw-away words—like "God!" or "Jesus!"—as well as speaking about him in trifling and flippant ways. Not just swear ways but cheap ways, low and insignificant ways that just treat him like a commodity. And when you hear them you sense that there is no weight to that sentence, no corresponding emotion to that statement. It seems to have just been gutted."
http://www.christianity.com/theology/wh ... 00552.html

I almost turned a Catholic at age 25, so I have slightly more knowledge of Christianity than can be expected of a person who is not Christian. It is a part of colloquial speech in West and I am more than familiar with that also thanks to things like books and movies and television. Colloquial speech can be quite flowery. It is best to abstain from it when discussing serious topics.

:focus:
Perhaps you have come to the wrong forum.
Honestly i do not think that you, of all people, should be trying to lecture anybody - except your self.

metta
paul

arijitmitter
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Post by arijitmitter » Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:39 am

dagon wrote: Perhaps you have come to the wrong forum.
Honestly i do not think that you, of all people, should be trying to lecture anybody - except your self.

metta
paul
I am not sure what I did to arouse such ire. From opening post I have argued with reason and without malice. One topic led to another. That is not my fault.

And if some one tells me "Jesus" is not a taking the Lord's name in vain I have every right to correct it.

And what does "you of all people" mean. Not a phrase befitting a man who is well versed in scriptures like you. I would have taken offense but being a Buddhist I have learned to pass over injuries.

dagon
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Post by dagon » Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:55 am

arijitmitter wrote:
dagon wrote: Perhaps you have come to the wrong forum.
Honestly i do not think that you, of all people, should be trying to lecture anybody - except your self.

metta
paul
I am not sure what I did to arouse such ire. From opening post I have argued with reason and without malice. One topic led to another. That is not my fault.

And if some one tells me "Jesus" is not a taking the Lord's name in vain I have every right to correct it.

And what does "you of all people" mean. Not a phrase befitting a man who is well versed in scriptures like you. I would have taken offense but being a Buddhist I have learned to pass over injuries.
Actually what you have aroused is metta and compassion from people here - unfortunately you have not had the insight to see that.

You have attacked members of the Sangah without knowing the facts - that is slander. I could continue from there but it would be pointless as you do not listen to the advice that you have been given. Basically my friend if you stopped listening to you self for a short while you MAY learn something that is of value.

metta
paul

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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Post by arijitmitter » Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:05 am

dagon wrote: Actually what you have aroused is metta and compassion from people here - unfortunately you have not had the insight to see that.

You have attacked members of the Sangah without knowing the facts - that is slander. I could continue from there but it would be pointless as you do not listen to the advice that you have been given. Basically my friend if you stopped listening to you self for a short while you MAY learn something that is of value.

metta
paul
Thank you for making me object of your compassion. Please read the entire thread. I have not slandered the Sangha or any member if it. I have replied with great deal of respect to Venerable Pesala and Venerable Dhammanando. I have addressed them as Sir. I do not address any other member as Sir except a Bhante.

The thread arose because there was surprise at seeing a monk in business class - something Venerable Dhammanando cleared up.

Someone else suggested new Vinay / rule book.

Then one topic led to another with me finally asking that if entire Sangha vanished will search for Dhamma vanish ? I also clarified at same time I did not wish Sangha to vanish and it was just an exploratory question.

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