Theravada and Mahayana need each other

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Upeksha
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Re: Theravada and Mahayana need each other

Post by Upeksha » Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:43 am

In any case, I think this is a slightly toxic discussion.

When such things arise, I try to refrain from further involvement.

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dylanj
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Re: Theravada and Mahayana need each other

Post by dylanj » Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:05 am

Upeksha wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:09 am
So are you proposing that the Mahayana canon contains teachings which contradicts its essence - not just contradicts, but 'tears down its fundamental basis' - simply so its proponents can claim to be followers of the Buddha?

What then, is this fundamental basis which is being torn down?
I'm defining Mahayana by the "Mahayana Sutras" which are distinct from the "Hinayana Sutras". Even Mahayana itself defines it this way. Their canon contains non-Mahayana sutras. Your point is pedantic & I think you know very well what I mean.

The non-EBT sutras in the Mahayana canon are torn down by this quote which, yes, is found in the EBT sutras of the Mahayana canon.
susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, the relinquishment of all attachments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

Upeksha
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Re: Theravada and Mahayana need each other

Post by Upeksha » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:26 am

But you have yet to even attempt to argue how they are torn down.

i.e. where is the contradiction?

It's not pedantic to ask someone who makes a bold, sweeping, generalised statement: "what is your evidence/reasoning for thinking this?"

All of you've done is state that the Mahayana is adhamma, and (by obvious inference) Theravada is the only place one can find genuine Dhamma. As evidence you have offered one brief quote from the Pali Nikayas, as if that proves your convictions beyond all doubt! This is like a Christian critiquing Buddhism by quoting Matthew or Paul.....

To make some kind of case here, you have to offer some kind of engagement with Mahayana literature.

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Kim OHara
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Re: Theravada and Mahayana need each other

Post by Kim OHara » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:46 am

dylanj wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:05 am
Upeksha wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:09 am
So are you proposing that the Mahayana canon contains teachings which contradicts its essence - not just contradicts, but 'tears down its fundamental basis' - simply so its proponents can claim to be followers of the Buddha?

What then, is this fundamental basis which is being torn down?
I'm defining Mahayana by the "Mahayana Sutras" which are distinct from the "Hinayana Sutras". Even Mahayana itself defines it this way. Their canon contains non-Mahayana sutras. Your point is pedantic & I think you know very well what I mean.

The non-EBT sutras in the Mahayana canon are torn down by this quote which, yes, is found in the EBT sutras of the Mahayana canon.
Dylan, I do sympathise with your concerns but can I just ask you to step back a moment and look at what you are condemning so stridently?

In this post you say "the Mahayana itself" and the "Mahayana Sutras" but that nonsensical because "the Mahayana" does not exist as a monolithic entity. In reality, there are lots of separate schools, traditions and lineages which people outside them call "Mahayana" and lots of texts which people who don't revere them call the "Mahayana Sutras". They also contain lots of texts which you (and maybe only you) call "non-Mahayana sutras." Just think about it: if they are in the library, they are library books - and the canon is the official library. :thinking:
So, basically, it is logically impossible for "Mahayana itself" to define anything or do anything. Only individuals can do stuff. And individuals are not "the Mahayana" and (anyway) you claimed a while ago that you were not saying anything bad about individuals.

I could talk about America (just picking a country you're sure to know a bit about) in the same way that you talk about the Mahayana, and you would see the logical faults in my statements straight away. Let's try a few examples - not necessarily examples I expect anyone to believe, of course:
• America loves Putin.
• America is obsessional about baseball.
• Americans don't trust foreigners.
• Americans speak Spanish at home.

Do you see what I mean?

:namaste:
Kim

Dinsdale
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Re: Theravada and Mahayana need each other

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:15 am

Upeksha wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:09 am
So are you proposing that the Mahayana canon contains teachings which contradicts its essence - not just contradicts, but 'tears down its fundamental basis' - simply so its proponents can claim to be followers of the Buddha?
That doesn't reflect my experience of Mahayana. It is more like a development or re-expression, eg anatta became sunyata.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

Upeksha
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Re: Theravada and Mahayana need each other

Post by Upeksha » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:51 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:15 am
Upeksha wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:09 am
So are you proposing that the Mahayana canon contains teachings which contradicts its essence - not just contradicts, but 'tears down its fundamental basis' - simply so its proponents can claim to be followers of the Buddha?
That doesn't reflect my experience of Mahayana. It is more like a development or re-expression, eg anatta became sunyata.
Yes, that's precisely the point. To find for example, in the Prajnaparamita sutras statements like 'the aggregates are empty of self' does not strike me as contradictory in any way to statements about the selflessness of the aggregates in the Nikayas (i.e. Anatta-Lakkhana Sutta).

Other points to consider here: the Buddha did not speak in either Pali or Sanskrit. And the earliest written texts in both of those languages are found in roughly similar times - at least 350-400 years after the Buddha's passing.

I think it's pretty clear that texts like the various Prajnaparamita sutras do exhibit a 'later' literary style, and I'm also persuaded by the view that the Pali Nikayas and Chinese/Skt Agamas contain the discourses which most closely adhere to what the Buddha said.

But people who claim that on this basis, only the Theravada contains the the true Buddhist teachings can only make that claim by failing to investigate the historical unfolding of Buddhism in ancient India. And in particular, failing to understand how little real knowledge we have of the period from the Buddha's death to the time where textual evidence begins to appear. A lot happens that we don't know about; clearly there were many different sects. Often they lived together in harmony and it's difficult to discern what their differences were. Most disappeared. That Buddhists practiced in different places and cultures and therefore wrote in different languages and styles does not provide a basis for saying x is authentic, y is inauthentic. That charge only really carries weight once when enters the sphere of metaphysics - and a lot of that kind of dialectical approach does actually shape Mahayana thinking. It is interesting to contemplate that the most influential 'Mahayana' philosopher (Nagarjuna) was primarily interested in defending 'the position of the Buddha' from what he saw as speculative imputations on the Buddha's view.

:anjali:

auto
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Re: Theravada and Mahayana need each other

Post by auto » Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:19 am

dylanj wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:06 am
mahayana is fake & a force leading to the death of the dhamma
No,
Dhamma is pure, it is not affected by people who have attachment to religion or different ways of expression of the truth.

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dylanj
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Re: Theravada and Mahayana need each other

Post by dylanj » Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:15 pm

auto wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:19 am
dylanj wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:06 am
mahayana is fake & a force leading to the death of the dhamma
No,
Dhamma is pure, it is not affected by people who have attachment to religion or different ways of expression of the truth.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
https://accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn ... .than.html
susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, the relinquishment of all attachments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

auto
Posts: 399
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Re: Theravada and Mahayana need each other

Post by auto » Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:13 pm

dylanj wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:15 pm
auto wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:19 am
dylanj wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:06 am
mahayana is fake & a force leading to the death of the dhamma
No,
Dhamma is pure, it is not affected by people who have attachment to religion or different ways of expression of the truth.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
https://accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn ... .than.html
if you are not enlightened or not know how to practice and make progress, then you are in danger if you enter into religious community, they will brainwash you, but if you stay with the knowledge you have you will be called satanist or somethign like that.

So it is both ways. How do you know that you aren't a pretender even if you follow Suttas fervently...
----
The counterfeit of dhamma is louder music, just close it and you get the subtle. So preaching is no use or distributing fliers. Try brainwash someone for couple years every day couple hours, you can't because they won't hear what you say because of no discipline..

LuisR
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Re: Theravada and Mahayana need each other

Post by LuisR » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:45 pm

Theravada does need Mahayan. Specially not Vajrayana. Tibetan monks have a bad reputation in the west. Theravada would do well to stay away from them.

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mikenz66
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Re: Theravada and Mahayana need each other

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:02 pm

LuisR wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:45 pm
Theravada does need Mahayan. Specially not Vajrayana. Tibetan monks have a bad reputation in the west. Theravada would do well to stay away from them.
Please be mindful of our Terms of Service, particularly:
d. Unsubstantiated allegations against individuals or traditions
There are various scandals in many areas. I don't think anyone would take the well-documented scandals involving Theravada monks to mean that Theravada Buddhism is worthless!

:heart:
Mike

LuisR
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Re: Theravada and Mahayana need each other

Post by LuisR » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:06 pm

I wasn't implying it was worthless, just that tibetan teachers have a bad reputation in the west.

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mikenz66
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Re: Theravada and Mahayana need each other

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:17 pm

LuisR wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:06 pm
I wasn't implying it was worthless, just that tibetan teachers have a bad reputation in the west.
That's a pity, isn't it? Just as bad Theravada monks are a travesty, since they bring Theravada into disrepute. However, I know many good Theravada monks, some very good Tibetan monks, and several very good Mahayana monastics (male and female), so I see the bad ones as an abberation.

Please return to addressing the OP, which seems to be about what aspects of Mahayana and Theravada doctrine might be helpful to the other tradition.

:heart:
Mike

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