Reading Mahayana books

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 4028
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Ban Sri Pradu Cremation Ground, Phrao District, Chiangmai

Re: Reading Mahayana books

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:04 am

LuisR wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:46 pm
Do Mahayana Buddhist believe in the four noble truths and the eight fold path? If so what scripture do they get these teachings from?
I once met a member of Soka Gakkai who had never even heard of the four truths and eightfold path, but I think this was rather exceptional. In general Mahayanists will be acquainted with them and will accept them as foundational.

As to where they learn them from, with the Tibetans the primary source is probably Vasubandhu's auto-commentary to his Abhidharmakośa; with East Asians it's the Āgama sūtras and/or the older strata of Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

LuisR
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:22 pm

Re: Reading Mahayana books

Post by LuisR » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:14 am

Dhammanando wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:04 am
.

As to where they learn them from, with the Tibetans the primary source is probably Vasubandhu's auto-commentary to his Abhidharmakośa; with East Asians it's the Āgama sūtras and/or the older strata of Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.
Interesting thank you. Would the Agama sutras and Prajnaparamita sutras be found at the majority of Mahayana monasteries in the same way most Theravada monasteries have copies of the Sutta Pitika? Thanks again.

User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 4028
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Ban Sri Pradu Cremation Ground, Phrao District, Chiangmai

Re: Reading Mahayana books

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:23 am

LuisR wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:14 am
Dhammanando wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:04 am
.

As to where they learn them from, with the Tibetans the primary source is probably Vasubandhu's auto-commentary to his Abhidharmakośa; with East Asians it's the Āgama sūtras and/or the older strata of Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.
Interesting thank you. Would the Agama sutras and Prajnaparamita sutras be found at the majority of Mahayana monasteries in the same way most Theravada monasteries have copies of the Sutta Pitika? Thanks again.
Probably. At least here in Thailand a Tripitaka cabinet containing the hundred or so volumes of the Chinese Tripitaka seems to be a standard feature in the Chinese and Vietnamese temples that I've visited.

LuisR
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:22 pm

Re: Reading Mahayana books

Post by LuisR » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:41 am

Thanks again. :namaste:

User avatar
Will
Posts: 979
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:26 pm
Location: So Cal

Re: Reading Mahayana books

Post by Will » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:06 am

LuisR wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:46 pm
Do Mahayana Buddhist believe in the four noble truths and the eight fold path? If so what scripture do they get these teachings from?
Mahayana has their collection of sutras, shastras & abhidharma - the Three Baskets or Tripitaka. They include all the Nikayas and the rest of the Pali canon. So their source for basic teachings of Buddhas are identical with Theravada.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

User avatar
JMGinPDX
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:07 pm

Re: Reading Mahayana books

Post by JMGinPDX » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:41 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:57 am
I think that in general the tendency in the Theravada is for teachers to be assessed on their merits, rather than on fictitious connection to some lineal forebears.
And in some defense of the Mahayanists, I think those who believe the "Buddha holds up a flower" story (and the "Nagarjuna brings the teachings out of the Naga realm" story, for that matter) to be a literal truth are in the minority, and those who understand it to be an apocryphal but still descriptive legend are more the norm.
Kinda like vast tracts of the Digha Nikaya :jumping:
Right now, it's like this...

User avatar
Osaka
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:21 am

Re: Reading Mahayana books

Post by Osaka » Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:06 am

I've read many Zen books by Kosho Uchiyama. I found them to echo the teaching style of Ajahn Sumedho to a certain extent, althought it can get a little confusing at times. For exemple, his interpretation of Zen seems to invoke a small self vs a big universal Self and it's difficult for me to understand how this differentiates his take on Zen Buddhism from Brahmanism/Hinduism. For exemple he says that by sitting in zazen one drops away the small self and gets attuned to the big Self. Also, any Theravadan practitioner reading Mahayana books should brace him/herself for the patronizing attitute in which mahayanists describe ¨hinayana¨ methods - it can get quite annoying at times. It seems like mahayana constantly defines itself in oposition to hinayana, always making sure to point out their superior understanding and practices. Its quite odd to find this attitude in a tradition that put so much emphasis on non-duality! But if one can get past these annoyances, it can certainly by fun to read mahayana text once one already has a solid base in the Dhamma.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], markandeya and 61 guests