Can a wholesale dismissal of Non-Theravada traditions result in Ariyupavadantaraya

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
markandeya
Posts: 204
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:33 am

Re: Can a wholesale dismissal of Non-Theravada traditions result in Ariyupavadantaraya

Post by markandeya » Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:03 pm

Hi,

It seems that Dharma needs to be understood and how it varies according to time place and temperament.

The dress or externals of the teachings may change. We could say we have early Indian Buddhism now practiced in Thailand, Burma and Sri lanka as main places. They have a very fixed tradition and try to follow the ancient and early model of Buddhism. I think they do a great Job in maintaining it.

Then we will have Tibetan Buddhism which on the surface looks very different, and then Chinese Buddhism and all their variations and lineages and Korea and Japan who also have their unique forms of Zen.

Now fast forward to modern times we now have a new emerging form of Buddhism in the West. One thing that is different to now more than times gone by when Dharma traditions were taken outside of India is that in China they would not copy exactly in every respect Indian Buddhism. Even the Buddhas and the temples would have their own styles. Is it a deviation? No way, what is more a deviation is being a copy cat or trying to be something that were not. In early days people would not have replicated exactly Indian Buddhism as practiced by India, in fact as much as I know of Bodhidharma and some of the Chinese pioneers is that they integrated the dharma into a new culture. Even Daosits would learn from Buddhist and Visa versa without harming or changing their own lineage.

In Tibet there is some strong influences of Bon, does this mean that Tibetan Buddhism is different Buddha Dharma.

In the West there was an attempt to make some synthesis with Buddha Dharma and Christianity ( glad that didnt last long or is on its way out)

So Buddhism will change according to the conditions where it goes, its more than flexible and is one of the omain reasons why meditation is a must for the preservation of dharma.

The Dharmachakra is quite straight forward, it has eightspokes that represent the eternal dharma or the way, the spine, the core, the essence of Dharma traditions. Dharmachakra was and still is a universal symbol to identify all traditions.

So in each place we have variation and sameness, type of oneness in diversity. The diversity of the teachings will come via the conditions of the places, the but the oneness or changeless reality of the Dharma will stay in tact, this cant be changed and few schools try to change this. They all agree and have the same understanding of the four noble truths and eightfoldpath.

Dharma is hard to translate, we could call it the essence or nature of something, simple example is water is wet, the dharma of water is wet, fire is heat, the dharma of fire is hot and so on and this gets translated in many ways via mind development in accordance to all naturally occurring dharmas.

This is what I like about dharma traditions rather than religious sectarian monotonous rigmarole. Dharma is based on insight into the nature of reality. The conditions may change in different locations but the essence cannot be changed. People in China may by default of their own nature that occurs spontaneously in their environment adopt a certain aspect of practice which suites them best. Wear a heavy coat in the winter of Cananda but to do the same thing on the plains of India in the summer would be a mistake.

There is so much beauty and diversity in the oneness of the dharma traditions. If I read Theravada it gives me a deeper understanding of Zen, if i study Cha'an it gives me a deeper understanding and appreciation of Tibetan Buddhist practices. Its way more than inter faith or just being liberal and accepting things in broadminded fashion. When the essence of dharma is understood even in a fraction it will open new domains of awareness where the dharma is seen as universal and all pervasive and is fixed in its own nature but can adapt to anything without losing its identity.

If I see any major differences in dharma traditions i put it down to a few things

Uniqueness of the culture and its adaption.

Poor translations

Sectarianism

Cultural assignation by Monotheistic Materialists

Intellectual domination of non conceptual truths.

I have my own practice which in essence is very simple, there is not a lot one needs to do to practice dharma, in fact the less of a doer there is then the more ones mind naturally rises above limitations and mundane conventions.

Every single person will have their own unique understanding of Dharma, as we all have certain sets of conditions. This does not mean we build our own religion, because dharma is one nature, the nature of dharma does not change, its beyond ordinary time and man made ideas, its awareness of something more complete that doesnt always fit with any gross idea of anthropomorphic view.

If a certain type of thread comes up I can try to give some more specific details on how Dharma adjusts to the conditions to free them from those conditions and is essential to growth without imitation.

:anjali:

TRobinson465
Posts: 435
Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 5:29 pm
Location: United States

Re: Can a wholesale dismissal of Non-Theravada traditions result in Ariyupavadantaraya

Post by TRobinson465 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:33 pm

LuisR wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:34 am


What scripture does Mahayana get the teaching on the four noble truths and the eightfold path from?
If im not mistaken i think Mahayana still takes the Pali Canon as scripture. they just also take the Mahayana Sutras as scripture in addition. So i would presume the same as us.
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

markandeya
Posts: 204
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:33 am

Re: Can a wholesale dismissal of Non-Theravada traditions result in Ariyupavadantaraya

Post by markandeya » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:54 pm

TRobinson465 wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:33 pm
LuisR wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:34 am


What scripture does Mahayana get the teaching on the four noble truths and the eightfold path from?
If im not mistaken i think Mahayana still takes the Pali Canon as scripture. they just also take the Mahayana Sutras as scripture in addition. So i would presume the same as us.
Hi TRobinson465

You are right, the mahayana have their own tripitaka's the Chinese I understand has more sutras maybe the tibetan traditions also, they also include abhidharma, although I am not sure they use the Pali Language, either Sanskrit or Classical Chinese and Tibetan, which was a long period of translation.

Mahayana only differes because it goes more into depth on the arupa jhana and wisdom states.

Early scholars used to make the division between Hinayana lesser vehicle and Mahayana Great Vehicle and include Theravada as a Hinayana school, this is misleading and both untrue and unfair.

Hinayana are the dharmas related to sentient condition of mind based sense consciousness to bring the sentient being to the state of pure equanimity. When mind has perfect equanimity it gets promoted to Mahayana state, consciousness or experience is absent of outward going mind and sense consciousness, kama and rupa lokas, arupa loka is synymous as a state with Mahayana. The Mahayana traditions just reveal more in the texts of the intermdiate state, the middle way ,Madhyamaka, Bardo, Prajna Wisdom states.

Some say the Pali Suttas are less in giving more details in Arupa Jhana which has attracted some criticism written into the traditions by scholars, which may again be a little untrue and unfair due to the majjhima nikaya's and some of the more subtle and less detectable wisdom teachings.

The only real thing that I have noticed where Theravada may seem to be more different is the lack of expression of states in Prajna where female and male forces mix together which are known as the Bodhisattvas descending or the subtle phenomenon is non dual states or unified states, emanating from Tathāgata. This again could be slightly wrong as the attendants or main disciples of the Buddha may all be Bodhisattvas. There are lots of hidden meanings and codes in the grammar and also our own entanglement in mind and sense base consciousness.

So much more in the texts traditions and ultimately within our own potential to discover.

:anjali:

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16451
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Can a wholesale dismissal of Non-Theravada traditions result in Ariyupavadantaraya

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:41 pm

markandeya wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:54 pm
TRobinson465 wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:33 pm
LuisR wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:34 am


What scripture does Mahayana get the teaching on the four noble truths and the eightfold path from?
If im not mistaken i think Mahayana still takes the Pali Canon as scripture. they just also take the Mahayana Sutras as scripture in addition. So i would presume the same as us.
Hi TRobinson465

You are right, the mahayana have their own tripitaka's the Chinese I understand has more sutras maybe the tibetan traditions also, they also include abhidharma, although I am not sure they use the Pali Language, either Sanskrit or Classical Chinese and Tibetan, which was a long period of translation.
The Chinese tripitikas (and texts from other Mahayana schools) include agamas https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%80gama_(Buddhism) that are broadly similar to the Pali Canon (you can see the parallels at Sutta Central: https://suttacentral.net/). There are also many, many, more, presumably later, texts that do not have parallels. These are the texts that contain specifically Mahayana concepts, such as the Bodhisattva path.

There are a number of Abhidharmas: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abhidharma. The Mahayana schools have Abhidharmas from northern schools, notably Sarvāstivāda, which have significant differences from the Theravada Pali texts. Note that this difference pre-dates Mahayana.

:heart:
Mike

markandeya
Posts: 204
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:33 am

Re: Can a wholesale dismissal of Non-Theravada traditions result in Ariyupavadantaraya

Post by markandeya » Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:51 pm

There are a number of Abhidharmas: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abhidharma. The Mahayana schools have Abhidharmas from northern schools, notably Sarvāstivāda, which have significant differences from the Theravada Pali texts. Note that this difference pre-dates Mahayana.
Hi Mike

The distinction between Southern and Northern Schools is as far as I understand the same as Hinayana and Mahayana, or the dharmas related to the gradual path and the dharmas related to the Direct path. Which some seemed to have made the main issue with dividing the Buddhist paths as sects. Theravada as a whole spoken by some scholars is that Theravada lacks less of an emphasis or description on the Arupa Jhana or intermediate wisdom states and only gives vague accounts in the 5-9 jhanas, the esoteric side, pressuming it to be less discovered or underdeveloped in the suttas and tradition. I would say its there but hidden and in general the Mahayana or intermediate prajna states speak for themselves as they are in automatic states, and Theravada traditions speak mostly on worldly dhammas where they are needed, maybe this is their wisdom.

Could bring some new topics to certain discussions on what is Bodhisattva and something wich descends in wisdom states.

:anjali:

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16451
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Can a wholesale dismissal of Non-Theravada traditions result in Ariyupavadantaraya

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:16 pm

Hi markandeya,
markandeya wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:51 pm
There are a number of Abhidharmas: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abhidharma. The Mahayana schools have Abhidharmas from northern schools, notably Sarvāstivāda, which have significant differences from the Theravada Pali texts. Note that this difference pre-dates Mahayana.
Hi Mike

The distinction between Southern and Northern Schools is as far as I understand the same as Hinayana and Mahayana, or the dharmas related to the gradual path and the dharmas related to the Direct path. ...
I'm afraid you are getting your history rather mixed up. Theravada and Sarvāstivāda were two of a number of early Buddhist Schools https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Buddhist_schools, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Buddhist_Texts, who had similar suttas/sutras and vinayas, but different doctrinal interpretations and Abhidhammas/Abhidharmas. These differences predate the Mahayana developments. The Sarvāstivāda were in the north of India, Theravada in the south (see the map in the link).

Due to geography, it was texts from Sarvāstivāda and other northern schools that got translated into Chinese and Tibetan.

:heart:
Mike

markandeya
Posts: 204
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:33 am

Re: Can a wholesale dismissal of Non-Theravada traditions result in Ariyupavadantaraya

Post by markandeya » Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:41 pm

Hi Mike

I am not necessarily explaining through historical linear timelines or geographical locations, although there maybe some truth in that but certainly not limited to that. There maybe later developments which took place in different traditions and practices. I am just adding what I have learned as northern and southern schools or Gradual development of Sila and the development of the 4 rupa jhanas thorugh citta bhavana and panna~ hinaya~Southern dharma and Sudden dharmas, as Mahayana States in the Arupa Jhanas. Its consistent through out when they are not seen as doctrines or differing belief systems.

:anjali:

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16451
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Can a wholesale dismissal of Non-Theravada traditions result in Ariyupavadantaraya

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:09 pm

markandeya wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:41 pm
Hi Mike

I am not necessarily explaining through historical linear timelines or geographical locations, although there maybe some truth in that but certainly not limited to that. There maybe later developments which took place in different traditions and practices. I am just adding what I have learned as northern and southern schools or Gradual development of Sila and the development of the 4 rupa jhanas thorugh citta bhavana and panna~ hinaya~Southern dharma and Sudden dharmas, as Mahayana States in the Arupa Jhanas. Its consistent through out when they are not seen as doctrines or differing belief systems.

:anjali:
OK then. Clearly there are various possibilities for interpretation of Mayahana, and commonly "northern schools" refer to Mahayana, rather than the early Buddhist schools such as Sarvāstivāda. However, the similarity between the Pali Canon and the Agamas from other schools is reasonably clear, as is the difference between those texts and the Mahayana texts. Since I have little knowledge of the latter, I have nothing much else to add.

:heart:
Mike

markandeya
Posts: 204
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:33 am

Re: Can a wholesale dismissal of Non-Theravada traditions result in Ariyupavadantaraya

Post by markandeya » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:28 pm

Thanks for your honesty and insights Mike

just speaking in trans-personal terms with no direction at anyone in particular.

To understand the texts they have to be put into practice, then when there is some maturity in the practice all conflicting ideas of differing theories fade away and one see's them as dharma manuals, or codes of dharma that lead to awakening. They may vary text by text but will hold something unique and common to them all.

There is one sutta in the pali cannon where the Buddha gives a discourse Śāsana on why he teaches a certain teaching, which is to lead him onto another level and then continues in the same pattern to full enlightenment making a clear thread between the preliminaries, development of the Rupa Jhanas and then the postgraduate the Arupa Jhanas, I am being a bit vague because I cant remember the name of the sutta, maybe you can help. The basic essence is that whatever he taught is to always lead them towards enlightenment.

:anjali:

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 15 guests