Page 1 of 1

Is "expedient means" explicitly taught in the abhidhamma?

Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:08 pm
by daveblack
Because I've noticed that many Theravadins use this concept that is clearly Mahayana from the Lotus Sutra. Is this just a result of Westernization mixing schools up? or is it in the Abhidhamma, because I don't see it in the suttas.

Re: Is "expedient means" explicitly taught in the abhidhamma?

Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:10 pm
by SDC
daveblack wrote: Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:08 pm Because I've noticed that many Theravadins use this concept that is clearly Mahayana from the Lotus Sutra. Is this just a result of Westernization mixing schools up? or is it in the Abhidhamma, because I don't see it in the suttas.
In what context is it being used by Theravadins?

Re: Is "expedient means" explicitly taught in the abhidhamma?

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 4:20 am
by DNS
daveblack wrote: Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:08 pm Because I've noticed that many Theravadins use this concept that is clearly Mahayana from the Lotus Sutra. Is this just a result of Westernization mixing schools up? or is it in the Abhidhamma, because I don't see it in the suttas.
Do you mean skillful means? (upàya kusala)

See:
http://www.buddhisma2z.com/content.php?id=383

It is in Theravada too, although not nearly emphasized as much as it is in the Mahayana.

Re: Is "expedient means" explicitly taught in the abhidhamma?

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 6:56 am
by Dhammanando
Abhidhamma has to do with aggregates, elements, sense-bases, dependent arising, etc., when these are expounded as such, rather than in relation to living beings.

Upaya has to do with skilful teaching tactics that are appropriate to the disciple's condition, like the Buddha promising the besotted Nanda five hundred celestial nymphs if he remains a monk.

The two things don't really have anything to do with each other, unless it happens that the upaya consists in teaching someone Abhidhamma.