A forum for members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries, which for discussion purposes are both treated as authoritative.
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I'm new here, and I have a few questions that have arisen from one of the other threads. I'm particularly interested in how this classical forum works...
The Abhidhamma and Classical Theravada sub-forums are specialized venues for the discussion of the Abhidhamma and the classical Mahavihara understanding of the Dhamma. Within these forums the Pali Tipitaka and its commentaries are for discussion purposes treated as authoritative. These forums are for the benefit of those members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of these texts and are not for the challenging of the Abhidhamma and/or Theravada commentarial literature.
Okay, I get that bit
Posts should also include support from a reference or a citation (Tipitaka, commentarial, or from a later work from an author representative of the Classical point-of-view).
What does "an author representative of the Classical point-of-view" mean? I've never encountered this concept before. In the academic community there is even a growing tendency to avoid essentialist discussion of "Theravada" as some doubt the assumed continuinty and community between the vastly different extant sub-Theravadas and the Sthaviravada of yore. So which authors fit this point of view and who decides what orthodox and what's unorthodox? Moderators I guess? And if so what are the moderators agendas? (I don't mean that in a sinister way, I just mean moderators presumably have opinions and understandings of their own.)
Posts that contain personal opinions and conjecture, points of view arrived at from meditative experiences, conversations with devas, blind faith in the supreme veracity of one's own teacher's point of view etc. are all regarded as off-topic, and as such, will be subject to moderator review and/or removal.
So I'm assuming that "personal opinions and conjecture" etc are okay if supported with the reference to the Pali Canon or an author representative of the Classical point-of-view?
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The guidelines are similar to those on the corresponding E-Sangha forums, but over there there are some examples of authors who are considered to represent the Classical point of view reasonably well:
[* E.g., Ledi Sayādaw, Mahāsi Sayādaw, U Thittila, Ñāṇamoli, Ñāṇatiloka, Ñāṇaponika, Bhikkhu Bodhi, Sujin Boriharnwanakhet, Nina van Gorkom, Rupert Gethin, Lance Cousins, George Bond &c.]
Teachers who could be considered "non-Classical" or "not-particularly-classical" would, in my view, include Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Goenka, Buddhadassa, Mun, most of Ajahn Chah's students, ...
Of course, some like their teachings "Classical" and some "Modern". However, I think it is important to understand who is who.
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MMK23 wrote:What does "an author representative of the Classical point-of-view" mean?
The general rule of thumb would be that what is quoted is not at odds with the point of views expressed in the Pali commentaries. I assume you know which authors generally tend to fall into which camp, but if not, refer to the list Mike has given above for some guidance.
MMK23 wrote:what are the moderators agendas?
To enable those who are interested in the traditional Theravada commentarial perspective to be able to discuss it without being (best case) disrupted, or (worst case) harrassed, by people expressing alternative non-traditional perspectives.
MMK23 wrote:So I'm assuming that "personal opinions and conjecture" etc are okay if supported with the reference to the Pali Canon or an author representative of the Classical point-of-view?
Better to find and present your views framed around sutta or commentarial extracts... leaving the "personal" aspects for one of the other forums.
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)
"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine
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MMK23 wrote:In the academic community there is even a growing tendency to avoid essentialist discussion of "Theravada" as some doubt the assumed continuinty and community between the vastly different extant sub-Theravadas
Could you please elaborate on this statement? What vastly different extant sub-Theravadas are you referring to?
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Peter wrote:Could you please elaborate on this statement? What vastly different extant sub-Theravadas are you referring to?
In the Pali commentaries and chronicles the name 'Theravada' is used in two senses: narrowly as a name for the tradition preserved at the Mahavihara (as opposed to those at the rival viharas in Anuradhapura), and broadly, as a collective name for all the schools descended from the conservative monks at the second council (as opposed to the schools descended from the Mahasanghika faction). The latter sense of the term would include, for example, the Sarvastivada and its various offshoots.
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