Theravada is a later sect?

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robertk
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Theravada is a later sect?

Post by robertk » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:42 am

I saw this post on another thread.
Many centuries ago Hinayana was first used as a term for criticism for an attitude as Mahayana was used as a term of praise for another attitude. Only later did a group of self-identified Mahayana sects emerge. Hinayana was applied to about 18 sects as general criticism. Theravada emerges as a distinct sect later and is never mentioned by Indian Buddhist writers (hence it was never called Hinayana by anybody in the day). Early Western scholars during the re-discovery of extinct Indian Buddhism misidentified Theravada with the 18 or so schools and the term Hinayana. This gets fed back into Asian Buddhists who had had little previous substantive knowledge of each other

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robertk
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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by robertk » Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:26 am

.This is from the dipavamsa an ancient Buddhist text:



At the time of the Parinibbana (which Buddha at-
tained) at Kusinara, best of towns, seven hundred thou-
sand (spiritual) sons of the Jina assembled. 2. In this
assembly Thera kassapa was chief, he who resembled
the Teacher, a great leader; on earth is not his equal.
3. Kassapa, after having selected five hundred amongst
the Arahats, taking always the most worthy ones, compo-
sed the collection of the Dhamma. 4. Out of compassion
for created beings, in order to establish the Faith for a
long time, he made, after the lapse of three months, when
the fourth month and the second beginning of the Vassa ^)
had arrived, the collection of the Dhamma. 5. At the
entrance of the Sattapanna cave, in the Magadha tovm
Giribbaja (Rajagaha), this first council was finished afler
seven months. 6. At this council many Bhikkhus (were
present), the original depositaries (of the Faith), and who
had all reached perfection in the doctrine of the protector
of the world. 7. Eassapa was the chief propounder of
the Dhutavada precepts according to the doctrine of the
Jina; Ananda was the first of those learned (in the Sut-
tas), (the Thera) called Upali was chief in the Vinaya,
— 8. Anuruddha in the supernatural visions, Yangisa in
promptly comprehending, Punna among the preachers of
the Dhamma, Eumarakassapa among the students of various
tales, — 9. Eaccana in establishing distinctions, Eotthita
in analytical knowledge. There were, besides, many other



1) See Mah&vagga, 8, 2.



5, 9-21. 139

great Theras who were original depositaries (of the Faith).
30. By these and other saintly Theras who had falfilled
their duties, to the number of five hundred, was the col-
lection of the Dhamma and of the Yinaya made; because
it was collected by the Theras, it is called the doctrine
of the Theras (theravddd). 11. They composed the col-
lection of the Dhamma and of the whole Yinaya by con-
sulting UpMi about the Yinaya and learned Ananda about
the Dhamma. 12. 13. Both these, Thera Upali and Ananda
who had obtained perfection in the true Doctrine, had
learned the Dhamma and Yinaya from the Jina; and, cle-
ver in the Suttas, they proclaimed what had been taught
in long expositions and also without exposition, the natural
meaning as well as the recondite meaning. 14. Having
received the perfect word (of Buddha), the first (among
doctrines), from the first (among teachers), these Theras
and original depositaries (of the Faith) made the first col-
lection. Hence this doctrine of the Theras is also called
the first (or primitive) doctrine. 15. The most excellent
Therav&da remained pure and faultless for a long time,
for ten times ten years.

16. When the first hundred years had been comple-
ted and the second century had begun, a great schism
happened, a most violent one, in the doctrine of the The-
ras. 17. 18. Twelve thousand Yajjiputtas of Yesali assem-
bled and proclaimed at Yesali, best of towns, the ten in-
dulgences in the doctrine of Buddha, viz. : the indulgence
of (keeping) salt in a horn, of the two inches, of the
village and the monastery, of residences, of (obtaining)
consent, of example, of milk -whey, of toddy, of silver, of
seats without fringes. 19. They proclaimed (a doctrine)
which was against the Faith, against the discipline, and
repugnant to the doctrine of the Teacher; splitting the
(true) meaning and the Faith, they proclaimed what was
contrary to it. 20. In order to subdue them, many pupils
of Buddha, twelve hundred thousand (spiritual) sons of
the Jina, assembled. 21. In this congregation the eight
chief Bhikkhus, resembling the Master, great leaders, diffi-



10 5, 11-86.

lit to conquer, great teaobers, were — 22. Sabbakflmt
id S&lba, Rerata, Khujjasobbita, Visabhag&mi and Su-
ana, Satnbbflta who resided at Sana, — 23. Yaea, the
m of K&kandaka, a sage praised by the Jina. In order
subdue those wicked men (the Vajjiputtas), they came
Ves&]t. 24. V&sabh^&mi and Snmana were pupils of
nurnddba, the other Theras (pupils) of Aoanda; they had
1 formerly seen Tathagata. 25. At that time Asoka, the
in of SusunAga, was king; that prince ruled in the town
' Pitaliputta. 26. The eight Theras of great (supematu-
J) power gained one party for themselves, and destroy-
g (the doctrine of) the ten indulgences they annihilated
lose wicked ones. 27. 2S. Afler having annihilated the
icked Bhikkhus and after having crushed the sinful doc-
ine, those eight Theras of great (supernatural) power,
ose BhikkhuB selected seven hundred Arahats, choosing
,e best ones, in order to purify their own doctrine, and
tld a council. 29. This second council was finished in
ght months at YesiJt, best of towns, in the hall called
fltigara.

30. 31. The wicked Bhikkhus, the YajjiputtakaB who
id been excommunicated by the Theras, gained another
irty; and many people, holding the wrong doctrine, ten
lousand, assembled and (also) held a council. Therefore
lie Dhamma council is called the Great Council (makd-
mtffiti).

32. The Bhikkhus of the Great Council settled a doc-
ine contrary (to the true Faith). Altering the original
idaction they made another redaction. 33. They trans-
wed Suttas which belonged to one place (of the col-
ction), to another place; they destroyed the (true) meaning
id the Faith, in the Yinaya and in the five Collections
>f Suttas). 3i. 35. Those Bhikkhus, who understood
iither what had been taught in long expositions nor
ithout exposition, neither the natural meaning nor the
condite meaning, settled a false meaning in connectioa
ith spnrious speeches of Buddha; these Bhikkhus de-
royed a great deal of (true) meaning under tlie colour



5, 86—60. 141

of the letter. 36. Rejecting single passages of the Suttas
and of the profound Vinaya, they composed other Suttas
and another Vinaya which had (only) the appearance (of
the genuine ones). 37. Rejecting the following texts, viz.:
the Parivara which -is an abstract of the contents (of the
Yinaya), the six sections of the Abhidhamma, the Pati-
sambhida, the Niddesa, and some portions of the JMaka,
they composed new ones. 38. Forsaking the original rules
regarding nouns, genders, composition, and the embellish-
ments of style, they changed all that.

39. Those who held the Great Council were the first
schismatics; in imitation of them many heretics arose.
40. Afterwards a schism occurred in that (new school);
the Gokulika and Ekabyohara Bhikkhus formed two divi-
sions. 41. Afterwards two schisms took place amongst
the Gokulikas : the Bahussutaka and the Pannatti Bhikkhus
formed two divisions. 42. 43. And opposing these were
the Cetiyas, (another) division of the Mahasamgitikas.
All these five sects, originating from the Mah&samgitikas,
split the (true) meaning and the Doctrine and some por-
tions of the Collection ; setting aside some portions of dif-
ficult passages, they altered them. 44. Forsaking the ori-
ginal rules regarding nouns, genders, composition, and the
embellishments of style, they changed all that.

45. In the orthodox school of the Theras again a
schism occurred: the Mahimsasaka and Vajjiputtaka Bhi-
kkhus formed two sections. 46. In the school of the Vajji-
puttakas four sections arose, viz.: the Dhammuttarikas,
Bhaddayanikas, Channagarikas, and Sammitis. 47. In later
times two divisions arose among the Mabimsasakas : the
Sabbatthivada and Dhammagutta Bhikkhus formed two
divisions. 48. The Sabbatthivadas and Eassapikas, the
Eassapikas and Samkantikas, and subsequently another
section, the Suttavadas, separated themselves in their turn.
49. These eleven schools which separated themselves from
the Theravada, split the (true) meaning and the Doctrine
and some portions of the Collection; setting aside some
portions of difficult passages, they altered them. 50. For-



/



f 5, 60—61.

ing the original rules regarding qoudb, genders, com-
lition, and the embellishments of stjie, they changed
that

51. Seventeen are the heretical sectA, and there is
I orthodox sect; together with the orthodox sect they
eighteen at all. 52. The most excellent Therav4da
ich resembles a large banyan tree, is the complete doc-
le of the Jina, free from omissions or additions. The
er schools arose as thorns grow on the tree. 53. In
first century there were no schisms; in the second cen-
y arose Uie seventeen hereti';al schools in the religion
the Jina. 54. The Hemavatikas, R&jagirikas, Siddha-
as, Pubba- and Apsraselikas, and sixthly the Apara-
jagirikas arose one after the other.
Here ends the descriptioD of the schools of the
teachers.

(At the time of the second Council the Theras fore-
r the following events *) :

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robertk
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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by robertk » Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:58 am

This is about the third council:
When (Asoka) had com-
pleted three years, (the story of) Kigrodba (happened),
after the fourth year (he put hie) brothers (to death), after
hia sixth year Mahinda, the aon of Asoka, received the
Pabbajja ordination. 32. Both sons of Kontt, the Theras
Tissa and Sumitta, who possessed the great (magical)
faculties, attained ParinibbSna after Asoka's eighth year.
33. Those royal children received the Pabbajja ordination,
and both Theras attained Nibb^na.

34. Many Khattiyas and Brahmans declared their in-
tention of becoming lay disciples , and great gain and
honour accrued to the faith of Buddha; — 35. the schis-
matics and heretics lost both gain and honour. Panda-
raiigas and Jatilas, Niganthas, Acelakas, and others —
36. resided (in the Buddhist Viharas) during seven years;
the Uposatha ceremonies were performed by incomplete
congregations; saintly, clever, and modest men did not
appear at the Uposatha ceremonies. 37. When a hundred
years and (another) hundred and thirty-sis had elapsed
(after the Parinibb^na of the Buddha), sixty thousand Bhi-
kkhus dwelt in the Asok^rama. 38. Ajivakas and secta-
rians of different descriptions ruined the Doctrine; all of
them wearing the yellow robe injured the doctrine of the
Jiua. 39. Surrounded by one thousand Bhikkhue, Mo-
ggaliputta, the chief of the school, who possessed the six
(supernatural) powers and the great (magical) faculties,
convened a Council. 40. Wise Moggaliputta, the destroyer
of the schismatic doctrines, firmly established the Thera-
vada and held the third Council. 41. Having destroyed
the different (heretical) doctrines and subdued many shame-
less people and restored splendour to the (true) faith, he
proclaimed (the treatise called) KatLavatthu. 42, From
that Moggaliputta Mahinda, who was the pupil of that
teacher, learnt the true religion. 43. (Moggaliputta) taught
him the five Nibayas and the seven sections (of the Abhi-
dhamma); he the hero, the clever one learnt from his
teacher the two Yibhangas of the Vinaya, the Parivara,
and the Khandhaka.



158 7, i*-68.

44. When the second century and thirty-aiz years
more had elapsed (since the Buddha's death), again a most
dreadful schism arose in the Therav&da. 45. Id the city
of P&taliputta ruled prince DhammAsoka, a great king,
who was a believer in the futh of Buddha. 46. He be-
stowed great gifts on the Samgha, the hest and most ex-
cellent of congregations; in one day he expended four
lacs. 47. One he gave in honour of the Cetiyas, anoUier
for the preaching of the Dhamma, one for the require-
ments of the sick, one to the Samgha. 48. Infidels, sixty
thousand in number, seeing this gain and these great
honours, furtively attached themselves (to the Samgha).
49. The P&timokkba ceremonies in the monastery of the
Asokir&ma were interrupted; a minister who ordered the
P&timokkha ceremonies to be performed, killed (some) of
the Saints. 50. In order to destroy the infidels, many dis-
ciples of Buddha, sixty thousand sons of the Jina assem-
bled. 51. At that convocation the son of Moggalt was
the president, a great chief, similar to the Teacher; he
had not his like on earth. 52. The king asked the Thera
about the case of the slaughter of the Saints; having per-
formed a miracle, he satisfied the desire of the king.
53. Having received the Doctrine from the Thera, the
king destroyed the Bhikkhu emblems of those who bad
furtively attached themselves (to the Samgha). 54, The
reckless infidels, performing the Pabbajja rite according to
their own doctrine, injured the faith of the Buddha just
as (men mix) pure gold (with baser metals). 55. They all
were sectarian, opposed to the Therav4da; and in order
to annihilate them and to make his own doctrine resplen-
dent, — 56. the Thera set forth the treatise belon^ng to
the Abhidhamma, which is called Eatbavatthu. A siniilar
punishment, a similar destruction of an opposite doctrine
never occurred. 57. 58. After having promulgated the
treatise called Kath&vatthu which belongs to the Abhi-
dhamma, the presiding Thera, in order to purify his own
doctrine and (to establish) the Faith for a long time, se-
lected one thousand Arahats, choosing the best ones, and



7, 68 — 8, 12. 159

held a Council. 59. In the monastery of the Asok&rama
which had been built by king Dhammafioka, this third
convocation was finished in the space of nine months.

Here ends the Council of the true Faith which

lasted nine months.

Caodemarte
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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by Caodemarte » Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:01 pm

There have been long discussions here about this topic. In short: The Dipavasma is a Sri Lankan propaganda work to advance the Anuradhapura Maha Viharaya. It has, as one (Sri Lankan) translation puts it has "zero historical value" concerning the Indian history of Buddhism. The disputes on whether or not the 3rd Council took place and if so what took place can easily be found with a little research. The claim that a distinct Theravada sect was present, if it took place at all, is simply not historically viable.

Theravada, as a distinct sect, emerged after a series of splits. It looked back to a much earlier sect (which is often misidentified as the Theravada sect, rather than as an ancestor, especially by early translators and by eager partisans) for inspiration and considered itself the spritual inheritor of that sect (which were probably not an orgainized sect so much as a loose like minded group). It denied the claims of the other sects that they were the sole rightful inheritors. Again, no Indian text from the times of the emergence of the Mahayana until its Indian extinction mentions Theravada, which implies that they were not a competitor. Hence they were not a target in the polemical wars where the term Hinayana was tossed about when it was first used.

So the question is later than what? Later than some, earlier than others. And with that glib answer I will bow out rather than repeat the earlier discussions.

Bakmoon
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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by Bakmoon » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:15 pm

robertk wrote:I saw this post on another thread.
Many centuries ago Hinayana was first used as a term for criticism for an attitude as Mahayana was used as a term of praise for another attitude. Only later did a group of self-identified Mahayana sects emerge. Hinayana was applied to about 18 sects as general criticism. Theravada emerges as a distinct sect later and is never mentioned by Indian Buddhist writers (hence it was never called Hinayana by anybody in the day). Early Western scholars during the re-discovery of extinct Indian Buddhism misidentified Theravada with the 18 or so schools and the term Hinayana. This gets fed back into Asian Buddhists who had had little previous substantive knowledge of each other
I've never heard that before. I've made the case that Mahayana criticism of 'Hinayana' is really based mostly on other non-Theravada schools like the Sarvastivadins and so on, but I've never come across the idea in western scholarship that the Theravada school isn't one of the 18 schools.

Maybe the person who wrote that misunderstood something about the history of the name Theravada, and how the Theravada school isn't identical with the Theravada from the Theravada-Mahasamgika split, because that earlier group gave birth to a number of other groups.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

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robertk
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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by robertk » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:00 am

The Dipavamsa is an ancient record of largely historical events and many sections are confirmed by the Atthakatha (the ancient Commentaries).

Clearly the Theravada follows the Tipitaka as laid down at the first council ..

To see how wonderful and faithful to the Dhamma were the ancient Theravada bhikkhus consider this from the time of King asoka- when evil monks had joined the sangha and the true sangha refused - rightly- to hold uposatha with these wrongviewers.


When the Asoka heard about this he thought - with his limited understanding - to make the two sides join together and sent his minister to the monks with the command that they perform the ceremony. Naturally the True monks refused to have uposatha with such evil doers. The minister , not being a Buddhist, decided to force them to follow - and started beheading any monks who refused-( none of the good monks would agree). The King's brother (I think it was) saw this happening and put himself in the line and the minister recognised him and stopped the killing.

later Asoka asked Moggaliputtatissa's what he should do and at that time the 3rd council was convened.

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Dmytro
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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by Dmytro » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:47 am

Caodemarte wrote:Again, no Indian text from the times of the emergence of the Mahayana until its Indian extinction mentions Theravada
Indian texts of 8th-12th century consistently describe "Ariya-Sthavira Nikaya" as consisting of three Sri Lankan schools,

- Jetavaniya;
- Abhayagiri-vasin;
- Mahavihara-vasin.

http://www.safarmer.com/Indo-Eurasian/N ... df#page=19
http://www.safarmer.com/Indo-Eurasian/N ... df#page=22

In Samskrt-asamskrta-vinishcaya of Dasabalashrimitra, Vimuttimagga is cited as the work of "Ariya-Sthavira Nikaya".

By this time in India, no other schools are included by the Indian texts in "Ariya-Sthavira Nikaya".

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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by Caodemarte » Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:06 am

https://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.p ... 1&start=60 " Historical accuracy of the Theravada" and probably elsewhere pretty well covers the headline topic. I would refer anybody interested in the topic to refer to that discussion. There seems no reason to repeat it.

However, since I have been quoted on the question of Theravada being absent from the target lists of early Indian Mahayanist polemics, let me note again that as far as I can determine moden scholarship is clear that Theravada is not mentioned as such in the various lists of 18- 21 "Hinayana " schools or other extant Indian Mahayana partisan polemics back in the day. The contrary can only be claimed if you completely identify the Sthavira (or some other mentioned group) as being the same thing as Theravada (as a title of a sect, not the meaning of the word or tendency).

From the cited discussion: Theravada claims direct descent from Sthaviravada and sometimes claims to be a pure continuation of Sthaviravada, with no credible evidence of either. However, this is impossible as the Sthaviravada had split up into several sub-schools by the time of Asoka. Hence there was no Sthaviravada as such by the putative 3rd Council, to which Thervada looked back to for inspiration. These sub-schools then further divided with Theravada eventually being formed out of these further divisions. Theravada also went with Pali as its canonical language, while it is unclear that the Sthaviravada had used Pali in its canon.(Skilton, Andrew. A Concise History of Buddhism. 2004. p. 67).

Now there is also a good argument that Sthaviravada is a back formation by A.K. Warder and that they were not a school or sect as such, but rather a general tendency among a loose grouping of like minded people. Much as "conservative" does not mean "Conservative Party organization," or democrat does not mean "Democratic Party." In that case, we and traditional Theravada are really misidentifying loose schools of philosophy with sects and none of the mentioned groups can be an organizational ancestor of Theravada, let alone the same thing.

Absence of evidence does not mean evidence of absence, but it sure isn't proof of presence. So until any non-faith based proof does surface, the betting is that the Theravada was not criticized as being "Hinayana" and absent from any of the lists because it did not exist as such at the time,was not a competitor (too far south to count for more Northern based partisans?), or was simply unknown by the partisans. For whatever reason, there is no extant recorded mention, although you can speculate that it would have been on the hit list if the Mahayanist partisans knew of it and saw it as competition. That, however, is not historical thinking.
Last edited by Caodemarte on Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Mkoll
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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by Mkoll » Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:47 am

If you're practicing in the right direction overall, who cares whether the sect you're most partial to is historically earlier or later? You might reach the goal earlier or later than others but again, who cares? It's not a gorramn competition!
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by SarathW » Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:48 am

Well said Mkoll.
I did not want to say the same thing as I did not want to be the party pooper.
What really matters is whether you can attain the goal in what ever means available.
You will know this only by practicing it. Not by getting to a historical argument.
Even Buddha had to test so many teachers.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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robertk
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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by robertk » Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:53 am

Mkoll wrote:If you're practicing in the right direction overall, who cares whether the sect you're most partial to is historically earlier or later? You might reach the goal earlier or later than others but again, who cares? It's not a gorramn competition!
Because if it is true that Theravada is some faked up sect that, right from the beginning, made up its doctrine then people have a right to know this.

In fact though, what I believe is that the ancients of Theravada - are the great ones who preserved the Dhamma so well, so it is available today ..

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"Monks, these two slander the Tathagata. Which two? He who explains what was not said or spoken by the Tathagata as said or spoken by the Tathagata. And he who explains what was said or spoken by the Tathagata as not said or spoken by the Tathagata. These are two who slander the Tathagata."

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Mkoll
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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by Mkoll » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:05 am

robertk wrote:
Mkoll wrote:If you're practicing in the right direction overall, who cares whether the sect you're most partial to is historically earlier or later? You might reach the goal earlier or later than others but again, who cares? It's not a gorramn competition!
Because if it is true that Theravada is some faked up sect that, right from the beginning, made up its doctrine then people have a right to know this.
Temporality ≠ Authenticity.
robertk wrote:In fact though, what I believe is that the ancients of Theravada - are the great ones who preserved the Dhamma so well, so it is available today ..

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"Monks, these two slander the Tathagata. Which two? He who explains what was not said or spoken by the Tathagata as said or spoken by the Tathagata. And he who explains what was said or spoken by the Tathagata as not said or spoken by the Tathagata. These are two who slander the Tathagata."
No doubt. And we are all indebted to them.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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robertk
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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by robertk » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:22 am

Let us look at the what these non-Theravda sects did.
from the Atthakatha to the Katthavathhu:

https://ia801601.us.archive.org/17/item ... e_text.pdf

by those Elders who had performed this task, ten
thousand of the Vajjiputtaka bhikkhus seeking adherents
and gaining- but a weak following among themselves,
formed the school called (1) Mahasanghika.^ From this
arose the secession of two other schools :-the (2) Go^ulikas
and the (3) Ekabboharikas. [...]

Thus from the Theravada arose these eleven seceding
bodies, making twelve in all. And thus these twelve,
to"ether with the six schools of the Mahasanghikas, constitute
the eighteen schools which arose in the second
century. They are also known as the eighteen groups, and
as the eighteen sects. But of the eighteen, seventeen
schools are to be understood as being schismatics, the

Theravada only being non schismatic

[...]Therefore this Dhamma Council [called by the evil monks] called the Great Council
The Bhikkhus of the Great Council recited a doctrine contrary [to
the true faith} altering the original redaction, tJic> made another
redaction They transposed Suttas, which belonged to one place [of
the collection], to another place, they destroyed the [true] meaning
and the Faith in the [..] and in the hie Collections [of SuttasJ.
Those Bhikkuhus who understood neither what had been taught in long
expositions, nor without exposition. neither the natural meaning nor
the recondite meaning settled a false meaning in connection with
spurious speeches of the Buddha These bhikkuus destroyed a great
deal of [true] meaning
•Rejecting
passages of the Suttas and of the profound vinaya, they composed
other Suttas and another which had [only] the appearance[of
the genuine ones] Rejecting the other texts—that Is to «ay, tbs
BnnT&ra which u an abstract of the contents [of the Vinaya]— the six
sections of the Abhidhamma the Patisambhidhimagga, the Kidde<a, and
portions of the Jataki, they composed new ones They change!
their names, their appearance, requisites, and gestures, forsal ing what
was original ..


Thus it matters a great deal that both the letter and the meaning of the Dhamma was preserved- which thanks to the first , second and 3rd councils it was. We see that from stupidity or evil intent monks (and laypeople too ) have attempted through millenia to alter and delete portions of the Dhamma taught by the Buddha. It is still happening today.

Caodemarte
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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by Caodemarte » Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:53 pm

SarathW wrote:Well said Mkoll.
I did not want to say the same thing as I did not want to be the party pooper.
What really matters is whether you can attain the goal in what ever means available.
You will know this only by practicing it. Not by getting to a historical argument.
Even Buddha had to test so many teachers.
Very true. Historical speculation is interesting on its own terms. It can be very useful in shaking our attachments and ego. Only actual practice can confirm religious truth. Would we question Newton's physics if we discovered they were written by Bob Smith? Or would we let reason, practice, and experiment be our guide?

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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by Bakmoon » Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:34 am

Caodemarte wrote:From the cited discussion: Theravada claims direct descent from Sthaviravada and sometimes claims to be a pure continuation of Sthaviravada, with no credible evidence of either. However, this is impossible as the Sthaviravada had split up into several sub-schools by the time of Asoka. Hence there was no Sthaviravada as such by the putative 3rd Council, to which Thervada looked back to for inspiration.
I don't quite understand. What is problematic with saying that the Theravada school is one of the descendents of the Sthaviravada branch?
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

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Dmytro
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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by Dmytro » Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:04 am

Caodemarte wrote:Now there is also a good argument that Sthaviravada is a back formation by A.K. Warder and that they were not a school or sect as such, but rather a general tendency among a loose grouping of like minded people.
Sthaviravada as an original early school is not just a back formation, it is a figment of imagination, made by Sanskritization of the word "Theravada" by some Buddhologists. During the Theravada-Mahasanghika split, Sanskrit didn't yet exist, so the Sanskrit word "Sthavira" couldn't have been used. It was coined only in the first centuries CE, during Sanskritization:

https://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=28943

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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by Bakmoon » Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:30 am

Dmytro wrote:
Caodemarte wrote:Now there is also a good argument that Sthaviravada is a back formation by A.K. Warder and that they were not a school or sect as such, but rather a general tendency among a loose grouping of like minded people.
Sthaviravada as an original early school is not just a back formation, it is a figment of imagination, made by Sanskritization of the word "Theravada" by some Buddhologists. During the Theravada-Mahasanghika split, Sanskrit didn't yet exist, so the Sanskrit word "Sthavira" couldn't have been used. It was coined only in the first centuries CE, during Sanskritization:

https://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=28943
Sanskrit most definately existed at the time. What language do you think the Vedas were composed in?

Yes, the term Sthaviravada is a backformation, but it is done for the sake of disambiguation. At the time of the first split, the distinctive doctrinal positions of the Theravada school hadn't been fleshed out yet, and the group gave birth to a number of other different schools such as the Sarvastivada, Dharmaguptaka, and Sammitiya groups. The Theravada school along with these other schools are all descended from an early group, so what is wrong with giving a technical name to such a group?
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by Dmytro » Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:26 pm

Bakmoon wrote:Sanskrit most definately existed at the time. What language do you think the Vedas were composed in?
Vedic language. Ven. Dhammanando explained the difference:
https://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.p ... 20#p416041
Bakmoon wrote:Yes, the term Sthaviravada is a backformation, but it is done for the sake of disambiguation. At the time of the first split, the distinctive doctrinal positions of the Theravada school hadn't been fleshed out yet, and the group gave birth to a number of other different schools such as the Sarvastivada, Dharmaguptaka, and Sammitiya groups. The Theravada school along with these other schools are all descended from an early group, so what is wrong with giving a technical name to such a group?
Just one thing - it's a pure figment of imagination.

Indian authoritative texts (which I referenced above) acknowledge the continuity of ancient Theravada with Theravada of 8-12th centuries on Sri Lanka, giving it the same name - Ariya-Sthavira Nikaya. These texts were composed by the scholars who lived at the time, and knew the Sri Lankan schools very well.

Seems like schools that splitted of Theravada - Sarvastivada, Dharmaguptaka, and Sammitiya, - for some time continued to pretend that they are still Theravada, and were classified accordingly, bringing about some confusion. But by the 8th century things were eventually sorted out, and these schools were put out of "Ariya-Sthavira" category.

Mahasanghika seceded from Theravada on the Second Buddhist Council. Doctrinal tenets of Theravada were fleshed out in Katthavatthu on the Third Buddhist Council, just one century later. And modern Theravada firmly upholds these tenets. So I don't see any reason to artificially separate Theravada preserved on Sri Lanka from the Theravada of the Second Council.

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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by Caodemarte » Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:16 pm

Bakmoon wrote:
Caodemarte wrote:From the cited discussion: Theravada claims direct descent from Sthaviravada and sometimes claims to be a pure continuation of Sthaviravada, with no credible evidence of either. However, this is impossible as the Sthaviravada had split up into several sub-schools by the time of Asoka. Hence there was no Sthaviravada as such by the putative 3rd Council, to which Thervada looked back to for inspiration.
I don't quite understand. What is problematic with saying that the Theravada school is one of the descendents of the Sthaviravada branch?
The reference cited says that there is no credible evidence of the claim of direct descent from Sthaviravada. Claims to be a pure continuation of Sthavirada from the putative 3rd Council on are impossible as Sthavirada had split up and did not exist as such by the time of that claimed event. You can claim that Sthavirada is one of the distant ancestors of Theravada if you have evidence of that. I suspect it to be true on logical grounds, but I, an admitted non-specialist, personally have not seen any evidence beyond partisan claims. Further details are available by examining the referenced text or the referenced discussion.

Nothing wrong with claiming (with evidence and reason) that you are a recreation of, share the same spirit with, or a spiritual continuation of something, but that is an ideological, mythological, or ahistorical claim which has different standards of evidence. For example, "Shakespeare inherited the soul of Homer." is obviously false or at best unproven if taken as statement on mere historical fact.

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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by Bakmoon » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:47 pm

Dmytro wrote:Indian authoritative texts (which I referenced above) acknowledge the continuity of ancient Theravada with Theravada of 8-12th centuries on Sri Lanka, giving it the same name - Ariya-Sthavira Nikaya. These texts were composed by the scholars who lived at the time, and knew the Sri Lankan schools very well.
But is the Theravada school the only school that has the continuity with the group from the time of the second council? I don't think so.

Seems like schools that splitted of Theravada - Sarvastivada, Dharmaguptaka, and Sammitiya, - for some time continued to pretend that they are still Theravada, and were classified accordingly, bringing about some confusion. But by the 8th century things were eventually sorted out, and these schools were put out of "Ariya-Sthavira" category.[/quote]
These groups have never claimed to be part of the Theravada tradition in the sense of being part of the school well known in Sri Lanka at the time. But they did claim to be descended from the group from the second council, and that seems to be true. What is wrong with using the technical term Sthaviravada to unambiguously refer to the group at the time of the second council?
Dmytro wrote:Mahasanghika seceded from Theravada on the Second Buddhist Council. Doctrinal tenets of Theravada were fleshed out in Katthavatthu on the Third Buddhist Council, just one century later. And modern Theravada firmly upholds these tenets. So I don't see any reason to artificially separate Theravada preserved on Sri Lanka from the Theravada of the Second Council.
But did the Theravadins at the time of the second council uphold all of the tenets laid out in the Katthavatthu? Probably not, because those issues hadn't been debated yet, so it is misleading to refer to them with the term Theravada because they existed prior to the founding of the Theravada school as we know it.
Caodemarte wrote:The reference cited says that there is no credible evidence of the claim of direct descent from Sthaviravada. Claims to be a pure continuation of Sthavirada from the putative 3rd Council on are impossible as Sthavirada had split up and did not exist as such by the time of that claimed event. You can claim that Sthavirada is one of the distant ancestors of Theravada if you have evidence of that. I suspect it to be true on logical grounds, but I, an admitted non-specialist, personally have not seen any evidence beyond partisan claims. Further details are available by examining the referenced text or the referenced discussion.
The historical materials of the different Buddhist schools have historical information on how different groups split up. They don't always agree with each other on who exactly split off from who and in what order, but they agree on certain basics, such as there being a split between the Mahasamgikas and the Sthaviravadins, and the Mahasamgikas gave rise to groups like Lokottaravada and such, and the Sthaviravada group gave rise to other groups like Sarvastivada, Dharmaguptaka, Theravada, Sammitiya, etc... There's no evidence that the Theravada school came from the Mahasamgikas, so if they didn't come from the Sthaviravada group, where did they come from?
Caodemarte wrote:Nothing wrong with claiming (with evidence and reason) that you are a recreation of, share the same spirit with, or a spiritual continuation of something, but that is an ideological, mythological, or ahistorical claim which has different standards of evidence. For example, "Shakespeare inherited the soul of Homer." is obviously false or at best unproven if taken as statement on mere historical fact.
But in the case of the various Sthavira schools already mentioned (i.e. the Sarvastivada, Theravada, etc...) there is a clear historical continuity between the early Sthaviravada group and the various groups which developed out of it. It's not a case of just general inspiration.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

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