Theravada is a later sect?

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by Coëmgenu » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:45 pm

Caodemarte wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:
Bakmoon wrote: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?
Theravāda was the island tradition of Sri Lanka for a long time, or at least that is the narrative I have inherited, we will see if it is pounced upon! :jawdrop: If it "came" from anywhere, probably there.

Theravāda is the last un-Mahāyānified school. That alone makes it very interesting, as there used to be more sects like Theravāda, but slightly different, but they all converted to Mahāyāna eventually except for Theravāda.

Would it not be truer to say that Tantric Buddhism was the island tradition, the Buddhism that Theravada (or rather Theravada with its court sponsors) replaced and suppressed on the island, before it became "the tradition for a long time?"
But isn't it just as unrealistic to say that Theravāda "sprung up" after Tantric Buddhism in Sri Lanka as it is to parrot dominant Sri Lankan views of their own history? It strikes me as reasonable that the two co-existed. In fact, I thought that this was the dominant narrative: that Mahāyāna & Theravāda-antecedents co-existed in Sri Lanka after Mahāyāna sūtras arrived from India at some point that is unfortunately unknown given the effects of the climate of Sri Lanka on manuscripts. Perhaps its wrong or misinformed.
如無為,如是難見、不動、不屈、不死、無漏、覆蔭、洲渚、濟渡、依止、擁護、不流轉、離熾焰、離燒然、流通、清涼、微妙、安隱、無病、無所有、涅槃。
Like this is the uncreated, like this is that which is difficult to realize, with no moving, no bending, no dying. Utterly lacking secretions and smothered in the dark, it is the island shore. Where there is ferrying, it is the crossing. It is dependency's ceasing, it is the end of circulating transmissions. It is the exhaustion of the flame, it is the ending of the burning. Flowing openly, pure and cool, with secret subtlety, and calm occultation, lacking ailment, lacking owning, nirvāṇa.
Asaṁskṛtadharmasūtra, Sermon on the Uncreated Phenomenon, T99.224b7, Saṁyuktāgama 890

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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by Caodemarte » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:04 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:But isn't it just as unrealistic to say that Theravāda "sprung up" after Tantric Buddhism in Sri Lanka as it is to parrot dominant Sri Lankan views of their own history? It strikes me as reasonable that the two co-existed. In fact, I thought that this was the dominant narrative: that Mahāyāna & Theravāda-antecedents co-existed in Sri Lanka after Mahāyāna sūtras arrived from India at some point that is unfortunately unknown given the effects of the climate of Sri Lanka on manuscripts. Perhaps its wrong or misinformed.
Many schools of thought existed in Sri Lanka and many texts were studied. I would be very cautious about claiming that texts that later became the Theravada canon arrived first. However, Tantric Buddhism became the court favorite and became "the tradition" of the country. Well, you know how state sponsorship ends. A new court took over and eliminated the religious allies of its rival and imposed Theravada. Theravada, by force, then becomes the dominant tradition of Sri Lanka.This is much more "pressing down" than "springing up." Any standard Sri Lanka history book written by Sri Lankan academics,if not every single oddball partisan, will go into detail on this. EDIT: So this is the "dominant Sri Lankan view of their own history." I don't believe even many partisans would dispute it, although they might add that they think the court did a very good thing!
Last edited by Caodemarte on Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by Coëmgenu » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:06 pm

Caodemarte wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:But isn't it just as unrealistic to say that Theravāda "sprung up" after Tantric Buddhism in Sri Lanka as it is to parrot dominant Sri Lankan views of their own history? It strikes me as reasonable that the two co-existed. In fact, I thought that this was the dominant narrative: that Mahāyāna & Theravāda-antecedents co-existed in Sri Lanka after Mahāyāna sūtras arrived from India at some point that is unfortunately unknown given the effects of the climate of Sri Lanka on manuscripts. Perhaps its wrong or misinformed.
Many schools of thought existed in Sri Lanka and many texts were studied. I would be very cautious about claiming that texts that later became the Theravada canon texts arrived first. However, Tantric Buddhism became the court favorite and became "the tradition" of the country. Well, you know how state sponsorship ends. A new court took over and eliminated the religious allies of its rival and imposed Theravada. Theravada, by force, then becomes the dominant tradition of Sri Lanka.This much more "pressing down" than "springing up." Any standard Sri Lanka history book written by Sri Lankan academics, not partisans, will go into great detail on this.
Oh indeed. As I recall there was also some violence towards non-Mahāyāna monasteries or practitioners or both at one point as well. But its always a shame when a tradition dies out.
如無為,如是難見、不動、不屈、不死、無漏、覆蔭、洲渚、濟渡、依止、擁護、不流轉、離熾焰、離燒然、流通、清涼、微妙、安隱、無病、無所有、涅槃。
Like this is the uncreated, like this is that which is difficult to realize, with no moving, no bending, no dying. Utterly lacking secretions and smothered in the dark, it is the island shore. Where there is ferrying, it is the crossing. It is dependency's ceasing, it is the end of circulating transmissions. It is the exhaustion of the flame, it is the ending of the burning. Flowing openly, pure and cool, with secret subtlety, and calm occultation, lacking ailment, lacking owning, nirvāṇa.
Asaṁskṛtadharmasūtra, Sermon on the Uncreated Phenomenon, T99.224b7, Saṁyuktāgama 890

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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by Caodemarte » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:17 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Caodemarte wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:But isn't it just as unrealistic to say that Theravāda "sprung up" after Tantric Buddhism in Sri Lanka as it is to parrot dominant Sri Lankan views of their own history? It strikes me as reasonable that the two co-existed. In fact, I thought that this was the dominant narrative: that Mahāyāna & Theravāda-antecedents co-existed in Sri Lanka after Mahāyāna sūtras arrived from India at some point that is unfortunately unknown given the effects of the climate of Sri Lanka on manuscripts. Perhaps its wrong or misinformed.
Many schools of thought existed in Sri Lanka and many texts were studied. I would be very cautious about claiming that texts that later became the Theravada canon texts arrived first. However, Tantric Buddhism became the court favorite and became "the tradition" of the country. Well, you know how state sponsorship ends. A new court took over and eliminated the religious allies of its rival and imposed Theravada. Theravada, by force, then becomes the dominant tradition of Sri Lanka.This much more "pressing down" than "springing up." Any standard Sri Lanka history book written by Sri Lankan academics, not partisans, will go into great detail on this.
Oh indeed. As I recall there was also some violence towards non-Mahāyāna monasteries or practitioners or both at one point as well. But its always a shame when a tradition dies out.
Tantric Buddhism, which apparently replaced "Hindu" Tantricism in SE Asia, was also elimated for much the same reasons in Cambodia and elsewhere in the region. It was preserved in Central Asia. Tantricism was attractive for its reputation for the power of its rituals to protect the court. So when the court fell, its replacement often saw no reason to keep its enemy's power base around or any other alternative power base around for that matter.

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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by Coëmgenu » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:27 pm

Since Baxter-Sagart's Middle Chinese reconstructions happen to be available online...
Dmytro wrote:體毘履 which in modern pronunciation would be: ti pi lü. Someone better versed in early fifth century Chinese phonetics may be able to suggest how that sounded back then.
體毘履 = tʰeiX biɪ liɪX
Dmytro wrote:3. Paramartha (T.2033), in his version of Vasumitra, offers two forms of the name, both being translations rather than transliterations:

大德眾 da de zhong (Great Venerables)
上座弟子部 shangzuo dizi bu (High-Seat and Disciples School)
大德眾 = dɑiH tək t͡ɕɨuŋ

上座弟子部 = d͡ʑɨɐŋX d͡zuɑH deiX t͡sɨX buoX
Dmytro wrote:In addition, the Foguang Dictionary (p. 719c) lists some additional transliterations (I've added canonical citations):

1. 銅鍱部 modern pronunctiation = tong ye bu. [cf. T.54.2128.646c 一切經音義]

2. 他鞞羅部 modern pronunciation = ta bi luo bu.
銅鍱部 = duŋ d͡ʑiH buoX

他鞞羅部 = tʰɑ peŋ lɑ buoX <--- this one here seems closest to me, either that or the first.
如無為,如是難見、不動、不屈、不死、無漏、覆蔭、洲渚、濟渡、依止、擁護、不流轉、離熾焰、離燒然、流通、清涼、微妙、安隱、無病、無所有、涅槃。
Like this is the uncreated, like this is that which is difficult to realize, with no moving, no bending, no dying. Utterly lacking secretions and smothered in the dark, it is the island shore. Where there is ferrying, it is the crossing. It is dependency's ceasing, it is the end of circulating transmissions. It is the exhaustion of the flame, it is the ending of the burning. Flowing openly, pure and cool, with secret subtlety, and calm occultation, lacking ailment, lacking owning, nirvāṇa.
Asaṁskṛtadharmasūtra, Sermon on the Uncreated Phenomenon, T99.224b7, Saṁyuktāgama 890

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robertk
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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by robertk » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:09 am

Would it not be truer to say that Tantric Buddhism was the island tradition, the Buddhism that Theravada (or rather Theravada with its court sponsors) replaced and suppressed on the island, before it became "the tradition for a long time
Please supply the evidence that Tantric Buddhism - what is that?- was the tradition in Sri Lanka before Theravada.

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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by Caodemarte » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:33 pm

robertk wrote:
Would it not be truer to say that Tantric Buddhism was the island tradition, the Buddhism that Theravada (or rather Theravada with its court sponsors) replaced and suppressed on the island, before it became "the tradition for a long time
Please supply the evidence that Tantric Buddhism - what is that?- was the tradition in Sri Lanka before Theravada.


The historic presence of Tantric or Vajrayana Buddhism (most obvious today in Tibetan Buddhism and Japan's Shingon) in Sri Lanka is pretty obvious and easily seen. Any good comprehensive history will briefly discuss it. I am a fan of A History of Sri Lanka by de Silva.

Interestingly, after it lost royal support and the subsequent suppression, archeological and literary evidence shows that it continued to have a presence until the 12th century and small groups of people continued to practice it, probably in secret, well into the 15th century.

Works composed by Sri Lankan Tantric masters are included in the Tibetan canon, including a commentary on the Sadharmapundarika Sutra by Prithibandhu and Jayabanda’s Cakrasamvara Tantra. The most important of these works, Manjusrimitra’s Bodhicittabhavana, is one of the seminal texts on Dzong chen. This may represent a branch of that school which evolved in Sri Lanka independently of India and Tibet. The Indian Tantric siddha Vanaratana (1384-1468) went to Sri Lanka about 1404 and studied meditation for six years under Dharmakirti. As India was no longer a congenial place for a Buddhist by the time he left Sri Lanka he went to Nepal and from there made several trips to Tibet where he taught what he had learned from Dharmakirti. The Nalanda Gedage is the only major Tantric monument still existing in Sri Lanka and was built in about the 9th century.
Last edited by Caodemarte on Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by Dharmic » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:46 pm

robertk wrote:
Would it not be truer to say that Tantric Buddhism was the island tradition, the Buddhism that Theravada (or rather Theravada with its court sponsors) replaced and suppressed on the island, before it became "the tradition for a long time
Please supply the evidence that Tantric Buddhism - what is that?- was the tradition in Sri Lanka before Theravada.
Hi,

Like the Pāḷi tradition which was brought to Sri Lanka from India, another tradition came to the island after it, it was known as Vajrayāna/Tantric Buddhism.

Its teachings and practices are esoteric and it is taught through personal oral instructions. I'm not a Vajrayāna initiate, so I'm not privy to its doctrine and I know almost nothing about it. I read in history books that it was popular in Sri Lanka (and many other Buddhist countries) but the tradition here died (suppressed by cousins across the road? :spy: ). At different points of time there was some sectarian fighting amongst the Buddhist factions in Sri Lanka. The various schools (at times, through influencing the ruler/ruling group) tried to gain an upper hand over each other. (The ugly details can be found in traditional and history books.)

Tantric Buddhism's presence in Sri Lanka is attested by the many sites, sculptures ,inscriptions, accounts etc.. Notable Vajrayāna teachers such as Amoghavajra,Vajrabodhi etc. traveled to Sri Lanka to study it. There is no Vajrayāna as a tradition on the island now.

Formal Mahāyāna tradition too became extinct yet its ideals of Bodhisattva, Mahākaruṇa(Great Compassion) and Bodhisattvas remained popular. I mentioned a research work ( Buddha in the Crown: Avalokiteśvara in the Buddhist Traditions of Sri Lanka by John Clifford Holt ) in a previous discussion. From the book we know that thousand years later Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva veneration is still existing in Sri Lanka. It was an important feature of religious life.

While Mahāyāna is dominated by the Buddha and Bodhisattvas, the scene in Sri Lanka is permeated with gods,Hindu and local spirits. I don't remember the names but there are some other books by Obeyesekere, Gombrich and others who researched Buddhism on the island. Kataragama, Utpalavanna (aka Buddhist Viṣṇu- he is mentioned in one or more of the Pāḷi vaṃsas,the Mahāvaṃsa?), Pattini/Kannagi etc. Hindu deity cults are present in the Buddhism of Sri Lanka. The Lankātilaka Vihāra (built in CE 1340s) has a shrine for Ganesh!- another Hindu deity, along with some others.( One scholar mentioned that worship of Kālī goddess by some Sri Lankan Buddhists might be the latest fad!) The impression I got is that the ground reality of Buddhism in Sri Lanka is far away from what is imagined by most outsiders (some pristine form of Buddhism as depicted in the texts). Also this mixing is not something done by lay people alone. The book I mentioned above gives many examples, one is about a Saṃgharāja (head of the monastic community) -Śrī Rāhula Thera petitioning to Hindu gods!

In recent times, some monks having been trying to counter the extreme influence of Hinduism it exerts in the form of its gods, astrology, caste system, superstitions etc. I read about one such method in a research work about the revival of Buddhism in the recent history by advocating Buddha-vandanā i.e. as one of the means of bringing the Buddha into the focus. It seems that prior to two centuries, apart from monasteries, few persons had Buddharūpa (Buddha images). Another thing is that chanting in Pāḷi has become the norm now. Check this: THE ROLE OF VENERATING THE BUDDHA IN THE MODERNIZATION OF BUDDHISM IN SRI LANKA
( I doubt if the reform process is having much effect : http://bharanikumariyerdevo.blogspot.co ... angam.html :rolleye: ).


It is important to keep in mind that the concept of what constitutes 'dominant' changes when we observe from different angles, there is Buddhism of the texts, monastics Buddhism, lay Buddhism etc.
Coëmgenu wrote:Theravāda is the last un-Mahāyānified school. That alone makes it very interesting, as there used to be more sects like Theravāda, but slightly different, but they all converted to Mahāyāna eventually except for Theravāda.
Yes, they are different, but I heard that there are Pāḷi texts which show possible influence by Mahāyāna ideals. (Again I would suggest reading the first book mentioned above, you will see that there is a difference between theory and practice. Sri Lanka is not some far away isolated land, its few hours away from India. South India was a bastion of Buddhism of all kinds for thousand years.) Anyways, this an other topic and I'm not very knowledgeable about this, also I don't want to wade into this. As you have already studied a lot about Mahāyāna, if you have time then check this - The Buddhavaṁsa. Its looong,I read a little. :)

:anjali:
Aho! Buddho! Aho! Suddho! Aho! Saṃsuddhamānaso!
Aho! Aho! Mettāsindhu! Buddhaṃ taṃ paṇamāmyahaṃ!


Natthi me saraṅaṃ aññaṃ Buddho me saranaṃ varaṃ
For me there is no other refuge, the Buddha is my excellent refuge.

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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by robertk » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:47 pm

Caodemarte wrote:
robertk wrote:
Would it not be truer to say that Tantric Buddhism was the island tradition, the Buddhism that Theravada (or rather Theravada with its court sponsors) replaced and suppressed on the island, before it became "the tradition for a long time
Please supply the evidence that Tantric Buddhism - what is that?- was the tradition in Sri Lanka before Theravada.

.

.

Works composed by Sri Lankan Tantric masters are included in the Tibetan canon, including a commentary on the Sadharmapundarika Sutra by Prithibandhu and Jayabanda’s Cakrasamvara Tantra. The most important of these works, Manjusrimitra’s Bodhicittabhavana, is one of the seminal texts on Dzong chen. This may represent a branch of that school which evolved in Sri Lanka independently of India and Tibet. The Indian Tantric siddha Vanaratana (1384-1468) went to Sri Lanka about 1404 and studied meditation for six years under Dharmakirti. As India was no longer a congenial place for a Buddhist by the time he left Sri Lanka he went to Nepal and from there made several trips to Tibet where he taught what he had learned from Dharmakirti. The Nalanda Gedage is the only major Tantric monument still existing in Sri Lanka and was built in about the 9th century.

Just a few posts ago you claimed that Tantric Buddhism was the main religion in Sri Lanka ( the "island tradition' as you put it) and later Theravada came along and gained the upper hand somehow. You mention some texts from.the about 600 years ago that were apparently Tantric?

What about Mahinda's arrival in Sri Lanka 2300 years ago - bringing the Theravada with him..Are you saying that tantric Buddhism predated this ?

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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by Caodemarte » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:33 pm

To be clear I am saying that it is extraordinary well established that Tantric Buddhism was the state supported religion before Theravada was established as the official sect or "the" tradition of Sri Lanka. A new court dumped Tantricism and instead formed an alliance with Theravada monks. This alliance then suppressed Tantric and other sects and Theravada became the dominant sect. This is simply so obvious and well evidenced (literature, archaeology, historical documents, art history, architectural evidence, etc.) that it is not the slightest bit controversial in Sri Lanka or among historians. I have suggested a number of sources if you are interested (not that everybody is!) in how and when Theravada became established in SE Asia.

Dharmic
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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by Dharmic » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:01 pm

Caodemarte wrote: The historic presence of Tantric or Vajrayana Buddhism (most obvious today in Tibetan Buddhism and Japan's Shingon) in Sri Lanka is pretty obvious and easily seen. Any good comprehensive history will briefly discuss it. I am a fan of A History of Sri Lanka by de Silva.

Interestingly, after it lost royal support and the subsequent suppression, archeological and literary evidence shows that it continued to have a presence until the 12th century and small groups of people continued to practice it, probably in secret, well into the 15th century.

Works composed by Sri Lankan Tantric masters are included in the Tibetan canon, including a commentary on the Sadharmapundarika Sutra by Prithibandhu and Jayabanda’s Cakrasamvara Tantra. The most important of these works, Manjusrimitra’s Bodhicittabhavana, is one of the seminal texts on Dzong chen. This may represent a branch of that school which evolved in Sri Lanka independently of India and Tibet. The Indian Tantric siddha Vanaratana (1384-1468) went to Sri Lanka about 1404 and studied meditation for six years under Dharmakirti. As India was no longer a congenial place for a Buddhist by the time he left Sri Lanka he went to Nepal and from there made several trips to Tibet where he taught what he had learned from Dharmakirti. The Nalanda Gedage is the only major Tantric monument still existing in Sri Lanka and was built in about the 9th century.
:goodpost:

Hi,

I would like to add a few examples.

There are historic Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna sites in Sri Lanka surviving as remains.

The famous Buddha of Gal Vihara is actually surrounded by the four other smaller Buddhas. Some say this could be depiction of the five Wisdom Buddhas (Pañca-Tathāgata) of Vajrayāna.
11.jpg
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- I recollect somebody pointing out that on the lion throne of the Buddha in the Vidhyādhara Guha there is something that resembles a Vajra. I'm not able to locate the source. I looked at a zoomed image, between the two lions on the base, indeed there is something depicted and it looks like a Vajra but I'm not sure.

HD Image : https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... 8js%29.jpg

- This presentation PDF by Osmund Bopearachchi has many interesting images of various ancient sites,apart from Avalokiteśvara,it also has images of Tārā and others : Sri Lanka and the Maritime Trade : Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara as the Protector of Mariners :thumbsup:

Link : http://www.academia.edu/33243708/Sri_La ... f_Mariners

On page 101, there are images of some pillars with Vajra carved on the top. Unique if they are Vajra pillars!

Few others:

- Seven images at Buduruvagala of Buddha and Bodhisattvas Metteyya ,Avalokiteśvara, Tārā and Vajrapāṇi etc.
22.jpg
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- It seems that people still venerate the Kustarajagala Bodhisattva :

http://archives.sundayobserver.lk/2016/ ... tra-01.asp



- Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva at Maligawila
3.jpg
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In the book some functioning temples are mentioned (from later times) but a lot of changes have taken place since the traditions ceased. ( Buddha in the Crown: Avalokiteśvara in the Buddhist Traditions of Sri Lanka by John Clifford Holt)

:anjali:
Aho! Buddho! Aho! Suddho! Aho! Saṃsuddhamānaso!
Aho! Aho! Mettāsindhu! Buddhaṃ taṃ paṇamāmyahaṃ!


Natthi me saraṅaṃ aññaṃ Buddho me saranaṃ varaṃ
For me there is no other refuge, the Buddha is my excellent refuge.

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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by Dharmic » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:13 pm

robertk wrote: gained the upper hand somehow.

Hi,

At different points of time different traditions were dominant. Apart from Buddhists sects there were other religions (like Jainism,Hinduism) on the island.

When there are multiple groups naturally issues crop up. Mostly rival groups gained power by engaging in verbal fighting. But sometimes it crossed the limits and then it went off in an other direction like burning the books of rivals, vandalizing their habitation, banishing them/finishing them off...
Some did the dirty work themselves while the rest used others to get the job done.

In Sri Lanka,sometimes, both Theravādins and Mahāyānists are said to have engaged in bitter feuds. ( It is said that in other places they lived together though they had different views. ) We have to add the other groups too to the equation here.

Also very important point is that the situation here was very volatile, regular wars and all kinds of disastrous things were going on. The political/religious scene was a complex mess.

Few examples, just for the sake of understanding how rivalry becomes ugly:

Source: ( The Mahāvaṃsa and its sequel The Cūḷavaṃsa 1 and 2)

Mahāvihāra-vāsin = Theravāda
Abhayagiri-vāsin = Mahāyāna ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abhayagiri_vihāra )

Theravādin texts mention that twice ( between ~ 215 CE - 237 CE and 277 CE - 304 CE) Mahāyāna books were burnt, it was suppressed and monks were branded heretics.
Mahāvaṃsa wrote: In like manner he appointed then a great Vesakha-festival, and yearly did he distribute the six garments to the brotherhood. Purifying the doctrine by suppression of heresy he seized bhikkhus dwelling in the Abhayagiri (vihära), sixty in number, who had turned to the Vetulya-doctrine and were like a thorn in the doctrine of the Buddha, and when he had excommunicated them, he banished them to the further coast.

http://mahavamsa.org/mahavamsa/original ... teen-kings
Mahāvaṃsa wrote: For the occasions when the Ariyavamsa was read he decreed over the whole island a regular giving of alms, from reverence for the true doctrine. With the spending of three hundred thousand (pieces of money) this king, who was a friend to the doctrine, freed from their indebtedness such bhikkhus as were in debt. When he had decreed a great Vesakha-festival, he bestowed the three garments on all the bhikkhus dwelling in the island. Suppressing the Vetulya-doctrine and keeping heretics in check by his minister Kapila, he made the true doctrine to shine forth in glory.

http://mahavamsa.org/mahavamsa/original ... teen-kings
Vetulya = Vaipulya/Mahāyāna
Mahāvaṃsa wrote: After Mahasena was consecrated, his mentor Mahayana bhikku Sanghamittha came back to the city. Bhikku Sanghamittha convinced King Mahasena that Mahavihara bhikkus were not teaching real Vinaya (Disciplinary Code of Buddhism).

King Mahasena established a fine for anyone who provided food to Mahavihara bhikkus. Due to this reason, Mahavihara bhikkus were unable to survive in the capital city. They abandoned Mahavihara and went to Rohana. (Southern part of the country).

Bhikku Sanghamittha advised the King, that since Mahavihara is abandoned by bhikkus, the land now belongs to the King himself. The King gave permission to destroy Mahavihara. Bhikku Sanghamittha sent soldiers and destroyed Mahavihara and Lowa Maha Paaya. The building materials obtained from two buildings were used to build more buildings in Abhayagiri Vihara. After destroying Mahavihara, bhikku Sanghamittha came with men to destroy Thuparama.

At that time one of the King’s wives provided money to workers to kill Sanghamittha. The workers killed Sanghamittha and saved Thuparama from destruction.

As promised, King built the Mahavihara. Bhikkus who left Mahavihara came back to dwell there.

http://mahavamsa.org/mahavamsa/simplifi ... ad-301-ad/
History is very complex, I've quoted from one Theravāda source but there are more texts out there. I would suggest to the read the entire text to understand the whole story & later story and also read more books written by historians to get a more neutral view. Otherwise it will give an incomplete picture.

:anjali:
Aho! Buddho! Aho! Suddho! Aho! Saṃsuddhamānaso!
Aho! Aho! Mettāsindhu! Buddhaṃ taṃ paṇamāmyahaṃ!


Natthi me saraṅaṃ aññaṃ Buddho me saranaṃ varaṃ
For me there is no other refuge, the Buddha is my excellent refuge.

Caodemarte
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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by Caodemarte » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:04 pm

Dharmic wrote:
.....The famous Buddha of Gal Vihara is actually surrounded by the four other smaller Buddhas. Some say this could be depiction of the five Wisdom Buddhas (Pañca-Tathāgata) ....

Thanks for those photos! Trappist monk Thomas Merton said the Gal Vihara statures were the greatest "explanation " ever of sunyata (the Mahayana doctrine of emptiness). They really are incredible whatever your religion of beliefs or who carved them or why. Thanks again.

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mikenz66
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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:08 pm

Clearly the history of Buddhist, and other religions, in Asia is complex and it appears that Mahayana existed in SE Asia (Thailand, Laos, etc) before Theravada became dominant:
https://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t=10503

I didn't think there was any particular controversy about this history. Perhaps the details, but not the generalities.

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Mike

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robertk
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Re: Theravada is a later sect?

Post by robertk » Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:10 am

mikenz66 wrote:Clearly the history of Buddhist, and other religions, in Asia is complex and it appears that Mahayana existed in SE Asia (Thailand, Laos, etc) before Theravada became dominant:
https://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t=10503

I didn't think there was any particular controversy about this history. Perhaps the details, but not the generalities.

:heart:
Mike
The country we are discussing in this thread is Sri Lanka, not Thailand, Laos etc. And there is overwhelming evidence that the Dhamma (i.e. Theravada)was introduced to Sri Lanka by Mahinda some 2300 years ago. There is no evidence that at that time Mahayana was the dominant religion.

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