tiltbillings wrote:What a pain in the ass.
The problem is not the Theravada, but it is the Mahayana and the assumption it has built into its very structure of holding itself as being superior and as being the arbiter of all things Buddhists. It has constructed the towering edifice of the bodhisattva path, an impossibly complex path, claiming of itself the greatest nobility and anything else is, compared to that, of a considerably lesser standing (to understand it). Whatever insights that various Mahayanists have brought forth over the ages, as they have confronted the human condition in terms of anicca, dukkha, anatta and paticcasamuppada, those insight get all too easily lost in the dualistic bodhisattva construct that really runs counter to the better impulses of the Buddha's teachings.
The Theravada does not need the Mahayana, but if one is so inclined there is no reason not to study whatever aspect of the Mahayana that might grab one's fancy. There are things to be found that really are quite interesting and useful, but I strongly reject any implication - directly or indirectly - that the Theravada must measure itself in Mahayana terms or against the Mahayana. And that is the problem with the Mahayana structure, it tends force that sort of comparison by its self proclaimed superiority.
I concur ...of course. I find it extraordinary that i should need to defend the Theravada position on a Theravada website. I think the ingrained nature of the mahayana is such that they actually do not realise when they set themselves up as the acme by which other schools are judges. It is so second nature to them that they do not realise consciously that they are doing it. So follows a series of questions which when answered honestly according to the lights of mainstream Theravada teachings..leave one open to accusations of sectarianism ! But NO well known or not well known Theravadin teacher would support the idea of chanting mantras to uncanonical " Bodhisattva's". And no amount of being emollient or quietly ignoring that inconvenient truth alters the facts of the matter.
I will make every effort to stay within the guidelines of the forum .But it remains a fact that the forum is subject to pressure to become more like the Mahayana by those who possibly do not know that they are doing it. We have even been told today that the Theravada does not exist...which is conflating the fact that the Theravada may have only a provisional existance, but that provisional existance is real and serves a purpose for those who can use it. It is not to be dismissed by those who have other apparent needs.
I find it baffling...I cannot imagine frequenting a mahayana website in order to convert them to my view. It must be exhausting.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.