Is mahayana Buddism?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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whynotme
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Is mahayana Buddism?

Post by whynotme » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:15 pm

Hi everyone,

This is a therevada forum, so I assume most of you are Therevadists. What do you think about Mahayana? Do you consider it part of Buddism? Do you consider ordination under those traditions?

Regards
Please stop following me

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Cittasanto
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Post by Cittasanto » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:46 pm

whynotme wrote:Hi everyone,

This is a therevada forum, so I assume most of you are Therevadists. What do you think about Mahayana? Do you consider it part of Buddism? Do you consider ordination under those traditions?

Regards
it is part of Buddhism, although a later development.
The vinaya lines still existing are all from early Buddhist schools.
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Ron-The-Elder
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Post by Ron-The-Elder » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:12 pm

The Mahayana resulted from a schism within the early sangha after Buddhas death. They have the right to call themselves what they wish. Since the disagreements were primarily due to differences regarding the Vinaya Rules for Monks, I see no problem so long as they do not change Bubbha's core teachings re. The Four Noble Truths and their supporting factors: impermanence, dependent arising, kamma, and emptiness.
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Post by Nyana » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:36 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:The Mahayana resulted from a schism within the early sangha after Buddhas death.
No, it didn't. The Mahāyāna didn't result from any schism, and has nothing to do with sectarian Buddhism. The Mahāyāna isn't an ordination lineage and has never "split" from any ordination lineage. There are three existing ordination lineages: Mūlasarvāstivāda, Dharmaguptaka, and Theravāda. All three are descended from the ancient Sthaviravāda.

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Cittasanto
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Post by Cittasanto » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:41 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:The Mahayana resulted from a schism within the early sangha after Buddhas death. They have the right to call themselves what they wish. Since the disagreements were primarily due to differences regarding the Vinaya Rules for Monks, I see no problem so long as they do not change Bubbha's core teachings re. The Four Noble Truths and their supporting factors: impermanence, dependent arising, kamma, and emptiness.
I believe you are confusing the first schism with the mahasangha (dont know the sanskrit spelling off hand) and the development of the Mahayana which is a different thing.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

santa100
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Post by santa100 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:20 pm

Of course Mahayana is a Buddhist school. They observe, study, and practice 3 characteristics, 4 NT, 5 precepts, 8 NP, 12 DO, etc. just like Theravada..

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Ron-The-Elder
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Post by Ron-The-Elder » Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:42 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
Ron-The-Elder wrote:The Mahayana resulted from a schism within the early sangha after Buddhas death. They have the right to call themselves what they wish. Since the disagreements were primarily due to differences regarding the Vinaya Rules for Monks, I see no problem so long as they do not change Bubbha's core teachings re. The Four Noble Truths and their supporting factors: impermanence, dependent arising, kamma, and emptiness.
I believe you are confusing the first schism with the mahasangha (dont know the sanskrit spelling off hand) and the development of the Mahayana which is a different thing.
You may be right. Thank you for the correction. This from a wiki re origins of Mahayana:


Early Mahayana Buddhism
Main article: Mahāyāna
The origins of Mahāyāna, which formed between 100 BCE and 100 AD,[149] are still not completely understood.[150] The earliest views of Mahāyāna Buddhism in the West assumed that it existed as a separate school in competition with the so-called "Hīnayāna" schools. The split was on the order of the European Protestant Reformation, which divided Christians into Catholic and Protestant.[149] Due to the veneration of buddhas and bodhisattvas, Mahāyāna was often interpreted as a more devotional, lay-inspired form of Buddhism, with supposed origins in stūpa veneration.[151] The old views of Mahāyāna as a lay-inspired sect are now largely considered misguided and wrong.[152]


There is no evidence that Mahāyāna ever referred to a separate formal school or sect of Buddhism, but rather that it existed as a certain set of ideals, and later doctrines, for bodhisattvas.[153] Initially it was known as Bodhisattvayāna (the "Vehicle of the Bodhisattvas").[149] Paul Williams has also noted that the Mahāyāna never had nor ever attempted to have a separate Vinaya or ordination lineage from the early schools of Buddhism, and therefore each bhikṣu or bhikṣuṇī adhering to the Mahāyāna formally belonged to an early school. This continues today with the Dharmaguptaka ordination lineage in East Asia, and the Mūlasarvāstivāda ordination lineage in Tibetan Buddhism. Therefore Mahāyāna was never a separate rival sect of the early schools.[154] From Chinese monks visiting India, we now know that both Mahāyāna and non-Mahāyāna monks in India often lived in the same monasteries side by side.[155]
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_i ... a_Buddhism" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

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Ron-The-Elder
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Post by Ron-The-Elder » Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:56 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
Ron-The-Elder wrote:The Mahayana resulted from a schism within the early sangha after Buddhas death.
No, it didn't. The Mahāyāna didn't result from any schism, and has nothing to do with sectarian Buddhism. The Mahāyāna isn't an ordination lineage and has never "split" from any ordination lineage. There are three existing ordination lineages: Mūlasarvāstivāda, Dharmaguptaka, and Theravāda. All three are descended from the ancient Sthaviravāda.
Apparently "Access to Insight" does not agree with you:
100 -444/-380
100 years after the Buddha's Parinibbana the Second Council convenes in Vesali to discuss controversial points of Vinaya. The first schism of the Sangha occurs, in which the Mahasanghika school parts ways with the traditionalist Sthaviravadins. At issue is the Mahasanghika's reluctance to accept the Suttas and the Vinaya as the final authority on the Buddha's teachings. This schism marks the first beginnings of what would later evolve into Mahayana Buddhism, which would come to dominate Buddhism in northern Asia (China, Tibet, Japan, Korea). {1}
source: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/history.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Nyana
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Post by Nyana » Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:13 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:Apparently "Access to Insight" does not agree with you:
100 -444/-380
100 years after the Buddha's Parinibbana the Second Council convenes in Vesali to discuss controversial points of Vinaya. The first schism of the Sangha occurs, in which the Mahasanghika school parts ways with the traditionalist Sthaviravadins. At issue is the Mahasanghika's reluctance to accept the Suttas and the Vinaya as the final authority on the Buddha's teachings. This schism marks the first beginnings of what would later evolve into Mahayana Buddhism, which would come to dominate Buddhism in northern Asia (China, Tibet, Japan, Korea). {1}
source: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/history.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Bullitt or his source is mistaken. The first schism had nothing to do with the eventual rise of the Mahāyāna. Moreover, the early Mahāyāna texts and commentators drew ideas from various Nikāya sects, including those descended from the Sthaviravāda.

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Cittasanto
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Post by Cittasanto » Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:32 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:
Ron-The-Elder wrote:The Mahayana resulted from a schism within the early sangha after Buddhas death.
No, it didn't. The Mahāyāna didn't result from any schism, and has nothing to do with sectarian Buddhism. The Mahāyāna isn't an ordination lineage and has never "split" from any ordination lineage. There are three existing ordination lineages: Mūlasarvāstivāda, Dharmaguptaka, and Theravāda. All three are descended from the ancient Sthaviravāda.
Apparently "Access to Insight" does not agree with you:
100 -444/-380
100 years after the Buddha's Parinibbana the Second Council convenes in Vesali to discuss controversial points of Vinaya. The first schism of the Sangha occurs, in which the Mahasanghika school parts ways with the traditionalist Sthaviravadins. At issue is the Mahasanghika's reluctance to accept the Suttas and the Vinaya as the final authority on the Buddha's teachings. This schism marks the first beginnings of what would later evolve into Mahayana Buddhism, which would come to dominate Buddhism in northern Asia (China, Tibet, Japan, Korea). {1}
source: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/history.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Mahasanghika (which I spelt mahasangha earlier) is not the Mahayana, which is a different development, aproximately 500 years after the parinibbana due to different reasons and was from Sthaviravadins, they held certain mahasangha teaching later but the development is different.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

Nyana
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Post by Nyana » Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:59 pm

Concerning the first schism, Lance Cousins, The ‘Five Points’ and the Origins of the Buddhist Schools:
  • What is important is that the picture which now emerges is one in which the earliest division of the saṅgha was primarily a matter of monastic discipline. The Mahāsāṅghikas were essentially a conservative party resisting a reformist attempt to tighten discipline. The likelihood is that they were initially the larger body, representing the mass of the community, the mahāsaṅgha.
Another informative paper on this subject is Śaikṣa-dharmas Revisited: Further Considerations of Mahāsāṃghika Origins by Charles S. Prebish.

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manas
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Post by manas » Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:28 pm

Hi whynotme,

I've asked the same question in my heart a few times, also. But I feel uneasy about us discussing it here so publicly, because 1. Mahayana Buddhists will only take offense, rather than get convinced and won over (thus it would not be worth the resulting discord between our different modes of practice), and 2. Ordinary, interested non-Buddhist visitors might construe from the title "Ah, the Buddhists are just as sectarian as the Christians...and I thought they were different...oh well".

But, that's just my own opinion :anjali: .
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

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Ron-The-Elder
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Post by Ron-The-Elder » Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:54 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:Concerning the first schism, Lance Cousins, The ‘Five Points’ and the Origins of the Buddhist Schools:
  • What is important is that the picture which now emerges is one in which the earliest division of the saṅgha was primarily a matter of monastic discipline. The Mahāsāṅghikas were essentially a conservative party resisting a reformist attempt to tighten discipline. The likelihood is that they were initially the larger body, representing the mass of the community, the mahāsaṅgha.
Another informative paper on this subject is Śaikṣa-dharmas Revisited: Further Considerations of Mahāsāṃghika Origins by Charles S. Prebish.
You will note that your citations are cited as hypothesies, which means that it remains conjecture. Therefore, at this point it appears that none of this can be stated with certainty.

Let us be satisfied to state that research regarding this topic is ongoing. :anjali: Ron
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Nyana
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Post by Nyana » Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:08 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:You will note that your citations are cited as hypothesies, which means that it remains conjecture.
This isn't conjecture: The first schism had nothing to do with the eventual rise of the Mahāyāna.

It's erroneous to equate the Mahāsāṅghikas with the Mahāyāna.

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Ron-The-Elder
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Post by Ron-The-Elder » Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:32 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
Ron-The-Elder wrote:You will note that your citations are cited as hypothesies, which means that it remains conjecture.
This isn't conjecture: The first schism had nothing to do with the eventual rise of the Mahāyāna.

It's erroneous to equate the Mahāsāṅghikas with the Mahāyāna.
Respectfully, Your "opinion" apparently does not agree with that of the author you personally cited. Next time choose someone, who agrees wih your views, instead of contradicting yourself. He states otherwise. :anjali: Ron
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

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