Dan74 wrote:Going over an old thread I saw this statement and the conclusion that therefore it is of no relevance. This logic appears to be quite common here and I'd like to query it in this thread, if I may.
Firstly, how can we be confident that every single teaching the Buddha gave has been recorded and passed down? I mean 45 years worth of teaching? Do we think we have it all??
Given that the earliest existing Pali document dates to about 1000 years after the Buddha's parinibbana, I think this is a big leap of faith.
Secondly, supposing that the Buddha really did not teach something (like the Ajahn Sumedho's Sound of Silence meditation for example). Does this mean it is irrelevant and of no use? This to me seems a big leap of logic. Surely we are a product of quite a different culture and quite a different conditioning to the audience the Buddha faced. Wouldn't it follow that some methods would be more appropriate today than they would've been 2500 years ago in India? A master may follow the Dhamma, attain liberation and elaborate the Buddha's teaching for his disciples in his (or her) own way appropriate to the culture and the audience.
Firstly, we should not be confident about something till we know/see it for sure. If a man sees something by his own eyes, he is not confident/ not not confident, just simply knows it. Only the one doesn't see the reality would be confident in his belief.
The dhamma is for seeing/knowing, not for gaining ego/confidence
Also, even the Nikaya is true, there are chances that one may misinterprets what the Buddha said/ chances that comments are wrong and a lot of things like that. I believe an enlightened one (if they are) would read/view/interpret the Nikayas very different to normal people. It is like soldiers who were actually experienced war will view it very different to TV/movie/documents viewers even they view the same material.
Secondly, another mistake I saw people usually makes it that, OK, something worked then they assumed it will work on every different situations. I don't know what is sound of silence you mentioned, and assumed it worked for some people, then THEY SHOULD KNOW THAT, this technique worked in this very situation on this very condition. Don't be a fool to assumed that if a technique worked then the teacher is enlightened and that technique the right way to nirvana. Maybe a technique leads to a better position faster but it will block other long term achievements, be wise and be careful about that and know the technique's limit.
In the end, judging and choosing skills are the tools, also your kamma.