what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:28 am

Macavity wrote:
Is everything the Buddha says true ?
Theravadin Buddhists certainly trust that this is so.
Which raises an interesting question, then must we, as Theravadins, take everything attributed to the Buddha as being literally true? 80,000 year life spans? The Aggañña Sutta?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

User avatar
appicchato
Posts: 1603
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:47 am
Location: Bridge on the River Kwae

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Post by appicchato » Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:54 am

tiltbillings wrote:...then must we...?
We don't need to 'must' do anything...except die...

User avatar
Jechbi
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:38 am
Contact:

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Post by Jechbi » Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:05 am

appicchato wrote:We don't need to 'must' do anything...except die...

:clap:
Best post of the thread. Thank you, Bhante.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 20149
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:18 am

Greetings,
appicchato wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:...then must we...?
We don't need to 'must' do anything...except die...
Even then... what about attaining the deathless?!

:buddha1:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:26 am

appicchato wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:...then must we...?
We don't need to 'must' do anything...except die...
Not planning on doing that anytime soon, but you never know. You might get lucky.

I am curious about others' thought on that. There certainly, on the gray forum, have been Theravadins who militantly have insisted that these things are literally true and must be understood that way. It raises questions if we say: everything the Buddha says true.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 20149
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:40 am

Greetings Tilt,

I think that question is twofold. Before you ask whether "everything the Buddha says [is] true" you need to ask whether "everything in the scriptures was spoken by the Buddha".

Then, what level of scriptures do we include in that set... ranging from suttas, which are commonly accepted to be quite reliable, versus Jataka Stories at the other end of the scale, which are the subject of more scepticism. Plus all the stuff inbetween.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:47 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

I think that question is twofold. Before you ask whether "everything the Buddha says [is] true" you need to ask whether "everything in the scriptures was spoken by the Buddha".
That is a big part of it. If we go with a literal reading, then likely we must also go with an acceptance Pali canon being the Ipsissima verba of the Buddha.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Post by Ben » Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:57 am

Hi Tilt, everyone

For me, it raises the question of whether one has the confidence that the Buddha was a truth teller. If that is so, then, what was truth dressed in metaphor and what parts of his message were to be taken at face value? And I guess for me, it doesn't really matter. I figure that if I practice the Noble EIghtfold Path then a lot of these issues, such as, whether the Abhidhamma really was expounded to Devas in Tavatimsa, whether a naga protected the Buddha under the Bodhi tree from the elements, etc, & etc, become extraneous to the main game of eradicating my defilements and aspiring to become ariyan.
Metta

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

vinasp
Posts: 1675
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Bristol. United Kingdom.

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Post by vinasp » Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:09 am

Hi everyone,
As to the question - is everything the Buddha says true ? I think that the Buddha said on many occasions that one should not say something true if it would - in that situation - cause harm to someone. One must therefore deviate from the truth for a good reason. It seems that moral issues take precedence over truth. I presume the Buddha acted accordingly. That is why it is called right speech not true speech. I thought everyone here would know this already. I am very much enjoying this debate.
I hope no one is offended by anything. Kind regards, Vincent.

Mawkish1983
Posts: 1286
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:46 am
Location: Essex, UK

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Post by Mawkish1983 » Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:24 am

vinasp wrote:the Buddha said on many occasions that one should not say something true if it would - in that situation - cause harm to someone. One must therefore deviate from the truth for a good reason.
I'm afraid I'm not as well read as I'd like to be. Do you have any sutta references for this so I can catch up? :)

User avatar
appicchato
Posts: 1603
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:47 am
Location: Bridge on the River Kwae

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Post by appicchato » Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:27 am

tiltbillings wrote:You might get lucky.
In this case, I hope not... :heart:

User avatar
appicchato
Posts: 1603
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:47 am
Location: Bridge on the River Kwae

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Post by appicchato » Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:36 am

vinasp wrote:I think that the Buddha said on many occasions that one should not say something true if it would - in that situation - cause harm to someone. One must therefore deviate from the truth for a good reason.


More a case of clamming up (Noble Silence) than 'deviating' from the truth...used on many occasions...

It seems that moral issues take precedence over truth.
Never...

User avatar
appicchato
Posts: 1603
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:47 am
Location: Bridge on the River Kwae

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Post by appicchato » Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:45 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
appicchato wrote:We don't need to 'must' do anything...except die...
Even then... what about attaining the deathless?!
Hi Paul,

What about it?...while it's our aspiration, wouldn't considering it a 'must' possibly be construed as...as...craving?...

vinasp
Posts: 1675
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Bristol. United Kingdom.

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Post by vinasp » Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:53 am

Hi mawkish1983,
The most complete exposition of what statements the Buddha would or would not make is found in the Abhayarajakumara Sutta ( M. 58 ) but it is complicated . The essense of it is that whether or not a statement is made depends not just on its truth but also whether it is usefull and pleasant , there are eight combinations in total. I am looking for a simpler account or some cases where this is taught by example. I remember there is a sutta where the Buddha meets Vacchagotta and does not teach the no-self doctrine ( even though it is true ) because Vacchagottas mind is too disturbed on that occasion. But this is really an example of refraining from teaching the truth which is not quite what we need.
Kind regards, Vincent.

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 20149
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:00 am

Greetings bhante,
appicchato wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
appicchato wrote:We don't need to 'must' do anything...except die...
Even then... what about attaining the deathless?!
Hi Paul,

What about it?...while it's our aspiration, wouldn't considering it a 'must' possibly be construed as...as...craving?...
I just meant that it wasn't a must in the sense of it being an inevitability.

They say that there's only two certainties in life... death and taxes... yet the arahant avoids both!

:buddha2:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot] and 60 guests