Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

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tiltbillings
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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:27 am

A few excerpts from the Buddhavamsa, translated by U Ko Lay and U Tin Lwin: http://www.triplegem.plus.com/gcob.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
>> 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

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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Post by Annapurna » Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:40 am

It is not online.
Oh! I see. Ty!
tiltbillings wrote:"There is no disappearing of the true Dhamma until a counterfeit
Dhamma arises in the world. Once a counterfeit Dhamma arises
then there is a disappearing of the true Dhamma. It is when,
here in the order itself, hollow and foolish persons arise that
they make this true Dhamma disappear. But five things conduce to its
maintenance, clarity and non-disappearance --that monks and nuns,
laymen and laywomen live with reverence and deference for the
Teacher, for Dhamma, for the Order, for the training and for
concentration."
[SN II 224]
I wonder if that is likely to happen, though...? We already hear those questioning voices that say:

Well, who knows what crept in in those hundreds of years when the Dhamma wasn't written down yet.

If I'm not totally misunderstanding, there are also Buddhistic schools or sects which already question or dismiss rebirth, perhaps they can't wrap their minds around it and so reject it...who knows.

Not that I think I have it all down the right pipe, of course!
Last edited by Annapurna on Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:41 am

The following is NOT a sutta. It was composed in the 14th CE, but it pulls together much of the mythic stuff around the end af the Dhamma:

http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:yPM ... clnk&gl=us" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It was translated by I.B. Horner (not Conze).
>> 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

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Annapurna
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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Post by Annapurna » Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:42 am

Wow, thank you! Now I've got quit a bit to read! :smile:

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tiltbillings
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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:43 am

Annabel wrote:
Well, who knows what crept in in those hundreds of years when the Dhamma wasn't written down yet. !
The Dhamma was well remembered before writing. I think we can be confident that we have the core of the Buddha's teachings.
>> 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

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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Post by Laurens » Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:19 pm

When you're lost in dangerous waters, you need to cling to your life raft.
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Post by DNS » Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:01 pm

Annabel wrote: Since you know the text, could you provide it, please? David is not here yet.
Hi Annabel,

Yes, i was off at the snort fort (sleeping), but see you were in good hands with the great answers by tilt, Chris, and others. The Buddhavamsa is not online yet; also as tilt noted, many see it as a later text. 'Officially' however, it is part of the Canon, Khudakka Nikaya.

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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Post by Annapurna » Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:51 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Annabel wrote:
Well, who knows what crept in in those hundreds of years when the Dhamma wasn't written down yet. !
The Dhamma was well remembered before writing. I think we can be confident that we have the core of the Buddha's teachings.
Good. :anjali:

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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Post by Sanghamitta » Fri Dec 11, 2009 4:01 pm

The reason given for doubting that we have a true record of the Buddhas teaching the absence of a written record, is actually a great strength. Because they were commited to memory, and not modern scattered memory, but the memory of those who had been trained in memorisation from early childhood. And then repeated continously down the centuries with the old men making sure that the repetition was correct, it was communal not a matter of individual endevour with pen and ink. Its repetition has not altered in the last hundred years , there is no reason to suspect that it changed in the first hundred years.

:anjali:
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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Kare
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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Post by Kare » Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:48 pm

Should words of Dhamma be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should words of Dhamma be forgot,
and the Buddhasasana ?

CHORUS:
For Buddhasasana, my jo,
for Buddhasasana,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for the Buddhasasana.
Mettāya,
Kåre

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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Post by cooran » Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:06 pm

Kare wrote: This prediction was made in an age when literacy was scarce or non-existant.

But when the teachings were written down, the next Bodhisattva in line looked down from the Tusita heaven, swearing softly to himself: "Damn ... they've got writing! Well, I'll just have to wait until their palm leaves disintegrate ..."

After a while he looked down again, and said with a sigh: "Oh no! They've got printing! How are they going to forget the teachings of the previous Buddha now? Well ... back to old Tusita!"

And recently he looked down and was shocked: "Oh, my Deva! The teachings are all over the Internet! I'm really stuck in this old Tusita! Well, I'd better learn to meditate on boredom, then ..."

:mrgreen:
Kare wrote:Should words of Dhamma be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should words of Dhamma be forgot,
and the Buddhasasana ?

CHORUS:
For Buddhasasana, my jo,
for Buddhasasana,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for the Buddhasasana.
Why are you writing nonsense in a thread where a member is respectfully asking about the Dhamma?
Been to the Office Xmas Party?

karuna
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Post by Annapurna » Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:00 pm

Sanghamitta wrote:The reason given for doubting that we have a true record of the Buddhas teaching the absence of a written record, is actually a great strength. Because they were commited to memory, and not modern scattered memory, but the memory of those who had been trained in memorisation from early childhood. And then repeated continously down the centuries with the old men making sure that the repetition was correct, it was communal not a matter of individual endevour with pen and ink. Its repetition has not altered in the last hundred years , there is no reason to suspect that it changed in the first hundred years.

:anjali:
Wow, very logical point, thank you for equipping me with this.

Actually I am sometimes getting challenged with this, and now I can explain this.

:anjali:

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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Post by cooran » Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:23 pm

Hello Annabel, Sanghamitta, all
(previously posted in the Great Rebirth Debate thread - but I don't know how to just give a link to a post.)

The Suttas are not 'sound bites' recorded as the Buddha spoke. They are compacted summaries of what was said, rehearsed and agreed upon by the Arahants at the Great Councils and memorised and chanted together by large groups of monks called Bhanakas (Reciters).

"Writing was unknown then, and so the Buddha’s sayings, as collected by his disciples, were committed to memory by a group of monks and were handed down to their disciples orally. There were probably two such groups, who, in order to distinguish themselves from each other, became known as Digha-Bhanakas and Majjhima-bhanakas. The other two Nikayas were later developments, their object being only to rearrange the topics dealt with in the Digha and the Majjhima".
http://www.quangduc.com/English/history" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... ars07.html

The Suttas are teaching vehicles whose meanings are densely packed layer on layer. They are not to be read as an ordinary page of print, but require 'unpacking' by someone learned in the Dhamma. This condensed form was necessary in order that the Teachings would not be lost in the years before they were finally put into writing ~ engraved on leaves in Sri Lanka. It allowed them to be memorised by the large groups of bhikkhus (bhanakas) assigned to each portion of the Tipitaka. They are not verbatim reports of chats and conversations. This memorisation is said to have commenced before the parinibbana of the Buddha. Anything that is repeated is to be seen as something important which was highlighted by the repetition.

The Suttas are rather like the memory prompts - the dot points of the most important information to be transmitted - similar to those a public speaker carries for reference.
"Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata -- deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness -- are being recited. We will lend ear, will set our hearts on knowing them, will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.' That's how you should train yourselves." (Ari sutta).

.... with regard to the accuracy of oral traditions ... Anthropologists agree that oral teachings are generally more accurate and less prone to "improving" than are written teachings

The Pali Suttas are summaries of what the Buddha meant to be passed on - and great care was taken, while he was alive and afterwards, to memorise them in a form that could not be distorted, and by a method that did not allow of deliberate alterations to meaning and content. The recitations were going on for the forty five years of the Buddha's teaching life. The repetitions in the suttas are pointer to the most important parts.

Venerable Mahá Kassapa, the elected head of the First Council. Cúlavagga Xl,1,1 (ii,284) reiterated:
"Come, friends: let us recite the Teaching and the Discipline before what is not the Teaching shines forth and the Teaching is put aside, before what is not the Discipline shines forth and the Discipline is put aside, before those who speak what is not the Teaching become strong and those who speak what is the Teaching become weak, before those who speak what is not the Discipline become strong and those who speak what is the Discipline become weak."

So the system was in place before the Buddha passed away. The Pali suttas are extremely condensed summaries of the Buddha's teachings, packed with meaning, which need to be unpacked by those learned in the Dhamma. They were preserved in that form to aid memorising and chanting by the large groups of Bhikkhus called Bhanakas (Reciters) i.e. Majjhima-bhanakas, Digha-bhanakas etc. Each group was allocated a small portion of the Tipitaka to keep pristine and pass on. This began even while the Buddha was alive.

It was only hundreds of years later in Sri Lanka, in a time of famine and warfare, with many bhikkhus dying, and with Buddhism all but wiped out in India, that the MahaSangha decided the Teachings needed to be written down. They were engraved on Ola Leaves. Many of us have been to Sri Lanka and have had the inestimable good fortune to have seen demonstrations of this being done at the ancient rock temple of Aluvihara Temple (where the Tipitaka was originally written down) in the Matale district 26 km from Kandy.


metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Post by Kare » Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:24 pm

Chris wrote: Why are you writing nonsense in a thread where a member is respectfully asking about the Dhamma?
Been to the Office Xmas Party?

karuna
Chris
Your comment was not very respectful. But I'll most respectfully suggest that you study this short excerpt from the Patisambhidamagga:

Hāsapaññatāya saṃvattantīti katamā hāsapaññā? Idhekacco hāsabahulo vedabahulo tuṭṭhibahulo pāmojjabahulo sīlāni paripūretīti – hāsapaññā. Hāsabahulo vedabahulo tuṭṭhibahulo pāmojjabahulo indriyasaṃvaraṃ paripūretīti – hāsapaññā. Hāsabahulo vedabahulo tuṭṭhibahulo pāmojjabahulo bhojane mattaññutaṃ paripūretīti – hāsapaññā. Hāsabahulo vedabahulo tuṭṭhibahulo pāmojjabahulo jāgariyānuyogaṃ paripūretīti – hāsapaññā. Hāsabahulo vedabahulo tuṭṭhibahulo pāmojjabahulo sīlakkhandhaṃ…pe… samādhikkhandhaṃ… paññākkhandhaṃ… vimuttikkhandhaṃ… vimuttiñāṇadassanakkhandhaṃ paripūretīti…pe… ṭhānāṭṭhānāni paṭivijjhatīti… vihārasamāpattiyo paripūretīti … ariyasaccāni paṭivijjhatīti… satipaṭṭhāne bhāvetīti… sammappadhāne bhāvetīti… iddhipāde bhāvetīti… indriyāni bhāvetīti… balāni bhāvetīti… bojjhaṅge bhāvetīti … ariyamaggaṃ bhāvetīti…pe… sāmaññaphalāni sacchikarotīti – hāsapaññā. Hāsabahulo vedabahulo tuṭṭhibahulo pāmojjabahulo abhiññāyo paṭivijjhatīti – hāsapaññā. Hāsabahulo vedabahulo tuṭṭhibahulo pāmojjabahulo paramatthaṃ nibbānaṃ sacchikarotīti – hāsapaññā. Hāsapaññatāya saṃvattantīti – ayaṃ hāsapaññā.
Mettāya,
Kåre

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cooran
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Re: Will the Dhamma be forgotten....?

Post by cooran » Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:58 pm

Yes, Kare, you've posted that untranslated quote before in:
Those good old light bulbs again ...
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... lbs#p12612" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
which was on-topic and appropriate in The Lounge.
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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