Why is Mahayana so different?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
User avatar
No_Mind
Posts: 1911
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:12 pm
Location: India

Why is Mahayana so different?

Post by No_Mind » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:26 am

In this video what the teacher is saying is very different from what I have learned about Buddhism.

Does Mahayana and Theravada have such fundamental differences (5:20 to 13:00)? Can anyone explain how and why is their approach so different (e.g. she says, Buddha said "not one atom of our being is created by God." As far as I know Buddha never said such a thing)



:namaste:

No_Mind

P.S. - the video is cued to start at 5:20
I know one thing: that I know nothing

SarathW
Posts: 10514
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Why is Mahayana so different?

Post by SarathW » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:36 am

Good to see you no-mind.
We can see you now how you look like.
I hope this is not a picture of one of the celebrities.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 3270
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: Why is Mahayana so different?

Post by DooDoot » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:48 am

Most of what Robina says I personally would regard as contrary to the Pali suttas. What is unfortunate about Robina is constantly saying "the Buddha said" when there is no evidence the Buddha ever said such things. However, about the cause of life & experience, the Pali suttas do say:
These five faculties — the eye-faculty, the ear-faculty, the nose-faculty, the tongue-faculty, & the body-faculty — remain standing in dependence on vitality."

"And vitality remains standing in dependence on what?"

"Vitality remains standing in dependence on heat."

"And heat remains standing in dependence on what?"

"Heat remains standing in dependence on vitality."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
The four great elements, bhikkhu, are the cause and condition for the manifestation of the form (body) aggregate. Contact is the cause and condition for the manifestation of the feeling aggregate. Contact is the cause and condition for the manifestation of the perception aggregate. Contact is the cause and condition for the manifestation of the volitional formations aggregate. Mind-and-body is the cause and condition for the manifestation of the consciousness aggregate.

https://suttacentral.net/en/sn22.82

User avatar
dylanj
Posts: 836
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:48 am
Location: San Francisco
Contact:

Re: Why is Mahayana so different?

Post by dylanj » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:35 am

Not the doctrine of an awakened being. Delusion is very different from wisdom.
susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, the relinquishment of all assets, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

User avatar
No_Mind
Posts: 1911
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:12 pm
Location: India

Re: Why is Mahayana so different?

Post by No_Mind » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:45 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:48 am
Most of what Robina says I personally would regard as contrary to the Pali suttas. What is unfortunate about Robina is constantly saying "the Buddha said" when there is no evidence the Buddha ever said such things.
Quite so. It is unsettling to watch someone who appears to be a prominent and reputed Tibetan Mahayana Buddhist teacher, putting forth the Dhamma in so dramatically different manner than what we understand.

It is an official FPMT (Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition) video and that means what this teacher said is not a random discussion or quote but bona fide Mahayana interpretation of Dhamma.

:namaste:

No_Mind
I know one thing: that I know nothing

Saengnapha
Posts: 1350
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Why is Mahayana so different?

Post by Saengnapha » Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:13 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:26 am
In this video what the teacher is saying is very different from what I have learned about Buddhism.

Does Mahayana and Theravada have such fundamental differences (5:20 to 13:00)? Can anyone explain how and why is their approach so different (e.g. she says, Buddha said "not one atom of our being is created by God." As far as I know Buddha never said such a thing)
She certainly won't get any style points from me regarding her delivery of Dhamma. :tongue:
It seems about 100 years after the Buddha's parinibbana, there was an important gathering of all the senior monks. Within these ranks, there was a debate about whether the goal of Buddhism was to be an Arahant or a Buddha. The side favoring becoming a Buddha wanted to make changes in the vinaya, I believe. The side favoring the Arahant refused. A vote was taken and the 'protestants' won. They became known as followers of Mahayana, while the other was called Theravada. Many new ideas were born that were not part of the Buddha's original teachings. 'New' teachings were 'discovered', and of course, many new facets of the teachings were added. Sectarianism ensued and I'm sure the usual politicizing took place among the power brokers of the age. Combine that with Buddhism moving to different geographical locations with different customs, languages, and prior belief systems and you have a heady melange of practice and beliefs mixed in with some of the original teachings, enough to legitimize their brands of Buddhism. Just my 02 cents.

Justsit
Posts: 648
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:41 pm

Re: Why is Mahayana so different?

Post by Justsit » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:32 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:13 pm
No_Mind wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:26 am
In this video what the teacher is saying is very different from what I have learned about Buddhism.

Does Mahayana and Theravada have such fundamental differences (5:20 to 13:00)? Can anyone explain how and why is their approach so different (e.g. she says, Buddha said "not one atom of our being is created by God." As far as I know Buddha never said such a thing)
She certainly won't get any style points from me regarding her delivery of Dhamma. :tongue:
It seems about 100 years after the Buddha's parinibbana, there was an important gathering of all the senior monks. Within these ranks, there was a debate about whether the goal of Buddhism was to be an Arahant or a Buddha. The side favoring becoming a Buddha wanted to make changes in the vinaya, I believe. The side favoring the Arahant refused. A vote was taken and the 'protestants' won. They became known as followers of Mahayana, while the other was called Theravada. Many new ideas were born that were not part of the Buddha's original teachings. 'New' teachings were 'discovered', and of course, many new facets of the teachings were added. Sectarianism ensued and I'm sure the usual politicizing took place among the power brokers of the age. Combine that with Buddhism moving to different geographical locations with different customs, languages, and prior belief systems and you have a heady melange of practice and beliefs mixed in with some of the original teachings, enough to legitimize their brands of Buddhism. Just my 02 cents.
:goodpost:

SarathW
Posts: 10514
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Why is Mahayana so different?

Post by SarathW » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:12 pm

Thank you for posting the video.
I watch at least four videos and found they are pretty good.
Perhaps it is not the hardcore Theravada but you can learn a lot.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 3270
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: Why is Mahayana so different?

Post by DooDoot » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:37 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:45 pm
It is unsettling to watch someone who appears to be a prominent and reputed Tibetan Mahayana Buddhist teacher, putting forth the Dhamma in so dramatically different manner than what we understand.

It is an official FPMT (Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition) video and that means what this teacher said is not a random discussion or quote but bona fide Mahayana interpretation of Dhamma.
Well, I can't say whether this is true or not. I did spend some time at a FPMT place once, where I recall Robina attending one social gathering & flashing a smile at me. The FPMT were very nice people although I have always found Robina to be rather extreme & (Aussie) boorish. Whenever I provided an explanation in group discussion, the nice people would give a respectful hand bow for me. If Robina was the guru there, I would have run for my life. The FPMT Geshe (guru) there was very undogmatic & highly learned. I respected him a lot & have fond memories of him.

Caodemarte
Posts: 832
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 3:21 pm

Re: Why is Mahaya

Post by Caodemarte » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:44 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:13 pm
No_Mind wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:26 am
In this video what the teacher is saying is very different from what I have learned about Buddhism.

Does Mahayana and Theravada have such fundamental differences (5:20 to 13:00)? Can anyone explain how and why is their approach so different (e.g. she says, Buddha said "not one atom of our being is created by God." As far as I know Buddha never said such a thing)
She certainly won't get any style points from me regarding her delivery of Dhamma. :tongue:
It seems about 100 years after the Buddha's parinibbana, there was an important gathering of all the senior monks. Within these ranks, there was a debate about whether the goal of Buddhism was to be an Arahant or a Buddha. The side favoring becoming a Buddha wanted to make changes in the vinaya, I believe. The side favoring the Arahant refused. A vote was taken and the 'protestants' won. They became known as followers of Mahayana, while the other was called Theravada. Many new ideas were born that were not part of the Buddha's original teachings. 'New' teachings were 'discovered', and of course, many new facets of the teachings were added. Sectarianism ensued and I'm sure the usual politicizing took place among the power brokers of the age. Combine that with Buddhism moving to different geographical locations with different customs, languages, and prior belief systems and you have a heady melange of practice and beliefs mixed in with some of the original teachings, enough to legitimize their brands of Buddhism. Just my 02 cents.
While imaginative, this story does not make a lot of sense to me and flies in the face of what we know of Buddhist history.

I don’t believe there are great fundamental differences between Theravada and Mahayana although there are between the simplified caricatures of each other and many superficial differences.. For example, both Theravada and Mahayana do not teach a creator God. Both would say that this is what the Buddha preached.

User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 3270
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: Why is Mahayana so different?

Post by DooDoot » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:08 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:13 pm
They became known as followers of Mahayana, while the other was called Theravada. Many new ideas were born that were not part of the Buddha's original teachings. 'New' teachings were 'discovered', and of course, many new facets of the teachings were added. Sectarianism ensued and I'm sure the usual politicizing took place among the power brokers of the age.
I posted elsewhere today that the Bodhisatta tradition in the Theravada Jataka, including (questionable) suttas such as MN 123, probably directly lead to the evolution of Mahayana. Theravada also has non-sutta ideas about mind without body (patisandhi-vinnana), which form the basis of the Theravada rebirth doctrine, including, similar to Mahayana, a focus upon consciousness (which does not make sense to me because "citta" is the storehouse of defilements rather than "vinnana"). I think Mahayana is very similar to Theravada here. I think the doctrinal disputes here at DW are reflective of a lack of doctrinal unity within 'Theravada' itself. When I posted: "Most of what Robina says I personally would regard as contrary to the Pali suttas"; I did not say most of what Robina says I personally would regard as contrary to Theravada. Lots of what Robina said is similar to Theravada.

I suppose Robina's more extreme views were, which may not even represent Mahayana, include:

1. Feelings (vedana) are unrelated to the body, the brain & nervous system.

2. "Instinct" is immaterial "mind" despite instinct obviously related to the body, such as sexual hormones.

3. Parents don't influence the minds of their children.

4. Consciousness is "indestructible" & the "uncreated".

5. Mother Theresa was a Buddha.

SarathW
Posts: 10514
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Why is Mahayana so different?

Post by SarathW » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:30 am

I suppose Robina's more extreme views were, which may not even represent Mahayana, include:

1. Feelings (vedana) are unrelated to the body, the brain & nervous system.

2. "Instinct" is immaterial "mind" despite instinct obviously related to the body, such as sexual hormones.

3. Parents don't influence the minds of their children.

4. Consciousness is "indestructible" & the "uncreated".

5. Mother Theresa was a Buddha.
:goodpost:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
No_Mind
Posts: 1911
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:12 pm
Location: India

Re: Why is Mahayana so different?

Post by No_Mind » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:11 am

DooDoot wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:08 am
5. Mother Theresa was a Buddha.
I really hate to say it .. today is 31st Dec and I do not want to be negative .. Mother Teresa was anything but a saint let alone a Buddha.

Christopher Hitchens on Mother Teresa (I had shared wrong link at first)



Criticism of Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa Was No Saint

Mother Teresa wasn't a saintly person – she was a shrewd operator with unpalatable views who knew how to build up a brand

Mother Teresa was not liked by many of us from Calcutta. She made it appear that our city is a leper city whereas at last count it had four dollar billionaires and a Trump Tower not to speak of two Nobel Laureates (which is more than most countries) along with being second most important city - after London - of British Empire from 1857 to 1911.

:namaste:

No_Mind
Last edited by No_Mind on Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
I know one thing: that I know nothing

Saengnapha
Posts: 1350
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Why is Mahaya

Post by Saengnapha » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:29 am

Caodemarte wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:44 pm
Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:13 pm
No_Mind wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:26 am
In this video what the teacher is saying is very different from what I have learned about Buddhism.

Does Mahayana and Theravada have such fundamental differences (5:20 to 13:00)? Can anyone explain how and why is their approach so different (e.g. she says, Buddha said "not one atom of our being is created by God." As far as I know Buddha never said such a thing)
She certainly won't get any style points from me regarding her delivery of Dhamma. :tongue:
It seems about 100 years after the Buddha's parinibbana, there was an important gathering of all the senior monks. Within these ranks, there was a debate about whether the goal of Buddhism was to be an Arahant or a Buddha. The side favoring becoming a Buddha wanted to make changes in the vinaya, I believe. The side favoring the Arahant refused. A vote was taken and the 'protestants' won. They became known as followers of Mahayana, while the other was called Theravada. Many new ideas were born that were not part of the Buddha's original teachings. 'New' teachings were 'discovered', and of course, many new facets of the teachings were added. Sectarianism ensued and I'm sure the usual politicizing took place among the power brokers of the age. Combine that with Buddhism moving to different geographical locations with different customs, languages, and prior belief systems and you have a heady melange of practice and beliefs mixed in with some of the original teachings, enough to legitimize their brands of Buddhism. Just my 02 cents.
While imaginative, this story does not make a lot of sense to me and flies in the face of what we know of Buddhist history.

I don’t believe there are great fundamental differences between Theravada and Mahayana although there are between the simplified caricatures of each other and many superficial differences.. For example, both Theravada and Mahayana do not teach a creator God. Both would say that this is what the Buddha preached.
I was being overly simplistic in my post, but what I said was taken from Bhante Punnaji's explanation of the split that occurred about 100 years after the Buddha's parinibbana.

When talking about Mahayana, there are many differences between the various Mahayana sects both in practice and theory. What does Nichiren have to do with Ch'an or Vajrayana? Sure, they all talk about Buddha's teaching, but imo, have been clouded over by ritual, philosophical debate, and without a clear path based on the Buddha's actual teachings.

In Theravada, you do have differences too, but they are rather minor compared to the Mahayana teachings. All I know is that the study of Theravada with its basis of 4 Noble Truths, 8 Fold Path, and study of paticca-samupadda, along with the EBT's are very direct, to the point, and devoid of many trappings that Mahayana serves up.

Saengnapha
Posts: 1350
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Why is Mahayana so different?

Post by Saengnapha » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:32 am

No_Mind wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:11 am
DooDoot wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:08 am
5. Mother Theresa was a Buddha.
I really hate to say it .. today is 31st Dec and I do not want to be negative .. Mother Teresa was anything but a saint let alone a Buddha.

Christopher Hitchens on Mother Teresa.



Criticism of Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa Was No Saint

Mother Teresa wasn't a saintly person – she was a shrewd operator with unpalatable views who knew how to build up a brand

Mother Teresa was not liked by many of us from Calcutta. She made it appear that our city is a leper city whereas at last count it had four dollar billionaires and a Trump Tower not to speak of two Nobel Laureates (which is more than most countries) along with being second most important city - after London - of British Empire from 1857 to 1911.

:namaste:

No_Mind
Let's not get into this territory, No Mind. Stay on topic, please.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 30 guests