Saengnapha wrote: ↑
Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:29 am
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.
The story still does not match what we know of Buddhist history and makes little sense in a Buddhist context (arahant vs. Buddha were not used that way in the early texts, for example).
The comments on sectarian differences reminds me of the Catholic Church’s declaration that the distinctions between Luther’s theology and orthodox Catholic theology, over which thousands died for centuries, had only superficial interpretative differences, in no sense fundamental, and certainty not worth fighting about.
Chan, Nichiren, and Vajrayana are clearly based on shared common Mahayana teachings and are historically connected. Mahayana teachings are explicitly based on paticca-samupadda, the 4NT, etc., and claim to be a clear path based on the Buddha’s teaching. Ch’an, Nichiren, and Vajrayana are all famous for claiming, for good reasons, that they are the direct path, cutting through philosophical debates, and devoid of meaningless ritual. They are different, but these differences are not about basic doctrines.
None of them may be helpful for you. You may be attracted by one color robe or another. You don’t have to personally agree that any of them are correct, but the differences between them are not fundamental.
Zen and Nichiren would seem to be radically different on the surface. However, we can see in http://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachings/ ... Letter.htm
a marvelous example of how these superficial differences melt away as you go deeper. “It is one reality with two names, just as mochi and kachin are two names for the same thing, a rice-cake.”
I suspect that the differences between Theravada and Mahayana would as well.