alan wrote:Jechbi--many more ways for the mind to proliferate outside Therevada!
This is a perilous conceit.
tiltbillings wrote:You claim that other paths lead to what the Buddha taught. I am waiting for you to show us.
This is impossible to show. Even if it were true that other paths lead to what the Buddha taught (hypothetically), unless one has attained to some abhinna or has finished the task for oneself, there's no possible way to show this.
I think we can all agree with the often-repeated stanza from the suttas: "The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One." But the discussion in this thread appears to be stepping off from two completely different platforms:
The institution of Theravada Buddhism is or is not the singular path that the Buddha taught.
Individuals based on their own past and present kamma can or cannot apprehend Dhamma teachings, regardless of the faith tradition in which they happen to find themselves in this present lifetime.
The first platform focuses on the efficacy of Theravada Buddhism. The second platform focuses on the content of individual kamma. I have the sense that Cafael Dust is trying to argue from the second platform, but is doing so in a way that prompts people to respond from the first platform.
Ben wrote:Apart from the attainment and teachings of previous Buddhas, Gotama's attainment and teaching is unique to the world. No other teacher has ever provided a path, that when practiced, that leads one from dukkha to bodhi.
Yes, that is my conviction as well. Whenever and wherever we encounter Dhamma teachings, they are the teachings of the Buddha. The Buddha taught the complete path for the cessation of suffering.
Does that mean that no elements of Dhamma teachings whatsoever are to be found outside the tradition of Theravada Buddhism? Does that mean that individuals not-yet-enlightened can never, in their own words, use clumsy labels that propel them, individually, along a path that progresses toward a better understanding of Dhamma?
Bhikkhus, this is the direct path* for the purification of beings, for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation, for the disappearance of pain and grief, for the attainment of the true way, for the realization of Nibbana - namely, the four foundations of mindfulness.
What are the four? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as a body, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world. He abides contemplating feelings as feelings, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world. He abides contemplating mind as mind, ardent, fully aware and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world. He abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put awaay covetousness and grief for the world.
* The Pali reads Ekayano ayam bhikkhave maggo and virtually all translators understand this as a statement upholding satipatthana as an exclusive path. Thus Ven Soma renders it: "This is the only way, O Bhikkhus", and Ven Nyanaponika: "This is the sole way, monks" Nm however points out that ekayana maggo a MN12.37-42 has the unambiguous contextual meaning of "a path that goes in one way only," and so he renders the phrase in this passage to. The expression used here, "the direct path," is an attempt to preserve this meaning in a more streamlined phrasing. MA explains ekayana magga
as a single path, not a divided path; a way that has to be walked by oneself alone.
-- MN10, Satipatthana Sutta
Indeed. This exclusive path is not any one technique or methodology. Rather, this exclusive path is the underlying process necessary for the cessation of suffering. It is a way that has to be walked by oneself alone. When we have the kamma (in the sense of volitional action) to find and follow a teacher who can propel us along this path, we have an opportunity to take some steps along this exclusive path. But I don't think we should make the mistake of identifying any single tradition, technique or methodology as what the Buddha refers to when he says, Ekayano ayam bhikkhave maggo
In my opinion, it's good for us to examine our own
path and practice.