Richard Gombrich

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Aloka
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Post by Aloka » Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:26 am

.


I was very disappointed to see that one has to be a member of Facebook in order to download the scribd copy of 'How Buddhism Began.."

Parts of it are also available to read at Google books.

http://books.google.com/books?id=aIOY5g ... &q&f=false




This lecture of Richard Gombrich's might be of interest to anyone who hasn't already read it :

"Kindness and Compassion as means to Nirvana in Early Buddhism "

http://www.ocbs.org/content/blogcategory/29/121/



metta,

Aloka

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Ben
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Post by Ben » Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:43 am

Hi Aloka

I don;t think you need to be a member of facebook rather, one can log-in to scribd using their facebook id. In the sameway one can log-in to flickr using their yahoo id. I'm pretty sure that's how it works.
kind regards

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..

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Mr. G
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Post by Mr. G » Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:24 am

Aloka wrote:.





This lecture of Richard Gombrich's might be of interest to anyone who hasn't already read it :

"Kindness and Compassion as means to Nirvana in Early Buddhism "

http://www.ocbs.org/content/blogcategory/29/121/





Aloka
I just read the chapter on that in his book "What the Buddha Thought" which I'm really enjoying.

Is this idea generally accpeted in orthodox Theravada? I can't imagine it would be.
Even if my body should be burnt to death
In the fires of hell,
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice
- Gandavyuha Sutra

mudra
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Post by mudra » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:39 am

I am about a quarter of the way through How Buddhism Began, and am enjoying. A couple of standpoints I don't agree with (and probably many fellow Buddhists wouldn't also) but the man is intelligent, thoroughly read and knowledgeable, and presents his arguments coherently - whether one agrees or not.
(I like his observation on the Buddha having a sense of humor).

Thanks Thereductor, Ben and all for pointing me to this book. And Ven P, after reading just a quarter of this book I think your advice makes even more sense.

Mike, I still haven't managed yet to find an electronic version on Scribd of What the Buddha Thought (obviously thereductor you are still doubtful whether that is the right thing to do, I am too new to Scribd to even understand how it works!) nor any other electronic downloadable version. Physical delivery to Indonesia can be problematic!

Again, thank you all! :anjali:

Nyana
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Post by Nyana » Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:57 am

suanck wrote:Buddhist Teaching in India, Johannes Bronkhorst
Hi Suan & all,

For anyone who is interested there are a number of Bronkhorst's papers and such available on the Université de Lausanne Unisciences site.

All the best,

Geoff

rowyourboat
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Post by rowyourboat » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:49 pm

Hi Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote: As Gombrich states: "I have the greatest difficulty in accepting that the main edifice [of the Pali Texts] is not the
work of one genius."
Unless someone has gone the whole hog with vipassana (all 16 nanas) there is no way to know what a genius he is. It's not possible to know how deep this dhamma is. It is not possible to know how hard the sangha has practised. There is no true saddha until then.

with metta

RYB
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

Reductor
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Post by Reductor » Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:17 pm

rowyourboat wrote:Hi Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote: As Gombrich states: "I have the greatest difficulty in accepting that the main edifice [of the Pali Texts] is not the
work of one genius."
Unless someone has gone the whole hog with vipassana (all 16 nanas) there is no way to know what a genius he is. It's not possible to know how deep this dhamma is. It is not possible to know how hard the sangha has practised. There is no true saddha until then.

with metta

RYB
You're being kind of narrow, RYB.

rowyourboat
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Post by rowyourboat » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:40 pm

thereductor wrote:
rowyourboat wrote:Hi Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote: As Gombrich states: "I have the greatest difficulty in accepting that the main edifice [of the Pali Texts] is not the
work of one genius."
Unless someone has gone the whole hog with vipassana (all 16 nanas) there is no way to know what a genius he is. It's not possible to know how deep this dhamma is. It is not possible to know how hard the sangha has practised. There is no true saddha until then.

with metta

RYB
You're being kind of narrow, RYB.
:smile: Well 'aveccapasadha' unshakeable faith arises at that point, according to the dhamma ie at the point of becoming a stream entrant (ie 16 vipassaan knowledges); because they have seen the path through their own experience and it it unlike anything a mind has experienced for the whole of samsara. To figure out this path takes a genius. Yes, morality and concentration was already around. But this vipassana is something beyond what a normal human mind can figure out.. and to teach it to people in way that some might grasp it is even more genius. Imagine one fish teaching another fish how to walk on land, or a bird to fly in space. It is of that magnitude.

:anjali: with metta

RYB
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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tiltbillings
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:42 pm

rowyourboat wrote:

Unless someone has gone the whole hog with vipassana (all 16 nanas) there is no way to know what a genius he is.
And you know this from direct experience?
>> 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

Reductor
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Post by Reductor » Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:13 pm

rowyourboat wrote: :smile: Well 'aveccapasadha' unshakeable faith arises at that point, according to the dhamma ie at the point of becoming a stream entrant ...
Not quite what I meant, as I'm not one to argue against unshakable faith. I mean that there's more than one way to approach the Buddha's genius other than the practice path of ourselves; and subsequently I feel that Gombrich's view is no less valid by virtue of its perspective.

I would also caution the absolutist reference to the 16 nana and their necessity for 'true' saddha, as not all of us are either aware of what they entail or necessarily subscribe to their being typical of progress. Doing so seems, perhaps, a narrow view.

As for your above assessment to the magnitude of the Buddha's teaching, from the pov of a practitioner, I do concur. I cannot fathom a more wondrous and important teaching than his.

alan
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Post by alan » Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:13 am

You're missing the point, RYB.
Gombrich simply asserts that the Pali Canon reflects the teachings of one man, who was a genius. He's countering those who might argue that it is a collection of many views, or the nefarious idea that we can't really tell if there ever was such a person.
This has nothing to do with achievements or levels of understanding.

Shonin
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Post by Shonin » Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:31 am

We don't need to have attained '16 nanas' to know that Aristotle and Da Vinci were geniuses. Why would Buddha be different?

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Ben
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Post by Ben » Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:07 am

Shonin wrote:We don't need to have attained '16 nanas' to know that Aristotle and Da Vinci were geniuses. Why would Buddha be different?
Quite so, Shonin!
Nor do we need to have attained the 16 naanas to know the Buddha was a genius. Gombrich was able to come to the conclusion through his scholastic endeavours and we can do so through the development of experiential wisdom, even as mere putthujanas on the path.
kind regards

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..

rowyourboat
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Post by rowyourboat » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:24 pm

:smile: looks like I've raised a bit of a hornet's nest! I hope I have succeeded a little bit at least in those of you who might be resting on your current dhamma laurels. :stirthepot: I ask you what you must do to fit the description of the arya sangha- to be worthy of veneration ('anjalikaraneyyo'), to be worthy of gifts brought from afar ('aahuneyyo'), to be worthy of gifts given in seeking merit ('pahuneyyo'). What kind of practice would such a person have? - a bit of internet surfing perhaps?

Well, I'm going to leave it to you folks to think about Prof Gombrich. It is my belief that anyone who claims to know the dhamma and is a professor of the matter, should consider himself a buddhist; else he hasn't understood much. He may well be useful in clarifying history and other such matters, but perhaps not about the dhamma itself.
:anjali:

with metta

RYB
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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tiltbillings
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Re: Richard Gombrich

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:52 pm

rowyourboat wrote::smile: looks like I've raised a bit of a hornet's nest! I hope I have succeeded a little bit at least in those of you who might be resting on your current dhamma laurels. :stirthepot: I ask you what you must do to fit the description of the arya sangha- to be worthy of veneration ('anjalikaraneyyo'), to be worthy of gifts brought from afar ('aahuneyyo'), to be worthy of gifts given in seeking merit ('pahuneyyo'). What kind of practice would such a person have? - a bit of internet surfing perhaps?

Well, I'm going to leave it to you folks to think about Prof Gombrich. It is my belief that anyone who claims to know the dhamma and is a professor of the matter, should consider himself a buddhist; else he hasn't understood much. He may well be useful in clarifying history and other such matters, but perhaps not about the dhamma itself.
:anjali:

with metta

RYB
Are you going to back up your claim: "Unless someone has gone the whole hog with vipassana (all 16 nanas) there is no way to know what a genius he is ?" Is this something you know from direct experience? If you have not directly experienced all the 16 ñānas, then you really do not know.
>> 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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