Did Mahayana influence Theravada Buddhism?

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
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Grigoris
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Re: Did Mahayana influence Theravada Buddhism?

Postby Grigoris » Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:18 pm

Felix wrote:That doesn't alter the fact that much of the Vajrayana has little to do directly with the Suttas.
If one makes, what I feel is, a false dichotomy between Sutta and Sutra, then there is a grain of truth in what you are saying.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Did Mahayana influence Theravada Buddhism?

Postby Lucas Oliveira » Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:25 pm

Felix wrote:
Lucas Oliveira wrote:
Felix wrote:
The idea that there is an original non sectarian Buddhism that we can access is a myth that has been thoroughly debunked.
Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism evolved because they meet certain needs.
The site you mention is in fact a thorough-going Theravadin site.. :smile:


I know.
That's what you have for today.

I don't understand your reply.
You imply that if we remove sectarian concerns the Buddha speaks for himself..which is a very Protestant idea.
You then support your position by posting a link to a site that is firmly grounded in the Theravada, as though that is proof of a non sectarian position, which is absolutely not the case. Quite the reverse.


This is the question, we are discussing who came first and forget the most important thing is to practice.

Cula-Malunkyovada Sutta: The Shorter Instructions to Malunkya
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


:namaste:
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Re: Did Mahayana influence Theravada Buddhism?

Postby Felix » Tue Jan 03, 2017 8:21 pm

Several people have pointed out that the 'who came first' debate is posited on a fallacy
ie. the idea that the Theravada is non different to the Dharma taught by Shakyamuni Buddha.
The reality is that things are far more complex than that.
It also overlooks the fact that within the Vajrayana are several strands taught by Buddhas other than Shakyamuni.

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Did Mahayana influence Theravada Buddhism?

Postby Kim O'Hara » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:51 pm

Hi, Tom (and Felix, since you made somewhat parallel comments)
tomamundsen wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:
tomamundsen wrote:Yea, that is obvious to many of us. :anjali:

Indeed. And the converse is obvious to many of us, too.


Interesting. So, if you truly do think that way, then why exactly are you on this forum for Mahayana and Vajrayana? To instill doubt in the minds of fledgling practitioners of the Great Vehicle?

Of course not. As Greg said, 'Read the rest of the post'. I was saying that we don't know and can't know, and will generally take a position based on our own prior knowledge and inclinations ... which makes most of the debate pretty pointless.
I am here to learn and to share my knowledge, as I guess most of us are. FWIW, I don't identify as either Theravadin or Mahayanist but as a non-sectarian Buddhist (sometimes not even as any kind of Buddhist but merely as someone who tries to be a good person, but that's another story). I find much of value in both traditions, and much in common between them. When I'm here, I try not to upset people by criticising the teachings of any school, or pushing any sectarian line; ditto when I'm on the other forum.
However, I won't hold back from highlighting problematic statements as and when I see them. If a statement is unsupported and (IMO) wrong (i.e. factually incorrect), I'm likely to ask for evidence. If it comes, fine: I will look at it and I might learn something. If not ... :toilet:

And this whole 'Very Early Buddhism' area is problematic, not least because the Western historical method of investigation (the fallback method for resolving questions of fact for most of us) doesn't lead to results which fully support the traditional teachings of any of the schools. :emb:
How we choose to deal with that is quite personal and individual, as we've seen, but the nature of this (Western-dominated, online) forum is such that avoiding the issue is almost impossible. I don't think that's entirely a bad thing in the long term, actually. I think it's a necessary part of a bigger process of Buddhism/s adapting to the Western world, and of the schools talking to each other after a couple of millennia of almost complete separation and divergence.
YMMV, of course, and that's fine.

:namaste:
Kim

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Re: Did Mahayana influence Theravada Buddhism?

Postby tomamundsen » Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:55 am

Grigoris wrote:
tomamundsen wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:Indeed. And the converse is obvious to many of us, too.


Interesting. So, if you truly do think that way, then why exactly are you on this forum for Mahayana and Vajrayana? To instill doubt in the minds of fledgling practitioners of the Great Vehicle?
Read the rest of the post...

Honestly, I just couldn't understand it :shrug:

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Re: Did Mahayana influence Theravada Buddhism?

Postby Kim O'Hara » Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:55 am

tomamundsen wrote:
Grigoris wrote:
tomamundsen wrote:
Interesting. So, if you truly do think that way, then why exactly are you on this forum for Mahayana and Vajrayana? To instill doubt in the minds of fledgling practitioners of the Great Vehicle?
Read the rest of the post...

Honestly, I just couldn't understand it :shrug:

My fault for being too playfully obscure, I guess - sorry.
I think I've explained enough now, but the quote came from the Rubaiyat which is worth knowing even if it isn't Buddhist. You can read it here: http://www.omarkhayyamrubaiyat.com/text.htm.

:namaste:
Kim

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Re: Did Mahayana influence Theravada Buddhism?

Postby Mkoll » Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:18 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:When I'm here, I try not to upset people by criticising the teachings of any school, or pushing any sectarian line; ditto when I'm on the other forum.
However, I won't hold back from highlighting problematic statements as and when I see them. If a statement is unsupported and (IMO) wrong (i.e. factually incorrect), I'm likely to ask for evidence. If it comes, fine: I will look at it and I might learn something. If not ... :toilet:

:good:

I try to do the same.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Re: Did Mahayana influence Theravada Buddhism?

Postby Dharma Flower » Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:22 am

Felix wrote:Several people have pointed out that the 'who came first' debate is posited on a fallacy
ie. the idea that the Theravada is non different to the Dharma taught by Shakyamuni Buddha.
The reality is that things are far more complex than that.
It also overlooks the fact that within the Vajrayana are several strands taught by Buddhas other than Shakyamuni.


Please keep in mind, I have not claimed that one is superior to the other. What can we learn from the Second Buddhism Council regarding early Buddhism?

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Re: Did Mahayana influence Theravada Buddhism?

Postby Felix » Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:11 am

Dharma Flower wrote:
Felix wrote:Several people have pointed out that the 'who came first' debate is posited on a fallacy
ie. the idea that the Theravada is non different to the Dharma taught by Shakyamuni Buddha.
The reality is that things are far more complex than that.
It also overlooks the fact that within the Vajrayana are several strands taught by Buddhas other than Shakyamuni.


Please keep in mind, I have not claimed that one is superior to the other. What can we learn from the Second Buddhism Council regarding early Buddhism?


That institutionalisation sets in early?

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Re: Did Mahayana influence Theravada Buddhism?

Postby tomamundsen » Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:59 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
tomamundsen wrote:
Grigoris wrote:Read the rest of the post...

Honestly, I just couldn't understand it :shrug:

My fault for being too playfully obscure, I guess - sorry.
I think I've explained enough now, but the quote came from the Rubaiyat which is worth knowing even if it isn't Buddhist. You can read it here: http://www.omarkhayyamrubaiyat.com/text.htm.

:namaste:
Kim

Oops. I'm sorry, I'm in an area with bad reception and didn't get a chance to refresh the page before I responded to Greg's comment. I didn't read your reply before I posted mine, after it. Thank you for patiently and kindly answering my question.

To be honest, I've been thinking of deactivating my account recently. I don't get much out of the internet anymore because of how committed to one particular tradition I am. Not trying to say that the way that I'm doing things is better than the way other people do things. But there are more people with doubt asking questions on the internet than there are among those who I practice with. And I thought it would be useful to let someone like Dharma Flower know that there are in fact people out there, in very large numbers, that have his kind of confidence in the Mahayana tradition and that he's not the only one that thinks this way.

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Re: Did Mahayana influence Theravada Buddhism?

Postby Felix » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:33 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
tomamundsen wrote:
Grigoris wrote:Read the rest of the post...

Honestly, I just couldn't understand it :shrug:

My fault for being too playfully obscure, I guess - sorry.
I think I've explained enough now, but the quote came from the Rubaiyat which is worth knowing even if it isn't Buddhist. You can read it here: http://www.omarkhayyamrubaiyat.com/text.htm.

:namaste:
Kim

The problem with quoting such translations, and Fitzgerald's translation of the Rubiyat is considered by the same school of Sufis as was Omar Khyam as a complete travesty of the original, is that it demonstrates the complete opposite of the mindset which essential for any understanding of the Vajrayana other than merely as a detached observer.

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Re: Did Mahayana influence Theravada Buddhism?

Postby Lucas Oliveira » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:34 am

I learned a lot about the topic

Thanks for the attention and patience of all!


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Re: Did Mahayana influence Theravada Buddhism?

Postby Felix » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:40 am

:namaste: :group:

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Re: Did Mahayana influence Theravada Buddhism?

Postby Grigoris » Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:02 pm

tomamundsen wrote:And I thought it would be useful to let someone like Dharma Flower know that there are in fact people out there, in very large numbers, that have his kind of confidence in the Mahayana tradition and that he's not the only one that thinks this way.
I have complete confidence in the Mahayana, doesn't mean I have to engage in sectarianism though. ;)

Personally my confidence is such that I could not give a flying fornication whether Mahayana came first, last, is the words of the Buddha himself, is made up but inspired by the Buddha, etc... Actually, I personally believe that sectarianism betrays a LACK of confidence which requires compensation via (false) feelings of superiority. I believe that sectarianism is a form of need-based ego-centered identification, which is exactly what the Mahayana should NOT be used for.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

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Re: Did Mahayana influence Theravada Buddhism?

Postby Kim O'Hara » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:14 pm

:offtopic:
Felix wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:My fault for being too playfully obscure, I guess - sorry.
I think I've explained enough now, but the quote came from the Rubaiyat which is worth knowing even if it isn't Buddhist. You can read it here: http://www.omarkhayyamrubaiyat.com/text.htm.

:namaste:
Kim

The problem with quoting such translations, and Fitzgerald's translation of the Rubiyat is considered by the same school of Sufis as was Omar Khyam as a complete travesty of the original, is that it demonstrates the complete opposite of the mindset which essential for any understanding of the Vajrayana other than merely as a detached observer.

I'm well aware that Fitzgerald's "translation" of the Rubaiyat is a weird hybrid of Sufism and nineteenth-century English orientalism, However
• I like it. :smile:
• I think it's an important bit of 'general western culture' in its own right - like Gibran's "The Prophet" for instance - that people should know about.
• The bit I quoted was particularly apt to the situation, especially because it's that weird hybrid.

:namaste:

Kim

:focus:

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Re: Did Mahayana influence Theravada Buddhism?

Postby Dharma Flower » Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:26 am

Felix wrote:
Dharma Flower wrote:
Felix wrote:Several people have pointed out that the 'who came first' debate is posited on a fallacy
ie. the idea that the Theravada is non different to the Dharma taught by Shakyamuni Buddha.
The reality is that things are far more complex than that.
It also overlooks the fact that within the Vajrayana are several strands taught by Buddhas other than Shakyamuni.


Please keep in mind, I have not claimed that one is superior to the other. What can we learn from the Second Buddhism Council regarding early Buddhism?


That institutionalisation sets in early?


I was hoping for more historical information than that. I'm really interested in learning more about this topic.

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Re: Did Mahayana influence Theravada Buddhism?

Postby tomamundsen » Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:25 am

Grigoris wrote:
tomamundsen wrote:And I thought it would be useful to let someone like Dharma Flower know that there are in fact people out there, in very large numbers, that have his kind of confidence in the Mahayana tradition and that he's not the only one that thinks this way.
I have complete confidence in the Mahayana, doesn't mean I have to engage in sectarianism though. ;)

Personally my confidence is such that I could not give a flying fornication whether Mahayana came first, last, is the words of the Buddha himself, is made up but inspired by the Buddha, etc... Actually, I personally believe that sectarianism betrays a LACK of confidence which requires compensation via (false) feelings of superiority. I believe that sectarianism is a form of need-based ego-centered identification, which is exactly what the Mahayana should NOT be used for.


I think we are living in two different worlds. Yours sounds very nice too. I hope you have a great day, Greg.

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Re: Did Mahayana influence Theravada Buddhism?

Postby Kim O'Hara » Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:13 am

Dharma Flower wrote:
Felix wrote:
Dharma Flower wrote:
Please keep in mind, I have not claimed that one is superior to the other. What can we learn from the Second Buddhism Council regarding early Buddhism?


That institutionalisation sets in early?


I was hoping for more historical information than that. I'm really interested in learning more about this topic.

This Wheel doesn't have a specific "Early Buddhism" area - our "Academic Discussion" http://dharmawheel.net/viewforum.php?f=102 may be the best place to look (and continue your thread?).
The other Wheel does have an "Early Buddhism" area - http://dhammawheel.com/viewforum.php?f=29 - with a pinned thread of "Early Buddhism Resources" running to 160 posts.
Happy hunting! :smile:

:reading: :reading: :reading:
Kim

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Re: Did Mahayana influence Theravada Buddhism?

Postby Felix » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:34 am

Kim O'Hara wrote::offtopic:
Felix wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:My fault for being too playfully obscure, I guess - sorry.
I think I've explained enough now, but the quote came from the Rubaiyat which is worth knowing even if it isn't Buddhist. You can read it here: http://www.omarkhayyamrubaiyat.com/text.htm.

:namaste:
Kim

The problem with quoting such translations, and Fitzgerald's translation of the Rubiyat is considered by the same school of Sufis as was Omar Khyam as a complete travesty of the original, is that it demonstrates the complete opposite of the mindset which essential for any understanding of the Vajrayana other than merely as a detached observer.

I'm well aware that Fitzgerald's "translation" of the Rubaiyat is a weird hybrid of Sufism and nineteenth-century English orientalism, However
• I like it. :smile:
• I think it's an important bit of 'general western culture' in its own right - like Gibran's "The Prophet" for instance - that people should know about.
• The bit I quoted was particularly apt to the situation, especially because it's that weird hybrid.

:namaste:

Kim

:focus:


I don't see how it pertains to the topic at all, and I don't see how it is not obvious that merely investigating the Vajrayana by frequenting teachers and leaving the same as you were will never yield any insight into that tradition.
And without such insight the question of chronology is redundant.

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Re: Did Mahayana influence Theravada Buddhism?

Postby Astus » Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:29 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:both are true descendants of pre-sectarian Buddhism


Sectarians are the true descendants of the pre-sectarians. That is, both are sectarians.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"


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