Myth in Buddhism

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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Jnana » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:13 am

Karma Dorje wrote:To speak of what is meaningful to one does not entail putting down what is meaningful to others.

Unfortunately, in the recorded history of Buddhist ideas it has often included doing just that.

Karma Dorje wrote:If you are upset by the claims of vajrayana, there are countless other expressions to explore.

I'm not upset at all.

Karma Dorje wrote:I scarcely think that vajrayana has a monopoly on triumphalism.

Acknowledging the presence of triumphalist rhetoric is a start.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby muni » Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:10 am

A traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event...this i found on google as definition of a myth. All talk about buddhism is part of the artificial world, practices as tools to see what we naturally are. All very useful tool-myths.

If there is competition by the buddha's teaching tools is it delusion; since the myth is mistaken for naturally truth.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:12 am

Huseng wrote:Incidentally, the guru guide phenomenon, just as you see it in the west, is unsurprisingly a part of modern Indian culture, too.
You find it in Western culture too, just that we call them counsellors, consultants, think tanks, advisors, etc...
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:54 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
Huseng wrote:Incidentally, the guru guide phenomenon, just as you see it in the west, is unsurprisingly a part of modern Indian culture, too.
You find it in Western culture too, just that we call them counsellors, consultants, think tanks, advisors, etc...


Yes, secular gurus are just as pervasive. They don't have to be clear headed and wise. They just need to be "professional" to be respectable.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Namgyal » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:12 pm

Jnana wrote:
Karma Dorje wrote:There are no deficient vehicles. The appropriate vehicle for one is the vehicle one actually understands and practices.
A supersessionist platitude.

Karma Dorje is correct. I have misplaced the exact sutra which explains 'Lord Buddha did not teach an inferior vehicle', but it is rather obvious. Theravada contains the Mahayana which contains the Vajrayana. You simply work with whichever combination suits you best. Ultimately there is only one vehicle 'Ekayana'.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:14 pm

Namgyal wrote:
Jnana wrote:
Karma Dorje wrote:There are no deficient vehicles. The appropriate vehicle for one is the vehicle one actually understands and practices.
A supersessionist platitude.

Karma Dorje is correct. I have misplaced the exact sutra which explains 'Lord Buddha did not teach an inferior vehicle', but it is rather obvious. Theravada contains the Mahayana which contains the Vajrayana. You simply work with whichever combination suits you best. Ultimately there is only one vehicle 'Ekayana'.


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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Namgyal » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:27 pm

Huseng wrote:my own somewhat eccentric (for a Canadian) inclinations and interests.

Perhaps you are not alone?
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Jnana » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:44 pm

Namgyal wrote:Theravada contains the Mahayana which contains the Vajrayana. You simply work with whichever combination suits you best. Ultimately there is only one vehicle 'Ekayana'.

There's no need to assert that there's only "one vehicle." The notion of an Ekayāna is another revisionist version of mythological narrative.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Namgyal » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:49 pm

Jnana wrote:
Namgyal wrote:Theravada contains the Mahayana which contains the Vajrayana. You simply work with whichever combination suits you best. Ultimately there is only one vehicle 'Ekayana'.

There's no need to assert that there's only "one vehicle." The notion of an Ekayāna is another revisionist version of mythological narrative.

My perspective is that all Buddhists are one family. I would happily discuss your perspective, except that you don't appear to have one.
Jnana wrote:Unfortunately, in the recorded history of Buddhist ideas it has often included doing just that...I'm not upset at all...Acknowledging the presence of triumphalist rhetoric is a start...Sure it does -- implicitly and often enough explicitly...A supersessionist platitude...One of the implications of such self-aggrandizement is that other traditions and practitioners are relegated to the inferior status of being deficient in compassion.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Jikan » Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:01 pm

Namgyal wrote:Karma Dorje is correct. I have misplaced the exact sutra which explains 'Lord Buddha did not teach an inferior vehicle', but it is rather obvious. Theravada contains the Mahayana which contains the Vajrayana. You simply work with whichever combination suits you best. Ultimately there is only one vehicle 'Ekayana'.


This is one way to understand the Lotus Sutra, and the interpretation I favor.

It's not the only plausible approach to this sutra, however (it's a very plastic text). Reasonable people can and will disagree on this point.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby plwk » Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:04 pm

Theravada contains the Mahayana which contains the Vajrayana. You simply work with whichever combination suits you best. Ultimately there is only one vehicle 'Ekayana'.
There's no need to assert that there's only "one vehicle." The notion of an Ekayāna is another revisionist version of mythological narrative.
Funny Jnana, this reminds me of how the Lord Himself used the same term but perhaps in a different context here...
Ekāyano ayaṃ, bhikkhave, maggo sattānaṃ visuddhiyā, sokaparidevānaṃ samatikkamāya, dukkhadomanassānaṃ atthaṅgamāya, ñāyassa adhigamāya, nibbānassa sacchikiriyāya yadidaṃ cattāro satipaṭṭhānā’ ti. Iti yaṃ taṃ vuttaṃ, idametaṃ paṭicca vuttaṃ ti.
It is for this reason that it was said: "This is the one and only way, monks, for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, for the extinguishing of suffering and grief, for walking on the path of truth, for the realisation of nibbāna: that is to say, the fourfold establishing of awareness."

Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Jnana » Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:01 pm

plwk wrote:Funny Jnana, this reminds me of how the Lord Himself used the same term but perhaps in a different context here...

Entirely different context.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Jnana » Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:02 pm

Namgyal wrote:My perspective is that all Buddhists are one family. I would happily discuss your perspective, except that you don't appear to have one.

Even if one wants to be eccumenically inclined, it's important to acknowledge distinctions. The mainstream Indian Buddhist schools (e.g. Sarvāstivāda, Sthaviravāda, etc.) developed to where they accepted three vehicles: the śrāvakayāna, the pratyekayāna, and the boddhisattvayāna. The later notion of an Ekayāna was and still is all too often used as a polemic to marginalize śrāvaka arhats -- as in the claim that arhats still need to realize buddhahood. Such a claim is incompatible with eccumenicism.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Namgyal » Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:04 pm

Jikan wrote:Reasonable people can and will disagree on this point.

Any notion of a hierarchy in the Dharma suggests that Lord Buddha was somehow partisan or elitist, which I dispute. Furthermore, in my experience Theravada monks are not even remotely 'deficient'. The Pali Canon contains all the so-called Mahayana doctrines and Theravada Buddhists are perfectly capable of practising them. I made a scene at a Buddhist conference last year when one Tibetan Buddhist speaker suggested that the Theravada was a 'lesser' vehicle. If a Sri Lankan speaker had claimed that the Vajrayana was just Hindu occultism then I would have attacked him as well. All of the teachings of Lord Buddha are equally glorious and excellent.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Jikan » Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:20 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Huseng, so basically...

People with no spiritual education or development deserve to be taken advantage of? Most people start out like this, with this kind of naivete.

It's like you're saying well, these people didn't understand a correct spiritual path in the first place, so it's fine to exploit their trust to prove a point.

I agree with you at least partially about WHY they acted the way they did, but this was new to no one long before the film came out obviously.


My point had to do with varying interpretations of the Lotus Sutra. There's the Ekayana view, which you're articulating well; this is in my view the best lesson of that sutra.

People disagree on this, however, and present a more sectarian view. This is not an implausible reading.

I'm in agreement with you on the substance. The purpose of this post is to clarify & put in context the comment you've quoted.

:cheers:
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:35 pm

Huseng wrote:What do you guys think about Kumare?
The guy basically pretended to be Indian and became a guru, acquiring a following of devoted people who trusted him despite it all being a big sham.


All this shows is that scams can occur.
So what?

If you are arguing that lineage/transmission systems, guru-disciple systems, whatever,
that these are open to abuse,
I don't think anyone would argue otherwise.
But to argue that it is basic to the problem is quite a jump.

The internet is used all the time as a means of scamming people.
Much more than any phony Buddhist or Hindu scheme.
People such as me, who have no credentials at all can just spout off whatever they think.
That seems much worse than any Guru-disciple scam.
So, using the same logic that blames the guru-disciple relationship as the source of the problem,
the internet ought to be avoided as well
yet those who are against this tradition
do not seem to have no problem using this scam & virus infested internet
for posting on a web forum.

Do I smell some hypocrisy here?
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby shel » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:39 pm

jeeprs wrote:
shel wrote: You wrote that modern thinking is generally horizontal, which should mean that there is a whole horizon of various ways to look at something like myths. This bears no relation to depth of meaning. Seeing things from different angles can deepen meaning.


Nothing like it.

There is an expression used in relation to religious ideas, that there is a vertical dimension, representing, if you like, realms or levels of being. This is well-represented in Buddhism in the notions of the various 'realms' that you see depicted iconographically in the Tibetan Wheel of Life and Death or in the idea of 'bhumis' and heaven or hell realms.

That dimension of depth, the notion of 'realms of being', is absent in Western secular-mainstream thinking. There is nothing that maps against it and no way of understanding it.

You are essentially talking about MEANING, Jeeprs. That's how it is understood in "modern thinking," and anything meaningful maps against it. In modernity meaning is found in all sorts of ideologies, philosophies, etc, and in religions.

In a very specific sense, secular-scientific thought operates only in a single dimension, that is, the dimension that can explored by way of the senses and scientific instruments.

In modernity science is only one category in your horizontal plain. I'd didn't realize that Padma was limiting his understanding of "modern thinking" to the scientific method.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby shel » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:50 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Huseng wrote:What do you guys think about Kumare?
The guy basically pretended to be Indian and became a guru, acquiring a following of devoted people who trusted him despite it all being a big sham.


All this shows is that scams can occur.
So what?

If you are arguing that lineage/transmission systems, guru-disciple systems, whatever,
that these are open to abuse,
I don't think anyone would argue otherwise.
But to argue that it is basic to the problem is quite a jump.

It's basic to the phenomena as wheels are basic to a car. Wheels are essential to the function of a car but only one part of a larger process. The frame, engine, brakes, etc, are also essential.

The internet is used all the time as a means of scamming people.
Much more than any phony Buddhist or Hindu scheme.
People such as me, who have no credentials at all can just spout off whatever they think.
That seems much worse than any Guru-disciple scam.
So, using the same logic that blames the guru-disciple relationship as the source of the problem,
the internet ought to be avoided as well
yet those who are against this tradition
do not seem to have no problem using this scam & virus infested internet
for posting on a web forum.

Do I smell some hypocrisy here?

Internet technology is a medium of communication, Padma. And again, the "Guru-disciple relationship" is not "the source of the problem," it's a contributing factor.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:11 pm

Any time you trust someone it can be abused, the more trust the more it can be abused.

Not news to anyone, but it doesn't do anything to obscure the wonderful things that can also come from trust, which should be acknowledged as well, if we are going to talk about the guru-disciple relationship being responsible for things.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Karma Dorje » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:42 pm

Namgyal wrote: If a Sri Lankan speaker had claimed that the Vajrayana was just Hindu occultism then I would have attacked him as well. All of the teachings of Lord Buddha are equally glorious and excellent.


Yes, but that claim would be simply false. Vajrayana is *repurposed* Hindu occultism.
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