Buddhist fundamentalists?

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Re: Buddhist fundamentalists?

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:19 pm

Namdrol wrote:It is not about gender, it is about transmission.


Even among the male monk lines, it would be quite naive to think that all the ordinations from the time of the Buddha were "unbroken". It is much more likely that in fact, there were several ordinations performed by preceptors who were later discovered to have committed a parajika offense entailing defeat from the Sanha. Thereby, making all future ordinations in that line broken, according to a literal interpretation.
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Re: Buddhist fundamentalists?

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:22 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:
Namdrol wrote:It is not about gender, it is about transmission.


Even among the male monk lines, it would be quite naive to think that all the ordinations from the time of the Buddha were "unbroken". It is much more likely that in fact, there were several ordinations performed by monks who were later discovered to have committed a parajika offense entailing defeat from the Sanha. Thereby, making all future ordinations in that line broken, according to a literal interpretation.



Not so, even if there is a unknown parajika among the quorum that was later revealed, all that matters is that the majority of of the monks had fully intact vows. This idea about one parajika was a novelty introduced by Sangharakshita. It is a false assertion.
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Re: Buddhist fundamentalists?

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:18 am

Not sure about the technical aspects of the Mahayana vinaya, but if what you have is correct, what about when there was no majority? I am certain at some point in history on at least one occasion there were not a majority of "real" monks present. Again, the broken line.

In the Theravada vinaya, there must be at least 5 monks present who do not have the parajika offense for the ordination to be valid (Mahavagga, chapter 9, vs 4.1–4.4).

Again, realistically, some where along the line, it has been broken, if you take a literal view.

What matters is their conviction and adherence to the precepts, not the outward ceremony.
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Re: Buddhist fundamentalists?

Postby mudra » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:20 am

Coming back to the original question from the OP, IMHO there are those who do have 'fundamentalist' (in the negative sense of the word) tendencies in Buddhism. For example there are those Mahayanist who insist that Theravada teachings contain no merit as they are "lower", and there are plenty of Theravadins who insist that the Mahayana etc has nothing to do with the Buddha's actual teachings. In this case both parties have a very narrow view, and even worse deny that the Buddha had the capacity to teach different methodologies appropriate for different needs.

Rather than examining carefully if the teachings they criticize contain the true fundamentals of Buddha's teaching (eg Four Noble Truths, Four Seals etc), they just slam it because it's different.
:shrug:
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Re: Buddhist fundamentalists?

Postby adinatha » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:41 am

mudra wrote:Coming back to the original question from the OP, IMHO there are those who do have 'fundamentalist' (in the negative sense of the word) tendencies in Buddhism. For example there are those Mahayanist who insist that Theravada teachings contain no merit as they are "lower", and there are plenty of Theravadins who insist that the Mahayana etc has nothing to do with the Buddha's actual teachings. In this case both parties have a very narrow view, and even worse deny that the Buddha had the capacity to teach different methodologies appropriate for different needs.

Rather than examining carefully if the teachings they criticize contain the true fundamentals of Buddha's teaching (eg Four Noble Truths, Four Seals etc), they just slam it because it's different.
:shrug:


What you are describing is more like sectarianism than fundamentalism. There's all kinds of that in Buddhism.
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Re: Buddhist fundamentalists?

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:43 am

David N. Snyder wrote:Not sure about the technical aspects of the Mahayana vinaya, but if what you have is correct, what about when there was no majority? I am certain at some point in history on at least one occasion there were not a majority of "real" monks present. Again, the broken line.

In the Theravada vinaya, there must be at least 5 monks present who do not have the parajika offense for the ordination to be valid (Mahavagga, chapter 9, vs 4.1–4.4).

Again, realistically, some where along the line, it has been broken, if you take a literal view.

What matters is their conviction and adherence to the precepts, not the outward ceremony.



If that were the case, than that vinaya lineage transmission would be broken and beyond reviving.

We should not expect everything to last forever, including the monastic sangha.

N
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Re: Buddhist fundamentalists?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:13 am

Namdrol wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:I like how this conversation has turned. If Buddhists won't confront gender issues, who will?



It is not a gender issue. it is a transmission issue. Completely different issues.

if it involves gender, it's a gender issue.

I have some friends who are Thai monks. They are not allowed to touch women. They are also not supposed to handle money but somehow they've managed to find a loophole to that rule. I asked one of them, if they find a severed hand lying on the ground, how would they know if it was a man's or a woman's?
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Re: Buddhist fundamentalists?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:26 am

When I asked about buddhist fundamentalism, I wanted to know, from people's general experience, if they know dharma people who seem to have become more close-minded and intolerant as opposed to more open minded and tolerant. I have recently met some dharma people who have, compared to most non-buddhists I know, a very narrow view of things. It reminds me of evangelicals. I was very surprised by this because it isn't what i usually find and certainly not what expected. So, I learn to let go of my expectations, but beyond that it was really creepy. I think maybe they are psychopaths.
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Re: Buddhist fundamentalists?

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:44 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote: if it involves gender, it's a gender issue.


Only if you are narrow minded.

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Re: Buddhist fundamentalists?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:21 am

Namdrol wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote: if it involves gender, it's a gender issue.


Only if you are narrow minded.

N


It is many issues, but it is a gender issue.
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Re: Buddhist fundamentalists?

Postby mudra » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:33 am

adinatha wrote:
mudra wrote:Coming back to the original question from the OP, IMHO there are those who do have 'fundamentalist' (in the negative sense of the word) tendencies in Buddhism. For example there are those Mahayanist who insist that Theravada teachings contain no merit as they are "lower", and there are plenty of Theravadins who insist that the Mahayana etc has nothing to do with the Buddha's actual teachings. In this case both parties have a very narrow view, and even worse deny that the Buddha had the capacity to teach different methodologies appropriate for different needs.

Rather than examining carefully if the teachings they criticize contain the true fundamentals of Buddha's teaching (eg Four Noble Truths, Four Seals etc), they just slam it because it's different.
:shrug:


What you are describing is more like sectarianism than fundamentalism. There's all kinds of that in Buddhism.


I think if you examined most "fundamentalist" movements you would find that they are sectarian. And that most sectarians are pretty "fundamentalist".
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Re: Buddhist fundamentalists?

Postby Caz » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:08 am

Namdrol wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:I like how this conversation has turned. If Buddhists won't confront gender issues, who will?



It is not a gender issue. it is a transmission issue. Completely different issues.


So what exactly would be the problem with giving them these vows even if it is a dead transmission ? when one decides to keep morale discipline surely this helps toward mind training... :popcorn:
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

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Re: Buddhist fundamentalists?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:13 am

mudra wrote:Coming back to the original question from the OP, IMHO there are those who do have 'fundamentalist' (in the negative sense of the word) tendencies in Buddhism. For example there are those Mahayanist who insist that Theravada teachings contain no merit as they are "lower", and there are plenty of Theravadins who insist that the Mahayana etc has nothing to do with the Buddha's actual teachings. In this case both parties have a very narrow view, and even worse deny that the Buddha had the capacity to teach different methodologies appropriate for different needs.

Rather than examining carefully if the teachings they criticize contain the true fundamentals of Buddha's teaching (eg Four Noble Truths, Four Seals etc), they just slam it because it's different.
:shrug:


Thanks. It just seems really strange to me. I guess that is because such an attitude, of needing to be right, to be the one who practices the 'only true' teachings seems like such an ego trip. There is an old saying, all rivers eventually lead to the ocean.

A well-known zen poem By Seng-t'san 'On Believing In Mind' sums it up so well:
(translation by D.T. Suzuki)

"To set up what you like against what you dislike--
This is the disease of the mind:
When the deep meaning [of the Way] is not understood
Peace of mind is disturbed to no purpose. "

..actually, I think the whole poem expresses a realization of great openness. Another satanza reads:

"Transformations going on in an empty world which confronts us
Appear real all because of Ignorance:
Try not to seek after the true,
Only cease to cherish opinions. "

I find that the more narrow-minded people are, the more defensive they get. They speak harshly, full of spite and resentment. It just seems strange to me that this is so common among Buddhists.

What are people clinging to? :thinking:
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Re: Buddhist fundamentalists?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:17 am

Caz wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:I like how this conversation has turned. If Buddhists won't confront gender issues, who will?



It is not a gender issue. it is a transmission issue. Completely different issues.


So what exactly would be the problem with giving them these vows even if it is a dead transmission ? when one decides to keep morale discipline surely this helps toward mind training... :popcorn:


In Thailand a male can take vows and be a monk for just a few days if he wants to. But if a woman wants to devote her life to being monastic, very difficult!
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Buddhist fundamentalists?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:26 am

adinatha wrote: What you are describing is more like sectarianism than fundamentalism. There's all kinds of that in Buddhism.
\
Yes, I think you are right. Sectarianism is a better term. My association with the Dharma is Vajrayana, but I study works and try to learn about --and from-- all the traditions, from Theravada to Jodo Shinshu. What I find is that ultimately everybody is talking about the same thing, just approaching it from vastly different directions.

Do you think internet technology will ever help fix things? These forums seem like such a great opportunity to connect. it is something that never existed in all of history until just a decade or two ago. But look what happens...people fight!
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Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Buddhist fundamentalists?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:34 am

mudra wrote:Coming back to the original question from the OP...
I think that you will find that the deabte around ordination of bhikkhunis is a fine example of the issue of fundamentalism.

Back to your question Namdrol, I would say that the Buddha was not a fundamentalist because he invited people to test and debate his Dharma, something a fundamentalist would normally not allow.
:namaste:
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Re: Buddhist fundamentalists?

Postby Astus » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:55 am

You won't get rid of sectarianism ever. I see a good chance for the merging of different teachings because of the varied sources one can find now, however, even then there are differing interpretations.

"the Buddha was not a fundamentalist because he invited people to test and deabte his Dharma, something a fundamentalist would normally not allow."

It's not that so called fundamentalists don't invite you for a debate but it is how they debate. Debates in most cases are about personal emotions and not the subject of the debate especially when the goal is to convert somebody. Debating for the sake of learning is a different matter, but then fundamentalism is not an issue.
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Re: Buddhist fundamentalists?

Postby Caz » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:49 am


In Thailand a male can take vows and be a monk for just a few days if he wants to. But if a woman wants to devote her life to being monastic, very difficult!


Seems to be profoundly bias to me, I wonder what Buddha would say. :buddha1:
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

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Re: Buddhist fundamentalists?

Postby Jnana » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:45 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:These forums seem like such a great opportunity to connect. it is something that never existed in all of history until just a decade or two ago. But look what happens...people fight!

People also share and make acquaintances and friends, and can learn more about their own chosen tradition, learn about other traditions, read a variety of viewpoints on most any topic, and so on.

All the best,

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Re: Buddhist fundamentalists?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:13 pm

Astus wrote:...Debating for the sake of learning is a different matter, but then fundamentalism is not an issue.
Well obviously I am referring to this type of debate, I doubt the Buddha would have involved his personal emotions nor I imagine was the Buddha out to convert but rather to inform. This is why I would not consider the Buddha a fundamentalist.
:namaste:
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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