Use of the term 'Hīnayāna'

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Re: Use of Theravada/Thervadin Incorrect

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:04 am

Pema Chophel,

Well, when we're talking about so-called "Hinayana" practitioners, the only survivng Hinayana tradition IS the Theravada and its practitioners ARE Theravadins. But when we're talking about non-Theravadin Hinayana teachings, then it's of course nonsensical to call them Theravada if they are, say, Sautrantika or Vaibhashika or one of the other remaining Hinayana scriptural or Vinaya lineages. In place of Hinayana, I vote for either Shravakayana or Root/Fundamental vehicle or something of that nature that is both accurate and thoughtful.
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Re: Use of Theravada/Thervadin Incorrect

Postby platypus » Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:23 am

I see hinayana as derogatory when used to refer to theravada, even more confusing is when trying to be respectful people call their own hinayana strawmans theravada.
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Re: Use of Theravada/Thervadin Incorrect

Postby Dechen Norbu » Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:35 am

You lost me there, platypus... :?
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Re: Use of Theravada/Thervadin Incorrect

Postby mudra » Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:40 am

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Re: Use of Theravada/Thervadin Incorrect

Postby Dechen Norbu » Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:42 am

Some things never get old. ;) It's like sex and rebirth threads. They are never dead... only sleeping! :lol:
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Re: Use of Theravada/Thervadin Incorrect

Postby mudra » Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:51 am

Dechen Norbu wrote:Some things never go old. ;) It's like sex and rebirth threads. They are never dead... only sleeping! :lol:


you forgot the What is Buddha Nature, Renunciation, Je Tsongkhapa didn't know what he was talking about, Jesus was a Bodhisattva, Buddha is really God in Disguise, and Buddhists are really Hindus threads....
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Re: Use of Theravada/Thervadin Incorrect

Postby Dechen Norbu » Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:56 am

mudra wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:Some things never go old. ;) It's like sex and rebirth threads. They are never dead... only sleeping! :lol:


you forgot the What is Buddha Nature, Renunciation, Je Tsongkhapa didn't know what he was talking about, Jesus was a Bodhisattva, Buddha is really God in Disguise, and Buddhists are really Hindus threads....

Hahahahaha! :lol:
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Re: Use of the term 'Hīnayāna'

Postby Tara » Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:47 am

Topics "Use of the term Hīnayāna" and "Use of Theravada/Theravadin Incorrect" have been merged.

Regards,
rt
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Re: Use of Theravada/Thervadin Incorrect

Postby deepbluehum » Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:22 am

Kare wrote:It would be more correct to say that parts of the Tripitaka has been preserved in Tibet. Important texts from the Pali Canon, as for instance the Mahasatipatthanasutta, are not included in the Tibetan collections.


This is very interesting. I did not know that. Is this also true of the Anapanasati Sutta? These two methods are really sort of cornerstones of the early sangha. I have always wondered why the Tibetans characterized "hinayana" they way they do, and why I've never heard them reference the Four Foundations of Mindfulness in any discussion about "hinayana." This explains it. Yet another reason to scrutinize and question what the Tibetans tell us dharma is all about. I am an emanation of the deity of paranoia. Pleased to meet you. Out of all the texts to leave out of the tripitaka translation they leave out the one text that promises the possibility of arhatship in seven days. Seven days! By Mahayana standards that's either 1st, 6th or 8th bhumi level, depending on whose school is doing the counting. So if I can get to Arhat/X Bhumi by doing Satipatthana practice in seven days, why the hell shouldn't buddhahood be pretty short path too? That basically destroys the gasp and amazement one feels when hearing about seven years it takes to finish Dzogchen or twelve years to finish Mahamudra. Doesn't it? Then people say, "he's a mahasiddha; he did this miracle that miracle." But everyone of the miracles is a common siddhi. So what makes it even better than Arhat? I received a teaching from a high kagyu lama said they don't believe "ostentatious" miracles are sign of buddhahood, but equanimity at all times is sign of realization. Well, that's one of the four immeasurables and clearly promised as a fruit of Four Foundations of Mindfulness. So where's the buddhahood? Let's say you take one Four Foundations, add one "All mother sentient beings," and what do you have? Possibly the best seven days OF YOUR LIFE! Honestly, sometimes I feel like I'm being led around by the nose by these lamas, and then I feel like they are meandering aimlessly in a foggy thicket. I feel like I'm in a madhouse that was opened in my honor. Am I the only one that feels this way? Then, I do my pranayamas and visualization and bingo. No problem. Samsara is utterly meaningless and 99.9% of the dharma is reall just samsara.
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Re: Use of Theravada/Thervadin Incorrect

Postby platypus » Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:51 am

Dechen Norbu wrote:You lost me there, platypus... :?
I posted it at 3am sorry. What I meant was that those unfamiliar with theravada will often label what they know as hinayana as theravada, when theravada does nothing like that. For example theravadins only try to enlighten themselves, which is from what they have been told is hinayana but is not the case in theravada. There are so many theravada teachers trying to get others enlightened.
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Re: Use of the term 'Hīnayāna'

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:08 pm

Deepbluehum,

The Tibetans - in accordance with the Mahayana sutras - classify Hinayana and Mahayana as they do for good reason. Hinayana refers to the motivation to practice the Dharma for one's own nirvana alone. True, such individuals practice compassion and enagage in beneficial actions for others, and they even teach the liberating Dharma. But their ultimate goal is to achieve a non-abiding nirvana, and so they both practice and teach methods that lead to non-abiding nirvana, a peaceful state in which one's sentient being-liberating career comes to a screeching halt. Practitioners with a Mahayana attitude, however, aspire not to rest in nirvana, but to continue in an ever-increasing capacity for as long as it takes, to help all beings attain Buddhahood; accordingly, the methods they practice enable them to avoid the solitary peace of nirvana and embark on a Bodhisattva career for lifetime after lifetime and then to attain Buddhahood and continue carrying out skillful liberating means indefinitely. Thus their motivation and methods are rightly characterized as the great vehicle. Also, both the merit and wisdom aspects of the Mahayana are greater, and therefore the merit and wisdom of an Arya Bodhisattva on the bhumis eventually come to surpass those of an Arhat.

Now, about this sutta you mentioned... I've never heard of any Shravakayana method that guarantees Arhatship in 7 days, but supposing you're correct and there is one, I'm not sure how you're conflating the attainment of Arhatshipt with the Bodhisattva bhumis, let alone Dzogchen. These are each vastly different levels of realization. To begin with, attaining Arhatship means that at death, one passes into non-abiding nirvana - basically it's lights out for innumerable kalpas, i.e. one's own peace alone. One would thereby be forsaking sentient beings for all that time rather than continuing on the bhumis toward Buddhahood, so this would be entirely undesirable for one with bodhicitta. Then, if we compare the methods taught in the Mahayana sutras, you're talking about three incalculable kalpas in order to attain the 11th bhumi, or Buddhahood. Finally, looking at Dzogchen, a truly diligent person can attain not only 11th bhumi Buddhahood, but 16th bhumi (or complete Buddhahood), in one lifetime. And less diligent ones will at the very least destroy all causes to be reborn in samsara against their will due to karma, i.e. they will at the very least be reborn in a natural nirmanakaya realm and quickly attain Buddhahood there. So you're definitely not being led around by the nose by your lamas as you suggested.
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Re: Use of the term 'Hīnayāna'

Postby deepbluehum » Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:06 pm

Pema Rigdzin wrote:Deepbluehum,

The Tibetans - in accordance with the Mahayana sutras - classify Hinayana and Mahayana as they do for good reason. Hinayana refers to the motivation to practice the Dharma for one's own nirvana alone. True, such individuals practice compassion and enagage in beneficial actions for others, and they even teach the liberating Dharma. But their ultimate goal is to achieve a non-abiding nirvana, and so they both practice and teach methods that lead to non-abiding nirvana, a peaceful state in which one's sentient being-liberating career comes to a screeching halt. Practitioners with a Mahayana attitude, however, aspire not to rest in nirvana, but to continue in an ever-increasing capacity for as long as it takes, to help all beings attain Buddhahood; accordingly, the methods they practice enable them to avoid the solitary peace of nirvana and embark on a Bodhisattva career for lifetime after lifetime and then to attain Buddhahood and continue carrying out skillful liberating means indefinitely. Thus their motivation and methods are rightly characterized as the great vehicle. Also, both the merit and wisdom aspects of the Mahayana are greater, and therefore the merit and wisdom of an Arya Bodhisattva on the bhumis eventually come to surpass those of an Arhat.

Now, about this sutta you mentioned... I've never heard of any Shravakayana method that guarantees Arhatship in 7 days, but supposing you're correct and there is one, I'm not sure how you're conflating the attainment of Arhatshipt with the Bodhisattva bhumis, let alone Dzogchen. These are each vastly different levels of realization. To begin with, attaining Arhatship means that at death, one passes into non-abiding nirvana - basically it's lights out for innumerable kalpas, i.e. one's own peace alone. One would thereby be forsaking sentient beings for all that time rather than continuing on the bhumis toward Buddhahood, so this would be entirely undesirable for one with bodhicitta. Then, if we compare the methods taught in the Mahayana sutras, you're talking about three incalculable kalpas in order to attain the 11th bhumi, or Buddhahood. Finally, looking at Dzogchen, a truly diligent person can attain not only 11th bhumi Buddhahood, but 16th bhumi (or complete Buddhahood), in one lifetime. And less diligent ones will at the very least destroy all causes to be reborn in samsara against their will due to karma, i.e. they will at the very least be reborn in a natural nirmanakaya realm and quickly attain Buddhahood there. So you're definitely not being led around by the nose by your lamas as you suggested.


Hi Pema,

"Now, if anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for seven years, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here & now, or — if there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance — non-return.

"Let alone seven years. If anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for six years... five... four... three... two years... one year... seven months... six months... five... four... three... two months... one month... half a month, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here & now, or — if there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance — non-return.

"Let alone half a month. If anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for seven days, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here & now, or — if there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance — non-return.

"'This is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of pain & distress, for the attainment of the right method, & for the realization of Unbinding — in other words, the four frames of reference.' Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it said."

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted in the Blessed One's words.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


This is where I get seven days to Arhat. Now for bhumis, various Tibetan teachers in past have said where on bhumi scale an Arhat is. According to Tibetan Buddhism an Arhat is somewhere on the bhumi scale. So an Arhat is not below 1st Bhumi, and is up to as high as 8th or even 10th according to some famous lamas if I'm not mistaken. I agree, Mahayana motivation is to achieve non-abiding and the Arhat self-peace attitude is abiding. Then in Dzogchen's highest explanations it can even go back to abiding with compassion without reference. Now if you follow my reasoning here, you see something very clear.

Now strip all the tradition and belief part for one minute and just look at this timing. Suppose Arhat is possible in seven days. Now of course that's only the best practitioners, but it's possible. Dzogchen makes a claim best practitioners can finish in six months. Vajrayana makes similar claims depending on whose saying. I'm just looking best case scenario. Okay, the method in satipatthana and anapanasati is essentially mindfulness of feelings (vedana) and connecting those to insight of impermanence, non-self and suffering (three doors to dhamma) primarily utilizing the breath as support. This is like the most rudimentary method out on the public domain, yet can take you all the way mid-bhumi or higher. So then, add one simple twist, the great bodhisattva's attitude, and why wouldn't it take you passed the 10th in the same time period as Dzogchen or Mahamudra? "Bodhichitta the excellent and precious mind..." this is really the power juice not some particular posture or bandha. And oh yeah Dzogchen and Mahamudra bodhichitta is just rigpa with no thinking about sentient beings. As if satipatthana is conceptual. It is not.

Sometimes it takes, like I have, some moment of feeling underwhelmed by all the hoopla and so-called magic of the Tibetan tradition to recognize some really basic truth. Then, all the travelling and empowerments attending high teachers and 1000 deities starts to feel like either they are fooling us, fooling themselves or we are fooling ourselves. Do not take this the wrong way. My only motivation for writing this is that I want to be free, and I want everyone to be free, and I just get this sinking paranoid feeling sometimes that something isn't right. I start to feel like all the flowery language that goes with Tibetan teachings is just unnecessary. It makes us say "oo aah," but you can get the same bang for your precious minute without having to buy so many books, without having to spend so much time with the lama and always feeling like there's this one bit higher method that only if I can get that I'll be the best.

I have received all the highest of the high teachings on this planet, so I won't say who or when, because I'm criticizing. I also have samaya with daily commitments. Me and the dharmaphalas are doing a stare down at high noon. Hahaha. Shakyamuni was protected by the Naga king. I'll let him defend me. I travelled around the entire globe listening and practicing in retreat. Then one day I just took another look at so-called "hinayana." I said wait a minute. This satipatthana is a really high method, contemplating death and impermanence, the body, the three doors of dhamma. Add two bodhichittas and dedication. Who said you can't get buddhahood like this? Then that's free, no ticket. No donation. No reading. Save your money and your time, buy rice and do practice. But you know if it is not a restricted text, who is going to travel around the world to hear it? If it is not a secret committment who is going to practice it? Or is all the gorgeous beauty of the Vajrayana a kind of ploy to catch us "ostentatious" people by the nose?

I don't expect anyone to accept my reasonings as true. But we Westerns have been exposed to the East for many years now. It helps to sometimes take a step back and check if we are seeing the forest for the trees. Healthy skepticism is a good thing still isn't it?
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Re: Use of the term 'Hīnayāna'

Postby mudra » Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:18 pm

deepbluehum wrote:I have received all the highest of the high teachings on this planet, so I won't say who or when, because I'm criticizing. I also have samaya with daily commitments. Me and the dharmaphalas are doing a stare down at high noon. Hahaha. Shakyamuni was protected by the Naga king. I'll let him defend me. I travelled around the entire globe listening and practicing in retreat. Then one day I just took another look at so-called "hinayana." I said wait a minute. This satipatthana is a really high method, contemplating death and impermanence, the body, the three doors of dhamma. Add two bodhichittas and dedication. Who said you can't get buddhahood like this? Then that's free, no ticket. No donation. No reading. Save your money and your time, buy rice and do practice. But you know if it is not a restricted text, who is going to travel around the world to hear it? If it is not a secret committment who is going to practice it? Or is all the gorgeous beauty of the Vajrayana a kind of ploy to catch us "ostentatious" people by the nose?


Glad to hear you have received the highest teachings on the planet, that's wonderful karma. As the prerequisite for really 'receiving' such teachings would presumably involve clarity, devotion, and pure commitment once again congratulations.

deepbluehum wrote:I don't expect anyone to accept my reasonings as true. But we Westerns have been exposed to the East for many years now. It helps to sometimes take a step back and check if we are seeing the forest for the trees. Healthy skepticism is a good thing still isn't it?

Yes, inquiry and investigation, and clear determination/discernment is the kind of thing one is expected to practice. Before committing. Not after.
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Re: Use of the term 'Hīnayāna'

Postby deepbluehum » Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:48 pm

Mudra, I understand your stance. But we cannot aptly scrutinize a practice before we receive it. And I feel the closed teachings are some what of a lure.
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Re: Use of the term 'Hīnayāna'

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:05 pm

I find that Pali texts offer a clear, uncomplicated and direct method.
Mahayana teachings present a level of understanding which cannot so easily be expressed in ordinary words.
Zen delivers something which cannot be expressed at all
and Vajrayana goes to depths of awareness which seem to transform one's experience of 'reality' itself.
I will never be able to choose one over the other. For me, these are all rivers leading to the same ocean,
crossing that ocean, and bringing me to the other shore which is always back to where I began.

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Re: Use of the term 'Hīnayāna'

Postby mudra » Sun Aug 14, 2011 3:07 am

deepbluehum wrote:Mudra, I understand your stance. But we cannot aptly scrutinize a practice before we receive it. And I feel the closed teachings are some what of a lure.


Actually this is not a stance, it is Vajrayana (and in the Tibetan circles at least ,even standard Sutrayana) SOP.

For those other readers, who unlike you, haven't received the highest teachings on the planet, I reiterate:

The idea is that you very carefully check out the lama, seeing first if all the external things seem ok then going in deeper, it can take years. (I won't bore you with examples, I am sure you have heard about Asangha's 12 year retreat, Milarepa etc. ) Then you build a better understanding of what the teacher is about, and have full confidence in him/her. So in reality that is when you scrutinize the qualities that those teachings result in, the quality of the holder of the lineage. As we as Buddhist normally apply undertsanding of cause and effect etc to whatever we study, by this time the qualities of the teachings are clearly inferred.

By the time you become the disciple, then take an initiation it is really pretty much a confirmation of the path plus the permission to practice. If you get a nasty surprise or something essentially different from what you want then you haven't been paying attention. If at that point you start questioning in a negative manner, criticising etc, then you have pretty much blown the relationship with the Vajrayana path which is embodied in your relationship with the Vajracarya. Polite inquiry is a different matter, it's part of the growing up if you like.

While we are off topic, it is important to note that for example in Theravada, regardless of whether you think of it as Hinayana or not, the disciple - teacher relationship is not built the same way, nor is it maintained the same way. But I am pretty sure that there are Theravadin forest Ajahns who were tough on their disciples too, and put them through lots of hoops.

Fundamentally, a smart ass disciple doesn't learn that much even if he/she has an inquiring mind because the attitude interferes with the development of wisdom.
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