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Timeline question on the Nikayas - Dhamma Wheel

Timeline question on the Nikayas

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adosa
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Timeline question on the Nikayas

Postby adosa » Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:27 am

Hi,

In SN I've ran across statements such as "Venerable sir (i.e Mahakaccana), this was said by the Blessed One in 'The Questions of Magandiya' of the Atthakavagga.." This indicates that these discourses were written down at the time of the Buddha or within the time frame of the lives of disciples who studied directly under the Buddha as did Mahakaccana.

So does this mean that some of the Buddha's teaching were written down during his lifetime? I was always under the impression that the teachings were verbally passed down for something like a couple of hundred years, then written down. Sorry for butchering the history.... :embarassed:

Not a big issue but it prompted my curiosity.

Thanks,

adosa
"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183

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Re: Timeline question on the Nikayas

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:34 am

Greetings Adosa,

Do you have a specific example?

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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adosa
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Re: Timeline question on the Nikayas

Postby adosa » Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:58 am

Hi Retro,

In the Book of Aggregates - "Haliddakani" it says the following:

"Thus I have heard. On one occasion the Venerable Mahakaccana was dwelling among the people of Avanti on Mount Papata at Kuraraghara. Then the householder Haliddakani approached the Venerable Mahakaccana, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him: "Venerable Sir, this was said by the Blessed One in 'The Questions of Magandiya' of the Atthakavagga:

'Having left home to roam without abode,
In the village the sage is intimate with none;
Rid of sensual pleasures, without expectations,
He would not engage people in dispute.'"

I'd give you the numbering but I still can't figure that out. I think I'll figure out D.O. before then most likely. :smile: I think its III. 3(3) 1 but that's probably not right.
I'm using Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation.

I ran across similar references earlier and later in SN and I wondered what was being referred to but the Atthakavagga evidently are some of the earliest teachings. I was surprised to see a reference to written material in what I had assumed were Suttas that were passed down verbally.

adosa
"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183

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Re: Timeline question on the Nikayas

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:10 am


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adosa
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Re: Timeline question on the Nikayas

Postby adosa » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:24 am

Thanks Mike,

I guess my question is more of a historical question. How could the householder Haliddakani ask the Venerable Mahakaccana a question about a written text when they both lived during the time of the Buddha (which as I understand it was a time that was pre-literate)? I have to be missing something here. Or maybe the translation is poor and the question was asked regarding what was passed down verbally. But it wouldn't seem that way considering this quote "Venerable Sir, this was said by the Blessed One in 'The Questions of Magandiya' of the Atthakavagga'"


adosa
"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183

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Re: Timeline question on the Nikayas

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:17 am


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cooran
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Re: Timeline question on the Nikayas

Postby cooran » Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:13 am

Hello all,

It is worthwhile searching DhammaWheel and on Google on the term Bhanakas to find further information on the authenticity and preservation of the Suttas.

Here is one post:
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=2437&p=35653#p34412

with metta
Chris
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---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: Timeline question on the Nikayas

Postby Paññāsikhara » Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:44 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

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Re: Timeline question on the Nikayas

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:18 pm

I agree with Pannasikhara- the Buddha sometimes referred to some of the similies he used (like the similie of the saw or the son's flesh similie) when discussing the dhamma with monks, later on in his life. They serve as summarized and concentrated injections of dhamma into any sermon.

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Re: Timeline question on the Nikayas

Postby adosa » Sat Dec 04, 2010 3:47 pm

"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183

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Re: Timeline question on the Nikayas

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:00 am

It is probably just us Modern people who immediately think that "sutta" means a written text.

On a different, but related point, I recall somebody doing a really "Mahayana is not taught by the Buddha" critique, and asking: "Does your favorite sutra refer to itself as a sutra?" and taking this as proof that it was a written text after the Buddha's time. Actually, this only shows the silly assumption of that person, that sutra = written, something which is not at all certain for most of Buddhist history.
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

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retrofuturist
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Re: Timeline question on the Nikayas

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:04 am

Greetings,

I think sutta literally means a thread or a string, doesn't it?

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine


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