A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Jnana » Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:09 am

SSJ3Gogeta wrote:Their crypto-realist late invention Abhidharma is heretical. Thats the whole point of the Mahayana, PP Sutras and Madhyamaka. Also historically speaking they split the sangha at the Second Buddhist Council, and broke off from the majority (Mahāsāṃghika) because they tried to introduce new vinaya rules.

So they are doubly non-Buddhist. It really is not even a close call.

Nonsense indeed. All three ordination lineages that still exist -- Mūlasarvāstivāda, Dharmaguptaka, and Theravāda -- are all descended from the ancient Sthaviravāda. This includes every monk, nun, layman, and laywoman in the world today who has formally gone for refuge and received precepts. None are descended from the Mahāsāṃghika.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Virgo » Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:10 am

SSJ3Gogeta wrote: Their crypto-realist late invention Abhidharma is heretical.

Who did you study it with to gain such confidence that it presents an eternalist view? Also, have you studied the book of Conditional Relations?


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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby pueraeternus » Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:10 am

SSJ3Gogeta wrote:So Theravada and Hinayana are doubly non-Buddhist. It really is not even a close call.


This is not a smart stance to adopt. Since all of Mahayana's most important lineage holders' shravaka ordinations are from Sthaviravada sects, you are basically calling all of them heretics. This is silly and grievous talk.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby SSJ3Gogeta » Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:17 am

pueraeternus wrote:
SSJ3Gogeta wrote:So Theravada and Hinayana are doubly non-Buddhist. It really is not even a close call.


This is not a smart stance to adopt. Since all of Mahayana's most important lineage holders' shravaka ordinations are from Sthaviravada sects, you are basically calling all of them heretics. This is silly and grievous talk.



If you are Mahayana, your all right. I've said that before.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Jyoti » Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:28 am

Jnana wrote:
    In fact, as we shall see presently, "Hinayana" refers to a critical but strictly limited set of views, practices, and results. The pre-Mahayana historical traditions such as the Theravada are far richer, more complex, and more profound than the definition of "Hinayana" would allow. ...The tern "Hinayana" is thus a stereotype that is useful in talking about a particular stage on the Tibetan Buddhist path, but it is really not appropriate to assume that the Tibetan definition of Hinayana identifies a venerable living tradition as the Theravada or any other historical school.


This statement applied well to nyingma classification of mahayana as a lower yana, where in fact, all the "higher yanas" all included under the umbrella of mahayana. Within the mahayana there are lower and higher paths, but as all paths lead to the same yana, there is only one yana in reality, that's why it is termed maha (great).

The tantras are a mixed bag. And the vajrayāna is merely upāya from soup to nuts.


Speaking of upaya, it remind one has to understand the difference between definitive and nondefinitive teaching, the teaching based on upaya is not definitive, within the mahayana sutric tradition, they are also upaya which is not definitive. It is these element of upaya within the mahayana sutric tradition, that the nyingma has picked up and consequently judged mahayana as a lower yana as comparing to their type of upaya. As for the definitive meaning alone, it has no such differentiation into a higher or lower yana regardless of traditions.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby pueraeternus » Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:38 am

SSJ3Gogeta wrote:
pueraeternus wrote:
SSJ3Gogeta wrote:So Theravada and Hinayana are doubly non-Buddhist. It really is not even a close call.


This is not a smart stance to adopt. Since all of Mahayana's most important lineage holders' shravaka ordinations are from Sthaviravada sects, you are basically calling all of them heretics. This is silly and grievous talk.



If you are Mahayana, your all right. I've said that before.


It is attitudes like this that prevent the kind of non-sectarian approach we are talking about here. It is one thing to have doctrinal disagreements, quite another to denounce others as heretics. Disparaging the shravakayana is also a Bodhisattva downfall. If we can't even get over ancient and antiquated sectarian disputes, how can we consider ourselves Maha in any sense? Or even Vajra? Seems more like glass than adamantine.

There is already a lot of meaningful inter-denominational exchanges going on in East Asian, as expressed by Huseng, Jnana and the others. This means that many Theravadins are already open to the exploration of our corpus of texts and doctrines. So perhaps now it is really the time for Tibetan Buddhists to make the next move, and go beyond the baby steps initiated by HHDL.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Jnana » Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:47 am

Jyoti wrote:This statement applied well to nyingma classification of mahayana as a lower yana, where in fact, all the "higher yanas" all included under the umbrella of mahayana. Within the mahayana there are lower and higher paths, but as all paths lead to the same yana, there is only one yana in reality, that's why it is termed maha (great).

Yes, well, yānas are largely conceptual abstractions and all practices are provisional expedients.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Jnana » Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:50 am

username wrote:Actually as I said before we consider all (17 historic) Hinayana schools such as Theravada (plus Mahayana ones) Buddhist but they do not consider Mahayana as buddhists & all of them consider Vajrayana not buddhist. This is much much worse than calling a path within Buddhism lower or higher or slower or faster, that was never answered here. If Hinayana establishment centers announce Mahayana as buddhists or both of them announce we Vajrayana followers are buddhists then they have made a Leap from the dark ages.

A bit of historical investigation quickly exposes your conceptual categories as over-simplistic. When we look at the extant historical records we see that in India and Sri Lanka there were many fully ordained Theravāda monastics who accepted the Pāli Tipiṭaka and who also accepted Mahāyāna teachings.

For example, the Chinese monk Xuanzang (7th century CE) met Mahāyāna Sthaviras at Bodhgayā (1000 monks in one monastery), at Kaliṅa (500 monks in 10 monasteris), at Bhārukaccha (300 monks in 10 monasteries), and at Surāṣtra (about 3000 monks in 50 monasteries). Those at Bodhgayā were living in a monastery built by an early king of Sri Lanka. He also described the Abhayagirivihāra of Sri Lanka as being a Mahāyāna Sthavira monastery.

In History of Buddhism in Ceylon, Walpola Rahula describes the Abhayagiri monastics as follows:

    They were liberal in their views, and always welcomed new ideas from abroad and tried to be progressive. They studied both Theravāda and Mahāyāna and widely diffused the Tripitika.

Moreover, of the eight dhāraṇī inscriptions found at the Abhayagiri Stūpa, Gregory Schopen has identified the source of six of them as being the Sarvatathāgatādhiṣṭhānahṛdayaguhyadhātukaraṇḍadhāraṇī Sūtra, and Ven. Chandawimala has identified the source of the latter two as being the Tattvasaṃgraha Tantra.

Eventually, bodhisattvayāna teachings were even absorbed into the Mahāvihāra Theravāda commentaries and sub-commentaries. The commentator Dhammapāla wrote at some length on the subject in his Cariyāpiṭaka Aṭṭhakathā which was also included in his sub-commentary on the Brahmajāla Sutta. Ven. Bodhi has noted that Dhammapāla, in part, relied on the Bodhisattvabhūmi for his exegesis.

And so there is no impenetrable barrier; nor any line in the sand. The historical development of Buddhist ideas is quite dynamic, much moreso than is often commonly acknowledged.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby dharmagoat » Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:56 am

Jnana wrote:Yes, well, yānas are largely conceptual abstractions and all practices are provisional expedients.

A good thing to remember, to keep things in perspective.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby pueraeternus » Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:00 am

Jnana wrote:Eventually, bodhisattvayāna teachings were even absorbed into the Mahāvihāra Theravāda commentaries and sub-commentaries. The commentator Dhammapāla wrote at some length on the subject in his Cariyāpiṭaka Aṭṭhakathā which was also included in his sub-commentary on the Brahmajāla Sutta. Ven. Bodhi has noted that Dhammapāla, in part, relied on the Bodhisattvabhūmi for his exegesis.


Indeed. Also, the Visuddhimagga is also based off the Vimuttimagga, which is a Abhayagiri text.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Indrajala » Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:11 am

Jnana wrote:Reggie Ray thinks otherwise. Indestructible Truth:

    In fact, as we shall see presently, "Hinayana" refers to a critical but strictly limited set of views, practices, and results. The pre-Mahayana historical traditions such as the Theravada are far richer, more complex, and more profound than the definition of "Hinayana" would allow. ...The tern "Hinayana" is thus a stereotype that is useful in talking about a particular stage on the Tibetan Buddhist path, but it is really not appropriate to assume that the Tibetan definition of Hinayana identifies a venerable living tradition as the Theravada or any other historical school.


One thing that comes to mind is how some of the Mahāsāṃghikas accepted various Mahāyāna texts as canonical. In their Śāriputra-paripṛcchā-sūtra Mañjuśrī also makes an appearance. Now, granted, that might be a later addition (though it is by no means certain). Nevertheless, we know that in the early formative years of the Mahāyāna movement some of the Mahāsāṃghikas (though not all) accepted Mahāyāna scriptures as legitimate. Jizang in the early Tang Dynasty, drawing on earlier historical documents he had at his disposal, discussed how some members of the Mahāsāṃghika did not accept the Mahāyāna scriptures when they were revealed to them, while others in fact did. Jizang suggested that the Mahāyāna was initially taught to a disciple by the Buddha, who then did practice for a few centuries in snowy mountains before coming back to teach it to people. Not everyone accepted it, though some did.

In the early centuries it is clear some "Śrāvakayāna" traditions accepted Mahāyāna scriptures. With the Mahāsāṃghika view of the transcendental Buddha I imagine this would not have been a large hurdle given that the "Buddha" was beyond a flesh and blood form and presumably could still provide teachings in some way or another (particularly via yogic visions).

Jan Nattier in her research has pointed out in the early Mahāyāna texts the bodhisattva path is painted as one "for a few good men" (not women she notes). In light of that there was no need to exclude or denigrate something called "Hīnayāna". Bodhisattvas were a few individuals and not an independent movement employing polemics against the "Hīnayāna". That came later.

Nāgārjuna seemed chiefly concerned with attacking the notion of svabhava held by the Sarvāstivāda school rather denigrating something "Hīnayāna". It is assumed he himself was a member of a Mahāsāṃghika monastery, which is why his attack on Sarvāstivādin ontology was acceptable. He was actually building on earlier ideas formulated by branches of the Mahāsāṃghikas.

The line then differentiating between "Hīnayāna" and "Mahāyāna" thought in his philosophy becomes very nebulous. We might suspect he never had such a dichotomy in mind.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby username » Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:13 am

Jnana wrote:
username wrote:Actually as I said before we consider all (17 historic) Hinayana schools such as Theravada (plus Mahayana ones) Buddhist but they do not consider Mahayana as buddhists & all of them consider Vajrayana not buddhist. This is much much worse than calling a path within Buddhism lower or higher or slower or faster, that was never answered here. If Hinayana establishment centers announce Mahayana as buddhists or both of them announce we Vajrayana followers are buddhists then they have made a Leap from the dark ages.

A bit of historical investigation quickly exposes your conceptual categories as over-simplistic. When we look at the extant historical records we see that in India and Sri Lanka there were many fully ordained Theravāda monastics who accepted the Pāli Tipiṭaka and who also accepted Mahāyāna teachings.

For example, the Chinese monk Xuanzang (7th century CE) met Mahāyāna Sthaviras at Bodhgayā (1000 monks in one monastery), at Kaliṅa (500 monks in 10 monasteris), at Bhārukaccha (300 monks in 10 monasteries), and at Surāṣtra (about 3000 monks in 50 monasteries). Those at Bodhgayā were living in a monastery built by an early king of Sri Lanka. He also described the Abhayagirivihāra of Sri Lanka as being a Mahāyāna Sthavira monastery.

In History of Buddhism in Ceylon, Walpola Rahula describes the Abhayagiri monastics as follows:

    They were liberal in their views, and always welcomed new ideas from abroad and tried to be progressive. They studied both Theravāda and Mahāyāna and widely diffused the Tripitika.

Moreover, of the eight dhāraṇī inscriptions found at the Abhayagiri Stūpa, Gregory Schopen has identified the source of six of them as being the Sarvatathāgatādhiṣṭhānahṛdayaguhyadhātukaraṇḍadhāraṇī Sūtra, and Ven. Chandawimala has identified the source of the latter two as being the Tattvasaṃgraha Tantra.

Eventually, bodhisattvayāna teachings were even absorbed into the Mahāvihāra Theravāda commentaries and sub-commentaries. The commentator Dhammapāla wrote at some length on the subject in his Cariyāpiṭaka Aṭṭhakathā which was also included in his sub-commentary on the Brahmajāla Sutta. Ven. Bodhi has noted that Dhammapāla, in part, relied on the Bodhisattvabhūmi for his exegesis.

And so there is no impenetrable barrier; nor any line in the sand. The historical development of Buddhist ideas is quite dynamic, much moreso than is often commonly acknowledged.


Irrelevant.

- You quoted that paragraph on previous page & conceded.

- Now you quote it again with a different attitude & do not mention your own previous quoting of the same paragraph. This is not a stable line of reasoning. Nor honest as you do not mention your surrender on the last page quoting the same paragraph on the main point.

- Influences are not what was discussed as they are completely negated by the lower schools not accepting higher ones specially Vajrayana through their establishment centers & official announcements as Buddhists to this day.

- All Hinayana sects' establishment centers should announce that Mahayanists & Vajrayanists are Buddhists. Same with Mahayanists' WRT Vajrayanists.

- Obscure historical influences are diversions. We are Buddhists. What you will post here from now on as diversionary excuses is completely irrelevant until they ALL announce officially so. That is the point.

I will quote my whole post again you edited out:

Actually as I said before we consider all (17 historic) Hinayana schools such as Theravada (plus Mahayana ones) Buddhist but they do not consider Mahayana as buddhists & all of them consider Vajrayana not buddhist. This is much much worse than calling a path within Buddhism lower or higher or slower or faster, that was never answered here. If Hinayana establishment centers announce Mahayana as buddhists or both of them announce we Vajrayana followers are buddhists then they have made a Leap from the dark ages.

Until then instead of falling to obvious provocation to someone with his own Vajrayana version, not a Hinayana follower, we should ask why we are still categorized in the 21St century as non buddhist & often labeled as shaman, Hindu etc? I don't find Reggie or other self appointed western tantric lineage originators' sentiments on this genuine as they never ask lower yana establishments to officially announce the rest of us buddhist. What a few say is irrelevant as official announcements from various establishment centers of both Hinayana & Mahayana sects, all of them, is required but this will never come. This is the real outrage & elephant in the room people like Reggie never answer & divert from by apparent emotions.



The elephant is still in the room.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:21 am

It is interesting to see how the discrimmination works both ways.
That doesn't make either "side" right.
The fact that Buddhism seems to be diminishing in the world should be reason enough for us to find ways to work together.
But what people need to appreciate is that Tibetans are seeing their language and culture disappear. Their situation is quite different as they are stateless, and do not have the freedoms and supports of Thai, Sri Lankan, Taiwanese or Korean Buddhists for example. Their first commitment has to be to preserve the language and unique Dharma tradition that are in danger of dying out.
I also posted numerous links that indicated there are several such organizations that are doing cross-tradition work between Tibetan Buddhism and both Mahayana and Theravada. I also mentioned in another thread Dzongsar Kyentse's foundation and their work to translate the missing pieces from the Chinese canon to the Tibetan canon and vice versa.
How much would be enough? And how much can we really expect of the Tibetans in terms of these projects when they are stateless and facing worsening draconian totalitarianism from the PRC in their homeland?
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby username » Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:29 am

We study practice & follow lower schools. They do not do so for ours, nor officially announce us as buddhists. A very basic failure of logic or even common sense to equate both sides as equally guilty.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:34 am

It is not a matter of saying the discrimmination is equal or even the same. I am not interested in measuring who has "more discrimmination". But because one in less than the other does not make it correct.
These petty disputes are crippling the Buddhadharma in my opinion, and all such notions need to be challenged regardless of the level on the offensiveness "litmus test'. The only way to do this is for people to tone down their rhetoric and listen. When this happens, I have seen beautiful things manifest.
But people underestimate the predicament of the Tibetans - their situation as exiles, lack of resources, passports etc.
I remember at the World Buddhist Forum I attended there were hundreds of monk and nuns from all traditions and only two Tibetans, one of whom was Lama Gangchen. I asked the Geshe from Dharamsala why there was so small a Tibetan presence. He told me that in fact invitations had not been issued and that the Chinese delegation complains- he was there on a ticket from a friend.
We can see the reality of this when we look at the response of the PRC monks and nuns to Samdhong Rinpoche's appearance at the Buddhist conference in Korea.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Jnana » Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:41 am

pueraeternus wrote:Also, the Visuddhimagga is also based off the Vimuttimagga, which is a Abhayagiri text.

Yes, the Vimuttimagga is a Sthaviravāda text, relying on the Pāli Tipiṭaka, including the Paṭisambhidāmagga and the Abhidhammapiṭaka. It was also explicitly referred to as such and used as the source text by Daśabalaśrīmitra in his Saṃskṛtāsaṃskṛtaviniścaya for the section on Sthavira teachings. A couple of modern scholars have questioned the prevailing opinion that it was composed at the Abhayagirivihāra, suggesting that it may have been composed on the mainland instead, but that is merely a tangential point.

In the chapter on the four immeasurables, the Vimuttimagga includes a section on the ten perfections (pāramī) and the four resolves (adhiṭṭhāna), which it explains as the practices of bodhisattvas as part of the path to buddhahood.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby username » Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:43 am

I said earlier here people should not go into a sub-forum & provoke it's followers on behalf of another sect. That is the root cause. Now some are saying whatever is on their mind about all sorts of topics. The first step in non sectarianism is to stop such provocative fire starting be it in Buddhism or other beliefs or even among political or atheist meta schools as I said. This thread is also getting to be circular.
Last edited by username on Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:45 am

Username- On this, we are agreed!
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby viniketa » Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:54 am

Where is that "certain flexibility that Dharmic culture sustains"? (see here: viewtopic.php?f=102&t=9619&start=80#p120384%20%20.)

Just for thought, Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse has taken a tack from Western commentators to divide the yānas into: 1) causal paths; and 2) resultant paths:

The Buddha has provided us with an antidote or training for every one of these emotions. For those who want to escape suffering, he taught the shravakayana; and for those who long to escape the extremes of samsaric life, have no interest in nirvana and instead cherish the wish to help all sentient beings become truly happy, he taught the bodhisattvayana. Both these vehicles (yanas) are complete paths that ultimately lead to liberation from delusion. (Kindle Locations 627-630).

Buddha taught the cause-driven paths, such as the shravakayana, pratyekabuddhayana and bodhisattvayana, which diagnose our symptoms and recommend the application of appropriate remedies. (Kindle Locations 640-641).

Right from the beginning, great masters of the past have warned us over and over again that although we must aim to practise the resultant path, we should never imagine ourselves to be above the causal paths of the shravakayana and bodhisattvayana. (Kindle Locations 676-677).

But no one path is more precious or higher than another. The much too common attitude of mahayana and vajrayana students is to look down on the shravaka traditions. It is a disgusting perspective, as it downgrades the Buddha’s own words to being somehow lower than the other vehicles. How can one word spoken by the Buddha be “higher” or “lower” than another? It can’t! And as students of Buddhadharma, we must aspire to put all the teachings of the Buddha into practise, regardless of the lineage we happen to be following. (Kindle Locations 722-725).

Khyentse, Dzongsar Jamyang (2012-03-29). Not for Happiness: A Guide to the So-Called Preliminary Practices. Shambhala Publications. Kindle Edition.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:03 am

Viniketa-
You hit the nail on the head! Flexibility seems to go out the window at times. I always find the sectarianism of Buddhists to be rather embarrassing .

But I think that Tibetan Buddhism is getting a bit of a bum rap in this thread. I must say in my experience that the Theravada tradition can also be extremely sectarian. For example, I left at that time my Theravada temple with permission to study Tibetan in Dharamsala. No one complained. But when I went to Thailand for a visit, the abbot of a temple where I had stayed before told me I would have to re-take the bhikkhu ordination as I had become "Mahayana by association" if I wanted to stay for a long period of time.

The Tibetan masters I spoke to, including Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Jangtse Choje Rinpoche (the next Ganden Tripa) told me that since my novice ordination was in Tibetan Buddhism I had a good connection to the lineage. They said it was absolutely unnecessary to re-take the gelong (bhikkhu/full) ordination from a Tibetan master, since the Theravada ordination was valid from a pure ordination lineage. LZR and Jangtse Choje also told me I should participate in the Sojong/Posada with the Tibetan monks with no problem, and I should have a stable conviction that "I am a Gelong".
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
JKhedrup
 
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