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A major discover about "ancient buddhism" - Dhamma Wheel

A major discover about "ancient buddhism"

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
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Adrien
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A major discover about "ancient buddhism"

Postby Adrien » Mon May 23, 2011 11:37 am

Last edited by Ben on Thu May 26, 2011 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Please don't hesitate to correct my english if you feel to

Jhana4
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Re: A major discover about "ancient buddhism"

Postby Jhana4 » Mon May 23, 2011 12:04 pm

I found the article to be disappointing. According to it, the discovered texts didn't depart in doctrine from the Pali Canon. All the discovery means is that other early groups were keeping their own written copies of the teachings, possibly in a parallel time slot with the Pali Canon. An interesting thing to learn, but it didn't require the length or hype Tricycle devoted to it.
Last edited by Jhana4 on Mon May 23, 2011 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

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daverupa
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Re: A major discover about "ancient buddhism"

Postby daverupa » Mon May 23, 2011 12:17 pm

:

The following scholars have published fragements of the Gandharan manuscripts: Mark Allon, Richard Salomon, Timothy Lenz and Jens Braarvig. Some of the published material is listed below:

1999 - Ancient Buddhist Scrolls from Gandhara: The British Library Kharosthi Fragments, by Richard Salomon, F. Raymond Allchin, and Mark Barnard
2000 - Manuscripts in the Schøyen Collection I, Buddhist Manuscripts, Vol. 1., by Braarvig, Jens. Oslo: Hermes Publishing.
2000 - A Gandhari Version of the Rhinoceros Sutra: British Library Kharosthi Fragment 5B (Gandharan Buddhist Texts, 1), by Andrew Glass and Richard Salomon
2001 - Three Gandhari Ekottarikagama-Type Sutras: British Library Kharosthi Fragments 12 and 14 (GBT Vol 2) by Mark Allon (Author, Editor), Andrew Glass (Editor). Seattle: University of Washington Press.
2003 - A New Version of the Gandhari Dharmapada and a Collection of Previous-Birth Stories: British Library Karosthi Fragments 16 + 25 (GBT vol. 3), by Timothy Lenz (Author), Andrew Glass (Author), Bhikshu Dharmamitra (Author). Seattle: University of Washington Press.
2008 - Four Gandhari Samyuktagama Sutras: Senior Kharosthi Fragment 5 (GBT, Vol. 4) by Andrew Glass (Author), Mark Allon (Contributor) Seattle: University of Washington Press.
2009 - Two Gandhari Manuscripts of the Songs of Lake Anavtapta (Anavatapta-gatha): British Library Kharosthi Fragment 1 and Senior Scroll 14 (GBT vol 5) by Richard Salomon (Author), Andrew Glass (Contributor). Seattle: University of Washington Press.

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gavesako
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Re: A major discover about "ancient buddhism"

Postby gavesako » Mon May 23, 2011 1:29 pm

Just read the article and while it is quite well written, I think she over-emphasises her point (basically "cultural relativism") and fails to stress the internal coherence of the material we have in the Pali Canon which presents a very unified view of man's existential situation and the way the solve it. Even if we don't have ancient manuscripts to prove it, we can identify this collection of texts as the early corpus of Sutta material that was passed down from Ananda and other disciples of the Buddha after his parinibbana. The particular arrangement of passages in each Sutta and how the Suttas were grouped into nikayas for recitation purposes by the bhanakas (reciters) may have varied with each geographically separate group, so that is why we find some differences among them. But this early Canon can be clearly distinguished from later Abhidhamma and Mahayana developments which are built upon this foundation and could not exist without it.
I am afraid that it's going to be used by some people in order to put down serious study of the early Buddhist teachings in favour of their own brand of modern designer-Buddhism. Some good scholars whose lives are dedicated to Buddhism know... well how much correspondence and virtual agreement there is among the various early Buddhist canons, so all they are trying to establish is how exactly the divergences came about through the oral transmission of the canon. It means being less adamant that "This is the true word of the Buddha straight from his mouth" as regards every single Pali Sutta reported to be so, but realizing that this has been the accepted Theravada transmission of the Buddhavacana for a long time and that its internal consistency has a lot to say for its spiritual value.

------

It is probable that Buddhism had already reached Gandhāra (an area in present- day northern Pakistan) during the time of king Asoka in the 3rd century BCE. In the wake of Alexander's campaign to northwest India this region had absorbed a su...rge of Greek culture, which remained present for a surprisingly long time. Even centuries later, this culture still served as a matrix for creating visible representations of the Buddha and his followers. These representations proved extremely successful, spreading to India proper and, more importantly, traveling along the Silk Road, initiated the Buddhist art of local cultures and finally reached China and the Far East. So far, Gandhāra has mostly been understood as the name for this specific style of Buddhist art, but recent manuscript finds reveal that the region contributed much more to shaping Buddhism during a formative period than previously thought. It now appears that Gandhāra, earlier considered to be situated at the margin of the Indian Buddhist world, played a decisive role in the spread of Buddhism along the Silk Road towards the east.

Gandhara Civilization -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIQbMk4P0jA

Greek Buddhism -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAURSqQ8-Yc

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Buddhist_monasticism
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
- Translations and history of Pali texts
- Sutta translations

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Adrien
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Re: A major discover about "ancient buddhism"

Postby Adrien » Mon May 23, 2011 2:29 pm

Please don't hesitate to correct my english if you feel to

Jhana4
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Re: A major discover about "ancient buddhism"

Postby Jhana4 » Mon May 23, 2011 4:41 pm

In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

Kenshou
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Re: A major discover about "ancient buddhism"

Postby Kenshou » Mon May 23, 2011 7:20 pm

Too much blab about the author's opinions, not enough information about the actual content of the material. Neat, though.

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Adrien
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Re: A major discover about "ancient buddhism"

Postby Adrien » Mon May 23, 2011 7:31 pm

I agree on this point : it's a lot of text for not so much actual informations.
Please don't hesitate to correct my english if you feel to

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David N. Snyder
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Re: A major discover about "ancient buddhism"

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon May 23, 2011 8:00 pm

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Jhana4
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Re: A major discover about "ancient buddhism"

Postby Jhana4 » Mon May 23, 2011 8:04 pm

In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

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retrofuturist
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Re: A major discover about "ancient buddhism"

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 26, 2011 1:05 am

"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

Kenshou
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Re: A major discover about "ancient buddhism"

Postby Kenshou » Thu May 26, 2011 1:25 am


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daverupa
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Re: A major discover about "ancient buddhism"

Postby daverupa » Thu May 26, 2011 1:54 am


alan
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Re: A major discover about "ancient buddhism"

Postby alan » Thu May 26, 2011 3:38 am

Fox News Alert!
New suttas have been found. There just like the others, but we're going to ask a bunch of people who don't know anything about the subject to debate it. They will cast doubts, and then we will conclude that there is more to debate. Tune in at 10pm for more!

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tiltbillings
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Re: A major discover about "ancient buddhism"

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 26, 2011 4:04 am


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retrofuturist
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Re: A major discover about "ancient buddhism"

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 26, 2011 4:08 am

"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

Sylvester
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Re: A major discover about "ancient buddhism"

Postby Sylvester » Thu May 26, 2011 4:56 am


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David N. Snyder
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Re: A major discover about "ancient buddhism"

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu May 26, 2011 4:35 pm

Okay, I admit I have a Theravada bias, but I still don't see what Tricycle sees as such a break-through in changing the whole transmission tree.

The fragments date from the first century BCE to the third century CE. The fragments contain suttas and sutras, including many from the Pali Canon and a few from Mahayana sutras.

The written Pali Canon on Ola leaves dates from the first century BCE.

The First Buddhist Council dates to 483 BCE

The Second Buddhist Council dates to 383 BCE

The Third Buddhist Council dates to 250 BCE and was called by King Ashoka. We have edicts from Ashoka and all indications appear to be that Ashoka was a Vibhajjavadin-Theravadin.

While not undervaluing the skillful means of koans and other Mahayana practices, do any serious scholars think that the Buddha directly taught them? Or is it more likely that the Dhamma-Vinaya practiced during the time of the Buddha looked more like monastic monks, practicing a long set of rules, living in monasteries, and going on alms-rounds?
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