Which Sutras make the Best Reading?

Discuss and learn about the traditional scriptures.

Re: Which Sutras make the Best Reading?

Postby kirtu » Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:30 pm

maybay wrote:The Hinayana teachings one does hear from Mahayana masters are almost always stripped of their mythology, or clothed in a fantastic one.


Hmmm ... like the Anthill Sutta, for example?


Its like they're afraid for you, that you might fall into the trap of believing in a mechanical and perfectly understandable world. They're concerned you might actually believe in it. Some Mahayana scriptures say its a fault to read Hinayana.


To some extent, I think that's a fair criticism. However many Pali suttas are no less fantastic than some Mahayana sutras and even some tantric visions.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4441
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Which Sutras make the Best Reading?

Postby Kare » Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:51 pm

maybay wrote:
M.G. wrote:The Hinayana teachings one does hear from Mahayana masters are almost always stripped of their mythology, or clothed in a fantastic one. Its like they're afraid for you, that you might fall into the trap of believing in a mechanical and perfectly understandable world. They're concerned you might actually believe in it. Some Mahayana scriptures say its a fault to read Hinayana.


There are no Hinayana sutras. So don't worry. :)

http://www.lienet.priv.no/hinayan1.htm
Kåre A. Lie
User avatar
Kare
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:48 pm
Location: Norway

Re: Which Sutras make the Best Reading?

Postby Martin007 » Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:11 pm

M.G. wrote: Which sutras would one recommend reading?


My favourite is still the Heart Sutra, but I have no idea what it means. :)
Martin007
 
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:27 pm

Re: Which Sutras make the Best Reading?

Postby maybay » Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:41 pm

Kare wrote:
maybay wrote:
M.G. wrote:The Hinayana teachings one does hear from Mahayana masters are almost always stripped of their mythology, or clothed in a fantastic one. Its like they're afraid for you, that you might fall into the trap of believing in a mechanical and perfectly understandable world. They're concerned you might actually believe in it. Some Mahayana scriptures say its a fault to read Hinayana.


There are no Hinayana sutras. So don't worry. :)

http://www.lienet.priv.no/hinayan1.htm

Isn't it a bit short sighted to base such a statement on lexical analysis alone?

kirtu wrote:
maybay wrote:The Hinayana teachings one does hear from Mahayana masters are almost always stripped of their mythology, or clothed in a fantastic one.


Hmmm ... like the Anthill Sutta, for example?

No. Like the Four Noble Truthes from the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta.
People will know nothing and everything
Remember nothing and everything
Think nothing and everything
Do nothing and everything
- Machig Labdron
User avatar
maybay
 
Posts: 329
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:12 pm

Re: Which Sutras make the Best Reading?

Postby Kare » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:10 pm

maybay wrote:
Kare wrote:
There are no Hinayana sutras. So don't worry. :)

http://www.lienet.priv.no/hinayan1.htm

Isn't it a bit short sighted to base such a statement on lexical analysis alone?



Your reply is a bit unclear.

Did you not understand the analysis? If you want to understand a word, you need a linguistic analysis of it, both etymological, grammatical and contextual.

Or are you trying to imply that Hinayana sutras exist? If so, kindly tell me which scriptures name themselves 'Hinayana'.
Kåre A. Lie
User avatar
Kare
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:48 pm
Location: Norway

Re: Which Sutras make the Best Reading?

Postby cdpatton » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:14 am

Aside from the late and modern polemics, the Mahayana is not really understood without first having a firm grasp of the Agamas - and since the Agamas only exist partially in translation, our best equivalent is the Pali canon. Mahayana writers all knew the Agamas very well and were simply building additions onto that house. To willfully refuse that reality is to walk around in a dark house when you could just turn on the lights.

Charlie.
User avatar
cdpatton
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:01 am
Location: Minnesota, USA

Re: Which Sutras make the Best Reading?

Postby cdpatton » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:30 am

Kare wrote:
maybay wrote:
Kare wrote:
There are no Hinayana sutras. So don't worry. :)

http://www.lienet.priv.no/hinayan1.htm

Isn't it a bit short sighted to base such a statement on lexical analysis alone?



Your reply is a bit unclear.

Did you not understand the analysis? If you want to understand a word, you need a linguistic analysis of it, both etymological, grammatical and contextual.

Or are you trying to imply that Hinayana sutras exist? If so, kindly tell me which scriptures name themselves 'Hinayana'.


Jan Nattier's _Inquiry of Ugra_ is illuminating on this whole issue. The ideologies we are familiar with in Mahayana Sutras such as the Lotus are probably late developments in the process. It seems clear from the materials found in all of the extant Agama/Nikaya canons that the bodhisattva-yana developed within all of the early schools as an alternative path (some more than others - eg, the Dharmaguptakas went so far as to add the bodhisattva-pitaka to their canon). Indeed, Chinese pilgrims reported everyone living together in the same monasteries centuries after the Common Era. I personally suspect it is much more a matter of attitudes gotten in Tibet and China that hardened the categories of Hinayana/Mahayana polemics. And in those places it seems harmless enough after a fashion - there were no actual "Hinayanists" in those places, it was all abstractions to them. In India, Buddhism was not nearly so ideological - it was disciplinary - that is, organized around vinayas more than dharmas.

Charlie.
User avatar
cdpatton
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:01 am
Location: Minnesota, USA

Re: Which Sutras make the Best Reading?

Postby maybay » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:32 am

Kare wrote:Or are you trying to imply that Hinayana sutras exist? If so, kindly tell me which scriptures name themselves 'Hinayana'.

The Chinese didn't name their land China, nor did everyone to the east of the Indus start calling themselves Hindus. Let's not even talk about American Indians. Just so, the word is not the thing.
Self-awareness is peculiar to the Mahayana Sutras.
People will know nothing and everything
Remember nothing and everything
Think nothing and everything
Do nothing and everything
- Machig Labdron
User avatar
maybay
 
Posts: 329
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:12 pm

Re: Which Sutras make the Best Reading?

Postby Kare » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:06 am

maybay wrote:
Kare wrote:Or are you trying to imply that Hinayana sutras exist? If so, kindly tell me which scriptures name themselves 'Hinayana'.

The Chinese didn't name their land China, nor did everyone to the east of the Indus start calling themselves Hindus. Let's not even talk about American Indians. Just so, the word is not the thing.
Self-awareness is peculiar to the Mahayana Sutras.


Nor did afro-americans call themselves Niggers, as far as I know.

I can understand that some ignorant people may happen to insult other people. We often do stupid things in our ignorance.

What I do not understand, is why some people insist on continuing to insult others, even after receiving correct information.
Kåre A. Lie
User avatar
Kare
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:48 pm
Location: Norway

Re: Which Sutras make the Best Reading?

Postby tucker1 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:37 pm

I like the Enlightenment Sutra.
User avatar
tucker1
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:39 am

Re: Which Sutras make the Best Reading?

Postby hansen » Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:52 pm

Since I consider myself to be a follower of Zen, I pretty much stick to Heart Sutra and Lotus Sutra, these being of the Prajnaparamita school.

I'd say that the Meta Sutta is THE first and foremost sutta, in spite of this.

And the Kalama sutra must always be kept in mind, as well.

I'll note that it's a long-standing practice in Zen to select one of the suttas from the Pali Canon for study as well, and since I'm also doing mindfulness meditation, that would be the Anapanasati Sutta. If I were of the Insight of Vippasana persuasion it would be the Maha-Satipatana Sutta, but for me I consider them to carry the same message.

Don't neglect your Chuang Tzu, however.

I also embrace the Book of Thomas.

- h a n s e n -
hansen
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:25 am

Re: Which Sutras make the Best Reading?

Postby dyanaprajna2011 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:17 pm

Just a quick observation: the Lotus Sutra isn't a Prajnaparamita sutra, it would fit more with tathagatagarbha.
"If you want to travel the Way of Buddhas and Zen masters, then expect nothing, seek nothing, and grasp nothing." -Dogen
dyanaprajna2011
 
Posts: 108
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:26 pm
Location: Midwest US

Re: Which Sutras make the Best Reading?

Postby PlayfulKindness » Mon Sep 02, 2013 4:15 am

It's very short, but I love the Heart Sutra.
I love reading it, chanting it with the community, reflecting on it and reading about it.
During my masters I did a course on selections from the Pali Canon. I think the suttas that make up the Majjhima Nikaya are my favourite from that.
:)
PK
PlayfulKindness
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:52 am

Re: Which Sutras make the Best Reading?

Postby Derek » Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:41 pm

Kare wrote:There are no Hinayana sutras.


Heh heh, when I first read your post, I thought your point was that the Pali texts are suttas rather than sūtras, and that "sūtra" is a mis-Sankritization of the Pali "sutta."
Derek
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:51 pm

Re: Which Sutras make the Best Reading?

Postby Arjan Dirkse » Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:10 pm

My favorites so far are the Lankavatara sutra, and the Prajnaparamita sutra - and the Heart sutra and Diamond sutra of course, which are derived from Prajnaparamita.
Arjan Dirkse
 
Posts: 108
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:53 pm

Re: Which Sutras make the Best Reading?

Postby greentara » Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:58 am

There are few scriptures or sutras more profound then Verses on the Faith Mind written by Hsin Hsin Ming.
It stirs something within, not a word too many or too few. Genuine in its simplicity and impact.
greentara
 
Posts: 922
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:03 am

Re: Which Sutras make the Best Reading?

Postby seeker242 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:59 pm

As far as inspiration and motivation goes, I find the Lotus Sutra to be the one of the best in that regard. However, if you tend to take words literally, you might have a problem with it. :smile:
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
User avatar
seeker242
 
Posts: 697
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:50 pm
Location: South Florida, USA

Re: Which Sutras make the Best Reading?

Postby ylee111 » Sat Dec 28, 2013 4:25 pm

Which ones read more like epic novels rather than lectures? I am not necessarily looking for Game of Thrones but...
ylee111
 
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:30 pm

Re: Which Sutras make the Best Reading?

Postby dimeo » Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:29 pm

You're interested in reading Sutras that have been translated into English?

I'm interested in learning the sutras more as well. Maybe we can make a daily sutra studies thread moving as a group.

I find the teaching stories and parables to be a familiar approach to spiritual lessons (maybe because of my christian upbringing?)

Sometimes I want to focus on sutras /teachings that can be meditated on and are directly applied in your daily practice.

I enjoy studying the pali suttas at accesstoinsight.com and will search key terms:
ie samadhi or jhana if you're wanting to learn more about right concentration.
or asavas / fermentations / cankers etc if you're wanting to learn more about the distortions of the mind.

Then I write down the short code of the sutra in my notes which really helps for later reference.

(I don't know of any online searchable sources of Mayayana sutras that are set up like this for easy study)

I understand the abhidarma-hosa, heart sutra, diamon sutra are all key texts, but at the moment I don't find them 'easy' reading.

I really like Tonglen and Lamrim teachings. Check out this ebook:
http://www.bahaistudies.net/asma/tonglin.pdf
dimeo
 
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:31 pm

Re: Which Sutras make the Best Reading?

Postby Astus » Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:39 pm

ylee111 wrote:Which ones read more like epic novels rather than lectures? I am not necessarily looking for Game of Thrones but...


That Avatamsaka (Flower Ornament) Sutra is epic. And it's very popular.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4226
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

PreviousNext

Return to Sūtra Studies

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests

>