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“Skillful Means” and the rhetoric of Mahāyāna proselytism - Dhamma Wheel

“Skillful Means” and the rhetoric of Mahāyāna proselytism

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
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ancientbuddhism
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“Skillful Means” and the rhetoric of Mahāyāna proselytism

Postby ancientbuddhism » Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:28 pm

Last edited by ancientbuddhism on Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

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Re: “Skillful Means” and the rhetoric of Mahāyāna proselytism

Postby ancientbuddhism » Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:29 pm

I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)


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Re: “Skillful Means” and the rhetoric of Mahāyāna proselytism

Postby ancientbuddhism » Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:35 pm

Also related:

– John Schroeder

– John Schroeder

– Damien Keown
I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)


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James the Giant
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Re: “Skillful Means” and the rhetoric of Mahāyāna proselytism

Postby James the Giant » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:42 pm

When I first learned about "Skillful Means" I was appalled and aghast:
"You're saying the Buddha DELIBERATELY LIED for 45 years of teaching!?"
After a bit of study I understand the idea of Upaya better, but it still seems a bit icky and dishonest to me.

To be honest, (and without a shred of evidence offered by me) it seems like exactly the kind of thing a new sect would fabricate in order to discredit the old school.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.

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Dan74
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Re: “Skillful Means” and the rhetoric of Mahāyāna proselytism

Postby Dan74 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:58 pm

_/|\_

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Kamran
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Re: “Skillful Means” and the rhetoric of Mahāyāna proselytism

Postby Kamran » Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:36 am

"As such, skillful means is a provocative and sophisticated idea that served the purpose of advancing a new religious ideology in the face of an already established canonical knowledge."

I don't see the connection between a new perspective or interpretation and the creation of a new ideology.
"Silence gives answers"

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

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Re: “Skillful Means” and the rhetoric of Mahāyāna proselytism

Postby m0rl0ck » Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:21 am

The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.

Good advice for approaching any textually encoded ideal i think. In coming to grips with the pali canon and what it teaches doesn't everyone necessarily have to approach it differently due to individual conditons? The mahayana idea of skillful means just seems to me an exoteric expression of something that has to take place for each of us, to some degree or other, anyway.
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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Re: “Skillful Means” and the rhetoric of Mahāyāna proselytism

Postby Sylvester » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:26 am


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m0rl0ck
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Re: “Skillful Means” and the rhetoric of Mahāyāna proselytism

Postby m0rl0ck » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:50 am

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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Re: “Skillful Means” and the rhetoric of Mahāyāna proselytism

Postby Nyana » Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:45 pm

Also related:

by John Schroeder.

:buddha1:

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DAWN
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Re: “Skillful Means” and the rhetoric of Mahāyāna proselytism

Postby DAWN » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:27 pm

It's funny, because Mahayana argument of their "superiority" towards Theravada by "Skillful Means" , shows that actualy is not Mahayana that is "superior" school, but Theravada.

Why?

Because some beings have just to see anicca dukkha and anatta, just some ethical rules and simple meditative technics to get free,
and others need much more complicated explications and methods

Truth is simple, more something is simple, less it is conditioned, and so less dukkha and anicca
Lie is complicated, more something is complicated, more it's complex, more it is conditioned, and so more dukkha and anicca

If we watch closely what The Blessed One said to "The Elders" (SN 22.83-93), like Ananda sutta, Tissa sutta, Yamaka sutta, Vekkali sutta... what we see? We see that, if i rememer, all of these Elders are Arahants, and Buddha said them some very simple Dhamma, what is this Dhamma? Just that fenomena are anicca, dukkha and anatta, that they are conditioned, thats all.

Some knots are simple, some knots are complicated. I feel compassion to these last ones.
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...

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DAWN
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Re: “Skillful Means” and the rhetoric of Mahāyāna proselytism

Postby DAWN » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:06 pm

Just about "Skillfull Means"

Lord Buddha is often expressed with his hand wich shows a Lotus Leaf to Mahamoggalana (if i remember good it was Mahamoggalana), like this:
Image

And Jesus is also expressed with the same hand:
Image

There is some link, or not? If someone knows?
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...

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Re: “Skillful Means” and the rhetoric of Mahāyāna proselytism

Postby beeblebrox » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:58 pm

The handshapes that the Buddha and Jesus showed are different... just look more carefully. Avalokitesvara also has a similar mudra... but with thumb connected to the middle finger, instead of the index like Buddha's, or ring finger like Jesus. To someone who uses ASL (American Sign Language), those are very noticeable.

Coincidentally, the "debate" mudra looks similar to the "preaching" sign in ASL... and the dharmachakra mudra looks similar to the "interpret" sign. (ASL is around 200 year old.)

:sage:

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Re: “Skillful Means” and the rhetoric of Mahāyāna proselytism

Postby DAWN » Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:13 pm

Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...

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beeblebrox
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Re: “Skillful Means” and the rhetoric of Mahāyāna proselytism

Postby beeblebrox » Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:37 pm

The Buddha's hand is showing a debate (or teaching) mudra... and Jesus' handshape is more complicated to explain... I think it's basically an abbreviation of the Greek's spelling of his name, when seen from a certain angle (as shown in this painting for example). I think it's pretty much an invention of the iconographists, not Jesus'.

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DAWN
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Re: “Skillful Means” and the rhetoric of Mahāyāna proselytism

Postby DAWN » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:45 pm

Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...

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Re: “Skillful Means” and the rhetoric of Mahāyāna proselytism

Postby Raksha » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:12 pm


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DAWN
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Re: “Skillful Means” and the rhetoric of Mahāyāna proselytism

Postby DAWN » Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:36 am

Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...

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Dan74
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Re: “Skillful Means” and the rhetoric of Mahāyāna proselytism

Postby Dan74 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:58 am

_/|\_

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DAWN
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Re: “Skillful Means” and the rhetoric of Mahāyāna proselytism

Postby DAWN » Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:00 am

Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...


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