"Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism"

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"Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism"

Postby plwk » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:58 pm


Quite amusing to me...what do you think my friends?
(By the way...what happened to those days when people who had audience with the Sangha were dressed 'appropriately' instead of in shorts :lol: )
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Re: "Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism"

Postby Indrajala » Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:20 pm

He suggests that the priority of the Mahāyāna is to increase followers and then to teach.

That is quite a blanket and overly generalized remark to make.

It sounds like Theravādan chauvinism to me. I've heard other Bhikku make such blanket remarks and talk about "Mahāyāna" as a single entity without any reference or allusion to the innumerable variations and differences within it. They seem to know about a "Mahāyāna" as explained by their peers and not by educated proponents of Mahāyāna schools.

Some Bhikku even remark on how we should tolerate variant schools of Buddhism, but then turn around and make a snide remark about Bodhisattva vows and aspirations.
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Re: "Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism"

Postby Tilopa » Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:09 pm

In my experience it's rare to find Theravadins who have any real understanding of Mahayana philosophy and practice. Likewise not many Mahayanists seem to properly understand the Theravada traditions either. Two good reasons why we should have open and enquiring minds.
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Re: "Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism"

Postby ground » Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:57 am

Huseng wrote:He suggests that the priority of the Mahāyāna is to increase followers and then to teach.

That is quite a blanket and overly generalized remark to make.


Without paying attention to all the other views he utters I think that this one is an appropriate view.

I would compare the Mahayana to a "sieve" or perhaps better to a combination of several sieves, a cascade of sieves having different mesh sizes, the larged one on top and the smallest one at the bottom.
The mass of input is an important factor. It enhances the efficiency of the cascade of sieves.

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Re: "Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism"

Postby ground » Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:06 am

The Mahayana most certainly has been devised by bodhisattvas.

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Re: "Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism"

Postby Chaz » Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:45 pm

plwk wrote:Quite amusing to me...what do you think my friends?
(By the way...what happened to those days when people who had audience with the Sangha were dressed 'appropriately' instead of in shorts :lol: )


Can a link to the video (or whatever) be reestablished?
Last edited by Chaz on Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism"

Postby plwk » Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:07 pm

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Re: "Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism"

Postby Chaz » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:59 pm

Tilopa wrote:In my experience it's rare to find Theravadins who have any real understanding of Mahayana philosophy and practice. Likewise not many Mahayanists seem to properly understand the Theravada traditions either. Two good reasons why we should have open and enquiring minds.


Or know when to keep our mouths shut.

The monk in the video appears to me to be parroting a party line and not speaking from any experience with or study of Mahayana.

I also think it's true that many Mahayanists don't know much about Theravedin practices or traditions. I certainly don't. I'm not particularly interested in learning, either. I've followed my guru's required study curriculum which includes extensive study of the the Pali/Tripitaka/Hinayana texts, but doesn't delve into denominational stuff, such as Theraveda. So, I don't know much about it. I certainly couldn't offer fair comment on Theraveda and I think it would be foolish to try. I wouldn't even want to try to discuss the differences between Theraveda and Mahayana - that is way too broad a topic to discuss easily. I wouldn't care to discuss the differences between Theraveda and Kagyu, which is a much narrower scope for discussion, but still beyond my comfort level.

I will, however offer comment about the "student" and his accoutrement ensemble. The shorts stike me as pushing decorum. And those glasses, I mean DAMN!
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Re: "Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism"

Postby Tilopa » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:30 am

Chaz wrote:I also think it's true that many Mahayanists don't know much about Theravedin practices or traditions. I certainly don't. I'm not particularly interested in learning, either. I've followed my guru's required study curriculum which includes extensive study of the the Pali/Tripitaka/Hinayana texts, but doesn't delve into denominational stuff, such as Theraveda.

I'm using the term Theravada as a euphemism for Hinayana as many people consider the latter a pejorative appellation and it's the only school of the Pali tradition still in existence.
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Re: "Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism"

Postby Chaz » Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:44 am

Tilopa wrote:
Chaz wrote:I also think it's true that many Mahayanists don't know much about Theravedin practices or traditions. I certainly don't. I'm not particularly interested in learning, either. I've followed my guru's required study curriculum which includes extensive study of the the Pali/Tripitaka/Hinayana texts, but doesn't delve into denominational stuff, such as Theraveda.

I'm using the term Theravada as a euphemism for Hinayana as many people consider the latter a pejorative appellation and it's the only school of the Pali tradition still in existence.



I tend to separate them. When I speak of Theraveda I speak of Theraveda and when I use Hinayana I refer to something else.

I can't think of a single tradition that doesn't stufy and endorse practice of what is found in the foundational path we call Hinayana. Are Kagyupas studying and practicing what's found in Hinayana practicing Theraveda? I don't think so.

It may have been perjorative in it's origins, but I have yet to see a single case nowadays where the word is used in a perjorative fashion. There are also occaisions where the word Hinayana is used in place of Theraveda, but in those cases it's been my experience that the people using the term simply don't know what they're talking about.

It could be argued that the term Mahyana places those teaching that our Theravedin bretheren so revere at a lower level and that dispairages those teachings. Well, maybe so. You look at videos like we see in the OP any any objection Theravedins might offer is a pot calling the kettle black.
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Re: "Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism"

Postby mañjughoṣamaṇi » Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:54 pm

Hello,

Chaz wrote:I also think it's true that many Mahayanists don't know much about Theravedin practices or traditions. I certainly don't. I'm not particularly interested in learning, either. I've followed my guru's required study curriculum which includes extensive study of the the Pali/Tripitaka/Hinayana texts, but doesn't delve into denominational stuff, such as Theraveda.


This is interesting to read. Would you mind my asking what particular Pāḷi texts are included in this study curriculum, and who is teaching the courses? With regard to the second part, if answering who you teacher is publicly is uncomfortable, please feel free to drop a PM. Or if telling a stranger on a forum is then please ignore the later part :D

Wishing you all the best.
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Re: "Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism"

Postby Blue Garuda » Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:58 pm

I drive a car. It works!

I'm not especially interested in examining the origin of every nut and bolt, or literally reinventing the wheel. Others have done all that for me and it would be pretty insulting to them and a complete waste of time to start by wondering how to create the internal combustion engine.

Yet many seem intent on doing so. Buddha meant there to be rear wheel drive and a differential ratio of half past my aunty's hearing aid and a 0-60 mph of 17.3 - because I say so.

I don't care.

Sooner or later we need to move beyond examining the Pali scritpure to see if rebirth meant becoming, and just do the damned practice!

I'm often bemused when I see Theravadans spend a huge amount of time discussing what was meant by the language which was supposed to perfectly convey Buddha's meaning.

Bearing in mind that the earliest Mahayana written scripture was only a blink away from the Pali canon in time, why is it that this forum is not overwhelmed by scriptural analysis about the nuances of Sanskrit? It should be ten times worse, as Pali was designed to be unambiguous.

Anyone else know why some Theravadans are so so obsessive about the meaning of each word of scripture in Pali, especially when it was only written down hundreds of years after it wa spoken, so they have no idea if it reflects Buddha's words or the 18th guy in line during the oral transmission?

Personally, I really like the guru model. We can argue and test the scriptures and if he's a good teacher I will do as he recommends, and if it works I will build on it. I can only see an academic interest in the Pali canon for me, rather than a pragmatic or practical one, as all the principal tenets taught by Shakyamuni are already present in the Mahayana and Vajrayana.
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Re: "Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism"

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:29 pm

Personally I found the overall attitude quite positive.

Let us not forget that some of meaning will be lost in translation AND that the video was quite clearly (and badly) edited.

That's some pretty cool glasses the student is wearing!
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Re: "Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism"

Postby Chaz » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:53 pm

manjughoṣamaṇi wrote:Hello,

Chaz wrote:I also think it's true that many Mahayanists don't know much about Theravedin practices or traditions. I certainly don't. I'm not particularly interested in learning, either. I've followed my guru's required study curriculum which includes extensive study of the the Pali/Tripitaka/Hinayana texts, but doesn't delve into denominational stuff, such as Theraveda.


This is interesting to read. Would you mind my asking what particular Pāḷi texts are included in this study curriculum, and who is teaching the courses? With regard to the second part, if answering who you teacher is publicly is uncomfortable, please feel free to drop a PM. Or if telling a stranger on a forum is then please ignore the later part :D

Wishing you all the best.



How about I just ignore the whole thing?

Revealing a teacher's name or details of his/her curriculum is like the kiss of death around here because there are people who will dispairage a teacher - any teacher - at the drop of a hat. If you think I'm going to discuss details apart from what I posted above, in public or private, no offense, man, but you have another thing coming.
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Re: "Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism"

Postby mañjughoṣamaṇi » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:33 am

Hello,

Chaz wrote:How about I just ignore the whole thing?


Suit yourself. I have just never heard of Pāḷi material making up part of a Vajrayāna curriculum before. I have no beef with it.

Wishing you all the best.
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Re: "Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism"

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:14 am

manjughoṣamaṇi wrote:Hello,

Chaz wrote:How about I just ignore the whole thing?


Suit yourself. I have just never heard of Pāḷi material making up part of a Vajrayāna curriculum before. I have no beef with it.

Wishing you all the best.
When my teacher (who is a monastic and druppon, teacher for three year retreatants, at )first approached his Vajrayana lama and expressed that he wanted enter retreat he was advised to first do three years of Burmese Vipassana training under a (shock horror!) Theravadran teacher before being allowed to enter a Vajrayana retreat.
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"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: "Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism"

Postby mañjughoṣamaṇi » Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:46 pm

Hello,

Firstly:
mañjughoṣamaṇi wrote:I have no beef with it.


I realize not everyone is a native speaker of American English so I want to be more clear about something, lest the intent of the post be lost. "I have no beef with xxx" is a colloquialism meaning "I have no problem with xxx". I do not have a problem with some Pāḷi texts being part of a shedra's curriculum. I have not heard of it happening before in traditional shedras. I was intrigued to find out what this involved. What texts, what the basis of the teaching was, etc.

When my teacher (who is a monastic and druppon, teacher for three year retreatants, at )first approached his Vajrayana lama and expressed that he wanted enter retreat he was advised to first do three years of Burmese Vipassana training under a (shock horror!) Theravadran teacher before being allowed to enter a Vajrayana retreat.


This is different than being part of a curriculum as Chaz mentioned earlier. Individualized intruction for students from their teachers are just that, individual. Generally when śrāvaka tenets are being presented in a curriculum they are done so via Vaibhāśika and Sautrāntika teachings.

Wishing you all the best.
Last edited by mañjughoṣamaṇi on Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism"

Postby Chaz » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:16 pm

manjughoṣamaṇi wrote:Hello,

Chaz wrote:How about I just ignore the whole thing?


Suit yourself. I have just never heard of Pāḷi material making up part of a Vajrayāna curriculum before. I have no beef with it.

Wishing you all the best.


Well some say that you can't understand the Vajrayana without and understanding of Mahayana and you can't understand Mahayana without understanding Hinayana.

A student myst start somewhere and the best place to start is at the beginning - 4 Noble Truths, Eightfold Path, Dependant Origination and so on. My teachers recognize this. I couldn't start my Mahayana studies until I had completed my Hinayana course work. That means Vajrayana study and practice would not have been possible, either.

Even in the Vajrayana you'll find references. The Four Reminders practice as found in Ngondro is based on principles of renunciation found in the Hinayana teachings.

I'd like to know if there's a path to Vajrayana practice that dowsnt include Hinayana.
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Re: "Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism"

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:25 pm

Chaz wrote:I'd like to know if there's a path to Vajrayana practice that dowsnt include Hinayana.
The Nyingma Ngakpo traditions. They don't go anywhere near any Sutta or Sutra. Well I am exaggerating a little, but you get the drift! 100% Tantra.
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"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: "Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism"

Postby Chaz » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:50 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Chaz wrote:I'd like to know if there's a path to Vajrayana practice that dowsnt include Hinayana.
The Nyingma Ngakpo traditions. They don't go anywhere near any Sutta or Sutra. Well I am exaggerating a little, but you get the drift! 100% Tantra.
:namaste:


Really? I posed my question in a somewhat rhetorical manner, expecting the response to be "none"! Guess I got that wrong!

Different strokes?
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