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Unique aspects of Southeast Asian Theravada? - Dhamma Wheel

Unique aspects of Southeast Asian Theravada?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Individual
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Unique aspects of Southeast Asian Theravada?

Postby Individual » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:03 pm

A while ago, I discovered that Theravada in places like Thailand and Sri Lanka diverges in practice from early Buddhism. Some possible examples might be the tendency towards animistic beliefs ("spirits"), various rituals, and things like fortune-telling. This sort of thing might be denigrated for being doctrinal corruptions, but they might also be appreciated for creating a unique flavor to Buddhism while still retaining the essentials.

Is there anyone here familiar with this sort of thing? And could you talk about it in detail?

It's likely that nobody here is an expert on all Theravada in Southeast Asia, but if you have any experiences with Theravada in one specific country, share them!
The best things in life aren't things.


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jcsuperstar
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Re: Unique aspects of Southeast Asian Theravada?

Postby jcsuperstar » Sun Oct 25, 2009 3:37 am

some of us have studied in thailand, not sure if anyone has been to burma, cambodia, laos or sri lanka (well maybe the dhamma?)

i would like to know more about sri lankan buddhism, from what little i know, the sri lankans were suposely jain before buddhism came, and jainism ismore strict than buddhism so there shouldnt have been a lot of cultral stuff added to buddhism the way there was in burma or thailand where there was mahyana buddhism, hinduism, animism etc. though i could be wrong, i know they added shiva worship and made shiva buddhist so i probably am wrong.

personally i like the little cultural additions to thai buddhism, but for me theyre little things to collect have aroudn the house etc, it's harmless. however for many thai people the cultural additions are buddhism and they miss the real dhamma.
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the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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dragonwarrior
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Re: Unique aspects of Southeast Asian Theravada?

Postby dragonwarrior » Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:32 am

I live in one of the Southeast Asian countries, Indonesia.
Unlike in Thailand / Sri Lanka, Indonesian people are majority Moslems (over 200 million of the population).
Buddhists in Indonesia are mostly Chinese & some indigenous groups of Indonesia (depend on location, e.g. in Borobudur Temple area ) Actually there are many Chinese-Indonesian people who confessed themselves as Buddhists (not theradava nor mahayana), but actually they don't really understand about The Buddha's teachings and still equate Buddha with God. Mostly pray with joss sticks and ask for wealth and health, and burn joss sticks as offerings to the devas. Even my Theravadin dad also burn joss sticks in altar, but he did that to respect the devas in my house. I do burn joss sticks occasionally, such as in Chinese new year, pray to my mom & my grandparents, wishing their happiness. In some chinese temple, people burn some giant candles and burn many many joss sticks. Really can't bear with the smoke! I think it's a part of the culture. Don't know if my answer really answering the question :thinking: :tongue: but about Indonesian Theravada, I don't think there's any significant unique things. CMIIW

:anjali:
Winny

vitellius
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Re: Unique aspects of Southeast Asian Theravada?

Postby vitellius » Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:26 pm

Hi Winny,

But can you describe how Theravada tradition spread in Indonesia in 20th century?

I know that in Malaysia there was a group of Sinhala (Sri-Lankan) emigrants who invited Ven. Sri Dhammananda, who made Theravada popular among Chinese. And then, in 80-s there was a wave of popularity of Burmese vipassana meditation methods. How was that in Indonesia?

chownah
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Re: Unique aspects of Southeast Asian Theravada?

Postby chownah » Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:07 pm

Individual,
I'm not sure what you are asking. I live in Thailand. The people here don't call themselves "Theravada"....they just call themselves Buddhist. The "official" Buddhism in Thailand accept the Theravada texts but the people generally know nothing or at best next to nothing about these texts. If you are actually wanting to know about SE Asian Theravada then at least as far as Thailand is concerned you are wanting to know what a very small minority of the people accept that is unique because there is only a very small minority of people who are well enough educated about Theravada to be able to make a self determination of this sort. Another alternative is for you or someone else to make the determination as to whether someone in SE Asia is Theravada or not...but this becomes problematic in that how will you or someone else make that determination?....if you decide based on sweeping generalities then you have lost the human quality....if you decide based on individuals then it will take several lifetimes to interview everyone.

chownah

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dragonwarrior
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Re: Unique aspects of Southeast Asian Theravada?

Postby dragonwarrior » Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:39 pm


BudSas
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Re: Unique aspects of Southeast Asian Theravada?

Postby BudSas » Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:07 am


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Hanzze
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Re: Unique aspects of Southeast Asian Theravada?

Postby Hanzze » Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:57 pm

_/\_
Just that! *smile*


BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Nate sante baram sokham _()_


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