Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Dharmakara » Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:29 am

There's actually the Gunaighar Grant Copperplate recovered in 1925 and it records one of the earliest donations of land to a Mahayana group during in the 188th Year of the Gupta Era (506 CE).

You can read an entire transcript of the copperplate here:

http://www.shantideva.net/copperplate.htm
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Jnana » Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:30 am

kirtu wrote:I have not.

Then I would suggest that that is a good place to start if you are interested in such matters.

kirtu wrote:Have they addressed the question of the rate of religious diffusion?

They have approached the subject from a variety of perspectives.

kirtu wrote:Given that you have to really be asserting that the Mahayana arose suddenly at the same time Fa Hsien made his journey and that is illogical.

That is not what I'm suggesting. I'm suggesting that the Mahāyāna was not a mainstream, self-identifiable, coherent institution until the 5th or 6th century CE. This assertion is not just an uninformed opinion, it is based on some of the most up to date research in the field. Research which has been cited on this thread.

All the best,

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Re: Sogyal Rinpoche

Postby fragrant herbs » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:19 am

I would like to see proof that Shakyamuni Buddha taught the Tantras and that he had sex with a consort to become enlightened. I bet no one here can prove it, especially in light of the fact that the Tantras were not taken to Tibet until the 8th or 9th century.

Tenzin1, you make so many good points here. But as I have read, no one really changes their views. Once you have been brainwashed by a religion it is almost impossible to change people's views, even with logic. The most that a thread like this can do is help someone who has not been fully brainwashed by teachings like this. Sure, there are some good teachings in Tibetan Buddhism, but they come from the Pali Canon and not the Tantric texts.
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Re: Sogyal Rinpoche

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:27 am

fragrant herbs wrote:I would like to see proof that Shakyamuni Buddha taught the Tantras and that he had sex with a consort to become enlightened. I met no one here can prove it.



There is no proof that the Buddha even taught the suttas, let alone the tantras.

However, we have a text, the Candamaharoshana tantra, and it indeed explains that the Buddha achieved his awakening by taking the farm girl who gave him rice porridge as his consort.

So, my advice to you, since you are a Thervavadin, is that you should not participate in Vajrayāna threads. Period. It is not appropriate.

I will be certain to alert the powers that be when you do.

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Re: Sogyal Rinpoche

Postby Indrajala » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:22 am

fragrant herbs wrote:I would like to see proof that Shakyamuni Buddha taught the Tantras and that he had sex with a consort to become enlightened. I bet no one here can prove it, especially in light of the fact that the Tantras were not taken to Tibet until the 8th or 9th century.

Tenzin1, you make so many good points here. But as I have read, no one really changes their views. Once you have been brainwashed by a religion it is almost impossible to change people's views, even with logic. The most that a thread like this can do is help someone who has not been fully brainwashed by teachings like this. Sure, there are some good teachings in Tibetan Buddhism, but they come from the Pali Canon and not the Tantric texts.


This is really degrading to say the least and reveals a lack of knowledge.

Tibetan Buddhism does not historically derive their canonical teachings from the Pali canon. In fact there was an early decision to selectively translate the Nikāya texts (primarily from Sanskrit, not Pali). Modern teachers might read the Nikāya now, but this was not the case historically. You're basically saying the whole of teachings of Tibetan Buddhism are rubbish.

That's slander my friend.
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Re: Sogyal Rinpoche

Postby adinatha » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:27 am

fragrant herbs wrote:I would like to see proof that Shakyamuni Buddha taught the Tantras and that he had sex with a consort to become enlightened. I bet no one here can prove it, especially in light of the fact that the Tantras were not taken to Tibet until the 8th or 9th century.

Tenzin1, you make so many good points here. But as I have read, no one really changes their views. Once you have been brainwashed by a religion it is almost impossible to change people's views, even with logic. The most that a thread like this can do is help someone who has not been fully brainwashed by teachings like this. Sure, there are some good teachings in Tibetan Buddhism, but they come from the Pali Canon and not the Tantric texts.


There is no proof the Buddha uttered a single word of any sutta, sutra or tantra. Proof of the validity of the Buddha's teachings happen in one's own life. That's what I was brainwashed to know.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby adinatha » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:34 am

Jñāna wrote:That is not what I'm suggesting. I'm suggesting that the Mahāyāna was not a mainstream, self-identifiable, coherent institution until the 5th or 6th century CE. This assertion is not just an uninformed opinion, it is based on some of the most up to date research in the field. Research which has been cited on this thread.


Purely speculative.
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Re: Sogyal Rinpoche

Postby Enochian » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:36 am

fragrant herbs wrote:I would like to see proof that Shakyamuni Buddha taught the Tantras and that he had sex with a consort to become enlightened. I bet no one here can prove it, especially in light of the fact that the Tantras were not taken to Tibet until the 8th or 9th century.

Tenzin1, you make so many good points here. But as I have read, no one really changes their views. Once you have been brainwashed by a religion it is almost impossible to change people's views, even with logic. The most that a thread like this can do is help someone who has not been fully brainwashed by teachings like this. Sure, there are some good teachings in Tibetan Buddhism, but they come from the Pali Canon and not the Tantric texts.



a. The Pali canon we have is NOT the real canon: http://www.tricycle.com/feature/whose-b ... t?page=0,0

b. Much of Vajrayana comes directly from DIVINE OMNISCIENT RAINBOW BODY MASTERS. Who cares about whether Shakyamuni taught it?

c. Vajrayana is the only main tradition based on the true teaching of the Buddha, Mādhyamaka.
There is an ever-present freedom from grasping the mind.

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Re: Sogyal Rinpoche

Postby Jnana » Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:03 am

Enochian wrote:a. The Pali canon we have is NOT the real canon: http://www.tricycle.com/feature/whose-b ... t?page=0,0

b. Much of Vajrayana comes directly from DIVINE OMNISCIENT RAINBOW BODY MASTERS. Who cares about whether Shakyamuni taught it?

c. Vajrayana is the only main tradition based on the true teaching of the Buddha, Mādhyamaka.

LOL... Keep on preachin' that gospel truth!

All the best,

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Re: Sogyal Rinpoche

Postby adinatha » Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:23 am

Jñāna wrote:
Enochian wrote:a. The Pali canon we have is NOT the real canon: http://www.tricycle.com/feature/whose-b ... t?page=0,0

b. Much of Vajrayana comes directly from DIVINE OMNISCIENT RAINBOW BODY MASTERS. Who cares about whether Shakyamuni taught it?

c. Vajrayana is the only main tradition based on the true teaching of the Buddha, Mādhyamaka.

LOL... Keep on preachin' that gospel truth!

All the best,

Geoff


The truth is hard to face, Geoff. Just face it.
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Re: Sogyal Rinpoche

Postby Jnana » Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:25 am

adinatha wrote:The truth is hard to face, Geoff. Just face it.

LOL... you do crack me up. The "truth" doesn't require regressing to a mythological worldview. And even more importantly, my faith doesn't require your approval.
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Re: Sogyal Rinpoche

Postby adinatha » Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:38 am

Jñāna wrote:
adinatha wrote:The truth is hard to face, Geoff. Just face it.

LOL... you do crack me up. The "truth" doesn't require regressing to a mythological worldview. And even more importantly, my faith doesn't require your approval.


Let's talk about facts. The Pali Canon is not the earliest teaching of the Buddha. Mahayana is just as old. Too bad if you have an originalist view and rely on Pali.
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Re: Sogyal Rinpoche

Postby Jnana » Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:59 am

adinatha wrote:Let's talk about facts. The Pali Canon is not the earliest teaching of the Buddha. Mahayana is just as old. Too bad if you have an originalist view and rely on Pali.

You're boring me bud. You seem to feel the need to justify your beliefs based on conflating hagiography and visionary revelation with the historical record (all of which are preserved in various Indic languages, as well as Chinese and Tibetan translation). This is your problem, not mine. I consider such justifications quite ridiculous and completely unnecessary.
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Re: Sogyal Rinpoche

Postby Enochian » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:04 pm

Jñāna wrote:
adinatha wrote:Let's talk about facts. The Pali Canon is not the earliest teaching of the Buddha. Mahayana is just as old. Too bad if you have an originalist view and rely on Pali.

You're boring me bud. You seem to feel the need to justify your beliefs based on conflating hagiography and visionary revelation with the historical record (all of which are preserved in various Indic languages, as well as Chinese and Tibetan translation). This is your problem, not mine. I consider such justifications quite ridiculous and completely unnecessary.



“Nobody holds the view of an original canon anymore,” Oskar von Hinüber, one of the world’s leading scholars of Pali, told me.

http://www.tricycle.com/feature/whose-b ... t?page=0,2


There were many canons, that were lost to history. Mahayana is as old as anything else.

Also you do realize that Mahayana was the dominant tradition in India for hundreds of years before extinction?

And Vajrayana is merely late phase Mahayana.

As Matthew Kapstein has argued:
"[T]he practice of "incantation and ritual," directed to both ultimate and mundane ends, had become normal Mahayana practice, and not merely a popular cult shunned by the learned clergy, prior to the sixth century, and probably as early as the third. Over the course of the centuries the volume of ritual lore incorporated into the Mahayana in this fashion increased without any but general doctrinal restriction....It was only after this corpus has grown sufficiently massive to take on a life of its own however, that conditions came to favor the emergence of the mantrayana and later Vajrayana as distinct ways of Buddhist practice....[T]his development occurred within a century or two following Bhavaviveka's day, and perhaps had begun already during his lifetime. Once it took place, it became possible to attempt an ex post facto classification of the whole mass of mantric lore that had accumulated during the preceding centuries. Thus, the so-called "outer tantras" had been part and parcel of Mahayana practice long before anyone ever conceived of them as a class apart."
There is an ever-present freedom from grasping the mind.

Mind being defined as the thing always on the Three Times.
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Re: Sogyal Rinpoche

Postby Jnana » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:16 pm

Enochian wrote:There were many canons, that were lost to history.

All of the early records of discourses and fragments of discourses preserved in various languages are consistent in the teachings they present. It's all 100% Śrāvakayāna. The śramaṇa Gautama didn't teach the Mahāyāna sūtras. It's really not a big deal.

All the best,

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Re: Sogyal Rinpoche

Postby Enochian » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:27 pm

Jñāna wrote:
Enochian wrote:There were many canons, that were lost to history.

All of the early records of discourses and fragments of discourses preserved in various languages are consistent in the teachings they present. It's all 100% Śrāvakayāna. The śramaṇa Gautama didn't teach the Mahāyāna sūtras. It's really not a big deal.

All the best,

Geoff



Why was Mahayana the dominant tradition in India for hundreds of years

Why was Vajrayana taught at the great monasteries in India, Nalanda, Vikramashila etc.?

Dicusss
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Mind being defined as the thing always on the Three Times.
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Re: Sogyal Rinpoche

Postby Jnana » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:39 pm

Enochian wrote:Why was Mahayana the dominant tradition in India for hundreds of years

Buddhist ideas developed to meet the needs of different groups of people at different times, the common theme being that they were inspired by the example of the Buddha's life and hagiographic narratives such as the Jātakas. And in some of the earliest textual remnants presenting the bodhisattvayāna as a unique vehicle we can clearly see a recurring desire to return to the ascetic path initiated by the śramaṇa Gautama Buddha. Other early bodhisattva aspirants likely had different concerns and motivations. In the course of time the bodhisattvayāna resonated with more people than the śrāvakayāna.

Enochian wrote:Why was Vajrayana taught at the great monasteries in India, Nalanda, Vikramashila etc.?

Same as above.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Sogyal Rinpoche

Postby Jnana » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:57 pm

Enochian wrote:Mahayana is as old as anything else.

There are a number of good sources on the early development of the Mahāyāna. I'm pretty sure that I mentioned some of them in this thread. Another source which will be available in coming months is Ven. Huifeng's doctoral dissertation and translation of one of the works of Yìnshùn Dǎoshī. Also, here's what Namdrol has said on this subject previously:

    Likewise, while the Mahayana sutras were inspired by the blessings of the Buddha, I don't believe he actually taught a single one of them. Nevertheless, I think the teachings in them are profound and stand on their own. I apply the same standard to gter mas. Some are more profound than others. That has to do with the realization of the gter ton, and very little to do with their imputed source of authorship....

    So for example, it is spiritually meaningful that the PP sutras are set on Vulture's Peak-- but it sure is not a historical reality. Even though Shakyamuni Buddha certainly never actually taught Mahayana, nevertheless, Mahayana stands on its own and is valid as a spiritual path and practice because the folks that wrote the Mahayana sutras down were realized persons. The source of these teachings are all realized beings-- their assumed historical settings are merely skillful means to instill faith in the teachings in those person's who need to crutch of historical literalism....

    In general, if a sutra is crucial to one's own schools exegesis, but is of questionable provenance, it cannot be used in a general discussion to bolster one's own school's position since the text upon which one is basing one's position is not accepted as a valid text by all parties....

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Enochian » Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:24 pm

Mahayana sutras and Mahayana are two different things. I have read some sources that state that Mahayana is as old as anything else.

Let me ask you this:

Don't you think Longchenpa etc. are at the same level as the Buddha?

Even Bon people obtain rainbow body for pete's sake.

Who cares what the Buddha taught?

Vajrayana is about the teachings of the Mahasiddhas

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahasiddha


P.S. Do you really think the Buddha taught more than 10% of the Pali canon???
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Josef » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:00 pm

Enochian wrote:
Who cares what the Buddha taught?

Excellent point.
Personally, I am more concerned about the solid to liquid ratio of my last shit than I am about what the Buddha actually taught.
The fact is, nobody really knows. The Pali canon and the Mahayana canon were both written hundreds of years after he died and despite what modern Theravada chauvinists might want people to think, they where written around the same time as each other.
Its about what works. And guess what, it all works on different levels.
These kinds of arguments are silly.
One of great things about the Vajrayana is that it doesnt exclude anything. I am always baffled by Buddhists who limit their access to methods and teachings based upon arbitrary, polemical dating of texts.
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