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Debating the Buddha - Dhamma Wheel

Debating the Buddha

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
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retrofuturist
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Debating the Buddha

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:32 pm

Greetings,

In the Sutta Pitaka we see the Buddha having many debates with ascetics and wanderers from other spiritual traditions. Accordingly, the debates and their outcomes are always presented from the Buddhist perspective.

Did any other spiritual traditions keep their own records of debates that took place between their own spritual leaders and the Buddha and his disciples?

If so, do you have any examples you could share?

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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bodom
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Re: Debating the Buddha

Postby bodom » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:41 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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retrofuturist
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Re: Debating the Buddha

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:47 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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bodom
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Re: Debating the Buddha

Postby bodom » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:52 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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Cittasanto
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Re: Debating the Buddha

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:03 pm

I dont think there is, I am sure (99% at best) I have read in general religion books that no mention of the Buddha is in the Jain texts or elsewhere.


but he is the Best! definitely not the Boss.


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Kare
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Re: Debating the Buddha

Postby Kare » Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:08 pm

I think I have heard that the Jains have some records of those debates - where of course the Jain always is the winner ... :roll:

But this may be nothing but a rumor - and I have no idea where I might have picked it up.

There is, however, a book collecting dust in my shelves, titled "Buddhism as presented by the Brahmanical systems", which might be of interest. I have not read it yet (I'm suffering from ganthalobha - buying more books than I get around to read) - but I see that it contains writings from the classical Brahmanical literature. I doubt any of them go all the way back to Buddha himself.
Mettāya,
Kåre

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SDC
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Re: Debating the Buddha

Postby SDC » Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:36 pm

Interesting question, Retro. It would definitely be interesting to see if there is a record. I imagine it would be hard to find. A long line of humble people would have had to ensure the protection of that information.

Because quite a few of those that debated with the Buddha became followers after losing, so there would be no need for them to ensure that it was documented (to be remembered) in the teachings of their previous religion. As for those that were disgraced and did not seek refuge, they probably did not go back and report the facts accurately anyway. Even if they did, those that became interested in the Buddha after hearing of his wisdom probably sought him out to become followers. Those that were uninterested probably tried to forget the story that same day and also made sure that no one spread the word.

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withoutcolour
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Re: Debating the Buddha

Postby withoutcolour » Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:41 pm

I believe most of the debates recorded by other folks go a little like this:

"Nuh uh."
"Uh HUH."
"Nuh uh."
"YUH HUH."
"Nuh uh TIMES A THOUSAND."
"Yuh huh times INFINITY."
"Nuh uh times infinity PLUS ONE."
" :tantrum: "

But that's only what the OFFICIAL texts say.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ
sabbe sattā sukhita hontu

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Re: Debating the Buddha

Postby fig tree » Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:27 am


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Re: Debating the Buddha

Postby pt1 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:01 am


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Re: Debating the Buddha

Postby adeh » Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:32 am

Ven. Sujato in "A History of Mindfulness" says on page 149:the Jains themselves preserve a tradition that the Buddha spent time as a Jain ascetic.

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Re: Debating the Buddha

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:42 am

i remember reading once that Sariputta is mentioned in texts from other sects, either hindu or jain... but not buddha, which is interesting as he died before the buddha, i cant seem to find where i read that though and have been thinking about it a bit lately...
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

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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Re: Debating the Buddha

Postby Paññāsikhara » Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:53 pm

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

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Re: Debating the Buddha

Postby appicchato » Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:03 pm


Heavenstorm
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Re: Debating the Buddha

Postby Heavenstorm » Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:45 pm

Vedantas too like to proclaim their own victories and how their fore fathers like Adi Shankara defeated and "annihilated" the "misguided" schools of Buddhism from India. On the other hand, Theravadins' cousins, Mahayanists have a couple of "historical records" on the repeated defeats of Adi Shankra by Dharmakirti (or Dharmapala?) over a course of three lifetimes or more. Should I mention the Muslims and Christians as well?

Morale of the story: No one like being a loser........... :)

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Re: Debating the Buddha

Postby seanpdx » Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:32 pm


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Kare
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Re: Debating the Buddha

Postby Kare » Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:54 pm

This has maybe only an indirect relevance to the question, but there is a Jain text, Paesi-kahanayam, which has many similarities with the Payasi-sutta (DN 23). This is a debate on the soul, and it is one of the most entertaining texts in the DN. The text of the Buddhist sutta is a dialogue between the Buddhist monk, Kumara-Kassapa, and governor Payasi. The commentary says it took place some time after the death of the Buddha. One interesting point is that Indian names often have a meaning. In Pali the name Payasi has no clear meaning. But in the Jain text the same person is called Paesi. In Ardha-Magadhi, the language of the Jain text, the name Paesi can easily be seen as Sanskrit Pradeshin, which means "District Governor" - which is what Paesi/Payasi was. Therefore the story may originally be a Jain story, written in Ardha-Magadhi. Some Buddhist editor then may have borrowed the story, making some changes to make it Buddhist, and just transferred the name Paesi into Pali > Payasi. If the original had been in Pali, we might have expected the name to be Pradeshin > Padesi. Therefore, this text may be evidence of borrowing and cross-influences between the different religious schools in ancient India.

As mentioned, the Payasi-sutta is an entertaining text with many interesting parables. In the debate the Buddhist monk argues strongly in favor of the existence of a soul (and of course he wins the debate), and this may also be an indication to an 'external', non-Buddhist, origin of the sutta.
Mettāya,
Kåre

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Re: Debating the Buddha

Postby pt1 » Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:06 am


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Re: Debating the Buddha

Postby Goofaholix » Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:51 am

I don't know the answer to the OP's question but with all these posts about how the Buddha beat the opposition surely the point of each these debates is the teaching that that they illustrate, not who ended up the winner and who ended up the loser.


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