Starting points for a Theravadin

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Starting points for a Theravadin

Postby Vakkali » Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:09 am

Hi everybody!

I'm a practicing Theravadin, but I want to know more about Mahayana. I especially enjoy reading "scripture," but I'm having a hard time figuring out where I should start. I feel like Theravadins are lucky in that most of us share the same body of texts in common, with only a little variation; when it comes to Mahayana, though, the number and variety of texts is absolutely staggering! I just don't know where to begin. I'd like to start with some of the foundational works, like the prajnaparamita sutras, but maybe that's too ambitious? I've got the Bodhisattvacaryavata, Goddard's A Buddhist Bible, and Williams' Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations for reference. I'm pretty sure I've got the Heart Sutra and the Diamond Sutra tucked away somewhere, too. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Right now, I'm hanging out at the foot of the tree and examining the roots, but I'd like to be able to look up and appreciate the leaves and fruit too. Thanks in advance!
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Re: Starting points for a Theravadin

Postby sangyey » Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:31 am

I'm sure many others on this board can give you some excellent recommendations but if I could make one suggestion ( not necessarily a book suggestion ) I would recommend checking out some of HH Dalai Lama's webcast teachings on HH website.

http://www.dalailama.com/webcasts

Extremely informative and while His Holiness is from the Tibetan tradition he teaches a lot on basic Mahayana and you can search the webcast catalog and find teachings on Heart Sutra, Diamond Cutter Sutra, Shantideva's text, etc.

Just a suggestion if you or others may be interested now or in the future it's a great resource :smile:
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Re: Starting points for a Theravadin

Postby Vakkali » Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:07 am

Bless you, sangyey! I knew that HH was generous with his (His?) knowledge and wisdom, but I wasn't aware that he (He?) made things like this freely available. I've always appreciated how practical he (He?) is. He seems to have a genuine interest modern science, which is fascinating. This seems like an excellent resource; I know that scholars in the Tibetan traditions have continued to study the older Indian philosophies, like Madhyamaka. Thanks again.
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Re: Starting points for a Theravadin

Postby sangyey » Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:17 am

Your welcome. He really is an ' ocean of wisdom'. Thanks to modern technology and (like you pointed out HH generosity) the teachings are easily accessible and quite a gem. HH very much emphasizes on the authoritative texts and teachings stemming from the Indian tradition.
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Re: Starting points for a Theravadin

Postby Josef » Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:21 am

sangyey wrote:Your welcome. He really is an ' ocean of wisdom'. Thanks to modern technology and (like you pointed out HH generosity) the teachings are easily accessible and quite a gem. HH very much emphasizes on the authoritative texts and teachings stemming from the Indian tradition.

Well done Sangyey.
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