Author Topic: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana  (Read 24903 times)

Offline Marcus Epicurus

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #120 on: January 23, 2014, 05:31:36 pm »
It seems to me we have more in common that differences.
We all have Buddha as our ultimate teacher.
Nuff said. :twocents:
The non-doing of any evil,
the performance of what's skillful,
the cleansing of one's own mind:
this is the teaching of the Awakened.

Offline andyebarnes67

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #121 on: October 28, 2014, 02:38:29 am »

As for your earlier question, it might be best to cite the Ven. Sayadaw U Thittila on this matter, as he dealt with it nicely:

According to Buddhism the universe evolved, but it did not evolve out of nothingness, it evolved out of the dispersed matter of a previous universe; and when this universe is dissolved. its dispersed matter, or its residual energy which is continually renewing itself, will in time give rise to another universe in the same way. The process is therefore cyclic and continuous, and the universe itself is composed of millions of world systems, each with its various planes of existence.

Wow. This must be the best quote I've come across that shows the correlation of much of Buddhist Dhamma with the newer theories coming from respected cosmologists on the origin of our universe. bookmarked with much gratitude.
Metta

Andy Barnes
My comments are by nature, subjective interpretations from my mind. As such, they are never wrong, They are as they are. They are never right, They are as they are.

Offline flaneur

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #122 on: February 16, 2015, 05:16:56 pm »
Ultimately Dharma is Dharma. I've never understood the metaphysics, cosmologies, dogmas etc.

The Buddha said his goal was to end suffering.


A HANDFUL OF LEAVES
The Blessed One was once living at Kosambi in a wood of simsapa trees. He picked up a few leaves in his hand, and he asked the bhikkhus, ‘How do you conceive this, bhikkhus, which is more, the few leaves that I have picked up in my hand or those on the trees in the wood?

‘The leaves that the Blessed One has picked up in his hand are few, Lord; those in the wood are far more.’

‘So too, bhikkhus, the things that I have known by direct knowledge are more; the things that I have told you are only a few. Why have I not told them? Because they bring no benefit, no advancement in the Holy Life, and because they do not lead to dispassion, to fading, to ceasing, to stilling, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbana. That is why I have not told them. And what have I told you? This is suffering; this is the origin of suffering; this is the cessation of suffering; this is the way leading to the cessation of suffering. That is what I have told you. Why have I told it? Because it brings benefit, and advancement in the Holy Life, and because it leads to dispassion, to fading, to ceasing, to stilling, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbana. So bhikkhus, let your task be this: This is suffering; this is the origin of suffering; this is the cessation of suffering; this is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’

[Samyutta Nikaya, LVI, 31]
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Offline Kodo308

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #123 on: May 18, 2017, 08:13:12 am »
So far, over the last few years since 1963 (50 years, give or take a few months) I have found the following in common between Theravada and Mahayana (perhaps not all Mahayana, but most):

I.  The Buddha was enlightened.
II.  The Buddha had many previous lives.
III. The Buddha taught:
A.  The Four Noble Truths
 1. Which included The Fact of Dukkha
 2.  The cause of dukkha
  3.  That there was a means of eliminating dukkha.
 4.  That means was The Noble Eight Fold Path.
B.  Dependent Origination
C.  Kamma / Karma
D.  Impermanence
E.  Emptiness
F.  Rebirth
G.  The 31 Planes of Existence within the 31 Realms.
H.  The Khandas / Skandas
I.  The aggregates
J.  Meditation
K.  Mindfulness
L.  The Five Basic Precepts
M.  The Six Sense Doors
N.  Mara (The Tempter / The Lord of Delusion / The King of Death)
O.  Rebirth
P.  Nibbana / Nirvana
Q.  Study of Documents written about The Buddha ( Suttas / Sutras )
R.  Celebration of Puja's / Buddhist Holidays.
S.  The coming of the next Buddha  (Maitreyah)
T.  Chanting

That's it for me off the top of my head.

The 4 Brahmaviharas, too. Because srs'ly, you can't leave those out.  :D

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #124 on: May 18, 2017, 11:50:19 pm »
Of all Buddhist sects around today, I believe that Theravada is closest to the Buddha’s original teachings. Why would I say this as a Mahayana Buddhist? Because Mahayana adapted the Buddha’s original teachings for a broader audience, and there’s nothing wrong with that. 

Even in the Pali canon, which is believed to represent the oldest Buddhist scriptures, the Buddha taught in different ways to different people in different circumstances. This principle of adaptability is called upaya or skillful means:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upaya

As a Mahayana Buddhist, I've long believed the celestial Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, such as Amitabha and Avalokitesvara, to be symbolic of our own potential for enlightenment and of the unconditioned true nature of all things, rather than literal god-like beings:
https://www.thoughtco.com/atheism-and-devotion-in-buddhism-449718

In the following article, Tibetan Buddhist scholar Rita M. Gross gives a scholarly evaluation as to the origin of the Mahayana scriptures, explaining how their spiritual value is not dependent on literal historicity:
https://internationaljournaldharmastudies.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/2196-8802-1-5
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 02:51:23 am by Dharma Flower »

Offline 1Buddhist

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #125 on: August 01, 2018, 09:14:47 pm »
I think the same. I’m not just an internet Buddhist. I have been an active Buddhist for at least four years now. There is, no problem that I can see between the Theravada and Mahayana Traditions. I have visited both and have not been discriminated against in any way. However, amongst the Mahayana Traditions there is a huge battle going on over the Dorje Shugden issue. I personally thing it goes totally against Dharma to be publicly defame or discrace another person / human being. Regardless of right or wrong. The question I would loke to know, is if there is any truth to the Dorje Shugden practice? Did it used to be a part of the old Traditions? Or is it in fact a falsehood that was later added?

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #126 on: August 02, 2018, 01:39:32 am »
Of all Buddhist sects around today, I believe that Theravada is closest to the Buddha’s original teachings. Why would I say this as a Mahayana Buddhist? Because Mahayana adapted the Buddha’s original teachings for a broader audience, and there’s nothing wrong with that. 

Buddhism has branched off in all sorts of different directions since the Buddha's time.  Maybe people just need to re-invent the wheel?   :wink1:
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Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #127 on: August 02, 2018, 02:13:30 am »
Of all Buddhist sects around today, I believe that Theravada is closest to the Buddha’s original teachings. Why would I say this as a Mahayana Buddhist? Because Mahayana adapted the Buddha’s original teachings for a broader audience, and there’s nothing wrong with that. 

Buddhism has branched off in all sorts of different directions since the Buddha's time.  Maybe people just need to re-invent the wheel?   :wink1:

I always loved this quote from the Simpsons:
Reverend Lovejoy: Ned, have you considered any of the other major religions? They're all pretty much the same.
Kind of works for Buddhist sects too.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #128 on: August 02, 2018, 05:50:26 am »
However, amongst the Mahayana Traditions there is a huge battle going on over the Dorje Shugden issue.

It's not that big a deal outside the Gelug lineage.  It's a problem between HHDL and a community of Gelugs and the NKT who continue the DS practice after his repudiation of it.  It's not a problem with other lineages because DS is a Gelug practice.

The battle spilled out on the web back on the old eSangha boards when they banned pro-DS discussion and other sites followed suit.  A nightmare of non-Buddhist behavior followed.

Offline 1Buddhist

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #129 on: August 02, 2018, 12:52:12 pm »
Yes, it is indeed a nightmare. As I stated previously, I personally see the multiple demonstrations as entirely against everything that is Dharma. So, the the DS practice is an old practice, but only of the Gelug Lineage? That would mean that the NKT is basically apart or division of the Gelug Lineage. Is that correct?

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #130 on: August 02, 2018, 02:19:05 pm »
Yes, it is indeed a nightmare. As I stated previously, I personally see the multiple demonstrations as entirely against everything that is Dharma. So, the the DS practice is an old practice, but only of the Gelug Lineage? That would mean that the NKT is basically apart or division of the Gelug Lineage. Is that correct?

NKT split off from the Gelug lineage over the DS issue.  The founder, Kelsang Gyatso, objected to the DL's instruction to cease the practice mainly on the grounds that he was practicing as a part of his samaya with his root guru.  This sort of relationship is thought by some to be more important and binding than any relationship to the DL.

Then it got a little out of hand, which was kinda stupid.  The way I seem it, my guru's instruction is more important that the head of my lineage.  If the Karmapa said that we should cease a certain practice and my guru didn't support that, I would follow my guru.  I don't think I'd run around the internet bad-mouthing the Karmapa over it, though, but that's just me.

From what I see, the NKT follows the Gelug tradition right down the line, except for DS practice.

I could join an NKT group.  There's one not far away and there are no Kagyu sanghas around.  However, I don't want to associate with controversy.  That's one of the reasons I left the Shambhala mandala.

One of the Mods on this board is NKT.  he doesn't come around much any more, though.  I'm not sure why.  He's a decent enough fellow.

Offline 1Buddhist

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #131 on: August 02, 2018, 04:46:09 pm »
NKT split off from the Gelug lineage over the DS issue.  The founder, Kelsang Gyatso, objected to the DL's instruction to cease the practice mainly on the grounds that he was practicing as a part of his samaya with his root guru.  This sort of relationship is thought by some to be more important and binding than any relationship to the DL.

Then it got a little out of hand, which was kinda stupid.  The way I seem it, my guru's instruction is more important that the head of my lineage.  If the Karmapa said that we should cease a certain practice and my guru didn't support that, I would follow my guru.  I don't think I'd run around the internet bad-mouthing the Karmapa over it, though, but that's just me.

From what I see, the NKT follows the Gelug tradition right down the line, except for DS practice.

I could join an NKT group.  There's one not far away and there are no Kagyu sanghas around.  However, I don't want to associate with controversy.  That's one of the reasons I left the Shambhala mandala.

One of the Mods on this board is NKT.  he doesn't come around much any more, though.  I'm not sure why.  He's a decent enough fellow.
[/quote]
I have no personal issues with the NKT. I am just not sure if the DS practice is a practice that should be done. I question it’s authentic origin, or if there is even one at all. It makes me somewhat nervous not knowing for sure one way or another.

Offline Gibbon

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #132 on: August 03, 2018, 08:08:28 am »
NKT split off from the Gelug lineage over the DS issue.  The founder, Kelsang Gyatso, objected to the DL's instruction to cease the practice mainly on the grounds that he was practicing as a part of his samaya with his root guru.  This sort of relationship is thought by some to be more important and binding than any relationship to the DL.

Then it got a little out of hand, which was kinda stupid.  The way I seem it, my guru's instruction is more important that the head of my lineage.  If the Karmapa said that we should cease a certain practice and my guru didn't support that, I would follow my guru.  I don't think I'd run around the internet bad-mouthing the Karmapa over it, though, but that's just me.

From what I see, the NKT follows the Gelug tradition right down the line, except for DS practice.

I could join an NKT group.  There's one not far away and there are no Kagyu sanghas around.  However, I don't want to associate with controversy.  That's one of the reasons I left the Shambhala mandala.

One of the Mods on this board is NKT.  he doesn't come around much any more, though.  I'm not sure why.  He's a decent enough fellow.

The issue is not that the NKT has split from the Gelug lineage, it is that the Gelug school itself is now split in two.  There are many and varied protectors in it, including this one.  This particular practice arose about 400 years ago and has since gained in popularity, especially in the 20th century when it was promoted by the greatest Gelug lama of the time, Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche.  In the past 20 years or so, the Dalai Lama (who is actually not the head of the Gelugpa lineage at all, the Gaden Tripa is) has placed a virtual ban on it.  However, the practice is not going anywhere, there are monasteries in India that do it, it is also popular in China and Mongolia.  Quite a number of Western centers (not including NKT) practice it, too, they just don't advertise it openly. 

From what I understand about NKT, it has streamlined the way it presents the Dharma for the Westerners and has emphasized the protector practice more and introduces it earlier.  Its founder, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, is highly respected for his learning and realizations.

I totally agree about my guru's instructions superseding anyone else's opinion, be it this issue or any other one roiling up Tibetan Buddhism on a samsaric level right now.  Just make damn sure that the guru and lineage are right for you!

Offline 1Buddhist

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #133 on: August 03, 2018, 01:58:29 pm »
I totally agree about my guru's instructions superseding anyone else's opinion, be it this issue or any other one roiling up Tibetan Buddhism on a samsaric level right now.  Just make damn sure that the guru and lineage are right for you!

I totally agree with that. I like the NKT. There are a lot of good people there.

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #134 on: August 05, 2018, 06:25:51 am »
NKT split off from the Gelug lineage over the DS issue.  The founder, Kelsang Gyatso, objected to the DL's instruction to cease the practice mainly on the grounds that he was practicing as a part of his samaya with his root guru.  This sort of relationship is thought by some to be more important and binding than any relationship to the DL.
Then it got a little out of hand, which was kinda stupid. 

Yes, it's a shame that there is so much ill-feeling and sectarianism - what's wrong with "live and let live"?    In the past I've been involved in both NKT and Rigpa, which are like on opposite sides of the argument - I felt they had more in common than they realised.
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