Author Topic: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana  (Read 20218 times)

Offline FaDao

  • Member
  • Posts: 56
    • View Profile
Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2010, 05:31:02 am »
Now lookie here, buster...I expect a robust and preferably didactic defence of this stuff!

Seriously.... I do find a great deal to applaud in the infant gropings of the early Theosophists as they encountered Buddhism.
 
Blavatsky's works are intellectually stimulating and a work of some genius.

I speak as a TS member, of course. ;)

Never had a quarrel with Blavatsky, Rhiess-Davies et al as regards their efforts to bring the dhamma to the west. In historical context, I understand their translations of sutta -- even thought I don't always agree with the translations themselves.

Words are funny things -- they shift meanings across time and culture. Even in English, I still assume that people who are discussing "cougars" are discussing large mountain-cats. Silly me.

Namo Amitofo
 - Fa Dao -

Offline Monkey Mind

  • Member
  • Posts: 2796
    • View Profile
    • My Buddhism Biography
Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2010, 10:50:07 am »
Is it better for the Theravada and Mahayana to find common ground, or better for these two groups to accept their inherent differences?

Dharmakara

  • Guest
Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2010, 11:48:28 am »
Maybe a little both? :)

Offline Ron-the-Elder

  • Member
  • Posts: 4516
  • May all beings live rightly and harmoniously.
    • View Profile
Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2010, 11:57:42 am »
All the chatter regarding differences and similarities amounts to naught.  It reminds me of a song from back in The 60's:  "Today We Have Naming of Parts":

Quote
To-day we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
We had daily cleaning. And to-morrow morning,
We shall have what to do after firing. But to-day,
To-day we have naming of parts. Japonica
Glistens like coral in all of the neighboring gardens,
          And to-day we have naming of parts.

This is the lower sling swivel. And this
Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see,
When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel,
Which in your case you have not got. The branches
Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,
          Which in our case we have not got.

This is the safety-catch, which is always released
With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me
See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy
If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms
Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
          Any of them using their finger.

And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this
Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it
Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards
The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers:
          They call it easing the Spring.

They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy
If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt,
And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance,
Which in our case we have not got; and the almond-blossom
Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,
          For to-day we have naming of parts.


Part II. "Judging Distances" »


Henry Reed and Frank Duncan reading "Naming of Parts":

source:  http://www.solearabiantree.net/namingofparts/namingofparts.html

As DK pointed out there are but three paths for the released, the unbound, and the enlightened, and but one path for the Bodhisatta, One seeking release, unbinding, and enlightenment.  It is the same path that Buddha revealed to his original sangha:  "The Noble Eight Fold Path."
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline FaDao

  • Member
  • Posts: 56
    • View Profile
Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2010, 06:29:31 am »
Sadhu! Sadhu! Ven. Dharmakara, I've only been saying that for years on various forums for many years.

Quote
Neither would some Theravada practitioners, but on the other hand most practitioners on either side can't seem to grasp the idea that one does not forsake the Mahayana, no sooner than one forsakes the Theravada, for such distinctions are contrary to the equanimity of the Bodhisattva spirit and the unity of the greater Buddhist community at large.

The "arguments" between Theravada and Mahayana are silly samsaric quibbling best left in the dust bin of history.

If the dhamma is the point, the point is the dhamma. Wha of a given teachng proves true according to dhamma? Neither "canon" is free of error or ego.

Namo Amitofo
-Fa Dao -

Offline Boodust

  • Member
  • Posts: 28
    • View Profile
Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2010, 09:25:29 am »
 :namaste:

It seems to me that the common ground is the Buddha. All else seems personal and interpretive.

 :dharma:

Offline lowonthetotem

  • Member
  • Posts: 871
    • View Profile
Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2010, 09:37:30 am »
I was reading the final dialogue in a sutra this morning, which stated in pretty plain language that the Buddha did not present two teachings.  Of course, it was a Mahayana sutra, so therein lies the rub.

Offline Sonam Wangchug

  • Member
  • Posts: 77
    • View Profile
Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2010, 11:22:44 pm »
 :buddha: :grouphug: 
 :anjali:

Offline retrofuturist

  • Member
  • Posts: 388
    • View Profile
    • Dhamma Wheel (Theravada forum)
Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2010, 11:31:36 pm »
Greetings Anusaya,

Is it better for the Theravada and Mahayana to find common ground, or better for these two groups to accept their inherent differences?
I think so... and I don't think that's necessarily a bad, negative, or defeatist situation either.

A lot of inter-sectarian quibbling I've seen online has been attributable to one party thinking and assuming that their beliefs and understandings ought to be shared by others. If we can understand what the inherent differences are, we can better understand where other people are coming from. When we understand their perspective, then we're in a better position to benefit from what they have to say.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Offline Monkey Mind

  • Member
  • Posts: 2796
    • View Profile
    • My Buddhism Biography
Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2010, 03:17:10 am »
I think so... and I don't think that's necessarily a bad, negative, or defeatist situation either.
Not defeatist, but practical or pragmatic. Thank you for your thoughts.

Offline Ron-the-Elder

  • Member
  • Posts: 4516
  • May all beings live rightly and harmoniously.
    • View Profile
Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2010, 11:48:02 am »
As a Theravadin my only concern for those Mahayana folks is their vehicles are just too big, given rising fuel costs and green house gases accumulating in our atmosphere.  Consider that there was a reason Buddha required monks to walk during alms rounds.

But, this just might be "vehicle envy" on my part.   :curtain:
« Last Edit: March 13, 2010, 11:50:38 am by Ron-the-Elder »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline Boodust

  • Member
  • Posts: 28
    • View Profile
Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #26 on: March 13, 2010, 09:20:26 pm »
 :namaste:

Maybe some drive a Great Cloud Vehicle.  :teehee:

 :dharma:

Javamahasattva

  • Guest
Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2010, 09:40:01 pm »
As long as it's not a Toyota  :lmfao:

Offline Dairy Lama

  • Member
  • Posts: 5157
  • Cool baby yeah!
    • View Profile
Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #28 on: March 14, 2010, 03:30:43 am »
Is it better for the Theravada and Mahayana to find common ground, or better for these two groups to accept their inherent differences?

Definitely both.  But both are very difficult unless practitioners take the trouble to find out about other traditions in an open-minded way.

Spiny
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream"

Offline Kojip

  • Member
  • Posts: 195
    • View Profile
Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #29 on: March 25, 2010, 03:48:03 pm »
People wash over the differences with their own brush.  Sanghas of different traditions often unify Buddhism by collapsing the other streams into the truth claims of their own.  It's like a warp field.   All Buddha Dharma is one when differences are respected.  Recently on a Zen forum the question was asked " Is Zen in danger of losing touch with Buddhism"  This was essentially code for "losing touch with Theravada".  This kind of thing is common. Each is True Dharma by its own measure, each is different.  No problem.  :buddha:

 

 


SimplePortal 2.3.3 © 2008-2010, SimplePortal