Talk:Theravada

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Apocrypha[edit]

Theravāda Buddhists consider much of what is found in the Chinese and Tibetan Mahayana scriptural collections to be apocryphal, meaning that they are not authentic words of the Buddha. This is sourced from Macmillan encyclopaedia, but I question it's provenance. Moreover, it doesn't really offer much in the way of identifying what is meant by it.

For instance, if we accept that Arahants are perfect (which is reasonable) and that the 'level of realisation' of any Arahant (including that of the Buddha) is the same, then in what way should one distinguish the words of one Arahant over the words of another?

Likewise, what are distinguished as 'words'? If a sutta describes the actions of Lord Buddha in great detail, without necessarily having much (or any) content regarding his words, how can that be identified as being 'authentic words of the Buddha' ?

If we accept that actions of a Buddha are enough to represent a valid sutta, then are not his actions of being a Buddha not enough to demonstrate the validity of the Mahayana path?

A strong component of the Mahayana path is the concept of Bodhicitta - a continuum of intention to become a Buddha. It would be hard to reject this idea, by looking at the actions and previous lifetimes of the Buddha alone, regardless of the fact that he didn't necessarily discuss it.

In brief, I guess I am looking for something about what criteria are used for acceptance and rejection in the Theravada canon. (20040302 (talk) 15:17, 6 November 2013 (UTC))

Only one being can be a Supreme Buddha at any one time/era. The next Supreme Buddha can only exist if the current Buddha-Dharma become extinct. Supreme Buddha is someone who have rediscovered the lost 8 Fold Path & teach it to other. Those who have achive Enlightement by practicing the Path which have been redicovered by Supreme Buddha would be labelled as Arahant (Savaka Buddha). If you aspire to be come a Supreme Buddha then you'll have to wait until current Buddha-Dharma become extinct...but Maiterya already booked that seat. You will have to wait for your turn....that would be a loooooooong wait. Supreme Buddha is a person who have Rediscovered the lost Path, while Arahant is a person who followed the Path which have been Rediscovered by other. Supreme Buddha is only a Teacher not a Savior. Even during the lifetime of the Supreme Buddha only a tiny world population benefited from His teaching...2500 years later only 10% of world population is Buddhist. As for Gotama Buddha past life...there is no witness who can verify whether it is true or not...but for his current teaching/discourse, there is thousand of witness whose then memorize and pass it down to us...althought some of it may be lost & become corrupted. It also goes againts the concept of Karma. Every sentient beings is reponsible to save/liberate themself from Greed, Hatred & Delusion. Gotama the Supreme Buddha could not 'save' all his disciple during his lifetime, what make you think other being who have practice Bodhicitta and become a Buddha could save all sentient being during their lifetime? During the previous world era/aeo, there is also many other previous Supreme Buddha, but even they could not 'save' all sentient being. Or are there a new category for a Super Duper Supreme Buddha? Sawadeekrap (talk) 06:30, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

The section Doctrinal differences with other schools is a mess.[edit]

The whole section needs a rewrite, this can't be the best you can do. I have no axe to grind, other than to expect Wikipedia present a coherent explanation of the topic under discussion. Let me point out where this section is inadequate(I limit my criticism to it, although other parts are also inadequate, especially the lede). 1. It starts out talking about Sthaviravanda saying it differed from other "early" schools on a "variety" of teachings which are maintained in the Theravada schools. Rather than making vacuous claims about it, why not place it chronologically and geographically? As is, this statement is useless in distinguishing it from other schools.
2."The differences resulted from the systemization of the Buddhist teachings, which was preserved in the Abdhidhammas of the various schools. The Abhidhamma is "a restatement of the doctrine ..." Sorry? WHAT was preserved? The differences (which this section SHOULD be addressing) or the systemization? Or perhaps the Abdhidhammas? Or is it "the" Abhidhamma? In English, "the" specifies a specific thing (the thing under discussion). Is it Abdh or Abh (a typo)? Or are these unrelated things? This is profoundly confusing, and needs someone to edit it who is a native English speaker (and who can spell). To expose my ignorance, I suggest that IF Theravada doctorine is contained in "the Abhidhamma" then perhaps that should be the starting point in discussing the differences of doctrine, rather than some vague mention of its precursor.
3.The Arahant is perfect The Mahāsāṃghika believed that Arahants could regress, while the Theravāda believes that the Arahant has an "incorruptible nature". The Arahant? This section fails to clearly explain what is being compared. Theravada doctrine compared with Mahāsāṃghika is relevant why? how? Why aren't the other recognized or major doctorines enumerated and then compared? I think it means "the Arahant have". 4.Insight is sudden and perfect This section makes NO distinctions between Theravada and anything else. I assume that the alternative to "sudden and perfect" is gradual and imperfect. Which schools hold either? What does "imperfect" mean in the context of insight? Logically, if insight is perfect, then it can only happen once, meaning each individual can only have one true insight. I doubt if this is the correct interpretation, or is it? If so, how can you reconcile 7 stages with a single perfect insight?
5.DharmasThe commentaries gave a new definition of "a 'principle' or 'element'.←This section either should be removed or some reason articulated for it being present. First, there is no context explaining how the Dharmas fit into doctrine. Second, again, there is no contrast between Theravada doctrine and any other. 6.The whole section seems to be the result of very disorganized thinking and an inability to articulate a coherent argument.Abitslow (talk) 21:47, 22 May 2014 (UTC)

Need a more nuanced outlook on claims of Theravada being "Oldest" or "Most Authentic"[edit]

Theravada Buddhism is a term which was first used 1000 years after the Buddha's death, and only came into widespread use to refer to Southern forms of Buddhism in 1950. It is radically different from one country to another, is often filled with superstitions from the cultures it is associated with that have no Pali scriptural basis, and claims of being "the oldest" have as much to do with historically powerful schools with government support legitimizing themselves in the face of competing schools. This is what modern scholarship agrees. Claims that it's "authentic" ignore the fact that we have no contemporary information on the 400 years following the Buddha's death, yet the second sentence of this article repeats this misleading view. I would recommend the authors of this article check out this book, among others: Theravada Buddhism: Continuity, Diversity, and Identity 50.129.227.144 (talk) 19:44, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

I think you're right. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 20:15, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
I also agree.VictoriaGraysonTalk 23:43, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

Wiktionary, Indic scripts[edit]

Rupert loup It is considered standard when reverted to take it to talk: this is the BOLD, revert, discuss cycle. First, you are wrong. Wikipedia states unequivocably that "[t]here is community consensus that the lead sentence of an article should not contain any regional or Indic language script." The use of devanagari in lead is against policy. The use of devanagari is also ahistoric, as devanagari was not invented until approximately the 10th century and was only adopted for Sanskrit on any wide basis in the 1900s under the British colonial scholars. Use IAST, as it is reasonably legible to Latin alphabet users and this is the English wikipedia. Second, hotlinking an article title is inappropriate. This is the lede: we make it simple. There is no cause to hotlink Theravada: you should include the definition in the article directly. Ogress smash! 08:16, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

@Rupert loup: You left this comment on my talk page: "Hello, you should read MOS:FOREIGN and Wikipedia:Writing better articles#Use other languages sparingly, regards. Rupert Loup (talk) 08:23, 12 June 2015 (UTC)" I was unaware I was using other languages unsparingly? I do not understand how either relates to this issue. Ogress smash! 08:26, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
@Ogress: Sorry I didn't see that you replied here, seems you have a point, the links that you showed said that there is no consensus but is recommendable to use IPA instead, until we have the IPA translation should be used this. The external link should stay because it helps readers to research for the etymology of the word. Rupert Loup (talk) 16:40, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
@Rupert loup: No, we should include the etymology of the word in the article. I'd note that all the wiktionary page actually says is "From Pali थेरवाद (theravāda), from Sanskrit स्थविरवाद (sthaviravāda); compare वाद (vāda)." This is not actually correct! It's not derived from Sanskrit (although there is a clear Sanskrit equivalent). Instead, it was coined by Buddhists who used Pali as their liturgical language. Other Buddhist schools Sanskritized their texts, as it was long-dead as a spoken language before Buddha was born; the form "sthāviravāda" never actually appeared. There's a reason the Sanskrit of Mahayana Buddhism is called Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit, as it was Sanskrit learned by Apabhramsa and Prakrit speakers, who stapled Sanskrit forms onto their native grammars.
How about we write '''Theravāda''' ([[Pali]], literally "school of the [[bhikkhu|elder monks]]")? That is one of the recommended ways of opening a lede where translation might be useful. Ogress smash! 19:59, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
I support that. Rupert Loup (talk) 20:39, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
I'll add it and see if anyone reacts. BRD! Ogress smash! 20:53, 12 June 2015 (UTC)