Talk:Theravada/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2


This should probably be merged with the content from Southeast Asian Buddhism. --prat 18:27, 2004 Feb 3 (UTC)

I've pasted the content in here and added a redirect for now. When Southeast Asian Buddhism acquires some relevant content, we can remove the redirect. --prat 18:34, 2004 Feb 3 (UTC)

There is an overabundance of the Mahayana Hinayana comment; it appears in three places in the article, and if it must appear, surely once is enough? Because of this, the article comes across as exceedingly defensive. (20040302 14:30, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC))

Problems in the meditation section

I removed the following text from the article:

"Meditation in Theravada was separated into 4 levels:
  1. First Jhana - In this level, meditator achieves detachment from sensual desires and impure states of mind through analysis and reflection and thereby attains an emotional state of satisfaction and joy.
  2. Second Jhana - In this level, intellectual activities are abated to a complete inner serenity; the mind is in a state of "one-pointedness" or concentration, joy, and pleasantness.
  3. Third Jhana - In this level, every emotion, including joy, has disappeared, leaving the meditator indifferent to everything while remaining completely conscious.
  4. Fourth Jhana - In this level, the abandoning of any sense of satisfaction, pain, or serenity because any inclination to a good or bad state of mind has disappeared. The meditator thus enters a state of supreme purity, non-attachment to everything, and pure consciousness."

The problem is that the previous text implied that these four stages apply to all forms of Theravada meditation, which is not the case. These 4 states are attained through jnana meditation, a form of concentration meditation not discussed in this article currently (it is considered related to, though distinct from, anapanasati meditation). There are other states also attainable through this form of meditation. Jnana meditation is described in the Digha Nikaya- the Samanaphala Sutta, I think, and perhaps one other. So not all Theravada meditation is divided into levels, and the one type that is is divided into more than four stages. I'm preserving the list so that it can eventually be moved into an article on jnana meditation. --Clay Collier 11:26, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Also, to note that these are just the rupa jhanas, or the states of concentration pertaining to form. There are also the four arupa jhana "formless absorptions" Obhaso 16:16, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

I won't change anything now, but just note that the textual reasons for removing the jhana (sic! not jnana, knowledge) formula displays almost complete lack of experience in Buddhist scriptures. The jhana formula is in fact repeated in the first 12 suttas of the Digha Nikaya, several times in the later suttas, and dozens of other times through each Nikaya, the Vinaya, and Abhidhamma. It is also preserved in similar abundance, and identical form, throughout the scriptures of every form of Indian Buddhism available to us. To remove such a central item of Buddhist meditation because 'jnana' meditation is described in the, quote, 'Samanaphala [Sic!Sāmaññaphala] Sutta, I think, and perhaps one other..' displays, need i say it, a considerable bias from the vipassana school, combined with glaring ignorance of actual Buddhist texts. Sujato.

Too much hinayana

I don't think any mention of Mahayana nor Hiniyana belong in the opening section. This section should define and describe Theravada, not present Mahayana arguments against Theravada. I would remove the second paragraph and merge the information in it into the "Many Buddhisms" section and I would remove the last sentence in the fourth paragraph. This plus the links to Mahayana and Hiniyana should be sufficient.

Mahayana-Hinayana removed

Mentions of Mahayana/Hinayana in this article are derivatory of the central focus of the article. The issues concerning the schools of Buddhism are well-expressed elsewhere on Wikipedia. This article still requires editing and remains rather lengthy.

Misconceptions about Theravada

I pulled this section out because it clearly needs cleanup on several fronts--NPOV, grammar, etc. I think it's probably inappropriate to frame things quite this way. If the section is presenting competing views (i.e., the views of Mahayana critics of Theravada and Theravada responses to those criticisms) it should be phrased as such, not as debunking "misconceptions." Also, the source of the criticisms and replies should be given. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽ 23:30, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)
It not about Mahayana critics, it about the Misconceptions (due to Mahayana critics) held by non-Buddhist & new Buddhist alike about Theravada. What i presenting here was not VIEW but a Theravada Fact. It about what Theravada believe & practised. Those Misconceptions was also widely state in various website, why don't u do a google. It is also the question that most tourist ask when they visit Theravadin Temple in South East Asia. Why u assume that those Misconceptions was due to Mahayana critics and at the same time ask me to give the source of the criticisms?--Sawadeekrap 02:05, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)
May be i should rephase it in this way, "The misconceptions arise not because of the actual practice of Theravada monastic members, but because of misunderstanding by non-Theravada"--Sawadeekrap 02:56, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)
If some significant number of people believe a thing is true, then it is not NPOV to say that it is a misconception. If the number of people who believe it is not significant, then there is no need to discuss it. So, I'm sure we can find a way to include this material, but I think it does need to be revised. - Nat Krause 03:04, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)
My English was not very good, can Nat Kraus pls help me do the revision, thanks.--Sawadeekrap 03:16, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Might I suggest that "misconceptions" one and two are perhaps less vital than the others? I don't think anyone (outside the somewhat insular realm of Buddhist polemics) would really need to be broken of these views. Three can be incorporated into a broader discussion of the "Hinayana" issue (the point that the "vehicle" concept is really a Mahayana thing in the first place is particularly useful), and perhaps should actually take place on one of the pages dedicated to that topic (I forget which is currently the forerunner). Four and five can definitely be reworked to fit the current article, I think. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽ 18:02, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I'll wait for Nat Kraus revision first, then i'll see it from there. --Sawadeekrap 01:25, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Okay, my proposed version is below. I am interest in both Sawadeekrap and Kukku's opinions on it. By the way, I don't think I agree with Kukkuro's assessment that objections 1 & 2 constitue an Inferior Critique, so to speak. It seems to me that, if a given reader has chanced to encounter anti-Theravada polemics somewhere, the first "misconception" below is probably the most likely charge they will have seen. A couple more points. In my version, I left out "misconception #3" because it is addressed elsewhere in this article and in the Hinayana and Nikaya articles. I also left out "misconception #5" for the time being because I want to make sure that this is really explicit Theravada doctrine, that arhats are equal to Buddhas in every way save one; I thought this was a controversial point. I am especially uncomfortable with the line "The only way to equal the Supreme Buddha in every single aspect was to destroy the teaching of the Buddhism so that another being can attained Enlightenment", which makes it sound like one could equal the Buddha by destroying the dharma, which does not make any sense. - Nat Krause 03:36, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Look good to me, for #5 here a Khandhasamyutta Sutta (I took it from Talk:Hinayana)--Sawadeekrap 04:04, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)

1) Question: "What is the distinction, what is the difference between the Tathagata, the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One, and a bhikkhu liberated by wisdome?"

Answer: "The Tathagatha, bhikkhus, the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One, is the originator of the path unarisen before, the discoverer of the path undeclared before, the declarer of the path undeclared before. He is the knower of the path, the discoverer of the path, the one skilled in the path. His disciples now dwell following that path, and become possessed of it afterwards."

2) "But remember that the Buddha is also Arahant/Arahat, the disciples also can be Arahant." by Ven. Chuen Phangcham, Ph.D. from

3) "In the Samyutta-Nikaya the Buddha says that the Tathagata (i.e. Buddha) and a bhikkhu (i.e. sravaka, disciple) liberated through wisdom are equal with regard to their Vimutta (liberation), but the Tathagatha is different and distinguished from the liberated bhikkhus in that he (Tathagata) discovers and shows the Path (Magga) that was not known before." By Ven. Dr. W. Rahula from

In term of liberation they are the same, but they differ in their discovering of knowledge.--Sawadeekrap 04:35, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)


The misconceptions arise not because of the actual practice of Theravada monastic members, but because of misconceptions spreaded by other Buddhist sects - I would like to see evidence for this claim. It seems just as likely to be a misinterpretation of Mahayana sutra by Theravadins.

Here are some real questions concerning the Theravadins:

  • Do Theravadins consider the Mahayana schools to be Buddhist?
  • What status do Theravadins give Mahayana sutras?
  • Do Theravadins accept that there is learning by example?
  • Do Theravadins accept the distinction between the Samyaksam Buddha, the Pratyeka Buddha, and the Sravaka Buddha?
  • If so, do Theravadins consider a Samyaksam Buddha to be superior (not in terms of Nirvana, but on other grounds) to a Sravaka Buddha?
  • Do Theravadins accept as valid the path to Samyaksam Buddhahood, as journeyed by Gautama and Maitreya?
  • According to Theravadins, in what way does Nibbana differ from the Western concept of cessation of consciousness at death?

These are valid questions. The 'misconceptions' that are written below do not accord with Mahayana sutra or tradition (certainly not within the Indo-Tibetan Mahayan tradition), so I doubt that they arise from them. (20040302)

I think it's possible that the ideas below originate with some Mahayanists who don't understand their own sutras and tradition. In that sense, they are misconceptions of both Theravada and Mahayana. - Nat Krause 13:42, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)
You may be right. However, we don't know without some source for the misconceptions, which we haven't been supplied; so the discussion appears to be particularly unfocussed. I would currently assert that these ideas appear to be an attribution error of the Theravadins, and, without some source for the authorship of the assertions made by the 'misconceptions', it appears reasonable to do so. (20040302)


  • Claimed that Arhat was a Selfish Goal

This does nothing to deny an attribution error. Certainly it is clear from context that the article was not written by Mahayanists.
  • "Since humans should imitate the Buddha, the Mahayana ideal is to become a bodhisattva and help others. The Theravadan ideal of the arhat is seen as too selfish"

Likewise, this does nothing to deny an attribution error. Certainly it is clear from context that the article was not written by Mahayanists.
  • At this site Theravadins was described as "The Small Way" & "Self-centered people" by Lama Ole Nydahl

Lama Ole Nydahl is a Westerner, who has relied upon Western sourcebooks, and this does nothing to deny an attribution error. The fact that he correlates the Theravadins with the Hinayana which is in opposition to the WFB is something you should talk to hiim about, though you seem to agree with him on that. Moreover, the issue of Hinayana selfishness is mentioned later, and I can understand his position, though I think one needs to be very careful.
This is more relevant, though Rinpoche has made an extended digression which he will agree to; In fact it is solely the Bodhisattva (Mahayana) path which takes 3 kalpas to achieve SamyakSamBuddhahood, which (as I understand it) is in accordance with the Theravada. Mahayana Buddhists generally agree with events of Buddhas life - that there were many students of Buddha who achieved Arhathood in one life - sometimes through listening to merely one Sutra. So it is not generally agreed by Mahayanists that it takes 3 Kalpas to achieve SravakaBuddha. I have heard very high Mahayana teachers saying that it can take as little as a few hours, in rare and exceptional cases.
  • In Mahayana Sutras, Hinayana was always equated with the jackals, I once saw a part of Mahayana sutra that have been translated into Enlish, it have this string "...How can they be compare.....Hinayana the Jackals....."

"How can jackals hope to follow the King of the Dharma? Ever, after one hundred years, they open their mouths in vain!"

This is wild misinterpretation, and hardly evidence of common misconception. Also, surely you agree that your memory is not a valid point of reference for such a serious accusation. It would be better to find the source.

To turn people away from the Hinayana and to engage them in the Mahayana, "?Reverend Purna, without examining the spiritual faculties of living beings, do not presume upon the one-sidedness of their faculties; do not wound those who are without wounds; do not impose a narrow path upon those who aspire to a great path; do not try to pour the great ocean into the hoof-print of an ox; do not try to put Mount Sumeru into a grain of mustard; do not confuse the brilliance of the sun with the light of a glowworm; and do not expose those who admire the roar of a lion to the howl of a jackal!"

This indicates the plural nature of the Mahayana school. It is not a jibe at the Theravadins, and not even the Hinayana. Concerning the Hinayana and the Theravada I would like to point out a quote from Dr. Rahula, (who is Theravada):

"We must not confuse Hinayana with Theravada because the terms are not synonymous. Theravada Buddhism went to Sri Lanka during the 3rd Century B.C. when there was no Mahayana at all. Hinayana sects developed in India and had an existence independent from the form of Buddhism existing in Sri Lanka. Today there is no Hinayana sect in existence anywhere in the world. Therefore, in 1950 the World Fellowship of Buddhists inaugurated in Colombo unanimously decided that the term Hinayana should be dropped when referring to Buddhism existing today in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, etc. This is the brief history of Theravada, Mahayana and Hinayana."

Therefore it is a big mistake for you to confuse the term Hinayana with the term Theravada , do you not think?.
  • "But at the same time, many people are still not accustomed to easily doing Shakubuku; and if you practice without Shakubuku, your practice has to be regarded as lacking true mercy and being a selfish Hinayana Buddhism" by REVEREND YOSAI YAMADA CHIEF PRIEST

As mentioned, this is referring to the Hinayana, not the Theravada. There is actually a misconception about the Japanese Buddhist (and possibly, Lama Ole Nydahl, though he could speak for himself) understanding of Hinayana; The misconception is very subtle, and is focused upon the usage of the term 'selfish' outside of it's use as a technical term. It is based on the idea that an individual who does not wish to engage in the three kalpas of the Bodhisattva path in order to turn the wheel of Dharma is selfish; however, it is NOT an accusation that the Hinayana were selfish in their general behaviour, and it is NOT an assertion that the Hinayana could not or would not teach the path to Nirvana. After all, if it did mean the latter, then tell me friend, what would be the difference between the Sravaka and the Pratyeka?

Another Misconception

In reality, Theravada nun lineage was wiped out due to War, Nat Kraus can u add this one into the Criticisms?

There are manys, but i could not remember all the source. I will post it if i remember.

May be u will say all those was directed to Hinayana not Theravada, yeah right!!

'I will let you think about that one.'

Not only in website, but in Mahayana & Vajrayana Books and when Mahayana & Vajrayana teacher conduct Dharma talks they will always give their view on Theravadin practise, they always try to potrait that their own path was superior.

I think the point of superiority is adequately dealt with below. Have you attended many Mahayana and Vajrayana talks? If you have done, you would be told repeatedly not to criticise the Hinayana or the Theravada in any way at all. So, far from hearing criticism of the Theravadins, you would hear praise and respect; you would also be taught to never criticise any of the followers of Buddha. If you have attended any Vajrayana talks, then you would have been taught not to criticise ANYTHING - not even a rainfall, or a piece of dirt. As it is, it appears you have decided that there is some conspiracy against the Theravadins, that many Mahayanists wish to denigrate and denide the Theravadins. I have found none of that in 30 years of attending talks from Buddhists teachers around the world. This is why I am convinced that your claims are attribution errors.

In your opinion was Theravada (Hinayana) equal to a Jackals?

Following the WFB, I will not equate Theravada with Hinayana.
Regardless, concerning the Hinayana, in the Lotus sutra, we find "Know this! All these three vehicles are praised by sages; [in them you will be] free and independant, without wanting to rely on anything else. [...]
Clearly, the Hinayana path is recognised as a valid path to Nirvana by the Mahayana, and is respected as such. The great arhats are in the daily prayers of the Mahayanists; one of the great Tibetan rinpoches is said to be the rebirth of the Arhat Bakula. There are numerous other acknowledgements. Frankly, the evidence from Sutra and the Vajrayana tradition is so strongly in favour of recognising the Hinayana as a valid path, with valid methods and valid goals, that I cannot understand your attribution error.
It appears that you are very upset about many things. I am sorry about this. I hope that you can follow the guidance of Lord Buddha, and seek to quell your mind, before seeking to change the world around you.
It is also about time that you answered the questions I put to you above. (20040302)
I won't continue this fruitless conversation as it stands. What I see is a sad and terrible attempt to apply a whole load of angry baggage against the Mahayana, without any good justification. It sets a terrible example to have one group of Buddhists criticising and abusing other groups of Buddhists. If there really are any Mahayanists who do that against the Theravadins, it still does not put the Theravadins in good light to go and do that back, or put words into the mouths of those that they do not understand. A defensive stance remains an aggressive stance. If this dialogue is to have meaning, it must be based on valid premises, with valid understanding, and done with grace and mutual respect. I do not see this here. For the record, according to the Indo-Tibetan tradition as I have learned it, it would be impossible for a Mahayana (or Vajrayana) Buddhist to agree with points 1,2,4,5. The issue of inferiority is one that is specifically concerned with whether or not one agrees that a Sravakabuddha is in any way inferior to a Samyaksambuddha. The Mahayanists do assert that, so yes, the Mahayana path (which Mahayan claims does lead to Samyaksambuddha), is indeed considered superior to the the paths of the Pratyekabuddha and the Sravakabuddha, and the path to Samyaksambuddha, (the Mahayana path) was taught by the Buddha, in that he set an example of that path, even if he did not explicitly teach it in sermons. We are yet to hear what the Theravadins have to say on these points. (20040302 08:20, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC))

How can a Senior Monk that have claimed to rid of self conceit say all those thing?

It is an attribution error - you have put those claims into his mouth. You have done little to convince me otherwise. (20040302)

Some Mahayanist claimed all those thing was propagate by Junior Monk, but can Junior Monk composed a Mahayana Sutras or becoming a Teacher?--Sawadeekrap 02:50, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I cannot help, but compare Mahayanist with the Muslim, even thou there are plenty of verses in the Quran & some of their cleric openly promote violence, some muslim still claimed that Islam was religion of peace & Terrorist was intepreting the Quran wrongly. Comon let get real!--Sawadeekrap 03:00, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Wow!! Very defensive...why don't u do a google "Theravada (Hinayana)"? I also have noticed that u have modified Hinayana page.

Let me quote a Native Tibetan Lama:

"As I said, you can give doctrinal interpretations of the Hinayana and Mahayana paths. For example, certain Hinayana schools, like those in Thailand and Sri Lanka, require the monks to adhere to a very strict code of discipline. Monks cannot look women in the face and they certainly can?t touch them, not even to shake hands. If a monk touches a woman he has automatically broken a rule. " by Lama Yeshe

--Sawadeekrap 08:43, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)

U must remember Theravada have do not claim themself to be Hinayana, but is it Mahayanist that keep insisting Hinayana was Theravada. Just look at Lama Yeshe, he talk & talk about the end he said "Hinayana schools, like those in Thailand and Sri Lanka". So what do u think Nat Kraus? --Sawadeekrap 01:34, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I don't know. Once we start talking about what past Mahayana authority figures did or did not mean by the term Hinayana, I'm lost. It's possible that Lama Yeshe's views are atypical because he was influenced by western scholars. I don't know. - Nat Krause 06:04, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The Misconceptions

The misconceptions arise not because of the actual practice of Theravada monastic members, but because of misconceptions spreaded by other Buddhist sects.

I consider the misconceptions to be a fundamental attribution error on behalf of the Theravadans. It is something that they think others think of them. They tend to defend these accusations without being able to point to who makes them. If we had definite sources for the misconceptions outside of the Theravadan framework, then maybe there would be scope for discussion. Certainly within the Tibeto-Indian axis of Mahayana traditions, the 'misconceptions' would indeed be considered to be misconceptions, -they are wrong views not held.
Regardless. Please don't let us start an edit-war about this. My main issue is that defensiveness always appears negative in articles. It is better to avoid the 'misconception' structure and yet include the positive aspects as they present themselves within the Theravada article. That way, the article remains positive and assertive, and secondly people who read the article may learn how such ideas are misconceived. (20040302 22:57, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC))

1. &nbsp Theravada monk was selfish and self benefiting.

In reality Theravada were following the example of Buddha immediate disciples who was trained by Buddha Himself to achieve Enlightenment (Arahantship), those who have achieved Enlightenment were sent by Buddha to different territories to spread Buddhism. Arahants can use their own experience in attaining Nibbana to guide another sentient being into the path of Enlightenment. Unenlightened being saving another sentient being were been liked to a "Blind man leading another blind man crossing the road".

2. &nbsp Theravada monks followed the monastic rules blindly.

In reality Theravada monks follow the monastic rules (Vinaya) with wisdom, they were permitted to break the rules in order to save another person lives. (e.g.: monks can touch women in order to save her life.)

3. &nbsp Theravada was "Inferior Vehicle".

In reality Theravada do not consider themselves to be a "Vehicle" for the purpose of "Transporting" another sentient being to Enlightenment. Theravada can only show the "Path to Enlightenment" to another sentient being, a "Path" that can be verify by direct experience, using the concept of Vibhajyavada. Theravada consider the concept of "Transport Vehicle" and devotion to deity in order to be "Saved" was a Blind Faith that cannot be verify thru direct experience.

4. &nbsp Theravada was a slower path, which takes eons of times.

In reality Theravada believes as long as a person strived to practice according to the Vinaya and Dhamma, that person will be able to achieve Enlightenment (Nibbana) within a single life time, as shown by the achievement of Buddha immediate disciples.

5. &nbsp Enlightenment (Nibbana) achieved by Arahant was lesser than the Supreme Buddha.

In reality Theravada believes Arahant Enlightenment was equal to the Buddha. The difference was Buddha become Enlighten without any teacher (or guide), while Arahant become Enlighten with the help of a teacher (or guide). The attainment of supernatural power while they where still in human body were only a side effect, that even unenlightened person can acquire. The only way to equal the Supreme Buddha in every single aspect was to destroy the teaching of the Buddhism so that another being can attained Enlightenment and discover the Dhamma by his own accord. It is believed when Buddha Dhamma was forgotten the next Supreme Buddha (Maitreya) will appear.

5. &nbsp Enlightenment (Nibbana) is only open to monks.

I think there are several recorded instance in Pali Cannon where lay person attain enlightenment. One instance I recall is Buddah's uncle attaining enlightenment after hearing Buddah's sermon.
2. What does "permitted to break the rules" mean? It sounds like a contradiction in terms. And what is the authority for this statement? 4. This is wrong, or at least misleading. The Buddha's immediate disciples reached nirvana in that life because they'd already practised in many previous lives (see Apadana). According to the Abhidhamma Pitaka, many people, including those with innate defects such as blindness, cannot become arahants in this life, and tradition says they cannot become stream attainers or attain jhana. Of course, it might be argued that such people do not "strive ...", thus not invalidating the above statement, but that would have to be argued. 5. Yes, lay people can become arahants, but then they cease to be lay people. It's already clear in a number of suttas that there are really no lay arahants. Peter jackson 17:53, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Criticisms (proposed section)

The diversity of Buddhist thought has sometimes led to criticism of Theravada by other schools, although it is important to note that such criticism is far from universal, and that Buddhists of different schools often interact on terms of mutual respect. One of the most common critiques of Theravada made by Mahayana Buddhists is that Theravada monks are selfish, having the aim of winning enlightenment only for themselves. However, supporters of Theravada argue instead that they are following the example of the Buddha's immediate disciples, who trained for their own enlightenment in the hopes that they could then use this experience to guide others on the path of dhamma. Theravada monks have sometimes also been criticized for following their monastic rules blindly, although, in fact, they are allowed to break the rules in extreme situations, such as to save another person's life.

Some others schools have also charged that Theravada practice is the slowest path to enlightenment, taking many eons to reach its goal. However, from their own perspective, Theravada Buddhists see the Buddha and the ancient arhats as examples of practitioners who became enlightened in one lifetime. Naturally, every school will differ on what exactly is the most effective and efficient path to realize the dhamma.

See above. Defensiveness is never a good move in an article, and it is always highly contentious. It would be far better to talk about how unselfish the Theravadans are, with examples given, rather than hark on about how misguided fools think that they are selfish etc. (20040302 22:59, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC))

Number four states a fact about all Theravada traditions.Not sure about Goeneka lay tradition.The key word is Vinya.Unless you ordain as a Monastic liberation,unbinding in this lifetime is not available to the householder in Theravada.Only a Monastic living the "Holy Life" has a possibility to reach a state of Arahatship.

A.P. Buddhadatta, the well known Sinhalese Pali scholar and head of the Aggarama at Ambalangoda in Ceylon (appointed as the Agga-Mahapandita at the Council of Rangoon) wrote on 4th March 1947 concerning the English edition of George Grimm's main work in a letter to his daughter: " I read that book [DOCTRINE OF THE BUDDHA by George Grimm] , and (found it to be) as you have stated in your letter that ‘he (Grimm) recovered of the old genuine doctrine of the Buddha which had been submerged'. When we (Theravada) read our Pali texts (Abhidhamma) and commentaries (Buddhaghosa, Vishudhamagga), we get the idea that Buddhism is a sort of Nihilism….Thus I was puzzled for a long time to understand the true meaning of Buddhism though I was born a Buddhist. Many peoples do not go so far in these matters (of doctrine)." [Doctrine of the Buddha, ISBN 81-208-1194-1; publ. Montilal Banarsidass publishers. First Edition: Berlin, 1958; reprint 1999. Preface, page 9] --(Attasarana

Critique of Theravada illogical postion

[The Advaita tradition in Indian Philosophy , Chandradhar Sharma Motilal publishers ISBN 812081312X 1996] “The Hinayana schools missed the Buddha’s advaitavada and elaborated a metaphysics of radical pluralism. The inner contradictions in their metaphysics led to the rise of Mahayana” page: 3

“The Hinayana (Theravada) interpretation of Buddha’s silence on the avyaakrta (inexpressible questions; i.e. is, is not, both, neither) questions is in accordance with its view of radical pluralism. According to the Hinayana the Buddha advocated the theory of elements and denied the ultimate reality of souls and God (Brahman/Absolute)”page: 21

“The Abhidhamma treatises of the Pali canon, though called ‘the word of the Buddha’ (buddhavacana) are really the Theravada interpretation that misses the deeper truth in the Buddha’s teachings” page:16

“Hinayana’s reduces the self to a series of fleeting mental states which are taken as real…Hinayana rejects the eternal (empirical) ego but (ignorantly) glorifies the uchchheda-drsti (nihilistic view) by accepting the reality of mental states.” page: 26-27

“Even Hinayana which ignored the absolutism of the Buddha and elaborated a system of radical pluralism and which was emphatic in denying the Self , admitted Nirvana as an eternal positive reality, calm and blissful. But Hinayana degraded Nirvana to the level of an eternal substance (asamskrta dharma) set over and above the worldly objects (samskrta dharmas) in which there was cessation of misery. This (view) was corrected by Mahayana which revived the absolutism of the Buddha and treated Nirvana as the transcendental Absolute at once immanent in the phenomena, the ‘dharmata’ of all dharmas” page: 29

“Even if, as some scholars do, the word atta (atman) in attadipa (light of Soul) is interpreted as meaning just ‘oneself’ without any reference to an ontological reality called “Self” and the phrase ‘attadipa’ is taken to mean ‘you yourself are your light’, it has to be admitted that the Buddha is asking his disciples to seek light within and not outside. Now, if there is no true “Self/Atman”, then who is to seek the light and where? And if all objects, as the Buddha says, are perishable (anicca) and miserable (dukkha) and the light is to be sought only in the subject, then the reality of the transcendent subject is clearly implied in the passage” page: 30

“It is incorrect to hold that the Buddha starts with a spirit of opposition to the Upanishads and initiates a new tradition of anatmavada (no-Soul-ism) against the Upanishads tradition of atmavada. Anatmavada is nirahankara-nirmamavada, the removal of the false notion of the (ego) ‘I’ and the ‘mine’, which the Upanishadic seers themselves unmistakably voice and which all systems of Indian philosophy accept.” page: 31

“Hinayana schools of Theravada (Sarvastivada), due to an imperfect understanding of the teachings, forgot the Absolutism of the Buddha and created a metaphysics of radical pluralism in the form of the theory of momentary elements in their Abhidhamma treatises and commentaries” page: 35 --(Attasarana

I'm not sure what is the point of writing all this stuff out here. If the last quotation is accurately quoted, it very much suggests the author of the book knows little about the subject: "Hinayana schools of Theravada (Sarvastivada)" indeed! Peter jackson 12:06, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

View of "self" and its refutation

The Diamond Sutra, for example, criticizes the hinayana as selfish. "Subhūti, those who are contented with inferior teachings are attached to the view of self, the view of person, the view of sentient being, and the view of life span. Such a person is not able to hear, understand, recite, and teach this scripture to others."

This translation of "Bodhicaryavatara" by Shantideva (8th century) uses the term "hinayana" specifically to refer to those who do not accept the Mahayana sutras. Chapter IX, verse 41 reads

[Hinayanist:] The Mahayana is certainly not authenticated.
[Madhyamika:] How is your scripture authenticated?
[Hinayanist:] Because it is authenticated by both of us.
[Madhyamika:] Then it is not authenticated by you from the beginning.

(I have not confirmed that Shantideva used the term hinayana in Sanskrit, or that Tibetan translations used the equivalent theg-dman or similar; but at the very least, it appears that historically, Mahayana authors were aware of and were refuting/criticizing sects that denied that Mahayana canonical materials were "authenticated".)

Many popular and scholarly works use the term hinayana to refer to Theravada, for example Definition of hinayana according to A Glossary of Buddhist Terminology, adapted from The Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen, Michael S. Diener, Franz-Karl Erhard, Ingrid Fischer-Schreiber, Translated by Michael H. Kohn, Shambhala Publications, 1991; "The followers of Hīnayāna themselves usually refer to their teaching as the Theravāda (Teaching of the Elders), although strictly speaking, Theravāda was one of the schools within the Hīnayāna ; it is, however, the only one still existing today".

The idea that Theravada is a variety of hinayana is even suggested by, for example, Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism, HH The 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, e.g. "Hinayana and Mahayana represent two schools of thought by which we discern this path. According to Hinayana, the so-called Smaller vehicle, whose practitioners seek nirvana for their own sake..." etc.

The idea that non-Mahayana Buddhists have inferior "faculties" is suggested by An Introduction to the Kalachakra, Geshe Wangdrak (Losang Tenzin), Namgyal Monastery, translated from the Tibetan and edited by John Newman, page dated 10 November 1997; note page is posted on, which is "maintained and updated by The Office of Tibet, the official agency of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in London". The essay opens with "The Buddha's Dharma can be divided to two vehicles, the Hinayana and the Mahayana. The Hinayana itself can divided into the vehicle of the shravakas and the vehicle of the pratyekabuddhas. The shravakas and pratyekabuddhas can be differentiated according to the relative inferiority and superiority of their faculties..." Thus, here is one case, at least, where a Mahayana source makes a claim about the disposition of non-Mahayanists. In contrast, I see no evidence indicating that Theravadins are making an attribution error.

Defender of the word "hinayana" Alexander Berzin offers the following apologetics in "Holy Wars in Buddhism and Islam" (subtitle) "The Myth of Shambhala", November 2001. "Mahayana texts present certain views as characterizing Hinayana Buddhism, such as selfishly working for one's liberation alone without regard for helping others. After all, the stated goal of Hinayana practitioners is self-liberation, not enlightenment for the sake of benefiting everyone. Although such description of Hinayana has led to prejudice, an educated objective study of Hinayana schools, such as Theravada, reveals a prominent role of meditation on love and compassion. One might conclude that Mahayana was simply ignorant of the actual Hinayana teachings. Alternatively, one might recognize that Mahayana is using here the method in Buddhist logic of taking positions to their absurd conclusions in order to help people avoid extremist views."

In fact, metta is one of the 10 perfections, and is emphasized in several Theravada sutras.

In Theravada there is no self, Famously, Dhammapada 279 reads "When you see with discernment, 'All phenomena are not-self'". (All dharma are anatta.) Obviously, a religion that denies the existence of a self does not advocate "self-liberation" nor do its practitioners "seek nirvana for their own sake".

--Munge 05:34, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)

M'yeah. You guys should not take that "there is no self" stuff literally. The not-self doctrine is talking about how there is no permanent self, instead it is an impermanent process that has a birth, duration and cessation, changing over time, not an ontologically distinct, permanent entity. Also there is the conventional and the ultimate that need to be distinquished. Also, by helping oneself first, it is rather like in an airplane emergency, affixing your own oxygen mask before helping others, so that you may better help those around you, such as a child or older person. Hinayana != Theravada. Theravada != selfish. Conventional Self != a true, immutable substance self. BTW, some people's tone and style of arguing on this page is an embarrassment to Wiki, Theravada and Mahayana. Let it go, people. — Quantumbuddha 05:26, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Buddhist doctrine, contrary to Theravada abhidhamma, teaches the Atman

The Buddhist term Anatman (Sanskrit), or Anatta (Pali) is an adjective in sutra used to refer to the nature of phenomena as being devoid of the Soul, the ontological and subjective Self (atman) which is the “light (dipam), and only refuge” [DN 2.100]. Of the 662 occurrences of the term Anatta in the Nikayas, its usage is restricted to referring to 22 nouns (forms, feelings, perception, experiences, consciousness, the eye, eye-consciousness, desires, mentation, mental formations, ear, nose, tongue, body, lusts, things unreal, etc.), all phenomenal, as being Selfless (anatta). Contrary to some popular books written outside the scope of Buddhist doctrine, there is no “Doctrine of anatta/anatman” mentioned anywhere in the sutras, rather anatta is used only to refer to impermanent things as other than the Soul, to be anatta.

Specifically in sutra, anatta is used to describe the nature of any and all composite, consubstantial, phenomenal, and temporal things, from the macrocosmic, to microcosmic, be it matter as pertains the physical body or the cosmos at large, including any and all mental machinations which are of the nature of arising and passing. Anatta in sutra is synonymous and interchangeable with the terms dukkha (suffering) and anicca (impermanent), and all three terms are often used in triplet in making a blanket statement as regards any and all phenomena. “All these aggregates are anicca, dukkha, and anatta.”

Anatta refers only to the absence of the permanent soul as pertains any one of the psycho-physical (namo-rupa) attributes, or Khandhas (skandhas, aggregates). Anatta/Anatman in the earliest Buddhist texts, the Nikayas, is an adjective, (A is anatta, B is anatta, C is anatta). The commonly held belief to wit that: “Anatta means no-soul, therefore Buddhism taught that there was no soul” is a concept, which cannot be found or doctrinally substantiated by means of the Nikayas, the sutras, of Buddhism.

The Pali term and noun for “no soul” is natthatta (literally “there is not/no[nattha]+atta’[Soul]), not the term anatta, and is mentioned at Samyutta Nikaya 4.400, where when Gotama was asked if there “was no soul (natthatta)”, equated this question to be equivalent to Nihilism (ucchedavada). Common throughout Buddhist sutra is the denial of psycho-physical attributes of the mere empirical self to be the Soul, or confused with same. The Buddhist paradigm as regards phenomena is “Na me so atta” (this/these are not my soul), nearly so the most common utterance of Gotama Buddha in the Nikayas, where “na me so atta” = Anatta/Anatman. In sutra, to hold the view that there is “no-Soul” (natthatta) is = to ucchedavada (SN 4.400) [Annihilationism] = natthika (nihilist).

Logically so, according to the philosophical premise of Gotama, the initiate to Buddhism who is to be “shown the way to Immortality (amata)” [MN 2.265, SN 5.9], wherein liberation of the mind (cittavimutta) is effectuated thru the expansion of wisdom and the meditative practices of sati and samadhi, must first be educated away from his former ignorance-based (avijja) materialistic proclivities in that he “saw any of these forms, feelings, or this body, to be my Self, to be that which I am by nature”. Teaching the subject of anatta in sutra pertains solely to things phenomenal, which were: “subject to perpetual change; therefore unfit to declare of such things ‘these are mine, these are what I am, that these are my Soul’” [MN 1.232]

The one scriptural passage where Gotama is asked by a layperson what the meaning of anatta is as follows: [Samyutta Nikaya 3.196] At one time in Savatthi, the venerable Radha seated himself and asked of the Blessed Lord Buddha: “Anatta, anatta I hear said venerable. What pray tell does Anatta mean?” “Just this Radha, form is not the Soul (anatta), sensations are not the Soul (anatta), perceptions are not the Soul (anatta), assemblages are not the Soul (anatta), consciousness is not the Soul (anatta). Seeing thusly, this is the end of birth, the Brahman life has been fulfilled, what must be done has been done.”

The anatta taught in the Nikayas has merely relative value; it is not an absolute one. It does not say simply that the Soul (atta, Atman) has no reality at all, but that certain things (5 aggregates), with which the unlearned man identifies himself, are not the Soul (anatta) and that is why one should grow disgusted with them, become detached from them and be liberated. Since this kind of anatta does not negate the Soul as such, but denies Selfhood to those things that constitute the non-self (anatta), showing them thereby to be empty of any ultimate value and to be repudiated, instead of nullifying the Atman (Soul) doctrine, it in fact compliments it.

What has Buddhism to say of the Self? "That's not my Self" (na me so atta); this, and the term "non Self-ishness" (anatta) predicated of the world and all "things" (sabbe dhamma anatta; Identical with the Brahmanical "of those who are mortal, there is no Self/Soul", (anatma hi martyah, [SB., II. 2. 2. 3]). [KN J-1441] “The Soul is the refuge that I have gone unto”. For anatta is not said of the Self/Soul but what it is not. There is never a ‘doctrine of no-Soul’, but a doctrine of what the Soul is not (form is anatta, feelings are anatta, etc.).

It is of course true that the Buddha denied the existence of the mere empirical “self” in the very meaning of “my-self” (this person so-and-so, namo-rupa, an-atta), one might say in accordance with the command ‘denegat seipsum, [Mark VII.34]; but this is not what modern writers mean to say, or are understood by their readers to say; what they mean to say is that the Buddha denied the immortal(amata), the unborn (ajata) and Supreme-Self (mahatta’) of the Upanishads. And that is palpably false, for he frequently speaks of this Self, or Spirit (mahapurisha), and nowhere more clearly than in the too often repeated formula 'na me so atta’, “This/these are not my Soul” (na me so atta’= anatta/anatman), excluding body (rupa) and the components of empirical consciousness (vinnana/ nama), a statement to which the words of Sankhara are peculiarly apposite, “Whenever we deny something unreal, is it in reference to something real”[Br. Sutra III.2.22]. It was not for the Buddha but for the nihilist (natthika) to deny the Soul.

Outside of going into the doctrines of later schisms of Buddhism, Sarvastivada, Theravada, Vajrayana, Madhyamika, and lastly Zen, the oldest existing texts (Nikayas) of Buddhism which predate all these later schools of Buddhism, anatta is never used pejoratively in any sense in the Nikayas by Gotama the Buddha, who himself has said: [MN 1.140] “Both formerly and now, I’ve never been a nihilist (vinayika), never been one who teaches the annihilation of a being, rather taught only the source of suffering, and its ending” Further investigation into Negative theology is the source which should be referenced in further understanding the methodology which the term anatta illuminates.

Due to secular propagation, a general acceptance of the concept of “A Doctrine of Anatta” exists as status quo, however there exists no substantiation in sutra for Buddhism’s denial of soul, or in using the term anatta in anything but a positive sense in denying Self-Nature, the Soul, to any one of a conglomeration of corporeal and empirical phenomena which were by their very transitory nature, “impermanent (anicca), suffering (dukkha), and Selfless (anatta)”. The only noun in sutra which is referred to as “permanent (nicca)” is the Soul, such as Samyutta Nikaya 1.169.

In fact the phrase “Doctrine of anatta”, or “Anatmavada” is a concept utterly foreign to Buddhist Sutra, existing in only non-doctrinal Theravada and Madhyamika commentaries. As the saying goes, a “lie repeated often enough over time becomes the truth”. Those interested parties to Buddhism incapable of pouring through endless piles of Buddhist doctrine have defacto accepted the notion of a “Doctrine of anatta” as key to Buddhism itself, when in fact there exists not one citation of this concept in either the Digha, Majjhima, Samyutta, Anguttara, or Khuddaka Nikayas. Unless evoking a fallacy, we must stick strictly to sutra as reference, wherein the usage of anatta never falls outside of the parameter of merely denying Self or Soul to the profane and transitory phenomena of temporal and samsaric life which is “subject to arising and passing”, and which is most certain not (AN) our Soul (ATTA). Certainly the most simple philosophical logic would lead anyone to conclude that no part of this frail body is “my Self, is That which I am”, is “not my Soul”, of which Gotama the Buddha was wholeheartedly in agreement that no part of it was the Soul, i.e. was in fact anatta.

The perfect contextual usage of anatta is: “Whatever form, feelings, perceptions, experiences, or consciousness there is (the five aggregates), these he sees to be without permanence, as suffering, as ill, as a plague, a boil, a sting, a pain, an affliction, as foreign, as otherness, as empty (suññato), as Selfless (anattato). So he turns his mind away from these and gathers his mind/will within the realm of Immortality (amataya dhatuya). This is tranquility; this is that which is most excellent!” [MN 1.436]

The term anatman is found not only in Buddhist sutras, but also in the Upanishads and lavishly so in the writings of Samkara, the founder of Advaita Vedanta. Anatman is a common via negativa (neti neti, not this, not that) teaching method common to Vedanta, Neoplatonism, early Christian mystics, and others, wherein nothing affirmative can be said of what is “beyond speculation, beyond words, and concepts” thereby eliminating all positive characteristics that might be thought to apply to the Soul, or be attributed to it; to wit that the Subjective ontological Self-Nature (svabhava) can never be known objectively, but only thru “the denial of all things which it (the Soul) is not”- Meister Eckhart. This doctrine is also called by the Greeks Apophasis. --webmaster Attasarana

Again, I can't see what this is doing here. Perhaps we should have an article on the original teachings of the Buddha, in which we could try to list the endless theories. Might be rather long. Peter jackson 10:42, 24 February 2007 (UTC)


In addition to being very thin, the history section has a couple of problems. First, it states that the Pali Canon was fixed at the 3rd council and then the 'books' were sent abroad. However, the Pali Canon has been added to and revised since then, and was never written down until after reaching Sri Lanka- it was preserved as oral literature for 100 years or more. Secondly, the history implies that the Theravada emerged full-formed from the 3rd council dispute at Pataliputta, when in fact the Theravada that is present today is shaped largely by the teachings developed at the Mahavihara in Sri Lanka, as recorded by Buddhaghosa. -- Clay Collier 21:31, 12 May 2005 (UTC)


I'd be happy to add the Devanagari, but I'm not altogether certain on the spelling. My best guess: स्थविरवाद according to DSAL's Pali Dictionary. If it were just Pali I wouldn't even mention it, but since the Sanskrit derivative was mentioned, there you go. Also might be added to the Sthaviravada article as well. Khirad 09:08, 12 December 2005 (UTC)


Theravadin view, the attainment of arahatship is equal in every way to the realization attained by the Buddha himself.

This is not true Teravada does distinguish the attainment of Samma-Sambuddha and an savaka buddha. It is just not emphasized. It just thinks Arahatship is the only attainment Buddha taught how to find.

from accesstoinsight:

In the early centuries after the Buddha's passing away, as Buddhism became a popular religion, the idea was formalized that there were three paths to awakening to choose from: the path to awakening as a disciple of a Buddha (savaka); the path to awakening as a private Buddha (pacceka-buddha), i.e., one who attained awakening on his own but was not able to teach the path of practice to others; and the path to awakening as a Rightly Self-awakened Buddha (samma sambuddho). Each path was defined as consisting of perfections (parami) of character, but there was a question as to what those perfections were and how the paths differed from one another. The Theravadins, for instance, specified ten perfections, and organized their Jataka collection so that it culminated in ten tales, each illustrating one of the perfections. The Sarvastivadins, on the other hand, specified six perfections, and organized their Jataka collection accordingly.

All Buddhists agreed that the third path took by far the longest to follow, but disagreements arose as to whether the perfections developed along the different paths were quantitatively or qualitatively different. In other words, did a Buddha develop more of the same sort of perfections that an arahant developed, or did he develop perfections of a radically different sort? Those who believed that the perfections differed only quantitatively were able to take the early Buddhist canons as their guide to the path to Buddhahood, for they could simply extrapolate from the path of the arahant as described in those canons.

But obviously, the difference was allways acknowledged. And in fact, in the 1966 World Buddhist Sangha Council , all, including teravadins agreed that:

There are three ways of attaining bodhi or Enlightenment: namely as a disciple (sraavaka), as a Pratyeka-Buddha and as a Samyak-sam-Buddha (perfectly and Fully Enlightened Buddha). We accept it as the highest, noblest, and most heroic to follow the career of a Bodhisattva and to become a Samyak-sam-Buddha in order to save others.

And there are even teravadins who took bodhisattva path; again, it just isnt as emphasized.

Era format changed

Contrary to the Manual of Style, I changed this page from the BC/AD format to the BCE/CE format. The BC/AD format originated in Christianity and using that format in an article about a different religion (in this case—Buddhism) could be viewed as culturally insensitive. Therefore, to be more sensitive to the religious aspect of the article the BCE/CE format will be used. I don't think anyone will have a problem with this change, but the reasons have been explained. Roxi2 01:09, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

From Pudgalavada

The Sthaviravādins interpreted the doctrine of anatta to mean that, since there is no true "self", all that we think of as a self (i.e., the subject of sentences, the being that transmigrates) is merely the aggregated skandhas. Is this a correct representation of the Theravadan view? I don't say "This aggregation of skandhas went to the doctor the other day" Also, if the aggregation of skandhas is what transmigrates, this implies that the form skandha (what I'm guessing would be the corpse) transmigrates also. (20040302)

The usage of the term 'transmigrate' is a little bit confusing to me here. The idea that the conventional self is the aggregated skandhas is certainly in keeping with the Theravada view, and is expressed in several passages from the Tipitaka. The skanhdhas themselves are subject to both anatta and anicca, and as such are always in flux. So the skandhas themselves give rise to future dhamma in accord with the workings of karma- just as everything else, bodily, physical phenomena give rise to future phenomena. That is the only sense in which I would interpret 'transmigration' as applying to the Theravada view- phenomena give rise to other phenomena through dependent origination, making rebirth a karmic result of previous actions, but not the process of some essent or unseen spirit traveling from one location or body to another.
The statement you quote could be intended to convey this same meaning- that what appears to be the transmigration of a particular being is in fact just the operation of karma on the collected phenomena that constitute the conventional self. If such is the case, then yes, I would say that that is an accurate statement of Theravada view. If it is intended to imply that the individual skandha experience some sort of transmigration in which they are moved without alteration of some unseen essence from one existence to another, then I think that it is out of line with the Theravada view- unfortunately, I don't know enough about the Pudgalavada to know if the Pudgalavadins differed on this point in some meaningful way, or if it's just an ambiguous phrasing. My suspicion is that it is the latter.
As for the subject of sentences... while no one says 'this aggregation of skandhas went to the doctor', in the Theravada view it would be considered a more accurate statement than 'I went to the doctor the other day', possibly edged out in accuracy by 'the karmic precursors of this collection of aggregates went to the doctor the other day'. Fortunately for Theravada conversationalists everywhere, no one, not even monks, talks this way other than to prove a point ;) I think that the quote just intended to signify the conventional notion of self with 'the subject of sentences'. --Clay Collier 11:44, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Temporary Ordination

From the article:

"The ceremony performed for temporary ordination is typically the samana (or novice) ordination that monks undergo when they begin their training. Even in Southeast Asian countries that encourage temporary ordination, the 'higher' or full ordination as a Theravada *bhikkhu* is often reserved for those who intend to take the robes permanently. As such, the temporarily ordained may be subject to fewer precepts and disciplinary rules than full monks."

In what countries does this apply to? In Thailand it is very rare for even men ordaining temporarily to only receive the samanera ordination. (Just noticed the incorrect reference to 'samana' ordination. Should be samanera) The samanera precepts are the first part of the full ordination, but I can't remember seeing a man above the age limit of 20 being ordained as a novice? Obhaso 16:35, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Wrong, wrong, and more wrong.

The statement: "Theravada (Pāli थेरवाद theravāda; Sanskrit: स्थविरवाद sthaviravāda) is one of the eighteen (or twenty) Nikāya schools that formed early in the history of Buddhism." is totally wrong.

1. There is no such thing as Nikāya Buddhism in the first place. The term was created in later ages. 2. The fact is that there were eighteen different schools of Buddhism occurred during the Third Great Buddhist Council, and Theravada was not among one of them! The eighteen schools were considered herectic at the council due to the fact that they were not practicing the way Buddhism should be practiced. In short, due to the fame and support Buddhism got from the Kings at the time, many priests from other religions joined Buddhism simply for this cause. They joined to get support from the Kings and people, but they did not practice what was taught by the Buddha.

Therefore this statement is completely flawed!

Reference: The Buddhism history that was reviewed during the Sixth Buddhist Council.

Hmmm.. Overstating it a bit, aren't we? At the Second Council the Mahasangika group split from the Sthaviravadins and other groups, which eventual produced what is now known as Theravada Buddhism. Also, even if the term Nikaya Budddhism was created in later ages, doesn't mean it doesn't exist (See Tibetan Buddhism for something completely madde up later but which still exists. Those scismatics!  :) Obhaso 05:11, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Overstating a lot i would say. Please check my revised articles for the Second and third councils. A number of points here to consider.

1. The number 18 is conventional and does not represent the actual number of schools. If we counted all the subsects, we would get far more than 18, but if we counted the genuinely distinct and important sects there would be less than 10.

Yes, as has been remarked by a number of scholars, the number 18 is both too many and too few. At any one time, there would not have been 18 schools since the sub-schools often replaced their parent groups, while the School Lists wronly give the impression that they were contemporaneous.--Stephen Hodge 22:52, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

2. The idea that the '18' schools formed before the Third council is based on the Dipavamsa, a highly polemical source, and is clearly inaccurate. Many of these schools must have emerged later. It is not sure how many schools existed by the time of Asoka, possibly the Sthaviras and Mahasanghikas (although the northern sources , eg Vasumitra, place the Mahasanghika schism at the time of Asoka)' possibly the Puggalavada; possibly the Sarvastivada, although i think this is unlikely, since Majjhantika (later revered as the founder of the Kasmir Sarvastivada) is still considered by the Theravadins as a Vibhajjavadin who was sent on a mission to Kasmir by Moggaliputtatissa. Further, the stock Sarvastivadin list of teachers who developed the 'all exists' thesis are later than this period.

3. Our original commentator has not even read the Theravadin sources well, and appears completely ignorant of any others. In fact, the Third council narrative makes no mention of the '18' schools. What happened at the Third Council, from the Theravadin POV, was the expulsion of non-Buddhists, making them put on lay clothes, which has nothing to do with the formation of distinct Buddhist sects. Lay people cannot cause schism, and schismatics are not made into laypeople.

4. Only the Dipavamsa and derived sources state that the Mahasanghikas had anything to do with the Second Council, and even these don't say the mahasanghikas and Sthaviras split then, but that the Vajjiputtakas subsequently formed their own faction, called Mahasanghika (actually mahasangitika). But this clearly contradicts all the Vinaya sources, which are at pains to point out that the problems were resolved harmoniously. Sujato

Actually, the version of the Theravada article (Intro & History) that prompted the anonymous outburst at the top of this section has been replaced, largely with stuff that I wrote which is hopefully more precise and a little more accurate. It still needs a bit more information about the Mahavihara and Abhayagiri developments and the outcome of the feud between them.--Stephen Hodge 22:48, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Theravada and Mahayana

By mentioning the term "Hinayana", you are also involving Mahayana views by default. To say that the term "Hinayana" is correct when applied to Theravada from a Mahayana perspective is not POV. It merely reports what the Indian Mahayana view was. If I were to have said that "the term 'Hinayana' is correctly applied to Theravada" or similar, then that would be POV. You really must stop censoring information you do not like.--Stephen Hodge 02:41, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

May be I should start editing Mahayana/Zen/Vajrayana article & put some Theravada perspective on it. But Theravada perspective on other Buddhist sect was not relevant in those respective article, so does Mahayana perspective on Theravada article :-) -- 04:19, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
The reason why I changed this sentence is because it originally read that this "is derogatory and inaccurate". I agree that it is derogatory but, historically speaking, it is not inaccurate: Theravada was included with the other Hinayana schools in Mahayana sources. Either you should cut the whole Hinayana thing or be honest and accept that the label is not inaccurate in historical terms. You really can't have it both ways. As for editing Mahayana articles with a Theravada slant, feel free to do so if you are relaying relevent, historically verifiable information in a non POV manner.--Stephen Hodge 15:42, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, let's just simplify things by saying that the term "Hinayana" as applied to Theravada Buddhism is now often considered derogatory, and leaving it as that. I agree with Stephen Hodge that saying "the use of 'Hinayana' to describe Theravada is incorrect" is at best meaningless and at worst just plain POV-pushing.—Nat Krause(Talk!) 02:01, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Maybe that's what you think, but this was actually adressed at the first WFB meeting in Sri Lanka in the 1950s, and adopted there by all participants, Theravada, Tibetan and Mahayana. This statement is not meaningless, it is an objective statement of the WFB which is verifiable, and above all: true. Further Stephen says it is historically accurate, but only in the early Mahayana history. It really was what they (arrogantly?) called all Buddhist groups and teachings which were there before they introduced the Mahayana scriptures. The meaning of hinayana is 'low vehicle', which is not accurate according to the Buddha's teaching, he never called arahants or other people practicing his way (in any way) low. So the term hinayana is inaccurate and derogatory. Anyway, looking at the talkpage here it's almost solely about other groups' views about Theravada. Don't they have anything better to do but commenting on Theravada Buddhist practice on the Theravada page? Let's just say this page is on Theravada. The other groups's opinions can go to Buddhist Polemics or so, or make any other new page: no need to put them here. Greetings, Sacca 02:28, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Hang on a minute ! Since when has Wikipedia been divided up on sectarian lines ? Anybody can contribute anything to Wikipedia, providing that that it is NPOV, preferably sourced and referenced etc etc -- all the more so if the contribution is informative and relevent. If you only want to present Theravada views about Theravada, you are in danger of non-NPOV. You should start your own moderated TheravadaWiki and then you can decide what information is presented.
Perhaps one of the reasons why "it's almost solely about other groups' views about Theravada" is because people are getting tired of the constant non-NPOV propaganda in many Buddhism articles on Wikipedia that always puts a particular spin on Theravada views: Theravada is the default position, they're the orthodox position, they have the authentic teachings, or the way some Theravada-orientated editors (such as yourself) can't resist putting a little "Theravada" twist at the end of every that doesn't meet Theravada concepts. Well, you are not going to like this, but some of us are trying to redress the balance.
Since you are getting so hot under the collar about this Hinayana thing, why not delete the whole passage ? I don't know what you think the English word "accurate" means, but to report correctly how Indian Mahayanists and others historically classed Theravada can clearly be termed "accurate". It presents a fact that is useful to readers. Do you have some other meaning(s) in mind ? You might not like it, but all pre-modern Mahayana sources will class Theravada as Hinayana. Of course, whether they were right to do so is entirely another matter.--Stephen Hodge 02:51, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

So you think Buddha called early Buddhism and the early buddhist schools 'low'? Only in your wildest dreams... I really don't care about Theravada, I care about historicity, and there are historically accurate scriptures in both Theravada Pali Canon and Mahayana Agamas. Outside of that, it's mostly just people's commentaries (which is ok), or their own words put into Buddha's mouth (which is heretical, isn't it?). Same with the term hinayana (low vehicle), it's not historically accurate, and does not represent any aspect of the teaching of any Buddha. Just some later guys who wanted to make a name for themselves and their new writings, they needed a black sheep. I recognize, it's very difficult to accept this for the typical Mahayanist, but we can try can't we? The opinion of the Mahayana about Theravada does not belong here. What Moslims think about Theravada is also not included, is it? Just make another page and put your opinion there.

Very strange, Stephen, that you think me to be a Theravadin, and don't take into account my position on the Abhidhamma Pitaka and the commentaries.

The page as it is, is ok by me. No need to take anything out. Greetings, Sacca 05:55, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

I am not making any such claims ! Like you I am concerned with historicity. We are obviously using the terms "accurate/inaccurate" differently. Hinayana is a Mahayana term and historically, in the Mahayana perspective, it is quite accurate to say that Mahayana people maintained that schools such as Theravada were Hinayana. Whether this is justified or not is another matter, but it is an incontrovertible, accurate fact to note that they did. If you include the term Hinayana, then it is quite justified to note that fact. This is clearly not a nonNPOV opinion -- it is a historically ascertainable fact.
As for your "Mahayana Agamas", when will you get it into your head that there are NO Mahayana Agamas. The surviving Agamas are thought to be Dharmagupta (DA), Sarvastivadin (the new DA ms, the SA and MA) and Mahasanghika (EA - this has some Mahayana contamination).
Sorry if I characterize you as a Theravadin: that's the way you come across to other people, not just me. I have no idea who you are so I haven't got a clue about your stand on the Abhidhamma and the Atthakatthas. Also, if, as I think you are implying that I am "a typical Mahayanist", you haven't got a clue about my position. I don't even like half of what passes as Mahayana !--Stephen Hodge 17:57, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Hello Stephen, I know the Agamas did not originate in the Mahayana, it's just that they form part of the Mahayana Canon, if I can use that word. So that's why I call them the Mahayana Agamas, and I think there are quite a number of people who call them like that. You really should look at your use of language. Using strong language does not make your words more credible. Greetings, Sacca 15:11, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
And what exactly do you think is the "Mahayana Canon" ? There was no Mahayana Canon as such -- compare the range of texts in the Tibetan and Chinese collections. The Tibetans don't even have any translations of the Agamas beyond a small handful of individual sutras. Are you perhaps being misled by Chinese and Japanese printed editions ? You think that quite a number of people use the term "Mahayana Agama" ? Ok, please cite me even one reputable scholar who uses that term. And, strong language often expresses exasperation, but does not detract from credibility. As I said elsewhere, I don't suffer fools gladly -- sorry if that offends.--Stephen Hodge 20:59, 9 August 2006 (UTC)


"Shortly after the Third Council, the Vibhajjavādins split into four groups: the Mahīśāsaka (P: Mahiṃsāsaka), the Kāśyapīya (P: Kassapiya), the Dharmaguptaka (P: Dhammaguttaka) and the Tāmraparnīya (P: Tambapanniya)." is the point of Contention.

"During Asoka's council (around 250 B.C.) the Sthaviras spawned the Sarvastivadins and the Vibhajyavadins... Other major groups spawned by the Sthavira tradition include the Sautrantikas and Dharmaguptakas. " by Crim, Keith (ed.). The Perennial Dictionary of World Religions. San Francisco: Harper Collins (1989). Reprint; originally pub. as Abingdon Dictionary of Living Religions, 1981; pg. 151.

"The Hinayana enumerates the traditions of 18 schools that developed out of the original community... Two other schools that splintered from the Sthaviras are the Sarvastivada, out of which, around 150 B.C.E., came the Sautrantikas, and the Vibhajyavadins, who see themselves as orthodox Sthaviras. Out of this last school arose the Theravada, Mahishasakas, and Kashyapiyas; from the Mahishasakas came the Dharmaguptakas." by Fischer-Schreiber, Ingrid, et al. The Encyclopedia of Eastern Philosophy & Religion: Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Zen. Shambhala: Boston (English: pub. 1994; orig. German: 1986); pg. 129.

pls see ->

-- 04:57, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Thai Orders Section

A few things about the 'orders' section regarding Thailand:

  • The Thai forest tradition predates the creation of the Thammayut Nikaya. In fact, I think that there's a strong case to be made that it doesn't belong as an 'order' at all; it's not a order in the sense of a monastic nikaya or fratery, but rather a particular view and orientation towards practice. I think a lot of scholars see it as essentially just another variation of the study monk/meditation monk dichotomy that emerges in a lot of Theravada societies. Achaan Mun is typically seen as the founder of the latest incarnation of this tradition, which has waxed and waned with the fortunes of the Lao-speaking people of eastern Thailand. He was the teacher of, among others, Achaan Chah (at least briefly) and Achaan Maha Boowa.
  • Not sure about the placing of Achaans Chah in Maha Boowa in seperate divisions of the Mahanikaya/Thammayutt branch. They might have been ordained into different linneages (or sought reordination, as many monks did after the Thammayutt rose in prominance), but I think dividing it up this way tends to highlight the distinctions between the two when really they have more in common than not- they were both northeastern Thais, (I think) Lao speakers, meditation teachers, interested in strengthening monastic discipline, etc. Again, the traditions or teaching linneages associated with them are not sects or orders in the sense that the Dhammayutt and Mahanikaya are.

-- Clay Collier 09:06, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Hello Clay, Yes you are right, there has been a distinction between forest monastery and city monastery from the very beginning. Nowadays there are even city lineages, and forest lineages. The Dhammayuts did not recognize the validity of ordination of the Mahanikaya, so that's why the seperation is relevant. But they are indeed very similar lineages, the Mahanikaya and the dhammayut forest traditions. So in a way there are 4 groups now in Thailand: Dhammayut City, Dhammayut Forest, Mahanikaya City, Mahanikaya Forest. Maybe that's how it should be put.Greetings, Sacca 14:16, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

NPOV different from trying to help readers understand the Dhamma?

I thought the following extract would be useful to readers of the article but the word “should” made me hesitate that the author is an advocate writing for edification rather than a disinterested scholar and judge.

“Buddhism should not be thought to be a teaching for monks only, as it is sometimes wrongly conceived. In a large number of his discourses, the Buddha has given practical guidance for the lay life and sound advice to cope with life's difficulties.”
Principles of Lay Buddhism by R. Bogoda

I still think that anyone who really understands Buddhism is a Buddhist. This is obviously a point of view, but what if the Buddha, like a scientist, taught a path to verify this as a fact? It seems to me that NPOV means that even if the Buddha was alive today he would not be allowed to write this article all by himself but that different views on what he taught would be included. Paradoxical! Please help me understand so I have the best attitude and don’t waste time in my involvement in Wikipedia. Thanks. Dhammapal 11:04, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

I think the word "should" is not a major problem provided that you carefully attribute it; thus, it is R. Bogoda who says "should", rather than Wikipedia saying it. Also, if we are writing about a living religious leader, then he or she would certainly not be allowed to write Wikipedia articles by him- or herself, but the article would still have the responsibility to accurately report what he or she has said elsewhere.—Nat Krause(Talk!) 05:12, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

External Designations

"Most prominently, the anthropologist Melford Spiro in his work Buddhism and Society separated Burmese Theravada into three groups: apotropaic Buddhism (concerned with providing protection from evil spirits), kammatic Buddhism (concerned with making merit for a future birth), and Nibbanic Buddhism (concerned with attaining the liberation of nibbana, as described in the Tipitaka). These categories are not accepted by all scholars, and are usually considered non-exclusive by those who employ them."

I humbly suggest a rewording to make explicit that these are external/foreign/Western/modern designations and are not designations Theravadans themselves would necessarily make. Ideally, we would avoid all classifications that are imposed from outside the Theravadan "community" unless it is in a separate section. This would better help the reader in their studies by clearly delineating key concepts as the subjects themselves see them as opposed to how external scholars or enthusiasts might see things. "Asian Studies" are fraught with such problematic foreign-designated compartmentalizing to begin with. Quantumbuddha 06:16, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Actually i think it should be moved to Buddhism in Myanmar page as each Theravadin country have it own unique feature. and this Theravada page should only have info which is 'official' and 'common' among theravada country. May be u can contribute...some of your skills. Don't wait for other to edit it. U can edit it yourself. 04:33, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
These are not peculiar to Burma. In fact they are found in the Pali Canon. It can be argued that we should describe Theravada as it sees itself, not as scholars see it. But how do we do that? It's no use just consulting a few websites set up by particular factions. The only people who could possibly tell us much about Theravada as a whole are the scholars. Peter jackson 16:31, 8 January 2007 (UTC)


(1) There hasn't been a Supreme Patriarch in Burma since about 1938, and in Ceylon even longer. Does anyone know whether they still have them in Laos and Cambodia? (2) The article states that the Thai edition of the canon has 46 volumes. Is this a mistake? Certainly the 1920s edition has only 45, as does the 1975 edition. On the other hand, I've come across contradictory statements about the inclusion of paracanonical works in the Thai edition. (3) All but one of the "authorities" cited here are pure Theravada propaganda sources. Doesn't anyone take any notice of Wikipedia guidelines? Peter jackson 17:15, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

re: (2) I believe that Preah Mahagoshananada is considered to be the Patriarch of Cambodia. --Clay Collier 20:20, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
If I remember rightly, the recent book about Cambodian Buddhism says each of the 2 nikayas has its own leader. I'll check that when I get the chance (and remember!). I've now historicized the statement. Peter jackson 12:07, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
I've now looked it up (Harris, Cambodian Buddhism, University of Hawi'i Press, Honolulu, 2005), and it says what I thought. Peter jackson 16:07, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

You know, i'm not sure if i'm asking too much of the wiki project here, but I thought wiki-pedia was about making freely available the sum of all knowledge, as opposed to the names and history of all knowledge. Or did they mean knowledge in the unenlightened sense? Or am i talking about something different but still wiki? It seems as though articles which I would like to be deep and meaningful, (i guess almost manual-like), i find that people talk too much 'about' something, rather than actually talking on it. I mean i know there are links down the bottom and all, but is this perhaps a good thing for Theravada? I'm not so sure: People who dont know anything(as in wisdom, or those who are educated to the hilt, same thing), learning 'about' something is going to have people left feeling, as if they actually know something and therefore don't feel the need to explore further? You know what i mean? People leave and say "oh i know what Theravada is now, its this this this and this." When little, has been said about the structure of the teachings which you would for example, seek from a qualified lama. Philosophies for example, should structurally talk about the 5 precepts the 8 fears whatever. So then people can go away, think about them. Wonder more, and keep coming back and back for the next bit, etc. If you have people reading the stuff and they dont understand it, good! as long as they are left with healthy confusion. Or does one/every-one become scared of making the philosophy look like preaching crap like the other organised religions? Well im yet to find the answer for myself, but i hope those who just read this have something to think about with me here. We want to know! We cant find real teachers, we want to know if were being sucked in by some other delusion, but at the same time there are those who want a reason to say i knew it, this thing is full shit.. So yeah i dont know. Perhaps media should go back to being on an individual-per-person basis? More conversations, instead of organised media? Or is mass-information the key to freedom here? I think its better to be unsatisfied than satisfied. It keeps your mind open. Yes i have allot of questions and thats why im writing this right now, i didnt find what i was looking for in the article and i dont think ill find anyone who will teach me Theravada in my home town, those links might look interesting, but im concerned about those people who think that they know things when they don't. Including me. link -- appropriate?

Hi. Someone used anonymous IPs to add links to to a number of articles about a year ago. Most were deleted but one remained here. The same spammer later added many links to other, more commercial sites such that one of his IPs was blocked today.

I have deleted the link from this article as part of the overall cleanup, however if there's strong consensus here that it should be added back, by all means do so. --A. B. (talk) 02:07, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

The spammer may have added unrelevant link in other articles, but this link definitely relevant, as it contain material about the practice of Theravada Forest Tradition. Sawadeekrap 04:24, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Unsourced assertion

The Theravāda school is ultimately derived from the Vibhajjavāda grouping which emerged amongst the older Sthavira group at the time of the Third Buddhist Council (circa 250 BCE), during the reign of Emperor Asoka in India.

There's no lack of Web sites and popular works that make this sort of claim. But here are some (IMO authoritative) sources that are equivocal on this point:

"This assumes, of course, that the Theravadins can be identified with the Vibhayavadins—a particularly thorny and unrewarding problem of Buddhist history.", Buddhist Thought in India, Edward Conze, George Allen & Unwin, 1962, p31n, diacritics omitted

Richard Gombrich doesn't exactly affirm it either; no footnote, and he uses vibhajja-vadin as an lower-case adjective, not as the name of a school/sect. "Theravadins specified that they were vibhajja-vadin, which means 'analysts', and they delighted in classifying psychological states. A Theravadin monk, however, is one who adheres to the Pali version of the patimokkha with its 227 rules, and is thus a member of the Theravadin ordination tradition—the two conditions are interwoven.", Theravada Buddhism (subtitle) A Social History from Ancient Benares to Modern Columbo, Richard Gombrich, Routlege & Kegan Paul/Taylor & Francis, 1988, p112, diacritics omitted

Rahula, too equivocates on this point. "Hinayana sects developed in India and had an existence independent from the form of Buddhism existing in Sri Lanka.", "Theravada-Mahayana Buddhism", reprinted from Gems of Buddhist Wisdom, Walpola Rahula, Buddhist Missionary Society, Kuala Lampur, 1996, available at [1] and [2] --munge 09:21, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Not so. Look at the main article on Vibhajjavada, from which this was presumably extracted. I have given a reference to the monograph by L.S. Cousins. He has assembled all known textual and epigraphical data that is relevent. His article and its conclusions, which have not been challenged within the scholarly community, supercedes all these older references you mention.--Stephen Hodge 17:11, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
OK, I added the Cousins cite to the article. A touchy topic, I think. --munge 07:58, 12 January 2007 (UTC)


Jhana is not a technique, it's an attainment. Peter jackson 10:03, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Links to

I removed the link that was added today by an anon user from IP4.131.52.30 who showed up Feb 8 and added links to to a number of different pages related to Buddhism or philosophy. This site claims to be the largest Buddhist site on the web, but I've never heard of it nor seen it referenced on WP previously. Furthermore, the site itself states that it is dedicated to 'original Buddhism', which is the author's interpretation of what constitutes a reconstructed 'essential' Buddhism. As the site publicly states that it is not Theravada in origin or content, I see no reason why it should be included in the links for the Theravada article, nor indeed for many others. --Clay Collier 08:27, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

As an additional aside to whoever our mystery linker is: it might be perfectly fine to link to this site if the links were to relevant, clearly attributed articles on the specific topics where the links were included. Linking to the front page of a large, multi-topic site from a page on a very specific topic is not especially helpful- it's like linking to CNN from an article on politics in Montana and saying 'Montana politics here'. Furthermore, it would be much easier to discuss these changes with you if you edited from a logged-in account. --Clay Collier 08:39, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
The mystery linker is the web site author/maintainer of the named site and calls himself Attasarana. He seldom uses a user account and frequents the anatta article. See e.g. Talk:anatta. --- Andkaha(talk) 08:50, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Sthavira / Sthaviravada

Though it may well amount to the same thing, the Chinese sources do not speak of "Sthivaravada", but of "Sthavira". The "pu" suffixed to the name is similarly suffixed to all the other non-Mahayana schools that are mentioned. It doesn't signify "-vada", but just means something like "group", "sect" or "division".--Stephen Hodge 02:11, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

For "Sthavira (Shang-tso-pu) school", should't the word "School" translated as "vada"? So "Sthavira School" is translated into Sanskrit become Sthaviravada? 04:40, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
If you are back-translating into Sanskrit from English, then you might wish to say "Sthavira-vada" -- although a "vada" is not strictly speaking a "school" -- but that is not what the Chinese says or means. As I said, this can be demonstrated by the fact that the names of non-Mahayana schools (or whatever you want to call them) are suffixed with "pu" in Chinese sources: Mahasanghika-PU, Sammitiya-PU, Sarvastivada-PU. In fact, the rendering of Sarvastivada clinches the argument: the name of this school is rendered "shou yi-qie you" + pu. Here "yi-qie" = "sarva", "you" = asti, and "shou" = vada. The final "pu" clearly does not stand for "vada". FYI, "vada" is sometimes rendered as "shou", as just here, or, more commonly, as "lun".--Stephen Hodge 23:50, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
ok, understood. Thank for the info. 04:54, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Buddha's Enlightenment =? Arahant's Enlightenment

Hi, is the following statement strictly true: In the Theravadin view, the Nibbana attained by Arahats is the same as that attained by the Buddha himself.? I ask because I have read multiple Theravada forum threads where this would be the topic of a lively discussion. Are there any citations that would support this statement? Thanks! --Lucifereri 05:15, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Well, if I may offer a secondary source by someone whose scholarship has been reasonably questioned by at least one WP Buddhism editor, Bhikkhu Bodhi (1978, 2005) at writes:
The oldest suttas, however, already mention three types of individuals who attain to the consummate state: a sammaasambuddha or perfectly enlightened Buddha, who realizes the goal without the aid of a teacher and teaches the Dhamma to others, founding a dispensation (saasana); a paccekabuddha or solitary enlightened one, who achieves realization unaided but does not establish a dispensation; and a disciple arahat, who realizes the goal through the instruction of a supreme Buddha and then teaches others according to his inclination and capacity. With the passage of time, quite possibly due to a decline in practice and an increasing rarity of higher attainments, these three types came to be viewed as three alternative ideals toward which a disciple could aspire in the hope of some distant future attainment. All were identical in their realization of nibbaana, but each was seen to stand for a distinct aspect of the enlightened personality and to presuppose a distinct yaana, a "vehicle" or spiritual career, leading to its actualization.... [Boldface added.]
Hope this might help, Larry Rosenfeld (talk) 18:26, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
Hi Larry,
Thanks, this citation looks fine--I did not really mean for a direct quote from the Suttas ;). On Bhikkhu Bodhi's scholarship being questioned, it all depends on who is questioning that scholarship, right? He has lots of publications, which seem fairly well received, but depending on a person's own agenda and scholarship, I can imagine people liking or disliking Bhikkhu Boddhi's contributions. Anyways, WP is all about majority consensus, so if WP users feel uncomfortable using Bhikkhu Bodhi's sources, maybe another source would be appropriate :-P. Thanks!
--Lucifereri 20:41, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
Hi Lucifereri --
FWIW, I've used the above-identified on-line Bodhi source (Wheel 409/411) in the Paramita article (n. 1) and no one's yet moved to revert it or complained about its inclusion (although there was a recent fray over Bodhi's perhaps antiquated use of the generic "he"/"his"). If you'd like to cut and paste (and possibly improve upon) the citation from that article to this one, here it is:
Welcome to WP Buddhism! I look forward to your continued participation.
Larry Rosenfeld (talk) 02:20, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Removed comment

I removed comments which are "schismatic" to the Sangha - one of the gravest sins in Dharma. I think there is no "official Theravada" view on Mahayana scriptures. Buddhism is not like Christianity where scriptures cannnot be verified.

The Theravada typical view is that whichever sutras whihc contradict or not found inside the teaching of Pali Canon is considered as apocryphal. Especially those sutras which is claimed by Mahayana to be hidden in the realm of the serpent only to be revealed to mankind 500 years later. This is factual. Fyi, the Sangha already Schism 2000 years ago. Btw, neither Bible can be verified it authetication. 01:39, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

There is no central organization for Theravada, & so no "official" view on anything whatever. Peter jackson (talk) 12:09, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Correct Pali Spelling is Arahat & Arahant

Arahant (adj. -- n.) [Vedic arhant, ppr. of arhati (see arahati), meaning deserving, worthy]. Before Buddhism used as honorific title of high officials like the English ʻ His Worship ʼ; at the rise of Buddhism applied popularly to all ascetics (Dial. iii.3 -- 6). Adopted by the Buddhisṭs as t. t. for one who has attained the Summum Bonum of religious aspiration (Nibbāna).

Arahant is more widely used than Arahat in Theravada literature...just goggle it up. It did not make sense for a Theravada article to contain 3 different spelling for 1 label (Arahat, Arhat & Arahant). Under "Levels of attainment" it has been "Arahant" for quite a long time. I trying to standized the spelling.

What abt the spelling for Dharma? The correct Pali spelling is Dhamma. 06:22, 10 September 2007 (UTC)