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Re: hiinayaana - "word usage official 'update' "

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  • Bhante Sujato
    Hi Stephen, due to the ending -ika ). ... long aa ... Phew, that s a relief. The term is ... three ... lifetime and ... This is interesting. If the
    Message 1 of 23 , Jan 25 2:44 PM
      Hi Stephen,


      due to the ending '-ika').
      >
      > No, as far as I know, based on the Tib and Ch parallels, it is the
      long "aa"
      > prefix.

      Phew, that's a relief.


      The term is
      > supposed to be found in the Mahasisaka Agama, where they recognize
      three
      > classes of skandhas: 1. k.sa.nika-skandha, 2. janmi-skandha and 3.
      > aasa.msaarika-skandha -- momentary skandhas, skandhas lasting a
      lifetime and
      > those lasting until one enter the vajropama-samaadhi.

      This is interesting. If the reference is reliable, it would seem to
      imply that the Mahisasaka Agamas (of which apparently none now
      exist) contained doctrines that are not found in the existing
      agamas. Vajropama samadhi is i believe another sarvastivada term,
      also not found in the agamas, though as usual there are probably
      some germs for the idea.

      Do you know how these skandhas are philosophically related? The
      developed abhidhamma schools of the Theravada and others would claim
      that only the ksanika skandhas exist in the ultimate sense. Was the
      mahisasaka position similar?


      I think
      > you are right about the Sarvastivadin connection -- though this is
      > interesting in view of their idea of the enduring existence of
      dharmas.

      Exactly! The real question was time, and the philosophical
      examination of time seems to have been the special concern of the
      Sarvastivada.

      At root, of course, the issue is fear of death, the primal
      motivation for all deep spiritual practice. I think this became
      identified historically with the death of the Buddha himself. The
      poignant descriptions of the varied reactions of the Buddha's
      followers at his passing indicate a deep level split in their
      relation to time. Some lamented the passing away 'all too soon'
      (atikhippam), and there is a clear emphasis on the wish for the
      Buddha to remain for the aeon, ie, practically forever. But the
      sages reflected on the nature of impermanence.

      I think the popular Buddhist folk, with their Jataka stories telling
      of the continuity in time of the Bodhisattva, with his distinctive
      personality, friends and relatives, etc., are the heir of the
      lamenters at the parinibbana. The abhidhammikas, with their doctrine
      of the inconceivable quickness of rise&fall, are the heirs of the
      wisely reflecting sages.

      But i think the doctrines became so extreme as to become virtually
      incommensurable, quite possibly reflecting a widening gulf in
      communication between the lay and monastic communities. The
      sarvastivada, with its doctrine that dhammas are momentary, yet last
      forever, is a sustained, sophisticated attempt to work out a
      coherent philosophical reconciliation of these two positions.

      in Dhamma

      Bhante Sujato
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