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Re: From the moderator.

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  • Ong Yong Peng
    Dear Stephen and friends, thanks for the historical correctness. It is true that many of the Mahayana teachings can be traced back to the pre-Mahayana
    Message 1 of 3 , May 31, 2005
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      Dear Stephen and friends,

      thanks for the historical correctness. It is true that many of the
      Mahayana teachings can be traced back to the pre-Mahayana Sectarian
      Buddhism period in India, although Mahayana schools tend to make a
      direct reference to the Buddha and rule out their "Hinayana" linkage
      completely.

      Your historical treatment of the subject matter is truly of scholarly
      importance. But, it may not be simply a misunderstanding, as you
      suggest. Rather, it is more a matter of how much a person is aware of
      the historical development of specific Buddhist doctrines.

      Furthermore, it is usually possible to discuss things just in the
      present context, in which case, a topic can be either Theravada,
      Mahayana (including Vajrayana), or common to both. I think this
      simple distinction is sufficient for the ongoing discussion.

      metta,
      Yong Peng.


      --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Stephen Hodge wrote:

      I whole-heartedly support the moderator's request for mindfulness in
      discussions.

      However, I should like to comment on this "When a Mahayana concept
      such as antaraabhava ...." as there seems to be some kind of
      misunderstanding here, also found in some other messages.

      The antaraabhava concept is not specifically Mahayana -- in fact it
      is hardly ever mentioned explicitly and some schools within Mahayana
      may even reject it, depending upon their doctrinal antecedents. As
      Bhante Kumaara has kindly listed, there are many suttas in the
      Nikayas (and Agamas) which clearly seem to endorse this idea.
      Whether these are accepted at face value or interpreted in another
      manner seems to depend upon various factors -- mainly I suspect due
      to Abhidharmic considerations. The pre-Mahayana schools varied in
      their acceptance or otherwise of an antaraabhava.

      According to the data we have on hand, the idea was accepted by the
      Purvasaila, Sammatiya, Sarvastivada, Vatsiputriya and late Mahaisaka
      but rejected by Theravada, Mahasanghika, early Mahisasaka. So it is
      likely that the anataraabhava doctrine was accepted by the majority
      of pre-Mahayana Buddhists in India based on rough numerical estimates
      of the followers of each school. It is therefore inaccurate to
      charcterize antaraabhava as a Mahayana doctrine -- not that this will
      deter some from "getting heated up".
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