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Re: Theos-World Abhidharma the core of MahÃyÃna and HÃnayÃna?

Oct 11, 2009 01:27 PM
by Morten Nymann Olesen

Yes, when we talk about certain groups of the Southern School, but not the esoteric version of the teachings.
And Yes the Southern School in general is not favoured because of what you are saying.

Let us hear HPB on the issue...

HPB in the Theosophical Glossary (posthumously published, 1892):
"Buddhism. Buddhism is now split into two distinct Churches : the Southern and the Northern Church. The former is said to be the purer form, as having preserved more religiously the original teachings of the Lord Buddha. It is the religion of Ceylon, Siam, Burmah and other places, while Northern Buddhism is confined to Tibet, China and Nepaul. Such a distinction, however, is incorrect. If the Southern Church is nearer, in that it has not departed, except perhaps in some trifling dogmas due to the many councils held after the death of the Master, from the public or exoteric teachings of SÃkyamuniâthe Northern Church is the outcome of SiddhÃrta Buddhaâs esoteric teachings which he confined to his elect Bhikshus and Arhats. In fact, Buddhism in the present age, cannot he justly judged either by one or the other of its exoteric popular forms. Real Buddhism can be appreciated only by blending the philosophy of the Southern Church and the metaphysics of the Northern Schools. If one seems too iconoclastic and stern, and the other too metaphysical and transcendental, even to being overgrown with the weeds of Indian exotericismâmany of the gods of its Pantheon having been transplanted under new names to Tibetan soilâit is entirely due to the popular expression of Buddhism in both Churches. Correspondentially they stand in their relation to each other as Protestantism to Roman Catholicism. Both err by an excess of zeal and erroneous interpretations, though neither the Southern nor the Northern Buddhist clergy have ever departed from truth consciously, still less have they acted under the dictates of priestocracy, ambition, or with an eye to personal gain and power, as the two Christian Churches have."

HPB spoke highly about the Amarapura sect on Ceylon.


M. Sufilight

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  Sent: Sunday, October 11, 2009 8:58 PM
  Subject: Re: Theos-World Abhidharma the core of MahÃyÃna and HÃnayÃna?

  The demarcation that distinguishes between the Mahayana and the Southern Buddhism is that the Southern School is the "gradual " that clasps tightly to the proposition that we all are in invariable unalterable samsaric journey that we can do nothing about and that there is no solution for anyone who is not avatara or already Bodhisattva. The rest of us must travail in suffering until creation ends. However the Mahayana is the "sudden" School which holds that we are all buddha already and can have "sudden" transformation and illumination and liberation. It is the southern school that rejects this view and that is way it has remark on the Chinese Mahayana Ch'an which Madame Blavatsky called "The Sweet Singers of History" because she knew they were the Trustee's of the Mantra Science among other things. The characterization is only indicating the Three Turnings of the Wheel of Buddhism, Hinayana or Therevada Buddhism holds to only the 1st Turning. 


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: "Morten Nymann Olesen" <> 
  Sent: Saturday, October 10, 2009 5:38:03 AM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific 
  Subject: Theos-World Abhidharma the core of MahÃyÃna and HÃnayÃna? 

  Dear friends 

  My views are: 

  HPB wrote: 
  "Tripitaka (Sk.). Lit., "the three baskets"; the name of the Buddhist canon. It is composed of three divisions : (1) the doctrine; (2) the rules and laws for the priesthood and ascetics; (3) the philosophical dissertations and metaphysics: to wit, the Abhidharma, defined by Buddhaghosa as that law (dharma) which goes beyond (abhi) the law. The Abhidharma contains the most profoundly metaphysical and philosophical teachings, and is the store-house whence the MahÃyÃna and HÃnayÃna Schools got their fundamental doctrines. There is a fourth division-the Samyakta Pitaka. But as it is a later addition by the Chinese Buddhists, it is not accepted by the Southern Church of Siam and Ceylon." 
  (The Theosophical Glossary, 1892, published posthumously by GRS Mead) 

  It seems that this Abhidharma teaching must have a very strong esoteric core and flavour attached to it since the fundemental Buddhistic doctrines was based on it. That is what HPB says, and scholars think different even today. 

  - - - - - - - - 
  "In the West, the Abhidhamma has generally been considered the core of what is referred to as 'Buddhist Psychology'." 

  The third category, the Abhidhamma Pitaka (literally "beyond the dhamma", "higher dhamma" or "special dhamma", Sanskrit: Abhidharma Pitaka), is a collection of texts which give a systematic philosophical description of the nature of mind, matter and time. There are seven books in the Abhidhamma Pitaka. 

  M. Sufilight 

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