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Thread: Tricycle Article

  1. #1

    Tricycle Article

    Hello friends,

    So, I came across this article either on Zen Communityor ZFI (I seriously have forgotten which since this morning), and found it very interesting. If there are any other Sutra/Buddhist history "wonks" around, it's definitely worth a read, particularly this paragraph:

    Quote Originally Posted by Linda Heuman
    Preliminary inventories and initial translations reveal that many texts are Gandhari versions of previously known Buddhist material, but most are new—including never-before-seen Abhidharma (Buddhist philosophy) treatises and commentaries, and stories set in contemporary Gandhara. The collections contain the earliest known Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom) texts and the earliest textual references to the Mahayana school, both first century C.E. Taken together, these scrolls and scroll fragments are a stunning find: an entirely new strand of Buddhist literature.
    Just thought I'd share for any interested.

    Metta and Gassho,

    Saijun

  2. #2
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: Tricycle Article

    From what I understand, the fact that there are multiple "lineages" has been know for a while. The Stephen Batchelor book I recently read, Confession of a Buddhist Atheist, mentions, at one point, that there are certain texts that are found in Chinese whose translations are close, but not exactly the same as the "same" texts in the Pali canon, suggesting that they came from different sources (and not simply from translator error or embellishment). Given the amount of time before the Pali canon texts were written down - Pali was an oral language, and these texts weren't put to paper for several centuries - it's obvious that the "words of the Buddha" are not exactly that.

  3. #3

    Re: Tricycle Article

    Hello Kirk,

    I agree that the idea of "lineages" has been around for a while. :wink: I mean really, even when the Buddha was alive he had Sariputta teaching some monks, Mogallana teaching others, and I've heard that Mah?-k??yapa had a few students; lineages from the very beginning!

    What I found was most interesting about the article was:

    1.) that it is a body of Mahayana literature that (as I understand it) was produced (written) at roughly the same time as the Pali Canon, thus showing that the traditions must have historically developed in a much more side-by-side way than is commonly portrayed (especially by our Theravadin friends).

    2.) While there is nothing new under the sun, and the teachings are all pointing in the same direction, I think it would be very interesting to go through the early Prajna Paramita texts to see how it has been developed and expounded through the generations, and how the give-and-take that must have occurred through the so-called "cross pollination" that went on and is still going on (Sanbo-Kyodan, anyone?) influenced the growth and spread of the Dharma.

    Metta and Gassho,

    Saijun

  4. #4
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: Tricycle Article

    Quote Originally Posted by Saijun

    1.) that it is a body of Mahayana literature that (as I understand it) was produced (written) at roughly the same time as the Pali Canon, thus showing that the traditions must have historically developed in a much more side-by-side way than is commonly portrayed (especially by our Theravadin friends).
    But the Pali canon was written down several centuries after Gautama's death, so those Mahayana texts may still have been composed after the Pali canon material was circulating orally. We'll never know, but I think it's a good thing to see these "scriptural" texts as dynamic, and not freezing them into a Buddhist "bible."

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