I recently asked a question here and like always some good friends helped me, Their references were right on point and they referred the correct Sutras and i'm forever thankful for that. But when i kept on reading i found it very hard to forgive the author of this particular article on Cakkavatti Sihanada Sutta.

I do not know who that person is but he has written a review on the teaching on a site that most of us use as a reference source. The only question was that he had taken the teaching and given historic definitions of his own to certain parts of that sutra. He somehow say that "King Alexander the great" is the person that Buddhists took inspiration to form a story on Devas and the great king who make earth his empire.

Here is some....

Discourses such as the Mahāparinibbāna Sutta (D 16) and the Mahā Sudassana Sutta (D 17) allude to “the celestial city of the devas,” Āḷakamandā,28 which could be Alexandria on the Indus, founded by Alexander the Great in 325 BCE, or Alexandria-of-the-Caucasus,29 some 150 km north of today’s Kabul in Afghanistan. Possibly, the stories about Alexander (the prototype of the world conqueror) and the subsequent presence of the Indo-Greeks,30 inspired the ancient Buddhists to formulate the “great man” ideology.

So according to this person Sutra pitaka of tipitaka is a work of fiction. I want to be honest, i was real angry when i saw someone quoting the teaching and telling the world that it is a work of fiction, i was very ashamed of the fact that one of his own references was from a man from my own country.I would also like to request our good friends here to read the whole article before posting as an answer,because someone might get caught up in the wrong side of the isle after reading some person's foolish efforts to review Lord Buddha's realization.

Please give me some good advice on how to deal with such people. (I would love an answer from Ven.Samana Johann)

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    FYI I think that Piya Tan wrote everything (all the articles) posted on the dharmafarer.org web site.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 17:49
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    Reflect on the simile of the saw
    – Adamokkha
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 4:43
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    please let the community know what Mr. Piya Tan's response is Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 13:07

7 Answers 7


someone might get caught up in the wrong side of the isle after reading some person's foolish efforts

There will always be reviews coming from writers who are not comfortable with things like heavens and divine beings. People with materialistic views will be drawn to such articles naturally. If you get angry at them, you might be clinging to the Dhamma as "my religion" or "my belief".

Having everybody to believe in the same thing is not the goal and wanting that to happen will only frustrate you. The goal is to use the Dhamma to attain Nibbana. You can certainly help others to stay away from misinformation while doing that, but it should come from compassion, not clinging or aversion.


In the suttas, we see the Buddha regarding a wise person one who reflects that grasping and insisting firmly on a view would create clashes and disputes with those who hold a different view. "Where there is a dispute, quarreling. Where there is quarreling, annoyance. Where there is annoyance, frustration.' Envisioning for himself clash, dispute, quarreling, annoyance, frustration, he both abandons that view and does not cling to another view. Thus there is the abandoning of these views; thus there is the relinquishing of these views." (MN I 500)

He also sets an example when saying:

“Bhikkhus, I do not dispute with the world; rather, it is the world that disputes with me. A proponent of the Dhamma does not dispute with anyone in the world. Of that which the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, I too say that it does not exist. And of that which the wise in the world agree upon as existing, I too say that it exists.

-- SN 22.94

Also, as a side note, the language used in the article, it's propositions are that of hypothesis. In other words, the author is speculating about it, conducting an inquiry (e.g. note the use of "possibly") and drawing parallels -- like any historian would do. So, he does not seem to be defending or promoting any position as a fact. And because he is just offering alternatives, he is not really leading or misleading. After all, as a matter of principle, when an author offers alternative possibilities (e.g. "it's possible that a person is guilty of certain crime"), he/she is not accounted for readers who decide to remove the provisory character of the statement without reflection and simply believe the possibility to be true (e.g. "the person is certainly guilty of certain crime"). In this way, readers can mislead themselves but the author is not responsible for it.

  • so weird these things need to be spelled out in a conversation of adults )))) Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 13:05
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    You make a valid point Thiago, It is just that we are not used to looking for alternative explanations to dhamma here (My country). We take it as an offence to the Lord's wisdom. I guess this is what happens when traditions and values collide. I'll do better next time. Thank you.
    – Theravada
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 17:17
  • the concept of taking offence is alien to the Buddha and his Dhamma, it almost is an insult to the purity and sublimity of the Dhamma and everything it stands for, it's like the Buddha's entire ministry was in vain Commented Mar 26, 2016 at 0:05

It's typical human nature why forum like this or chiritinity or religion exists and consequently their misunderstandings.

That's why some buddhist sectors keep in very hermited to preserve authority and the jewel intact.

Buddha's teaching knowledge alone can be a hinderance to seeing what he realized. It's not knowledge building. You have to meditate and experience. When you build a knowledge while have a strong ego, which ironically it means it can be a danger and might better off not studying at all.

Buddha said everything in simple terms 2500 years ago. That's all you need to know. Wisdom and whaever written in sutras as knowledge, interpretation, findings, they all come at once without studying them just when one see the glimpse of the truth.


Please email Mr. Piya Tan for clarification.
TheMindingCentre @ Gmail.com or Dharmafarer @ Gmail.com

That's the best way to deal with it.


Any commentary on the Suttas by anyone is a personal opinion or explanation on that Sutta. If your opinion differs than just leave aside what you do not find agreeable.


Any commentary on the Suttas by anyone is a personal opinion. For example, I personally rarely agree with the commentaries of Piya Tan. Similarly, often other people do not agree with my personal views of the suttas.

In Buddhism, we can only deal with this using non-attachment because, in reality, there is not much consensus in Buddhism. My impression is many Buddhist groups & sects have idiosyncratic & worldly agendas.

It is only by letting go of craving & attachment can the true reality of Buddha-Dhamma be known.

  • I mean no disrespect to Piya tan, but he was the reason for the question. And i do think you are right Dhammadhatu
    – Theravada
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 9:11

Piya Tan is a renown and respectable Buddhist scholar and lay Dhamma teacher

to some it may come as a surprise but Tipitaka is not a literal Buddhavacana, it's a man's creation, especially the mythical motifs, based on the teachings of the historical Buddha

just as the Bible is not the literal word of God but a creation of men, as has been demonstrated by the extensive biblical research on many levels

consequently Mahaparinibbana sutta was not composed or narrated by the Buddha, but is a result of literary efforts of subsequent generations of Buddhists

nevertheless this fact doesn't devaluate and doesn't invalidate this corpus of texts

on how to deal with such people my advice is to apply towards them all four brahmaviharas

  • Dear friend Tipitaka was written in my country and it is not a work of fiction or a made up story. If Tipitaka is man made story what is left as genuine Buddhism?
    – Theravada
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 17:19
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    maybe it was written in your country but composed it had been long before that in India and passed down through generations as oral tradition... genuine are ideas, the actual Dhamma, of course some historical facts did survive but we hardly can securely separate them from the fictitious, at the very least we can disavow mythical motives as historical facts Commented Mar 26, 2016 at 0:02
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    please don't forget there're translations of the Tipitaka into Sanskrit and Chinese which are independent of the Pali Canon because they belong to ancient schools other than Theravada and so although the wording, text structure, plots and even facts may vary, it's been established that the core ideas are shared by all extant versions of the Tipitaka Commented Mar 26, 2016 at 0:12
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    i like your approach and difference of the opinions must be coming from a difference in a cultural background, your question is valid if we assume that everything said in the Canon is the word of the Buddha and/or of the Arahants, but i don't believe it to be necessarily so. Commented Mar 26, 2016 at 23:18
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    In the West everything is measured by the actual experience, and since i for example have never encountered any deity or ghost in my life it's difficult to take stories about their appearances as facts plausible in the real world, the Dhamma on the other hand for practice luckily doesn't require belief in possibility of interaction with deities, neither it is a requirement for the Right View Commented Mar 26, 2016 at 23:18

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