Jayarava
  • Member for 6 years, 5 months
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Did the Buddha speak Pali? Are the suttas his word verbatim?
Accepted answer
12 votes

The short answer is no, and no. The Pāḷi Canon is a translation. Although people in Central Ganges Valley all spoke closely related dialects at the time we think the Buddha lived. The problem of ...

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Is a starving person justified in stealing food?
10 votes

In general, in Buddhism taking without asking would still be considered unskilful. The relevant precept is adinnādānā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi "I undertake the training principle of not taking ...

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What is the oldest text/sutra of the Mahayana tradition?
9 votes

The oldest existing manuscript clearly identified as Mahāyāna is a birch bark manuscript of the Aṣṭasāhasrikā-prajñāpāramitā-sutra or Discourse on Perfect Wisdom consisting of 8000 [Lines]. This ...

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How sacrosanct is the "source material" of Buddhism?
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9 votes

I think there are some very good and apposite questions here. I find I meet two kinds of Buddhists online. Those committed to the idea that the Pāḷi Canon is something like the Bible, the words of the ...

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Will Karma 'balance out' in most cases by the end of a lifetime?
8 votes

Clearly there are already different answers to this. In fact the different answers are indicative of the problems of Buddhist karma. I've published two articles which touch on this question: Did King ...

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How and when does one not invest in others in Buddhism?
8 votes

These kinds of questions will always be difficult to answer because we only have one side of the story. We lack the vital perspective that comes from a. knowing you, and b. knowing the people that you ...

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Significance of Bhikkhus uncovering their right shoulder
8 votes

In Pāḷi texts, the right shoulder is not specified. The standard description of a monk meeting the Buddha says ekaṃsaṃ uttarāsaṅgaṃ karoti (Vin 1.46) he arranged his robe over one shoulder. However ...

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Does Mahayana Buddhism discourage attaining enlightenment under the Gautama Buddha Sasana?
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8 votes

In early Buddhist texts one gains nibbāna and is freed from ever having to be reborn again. Many people achieved this and in relatively short time frames. The Buddha of the early texts seems to have ...

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Is there any benefit in learning Pali or Sanskrit?
8 votes

I agree with those who praise learning Canonical languages. Studying Pāli texts in Pāli is very rewarding. I have found my understanding of the Buddha's teaching blossomed through reading Pāli texts. ...

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Does hosting guests at home with meat and alcohol (because they are fond of it) amount to aiding the guests break their Sila?
7 votes

"So, when I host a party at my place, it becomes obligatory of me to host them with alcohol and non-vegetarian food (bought from a restaurant). " I don't see how it is obligatory. You could serve ...

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Are there many differences between Taoism and Buddhism?
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7 votes

There are many different kinds of Daoism and many different kinds of Buddhism. All with different views on important issues. Generally speaking Chinese Daoism and Indian Buddhism are different in ...

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Is Pratītyasamutpāda just cause and effect?
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7 votes

One must be quite careful with this formula. In fact it never mentions causation and in general early Buddhist texts do not. Even if it purported to be a theory of causation, it tells us nothing at ...

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Can bhavanga-consciousness be compared to the non-dual mind-state rigpa?
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7 votes

Generally speaking it is difficult to compare assertions made about the mind from different cultures many centuries apart. For example the Theravādins invented the bhavaṇgacitta for a specific ...

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What do secular Buddhists say about Nirvana?
6 votes

While there is considerable variety of views amongst people who identify themselves as secular Buddhists, they all seem to converge in rejecting what is often loosely called "metaphysics". This means ...

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Equanimity in the Aghatavinaya Sutta
6 votes

Looking at the text, it does not recommend reflecting on the ownership etc of kamma as a method of developing equanimity (upekkha). Here it is specifically for removing resentment (āghāta). As far as ...

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A thought-experiment about the importance of Buddhist traditions
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6 votes

Would this result in loss of rank, social standing and credibility in his own circles? Or would this cause others around him to start looking up to him? What's your opinion? It would undoubtedly ...

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Does Buddhism kill creativity?
6 votes

Many working artists are also Buddhists. A number of high profile creative people such as Leonard Cohen, Herbie Hancock and Steve Jobs are Buddhists. See Wikipedia's long list of celebrity Buddhists, ...

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Why are Buddhas always Indian, male and human?
6 votes

The question has two parts. Why only one Buddha? This is only in the Theravāda. In other Buddhist schools two, five, or up to millions of Buddhas can be seen. Two in the White Lotus, Five in the five ...

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What are the Buddhist teachings on how best to live a married life?
6 votes

The Access to Insight website has a number of related translations and essays; Suttas How to ensure that you'll be with your spouse in future lives: AN 4.55 Spouses' duties to each other: DN 31 ...

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The buddhist dillema on lesser evil
6 votes

Also known at the Trolley Problem from Game Theory. My answer is that this kind of question is a red herring. Ethics is about how you wrestle with experience to try to minimise suffering. Hypothetical ...

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What is the difference between Yogacara Buddhism and Idealism?
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6 votes

Some scholars, notably Dan Lusthaus, have argued that Yogācāra is not a form of Idealism. Lusthaus is one of the leading living authorities on Yogācāra and author of the authoritative analysis, ...

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If there is no self how can Nirvana be described as bliss?
6 votes

One must be very careful with the idea that there is no self. This is not quite what the early Buddhist texts say. What they say is that when one examines one's experience (the five khandhas: form, ...

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What is a pandaka?
5 votes

We can start with the PTS dictionary. Paṇḍaka "a eunuch, weakling". This definition is repeated in Monier-Williams sv paṇḍa. As far as the early Buddhist texts, they are clearly not to be ordained, ...

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Do any Buddhist traditions emphasize pilgrimage?
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5 votes

Several Books have been written about the practice of pilgrimage. See for example Buddhist Pilgrimage, by Chan Khoon San (via buddhanet). Holy Places of the Buddha, Crystal Mirror Vol. 9 is packed ...

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Is there a sanskrit translation of the Pali tipitaka online?
5 votes

Very few of the early Buddhist texts survive in Sanskrit translation. Also the Sanskrit translations were made relatively late, perhaps the 4th or 5th century CE and they had frequently been ...

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What does Buddhism say about practicing Spiritism?
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5 votes

Despite the idealised and Romanticised versions of Buddhism popular in the West, which suggests that Buddhists are only interested in Enlightenment, historically and presently Buddhists have always ...

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What does deathless mean?
5 votes

Lanka's answer strikes me as comprehensive. Except for the etymology of the word. Pali amata and Sanskrit amṛta derive from the root √mṛ 'die'. The form here is a past participle used as adjective - ...

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How would Buddhist monks organize countries and the world?
5 votes

We do not have to wonder about the answer to the question of "How would Buddhist monks organize countries, world?" We have plenty of historical examples of just this. There is no need to speculate. In ...

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Is stream entry in 20 or 30 years of practice realistic?
4 votes

There are a number of Thera- and Therī-gāthā poems which feature men and women with many years experience and no realisation. Anon (Thī 67-71) begins: paṇṇavīsativassāni, yato pabbajitā ahaṃ. ...

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Real Monk vs Fake Monk
4 votes

The question is: "Did he give any teachings on how to deal with monastics who abuse their position for unwholesome motivations i.e. monks amassing wealth, gaining political influence, acting as ...

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