[Buddha-l] Hinayanaists unite (?) and Kashyapa question

Mitchell Ginsberg jinavamsa at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 15 13:04:14 MDT 2009

Hello all, 

.... in part, responding to today's buddha-l Digest, Vol 50, Issue 15 ... 

I am surprised that someone calls himself a Hinayanist, as it seemed up until
now quite a straw-man position that no one ever held. It is clearly as we know
an insult term. It does not mean smaller in a neutral sense (culayana?) but
abandoned, inferior, etc. So why take on such a label? Contrarian instincts?

That said, I have been trying to track down the story of Kashyana (Pali, 
Kassapa) coming to enlightenment/awakening by being shown a flower, 
in a famous story. 

I see it quite at odds with the Theravadan understanding on when Kassapa
aka Mahakassapa/Mahakashyapa came to be a stream-entrant and came
to be an arahat (the latter related to his mother's admonitions??? hehehe). 

The furthest back I have been able to track the flower-holding story down 
is to a little work said to be by Bodhidharma (in Chinese), Xuemailun, where 
Kashyapa is mentioned as the only one to "get it." As for the explicit story 
itself, I find it in two texts of the eleventh century CE (1000s), and then in 
later works... 

Questions for anyone: 
1. Are there any Indic sources for this story (and if so from what age/time)?
2. What is the earliest recounting of this flower-demonstration teaching (in 
Chinese, or another language)? 

Thank you, everyone. 

Mitchell G. 

Homepage (updated 6 April 09): http://www.geocities.com/jinavamsa 

See also http://www.geocities.com/jinavamsa/mentalhealth.html


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