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Did the Buddha address whether or not his teachings were new?

I was talking with a friend and thought I was making a sound distinction when I said the the Buddha didn't claim what he learned at enlightenment and then taught to his disciples was new. As in, he laid out an eternal truth in his teachings that has always existed along with consciousness itself. But then I started to wonder, I am correct or have I muddled the history with my own assumptions?

Conversely, do we know if the Buddha ever explicitly said that his teachings were not new?

Comments

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I’ve seen arguments about some similar considerations elsewhere, and it looks like some elements of the Buddha’s teaching were part of the culture around him, namely karma and rebirth, and these existed before the Buddha taught them.

    Ren_in_black
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran Veteran

    I think it depends on belief in single universe of sentient beings in earth or multiverse. The former he was first to turn the wheel of dharma on earth I think. The latter there were other beings in other worlds and other nirmanakaya Buddhas. And then with that view you could have all mandalas interpenetrate to some extent and then all dharma and all Buddhas interpenetrate. And those worlds are distant in time and space but what are time and space?

    Ren_in_black
  • DakiniDakini Veteran Veteran
    edited March 11

    Although some of what he taught (karma, rebirth, IF indeed that's what he taught; regarding his concept of rebirth, it's debatable) were familiar concepts, in other respects, he was contradicting some of the Hindu teachings of the day. So I think there was no need to explicitly state, that that aspect of his teachings was new. It would have been understood by everyone hearing those teachings, that they presented a fresh perspective on certain matters, IMO.

    Ren_in_blacklobsterCarameltail
  • Ren_in_blackRen_in_black New Georgia New

    @Jeffrey said:
    I think it depends on belief in single universe of sentient beings in earth or multiverse. The former he was first to turn the wheel of dharma on earth I think.

    For the sake of my follow-up question, let's say this is the case. Do you think people before the Buddha's time had a real path to enlightenment or nirvana that was differently named or unnamed?

  • BunksBunks Veteran Australia Veteran

    IMO, the Buddha was self enlightened I.e. he taught what he discovered for himself. He wasn’t recycling Hindu beliefs about kamma, rebirth etc.

    But, having said that, he also stated that there have been a lineage of Buddha’s before him who taught exactly the same truths that they also discovered for themselves.

    Ren_in_blackadamcrossley
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Do you think people before the Buddha's time had a real path to enlightenment or nirvana that was differently named or unnamed?

    Yes.

    The contemporary of the Buddha, Mr Jane/Jain, the matriarchy wisdoms (which the Buddha was not much into) and the blue man Shiva in the mountains tradition, ascetic practices and so on ...
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rishabhanatha

    Ren_in_black
  • Ren_in_blackRen_in_black New Georgia New

    @Jason said:

    Both. He said that the Dhamma was timeless and they he essentially rediscovered it. Or as he puts it:
    "In the same way I saw an ancient path, an ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times..."

    That said, he certainly used many of the terms and ideas already present in his society to articulate that path and its results. People have argued that this was both something completely new and a reform of something already there, and I think both are true.

    Thanks for citing this, Jason. Shoulda known there'd be "two truths" involved in a question about the Buddha. ;)

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    @Ren_in_black said:

    @Jason said:

    Both. He said that the Dhamma was timeless and they he essentially rediscovered it. Or as he puts it:
    "In the same way I saw an ancient path, an ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times..."

    That said, he certainly used many of the terms and ideas already present in his society to articulate that path and its results. People have argued that this was both something completely new and a reform of something already there, and I think both are true.

    Thanks for citing this, Jason. Shoulda known there'd be "two truths" involved in a question about the Buddha. ;)

    As a follow up, one of the teachings that seemed to be unique to the Buddha and connected to the path is the teaching on dependent co-arising.

    Ren_in_blacklobster
  • CarameltailCarameltail Veteran UK Veteran

    Is anything ever completely new :) I guess like already said it was contradicting the hindu teachings at the time. But it had some similarities and built upon some of it. And he tried asceticism but what he came across is the middle way.

    Ren_in_black
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