Aniccayana – the way of secular dharma?

For an organisation to become a full member of New Zealand Buddhist Council Inc., it has to be registered with the Charities Commission. This immediately ruled out Secular Buddhism in Aotearoa New Zealand (SBiANZ). Wanting, though, to contribute to the life of the Council and to help promote awareness of the dharma in this country, we ignored the fact that SBiANZ is not a ‘Buddhist individual’ and applied for associate membership. Our application was accepted, we are pleased to say, and new ground was broken.

That’s not all we needed to ignore. On the full membership application form, an organisation is asked to declare that it is either Theravada, Mahayana, or Vajrayana. No ‘Other’ category was available at the time we applied to join. We felt that if the Buddhist Council is to truly operate as a representative organisation in 21st century Aotearoa New Zealand, it really does need to make room for ‘Others’, and made the point. Now, the category ‘Other’ is available.

Given the opportunity to write in what that ‘Other’ is, I would have written ‘aniccayana’, the way of non-permanance, the way of secular dharma, in place of theravada, mahayana and vajrayana. What would you have done, and what do you think about this new ‘yana’?

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*This updates an article in the ‘In This Moment’ newsletter in which it was incorrectly stated that an ‘Other’ category was not available in the application for full NZBC membership.

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3 Comments

  1. Brent McGrath
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    A bit late I know.
    In answer to the question “what would you have done”
    written “the way of non-permanance” rather than use the Pali.
    Shouldn’t Gotauma’s teaching be communicated in the language of the current time and place?

    • Posted June 11, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      Brent, I agree with you completely. Look at the context, though: the form for application of membership of the Buddhist Council at that point only had three options, and none were in English (or te reo). Hence my somewhat tongue-in-cheek suggestion that given the opportunity I would have written in ‘the way of non-permanance’, in Pali as were the other options.

      So yes, in principle I too prefer to use our own language, or languages, to express Gotama’s teachings.

  2. Brent McGrath
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Nga mihi nui

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