lyndon taylor wrote:On the other hand, no one at my temple suggested that cheese was somehow permitted after 12PM, being a solid food, where as I said, milk and ice cream where permitted, some of this makes less logical sense and is more arbitrary, for instance I'm surprised at how relatively liberal the Ajahn Chan traditions are quoted as being on what's permitted after 12PM, I was under the impression that the forest monk traditions were a return to more conservative interpretations, maybe not???
Mv.VI.34.21 contains an allowance for the five products of the cow: milk, curds, buttermilk, butter, and ghee. The Commentary mentions that each of these five may be taken separately—i.e., the allowance does not mean that all five must be taken together. Milk and curds are classed as “finer staple foods” under Pc 39, but in other contexts they fit under the definition of non-staple food. All other dairy products—except for fresh butter and ghee when used as tonics (see NP 23)—are non-staple foods. One of the ten disputed points that led to the convening of the Second Council was the issue of whether thin sour milk—milk that has passed the state of being milk but not yet arrived at the state of being buttermilk—would count inside or outside the general category of staple/non-staple food under Pc 35. The decision of the Council was that it was inside the category, and thus a bhikkhu who has turned down an offer of further food would commit the offense under that rule if he later in the morning consumed thin sour milk that was not left over.
Given the fact that milk has its own category within the five products of the cow and was not listed as a tonic, I don't see any canonical support for the taking of milk after noon. I believe that the allowance of "cheese" after noon was the result of Ajan Mun and, following him, other Forest monks who included it under the category of butter, although I'm uncertain of its origin.
And yes, I do agree with your comment, and many others, that some of these rules seem somewhat arbitrary in terms of where the division is drawn, but I also feel that that is the nature of any codified rules, there are some strange or arbitrary inclusions and other strange or arbitrary occlusions, but the line must be drawn somewhere.
Also, the handling of money is not allowed as per the Vinaya and the application of the Great Standards. The rule in the Vinaya is Gold AND Silver, with Silver including all range of currencies then in use at the time. Logically, this would apply to all paper currency currently in use.
What I'm still curious about, however, is the actual Canonical support for Soy Milk drunk after noon. Anyone?