1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby chownah » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:47 pm

Did the Buddha teach that only he could initiate a line of monks?
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:24 pm

Zom wrote:if we establish, using this or that Vinaya, a group of monks who will have such views: "We take Refuge in Triple Gem that is Christian The Holy Trinity". Are you going to consider them as valid monks? Are you going to bring them dana and support them? It seems there is everything alright with their Vinaya lineage ,) Would they be a Sangha? 8-)

And this is the good reason to consider bhikkhuni ordination invalid.


Not at all. Comparing a Christian ordination with Mahayana is an apples and oranges comparison. The Mahayana and especially Dharmagupta claim lineage back to Buddha. The Christian does not and did not even exist during the time of the Buddha.
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:28 pm

Zom wrote:There is one more good reason not to make any attempts to re-establish bhukkhuni - because this will lead to a schism in Sangha. Actually, I'm afraid, there IS already a schism happened because of this attempt. Now - who is guilty? That one, who made active actions to do it - not that one who resisted it.


Not at all. Those who advocate and accept bhikkhuni ordinations are not claiming to be some new school or tradition of Theravada or Buddhism. They are calling themselves Theravadins, which is not a separate school in any which way. On the contrary it is those literalists who are claiming that the bhikkhunis and bhikkhuni supporters are part of some separate school. If anyone is creating a schism, it is the literalists.

I see the bhikkhunis and bhikkhuni supporters doing this: :group:

I see those against it doing this: :jedi: :guns: :tantrum:
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby Zom » Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:34 pm

Not at all. Comparing a Christian ordination with Mahayana is an apples and oranges comparison. The Mahayana and especially Dharmagupta claim lineage back to Buddha. The Christian does not and did not even exist during the time of the Buddha.


I don't mean "christian lineage". I mean "new order of monks with some new weird views". If we take the argument that only vinaya-lineange is enough to establish new sangha - then we should accept as True Sangha any those new monks with completely wrong views. Since we can't accept such Sangha as a True Sangha (at least I will never do), then we should keep in mind that Dhamma-Vinaya is one whole thing - not two separate things.


Not at all. Those who advocate and accept bhikkhuni ordinations are not claiming to be some new school or tradition of Theravada or Buddhism. They are calling themselves Theravadins, which is not a separate school in any which way.


I don't mean that. I mean that in the existing Sangha there are monks who don't accept bhikkhunis. And if there would be a situation, when such monks will not hold uposatha with those monks who do accept them - then this is a schism in the Sangha. And faulty monks here are not those who don't accept bhikkhunis - but those, who do accept them (because they are active part while the rest monks are passive). If some monks start some new introductions, especially when they know that this is not accepted by other monks - then they know, that the Sangha would be split.


see the bhikkhunis and bhikkhuni supporters doing this: :group:
I see those against it doing this:


And I see the opposite... :shrug:

Just take that situation with siladharas... who is "fighting" there, mm?
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby Gena1480 » Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:20 am

well from ordination procedure book
it says there are 3 different Bhikkhus
1. those who are ordain by the Lord Buddha
2. those who are ordain by his Savakas
3. those who are ordain by Sangha
the Buddha later in life stop ordaining both monks and nuns
Savakas stop ordaining using method of the three refuges
the method for 3 refuges was later use for ordination of novices
So only Sangha was left to ordain
and there would be need for minimum of 4 Bhikkhus
so the question is did Sangha ordain Bhikkhunis?
it is also says that the three types of Bhikkhus
where all equal and kept same rules
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby danieLion » Sat Nov 05, 2011 10:23 pm

Zom wrote:...existing Sangha...

To which definition of "Sangha" do you refer?
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:46 am

gavesako wrote:You should specify what you mean by "Theravada bhikkhuni" better, because -- unless they were ordained directly by Theravada bhikkhus only -- they would have had a Mahayana bhikkhuni as preceptor and should really follow the Vinaya that she follows (probably Dharmaguptaka). Or if we take it to mean "those who practise according to Theravada teachings", then again there is a problem because although they may live in Theravada countries, they may actually be practising more according to the Mahayana teachings or some mixture of them (Ven. Dhammananda in Thailand is an example). But now we already have several generations of these bhikkhunis and if they have been practising pretty much in the Theravada style (like in Sri Lanka), then gradually they will become generally accepted as "Theravada bhikkhunis". This is the way it has been with the bhikkhu ordinations in the past as well, new groups have emerged and if they succeeded in gaining royal patronage and support, they became the new accepted and "pure" group.


Bhante,

While you raise a good point vis the Dharmagupta bhiksuni ordination, whether or not they are Mahayana seems irrelevant.

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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:52 am

Zom wrote:And this is the good reason to consider bhikkhuni ordination invalid.
As I said, Dhamma-Vinaya is a whole thing. Long time ago Dharmagupta Vinaya become one and whole with Mahayana views. And such mahayana monks could not hold uposatha with theravadin monks. And theravadin monks won't hold uposatha with such mahayana monks. So, now, you can't just so simply separate Dhamma-Vinaya.


May I ask when the "Dharmagupta Vinaya become one and whole with Mahayana views"?

While I'm writing, might as well add that I know more than a few bhikkhunis / bhiksunis from and still in Taiwan who have Dharmagupta ordination but really don't practice Mahayana Dharma.

~~ Huifeng
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: Huifeng's Prajnacara Blog.
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby robertk » Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:11 am

An old post ;
From Venerable Dhammanando



QUOTE
Like the 'Mahāyāna' Bhikkhuni, who are also of the Dharmaguptaka lineage, they can be considered to be following the Theravāda Philosophical teachings. We must distinguish between lineage and philosophical system, there is a difference.




There is no "must" about it. It would be more accurate to say that Mahāyāna vinayadharas are inclined to make the distinction you refer to, while Theravādin ones are not. The distinction is perfectly logical in a Mahāyāna context, for the Indian Mahāyāna was not a single nikāya but a movement that spanned several nikāyas. But the Theravāda wasn't and so for our vinayadharas there is no easy separation of a bhikkhu's Vinaya lineage from the doctrinal tenets that he espouses; the two things are seen as ineluctably bound up with each other. There have over the years been attempts to foist the Mahāyānins' view upon us, (starting with Sangharakshita in the 1940's and now most recently Sujāto and his pals), but among the mainstream of the Theravāda sangha there are very few takers. Among our best Vinaya scholars there are no takers at all.



QUOTE

QUOTE
"There are actually no Mahāyāna Bhikkhu or Bhikkhuni, all ordain according to a non-Mahāyāna vinaya, either Dharmaguptaka or Mulasarvastivada."




Again this is Mahāyānin thinking. From the Mahāvihāra point of view there are actually just two Vinaya lineages: Theravādin and all the rest. The non-Theravādin Vinaya lineages are just collectively classed as "schismatical" (bhinnavādin). For Vinaya purposes it doesn't matter to a Theravādin whether a non-Theravādin bhikkhu got his ordination from the Dharmaguptakas or the Mūlasarvāstivādins, for one schismatical lineage is as bad as another. If distinctions need to be made then our commentators and chroniclers distinguish them solely on the basis of the doctrinal tenets they espouse. And so from the Theravādin point of view there are Mahāyāna bhikkhus.


QUOTE


QUOTE


QUOTE

QUOTE
And, one question, do you know if the 'Dharmaguptaka Theravada' Bhikkhuni chant their pattimokha in Pali, or in Chinese? If Pali, is this a translation of the Chinese, or are they chanitng the Theravada version?



In those Chinese monasteries where the monks actually bother to observe the Uposatha, they will listen to the Dharmaguptaka prātimokṣa recited in Chinese.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby Bankei » Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:39 am

Robert, does this mean therefore any lineage other than a direct lineage tracing itself only from the Mahavihara is not Theravada, (and therefore possibly not even Buddhism).

What happened in Sri Lanka when there was war (from memory the 600s) and the lineage was broken and had to be reintroduced from Chola, South India. Does this mean the Mahavihara tradition was broken? Probably no, because it will be argued the Mahavihara lineage was exported to India before being reimported.

The Lineage then died out in Sri Lanka, but had already been exported to Burma, so it was reintroduced to Sri Lanka from there. It died out several times in Sri Lanka and was reintroduced from Burma. But the Burmese later had a purge with the King arguing the lineage was corrupt and so had to be reintroduced from Sri Lanka. Was it the corrupted Burmese lineage that was reintroduced into Sri lanka? Probably not, because only the pure monks would have went from Burma to Sri Lanka.

There was a Thai lineage from long ago orgins unknown, but this was supplemented by monks from Sri Lanka coming in around the year 1000 from memory. There was briefly a Lanka lineage, but these lineages eventually all merged into a large general lineage which is today known as the Mahanikaya. Taking the lead from King Mongkut most Dhammayutika monks regard the Mahanikaya monks as nothing more than novices as their lineage is regarded as suspect, or corrupt. Mongkut was appalled by the behaviour of the Thai monks of his time. he regarded many as not pure. Mongkut dug up siima boundaries of monasteries and found out the siima were not established by the proper Theravada standards and therefore ordinations conducted therein were invalid. He reordained about 9 times because each time he was not satisfied that it was done correctly. He eventually was ordained by Burmese Mon monks bypassing the Thai lineage altogether.

Interestingly the Achan Chah lineage is Mahanikaya. Achan Chah argued that it didn't matter what your lineage was it was how you behaved as a monk that is important. Interestingly some of his students are the ones who are denying the validity of the Bhkkhuni ordinations while others deny their ordinations.
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Re: 1000 Bhikkhunis in the World

Postby Mr Man » Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:26 am

Bankei wrote: Achan Chah argued that it didn't matter what your lineage was it was how you behaved as a monk that is important.

I'm not sure that that is really the right way to phrase it.

The story I have heard is that Ajahn Chah asked Ajahn Mun if he should reordain in the Dhammayut and Ajahn Mun asked Ajahn Chah if he had doubts about the vailidity of his ordination. Ajahn Chah said no and Ajahn Mun said well no need.

:)
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