Can a monk who disrobe reordain?

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Can a monk who disrobe reordain?

Postby hermitwin » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:06 am

When a monk has broken major rules, he is forced to disrobe.
Can he become a monk again?
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Re: Can a monk who disrobe reordain?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:14 am

hermitwin wrote:When a monk has broken major rules, he is forced to disrobe.
Can he become a monk again?


if a bhikkhu breaks a parajika rule they can not ordain again in this life.

[edit - some off the similies used to describe breaking the four parajika rules]
as though a rock broken in two can not be whole again, a leaf fallen from a tree can not be reattached, a man with his head cut off can no live...

no coming back from it
Last edited by Cittasanto on Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can a monk who disrobe reordain?

Postby Bankei » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:40 am

Also, I think a parajika monk can ordain as a novice - according to vinaya.
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Re: Can a monk who disrobe reordain?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:53 am

Bankei wrote:Also, I think a parajika monk can ordain as a novice - according to vinaya.


that is a gray area, and not everywhere does, or accepts it as valid. but some places do, however, it may cause problems if they go to where this isn't.
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Re: Can a monk who disrobe reordain?

Postby Ben » Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:36 am

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Re: Can a monk who disrobe reordain?

Postby hermitwin » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:41 am

What if the monk goes to another country or another tradition?
Why cant the monk be forgiven if he has repented?
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Re: Can a monk who disrobe reordain?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:58 pm

hermitwin wrote:What if the monk goes to another country or another tradition?
Why cant the monk be forgiven if he has repented?


how the other tradition (i.e. another vinaya lineage found in Tibet or within the Chinese line of ordination) may or may not view them as not being able to ordain, but it would depend on the tradition and if they are a vinaya line or not. but I do know some Bhikkhus would not consider it possible if it was a parajika from another vinaya line.

if it was another religion or non-vinaya school then it shouldn't be a problem.
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Re: Can a monk who disrobe reordain?

Postby Will » Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:28 pm

In the Tibetan tradition I know of a bhikshu who broke the celibacy rule (that is a parajika one I think) & had a child. Several years later (5 or 7 or?? I forgot) he was allowed to become a bhikshu again. Whether that was because the Tibetan tradition permits it or there was a special dispensation given by the Dalai Lama, for example, I do not know.
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Re: Can a monk who disrobe reordain?

Postby hermitwin » Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:32 pm

Thanks for the all the comments.
What is the rationale for this rule?
Is it purely to discourage monks from breaking the rules?
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Re: Can a monk who disrobe reordain?

Postby Bankei » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:30 pm

Will wrote:In the Tibetan tradition I know of a bhikshu who broke the celibacy rule (that is a parajika one I think) & had a child. Several years later (5 or 7 or?? I forgot) he was allowed to become a bhikshu again. Whether that was because the Tibetan tradition permits it or there was a special dispensation given by the Dalai Lama, for example, I do not know.


Will,

I have often wondered what the go is with the Tibetans. It seems there are many married 'monks' but maybe these are not Bhikshu but lamas - what is the difference?
There is also the tantric side.

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Re: Can a monk who disrobe reordain?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:35 pm

Bankei wrote:
Will wrote:In the Tibetan tradition I know of a bhikshu who broke the celibacy rule (that is a parajika one I think) & had a child. Several years later (5 or 7 or?? I forgot) he was allowed to become a bhikshu again. Whether that was because the Tibetan tradition permits it or there was a special dispensation given by the Dalai Lama, for example, I do not know.


Will,

I have often wondered what the go is with the Tibetans. It seems there are many married 'monks' but maybe these are not Bhikshu but lamas - what is the difference?
There is also the tantric side.

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Re: Can a monk who disrobe reordain?

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:32 am

Will wrote:In the Tibetan tradition I know of a bhikshu who broke the celibacy rule (that is a parajika one I think) & had a child. Several years later (5 or 7 or?? I forgot) he was allowed to become a bhikshu again. Whether that was because the Tibetan tradition permits it or there was a special dispensation given by the Dalai Lama, for example, I do not know.


He wouldn't be a Bhikshu!

the rule is not able to be overridden in any tradition, but whether one tradition would or could accept someone who comitted a parajika from another tradition or not is not exactly the same, see my above post on this.

not all those in the Mahayana tradition as a whole are Bhikshus/Bhikshunis as there are other forms of ordination within the Mahayana tradition, such as in Zen there is no Vinaya line, in Korea there is both a vinaya and non-vinaya line, and the same is in tibet and other countries/traditions.
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Re: Can a monk who disrobe reordain?

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:44 am

hermitwin wrote:Thanks for the all the comments.
What is the rationale for this rule?
Is it purely to discourage monks from breaking the rules?


these are what should never be done as they go against the motives for being a mendicant & meditator following the Buddhas teaching.
the four rules which constitute the Parajika group (for Bhikkhus; 8 for Bhikkhunis) although not all of them are wrong in and of themselves; such as theft is a worldly wrong but may have reasons which seam reasonable to preform, but it goes against being relyant upon lay people for food and support, whereas sex is a spiritual wrong because it can be misused and is a gross form of clinging - claiming attainments one does not see one having is wrong because it also undermines trust in recieving support by being a pure practitioner, but murder is regardless.

doing any of these is not the same as disrobing, as it is instant, no motive to disrobe need be involved.

however there are excemptions to these rules but that doesn't mean it is possible to do them. see Buddhist monastic code volume 1.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Can a monk who disrobe reordain?

Postby Bankei » Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:23 pm

hermitwin wrote:What if the monk goes to another country or another tradition?
Why cant the monk be forgiven if he has repented?


I think the 4 parajika rules are the same in all extant vinaya traditions. So if one were to break a parajika rule in one tradition then one could become a monk (legally anyway) in another tradition.
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Re: Can a monk who disrobe reordain?

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:01 pm

Bankei wrote:
hermitwin wrote:What if the monk goes to another country or another tradition?
Why cant the monk be forgiven if he has repented?


I think the 4 parajika rules are the same in all extant vinaya traditions. So if one were to break a parajika rule in one tradition then one could become a monk (legally anyway) in another tradition.


this is not necessarily true Bankei, and has already been commented on.

How different traditions are viewed changes with the person, some consider them the same, as with the case of your post regarding Ajahn Sumedho ordaining Bhikshus/nis would show, others would consider them different traditions and would require probationary periods, yet others may require them to ordain within their tradition.

Unless a Venerable of a different school or another fully or ex-ordained member chooses to comment upon this (someone who may have knowledge of how the different schools views it) it is speculation and not relevant unless you can support your claim.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Can a monk who disrobe reordain?

Postby namaste » Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:07 pm

Tibetans and Zen both have married "monks", but only in certain sects.
An ex-monk in the Tibetan tradition told me that Tibetan monks have the right to disrobe 3 times in their "career", assuming no vows have been broken. If they're chafing under the celibacy discipline, they can disrobe to "let off steam" for a year, then take their robes back.

Is there a similar allowance in Theravada--to give back intact vows for a period? Are monks allowed to take a break at some point? It sounds strange, but you never know about details like this until you ask.
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Re: Can a monk who disrobe reordain?

Postby Goofaholix » Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:12 pm

namaste wrote:Is there a similar allowance in Theravada--to give back intact vows for a period? Are monks allowed to take a break at some point? It sounds strange, but you never know about details like this until you ask.


I understand that Thervadin monks can disrobe and re-robe many times, but in Thailand for example it's considered bad luck if it's done more than 3 times.

It's not like taking a break though, one would lose ones seniority, so the most senior teacher would become the most junior monk again.
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Re: Can a monk who disrobe reordain?

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:43 pm

the number of times one can ordain is 7, although I have heard that this is not correct by a former monk.

but there is no Vinaya line in Japan.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Can a monk who disrobe reordain?

Postby Bankei » Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:50 am

Cittasanto wrote:
Bankei wrote:
hermitwin wrote:What if the monk goes to another country or another tradition?
Why cant the monk be forgiven if he has repented?


I think the 4 parajika rules are the same in all extant vinaya traditions. So if one were to break a parajika rule in one tradition then one could become a monk (legally anyway) in another tradition.


this is not necessarily true Bankei, and has already been commented on.

How different traditions are viewed changes with the person, some consider them the same, as with the case of your post regarding Ajahn Sumedho ordaining Bhikshus/nis would show, others would consider them different traditions and would require probationary periods, yet others may require them to ordain within their tradition.

Unless a Venerable of a different school or another fully or ex-ordained member chooses to comment upon this (someone who may have knowledge of how the different schools views it) it is speculation and not relevant unless you can support your claim.


Apologies. It seems I left out the word not.

I meant to have written:
So if one were to break a parajika rule in one tradition then one could not become a monk (legally anyway) in another tradition.

Sorry for the confusion.

Also, I was thinking, the 4 parajika rules are probably mostly the same in each tradition - but there may be slight differences between them.

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Re: Can a monk who disrobe reordain?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:12 am

Hi Bankei,
they are essentially the same except wording!
I double checked with a contact of mine yesterday, but I do remember seeing a booklet made by a by a former monk ordained in the Dharmagupta tradition then within the Theravadin tradition, and the order is slightly different between the two, but the Theravadin Patimokkha seams to have all the rules they have, and I would hazard a guess that it would be the same between others also, but there maybe rules missing here and there in the other groups of rules.

sometimes the major change is in distance or length or amount, such as in the rules requiring forfiture and confession/confession.

the monk who wrote the booklet made it for free distribution and is living in malasia if I remember, so it maybe available online, his work has become quite popular/he is quite a prolific author, but his name excapes me at the moment, another booklet of his (I think) is only we can help ourselves if someone wants to check, I will try later.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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