bodhabil said: I apologise
Thanks bodhabil ~ apology accepted.
metta and karuna
bodhabil said: I apologise
Postby bodhabill » Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:42 am
... Perhaps it gets back to that respect thing, I can respect your opinions and values, can you respect mine?
I have voiced my disapproval of Ajahn Brahm’s actions in going ahead with that ceremony and naturally followed events as they’ve unfolded. I have read Ajahn Sujato’s blog of course and there I have seen that an on-line petition has been organised ‘calling for bhikkhuni ordination and gender equality in the Forest Sangha’. There are a lot of names on it, some of them quite well known, but how many are genuine signatures and how many whose names are on it know that their names are on it I don’t know. I certainly didn’t know that my name was on page 24!
I might be wrong but I understood that the 311 rules for bhikkhunis were impractical for modern women.
With metta / dhammapal.
dhammapal wrote:I might be wrong but I understood that the 311 rules for bhikkhunis were impractical for modern women.
I haven't read them but I'm quite sure .
dhammapal wrote:I haven't read them but I'm quite sure that the extra (311 minus 227) bhikkhuni rules involved gender inequality to the point of being burdensome to modern women.
I have been waiting for someone to comment – publicly – on the ramifications of Venerable Thanissaro’s pronouncement that the Vinaya rule against ordaining more than a single nun at one time during a year
renders the ordination invalid.
As you all know, the great Emperor Ashoka sent his daughter Theri Sanghamitta to Sri Lanka in the 3rd century B.C. She travelled with several of her nuns at the invitation of Queen Anula and her five hundred court ladies who wished to be ordained. This ordination was subsequently carried out by Sanghamitta – but there is nowhere a suggestion that it was done one candidate at a time annually. If so most of those devoted ladies would have died long before entering the sangha. Later on according to the Mahavamsa chronicle there were 14,000 bhikkhunis who attained arahantship and 90,000 nuns participated in a consecration ceremony. Even given the tendency to exaggeration, this means that the bhikkhuni sangha was very strong in Sri Lanka.
In the 4th century CE bhikkhunis from Sri Lanka travelled to China and established the bhikkhuni order there by ordaining 300 Chinese nuns and of course this lineage has continued down to the present day with tens of thousands of bhikshunis spread throughout China, Taiwan, Korea and Vietnam.
But according to Venerable Thanissaro’s premise none of these above ordinations is valid! So for the past two and a half millennia nuns have been passing on and receiving invalid ordinations and there are therefore no ordained nuns in existence – nor have there been almost since the time of the Buddha. In addition, since in East Asian countries the shramanerika ordination is bestowed by bhikshunis, these ordinations are also not valid. All those hundreds of thousands of nuns throughout the centuries were in fact not nuns at all and not a part of the monastic sangha. How absurd.
It is also sad to think of an eminent scholar monk combing the Vinaya to prove that the ordination of devoted women eager to go forth in faith, was invalid and futile. Fortunately other scholars have come to the defence of the bhikshuni sangha with well-reasoned refutations, so hopefully we bhikshunis are not required to give back our robes.
All good wishes in the Dharma,
Ven. Dr. Yifa’s Response to the Bhikkhuni Ordination at Perth
The Buddhist Channel, Dec 5, 2009
Los Angeles, CA (USA) -- Thirty years ago, I visited a Buddhist monastery for the first time in my life. Two weeks later, I decided to shave my head and become a nun. At the time, I was a student at the law school of National Taiwan University, and wanted to be a lawyer or even a politician. I had felt, since I was a child, great sympathy toward the suppressed classes in society and was attracted to fairness and justice. These have been the guiding values in my life.
The monastery I visited is called Buddha Light Mountain (Fo Guang Shan). Three decades ago, most of Fo Guang Shan’s members were women and most of them were young, in their twenties and thirties, and with a college education. The whole community was very dynamic and energetic, full of hope and life. The founder of the order, Venerable Master Hsing Yun, called for young and educated people to join the Sangha. During those two weeks, I myself had a personal transformation, and changed my path as a lawyer into that of a monastic.
I was very dedicated to learning and practicing the precepts (the Vinaya). One day, we students were invited by a devotee to stay in a hotel, where the bed in the room was high-up and large. One of the ten precepts is to restrain oneself from sleeping on such a bed. I asked the Venerable Master what I should do. “You need be able to sleep on either the small one or the big one,” he said. “Both are fine.” That was a wonderful lesson, because the reason I came to Buddhism was to look for liberation and not bondage, for the ultimate truth, and not just rules—and some rules in the Vinaya seemed to be unfair, especially the many ones for women.
Later, Venerable Master Hsing Yun encouraged me to go to abroad for my advanced education. With his support and Fo Guang Shan’s sponsorship, I finished a Master’s degree in philosophy from Hawaii University and the Ph.D. in Religion from Yale within eight years. For my dissertation, I decided to study the Vinaya and the monastic codes of India and China. When I finished my dissertation, I cried out, “Gotama!
This old man was so wise and kind.” I felt this to be so, because the Buddha left so much flexibility with the rules, so there were exceptions to particular rules whenever they created inconvenience in the Sangha.
The Buddha set up the rules after he attained enlightenment, and then proclaimed one after another; but he also responded to the thoughts of the benefactors of monks and nuns, and modified the rules he initiated. He was so wise, because as he kept reminding monastics to adapt to local customs, something that is repeated in the Vinaya texts again and again.
The Buddha’s most precious teaching concerned “causes and conditions.” Every day, I am aware that the temporal and special conditions where I live are different. The Internet, media, and transportation have reshaped the world and the younger generation is different from my time. As the Buddha taught, the world is changing.
It is hard for us to imagine today that a spiritual institution such as the Church initiated the Christian Inquisition beyond; it’s hard to believe now that suicide bombers carry out their brutality in the name of religion. Buddhism has been viewed as nonviolent; however, its suppression of women’s rights has caught Westerners’ attention. I believe that Buddha left his palace intending to find a solution to the suffering of all human/sentient beings, and not to build a religion called “Buddhism.”
In the twentieth century, Buddhism came to the West. Now, in the twenty-first, it is flourishing. But Buddhism is still strange to the West; those Westerners who leave their native faith to step into an Asian culture must have courage and face tremendous challenges. The system of sponsorship has yet to be built for the Western Sangha; many Westerners who seek the monastic life are still like orphans, with no parents (few teachers who understand they are different) and no home (few monasteries fit their culture). We need to adopt a forgiving and inclusive attitude to welcome them to the Sangha.
I attended a lecture given by one of my best friends, William Ury, co-founder of the Harvard Negotiation Project and author of the bestseller Getting to Yes. At the end of his talk, he quoted the American Poet Edwin Markham. I think there are no better words to fit this situation:
They drew a circle that shut me out,
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout!
But love and I had the wit to win
We drew a circle that took them in.
There is a simplistic impression that all Theravada monks are against women’s ordination. That is not true. Fo Guang Shan has given several international ordinations; they were all supported by different groups of Theravada monks. Is it possible to use a “humane” way to reconsider this issue rather than focusing on the letter of the law?
Bhikkhuni Yifa currently resides at the Hsi Lai Temple in Los Angeles, USA
David N. Snyder wrote:Various Buddhist groups and bhikkhuni groups around the internet are posting a link to a petition to sign for support for the bhikkhunis and their ordinations, if you are interested:
(I signed, #1158 on page 24.)
pilgrim wrote:This article says an Australian woman received bhikkhuni ordination in Sri Lanka in 2004. Anyone know the details?
http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199 ... bulla.html
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