Level of knowledge required for ordination?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.

Re: Level of knowledge required for ordination?

Postby makarasilapin » Sat Nov 26, 2011 2:52 am

tiltbillings wrote:
makarasilapin wrote:if you interpret it as allegory, what else is allegorical and what is truth?
Yes, and this the same question Christians struggle with in terms of their Bible.

Also, an allegory is one way of expressing truth.


allegory is useful fiction and not truth...
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Re: Level of knowledge required for ordination?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:10 am

makarasilapin wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
makarasilapin wrote:if you interpret it as allegory, what else is allegorical and what is truth?
Yes, and this the same question Christians struggle with in terms of their Bible.

Also, an allegory is one way of expressing truth.


allegory is useful fiction and not truth...
Useful in that it can express what is true.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Level of knowledge required for ordination?

Postby Beneath the Wheel » Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:20 am

makarasilapin wrote:i don't think i should have to mention this but a Theravada Buddhist is an Orthodox Buddhist - they rely on the Pali Canon for direction. if you interpret some of the suttas as allegorical, or as later additions that cannot be directly linked to Buddha, then who is to say what is allegorical and not allegorical, or who is to say when this sutta was added or when that sutta was added? if you start interpreting the Pali Canon they way you see fit then the Pali Canon loses some of its authority, doesn't it?



Is it your experience that most Theravada monks hold a literal interpretation of all the kinds of controversial suttas you are referring to?
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Re: Level of knowledge required for ordination?

Postby Bankei » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:34 am

I disagree that a Theravada Buddhist is an orthodox Buddhist.

Firstly, all Buddhist traditions think of themselves as orthodox. What makes Theravada anymore orthodox than Chinese Buddhism or Tibetan?

Secondly, few Theravada monks even read scriptures let alone follow the teachings.

On the Acharn Chah group, I recall seeing the young monks washing the feet of the 'senior' monk when coming back from bindabart. Feet are conisdered particularly dirty in Thailand and it is a great insult to let your foot touch anyone else. The senior monks see this as a good way to teach detachment (and to get their feet cleaned without dirtying their hands). Others just see it as exploitation of the weak.
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Re: Level of knowledge required for ordination?

Postby JackV » Sat Nov 26, 2011 1:39 pm

makarasilapin wrote:i don't think i should have to mention this but a Theravada Buddhist is an Orthodox Buddhist - they rely on the Pali Canon for direction. if you interpret some of the suttas as allegorical, or as later additions that cannot be directly linked to Buddha, then who is to say what is allegorical and not allegorical, or who is to say when this sutta was added or when that sutta was added? if you start interpreting the Pali Canon they way you see fit then the Pali Canon loses some of its authority, doesn't it?

for example, the Aggunna Sutta basically says that humans devolved from devas and that they began to develop sex organs after eating too much rice. clearly, this isn't true - but if you interpret it as allegory then what else in the Buddha's teachings is allegory? i forget the sutta's name, but it is found in the Majjihme Nikaya where Ananda tells the story of Buddha's birth. Ananda says the Buddha was born bloodless, and was immediately walking and talking, and Buddha confirms this. again, clearly this isn't possible. if you interpret it as allegory, what else is allegorical and what is truth? why should we believe that devas and the realm of Four Kings even exist? because Luang Por Maha Boowa says so? because Luang Por Mun supposedly visited deva realms and gave dhamma talks to them? Because Buddha supposedly said so?

if you come to the point where you start interpreting some of the teachings as allegorical then it opens up a whole can of worms. say, if devas don't exist, then what was LP Maha Boowa talking about? could have LP MB and LP Mun been deluded into believing something that doesn't exist? why not?


Do you really think that there is no possibilities of Devas existing? My view is how do we know? Secondly, whilst I understand your point, surely these things, even if you cannot believe them, are not necessary for liberation. Maybe at a further stage in development one could suddenly have direct emperical proof of these things and then know.
The way I feel about it is that you must have faith in the basic aim of the Dhamma and the fundamental / core points (4 noble truths etc). From that then the rest of the stuff of this nature is simply something we can either chose to believe or not to believe until that point that we either find finally it's true or not true. And by then I think it would be so minor that you wouldn't really care or that you would understand why it was said.
Didn't the Buddha say that what he told us was but a drop in the ocean compared to what he did know? He spoke what needed to be said to certain people and witheld other things as they would simply lead us away from the goal. M maybe all these suttas were designed to be the most effective way of communicating the truth to the people of the time.
My feeling has always been that alongside (almost as a background to the practical, working, effective path) we were told but a small sliver of the whole metaphysical / cosmological workings of things, and that even that may have been given to us in a way that from a more developed or different perspective would appear to be different from another way.
Who knows?
Here where a thousand
captains swore grand conquest
Tall grasses their monument.
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Re: Level of knowledge required for ordination?

Postby Anagarika » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:45 pm

Here's a recent ordination of a novice at Wat Sri Boen Ruang:

http://watsriboenruang.wordpress.com/20 ... nera-vows/
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