I don't mean to stir up trouble, but from my modern Western perspective this passage from the Mahavagga of the Vinaya Pitaka has always both troubled me and has interested me as well:
"Na bhikkhave, hatthacchinno pabbàjetabbo. - Pe - na pàdacchinno pabbàjetabbo - na hatthapàdacchinno pabbàjetabbo. - Na kaõõacchinno pabbàjetabbo. - Na nàsacchinto pabbàjetabbo. - Na kaõõanàsacchinno pabbàjetabbo - na aïgulicchinno pabbàjetabbo - na aëacchinno pabbàjetabbo - na kaõóaracchinno pabbàjetabbo - na phaõahatthako pabbàjetabbo. - Na khujjo pabbàjetabbo - na vàmano pabbàjetabbo - na galagaõói pabbàjetabbo - na lakkhaõàhato pabbàjetabbo. - Na kasàhato pabbàjetabbo - na likhitako pabbàjetabbo - na sãpadã pabbàjetabbo - na pàparogã pabbàjetababo - na parisadusako pabbàjetabbo
- na kàõo pabbàjetabbo - na kuõi pabbàjetabbo. - Na kha¤jo pabbàjetabbo - na pakkhahato pabbàjetabbo. - Na chinniriyàpatho pabbàjetabbo - na jaràdubbalo pabbàjetabbo - na andho pabbàjetabbo - na mågo pabbàjetabbo - na badhiro pabbàjetabbo - na andhamågo pabbàjetabbo - pe - na andhamågabadhiro pabbàjetabbo. Yo pabbàjeyya, àpatti dukkañassà"ti. [ PTS Page 091]http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/1Vinaya-Pi ... -01-p.html
At that time the bhikkhus conferred the pabbajjà ordination on a person whose hands were cut off, on a person whose feet were cut off, whose hands and feet were cut off, whose ears were cut off, whose nose was cut off, whose ears and nose were cut off, whose fingers were cut off, whose [\q 225/] thumbs were cut off, whose tendons (of the feet) were cut, who had hands like a snake's hood (176), who was a hump-back, or a dwarf, or a person that had a goitre, that had been branded, that had been scourged, on a proclaimed robber, on a person that had elephantiasis, that was afflicted with bad illness, that gave offence (by any deformity) to those who saw him
, on a one-eyed person, on a person with a crooked limb, on a lame person, on a person that was paralysed on one side, on a cripple (177), on a person weak from age, on a blind man, on a dumb man, on a deaf man, on a blind and dumb man, on a blind and deaf man, on a deaf and dumb man, on a blind, deaf and dumb man.
I can understand why someone crippled or disabled might be forbidden from entering the order, but to disqualify one "who gives offense to those who see him" (especially given Buddhaghosa's commentary on the word parisadúsaka) is a disappointment to me.
"Parisad³sakoti yo attano vir³pat±ya parisa½ d³seti; atid²gho v± hoti aññesa½ s²sappam±ºan±bhippadeso, atirasso v± ubhayav±manabh³tar³pa½ viya, atik±¼o v± jh±pitakhette kh±ºuko viya, accod±to v± dadhitakk±d²hi pamajjitamaµµhatambalohavaººo, atikiso v± mandama½salohito aµµhisir±cammasar²ro viya, atith³lo v± bh±riyama½so, mahodaro v± mah±bh³tasadiso, atimahantas²so v± pacchi½ s²se katv± µhito viya, atikhuddakas²so v± sar²rassa ananur³pena atikhuddakena s²sena samann±gato, k³µak³µas²so v± t±laphalapiº¹isadisena s²sena samann±gato, sikharas²so v± uddha½ anupubbatanukena s²sena samann±gato, n±¼is²so v± mah±ve¼upabbasadisena s²sena samann±gato, kappas²so v± pabbh±ras²so v± cat³su passesu yena kenaci passena oºatena s²sena samann±gato, vaºas²so v± p³tis²so v± kaººikakeso v± p±ºakehi kh±yitaked±re sassasadisehi tahi½ tahi½ uµµhitehi kesehi samann±gato, nillomas²so v± th³lathaddhakeso v± t±lah²rasadisehi kesehi samann±gato, j±tipalitehi paº¹aras²so v± pakatitambakeso v± ±dittehi viya kesehi samann±gato, ±vaµµas²so v± gunna½ sar²re ±vaµµasadisehi uddhaggehi kes±vaµµehi samann±gato, s²salomehi saddhi½ ek±baddhabhamukalomo v± j±labaddhena viya nal±µena samann±gato."http://www.tipitaka.org/vriroman/vin02a ... 2-frm.html
P.S. Sorry about the poor transfer of Pali fonts. I've provided links to help track down the passages in Pali.
"...abstraction is illusory: abstraction is a discursive escape from the singularity of the real to the plurality of the imaginary—it is not an escape from the concrete." Ven. Ñanavira