Homosexuality in the early Buddhist Sangha

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Homosexuality in the early Buddhist Sangha

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:30 am

Greetings,

Venerable Mettanando says...

Of course, there was a case of a gay monk who was overcome by sexual desire and could no longer restrain himself. He was seducing his friends and novices to have sex with him. They rejected him so he left the monastery and had sex with men who were elephant keepers and horse keepers. When news spread around the entire Buddhist community that he was homosexual, the Buddha was alerted to the problem and he issued a rule for the community not to give any ordination to a homosexual, and those ordained gays are to be expelled. (Vin.I, 86).

The Buddha was more tolerant of lesbianism than male homosexuality. Nuns who were caught in lesbian practices were not expelled from the order. They must confess to the fellows about their practice, and then the offence will be redeemed. (Vin. IV, 261)

Source: http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... 29,0,0,1,0

Is this correct? Does anyone have any references that validate Venerable Mettanando's statements? Is he representing the Vinaya correctly?

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: Homosexuality in the early Buddhist Sangha

Postby plwk » Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:44 am

Once again, is 'pandaka' an exclusive term for 'gay'? :thinking:
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Re: Homosexuality in the early Buddhist Sangha

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:45 am

Greetings plwk,

Previous topic...

paṇḍaka
viewtopic.php?f=30&t=1698

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Homosexuality in the early Buddhist Sangha

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:56 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Venerable Mettanando says...

Of course, there was a case of a gay monk who was overcome by sexual desire and could no longer restrain himself. He was seducing his friends and novices to have sex with him. They rejected him so he left the monastery and had sex with men who were elephant keepers and horse keepers. When news spread around the entire Buddhist community that he was homosexual, the Buddha was alerted to the problem and he issued a rule for the community not to give any ordination to a homosexual, and those ordained gays are to be expelled. (Vin.I, 86).

The Buddha was more tolerant of lesbianism than male homosexuality. Nuns who were caught in lesbian practices were not expelled from the order. They must confess to the fellows about their practice, and then the offence will be redeemed. (Vin. IV, 261)

Source: http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... 29,0,0,1,0

Is this correct? Does anyone have any references that validate Venerable Mettanando's statements? Is he representing the Vinaya correctly?

Metta,
Retro. :)
News to me. Our monk seems to be taking paṇḍaka as referring to homosexual.

See: http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... 22,0,0,1,0

http://wisdomquarterly.blogspot.com/201 ... rsion.html

http://www.buddhanet.net/homosexu.htm
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Re: Homosexuality in the early Buddhist Sangha

Postby cooran » Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:06 am

Hello Paul,

I think Ven. Mettanando maybe referring to a narrow and probably incorrect translation of ''pandaka'' -

This article is worth reading:

Homosexuality and Theravada Buddhism by A. L. De Silva

EXTRACT: ''A type of person called a pandaka is occasionally mentioned in the Vinaya in contexts that make it clear that such a person is some kind of sexual non-conformist. The Vinaya also stipulates that pandakas are not allowed to be ordained, and if, inadvertently, one has been, he is expelled. According to commentary, this is because pandakas are "full of passions, unquenchable lust and are dominated by the desire for sex." The word pandaka has been translated as either hermaphrodite or eunuch, while Zwilling has recently suggested that it may simply mean a homosexual.

It is more probable that ancient Indians, like most modern Asians, considered only the extremely effeminate, exhibitionist homosexual (the screaming queen in popular perception) to be deviant while the less obvious homosexual was simply considered a little more opportunistic or a little less fussy than other 'normal' males.

As the Buddha seems to have had a profound understanding of human nature and have been remarkably free from prejudice, and as there is not evidence that homosexuals are any more libidinous or that they have any more difficulties in maintaining celibacy than heterosexuals, it seems unlikely that the Buddha would exclude homosexuals per se from the monastic life. The term pandaka therefore probably does not refer to homosexuals in general but rather to the effeminate, self-advertising and promiscuous homosexual.''
http://www.buddhanet.net/homosexu.htm


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Re: Homosexuality in the early Buddhist Sangha

Postby cooran » Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:07 am

Sorry - posted before I had seen Tilt's post - we're virtually saying the same thing.

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Re: Homosexuality in the early Buddhist Sangha

Postby Fede » Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:16 am

Rather like the CofE ordaining homosexual priests - providing they remain celibate.
The RC church, however, has a total outright ban on homosexuals ordaining. Though how they tell, is worrying.....

"....Culling candidates has become an arduous process of testing, interviewing and making decisions - based on social science, church dogma and gut instinct."

From here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/31/nyregion/31gay.html

Good grief...... :shock: :toilet:

Other than relying on any candidate's ability to be absolutely completely transparently honest about it - wouldn't the candidate's sincerity in his practice be more of a yardstick?

(If this is considered :offtopic: I apologise. feel free to delete. )
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Re: Homosexuality in the early Buddhist Sangha

Postby Aloka » Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:58 am

The Buddha was more tolerant of lesbianism than male homosexuality


I am puzzled by this statement made by Ven Mettannando. How do we know that this is true ?
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Re: Homosexuality in the early Buddhist Sangha

Postby Mr Man » Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:37 am

Slightly OT but is a the Ven still a Ven.?

The article if from 2005
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Re: Homosexuality in the early Buddhist Sangha

Postby manas » Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:46 pm

Aloka wrote:
The Buddha was more tolerant of lesbianism than male homosexuality


I am puzzled by this statement made by Ven Mettannando. How do we know that this is true ?
I have no idea if the above statement is true or not, but I did just reflect that orgasm for a male involves semen getting emitted (unless one is an adept at 'the big draw' and is able to draw up the energy, and stem the flow, of the semen at the right moment; and I'd say that back then, just as today, there are few who are adept at this). Even if you count the fact that women also emit a substance (this can vary greatly in quantity however), that substance has no life-potentiality in it. Furthermore, it might have been regarded that homosexual men were most likely going to penetrate each other, whereas lesbians would not be penetrating each other (well, not with a sexual organ, in any case...)

These are just two things that spring to mind, for which I have no evidence...but I intuit that the social mores of Indian culture just over 2500 years ago might have a few notions that we today might consider rather old-fashioned...bear in mind, however, that frequent letting of semen really messes with one's meditation practice, IME. Maybe that had something to do with it...? (ie, rather than any particular bias against homosexuality in males, compared with females).
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Re: Homosexuality in the early Buddhist Sangha

Postby cooran » Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:28 pm

Mr Man wrote:Slightly OT but is a the Ven still a Ven.?

The article if from 2005


Hello, Mr Man, all,

He hasn't been a monk for some years, and didn't succeed with political ambitions either afaik:
Ven. Dr. Mettanando disrobes
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=5930

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Re: Homosexuality in the early Buddhist Sangha

Postby Sylvester » Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:25 am

A rather recent (2 decades back?) ordination that wrestled with this issue in one of the Thai forest lineages.

The candidate was what the Thais would call a "kathoey" and the accepted wisdom was that this would be one of the pandakas who were to be denied ordination.

The Preceptor (a very, very famous forest monk) apparently said that the candidate's traits were simply a continuation of his immediate past life - he was apparently a Laotian princess! They eventually decided to give the candidate ordination and as far as we can hear, he's a good monk. He seems to be a mettabhavana specialist, what with his magical handling of fierce jungle beasts.
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Re: Homosexuality in the early Buddhist Sangha

Postby Aloka » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:55 am

Sylvester wrote:A rather recent (2 decades back?) ordination that wrestled with this issue in one of the Thai forest lineages.

The candidate was what the Thais would call a "kathoey" and the accepted wisdom was that this would be one of the pandakas who were to be denied ordination.

The Preceptor (a very, very famous forest monk) apparently said that the candidate's traits were simply a continuation of his immediate past life - he was apparently a Laotian princess! They eventually decided to give the candidate ordination and as far as we can hear, he's a good monk. He seems to be a mettabhavana specialist, what with his magical handling of fierce jungle beasts.



I really enjoyed reading something so positive, thanks Sylvester. Can you tell us who the Preceptor was?

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Re: Homosexuality in the early Buddhist Sangha

Postby Sylvester » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:53 am

Dear Aloka

Pls forgive me if I decide to leave the Ajahn and his sangha anonymous. :anjali:
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Re: Homosexuality in the early Buddhist Sangha

Postby Aloka » Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:41 pm

Sylvester wrote:Dear Aloka

Pls forgive me if I decide to leave the Ajahn and his sangha anonymous. :anjali:


Sure, no problem :anjali:
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Re: Homosexuality in the early Buddhist Sangha

Postby Bankei » Sat Oct 29, 2011 5:57 am

There are plenty of gay monks in Thailand today. by this I mean openly homosexual men. Most of them refrain from sexual activity while a monk though.

I once had my hair cut by a ladyboy (with breasts) and she had just been a monk to 'thaam bun' for her deceased father.
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Re: Homosexuality in the early Buddhist Sangha

Postby cooran » Sat Oct 29, 2011 6:36 am

Bankei said: Most of them refrain from sexual activity while a monk though.


So do most of the heterosexual monks.

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Re: Homosexuality in the early Buddhist Sangha

Postby Aloka » Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:17 am

The Buddha was more tolerant of lesbianism than male homosexuality. Nuns who were caught in lesbian practices were not expelled from the order. They must confess to the fellows about their practice, and then the offence will be redeemed. (Vin. IV, 261)


I would like to read this but can't find it anywhere - does anyone actually have a reference for Vin.IV, 261 which was mentioned in the original article, please ?
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Re: Homosexuality in the early Buddhist Sangha

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:30 am

Hi Aloka,

All I can find in the rules http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... -pati.html
is:
31. Should two bhikkhunīs share a single bed, it is to be confessed. [Cv.V.19.2]

32. Should two bhikkhunīs share a single blanket or sleeping mat, it is to be confessed. [Cv.V.19.2]

there is also:
4. (The insertion of) a dildo is to be confessed.

For Bhikkhus: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .html#sg-1
1. Should any bhikkhu — participating in the training and livelihood of the bhikkhus, without having renounced the training, without having declared his weakness — engage in sexual intercourse, even with a female animal, he is defeated and no longer in affiliation.

1. Intentional emission of semen, except while dreaming, entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community.

Note that "to be confessed" is less serious than "meetings of the community" or, of course, "defeated".

:anjali:
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Re: Homosexuality in the early Buddhist Sangha

Postby Aloka » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:39 pm

Thanks Mike.


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