Why are eunuchs not allowed to be ordained?

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

Why are eunuchs not allowed to be ordained?

Postby smokey » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:00 pm

Why are eunuchs not allowed to be ordained? That just does not make any sense to me. Did the Buddha create this rule or was it made up by the sanhga?
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Re: Why are eunuchs not allowed to be ordained?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:04 pm

This has possibly been covered in a thread a good while ago, I'll see if I can find it, Dhammananda posted a very good post.
P.S., Cant find the thread
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Re: Why are eunuchs not allowed to be ordained?

Postby cooran » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:00 pm

Hello smokey, al,

From the Vinaya:

Object. Assuming that the bhikkhu is acting with lustful intentions and is perceiving his object correctly, he incurs a thullaccaya for making bodily contact with a paṇḍaka, a female yakkha, or a dead woman; and a dukkaṭa for bodily contact with a man (or boy), a wooden doll, or a male or female animal.
Paṇḍaka is usually translated as eunuch, but eunuchs are only one of five types of paṇḍakas recognized by the Commentary to Mv.I.61:
1) An āsitta (literally, a "sprinkled one") — a man whose sexual desire is allayed by performing fellatio on another man and bringing him to climax. (Some have read this as classing all homosexual males as paṇḍakas, but there are two reasons for not accepting this interpretation: (a) It seems unlikely that many homosexuals would allay their sexual desire simply by bringing someone else to climax through oral sex; (b) other homosexual acts, even though they were known in ancient India, are not included under this type or under any of the types in this list.)
2) A voyeur — a man whose sexual desire is allayed by watching other people commit sexual indiscretions.
3) A eunuch — one who has been castrated.
4) A half-time paṇḍaka — one who is a paṇḍaka only during the waning moon. (! — The Sub-commentary's discussion of this point shows that its author and his contemporaries were as unfamiliar with this type as we are today. Perhaps this was how bisexuals were understood in ancient times.)
5) A neuter — a person born without sexual organs.
This passage in the Commentary further states that the last three types cannot take the Going-forth, while the first two can (although it also quotes from the Kurundī that the half-time paṇḍaka is forbidden from going-forth only during the waning moon (!).) As for the prohibition in Mv.I.61, that paṇḍakas cannot receive full ordination, the Commentary states that that refers only to those who cannot take the Going-forth.
However, in the context of this rule, and other rules in the Pāṭimokkha where paṇḍakas enter into the calculation of an offense, the Commentary does not say whether paṇḍaka covers all five types of paṇḍakas or only those not allowed to ordain. In other words, in the context of these rules do "sprinkled ones" and voyeurs count as paṇḍakas or men? In the context of this rule the practical implications of the distinction are minor: If counted as men, they would be grounds for a dukkaṭa; if paṇḍakas, grounds for a thullaccaya. However, under Pc 6, 44, 45, & 67, the distinction makes the difference between an offense and a non-offense, and so it is an important one to draw. There seems good reason to count them as men under all rules, for if they could ordain and yet were considered paṇḍakas under these rules, the texts would have been obliged to deal with the issue of how bhikkhus were to treat validly ordained paṇḍakas in their midst in the context of these rules. But they don't. This shows that the issue never arose, which means that, for the purposes of all the rules, these two types of individuals count as men.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... .ch05.html

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Re: Why are eunuchs not allowed to be ordained?

Postby cooran » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:50 pm

Hello all,

A couple of other threads:

Pandaka
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1698&p=22685

Buddhism and Sexuality
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=235&p=2022

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Re: Why are eunuchs not allowed to be ordained?

Postby BlackBird » Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:42 pm

I would be interested to know from a certain scholar & gentleman, whether this rule is found in the Dhammagutta Vinaya also?

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Re: Why are eunuchs not allowed to be ordained?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:22 pm

Hi Chris
The first link was the one I was thinking of earlier!
Chris wrote:Hello all,

A couple of other threads:

Pandaka
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1698&p=22685

Buddhism and Sexuality
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=235&p=2022

metta
Chris
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Re: Why are eunuchs not allowed to be ordained?

Postby Annapurna » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:10 pm

It makes no sense to me why an eunuch shouldn't be allowed to be ordained.

The testicles could be removed due to cancer or an accident, or whatever.

Likewise, if a woman had the uterus removed, can't she become a nun then?

This seems absurd to me.

I thought being ordained means chastity and celibacy anyhow, an asexual life.

So why would it matter??

How come an Angulimala could become a monk, and people with sexual organs missing can't ?

This is not logical.
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Re: Why are eunuchs not allowed to be ordained?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:33 pm

put it into its original context 2500 years ago!
eunuchs weren't eunuchs because of cancer, or surgery for a specific problem then, usually castrated early enough to have hormonal consequences and for a specific purpose such as to guard female royalty, or other social task. sometimes impotent men were called eunuchs although I don't know if that was the case here, and it may of come about because of the function in society, but havn't read the origin story to confirm this.


Annabel wrote:It makes no sense to me why an eunuch shouldn't be allowed to be ordained.

The testicles could be removed due to cancer or an accident, or whatever.

Likewise, if a woman had the uterus removed, can't she become a nun then?

This seems absurd to me.

I thought being ordained means chastity and celibacy anyhow, an asexual life.

So why would it matter??

How come Angulamalas can ordain, and people with sexual organs missing can't ?

That is not logical.
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: Why are eunuchs not allowed to be ordained?

Postby Annapurna » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:44 pm

Manapa, thank you.

But even if a man was castrasted early as a boy, why wouldn't he be allowed to be a monk later on, if he found the dhamma?

It seems so cruel to deny this wish...

The ability to follow the dhamma can't be based on intact genital organs.


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Re: Why are eunuchs not allowed to be ordained?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:59 am

Annabel wrote:Manapa, thank you.

But even if a man was castrasted early as a boy, why wouldn't he be allowed to be a monk later on, if he found the dhamma?

It seems so cruel to deny this wish...

The ability to follow the dhamma can't be based on intact genital organs.


Do you know how it is today?


not being a monk doesn't mean they cant practice, it is a vinaya rule so still the same.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: Why are eunuchs not allowed to be ordained?

Postby Bankei » Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:29 am

Thats a good question.

It could be because some men may want to get rid of sexual desire by the easy way of cutting off of the testicles. However one of my friends had his removed because of cancer and he still is chases girls.
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Re: Why are eunuchs not allowed to be ordained?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:50 am

BlackBird wrote:I would be interested to know from a certain scholar & gentleman, whether this rule is found in the Dhammagutta Vinaya also?

metta
Jack


Until the scholar and gentleman answers, from memory, yeah, I think that basically the same rule is there in the Dhammagutta too.
Whether or not you want the gory details or not, is another matter ... ?
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Re: Why are eunuchs not allowed to be ordained?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:05 am

Hi Bankai,
From my quick research last night on the medical problems associated with castration (couldn't find any detailed results only info from a wiki and the only info to my memory comes from a program on the castrati opera singers) normally they have either very little or no sexual desire, unless Hormone Replacement Therapy is used, and depending on age it is done.

Although your explanation didn't occur to me at the time, I now remember from your explanation that a bhikkhu is not allowed to mutilate him/herself so that could be a reason also, no duel standards so to speak.
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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: Why are eunuchs not allowed to be ordained?

Postby Bankei » Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:33 am

hi Manapa

Yes, I think my friend was on hormone replacement therapy - you just reminded me. That is why he had so much 'lust'.
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Re: Why are eunuchs not allowed to be ordained?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:06 am

Bankei wrote:hi Manapa

Yes, I think my friend was on hormone replacement therapy - you just reminded me. That is why he had so much 'lust'.

That not being an option back then, but I am leaning towards the duel standards as a reason, but it is hard to tell as there are five different kinds of people mentioned in the same category (above in anothers post 3rd post I think?)
The Castrati opera singers use to be sat in scolding hot possibly icy water (?) then the 'area' massaged until the testis dissolved, not a pleasant experience, and I think they were drunk at the time? the program I watched was about the last Castrati quite interesting.
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: Why are eunuchs not allowed to be ordained?

Postby karuna_murti » Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:01 pm

I wanted to ask about circumcision, vasectomy or other modification to male genital and the possibility of ordination.
I already know about 5 kinds of pandaka, but seeing this thread makes me wonder, is there any reference about male genital modification and prohibition form being ordained?
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