Bhikkhuni ordination

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Re: Bhikkhuni ordination

Postby Bankei » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:00 pm

robertk wrote:The reply is this: if any of the nikayas now extant in Theravada have a broken lineage then the Bhikkhus in them are not in fact bhikkhu as the ordination was invalid. However, there has been no proof of this at all. To take the case of the Dhammayut and mahanikaya in Thailand. the Dhammayut was not a new order- it came about because one monk decided to reordain under burmese mon monks. And while he may have had some doubts about the purity of the mahanikaya monks he never proved or even stated that the Mahanikaya were a broken lineage.


Robert,

If one man was ordained as a Bhikkhu by a preceptor who had knowingly kept secret a parajika offence (and therefore wasn't a monk at the time of the ordination ceremony) would you still count him as a Bhikkhu?

What about if monks were being ordained in a siimaa that was invalid? Would their ordinations be valid?

Or if the person ordaining had an unusual way of pronouncing the Pali during the ceremony and often got it 'wrong', would their ordination be valid?
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Re: Bhikkhuni ordination

Postby robertk » Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:40 am

Dear Bankei
Perhaps one of the bhikkhus on this forum could clarify as I am not sure of all the details.
usually ordinations are done with far more monks than the minimum quroum (of 5) partly because of potential problems like the one you mention where one of the monks might be parijika or otherwise not a real bhikkhu. As I understand it provided at least 5 of the monks are properly ordained then even if the other 7 or 8 were fake monk/parijaka/improperly ordained then the ordination is still vaild. There are apparently dukkaka and pacittiyas for being part of such a ceremony but the ordination I believe still holds.
With regard to pronuciation- If it was so bad that no one could understand what he was saying then that would be grounds to invaildate that ordination I think.

The lenghts that the theravda goes to to make sure that these seemingly minor points - even sima boundaries - are kept shows how much the good bhikkhu respect the Vinaya and why they are absolutely opposed to any changes in it.
In the earlier post that was deleted you said you couldn't understand how a westerner could hold the views i express on this matter.? The reason is, like those good monks, I believe the theravada Vinya and Commentary was handed down from the Buddha and has been kept pristine., thus to alter it even in the slightest way is unthinkable to me. However to change the procedures for ordination- as these reformist are attempting is far from being minor, it is an attempt to overturn the vinaya and the Grave rules from the ground up.
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Re: Bhikkhuni ordination

Postby robertk » Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:52 am

Manapa wrote:Hi Robert,
a higher ordination for women within Theravada, which conforms to the Dhammavinaya.

The thing is there are only 4 clasess of Buddhist: Bhikkhu, bhikkuni,upasaka and upasika so however you cut it or call it any women in Theravada are upasika at this time. Some upasika may take on very strict sila- that is their option.
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Re: Bhikkhuni ordination

Postby Bankei » Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:55 am

robertk wrote:Dear Bankei
Perhaps one of the bhikkhus on this forum could clarify as I am not sure of all the details.
usually ordinations are done with far more monks than the minimum quroum (of 5) partly because of potential problems like the one you mention where one of the monks might be parijika or otherwise not a real bhikkhu. As I understand it provided at least 5 of the monks are properly ordained then even if the other 7 or 8 were fake monk/parijaka/improperly ordained then the ordination is still vaild. There are apparently dukkaka and pacittiyas for being part of such a ceremony but the ordination I believe still holds.
With regard to pronuciation- If it was so bad that no one could understand what he was saying then that would be grounds to invaildate that ordination I think.

The lenghts that the theravda goes to to make sure that these seemingly minor points - even sima boundaries - are kept shows how much the good bhikkhu respect the Vinaya and why they are absolutely opposed to any changes in it.
In the earlier post that was deleted you said you couldn't understand how a westerner could hold the views i express on this matter.? The reason is, like those good monks, I believe the theravada Vinya and Commentary was handed down from the Buddha and has been kept pristine., thus to alter it even in the slightest way is unthinkable to me. However to change the procedures for ordination- as these reformist are attempting is far from being minor, it is an attempt to overturn the vinaya and the Grave rules from the ground up.


Hi Robert

King Mongkut, while a monk, dug up the siima boundary stones of several siima within Thai monasteries. He found that they were placed incorrectly in all cases. For this and other reasons he questioned the validity of the existing sangha of Thailand (The Mahanikaya) and chose to reordain under the Mon tradition. Currently there are many Dhammayut monks who also question the validity of Mahanikaya monks.

In Sri Lanka there were and are disputes about the validity of many nikaya there. One group, I think the Malgatta chapter of the Siyam Nikaya has had their validity challenged because of the intrusion of a wooden plank into the space of their siima which has been made of a small island. This plank connects it to the main land and intrudes on the water boundary.

I've also heard a story that in ancient Sri Lanka in the Mahavihara there was a cellar under the ground where an ordination was being performed. 2 evil monks from the Abhayagiri vihara were hiding in the cellar. These monks were technically inside the sima and did not consent to the ordination - it was therefore invalid.

It is good to keep things strict and in line with the letter of the law, but don't you think it can go too far. But this may fall outside the scope of this forum, so maybe we should continue in a new thread in the modern forum - if you are interested in debating??
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Re: Bhikkhuni ordination

Postby cooran » Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:50 am

Hello Bankei, all,

Worth considering:

DUTTHATTHAKA SUTTA - Corruption Sutta Nipata Chapter of Eights 3
Translated by H. Saddhatissa Curzon Press 2003

1. Some people speak with malicious intentions and others with the conviction that they are right. But the sage does not enter into any controversy that has arisen. Therefore, the sage is free from all mental obstruction.

2. The person who is led by his impelling desire and continues according to his inclination, finds it difficult to give up those views he adheres to. Coming to conclusions of his own, he speaks in accordance with his knowledge.

3. If a person, without being asked, praises his own virtues and practices to others, or talks of himself, the good say he is ignoble.

4. The calm, disciplined one who abstains from praising himself for his virtues, declaring, 'So I am', the good call him a noble. In him there is no arrogance concerning the world.

5. He whose views are mentally constructed, causally formed, highly esteemed but not pure; views in which he sees personal advantage, will experience a calm which is unstable.

6. It is hard to go beyond preconceived ideas reached by passing judgment regarding doctrines. Therefore, with regard to these views he rejects one and grasps another.

7. For the person with spiritual excellence,nowhere in the world does he have any mentally-constructed view about various spheres of becoming. As he has eradicated delusion and deceit, in what manner can he be reckoned? He cannot be reckoned in any manner whatsoever.

8. He who is attached enters into debate about doctrines. By what and how can an unattached person be characterized? He has nothing to grasp or reject; he has purified all views here itself.

metta
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Re: Bhikkhuni ordination

Postby Bankei » Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:18 am

Yes, very good Chris. Well worth remembering.
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Re: Bhikkhuni ordination

Postby Bankei » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:43 am

robertk wrote:Dear Bankei

With regard to pronuciation- If it was so bad that no one could understand what he was saying then that would be grounds to invaildate that ordination I think.




Here is something interesting I just found regarding pronunciation, from Prof. Nidhi Eausivong

I am reminded of one particular case which happened in the reign of King Rama I. When the bhikkhus and samaneras from Laos came to further their study in Bangkok, they were not accepted as at the time of their ordination they did not pronounce Pali properly, in accordance with the Thai pronunciation. So the Thai bhikkhus insisted that the Lao monks must go through ordination again. Responding to this, the King said that there was no need for such ordination, as ordination arises from the intention. If the Laotian monks had a good intention there is no obstacle, and they are no less bhikkhus.



Taken from http://sujato.wordpress.com/2010/01/08/the-thai-sangha/
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Re: Bhikkhuni ordination

Postby appicchato » Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:37 pm

Truly bizarre (to me) that the way a word (or words) are audibly pronounced would validate (or invalidate) an ordination...but then again (I find) most everything somewhat bizarre these days...

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Re: Bhikkhuni ordination

Postby Bankei » Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:26 pm

Yes Bhante, I agree.

I suppose the argument is if you mispronounce then it is not Pali. When I ordained, briefly, they Thais insisted I follow the Thai pronunciation. eg. Thamma for Dhamma as it had to be done 'correctly'.

I also recall reading that prince Mongkut, or one of his students, reordained once because he wanted to follow the Burmese Pali pronunciation, this being more correct than the local Thai pronunciation of that time.

I am not sure what all the differences are between the Western, Sri Lankan, Thai and Burmese styles of Pali but apparently they differ.

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Re: Bhikkhuni ordination

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:37 pm

Bankei wrote:King Mongkut, while a monk, dug up the siima boundary stones of several siima within Thai monasteries. He found that they were placed incorrectly in all cases. For this and other reasons he questioned the validity of the existing sangha of Thailand (The Mahanikaya) and chose to reordain under the Mon tradition. Currently there are many Dhammayut monks who also question the validity of Mahanikaya monks.

This is an interesting point. Can anyone link to or summarise some relevant passages in the Vinaya regarding the arragement of the sima?

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Re: Bhikkhuni ordination

Postby cooran » Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:21 am

Hello Mike,

This might be of some use:


Vajirañānavarorasa: The entrance to the Vinaya = Vinayamukha.

CHAPTER XXIV SĪMĀ (Boundary)

1. BADDHA-SĪMĀ
1.1. Area of the Sīmā
1.2. Nimitta (boundary marks)
1.3. Determining a Sīmā
2. ABADDHASĪMĀ
2.1. Gāmasīmā (district sīmā)
2.2. Visungāmasīmā
2.3. Sattabbhantarasīmā (seven bows' length sīmā)
2.4. Udakukkhepa (limited by water)
3. SĪMĀSANKARA
http://www.payer.de/mahavamsa/chronik15e2.htm

metta
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Re: Bhikkhuni ordination

Postby Bankei » Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:03 am

Sima rules were largely developed in the commentaries and sub-commentaries.

See Thanissaro Bhikkhu's Buddhist Monastic Code Vol II Chapter 13, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... .ch13.html

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Re: Bhikkhuni ordination

Postby Bankei » Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:08 am

Bankei wrote:
robertk wrote:Dear Bankei
Perhaps one of the bhikkhus on this forum could clarify as I am not sure of all the details.
usually ordinations are done with far more monks than the minimum quroum (of 5) partly because of potential problems like the one you mention where one of the monks might be parijika or otherwise not a real bhikkhu. As I understand it provided at least 5 of the monks are properly ordained then even if the other 7 or 8 were fake monk/parijaka/improperly ordained then the ordination is still vaild. There are apparently dukkaka and pacittiyas for being part of such a ceremony but the ordination I believe still holds.
With regard to pronuciation- If it was so bad that no one could understand what he was saying then that would be grounds to invaildate that ordination I think.

The lenghts that the theravda goes to to make sure that these seemingly minor points - even sima boundaries - are kept shows how much the good bhikkhu respect the Vinaya and why they are absolutely opposed to any changes in it.
In the earlier post that was deleted you said you couldn't understand how a westerner could hold the views i express on this matter.? The reason is, like those good monks, I believe the theravada Vinya and Commentary was handed down from the Buddha and has been kept pristine., thus to alter it even in the slightest way is unthinkable to me. However to change the procedures for ordination- as these reformist are attempting is far from being minor, it is an attempt to overturn the vinaya and the Grave rules from the ground up.


Hi Robert

King Mongkut, while a monk, dug up the siima boundary stones of several siima within Thai monasteries. He found that they were placed incorrectly in all cases. For this and other reasons he questioned the validity of the existing sangha of Thailand (The Mahanikaya) and chose to reordain under the Mon tradition. Currently there are many Dhammayut monks who also question the validity of Mahanikaya monks.

In Sri Lanka there were and are disputes about the validity of many nikaya there. One group, I think the Malgatta chapter of the Siyam Nikaya has had their validity challenged because of the intrusion of a wooden plank into the space of their siima which has been made of a small island. This plank connects it to the main land and intrudes on the water boundary.

I've also heard a story that in ancient Sri Lanka in the Mahavihara there was a cellar under the ground where an ordination was being performed. 2 evil monks from the Abhayagiri vihara were hiding in the cellar. These monks were technically inside the sima and did not consent to the ordination - it was therefore invalid.

It is good to keep things strict and in line with the letter of the law, but don't you think it can go too far. But this may fall outside the scope of this forum, so maybe we should continue in a new thread in the modern forum - if you are interested in debating??



Any comments Robert?

I would like to compare the validity of the Bhikkhuni lineage with that of the Bhikkhu lineage. What is your opinion, is one valid when the other isn't?

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Re: Bhikkhuni ordination

Postby robertk » Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:30 am

If I understand you correctly you think that the Bhikkhu order is now as defunct as the Bhikkhuni order because:
1. King mongut when he was a monk had some doubts about whether the sima bonudaries for teh mahanikaya were corectly placed.
2. in sri lanka someone suggested some ordiantions could be invalid due to a board touching a sima boundary.


As I have already said in an earlier post if the entire bhikkhu sangha is indeed based on invalid ordinations then it is defunct. However I can't see how your points prove that.
For point one this has been disputed by the Mahanikaya - that is why it is still the majority sect. If monks like Dhammanando really believed it was invalid they would have ordained as Dhammayuta or have gone to Burma or sri lanka to ordain. King monkgut himself simply got reordained by mon monks and never thought that lineage was defunct.

So the only result you could get from these posts is that you might cause some people to doubt whether some some monks (but not all or even most ) are properly ordained. How does that in any way make the bhikkuni order in any sense valid: that is proven beyond beyond any question to be utterly and irrevocably defunct for over 1000 years.
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Re: Bhikkhuni ordination

Postby Bankei » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:57 pm

Hi Robert

I am just trying to say if you were to look closely enough there are doubts about the unbroken nature of the Bhikkhu order - but so what? Does it really matter if one's preceptor's preceptor had sex, or mispronounced the Pali during the ceremony, or the boundary was incorrectly established. It has little to do with the question of whether the monk is a good Buddhist

The Bhikkhuni order in Theravada was broken for over 1000 years. But now it has been re-established from another lineage. Does it really matter if one Bhikkhuni preceptor's preceptor was of a different lineage?

All lineages lead back to the Buddha anyway.

I am not exactly sure why you claim the re-establishment to be invalid? Can you pinpoint the fault please?

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Re: Bhikkhuni ordination

Postby Bankei » Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:47 am

I think the problem of the validity of the reinto of the ordination for nuns boils down to the fact that conservative Theravadins beleive that only their lineage is valid. All the other lineages are not follow the teachings of the Buddha in terms of doctrine or vinaya, therefore they are not true Bhikkhu/Bhikkhuni so reintroducing it is considered impossible.
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Re: Bhikkhuni ordination

Postby BlackBird » Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:34 am

All these vinaya-technicalities seem to me to be another case of raft as further shore syndrome. Or am I being a little insensitive?

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Re: Bhikkhuni ordination

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:42 am

BlackBird wrote:All these vinaya-technicalities seem to me to be another case of raft as further shore syndrome. Or am I being a little insensitive?

metta
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Re: Bhikkhuni ordination

Postby suanck » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:13 am

Bankei wrote:I think the problem of the validity of the reinto of the ordination for nuns boils down to the fact that conservative Theravadins beleive that only their lineage is valid. All the other lineages are not follow the teachings of the Buddha in terms of doctrine or vinaya, therefore they are not true Bhikkhu/Bhikkhuni so reintroducing it is considered impossible.


In addition to the dual-ordination process, Bhikkhu Bodhi also wrote an article in which he argued that in case the Theravada Bhikkhuni Sangha is not available, the Theravada Bhikkhu Sangha alone can still ordain a female candidate to become a Bhikkhuni. This has been done in Sri Lanka and USA in recent years.

See Bhikkhu Bodhi's article: http://budsas.110mb.com/ebud/ebdha347.htm

(and he also gave a translation of an article by a Burmese monk advocating this approach).

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Re: Bhikkhuni ordination

Postby JD32 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:11 pm

"The statement that by accepting women, Buddhism would be shortened from 1000 years to 500 years is no longer valid because the Buddha's teachings had prospered for over 2500 years."

I would also reply to those who are trying to explain away the prediction that it really isn't clear whether it is false. Depending on your perspective (if you're willing to be politically incorrect), many of the commentaries and the earliest Mahayana sutras were composed about 500 years after the Buddha. I'm certainly not making the claim that the infiltration of false Dhamma was due to the founding of a female order, but this sutta is usually ignored in determining what the Buddha meant by the "True Dhamma" or "good teaching":

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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