The Validity of Non-Theravada Ordinations Lineages redux

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The Validity of Non-Theravada Ordinations Lineages redux

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:24 am

Is the Theravada ordination lineage THE only valid lineage extant? If, yes, based upon what?

What basis do non-Theravadion ordination lineages claim validity?
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: The Validity of Non-Theravada Ordinations Lineages redux

Postby Bankei » Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:19 am

Hi Tilt,

Sorry, I didn't see this before asking a similar question here:
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=3199
-----------------------
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Re: The Validity of Non-Theravada Ordinations Lineages redux

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:23 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:What basis do non-Theravadion ordination lineages claim validity?


I suggest it would be a continuous sequence of ordinations, dating back to the Buddha, regardless of sectarian affiliation.

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: The Validity of Non-Theravada Ordinations Lineages redux

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:24 am

Greetings Bankei,

Bankei wrote:Hi Tilt,

Sorry, I didn't see this before asking a similar question here:
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=3199


Actually, you and I asked our questions before Tilt, but I suspect Tilt didn't exclusively want a Classical opinion (hence his choice to discuss this topic in the Dhammic Free-For-All).

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: The Validity of Non-Theravada Ordinations Lineages redux

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:32 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Bankei,

Bankei wrote:Hi Tilt,

Sorry, I didn't see this before asking a similar question here:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=3199


Actually, you and I asked our questions before Tilt, but I suspect Tilt didn't exclusively want a Classical opinion (hence his choice to discuss this topic in the Dhammic Free-For-All).

Metta,
Retro.
Bankei's question was put into the classical section frame work: what would be the traditional (sectarian) justification for rejecting (or accepting to some degree or other) other ordination lineages.

This thread would, likely, take a look at the question of ordination lineages in an historical context, which necessarily going to agree with the "classical" position.
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: The Validity of Non-Theravada Ordinations Lineages redux

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:29 am

A couple of things that are worth noting about ordination lineages. First is that belonging to an ordination lineage does not necessarily mean one belongs to a specific doctrinal lineage.

Secondly, most splits in ordination lineages were not schisms, but rather happened simply because of distance. There being no central papal-type authority in Buddhism, given the vastness of anciet India where groups are going to be separated from each other, it not surprising that various lineage developed. Also, the differences in the Vinayas are fairly minor, and are certainly not in the major rules.

Who is to say that a particular lineage does not trace itself back to the Buddha?
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: The Validity of Non-Theravada Ordinations Lineages redux

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:38 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:Secondly, most splits in ordination lineages were not schisms, but rather happened simply because of distance. There being no central papal-type authority in Buddhism, given the vastness of anciet India where groups are going to be separated from each other, it not surprising that various lineage developed. Also, the differences in the Vinayas are fairly minor, and are certainly not in the major rules.


That's a good point. They could hardly log onto the Internet and see some kind of "central repository" for what the current Sutta and Vinaya was at any point in time... and as venerable Huifeng pointed out in another topic, it was early in the dispensation that bhikkhus were sent in different directions on different missions. It would be very naive to think that throughout that process somehow they all kept themselves synchronised with the latest teachings and injunctions of the Buddha. Differences in sutta and vinaya needn't be the result of malicious intent as is sometimes inferred.

tiltbillings wrote:Who is to say that a particular lineage does not trace itself back to the Buddha?


Does anybody say this?

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: The Validity of Non-Theravada Ordinations Lineages redux

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:41 am

retrofuturist wrote:.

tiltbillings wrote:Who is to say that a particular lineage does not trace itself back to the Buddha?


Does anybody say this?)

Not that I am aware of, but to claim that a non-Theravadin lineage is not valid one would have to claim that or claim that the lineage in question is completely corrupt.
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: The Validity of Non-Theravada Ordinations Lineages redux

Postby seanpdx » Thu Jan 07, 2010 5:11 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Is the Theravada ordination lineage THE only valid lineage extant?

No
tiltbillings wrote:What basis do non-Theravadion ordination lineages claim validity?

Same basis as the theravadin lineage? =D
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Re: The Validity of Non-Theravada Ordinations Lineages redux

Postby Paññāsikhara » Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:11 am

seanpdx wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Is the Theravada ordination lineage THE only valid lineage extant?

No
tiltbillings wrote:What basis do non-Theravadion ordination lineages claim validity?

Same basis as the theravadin lineage? =D

:goodpost:
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Re: The Validity of Non-Theravada Ordinations Lineages redux

Postby jcsuperstar » Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:04 am

um isn't at least part of the classical thinking that the other monks aren't monks because of poor grammar? then come some heretical views and what not :tongue:

not to beat a dead horse here but Ven Sujato's sects and sectarianism covers this from the Mahavihara Theravada POV. he also mentions that Dharmagupta (the monk), although not ordained in the Mahavihara lineage was considered a highly respected thera by them (so why all the fuss over his lineage then?), and then there's good old Buddhaghosa ordained in India by who knows what lineage yet still considered Theravada...
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Re: The Validity of Non-Theravada Ordinations Lineages redux

Postby Paññāsikhara » Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:11 am

Even the very issue of whether or not in ancient times bhikkhu/nis could / would travel and practice among a range of different "sects" / "traditions" / "lineages" or not is in dispute.

Many have argued that they did not. But often such arguments have been based on heavily sectarian literature. More broader research suggests that this practice was very common.

In india, I wonder how much Brahmanic ideas of caste influenced such things, the idea of purity through gotra and kula, the idea of purity through ritual - transferred to purity of ordination lineage and purity through ordination rite. I'm going to finish off Bronkhorst's book before going further with this, but the more I look beyond the Buddhist tradition alone, the more I think that there is something in this on a number of fronts.
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Re: The Validity of Non-Theravada Ordinations Lineages redux

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:30 am

jcsuperstar wrote:(so why all the fuss over his lineage then?),..

No fuss, really. Just a matter of clarification.
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: The Validity of Non-Theravada Ordinations Lineages redux

Postby chownah » Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:49 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Is the Theravada ordination lineage THE only valid lineage extant? If, yes, based upon what?

What basis do non-Theravadion ordination lineages claim validity?

We only have the six sense bases from which to make this "validity" determination......and since I guess we can't see, smell, hear, taste, or touch "validity" then I guess it must be one of those "thought" things.......so whatever one comes up with it is just an idea that has popped into someone's head......I guess you could say that "validity" is empty.....except perhaps when they validate my free parking sticker when I make a purchase at one of the stores in town....except for THAT the concept of "validity" is empty....I guess.
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Re: The Validity of Non-Theravada Ordinations Lineages redux

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:55 pm

chownah wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Is the Theravada ordination lineage THE only valid lineage extant? If, yes, based upon what?

What basis do non-Theravadion ordination lineages claim validity?

We only have the six sense bases from which to make this "validity" determination......and since I guess we can't see, smell, hear, taste, or touch "validity" then I guess it must be one of those "thought" things.......so whatever one comes up with it is just an idea that has popped into someone's head......I guess you could say that "validity" is empty.....except perhaps when they validate my free parking sticker when I make a purchase at one of the stores in town....except for THAT the concept of "validity" is empty....I guess.
chownah

Really does not answer the question, does it?
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: The Validity of Non-Theravada Ordinations Lineages redux

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Jan 09, 2010 5:35 pm

If all lineages trace back to the Buddha (and it appears that they do), then in regard to bhikkhuni ordinations, the lineage or 'yana' should be moot.

There are probably not any two people on earth who agree on everything on every single issue; not husbands & wives, best friends, etc. The monastics on the chain of any lineage cannot be expected to all think alike and therefore any lineage tracing back to the Buddha is valid, certainly for acting as a preceptor.

Being called Theravada might be one thing, but for simply acting as a preceptor, such as using some Mahayana nuns in some cases to ordain a Theravada bhikkhuni? I see nothing wrong with that, in my opinion.
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Re: The Validity of Non-Theravada Ordinations Lineages redux

Postby chownah » Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:56 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
chownah wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Is the Theravada ordination lineage THE only valid lineage extant? If, yes, based upon what?

What basis do non-Theravadion ordination lineages claim validity?

We only have the six sense bases from which to make this "validity" determination......and since I guess we can't see, smell, hear, taste, or touch "validity" then I guess it must be one of those "thought" things.......so whatever one comes up with it is just an idea that has popped into someone's head......I guess you could say that "validity" is empty.....except perhaps when they validate my free parking sticker when I make a purchase at one of the stores in town....except for THAT the concept of "validity" is empty....I guess.
chownah

Really does not answer the question, does it?

Really does not respond to the post it quotes, does it?
....or does it?
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Re: The Validity of Non-Theravada Ordinations Lineages redux

Postby chownah » Mon Jan 11, 2010 3:50 pm

This definitely does not answer the question but I just stumbled into this and thought it might be appropriate anyway.....since this is the dhammic free for all....titled "Validation":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbk980jV7Ao
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Re: The Validity of Non-Theravada Ordinations Lineages redux

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:28 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
chownah wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Is the Theravada ordination lineage THE only valid lineage extant? If, yes, based upon what?

What basis do non-Theravadion ordination lineages claim validity?

We only have the six sense bases from which to make this "validity" determination......and since I guess we can't see, smell, hear, taste, or touch "validity" then I guess it must be one of those "thought" things.......so whatever one comes up with it is just an idea that has popped into someone's head......I guess you could say that "validity" is empty.....except perhaps when they validate my free parking sticker when I make a purchase at one of the stores in town....except for THAT the concept of "validity" is empty....I guess.
chownah

Really does not answer the question, does it?

chownah wrote: Really does not respond to the post it quotes, does it?
....or does it?

Does your msg answer the question? who knows, given that what you are saying here is a bit of a mystery. except for THAT the concept of "validity" is empty What conclusion are we to draw from that? Validity really does not mean anything because it is empty? Then certainly murder does not meanything because IT is empty. So, what are you trying to say here?
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: The Validity of Non-Theravada Ordinations Lineages redux

Postby chownah » Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:47 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
chownah wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:We only have the six sense bases from which to make this "validity" determination......and since I guess we can't see, smell, hear, taste, or touch "validity" then I guess it must be one of those "thought" things.......so whatever one comes up with it is just an idea that has popped into someone's head......I guess you could say that "validity" is empty.....except perhaps when they validate my free parking sticker when I make a purchase at one of the stores in town....except for THAT the concept of "validity" is empty....I guess.
chownah

Really does not answer the question, does it?

chownah wrote: Really does not respond to the post it quotes, does it?
....or does it?

Does your msg answer the question? who knows, given that what you are saying here is a bit of a mystery. except for THAT the concept of "validity" is empty What conclusion are we to draw from that? Validity really does not mean anything because it is empty? Then certainly murder does not meanything because IT is empty. So, what are you trying to say here?

Mostly my post was intended to focus on the concept of "valid". It seems to me that when this term is used it often will elicit a response based on some unmentioned judgemental system unique to the the person responding....and often the judgemental system used by the one responding is not even known to them. The term "valid" often has the effect of hiding the real operative principle by substituting the sweeping and yet undefined principle of "validity". This of course can allow a group of people to calmly discuss some topic while the actual basic core meaning of what they are saying is hidden by the drop cloth of "validity". Unless the term "valid" is very clearly defined for a particular use then it is worse than useless in that it leads people to think they are discussing something when really they are discussing nothing. "Valid" is not only empty in the dhammic sense....it is also (unless clearly defined) empty in the conversational sense.
.....in my view.

If a lineage is valid doesn't this mean that the monk can turn wine and bread into the blood and body of Jesus? If so then just ask the monk to do it and you won't have to worry about it any more. (Explanation:If you want to know if a monks lineage is valid then it must be valid for some purpose...so just get the monk to demonstrate that purpose and you will know the answer.)

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