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.
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??