White clad followers

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TRobinson465
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White clad followers

Post by TRobinson465 »

Hello all,


I recall in a few texts the Lord Buddha refers to lay followers as "white clad" followers. I am wondering if there are any suttas, or commentaries (ancient or modern) that explain why the lay disciples wear white. Ive only ever seen the wearing white thing be a real policy at just one of the many temples i've been to.
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.
form
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Re: White clad followers

Post by form »

U reminds me of the Buddha using colour code to describe ascetic, lotus. I also wonder if there is any significance on these colours or it is just some stereotyping in his time.
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Dhammanando
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Re: White clad followers

Post by Dhammanando »

"Householders dressed in white" (gihī odātavasanā; Skt. gṛhī avadātavasanā) is simply a term for householders in general, presumably based on the most commonly worn colour. All Indian religions used the term and it doesn't specify that the persons referred to belong to any particular class or caste or creed. To specify this, other words need to be added. For example:

Upāsakā gihī odātavasanā sabrahmacārino.
"Male lay followers (of the Buddha) who are white-clad celibate householders."

Upāsakā gihī odātavasanā kāmabhogino.
"Male lay followers (of the Buddha) who are white-clad householders enjoying pleasures of the senses [i.e., who are not celibate]."

Nigaṇṭhassa Nāṭaputtassa sāvakā gihī odātavasanā.
"Male disciples of Nigaṇṭha Nāṭaputta who are white-clad householders.

Gihī odātavasanā acelakasāvakā.
"White-clad householders who are disciples of naked ascetics."
During vassa this year I shall be offline until the end of October.

Rūpehi bhikkhave arūpā santatarā.
Arūpehi nirodho santataro ti.


“Bhikkhus, the formless is more peaceful than the form realms.
Cessation is more peaceful than the formless realms.”
(Santatarasutta, Iti 73)
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confusedlayman
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Re: White clad followers

Post by confusedlayman »

Celibate and enjoying pleasures using other sences are same?
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
TRobinson465
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Re: White clad followers

Post by TRobinson465 »

Dhammanando wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 6:38 am "Householders dressed in white" (gihī odātavasanā; Skt. gṛhī avadātavasanā) is simply a term for householders in general, presumably based on the most commonly worn colour. All Indian religions used the term and it doesn't specify that the persons referred to belong to any particular class or caste or creed. To specify this, other words need to be added. For example:

Upāsakā gihī odātavasanā sabrahmacārino.
"Male lay followers (of the Buddha) who are white-clad celibate householders."

Upāsakā gihī odātavasanā kāmabhogino.
"Male lay followers (of the Buddha) who are white-clad householders enjoying pleasures of the senses [i.e., who are not celibate]."

Nigaṇṭhassa Nāṭaputtassa sāvakā gihī odātavasanā.
"Male disciples of Nigaṇṭha Nāṭaputta who are white-clad householders.

Gihī odātavasanā acelakasāvakā.
"White-clad householders who are disciples of naked ascetics."
Oh okay, this answers my question. so kinda like how people say "orange robed monks" even tho some monks wear maroon and brown colors. I appreciate the knowledge bhante. :anjali:
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.
TRobinson465
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Re: White clad followers

Post by TRobinson465 »

confusedlayman wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 8:24 pm Celibate and enjoying pleasures using other sences are same?
I think thats just how they referred to sex in ancient Pali. Like the third precept literally talks about immoral "sensual" (kame) pleasures and not sexual specifically even though its widely recognized as meaning such.
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.
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Dhammanando
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Re: White clad followers

Post by Dhammanando »

confusedlayman wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 8:24 pm Celibate and enjoying pleasures using other sences are same?
The brahmacarī vs kāmabhogī distinction has celibate vs non-celibate as its basic meaning, but then each term has other ramifications. In the case of kāmabhogī the extended meaning encompasses any sort of conduct that's at odds with renunciate norms and values. For example, in the Vinaya any time bhikkhus are seen to be overly acquisitive or to be indulging in any kind of luxury, the stock criticism of the laity is: "Just like kāmabhogī householders!"

In the case of brahmacarī the extended meanings are several. I'll post them later today.
During vassa this year I shall be offline until the end of October.

Rūpehi bhikkhave arūpā santatarā.
Arūpehi nirodho santataro ti.


“Bhikkhus, the formless is more peaceful than the form realms.
Cessation is more peaceful than the formless realms.”
(Santatarasutta, Iti 73)
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confusedlayman
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Re: White clad followers

Post by confusedlayman »

Dhammanando wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 11:06 pm
confusedlayman wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 8:24 pm Celibate and enjoying pleasures using other sences are same?
The brahmacarī vs kāmabhogī distinction has celibate vs non-celibate as its basic meaning, but then each term has other ramifications. In the case of kāmabhogī the extended meaning encompasses any sort of conduct that's at odds with renunciate norms and values. For example, in the Vinaya any time bhikkhus are seen to be overly acquisitive or to be indulging in any kind of luxury, the stock criticism of the laity is: "Just like kāmabhogī householders!"

In the case of brahmacarī the extended meanings are several. I'll post them later today.
yes bhante
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
asahi
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Re: White clad followers

Post by asahi »

TRobinson465 wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 9:53 pm
confusedlayman wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 8:24 pm Celibate and enjoying pleasures using other sences are same?
I think thats just how they referred to sex in ancient Pali. Like the third precept literally talks about immoral "sensual" (kame) pleasures and not sexual specifically even though its widely recognized as meaning such.
If third precept is to be understood as sensual pleasures then even over enjoying foods , listening to musics , drinkings (either liquors or beverages) , watching movies , strolling in shopping malls , excessive chattings etc etc all are not something that lay peoples can cope up with . These sort of restrainings are meant especially for monastics .

:roll:
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SDC
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Re: White clad followers

Post by SDC »

TRobinson465 wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 9:53 pm
confusedlayman wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 8:24 pm Celibate and enjoying pleasures using other sences are same?
I think thats just how they referred to sex in ancient Pali. Like the third precept literally talks about immoral "sensual" (kame) pleasures and not sexual specifically even though its widely recognized as meaning such.
Are you referring to this description about sexual misconduct?
AN 10.211 wrote: Kāmesu micchācārī hoti, yā tā māturakkhitā piturakkhitā mātāpiturakkhitā bhāturakkhitā bhaginirakkhitā ñātirakkhitā gottarakkhitā dhammarakkhitā sasāmikā saparidaṇḍā antamaso mālāguḷaparikkhittāpi, tathārūpāsu cārittaṁ āpajjitā hoti.

He engages in sexual misconduct; he has sexual relations with women who are protected by their mother, father, mother and father, brother, sister, or relatives; who are protected by their Dhamma; who have a husband; whose violation entails a penalty; or even with one already engaged.
In trying to break this down several times I found that according to the PTS dictionary “cārittaṁ āpajjati” means “to mix with, to call on, to have intercourse with”. So it seems pretty definitive in this respect. In fact, “to call on” really opens up the third precept to quite a bit of interpretation as to what constitutes misconduct. Perhaps the Venerable can help clarify.
TRobinson465
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Re: White clad followers

Post by TRobinson465 »

SDC wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 11:58 am
TRobinson465 wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 9:53 pm
confusedlayman wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 8:24 pm Celibate and enjoying pleasures using other sences are same?
I think thats just how they referred to sex in ancient Pali. Like the third precept literally talks about immoral "sensual" (kame) pleasures and not sexual specifically even though its widely recognized as meaning such.
Are you referring to this description about sexual misconduct?
AN 10.211 wrote: Kāmesu micchācārī hoti, yā tā māturakkhitā piturakkhitā mātāpiturakkhitā bhāturakkhitā bhaginirakkhitā ñātirakkhitā gottarakkhitā dhammarakkhitā sasāmikā saparidaṇḍā antamaso mālāguḷaparikkhittāpi, tathārūpāsu cārittaṁ āpajjitā hoti.

He engages in sexual misconduct; he has sexual relations with women who are protected by their mother, father, mother and father, brother, sister, or relatives; who are protected by their Dhamma; who have a husband; whose violation entails a penalty; or even with one already engaged.
In trying to break this down several times I found that according to the PTS dictionary “cārittaṁ āpajjati” means “to mix with, to call on, to have intercourse with”. So it seems pretty definitive in this respect. In fact, “to call on” really opens up the third precept to quite a bit of interpretation as to what constitutes misconduct. Perhaps the Venerable can help clarify.
I thought the kame in kamesu michacara was the same as the kama in the Dhammacakkavappatana sutta.
craving for sensual pleasures, craving to continue existence, and craving to end existence.
kāmataṇhā, bhavataṇhā, vibhavataṇhā.
https://suttacentral.net/sn56.11/en/sujato


it is also explained in Bhikkhu Bodhi's book that Kame actually literally means "sense pleasures" but in the context of the third precept is understood strictly as sexual.
The third precept reads: Kamesu micchacara veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami, "I undertake the training rule to abstain from misconduct in regard to sense pleasures." The word kama has the general meaning of sense pleasure or sensual desire, but the commentaries explain it as sexual relations (methunasamacara), an interpretation supported by the suttas. Micchacara means wrong modes of conduct. Thus the precept enjoins abstinence from improper or illicit sexual relations.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... tml#prec2
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.
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Dhammanando
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Re: White clad followers

Post by Dhammanando »

Dhammanando wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 11:06 pm In the case of brahmacarī the extended meanings are several. I'll post them later today.
The six senses of "brahmacariyā" according to the commentaries, with examples from the Suttas...

1. Abstinence from sexual activity as an uposatha day observance.

“He undertakes the rule of training to abstain from what is not-brahmacariyā.”

2. Abstinence from sexual activity for the sake of samādhi and the path.

“Having abandoned what is not-brahmacariyā, he is one who lives the brahmacariyā (i.e., is celibate).”

3. The life of a samaṇa.

“Do you, friend, live the brahmacariyā under our Blessed One?”

“I recollect, Sāriputta, living a brahmacariyā possessing four factors.”

4. The Dhamma

“I will not attain final nibbāna, Evil One, until this brahmacariyā of mine is successful, abundant, widespread, and popular.”

“This brahmacariyā is successful and flourishing.”

5.The path

“This noble eightfold path, bhikkhu, is the brahmacariyā, that is, right view, right thought, right speech, etc.”

“But this brahmacariyā of mine, Pañcasikha, is for complete disenchantment.”

6. Marital fidelity

“We do not transgress against our wives,
and our wives do not transgress against us.
Except for them, we live the brahmacariyā.
Therefore our young ones do not die.”
During vassa this year I shall be offline until the end of October.

Rūpehi bhikkhave arūpā santatarā.
Arūpehi nirodho santataro ti.


“Bhikkhus, the formless is more peaceful than the form realms.
Cessation is more peaceful than the formless realms.”
(Santatarasutta, Iti 73)
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confusedlayman
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Re: White clad followers

Post by confusedlayman »

Dhammanando wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 8:26 pm
Dhammanando wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 11:06 pm In the case of brahmacarī the extended meanings are several. I'll post them later today.
The six senses of "brahmacariyā" according to the commentaries, with examples from the Suttas...

1. Abstinence from sexual activity as an uposatha day observance.

“He undertakes the rule of training to abstain from what is not-brahmacariyā.”

2. Abstinence from sexual activity for the sake of samādhi and the path.

“Having abandoned what is not-brahmacariyā, he is one who lives the brahmacariyā (i.e., is celibate).”

3. The life of a samaṇa.

“Do you, friend, live the brahmacariyā under our Blessed One?”

“I recollect, Sāriputta, living a brahmacariyā possessing four factors.”

4. The Dhamma

“I will not attain final nibbāna, Evil One, until this brahmacariyā of mine is successful, abundant, widespread, and popular.”

“This brahmacariyā is successful and flourishing.”

5.The path

“This noble eightfold path, bhikkhu, is the brahmacariyā, that is, right view, right thought, right speech, etc.”

“But this brahmacariyā of mine, Pañcasikha, is for complete disenchantment.”

6. Marital fidelity

“We do not transgress against our wives,
and our wives do not transgress against us.
Except for them, we live the brahmacariyā.
Therefore our young ones do not die.”
thanks bhante
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
AliochaKaramazov
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Re: White clad followers

Post by AliochaKaramazov »

Dhammanando wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 6:38 am "Householders dressed in white" (gihī odātavasanā; Skt. gṛhī avadātavasanā) is simply a term for householders in general, presumably based on the most commonly worn colour. All Indian religions used the term and it doesn't specify that the persons referred to belong to any particular class or caste or creed. To specify this, other words need to be added. For example:

Upāsakā gihī odātavasanā sabrahmacārino.
"Male lay followers (of the Buddha) who are white-clad celibate householders."

Upāsakā gihī odātavasanā kāmabhogino.
"Male lay followers (of the Buddha) who are white-clad householders enjoying pleasures of the senses [i.e., who are not celibate]."

Nigaṇṭhassa Nāṭaputtassa sāvakā gihī odātavasanā.
"Male disciples of Nigaṇṭha Nāṭaputta who are white-clad householders.

Gihī odātavasanā acelakasāvakā.
"White-clad householders who are disciples of naked ascetics."
Bhante, if I may ask, isn't the term "white-clad" a term for householders that are disciples instead of householders in general ? In the references provided they are all householders but also all disciples, therefore could the act of dressing only in white a sign of being a disciple perhaps ?
Thank you for these references bhante, with my respectful salutations to you.
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Dhammanando
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Re: White clad followers

Post by Dhammanando »

AliochaKaramazov wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 6:58 am Bhante, if I may ask, isn't the term "white-clad" a term for householders that are disciples instead of householders in general ? In the references provided they are all householders but also all disciples, therefore could the act of dressing only in white a sign of being a disciple perhaps ?
Though I can't absolutely rule out such a possibility, I doubt it.

If that were the case, then I should somewhere expect to find passages where a contrast is drawn between householders dressed in white (indicating that they're disciples of somebody) and householders dressed in some other colour (indicating that they're not). But there aren't any. The only things that "dressed in white clothes" is ever contrasted with are "dressed in ochre clothes (of one gone forth)" and "dressed in soiled clothes".
During vassa this year I shall be offline until the end of October.

Rūpehi bhikkhave arūpā santatarā.
Arūpehi nirodho santataro ti.


“Bhikkhus, the formless is more peaceful than the form realms.
Cessation is more peaceful than the formless realms.”
(Santatarasutta, Iti 73)
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