Monastics & smiling

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

Post by cookiemonster »

I seem to recall reading a text from the nikayas where monastics should not show their teeth when smiling. Does anyone know the reference?

Thank you.
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Nicolas
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Re: Monastics & smiling

Post by Nicolas »

There is the Ruṇṇa sutta:
Ruṇṇa sutta wrote:Bhikkhus, singing is crying in this discipline of the noble ones and dancing is insanity. Bhikkhus, it is childish to laugh too long showing your teeth. Therefore give up singing, dancing and it is suitable that you, delighting in the Teaching should laugh to a certain extent only.
cookiemonster
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Re: Monastics & smiling

Post by cookiemonster »

Thanks Nicolas, that sounds like it.
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mirco
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Re: Monastics & smiling

Post by mirco »

Hi,

I want to point out, that this is not about not laughing-with-showing-teeth at all (not to speak of smiling).

The word is here is ativela, which means a very long time / excessively.



P.S.: I'd like to know about the occasion leading to this saying.
Last edited by mirco on Fri Aug 07, 2015 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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333
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Re: Monastics & smiling

Post by 333 »

"Too long" and "to a certain extent only" is certainly open to interpretation. I would, following this rule, interpret "too long" as:
1. A fit of laughter, laughing uncontrollably.
2. Being overly humorous, laughing at the majority of everything, unnecessarily
3. Laughing without keeping this rule in mind; it may be easy to cross the line when not being mindful.

I would, following this rule, be aware of 'skillful' and 'unskillful' laughter. I.e. is my laughter necessary? Is it harmful? (Laughing at someone's mistake/pain would be harmful) Am I indulging in the pleasure of laughter?

Just my thoughts on interpretation and following the rule, I am sure there will be someone with more to add that will be helpful. :anjali:
To Avoid All Evil,
To Cultivate Only Good,
And To Purify One's Mind
This Is The Teaching Of All The Buddhas!
-Dhammapada 183
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Dhammanando
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Re: Monastics & smiling

Post by Dhammanando »

cookiemonster wrote:I seem to recall reading a text from the nikayas where monastics should not show their teeth when smiling. Does anyone know the reference?
The 11th and 12th sekhiya rules of the Pāṭimokkha prohibit a bhikkhu from laughing loudly when in company:
  • 11. I shall not go laughing loudly in inhabited areas.

    12. I shall not sit laughing loudly in inhabited areas.
The Ruṇṇa Sutta teaches that it's childish to indulge in an excess of mirth involving the display of one's teeth and that when there's a proper occasion for a bhikkhu to smile it should be done in a measured manner. But this is a Dhamma exhortation and not a Vinaya rule.
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)
cookiemonster
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Re: Monastics & smiling

Post by cookiemonster »

Dhammanando wrote:
cookiemonster wrote:I seem to recall reading a text from the nikayas where monastics should not show their teeth when smiling. Does anyone know the reference?
The 11th and 12th sekhiya rules of the Pāṭimokkha prohibit a bhikkhu from laughing loudly when in company:
  • 11. I shall not go laughing loudly in inhabited areas.

    12. I shall not sit laughing loudly in inhabited areas.
The Ruṇṇa Sutta teaches that it's childish to indulge in an excess of mirth involving the display of one's teeth and that when there's a proper occasion for a bhikkhu to smile it should be done in a measured manner. But this is a Dhamma exhortation and not a Vinaya rule.
Thank you, Venerable. :anjali:
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mirco
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Re: Monastics & smiling

Post by mirco »

Dhamma Greeings,
Dhammanando wrote:
cookiemonster wrote:I seem to recall reading a text from the nikayas where monastics should not show their teeth when smiling. Does anyone know the reference?
The 11th and 12th sekhiya rules of the Pāṭimokkha prohibit a bhikkhu from laughing loudly when in company:
  • 11. I shall not go laughing loudly in inhabited areas.

    12. I shall not sit laughing loudly in inhabited areas.
The Ruṇṇa Sutta teaches that it's childish to indulge in an excess of mirth involving the display of one's teeth and that when there's a proper occasion for a bhikkhu to smile it should be done in a measured manner. But this is a Dhamma exhortation and not a Vinaya rule.
so, this is something different than a simple "monastics should not show their teeth when smiling" ;)


Metta and Smiles
shoenhad
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Re: Monastics & smiling

Post by shoenhad »

mirco wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:35 pm Dhamma Greeings,
Dhammanando wrote:
cookiemonster wrote:I seem to recall reading a text from the nikayas where monastics should not show their teeth when smiling. Does anyone know the reference?
The 11th and 12th sekhiya rules of the Pāṭimokkha prohibit a bhikkhu from laughing loudly when in company:
  • 11. I shall not go laughing loudly in inhabited areas.

    12. I shall not sit laughing loudly in inhabited areas.
The Ruṇṇa Sutta teaches that it's childish to indulge in an excess of mirth involving the display of one's teeth and that when there's a proper occasion for a bhikkhu to smile it should be done in a measured manner. But this is a Dhamma exhortation and not a Vinaya rule.
so, this is something different than a simple "monastics should not show their teeth when smiling" ;)


Metta and Smiles

Bhante gunaratana says the following in his book 'The four foundations of mindfulness' :

'When something is funny, smiling happens naturally. We also smile when our stress, tension, and fear disappear. Then our face becomes calm and peaceful, and we smile with our hearts without showing our teeth. That is the kind of smile the Buddha had all the time.'

I am pretty sure though this is simply the use of a metaphor for the inward manifestation of a certain sense of peace. I mean he is literally smiling with his teeth on the cover of one of his books. I do find it worded in a somewhat unfortunate manner that could lend itself to the interpretation discussed here which to me seems rather untenable to begin with. Related to that I like the following story of a monk visiting ajahn chah:

'One time a young bhikkhu came to him very downcast. He had seen the sorrows of the world, and the horror of beings’ entrapment in birth and death, and had realized that, “I’ll never be able to laugh again—it’s all so sad and painful.” Within 45 minutes, via a graphic tale about a youthful squirrel repeatedly attempting and falling short in its efforts to learn tree climbing, the monk was rolling on the floor clutching his sides, tears pouring down his face as he was convulsed with the laughter that had never been going to return.'
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