Does telling a lie during the ordination ceremony invalidate the ordination?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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dharamala
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Does telling a lie during the ordination ceremony invalidate the ordination?

Post by dharamala »

If a bhikkhu were to deliberately lie about being free from debt, having their parent’s permission to ordain, etc. during an ordination ceremony, would that invalidate the entire bhikkhu ordination? Say, if that bhikkhu then went on to commit a parajika offense, would he still have the potential to reordain in the future, since the ordination was not valid in the first place?
DiamondNgXZ
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Re: Does telling a lie during the ordination ceremony invalidate the ordination?

Post by DiamondNgXZ »

dharamala wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 2:30 am If a bhikkhu were to deliberately lie about being free from debt, having their parent’s permission to ordain, etc. during an ordination ceremony, would that invalidate the entire bhikkhu ordination? Say, if that bhikkhu then went on to commit a parajika offense, would he still have the potential to reordain in the future, since the ordination was not valid in the first place?
Depends on which one, copy paste a selection from Buddhist monastic code:
Absolutely Unqualified
“An individual less than 20 years old should not knowingly be given Acceptance. Whoever should give him Acceptance is to be dealt with in accordance with the rule (Pc 65).”—Mv.I.49.6

“When in the mother’s womb the mind first arises and consciousness first appears, in dependence on that is one’s birth. I allow that Acceptance be given to one (at least) twenty years after becoming a fetus.”—Mv.I.75

“A paṇḍaka, if unaccepted (unordained), is not to be given Acceptance. If accepted, he is to be expelled.”—Mv.I.61.2

“A person in affiliation through theft, if unaccepted, is not to be given Acceptance. If accepted, he is to be expelled. One who has gone over (while a bhikkhu) to another religion, if unaccepted, is not to be given Acceptance. If accepted, he is to be expelled.”—Mv.I.62.3

“An animal, if unaccepted, is not to be given Acceptance. If accepted, he is to be expelled.”—Mv.I.63.5

“A matricide, if unaccepted, is not to be given Acceptance. If accepted, he is to be expelled.”—Mv.I.64.2

“A patricide, if unaccepted, is not to be given Acceptance. If accepted, he is to be expelled.”—Mv.I.65

“A murderer of an arahant, if unaccepted, is not to be given Acceptance. If accepted, he is to be expelled.”—Mv.I.66.2

“A molester of a bhikkhunī, if unaccepted, is not to be given Acceptance. If accepted, he is to be expelled. A schismatic, if unaccepted, is not to be given Acceptance. If accepted, he is to be expelled. One who has shed (a Tathāgata’s) blood, if unaccepted, is not to be given Acceptance. If accepted, he is to be expelled.”—Mv.I.67

“A hermaphrodite, if unaccepted, is not to be given Acceptance. If accepted, he is to be expelled.”—Mv.I.68

Undesirable
“A son whose parents have not given their permission should not be given the Going-forth. Whoever should give it: an offense of wrong doing.”—Mv.I.54.6

“One who is afflicted with any of the five diseases (leprosy, boils, eczema, tuberculosis, epilepsy) should not be given the Going-forth. Whoever should give it: an offense of wrong doing.”—Mv.I.39.7

“One who is in the king’s (government) service should not be given the Going-forth. Whoever should give it: an offense of wrong doing.”—Mv.I.40.4

“A criminal who is ‘wrapped in a flag’ should not be given the Going-forth. Whoever should give it: an offense of wrong doing.”—Mv.I.41.1

“A criminal who has broken his shackles should not be given the Going-forth. Whoever should give it: an offense of wrong doing.”—Mv.I.42.2

“A criminal for whom a warrant has been sent out should not be given the Going-forth. Whoever should give it: an offense of wrong doing.”—Mv.I.43.1

So if the applicant is not a human, lied about being human, below 20 years old, lied about it, then it's to be expelled. Otherwise, it seems that a lot of other cases on the ordination questions are more ok, doesn't matter if ordained, only those who ordained the person got offence of wrong doing, but the ordination seems to remain valid.

One can also make the case that to be expelled is not the same as ordination invalid for that period between ordination and being found out and expelled.

But your subsequent questions are more serious.
(a) The Commentary to Pr 1 states that, although a person who committed a pārājika while previously a bhikkhu may not rightly receive full Acceptance again in this lifetime, this is the one case among these absolute disqualifications where the disqualification does not extend to the Going-forth. The Vinaya-mukha, however, dismisses the idea of giving the Going-forth to such a person as unwise. The Commentary itself, in its summary of the pārājika rules, classifies the other members of the list of absolute disqualifications as “equivalent pārājikas,” and it seems inconsistent to give more rights to actual pārājikas than to equivalent ones. Moreover, the Vinaya-mukha would appear to have the Canon on its side here. In the origin story leading up to the final formulation of Pr 1, some ex-bhikkhus who had committed pārājikas come to Ven. Ānanda and request the Going-forth, request full Acceptance, but the Buddha refuses to give them either. Although his remarks leading up to the final formulation of the rule explicitly mention only the fact that the ex-bhikkhus in question cannot receive full Acceptance, his actions indicate that they should be denied the Going-forth as well.

(b) The Commentary contains a long discussion on the question of what it means to take affiliation by theft. It distinguishes three kinds of theft: theft of status (putting on robes without the authorization of the Community), theft of affiliation (claiming rights of novicehood or bhikkhuhood, such as seniority, participating in Community transactions, etc.), and theft of both. The above prohibition applies to all three but not to cases where a person dresses as a bhikkhu or novice to escape danger from kings, famine, wasteland travel, disease, or hostile enemies. This allowance applies as long as he doesn’t claim rights of affiliation with the bhikkhus and has pure intent (which the Sub-commentary defines as no intention of deceiving the bhikkhus). The case of an actor who wears robes while playing the part of a bhikkhu in a movie or play would probably come under this allowance as well, as would the case—mentioned elsewhere in the Commentary—of a candidate for the Going-forth who arrives at the Community meeting already wearing the robes he plans to wear after ordained (see below). The Commentary to Pc 65 recommends that when a bhikkhu who assumes that he is properly ordained but later discovers that his ordination was invalid, he should reordain as quickly as possible. This shows that such a bhikkhu is also not guilty of theft of status or of affiliation.
If you're a monk in that situation, best come clean to your teacher asap.
dharamala
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Re: Does telling a lie during the ordination ceremony invalidate the ordination?

Post by dharamala »

Hi, and thank you for your thoughtful reply.

A few years back I was ordained in Myanmar during a time in which I was absolutely not mentally ready for it. Not knowing the necessity of a proper disrobing procedure, I simply took off my robes one day and decided to become a layperson again.

Since then I have had sex, which would count as a parajika offense we’re I still to be considered ordained. I was hoping the fact that I lied during the ordination procedure about having my parents permission may have de-legitimized the ordination entirely. But based on the text you shared, it looks like that is probably not the case.
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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Does telling a lie during the ordination ceremony invalidate the ordination?

Post by JamesTheGiant »

dharamala wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 4:36 am ...I simply took off my robes one day and decided to become a layperson again.

Since then I have had sex, which would count as a parajika offense we’re I still to be considered ordained.
If you told any human that "I'm not a monk anymore" then that's the same effect as the ceremony. If you mentioned to friends or family that you left the monastery and returned to normal life, then that's the same.
It doesn't need to be a formal disrobing ceremony.

The vinaya as i remember it is this:
Intent : to make someone aware you are not a monk.
Action : you tell them this.
Effect: they understand you are not a monk.
Result : You are officially not a monk..
dharamala
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Re: Does telling a lie during the ordination ceremony invalidate the ordination?

Post by dharamala »

JamesTheGiant wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 7:53 am If you told any human that "I'm not a monk anymore" then that's the same effect as the ceremony. If you mentioned to friends or family that you left the monastery and returned to normal life, then that's the same.
It doesn't need to be a formal disrobing ceremony.

The vinaya as i remember it is this:
Intent : to make someone aware you are not a monk.
Action : you tell them this.
Effect: they understand you are not a monk.
Result : You are officially not a monk..


Thanks for that. According to these rules, I may or may not have properly disrobed. I can’t remember the exact contents of the discussion I had with a friend about disrobing, so I am not sure if it would qualify. :oops:
Kiranraj.bodhi
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Re: Does telling a lie during the ordination ceremony invalidate the ordination?

Post by Kiranraj.bodhi »

Isn't that obvious?

What kind of foundation a Bhikkhu life is built?

(Going by technicalities always isn't enough...common sense has to prevail as well)
DiamondNgXZ
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Re: Does telling a lie during the ordination ceremony invalidate the ordination?

Post by DiamondNgXZ »

Kiranraj.bodhi wrote: Sun May 29, 2022 5:14 am Isn't that obvious?

What kind of foundation a Bhikkhu life is built?

(Going by technicalities always isn't enough...common sense has to prevail as well)
The Vinaya is like law, we go by technicalities. Not common sense. It's not always easy to judge by common sense when one judges according to the Vinaya. One has to refer to previous cases, find the closest case and judge from there. Common sense may lead one to the wrong conclusion if one doesn't have enough knowledge of Vinaya.

Not all lies are equal. There's a type of lie so serious, it's auto disrobe offence, and other lies are resolved via confessions. Vinaya is not equal to kamma.
Kiranraj.bodhi
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Re: Does telling a lie during the ordination ceremony invalidate the ordination?

Post by Kiranraj.bodhi »

I respectfully disagree

A lie is a lie there is no two ways about it

We should not and cannot build a wholesome life of a Bhikkhu based on the foundation of a lie if we have to achieve the highest good in the Universe we need to build the foundation on Truth
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Alex123
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Re: Does telling a lie during the ordination ceremony invalidate the ordination?

Post by Alex123 »

dharamala wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 2:30 am If a bhikkhu were to deliberately lie about being free from debt,
I don't think it is good idea to outright lie.

Why not simply declare bankruptcy to write off the debts (if that is possible in one's case) and then ordain?

Can a person who is in bankruptcy ordain?


Now, in some other cases it becomes a bit more complicated.

What if the person has some disease that is in remission, or well controlled?
Should one say yes, or no? Is it possible to explain the situation?

IMHO.
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