Prātimokṣa and Vows for Laity?

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gaelic
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Prātimokṣa and Vows for Laity?

Post by gaelic » Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:17 pm

Can someone tell me more about this, it is from wikipedia, but I'm interested in knowing more about the lay vows, this section:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pr%C4%81ti ... n_Buddhism

The laywoman and layman Prātimokṣa consists of 5 vows. They are also named as The Five Shilas (skt. moral discipline):
To refrain from killing.
To refrain from stealing.
To refrain from false speech.
To refrain from sexual misconduct.
To refrain from using intoxicants.

One is not obliged to take all five vows. The commentaries describe seven types of lay followers:

Promising to keep just one vow.
Promising to keep certain vows.
Promising to keep most of them.
Promising to keep all five.
Keeping all five and also promising to keep the pure conduct of avoiding sexual contact.
Keeping all five, pure conduct, and wearing robes with the promise to behave like a monk or a nun.
Lay follower of mere refuge. This person is unable to keep the vows but he promises to go for refuge to the triple gem until death.

What does that mean in bold, promise to behave like a monk/nun? I don't get the difference between behaving like a monk/nun as apposed to being a monk/nun?

ngodrup
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Re: Prātimokṣa and Vows for Laity?

Post by ngodrup » Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:21 pm

What is described in bold is called a robed genyen.
Some people are not up to becoming getsul, or they wish to
get practice in trying out monastic lifestyle as a step twoard getsul.

matthewmartin
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Re: Prātimokṣa and Vows for Laity?

Post by matthewmartin » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:27 pm

gaelic wrote:What does that mean in bold, promise to behave like a monk/nun? I don't get the difference between behaving like a monk/nun as apposed to being a monk/nun?
(oops just noticed this is the Tibetan Buddhist forum.. I'm answering from a general Mahayana standpoint, hopefully it carries over okay)

What is being described is an upāsaka-- which is sort of like a very hard core lay Buddhist. Actually being a monk/nun had some institutional implications-- for example, you probably could expect to show up for breakfast and lunch every day, be taken care of by the institution in your old age.

The part about not having to follow all the rules is an example of Buddhist pragmatism-- if you want to get better, sometimes you have to start where you are. Even monks are expected to be perfect examples of virtue on day one-- that is why monks usually go through a phase of being novices. Precepts are not like the 5 deadly sins (well, today I will stop killing Buddhas, tomorrow I will stop killing my parents)-- they are more like paramitas, things that you can just keep getting better at.

It's a long slow read but the Upāsaka Sutra ( ref http://www.sutrasmantras.info/sutra33a.html ) does a reasonable job of explaining what it might mean to take Buddhism seriously, but continue as a householder-- it has a much longer list of precepts sort of modeled on the monastic vows. (This sutra gives a lot of emphasis to dana, which is nice, but at points it feels like listening to a radio fund raising drive... just request after request for more money for a good cause)

gaelic
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Re: Prātimokṣa and Vows for Laity?

Post by gaelic » Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:20 pm

ngodrup wrote:What is described in bold is called a robed genyen.
Some people are not up to becoming getsul, or they wish to
get practice in trying out monastic lifestyle as a step twoard getsul.
Thank you so much for this. Can you maybe give a list of the levels of these different "states" a person can be in and what they involve. Sorry if the question doesn't make sense.

gaelic
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Re: Prātimokṣa and Vows for Laity?

Post by gaelic » Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:24 pm

matthewmartin wrote:
gaelic wrote:What does that mean in bold, promise to behave like a monk/nun? I don't get the difference between behaving like a monk/nun as apposed to being a monk/nun?
(oops just noticed this is the Tibetan Buddhist forum.. I'm answering from a general Mahayana standpoint, hopefully it carries over okay)

What is being described is an upāsaka-- which is sort of like a very hard core lay Buddhist. Actually being a monk/nun had some institutional implications-- for example, you probably could expect to show up for breakfast and lunch every day, be taken care of by the institution in your old age.

The part about not having to follow all the rules is an example of Buddhist pragmatism-- if you want to get better, sometimes you have to start where you are. Even monks are expected to be perfect examples of virtue on day one-- that is why monks usually go through a phase of being novices. Precepts are not like the 5 deadly sins (well, today I will stop killing Buddhas, tomorrow I will stop killing my parents)-- they are more like paramitas, things that you can just keep getting better at.

It's a long slow read but the Upāsaka Sutra ( ref http://www.sutrasmantras.info/sutra33a.html ) does a reasonable job of explaining what it might mean to take Buddhism seriously, but continue as a householder-- it has a much longer list of precepts sort of modeled on the monastic vows. (This sutra gives a lot of emphasis to dana, which is nice, but at points it feels like listening to a radio fund raising drive... just request after request for more money for a good cause)
This is the kind of stuff I need to know about, thank you so much. I'm going to send you a pm in this regard.

ngodrup
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Re: Prātimokṣa and Vows for Laity?

Post by ngodrup » Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:34 am

Anything you wish to know about vows and precepts in a general sense
is contained in a book called Perfect Conduct: Ascertaining the Three Vows.
It does not go into great detail on specifics of the vinaya, but only
monastics need to know everything about their practice.

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Zhen Li
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Re: Prātimokṣa and Vows for Laity?

Post by Zhen Li » Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:32 pm

I never knew an Upasaka was supposed to be "hard core." :lol:

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Josef
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Re: Prātimokṣa and Vows for Laity?

Post by Josef » Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:41 pm

Zhen Li wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:32 pm
I never knew an Upasaka was supposed to be "hard core." :lol:
Keeping the precepts fully is most certainly hard core. Especially in comparison to the decadence we routinely witness nowadays.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

smcj
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Re: Prātimokṣa and Vows for Laity?

Post by smcj » Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:55 pm

Josef wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:41 pm
Zhen Li wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:32 pm
I never knew an Upasaka was supposed to be "hard core." :lol:
Keeping the precepts fully is most certainly hard core. Especially in comparison to the decadence we routinely witness nowadays.
I believe that in the Therevadan tradition the 5 precepts are routinely given with Refuge. I got my info here at DW so I’m not 100% confident on that.

Now whether or not everyone is expected to keep them is an entirely different question.
1. No traditional Buddhist sect, Tibetan or otherwise, considers deities to be fictional. (DW post/Seeker242)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
4. Shentong] is the completely pure system that, through mainly teaching the luminous aspect of the mind, holds that the fruitions--kayas and wisdoms--exist on their own accord. (Karmapa XIII)

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Zhen Li
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Re: Prātimokṣa and Vows for Laity?

Post by Zhen Li » Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:55 am

smcj wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:55 pm
Josef wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:41 pm
Zhen Li wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:32 pm
I never knew an Upasaka was supposed to be "hard core." :lol:
Keeping the precepts fully is most certainly hard core. Especially in comparison to the decadence we routinely witness nowadays.
I believe that in the Therevadan tradition the 5 precepts are routinely given with Refuge. I got my info here at DW so I’m not 100% confident on that.

Now whether or not everyone is expected to keep them is an entirely different question.
My experience in Chinese and Japanese Buddhism has been that precepts are typically given with refuge, except for in Jodo Shinshu where no precepts are given. In Shingon one skips over the 5 precepts and goes straight to Bodhisattva precepts which correspond to the 10 wholesome ways of acting. Some ceremonies in Taiwanese Buddhism will add the Bodhisattva precepts from either the Upasakasilasutra or the Brahmajalasutra on top of the 5 precepts.

Going back to the matter of hardcoreness, there are commitments for sure, but Buddhist monasticism and laicism rarely is particularly difficult in discipline compared to other sramana or yogic traditions. Thank Buddha for the Middle Way. The far harder task is seeing one's Buddha Nature.

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