Tibetan Buddhism and the Third Precept

Forum for discussion of Tibetan Buddhism. Questions specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
KiwiNFLFan
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Tibetan Buddhism and the Third Precept

Post by KiwiNFLFan » Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:57 pm

Through reading about the Dalai Lama's views on homosexuality and same-sex marriage, I came across a website stating that Tsongkhapa listed a number of activities as "sexual misconduct" including sex between men, masturbation, oral or anal intercourse, and sex during daylight. What I'm wondering is: are all Tibetan Buddhists of the Gelug lineage expected to adhere to these rules? Apparently the text is considered authoritative, but does this mean that it applies to all laypeople?

Just some background info: I followed Christianity for years (both Catholic and Protestant) and it was taught that any form of sexual activity outside of a heterosexual marriage is sinful. Masturbation is a no-no. Gays and lesbians are required to either be celibate for their whole lives or marry someone of the opposite sex. I found this standard very difficult to keep to since I'm not married. I desperately want to be married but haven't managed it as yet. Would Tibetan Buddhism (specifically the Gelug lineage as I'm attending a Gelug centre) require a standard like that?

Also, I have read that Buddhism doesn't have a concept of sin the way Christianity does (committing a sinful action offends a deity). Does the same hold true of Tibetan Buddhism, especially since there are gods/bodhisattvas (Tara, Vajrasattva etc)?

I know the importance of a teacher in Tibetan Buddhism and I do intend to speak to the teacher at our centre. However, our translator is away at the moment and I understand that the teachers are going on a trip soon.

Kaung
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and the Third Precept

Post by Kaung » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:29 pm

Well,this is a Khenpo’s view on the homosexual thing. :quoteunquote: Unskillful but not a major downfall.And the Buddhist view of ‘unskillful behaviour’ is pretty different from the Judeo-Christian ‘sin’.That applies to Tibetan Buddhism too.By the way Tārā and the rest are not gods :quoteunquote: Regarding sexual misconduct we have a lot of commentaries saying a lot of things but nothing really definitive.For people who have faith in Je Rinpoche,of course,it’s quite authoritative but that doesn’t make it defined in a certain way.My take on it is that something that transcends the cultural norms can be considered as such(which in Asia is procreation).That might explain some things.

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Grigoris
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and the Third Precept

Post by Grigoris » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:26 pm

According to the Buddha unwholesome sexual activity (sexual misconduct) is basically any non-consensual activity, or sexual activity with somebody that is married or betrothed. That's it.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
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Kaung
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and the Third Precept

Post by Kaung » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:36 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:26 pm
According to the Buddha unwholesome sexual activity (sexual misconduct) is basically any non-consensual activity, or sexual activity with somebody that is married or betrothed. That's it.
Yup,it’s that simple.Sometimes,tradition makes it a lot more complex :rolleye:

Bristollad
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and the Third Precept

Post by Bristollad » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:42 pm

Take a look here for an overarching look at the issues from Alex Berzin.

https://studybuddhism.com/en/tibetan-bu ... ain-issues

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Malcolm
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and the Third Precept

Post by Malcolm » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:53 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:26 pm
According to the Buddha unwholesome sexual activity (sexual misconduct) is basically any non-consensual activity, or sexual activity with somebody that is married or betrothed. That's it.
And sex with children, animals, minors, as you say, those who cannot grant consent.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

KiwiNFLFan
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and the Third Precept

Post by KiwiNFLFan » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:14 am

Regarding sexual misconduct we have a lot of commentaries saying a lot of things but nothing really definitive.For people who have faith in Je Rinpoche,of course,it’s quite authoritative but that doesn’t make it defined in a certain way.
What do you mean "quite authoritative"? Binding on all those who attend Gelug centres?
Grigoris wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:26 pm
According to the Buddha unwholesome sexual activity (sexual misconduct) is basically any non-consensual activity, or sexual activity with somebody that is married or betrothed. That's it.
I know that this is the standard Buddhist teaching. Is it possible to be a good practicing Tibetan Buddhist of the Gelug lineage while keeping only to this standard? Rather than that of Tsongkhapa?

Also, would Tibetan Buddhists (particularly of the Gelug lineage) have any problem with sexual relations between a (heterosexual) couple who aren't married but in a committed relationship?

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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and the Third Precept

Post by odysseus » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:42 am

You don't need to refer to Gelug specifically. The precept of "no sexual misconduct" is the same in Hinayana, Mahayana, Vajrayana.

Masturbation is allowed. The rest of it should be quite obvious, even for a non-Buddhist.

Motova
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and the Third Precept

Post by Motova » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:58 am

odysseus wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:42 am
You don't need to refer to Gelug specifically. The precept of "no sexual misconduct" is the same in Hinayana, Mahayana, Vajrayana.

Masturbation is allowed. The rest of it should be quite obvious, even for a non-Buddhist.
I remember criticizing you a while back, for masturbation. I am sorry.

Technically doing anything out of desire is bad karma.

To the OP, you can always just get the empowerments from Sakyapas, Kagyupas, Nyingmapas, and Jonangpas and then have a Gelug view. Because that's what Gelug is, just a view.

Also, it seems Gelugpas only have sex to reproduce so your future wife might be out of luck.
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:58 pm
The four means of converting beings to the Dharma are generosity (which itself as four aspects: giving material gifts, conferring fearlessness, loving kindness and teaching Dharma), pleasant speech, conduct and setting an example.

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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and the Third Precept

Post by odysseus » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:05 am

Motova wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:58 am

I remember criticizing you a while back, for masturbation. I am sorry.
What??

I remember there was a "masturbation thread" about two years ago, but that one got perverted and turned everybody off. lol :toilet:

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Boomerang
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and the Third Precept

Post by Boomerang » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:12 am

KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:57 pm
Through reading about the Dalai Lama's views on homosexuality and same-sex marriage, I came across a website stating that Tsongkhapa listed a number of activities as "sexual misconduct" including sex between men, masturbation, oral or anal intercourse, and sex during daylight. What I'm wondering is: are all Tibetan Buddhists of the Gelug lineage expected to adhere to these rules? Apparently the text is considered authoritative, but does this mean that it applies to all laypeople?

Just some background info: I followed Christianity for years (both Catholic and Protestant) and it was taught that any form of sexual activity outside of a heterosexual marriage is sinful. Masturbation is a no-no. Gays and lesbians are required to either be celibate for their whole lives or marry someone of the opposite sex. I found this standard very difficult to keep to since I'm not married. I desperately want to be married but haven't managed it as yet. Would Tibetan Buddhism (specifically the Gelug lineage as I'm attending a Gelug centre) require a standard like that?

Also, I have read that Buddhism doesn't have a concept of sin the way Christianity does (committing a sinful action offends a deity). Does the same hold true of Tibetan Buddhism, especially since there are gods/bodhisattvas (Tara, Vajrasattva etc)?

I know the importance of a teacher in Tibetan Buddhism and I do intend to speak to the teacher at our centre. However, our translator is away at the moment and I understand that the teachers are going on a trip soon.
The way that Buddhism is practiced changes as time passes and cultures change. When Shakyamuni began teaching, sexual misconduct was basically understood to be adultery. Later on, people altered the idea of sexual misconduct, expanding it to include those things Tsongkhapa listed. As time continues to progress, people are altering the understanding of sexual misconduct again by revising their attitudes toward the things Tsongkhapa listed, including homosexuality.
"All the suffering of the lower realms, whatever difficulty and unhappiness we may experience as human beings, as well as every other possible suffering of the three realms of existence, have their origin in cherishing ourselves more than others."

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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and the Third Precept

Post by odysseus » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:33 am

Boomerang wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:12 am
... revising their attitudes toward the things Tsongkhapa listed, including homosexuality.
Did Tsonghapaka call homo's sexual misconduct?

KiwiNFLFan
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and the Third Precept

Post by KiwiNFLFan » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:47 am

Motova wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:58 am

Also, it seems Gelugpas only have sex to reproduce so your future wife might be out of luck.
Can you provide a source? No sex except for procreation within marriage is the Hare Krishna view on sex, which I strongly disagree with. Do you have to adhere to this standard to receive initiation from a Gelug lama?

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Boomerang
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and the Third Precept

Post by Boomerang » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:00 am

odysseus wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:33 am
Boomerang wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:12 am
... revising their attitudes toward the things Tsongkhapa listed, including homosexuality.
Did Tsonghapaka call homo's sexual misconduct?
I’ve never read a primary source about Tsongkhapa’s opinions on sexual misconduct, but secondary sources usually say that he considered male-male sex and sodomy to be misconduct.

Among other things, Tsongkhapa’s formulation prohibits sex between men, solitary masturbation, oral or anal intercourse, and even sex during daylight. On the other hand, it does not prohibit sex between women, or men employing the services of prostitutes, and it permits heterosexual men up to five orgasms per night.

http://www.lionsroar.com/rethinking-buddhism-and-sex-2/
"All the suffering of the lower realms, whatever difficulty and unhappiness we may experience as human beings, as well as every other possible suffering of the three realms of existence, have their origin in cherishing ourselves more than others."

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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and the Third Precept

Post by odysseus » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:26 am

I would not trust Lion' s Roar too much. Even if they quote the Dalai Lama and Tsongkhapa.

As long as it is voluntary, then masturbation, oral, anal is allowed. Even during daylight.

Try to talk about this subject with a straight face. Sex is a strange act, but it is alright.

What I "heard" is that it is forbidden with two men and one woman. This is only allowed in your fantasies. But two women and one man is OK.
Last edited by odysseus on Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

Motova
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and the Third Precept

Post by Motova » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:28 am

KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:47 am
Motova wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:58 am

Also, it seems Gelugpas only have sex to reproduce so your future wife might be out of luck.
Can you provide a source? No sex except for procreation within marriage is the Hare Krishna view on sex, which I strongly disagree with. Do you have to adhere to this standard to receive initiation from a Gelug lama?
No, I'm joking.
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:58 pm
The four means of converting beings to the Dharma are generosity (which itself as four aspects: giving material gifts, conferring fearlessness, loving kindness and teaching Dharma), pleasant speech, conduct and setting an example.

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Konchog1
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and the Third Precept

Post by Konchog1 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:13 am

Umm, this is the standard view. Not just in the Gelug.

In the Nyingma you have:
Sexual misconduct also includes [...] masturbation; [...] or with a person who is free, but in broad daylight, [...] in the mouth or anus, and so on
-Words Of My Perfect Teacher eng pg. 107

In the Kagyu you have:
Improper parts of body are the mouth and anus [...] Improper times [...] when there is light [...] Improper behavior refers to beating [masturbation] or having intercourse with a male or hermaphrodite
-The Jewel Ornament of Liberation eng pg. 113

Lama Tsongkhapa received these teachings from Atisha Dipamkara's lineage. Atisha was a major figure at Vikramashila monastery. One of two biggest centers of Buddhist learning and practice in India.

According to this thread, Atisha, his Indian masters, Patrul Rinpoche, and Gampopa are wrong.

So what do you practice? From where?
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and the Third Precept

Post by PuerAzaelis » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:24 am

Chortle, every so often there is wrong hole thread.

I know, let’s talk about abortion.

:stirthepot:
Generally, enjoyment of speech is the gateway to poor [results]. So it becomes the foundation for generating all negative emotional states. Jampel Pawo, The Certainty of the Diamond Mind

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Konchog1
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and the Third Precept

Post by Konchog1 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:41 am

PuerAzaelis wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:24 am
Chortle, every so often there is wrong hole thread.

I know, let’s talk about abortion.

:stirthepot:
It's murder :stirthepot:
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats

odysseus
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and the Third Precept

Post by odysseus » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:49 am

Konchog1 wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:13 am
So what do you practice?
My Buddhist center is Kagyu, but I follow the most of Buddhist teachings wherever they come from. I am hetero.
Konchog1 wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:13 am

From where?
I should not be rude, but from my own sexual organ.

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