Monastic vows

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LastLegend
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Re: Monastic vows

Post by LastLegend » Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:48 pm

If people can eat one meal per day and be fine, then by all means do it. For those who cannot, forcing one meal per day would be really unhealthy.
Make personal vows.

Malcolm
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Re: Monastic vows

Post by Malcolm » Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:50 pm

Indrajala wrote:Edit 7 [...]
You are going to have to explain to me how eating dinner is evil and unwholesomeness.
My point is really that almost nobody really believes in things so dogmatically...

You are quite wrong — however, the Buddhas have also provided many means of purifying infractions of vows, especially in Vajrayāna, because in this degenerate age the lower vows in general are very hard to maintain purely.
...Edit 8 [...]
A Mahāyānist in general should be consuming food with the motivation to achieve buddhahood for the benefit of sentient beings — so as long as that is the case, there is no problem with eating dinner, whether lay or ordained.

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Re: Monastic vows

Post by LastLegend » Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:11 am

"Bodhisattva" is written which means not any practitioner but this true Bodhisattva practitioner. Will tell a story...once there was a monk who was invited to a party. All the food on the table was meat and fish, to their surprise the people realized the monk was a vegan. But the monk sat down and asked everyone to hold their chopsticks to start feasting...Mahayana teaching focuses on detachment at mind level while Sravakayana focuses on the rule itself.
Make personal vows.

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Re: Monastic vows

Post by Huseng » Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:26 am

Malcolm wrote: You are going to have to explain to me how eating dinner is evil and unwholesomeness.
If you have a precept against it and eat it anyhow, the result is apparently hell unless you confess it at posadha (according to the Vinaya).

A Mahāyānist in general should be consuming food with the motivation to achieve buddhahood for the benefit of sentient beings — so as long as that is the case, there is no problem with eating dinner, whether lay or ordained.
Edit 9 [...]
The world of Buddhism on paper and the world of Buddhism in real life are really two different things. Edit 10 [...]

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Re: Monastic vows

Post by lama tsewang » Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:42 am

FIRST OF ALL, I AM A BHIKSHU.
( AND IM A bad typist) nowher in any of the teachings on the pratimoksha , does it teach that eating after noon , is bad karma , thats not the purpose of that precept. some of the precepts in the pratimoksha are about wholesome and unwholesome karma . Others like , things about when to eat , and not carrying money are about preserving the sangha , for social reasons or to not trouble laypersons etc. THIS IS WHATS TAUGHT IN ALL SCHOOls , EVEN THE ONES WHO FOLLOW ALL THE RULES PERFECTLY WILL TELL YOU THAT. saying thaat if all the precepts arent followed perfectly , there is unwholesome karma created is just false its not what the Sangha teaches to its members , and if you say this , its a sort of way of ridiculing the SANGHA AND THE TEACHINGS in the VINAYA pitaka .

IM SORRY I CANT GIVE YOU ANY QUOtes but as i said I am a part of this brotherhood , the sangha

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Re: Monastic vows

Post by Malcolm » Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:13 pm

Indrajala wrote:
lama tsewang wrote:i dont think its a good thing to make fun of the teachings
No, I'm serious. What is a pāyattika and what is the result to be experienced if not confessed?
Hell.

However, you do realize that if you are practitioner [and in general all Tibetan monks are], you confess all your misdeeds and downfalls of the three vows daily with Vajrasattva?

Moreover, the bodhisattva approach to following the vows can be flexible as the Buddha states in the Ārya-vinayaviniścayopāliparipṛcchā-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra:
  • The training of a bodhisattva who has entered into Mahāyāna is said to be modifiable. The training of those in the śravakayāna is said to unmodifiable.
This sūtra also clarifies other issues you seem to be obsessed with.

So again, while it is important to receive and maintain the three vows, the flexibility towards pratimokṣa vow in the Mahāyāna approach to the vows that is not present in the Hinayāna approach to the pratimokṣa vow, in addition to the fact that Mahāyāna vows constitute a separate and more important class of vows, even while taking the pratimokṣa vows as a foundation.
Last edited by Malcolm on Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Monastic vows

Post by amanitamusc » Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:23 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Indrajala wrote:
lama tsewang wrote:i dont think its a good thing to make fun of the teachings
No, I'm serious. What is a pāyattika and what is the result to be experienced if not confessed?
You realize that if you are practitioner [and in general all Tibetan monks are], you confess all your misdeeds and downfalls daily?
Yes this is basic even for lay practicioners. :twothumbsup:

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Re: Monastic vows

Post by philji » Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:42 pm

I am really enjoying and gaining knowledge about this whole issue, which was my original intention in posting. However I do feel that being mndful of not making fun of and not slandering the sangha is very , very important something maybe we need to be mindful of here.

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Re: Monastic vows

Post by Malcolm » Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:19 pm

philji wrote:I am really enjoying and gaining knowledge about this whole issue, which was my original intention in posting. However I do feel that being mndful of not making fun of and not slandering the sangha is very , very important something maybe we need to be mindful of here.
You need to keep in mind that Jeff was deeply disappointed by his experience with the monastic Sangha in Asia — he wrote about it constantly.

Part of the post removed as an ad hom argument. Participants can look up Indrajala's prior posts and/or blog to look into his views and biases, if they wish to.

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Re: Monastic vows

Post by Paul » Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:14 pm

Thread temporarily edited pending mod discussion.
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Re: Monastic vows

Post by Ayu » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:16 pm

Thread unlocked.
Please beware of heatened discussion.
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:

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Re: Monastic vows

Post by Ayu » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:28 pm

philji wrote:Can anyone explain why it is that in the Theravada tradition they strictly follow vows including not eating after noon, not touching money etc whereas Tibetan monks do not except in certain ocasions. Is it that the Bodhisattva and tantric vows take precedence?
For the sake of understanding better this topic, I asked a tibetan buddhist novice nun (from Austria) yesterday.
She said, no, there are not different rules in Theravada and Mahayana - at least not to an considerable extent. The reasons why all the tibetan monks and nuns are eating dinner, for example, or wearing sweaters under their robes in winter and all this, are individually. Some have exeption because of health issues, or other reasons.
Mainly you can see that the rules are accomodated to the certain circumstances.
For sure these ordained confess regularly and hold the right view to the best of their capacity.

In my point of view this doesn't reduce the respect they deserve to the slightest.
:namaste:
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:

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Re: Monastic vows

Post by plwk » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:29 pm

Please beware of heatened discussion.
phpBB [video]


Some stuff I once read... (both links have lots of good info, so check them out)
Outwardly, the rules for Tibetan monks and nuns appear to be fairly relaxed. Theravada and Mahayana monks sometimes think that Tibetan monks are so lax that they do not observe the precepts. This is not true. In India, the monks can go begging for alms in the morning and come back in the afternoon. But Tibet has no large cities and the Tibetan villages are spread far and wide. So even if the monks went out begging for alms at four o’clock in the morning, they would not be able to return until late in the evening leaving them unable to practice and study. Therefore, the Tibetan panditas and siddhas in the past decided that rather than spending the whole day begging for alms, it would be preferable for monks and nuns to spend the time on practice and study. So Tibetan monks do not go out begging for alms but rely on donations from benefactors.

Tibetan monks also eat in the afternoon which, in the view of some people, is breaking the precepts. But there is a reason for this. In India, the monks go begging alms in the morning and come back in the afternoon and do their meditation in the evening. It is not proper to beg for alms both in the morning and the evening. Since the monks depend on alms for food, the Buddha forbid the nuns and monks to eat in the evening. However, in Tibet the monks do not go for alms and so can eat in the afternoon or evening if they are still hungry to allow them to better study and practice.

Teachings by the Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, Abbot of Gampo Abbey: Seminar on Monastic Discipline

So, to return to your question, you need to take the vows seriously. If you follow the vinaya, you become an inspiration and example to others. You inspire others to practice the vinaya and morality. Without saying anything, if you take your vows seriously, you become a teaching for others. Inspiration comes from that. Otherwise, it can make others degenerate the vinaya. You need to respect the abbot like Lord Buddha. According to the Hinayana, you don't see him as Buddha, but you respect him as Buddha, like a father. The abbot should help and guide you like a son.

Regarding your question about sometimes having to eat after 12:00, if you have taken the Eight Mahayana Precepts, but you have a job or something, and you can't have lunch before 12:00, there's still benefit in keeping the vow, even if you have to eat after 12:00. After lunch, then don't eat. So, that's still fasting, that's still the vow. In the morning, don't say, “I'll fast after 12.” If you're not sure what time you’ll be able to eat, say “After lunch I won't eat.” Make the vow in that way. Sometimes something happens and you have no choice over whether you can eat before 12:00 or not, for example, if you are traveling. This is not due to laziness or a mistake, but due to circumstances. Try, if you have the freedom, to practice the fasting vow for one year. That doesn't mean after a year you never keep that vow, but at least keep it purely for some time, so in your life there's a certain period where you kept it purely. The general idea is to keep it as much as one can. It helps in monasteries or communities where there is a group doing the vinaya practice. Then, there's a proper lunch but no dinner. Individual people who are hungry can have dinner, but the community doesn’t have it. Sometimes I tell Sangha, if you are settled in one place, then try to fast. It's not just for you, but for other sentient beings, to free them from the cause—delusions and karma—and bring them to enlightenment.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Online Advice Book Advice for Sangha : Other Advice for Sangha

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Re: Monastic vows

Post by philji » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:18 pm

Great to see this thread open again, I think it is very interesting. Thanks also to Ayu and Plwk for lots of useful info, especially the words of Thrangu Rinpoche.

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Re: Monastic vows

Post by Malcolm » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:38 pm

Ayu wrote:
philji wrote:Can anyone explain why it is that in the Theravada tradition they strictly follow vows including not eating after noon, not touching money etc whereas Tibetan monks do not except in certain ocasions. Is it that the Bodhisattva and tantric vows take precedence?
For the sake of understanding better this topic, I asked a tibetan buddhist novice nun (from Austria) yesterday.
She said, no, there are not different rules in Theravada and Mahayana - at least not to an considerable extent. The reasons why all the tibetan monks and nuns are eating dinner, for example, or wearing sweaters under their robes in winter and all this, are individually. Some have exeption because of health issues, or other reasons.
Mainly you can see that the rules are accomodated to the certain circumstances.
For sure these ordained confess regularly and hold the right view to the best of their capacity.

In my point of view this doesn't reduce the respect they deserve to the slightest.
:namaste:

Yes, there are different rules, Theravadins do not have a system of Mahāyāna ordination, Tibetan Buddhism does; Thervada does not have a system of Vajrayāna vows, Tibetan Buddhism does. The receipt of these higher vows alters how the lower vows are practiced. Please Sapan's Clear Differentiation of the Three Codes or Kontgrul's Buddhist Ethics.

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Re: Monastic vows

Post by Ayu » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:48 pm

Malcolm wrote:Yes, there are different rules, Theravadins do not have a system of Mahāyāna ordination, Tibetan Buddhism does; Thervada does not have a system of Vajrayāna vows, Tibetan Buddhism does. The receipt of these higher vows alters how the lower vows are practiced. Please Sapan's Clear Differentiation of the Three Codes or Kontgrul's Buddhist Ethics.
Sorry, I didn't want to contradict that.
My question to her was especially about the food-after-noontime-rule. She said these are the same vows, the rules might differ but they are similar - on that part.

Myself I never read these rules. I think plwk's post gives an even better explanation.
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Re: Monastic vows

Post by Adamantine » Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:00 am

Malcolm wrote:
Indrajala wrote:
No, I'm serious. What is a pāyattika and what is the result to be experienced if not confessed?
Hell.

However, you do realize that if you are practitioner [and in general all Tibetan monks are], you confess all your misdeeds and downfalls of the three vows daily with Vajrasattva?
Malcolm, I am a lay-practitioner/aspiring ngakpa, and I am not as familiar with the vinaya conduct as I would like to be. I've read Dudjom RInpoche's commentary on Ngari Panchen's Ascertaining the Three Vows. I don't recall this detail regarding Vajrasattva confession though, if it is in there. Is it indeed considered possible to purify one's break of vinaya vows using Vajrayana methods? I more familiarized with the saying that pratimoksha vows are like a clay pot, once it falls and breaks, that's it, it's shattered. And Vajrayana vows to the contrary are likened to a metal vase, if it falls it doesn't shatter, but dents, and the dents can be hammered out (through the skillful methods such as Vajrasattva). If so, I assume this is only applicable to the more minor vows, and not root downfalls? Since it seems that even Tibetan monks who break their vows of celibacy have to lose the robes. . .
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Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha

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Re: Monastic vows

Post by Ayu » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:31 am

Our Geshe mentioned another method to clean a breaking of Pratimoksha vows: to recite the confession sutra six times a day/night: before sunrise, after sunrise, at noon, before sunset, after sunset and at midnight.
In Gelug tradition the confession sutra is recited while doing prostrations also.
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Re: Monastic vows

Post by uan » Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:46 am

it's easy enough to find fault if that's what we want to find.

it's easy enough to find the lack of perfection.

it's easy enough to be chuffed at these things, but what's the point? The only person who carries that is ourself. Why burden ourselves with that?

We are in samsara and dealing with human beings.

No person is so base that we can't find one little piece to admire or to extend compassion to. And then to define him/her within the light of that compassion.

How much more so a monk or a nun?

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Re: Monastic vows

Post by Malcolm » Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:08 am

Adamantine wrote: Is it indeed considered possible to purify one's break of vinaya vows using Vajrayana methods?
Of course.

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