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Dhamma and polygamy - Dhamma Wheel

Dhamma and polygamy

A forum for members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries, which for discussion purposes are both treated as authoritative.

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clw_uk
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Dhamma and polygamy

Postby clw_uk » Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:05 pm

Just a quick question

What do the commentaries and, classical Theravada in general, have to say about polygamy?


It came up in a discussion with a friend and I realises I had no idea what the Therevadin stance on it was.
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robertk
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Re: Dhamma and polygamy

Postby robertk » Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:56 pm

of course Kings and the rich had many wives in the Buddhas day. The average man seemed to have only one wife.
This was no problem unless it involved seducing the wives of other men.

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Dhamma and polygamy

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:24 pm

I believe there is a Vinaya rule against monks and nuns officiating over a wedding ceremony. Due to this, there is no official form of marriage in Buddhism, afaik. However there are some Suttas that imply monogamy as the best form. The Buddha apparently never spoke out against the polygamy of some of the kings.
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Dhammanando
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Re: Dhamma and polygamy

Postby Dhammanando » Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:24 am


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Anagarika
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Re: Dhamma and polygamy

Postby Anagarika » Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:57 pm

I am glad for Ven. Dhammanando's opinion, above. It seems to me that a part of the cultivation of the lay Sangha would be having Bhikkhus/Bhikkhunis involved in important events in the lives of lay people. Certainly, monks are there for the questions and answers, pindabaht, Dhamma talks, the house blessings, are there for the funerals...so it would seem to be a good thing to have these monks as celebrants for one of the most positive events for many families. It would be a shame for a monk to turn down a couple that he/she had counseled and taught, based on a Vinaya interpretation that is subject to ambiguity or a more compassionate view. I wonder if the engaging Ajahn Brahm, who must get asked every week to celebrate a marriage from members of his Sangha, still holds to his early position as he stated in his brief.

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Re: Dhamma and polygamy

Postby binocular » Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:26 am


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Dhammanando
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Re: Dhamma and polygamy

Postby Dhammanando » Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:08 pm


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Goofaholix
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Re: Dhamma and polygamy

Postby Goofaholix » Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:40 pm

Whether there is a rule prohibiting it I don't see why Bhikkhus should be expected to perform the role of marriage celebrant. I think the expectation arises because "religious prefoessionals" of other religions do it, but it seems inappropriate to me that someone who has renounced marriage should be expected to have anything to do with the marriages of others.

The custom in asia is that the married couple invite Bhikkhus to their home on the morning of the wedding and offer them a meal, this seems like an appropriate way for Bhikkus to be involved, in Thailand marriages are often conducted by hindu priests or town officials.

As for polygamy if all parties are consenting and nobody is hurt by the arrangement then I'm not sure there is anything prohibiting it except the laws of the country.

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Dhammanando
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Re: Dhamma and polygamy

Postby Dhammanando » Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:16 pm


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Ben
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Re: Dhamma and polygamy

Postby Ben » Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:54 pm

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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clw_uk
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Re: Dhamma and polygamy

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:31 am

Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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Re: Dhamma and polygamy

Postby shaunc » Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:53 am


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Sam Vara
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Re: Dhamma and polygamy

Postby Sam Vara » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:14 am



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