Lineage of monks

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.

Re: Lineage of monks

Postby daverupa » Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:57 pm

AN 4.28 wrote:
...These are the four traditions of the Noble Ones — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — which are not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and are unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives and priests.


The source for the "lineage of the Noble Ones" comes from a commentary; the Buddha's father is upset that his son is begging, and remarks that no person of Sakyan lineage has ever gone begging. To this, the Buddha (allegedly) responds with the "lineage of the Noble Ones" line.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Lineage of monks

Postby chownah » Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:02 am

Thanks for the, daverupa.
I'm thinking that "Noble Ones" means"Noble disciples" which comprise the Sangha and includes those along the path from those being on the path to stream entry all the way up to and including arahants..(the four pairs)....do you agree?....
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Re: Lineage of monks

Postby Bankei » Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:33 am

Hi Chownah

I have briefly skimmed a few posts here, but haven't read them all.

I don't think you will find that the Buddha specifically said he is the only one that could initiate a lineage.

There could be at least 2 aspects to lineage:
1. Teacher and disciple
2. Ordination preceptor and ordinands.

Every Bhikkhu today would trace their ordination lineage back to their preceptor, who could trace their lineage back to their preceptor, and so on all the way back to the Buddha.

Some Bhikkhu had teachers who were not in their ordination lineage too. eg. Acharn Chah was a disciple of Acharn Mun even though they were of different nikaya and therefore ordination lineage.

In the 1700 0r 1800s there were some 'monks' who were self ordained and set up lineages, but these quickly died out when 'proper' lineages were re-established from Thailand. There are also many stories in Japan were there were self ordained Bhikkhu, or Bhikkhu who supposedly received precepts via dreams. These didn't last long either.
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Re: Lineage of monks

Postby chownah » Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:58 pm

Bankei et al,
Thank you for the information. There are many people who look at the monkhood as a "lineage". The people who look at the monkhood that way seem to put alot of importance on the concept of "lingeage"....but these people never seem to come up with a good reason why "lineage" is important when it comes to monks.....is there some kind of "magic" which gets passed on in this "lineage"?.....if a monk becomes part of this "lineage" does it meant the his kamma is automatically improved or his wisdom is enhanced?....I don't see that any of these things happen. It seems that there are alot of people who think the idea of a "lineage" of monks is important....but so far it does not seem that the Buddha was one of these people....as far as I can tell he never said anything about a "lineage" of monks....never even mentioned it....he did, however, associate himself with a "lineage" of "Noble Ones" but he never did as far as I can tell ever associate himself with a "lineage" of monks....he never even mentioned a "lineage of monks" i guess....I'm wondering if this "lineage" idea is just a worldly affectation....but I don't know....if a "lineage" of monks was important I think that the Buddha would have at least MENTIONED it somewhere but evidently he didn't...or at least it was not important enough to get reported in the Pali texts....I guess....
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Re: Lineage of monks

Postby chownah » Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:45 pm

Karma
by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... karma.html

An excerpt:
"............
We read the early Buddhist attacks on the caste system, and aside from their anti-racist implications, they often strike us as quaint. What we fail to realize is that they strike right at the heart of our myths about our own past: our obsession with defining who we are in terms of where we come from — our race, ethnic heritage, gender, socio-economic background, sexual preference — our modern tribes. We put inordinate amounts of energy into creating and maintaining the mythology of our tribe so that we can take vicarious pride in our tribe's good name. Even when we become Buddhists, the tribe comes first. We demand a Buddhism that honors our myths.
.........."

Could it be that the concept of a "lineage" of monks is just an example of the "mythology of our tribe".....that we demand a Buddhism which allows us to "take vicarious pride in our tribe's good name"?......that we demand a Buddhism that honors the myth of "lineage of monks" even though the Buddha NEVER MENTIONED such a concept in relationship to monks although it is clear that he DID MENTION the concept in relationship to the tradition of the Noble Ones? Could it be that the Buddha thought that the traditions of the Noble Ones is a more honorable myth than a "lineage of monks"? Could it be that we all have a myth of "lineage" which we bring to Buddhism from our secular world and that we overlay that secular myth onto the monkhood and thus come to demand a Buddhism that honors that myth and that this is clouding our minds so that we overlook the tradition of the Noble Ones?
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Re: Lineage of monks

Postby Bankei » Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:52 pm

chownah wrote:Bankei et al,
Thank you for the information. There are many people who look at the monkhood as a "lineage". The people who look at the monkhood that way seem to put alot of importance on the concept of "lingeage"....but these people never seem to come up with a good reason why "lineage" is important when it comes to monks.....is there some kind of "magic" which gets passed on in this "lineage"?.....if a monk becomes part of this "lineage" does it meant the his kamma is automatically improved or his wisdom is enhanced?....I don't see that any of these things happen. It seems that there are alot of people who think the idea of a "lineage" of monks is important....but so far it does not seem that the Buddha was one of these people....as far as I can tell he never said anything about a "lineage" of monks....never even mentioned it....he did, however, associate himself with a "lineage" of "Noble Ones" but he never did as far as I can tell ever associate himself with a "lineage" of monks....he never even mentioned a "lineage of monks" i guess....I'm wondering if this "lineage" idea is just a worldly affectation....but I don't know....if a "lineage" of monks was important I think that the Buddha would have at least MENTIONED it somewhere but evidently he didn't...or at least it was not important enough to get reported in the Pali texts....I guess....
chownah


Hi Chownah

I don't think there is anything special per se. Nothing is transmitted, no magic or DNA. It is just the thought of some sort of connection to the Buddha. Really there is little diffrence between someone who is ordained from modern monks and someone who just puts on robes and starts behaving as monk.

The parajika ex-monk Sangharakshita has an interesting booklet out called "was the Buddha a Bhikkhu?" where he argues the Buddha started the order but he wasn't really a Bhikkhu under ordinary standards. Slightly touches on this topic i guess.
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Re: Lineage of monks

Postby patipatti » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:41 pm

Hello,

I was just reading this long post and thought "Ariya-vamsa Sutta" AN 4.28, Discourse on the Traditions of the Noble Ones

The full name of the sutta seems to have been Catupaccayasantosa- bhdvaiidrdma-Mahdariyavamsa Sutta.

Does 'vamsa' translate as lineage or tradition?

I thought 'bhikkhu/bhikkhuni' literally translated as "beggar" or more broadly as "one who lives by alms". How did it come to mean an "ordained male/female Buddhist monastic?"

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