Are Mahayana monks allowed to marry?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
polo
Posts: 248
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:22 pm

Are Mahayana monks allowed to marry?

Post by polo »

I saw on youtube "Harvest of Peace" there is the monk (I am not sure if he is a monk but he looks like a monk or dressed like one).
I think he is called "Shambhala" from the youtube . He has a beautiful wife and they had children. Are monks allowed to get married?
Anyone knows who he is? I know people will be asking me to put this question on Dharma wheel forum. I just don't like Mahayana thing that's why I am asking it on this forum. I seldom visit Dharma wheel and I don't like it much either. I will insist on asking it here if anyone object.

SteRo
Posts: 1789
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:27 am

Re: Are Mahayana monks allowed to marry?

Post by SteRo »

An ordinated monk is not allowed to marry. However e.g. in tibetan tradition there are many lay teachers and there are lay traditions.

Justsit
Posts: 720
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:41 pm

Re: Are Mahayana monks allowed to marry?

Post by Justsit »

The person in the video is Sakyong MIpham Rinpoche; the sangha he heads is called Shambhala. "Rinpoche" in Tibetan means "precious one" and the Sakyong is a lama (teacher), not a monk. Lamas are permitted to marry, Tibetan Buddhist monks do not marry; I'm not sure if monks in other Mahayana groups are or not.

polo
Posts: 248
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:22 pm

Re: Are Mahayana monks allowed to marry?

Post by polo »

Justsit wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:47 pm
The person in the video is Sakyong MIpham Rinpoche; the sangha he heads is called Shambhala. "Rinpoche" in Tibetan means "precious one" and the Sakyong is a lama (teacher), not a monk. Lamas are permitted to marry, Tibetan Buddhist monks do not marry; I'm not sure if monks in other Mahayana groups are or not.
Thank you for your explanation Justsit. I don't know much about Tibetan monks. I do know Japanese monk get married and in the temple the wife is doing the cooking , just a normal family life for the monk. He get pay for being a monk like a job and his pay is tax free. Japanese buddhism is Mahayana branch. They twisted it out of shape you wouldn't be able to recognise it .
So this guy in the video Sakyong is having a good life I think.So much support from the community.

User avatar
DNS
Site Admin
Posts: 13011
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, Estados Unidos de América
Contact:

Re: Are Mahayana monks allowed to marry?

Post by DNS »

It varies by tradition. In Chan, they are all monastic, celibate, like Theravada.

Zen monks, are usually referred to as priests and can get married (in most Zen traditions, but not all). There are Zen priests with robes, shaved heads who look like monks, but have wives and children. I think the Pure Land priests are considered lay teachers and have spouses and children too.

User avatar
DNS
Site Admin
Posts: 13011
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, Estados Unidos de América
Contact:

Re: Are Mahayana monks allowed to marry?

Post by DNS »

polo wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:07 pm
So this guy in the video Sakyong is having a good life I think.So much support from the community.
He has a recent sexual misconduct scandal.
https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/shambha ... stigation/

There are quite a few threads about that over at DWM.

Dan74
Posts: 3320
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: Are Mahayana monks allowed to marry?

Post by Dan74 »

Regarding the Japanese tradition, here's an essay from a prominent Zen teacher on the subject of the OP.

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congr ... en_en.html
_/|\_

polo
Posts: 248
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:22 pm

Re: Are Mahayana monks allowed to marry?

Post by polo »

DNS wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:13 pm
polo wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:07 pm
So this guy in the video Sakyong is having a good life I think.So much support from the community.
He has a recent sexual misconduct scandal.
https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/shambha ... stigation/

There are quite a few threads about that over at DWM.
I am not surprised at all. With all these women around him how could he resists even if he wants to.
I believe Buddha forbade the monks sexual intercourse with another human being or animal is because sexual activities (any kind, which include masturbation) would drain a lot of your energy away, as well as arousing desire (if not met would cause disappointment result in Dukkha), in fact if you think about it sexual activities divert your attention from your meditation so much so that you might as well give up your meditation because you will be thinking about sex anyway.
In a book called "Buddha in the Jungle" written by Kamala Tiyavanich, she wrote about the Tudong monks(that is forest monks in Thailand) in the early 1920s, she mentioned the biggest obstacle for the monks appeared to be women. She researched journals written by early monks and also interviewed those monks who were trained in monkhood under the old monks who had since passed away. A very interesting book I must say.
Another author who wrote on meditation mentioned a Thai monk said the sight of women could affect his meditation so much that it disrupted his meditation. He said in Thai language, "Kammathana Tek" - (kamanthana is meditation in thai language, tek means broken) he was referring to the meditation broke like a piece of glass.
I attended a Zazen course for 3 days in a temple at Higashimatsu yama about 2 hours by train from Tokyo. I am not sure the monks were really doing their Zazen because they could be thinking of screwing their wives for all I know. That's why I believe in Theravada, there is no 2 ways about it.

Dan74
Posts: 3320
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: Are Mahayana monks allowed to marry?

Post by Dan74 »

polo wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:48 pm
DNS wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:13 pm
polo wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:07 pm
So this guy in the video Sakyong is having a good life I think.So much support from the community.
He has a recent sexual misconduct scandal.
https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/shambha ... stigation/

There are quite a few threads about that over at DWM.
I am not surprised at all. With all these women around him how could he resists even if he wants to.
I believe Buddha forbade the monks sexual intercourse with another human being or animal is because sexual activities (any kind, which include masturbation) would drain a lot of your energy away, as well as arousing desire (if not met would cause disappointment result in Dukkha), in fact if you think about it sexual activities divert your attention from your meditation so much so that you might as well give up your meditation because you will be thinking about sex anyway.
In a book called "Buddha in the Jungle" written by Kamala Tiyavanich, she wrote about the Tudong monks(that is forest monks in Thailand) in the early 1920s, she mentioned the biggest obstacle for the monks appeared to be women. She researched journals written by early monks and also interviewed those monks who were trained in monkhood under the old monks who had since passed away. A very interesting book I must say.
Another author who wrote on meditation mentioned a Thai monk said the sight of women could affect his meditation so much that it disrupted his meditation. He said in Thai language, "Kammathana Tek" - (kamanthana is meditation in thai language, tek means broken) he was referring to the meditation broke like a piece of glass.
I attended a Zazen course for 3 days in a temple at Higashimatsu yama about 2 hours by train from Tokyo. I am not sure the monks were really doing their Zazen because they could be thinking of screwing their wives for all I know. That's why I believe in Theravada, there is no 2 ways about it.
I suspect that single men think about sex a lot more than men in relationships. So for a puthujana practicitoner staying single is likely to be more distraction than being in a relationship. Long-term relationships tend to ground sex, in the sense of stripping it of fantasy and making it more real. One learns to take care of the partner's and not only of one's own needs. One learns patience when the partner is not well or perhaps long periods of pregnancy and menopause, when the partner may not be interested, etc etc

Of course for an advanced practitioner, sensuality may no longer be desirable or even relevant, but until then we start innumerable threads about it and discuss it ad infinitum. Might be a lesser distraction to just do it!
_/|\_

User avatar
pilgrim
Posts: 1665
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:56 pm

Re: Are Mahayana monks allowed to marry?

Post by pilgrim »

All forms of Buddhism that is not the relatively homogeneous Theravada is classified under Mahayana, including the sub-school of Vajrayana. Some Mahayana sects have monks who keep Vinaya, some sects particularly in Japan have monks who do not live under Vinaya and so better referred to as priests. They marry and wear lay clothes outside the temple. Some Tibetan schools have monks but the leadership of the school is held by lamas who are not monks,

User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 2190
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:55 pm
Location: Whitby, Canada

Re: Are Mahayana monks allowed to marry?

Post by Coëmgenu »

pilgrim wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:23 pm
Some Tibetan schools have monks but the leadership of the school is held by lamas who are not monks,
I'm not sure if this is true. The Dalai Lama, for instance, follows the Mūlasarvāstivādavinaya because he is a monk and a lama.
如無為,如是難見、不動、不屈、不死、無漏、覆蔭、洲渚、濟渡、依止、擁護、不流轉、離熾焰、離燒然、流通、清涼、微妙、安隱、無病、無所有、涅槃。
Like this is the uncreated, like this is that which is difficult to realize, with no moving, no bending, no dying. Utterly lacking secretions and smothered in the dark, it is the island shore. Where there is ferrying, it is the crossing. It is dependency's ceasing, it is the end of circulating transmissions. It is the exhaustion of the flame, it is the ending of the burning. Flowing openly, pure and cool, with secret subtlety, and calm occultation, lacking ailment, lacking owning, nirvāṇa.
Asaṁskṛtadharmasūtra, Sermon on the Uncreated Phenomenon, T99.224b7, Saṁyuktāgama 890

User avatar
Aloka
Posts: 6678
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:51 pm

Re: Are Mahayana monks allowed to marry?

Post by Aloka »

pilgrim wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:23 pm
Some Mahayana sects have monks who keep Vinaya, some sects particularly in Japan have monks who do not live under Vinaya and so better referred to as priests. They marry and wear lay clothes outside the temple. Some Tibetan schools have monks but the leadership of the school is held by lamas who are not monks,
As far as I know, there are monks and nuns in all of the Tibetan schools. Some of the lamas who are teachers are monks, and others are not. The title "lama" is given to some of the people who have done long retreats of 3-4 years or more. The Dalai Lama is a monk.

Monks and nuns are not allowed to marry, but It is possible for them to give up their vows and become lay practitioners and marry, just as it is is in Theravada. Heads of the different schools can be monks, or they can choose to give up the robes.

.

santa100
Posts: 4091
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: Are Mahayana monks allowed to marry?

Post by santa100 »

DNS wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:13 pm
polo wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:07 pm
So this guy in the video Sakyong is having a good life I think.So much support from the community.
He has a recent sexual misconduct scandal.
https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/shambha ... stigation/

There are quite a few threads about that over at DWM.
Guess the apple never falls far from the tree. His dad, Chogyam Trungpa was also a naughty boy. Doesn't seem like there's any "bala" in their practice, so might as well remove that part from Shambhala and let's just call their school "Sham" :tongue:

SteRo
Posts: 1789
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:27 am

Re: Are Mahayana monks allowed to marry?

Post by SteRo »

santa100 wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:35 pm
DNS wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:13 pm
polo wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:07 pm
So this guy in the video Sakyong is having a good life I think.So much support from the community.
He has a recent sexual misconduct scandal.
https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/shambha ... stigation/

There are quite a few threads about that over at DWM.
Guess the apple never falls far from the tree. His dad, Chogyam Trungpa was also a naughty boy. Doesn't seem like there's any "bala" in their practice, so might as well remove that part from Shambhala and let's just call their school "Sham" :tongue:
There are certainly serious practitioners and teachers within that organization. Chogyam Trungpa is revered by many as a great teacher which might be the case if one separates livelyhood/conduct from teaching skills. If one rejects such a separation categorically then that is so :shrug:

santa100
Posts: 4091
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: Are Mahayana monks allowed to marry?

Post by santa100 »

SteRo wrote:There are certainly serious practitioners and teachers within that organization. Chogyam Trungpa is revered by many as a great teacher which might be the case if one separates livelyhood/conduct from teaching skills. If one rejects such a separation categorically then that is so
Well, there's no shortage of "teachers" like those in this day and age, who can teach all the ins and outs of virtuous conducts, while still breaking the Five Precepts. How we miss the good old days when the Teacher didn't just teach with His tongue, but also with His BODY.

Post Reply