paṇḍaka

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

Post by clw_uk » Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:03 pm

Greetings

Ive come accross this term "paṇḍaka" as a reference to a "third gender" thats forbidden to take the robe but I have never got a good definition of why these people are discriminated against


Anyone know why or have a source

Also i read this
In 1989, the supreme governing body of the Thai sangha affirmed that "gays" (here translated from Thai kathoey) are prohibited from being ordained.[34] Their declaration has apparently gone unheeded in some quarters, as Phra Pisarn Thammapatee (AKA Phra Payom Kalayano), one of the most eminent monks in the country, demanded in 2003 that 1,000 gay monks be ousted from the sangha, and that better screening processes are put in place to keep out any gay postulants.[35]
Is this still in effect in Thailand and if so why?

Thanks

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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:13 pm

I have no idea about the legalities, but I have a couple of observations.

Kathoey (AKA "lady boys") in my experience refers to transgender people, not gay.

Both Gays and transgender people are, in my experience, quite accepted in Thailand. More so, I would guess, than in the West. However, such things are very difficult to ascertain, and depend a lot on who one associates with...

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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:42 pm

Greetings Craig,

On my computer the third and fourth characters are unrecognised and therefore come up as boxes.

I assume you're talking about a "pandaka", yes?

Metta,
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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by appicchato » Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:19 am

retrofuturist wrote:I assume you're talking about a "pandaka", yes?
Yes...

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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by zerotime » Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:55 am

these are interesting:

http://www.enabling.org/ia/vipassana/Ar ... ckson.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.australianhumanitiesreview.o ... son.1.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... /ch14.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by Individual » Sun Jul 05, 2009 2:20 am

There's these two old articles which can help clarify things:
http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... 22,0,0,1,0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... 29,0,0,1,0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Simply put, the term's meaning is ambiguous and debatable. I haven't seen a perfectly convincing argument that the term means one thing or the other.
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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by karuna_murti » Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:46 am

This is what Bhante Dhammanando wrote two years ago:
Regarding paṇḍakas, in the Vinaya Atthakathā these are classified as being of five types:

1) āsitta-paṇḍaka: — (literally, a "sprinkled one") a man who finds sexual fulfillment in performing fellatio on another man and bringing him to climax. (For some reason, other homosexual acts, even though they were known in ancient India, are not included under this type nor under any of the types in this list.)
2) usūya-paṇḍaka: — a voyeur a man who finds sexual fulfillment in watching other people have sex.
3) opakkamika-paṇḍaka: — A eunuch - one who has been castrated.
4) pakkha-paṇḍaka: — A half-time paṇḍaka - one who is a paṇḍaka only during the waning moon.
5) napuṃsaka-paṇḍaka: — A neuter - a person born without sexual organs.
(I have followed Ven. Thanissaro's translations of these terms)

Of these five kinds, the first two may ordain as bhikkhus, the other three may not. So, given that the āsitta-paṇḍaka —the type closest to what we call a "homosexual" today— is permitted to ordain, I think we have to take it that such persons are in fact capable of awakening.

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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by Individual » Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:36 am

For even more clarity, perhaps we could go into detail about the passages where this is mentioned?

From what I've seen so far, it's mentioned in the Vinaya only and some of the later texts possibly, but not the Pali Nikayas.

Mahavagga 1.61, 1.68 & 1.69

http://metta.lk/tipitaka/1Vinaya-Pitaka ... -01-e.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/sbe13/sbe1312.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I notice, though, that in that translation, part of 1.61 is left untranslated as a footnote.

The full passage, according to one source I found online (maybe it's wrong?) should say:
At that time a certain pandaka was ordained among the monks. He approached a number of young monks and said: 'Come, Venerable Ones, defile me' (etha, mam ayasmanto dusetha). The monks reproached him: 'Begone pandaka, away with you! What have we to do with that?'

"Reproached by the monks he approached a number of large, stout novices. 'Come, Venerable Ones, defile me.' The novices reproached him: 'Begone pandaka, away with you! What have we to do with that?'

"Reproached by the novices he approached the elephant keepers and the grooms and said: 'Come, Sirs, defile me.' The elephant keepers and grooms defiled him.

"They grumbled, became angry and irritated: 'These recluses, these followers of the Buddha are pandakas and those who are not pandakas defile pandakas. Thus do they all lack discipline.'

"Monks heard those elephant keepers and grooms who grumbled, were angry, and irritated and those monks told this matter to the Blessed One who said: 'Monks, if a pandaka is not ordained, let him not be ordained. If he is already ordained let him be expelled.'"
karuna_murti wrote:This is what Bhante Dhammanando wrote two years ago:
Regarding paṇḍakas, in the Vinaya Atthakathā these are classified as being of five types:

1) āsitta-paṇḍaka: — (literally, a "sprinkled one") a man who finds sexual fulfillment in performing fellatio on another man and bringing him to climax. (For some reason, other homosexual acts, even though they were known in ancient India, are not included under this type nor under any of the types in this list.)
2) usūya-paṇḍaka: — a voyeur a man who finds sexual fulfillment in watching other people have sex.
3) opakkamika-paṇḍaka: — A eunuch - one who has been castrated.
4) pakkha-paṇḍaka: — A half-time paṇḍaka - one who is a paṇḍaka only during the waning moon.
5) napuṃsaka-paṇḍaka: — A neuter - a person born without sexual organs.
(I have followed Ven. Thanissaro's translations of these terms)

Of these five kinds, the first two may ordain as bhikkhus, the other three may not. So, given that the āsitta-paṇḍaka —the type closest to what we call a "homosexual" today— is permitted to ordain, I think we have to take it that such persons are in fact capable of awakening.
I'm a bit confused here. If the first two may ordain, but the second three may not... Well, the fourth is "one who is a pandaka only during the waning moon", so logically, who exactly is this referring to? The other two -- 3 and 5 -- refer to a person without sexual organs. Assuming such an interpretation doesn't imply there are people with genitalia that spontaneously disappears and re-appears, who is the fourth referring to? Also, about the first one... What should be more egregious about giving fellatio than receiving, or anal sex? Also, if the pandaka of the Mahavagga, above was offering oral rather than anal sex, why would he say, "Defile me," instead of "Let me defile you"?

From the same source I mentioned above, they also allege that Buddhaghosa had a homophobic interpretation of the Cakkavatti-sutta:
Buddhaghosa, in commenting on a passage in the Cakkavatti-sutta of the Digha Nikaya,[45] describing the progressive degeneration in the life span of human beings following upon their increasing corporeality and sinfulness, takes the expression 'wrong conduct' (micchadhamma) as 'the sexual desire of men for men and women for women.'[46]
Is this true?
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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:51 am

karuna_murti wrote:This is what Bhante Dhammanando wrote two years ago:
Regarding paṇḍakas, in the Vinaya Atthakathā these are classified as being of five types:

1) āsitta-paṇḍaka: — (literally, a "sprinkled one") a man who finds sexual fulfillment in performing fellatio on another man and bringing him to climax. (For some reason, other homosexual acts, even though they were known in ancient India, are not included under this type nor under any of the types in this list.)
2) usūya-paṇḍaka: — a voyeur a man who finds sexual fulfillment in watching other people have sex.
3) opakkamika-paṇḍaka: — A eunuch - one who has been castrated.
4) pakkha-paṇḍaka: — A half-time paṇḍaka - one who is a paṇḍaka only during the waning moon.
5) napuṃsaka-paṇḍaka: — A neuter - a person born without sexual organs.
(I have followed Ven. Thanissaro's translations of these terms)

Of these five kinds, the first two may ordain as bhikkhus, the other three may not. So, given that the āsitta-paṇḍaka —the type closest to what we call a "homosexual" today— is permitted to ordain, I think we have to take it that such persons are in fact capable of awakening.
I came accross this a while ago, and done some digging although never came accross this or the specific types, but it does validate my own assessment of what they are and the rule.
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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by cooran » Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:21 am

Hello all,

A little from Buddhanet.net:

A type of person called a pandaka is occasionally mentioned in the Vinaya in contexts that make it clear that such a person is some kind of sexual non-conformist. The Vinaya also stipulates that pandakas are not allowed to be ordained, and if, inadvertently, one has been, he is expelled. According to commentary, this is because pandakas are "full of passions, unquenchable lust and are dominated by the desire for sex." The word pandaka has been translated as either hermaphrodite or eunuch, while Zwilling has recently suggested that it may simply mean a homosexual. It is more probable that ancient Indians, like most modern Asians, considered only the extremely effeminate, exhibitionist homosexual (the screaming queen in popular perception) to be deviant while the less obvious homosexual was simply considered a little more opportunistic or a little less fussy than other 'normal' males. As the Buddha seems to have had a profound understanding of human nature and have been remarkably free from prejudice, and as there is not evidence that homosexuals are any more libidinous or that they have any more difficulties in maintaining celibacy than heterosexuals, it seems unlikely that the Buddha would exclude homosexuals per se from the monastic life. The term pandaka therefore probably does not refer to homosexuals in general but rather to the effeminate, self-advertising and promiscuous homosexual.
http://www.buddhanet.net/homosexu.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by Individual » Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:26 pm

Chris wrote:Hello all,

A little from Buddhanet.net:

A type of person called a pandaka is occasionally mentioned in the Vinaya in contexts that make it clear that such a person is some kind of sexual non-conformist. The Vinaya also stipulates that pandakas are not allowed to be ordained, and if, inadvertently, one has been, he is expelled. According to commentary, this is because pandakas are "full of passions, unquenchable lust and are dominated by the desire for sex." The word pandaka has been translated as either hermaphrodite or eunuch, while Zwilling has recently suggested that it may simply mean a homosexual. It is more probable that ancient Indians, like most modern Asians, considered only the extremely effeminate, exhibitionist homosexual (the screaming queen in popular perception) to be deviant while the less obvious homosexual was simply considered a little more opportunistic or a little less fussy than other 'normal' males. As the Buddha seems to have had a profound understanding of human nature and have been remarkably free from prejudice, and as there is not evidence that homosexuals are any more libidinous or that they have any more difficulties in maintaining celibacy than heterosexuals, it seems unlikely that the Buddha would exclude homosexuals per se from the monastic life. The term pandaka therefore probably does not refer to homosexuals in general but rather to the effeminate, self-advertising and promiscuous homosexual.
http://www.buddhanet.net/homosexu.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Chris
That's my understanding of it. Thanks for posting that, Chris!
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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by Sovatthika » Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:37 am

i would like to express my continued annoyance with the 'screaming queen' stereotype. what is wrong with being an effeminate male? is 'self-advertising' to say one's sexual orientation should deliberately kept secret; for what purpose? yes being promiscuous flies in the face of buddhist ideals, but who is to say that homosexuals, especially of the effeminate, 'self-advertising' nature, are innately any more promiscuous?
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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:58 am

Greetings Sovatthika,

I'd suggest that the Buddha's concerns were pragmatic, as opposed to necessarily being discriminatory or rooted in stereotypes. He established the bhikkhu order, he reluctantly established the bhikkhuni order, and he introduced strict rules of conduct between them to prevent real or perceived misconduct. It would appear then it was a bridge too far, for him to create a tiny third order in order to address an "other" category, with all the new additional rules, and permutations and combinations that would need to be institutionalized in response to that.

To that end, there's close parallels between this and the decision to restrict transgenders from military service.

And on that note...

:toilet:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by Sovatthika » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:18 am

i was referring to a. l. de silva's article that has been shared
how do i know this was a concern of the buddha, the banning of paṇḍakas, and why do you say he established the bhikkuni order reluctantly
i wouldn't think banning transgender people from the military is coming from a place of total pragmatism
"Just as the ocean has a single taste — that of salt — in the same way, this Dhamma-Vinaya has a single taste: that of release."
— Ud 5.5

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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:35 am

Greetings,
Sovatthika wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:18 am
why do you say he established the bhikkuni order reluctantly
See here and scroll down to "The Buddha's initial reluctance"
Sovatthika wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:18 am
how do i know this was a concern of the buddha, the banning of paṇḍakas,
I think it can be reasonably inferred, both as an extension of the concerns he had regarding the establishment of the bhikkhuni order, and the fact that he did indeed place a prohibition on paṇḍakas joining the Sangha.
Sovatthika wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:18 am
i wouldn't think banning transgender people from the military is coming from a place of total pragmatism
I won't go too far off-track with this one, but I will say that Buddhists seem far more willing to give the Buddha the benefit of the doubt that he was coming from a place of pragmatism on this issue, than they are to afford the same charitable spirit to army generals and presidents when they are dealing with their own parallel and equivalent issues. I'm all for revering the Buddha, but I am also for holding people to equivalent standards... and it seems here the biggest difference between the Sangha's pandaka issue and the Army's transgender issue, lies in how charitable people are willing to be when assessing the intentions of those holding the decision making power in each respective case.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by Sovatthika » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:13 am

"Bhikkhu Dr. Analayo, a scholar monk has been a strong advocate for bhikkhuni ordination and in his research feels that the Buddha was misrepresented in the texts about being reluctant to ordain women. Ven. Dr. Analayo pointed out an obvious timeline discrepancy that amazingly has gone undetected until now. It involves the deeply held belief that Ananda played an instrumental role in the founding of the bhikkhuni sangha. He was credited, and later chastised by the First Council, for advocating for the ordination of the Buddha's maternal aunt and stepmother, Mahapajapati. In a paper presented at the University of Marburg, Germany, Ven. Dr. Analayo writes, "There are many problems chronologically, however, in the traditional account of Mahaprajapati (from the Commentaries). She first requested ordination five years after Buddha's enlightenment; but Ananda, who requested Buddha on her behalf, first ordained only twenty years after Buddha's enlightenment. Considering that Mahaprajapati, as Buddha's maternal aunt, raised him after his mother's death, she would have been about eighty years old when Ananda was senior enough to make the request."" ... food for thought

there is still such ambiguity about what a paṇḍaka is; one poster even went as far to say the term has been lost to obscurity. how can we surmise the buddha's motivation for banning them. i believe the buddha made it clear anyone with a mind of renunciation was fit for the holy life. i'm not sure the trans military ban is an equivalent issue nor am i too charitable with trump regarding his decision.
"Just as the ocean has a single taste — that of salt — in the same way, this Dhamma-Vinaya has a single taste: that of release."
— Ud 5.5

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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by Sovatthika » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:21 pm

"Just as the ocean has a single taste — that of salt — in the same way, this Dhamma-Vinaya has a single taste: that of release."
— Ud 5.5

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