paṇḍaka

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

Post by Sweeney » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:09 am

Dhammanando wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:19 pm
Sweeney wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:47 pm
But what is to stop such a monk from finding a secluded place in which to develop his practice of mindfulness...
The Vinaya, which requires that the early years after his ordination (at least the first five, and ideally the first ten) have to be spent living in dependence on a teacher. In practice this will virtually always entail living in a community. Admittedly in practice this is a rule that's more honoured in the breach nowadays, and so if a man wanted to just get ordained and then go gallivanting off by himself he could probably get away with it. He wouldn't, however, be doing things properly.
Yes it is true that in accordance with the Vinaya, it is inevitable the he will have to have some form of association with with the monastic community in one form or another weather it be his mentor, or it be during the rains retreat. Which still leads me to my later remark that through maturity and dedication to the Dhamma-Vinaya it still should not pose as such an inappropriate situation. Does one start accumulating sensual desire towards ones mother simply because she is the only women around? No she is ones mother. As such, through maturity one hopes to overcome sensual desire, inasmuch would one not recognise "fellow Bhikkhu", "ones teacher and mentor"?

I would also not go as far as to say that one is "necessarily" gallivanting off by himself. If he finds it suitable for his temperament and practice, then one is merely trying to establish a solid base for his practice. Excuse me if I'm wrong, but that is the same reason one becomes a Bhikkhu is it not? Of course if one is fueled by false expectations and delusions of grandeur then gallivanting of by himself is most likely not a wise choice, although I would think that it would probably be a sound lesson in ones own abilities.
Sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ
Kusalassa upasampadā
Sacittapariyodapanaṃ
Etaṃ buddhāna sāsanaṃ
~ Dhp 183 ~

Sweeney
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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by Sweeney » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:26 am

I would also like to add here, that it seems peculiar that the most common interpretation of pandaka is eunuch, as wouldn't a eunuch (especially one since early childhood) be a perfect candidate for celibacy being as they lack sexual hormones (although not necessarily sexual desire). Weren't eunuchs once trusted servants to royal courts and women? Which is what is so bizarre about the pandaka is that it is supposedly an individual with an uncontrollable sexual desire. Although maybe this stems from a discriminatory viewpoint of eunuchs being nothing more than prostitutes... Who knows, we probably never will.

Also I find it interesting on the topic of hermaphrodites; lets say I take a pragmatist stance, and lets say that hypothetically, the reason that the Buddha would not let them ordain (because they would supposedly entice other monks) is because these so called "heterosexual" men have very limited control of their sexuality and take any external stimuli as reason to feel seduced whether the hermaphrodite (or women!) was trying to seduce him or not... Just an idea. But I think a lot of men would do themselves well to take responsibility for their own sensual desires rather than trying to blame women and gender queer individuals.
Sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ
Kusalassa upasampadā
Sacittapariyodapanaṃ
Etaṃ buddhāna sāsanaṃ
~ Dhp 183 ~

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pitakele
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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by pitakele » Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:55 pm

:zzz:
manas wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:53 am
Regarding gay men in a monastery though, it might not be appropriate to place a gay individual among a Monastic Community of the gender they are attracted to - that would be like, a monk trying to practice for calm and non-agitation, whilst living among nuns - not an appropriate situation!
It is quite likely that there is a similar percentage of gay men & women in robes as there is in the wider population. There may be problems for some depending on their natural propensity for lust and also how well they are practising indriyasamvara. I know several gay Westerners who ordained for long periods. Amongst these, one practised in the Ajahn Chah forest tradition for ten years, and another has been in robes for many decades (mostly living alone).
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Sweeney
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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by Sweeney » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:20 pm

pitakele wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:55 pm
It is quite likely that there is a similar percentage of gay men & women in robes as there is in the wider population.
Quite likely indeed. I think what a lot of heterosexuals don't understand is that a lot of homosexuals are actually really good at suppressing their sexuality. You've gotta hide it from your friends and your family, to the point where you can't even open up to anybody emotionally, let alone sexually.
Sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ
Kusalassa upasampadā
Sacittapariyodapanaṃ
Etaṃ buddhāna sāsanaṃ
~ Dhp 183 ~

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pitakele
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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by pitakele » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:44 pm

Sweeney wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:20 pm
I think what a lot of heterosexuals don't understand is that a lot of homosexuals are actually really good at suppressing their sexuality. You've gotta hide it from your friends and your family, to the point where you can't even open up to anybody emotionally, let alone sexually.
I would hope that in these modern times, it has become generally easier for individuals to be open about their sexuality. However, I know this varies greatly, depending on country, culture and religion.

Some of the gay Western monks I knew were very closeted. One was a skilful teacher during his years in robes. He unfortunately died in an accident a few years after disrobing, and it was only at his funeral that his friends came to know he'd been living with his gay lover. Before that, nobody would have suspected he was gay.

It is very healthy for all us to cultivate emotional openness. It is a great blessing if we have friends or confidantes with whom we can discuss anything. If not, we may be able to seek out indviduals or groups who will be happy to hear our story.
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Sweeney
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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by Sweeney » Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:22 pm

pitakele wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:44 pm
It is very healthy for all us to cultivate emotional openness. It is a great blessing if we have friends or confidantes with whom we can discuss anything. If not, we may be able to seek out indviduals or groups who will be happy to hear our story.
Should their be an LGBTQI Dhamma Wheel, or would that come under Dharma Wheel(engaged)? No, only joking, everyone on here seems chill enough.
Sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ
Kusalassa upasampadā
Sacittapariyodapanaṃ
Etaṃ buddhāna sāsanaṃ
~ Dhp 183 ~

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pitakele
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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by pitakele » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:00 pm

Sweeney wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:22 pm
Should their be an LGBTQI Dhamma Wheel, or would that come under Dharma Wheel(engaged)? No, only joking, everyone on here seems chill enough.
There are definitely 'Queer Dharma' groups in different places, so there may also be some type of online forum.
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LG2V
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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by LG2V » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:31 pm

In retrospect, I think that "pandaka" generally refers to a homosexual or atypically gendered person. I think that it's expressed through the lens of Ancient Indian sexuality, so perhaps the "pandaka" sexual behaviors and practices, while not quite commensurate with today's understanding of gay lifestyles, are still indicative of the same underlying sexuality on the behalf of their practitioners.

With that being said, I think that gay monks and bhikkhunis would still be able to ordain in today's monastic sangha. There has been precedent for Buddha himself ordaining gay clergy (Ven. Vakkali), so the prohibitive rule would likely, in my opinion, fall into the category of "minor vinaya rules" that Buddha, prior to his parinibbana, allowed to be revoked.
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Sweeney
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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by Sweeney » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:32 am

LG2V wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:31 pm
In retrospect, I think that "pandaka" generally refers to a homosexual or atypically gendered person.
Please, elaborate more on why you think pandaka means homosexual...
Sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ
Kusalassa upasampadā
Sacittapariyodapanaṃ
Etaṃ buddhāna sāsanaṃ
~ Dhp 183 ~

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pitakele
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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by pitakele » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:20 am

I am not sure if these discussions about paṇḍaka on Sutta Central have been previously referenced

https://discourse.suttacentral.net/sear ... 1%B8%8Daka
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StormBorn
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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by StormBorn » Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:01 pm

“Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand-thousand men, is he who would conquer just one—himself.”

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Will
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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by Will » Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:28 pm

Another good survey is chapter ten of Harvey's Introduction to Buddhist Ethics. His conclusion says:
While close friendships have been accepted in monasteries, homosexual
activity has not been, except in Japan and, in a moderated form, among
irregular monks in Tibet. In the case of the type of sexually dysfunctional
passive homosexual known as a pandaka, ordination has been
barred, and the spiritual potential in the present life of such people seen
as limited. In Japan, which has had some influence on American
Buddhism, resistance to the ideal of monastic celibacy, which culminated
in the development of a married priesthood, led to a toleration
and even advocacy of homosexual activity in the monasteries.
Homosexual activity among lay people has been sporadically condemned
as immoral in Southern and Northern Buddhism, but there is
no evidence of persecution of people for homosexual activities. An attitude
of unenthusiastic toleration has existed. In China, there has been
more tolerance, and in Japan positive advocacy.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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LG2V
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Re: paṇḍaka

Post by LG2V » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:13 am

Sweeney wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:32 am
LG2V wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:31 pm
In retrospect, I think that "pandaka" generally refers to a homosexual or atypically gendered person.
Please, elaborate more on why you think pandaka means homosexual...
Pandaka is usually translated as eunuch, but eunuchs are only one of five types
of pandakas recognized by the Commentary to Mv.I.61:

1) An Asitta (literally, a “sprinkled one”)—a man whose sexual desire is
allayed by performing fellatio on another man and bringing him to climax.
(Some have read this as classing all homosexual males as pandakas, but there are
two reasons for not accepting this interpretation: (a) It seems unlikely that many
homosexuals would allay their sexual desire simply by bringing someone else to
climax through oral sex; (b) other homosexual acts, even though they were
known in ancient India, are not included under this type or under any of the
types in this list.)

2) A voyeur—a man whose sexual desire is allayed by watching other people
commit sexual indiscretions.

3) A eunuch—one who has been castrated.

4) A half-time pandaka—one who is a pandaka only during the waning
moon. (! — The Sub-commentary’s discussion of this point shows that its author
and his contemporaries were as unfamiliar with this type as we are today.
Perhaps this was how bisexuals were understood in ancient times.)

5) A neuter—a person born without sexual organs.

This passage in the Commentary further states that the last three types
cannot take the Going-forth, while the first two can (although it also quotes from
the Kurundı that the half-time pandaka is forbidden from going-forth only
during the waning moon (!).) As for the prohibition in Mv.I.61, that pandakas
cannot receive full ordination, the Commentary states that that refers only to
those who cannot take the Going-forth.

From The Buddhist Monastic Code, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... Y73Aw2WXcZ
This is my source, but I take a different opinion than Thanissaro Bhikkhu on the matter. I think that pandaka refers to homosexuals, in addition to transgender people and eunuchs; It's perhaps an ancient Indian way of saying 'LGBT'.

Some of the acts described in the quote above can be construed as homosexual, such as gratifying oneself by fellatio on other men, yet other homosexual acts--namely, anal sex--are absent from the description. I think that this is the case because, perhaps, anal sex wasn't necessarily a common sex act among homosexual men of that place and era. There exist gay men even today who prefer oral to anal sex, and sex acts, even potentially deviant ones, can often be shaped by the larger culture.

So, the acts described in the quote above could potentially represent the same people, motivated by the same same-sex desire as modern homosexuals, yet expressed through different sex acts that are less central to our understanding of gay activities, but perhaps more central to an ancient Indian interpretation of them..



(Note: I don't have any problems with gay people. Gay is OK and I'm perfectly fine with having gay clergy.)
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