anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Post by melancholy » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:07 am

BlackBird wrote:Good posts Bhante Dhammanando.
indeed, his sutta & vinaya knowledge is very good.
Dhammanando wrote: Second because not only is a junior bhikkhu not recommended to live alone, the Vinaya does not even permit him to do so. For at least his first five rains a bhikkhu is required to live in dependence on a senior bhikkhu. And since the benefit of kalyāṇamittatā consists in the fact that it is by this that one learns the teaching, it makes sense that a bhikkhu will seek someone who speaks his language.
venerable sir, i read that vinaya permits for a junior bhikkhu to live alone if he cannot find a suitable teacher, also there is an offense for taking dependence from an unsuitable teacher, is it true?

also appreciate if you can explain according to sutta & vinaya, what are the qualities a teacher should have?

Power can make things disappear, so does me :D

Then the Blessed One said to Ven. Ananda, "Now, if it occurs to any of you — 'The teaching has lost its authority; we are without a Teacher' — do not view it in that way. Whatever Dhamma & Vinaya I have pointed out & formulated for you, that will be your Teacher when I am gone.

-Dīgha Nikāya 16, Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

aND rEPEAT aFTER mE: "i aM fREE."

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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Post by boris » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:19 am

pulga wrote:I find Ven. Ñanavira's view on the matter both inspiring and disconcerting at the same time. ... Drive and initiative in new ventures, so highly prized in the world of business and practical affairs, are impediments for one who is seeking release.
It's against our "natural" need; from Pascal's Pensées:
—When I have set myself now and then to consider the various distractions of men, the toils and dangers to which they expose themselves in the court or the camp, whence arise so many quarrels and passions, such daring and often such evil exploits, etc., I have discovered that all the misfortunes of men arise from one thing only, that they are unable to stay quietly in their own chamber. A man who has enough to live on, if he knew how to dwell with pleasure in his own home, would not leave it for sea-faring or to besiege a city. An office in the army would not be bought so dearly but that it seems insupportable not to stir from the town, and people only seek conversation and amusing games because they cannot remain with pleasure in their own homes.

But upon stricter examination, when, having found the cause of all our ills, I have sought to discover the reason of it, I have found one which is paramount, the natural evil of our weak and mortal condition, so miserable that nothing can console us when we think of it attentively.

Whatever condition we represent to ourselves, if we bring to our minds all the advantages it is possible to possess, Royalty is the finest position in the world. Yet, when we imagine a king surrounded with all the conditions which he can desire, if he be without diversion, and be allowed to consider and examine what he is, this feeble happiness will never sustain him; he will necessarily fall into a foreboding of maladies which threaten him, of revolutions which may arise, and lastly, of death and inevitable diseases; so that if he be without what is called diversion he is unhappy, and more unhappy than the humblest of his subjects who plays and diverts himself. Hence it comes that play and the society of women, war, and offices of state, are so sought after. Not that there is in these any real happiness, or that any imagine true bliss to consist in the money won at play, or in the hare which is hunted; we would not have these as gifts. We do not seek an easy and peaceful lot which leaves us free to think of our unhappy condition, nor the dangers of war, nor the troubles of statecraft, but seek rather the distraction which amuses us, and diverts our mind from these thoughts.

Hence it comes that men so love noise and movement, hence it comes that a prison is so horrible a punishment, hence it comes that the pleasure of solitude is a thing incomprehensible. And it is the great subject of happiness in the condition of kings, that all about them try incessantly to divert them, and to procure for them all manner of pleasures.
Perhaps that is why nibbana is so difficult to attain, without change :cry: so monotonous :(
The man who wants to avoid grotesque collapses should not look for anything to fulfill him in space and time.

Nicolás Gómez Dávila

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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Post by pulga » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:51 am

boris wrote:Perhaps that is why nibbana is so difficult to attain, without change :cry: so monotonous :(
'Whoever wills repetition proves himself to be in possession of a pathos that is serious and mature.'—Kierkegaard, Repetition.

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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Post by pilgrim » Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:28 pm

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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Post by Sroberto » Mon May 21, 2018 8:25 pm

BlackBird wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:48 pm
I went to Sri Lanka to ordain a few years back, but failed to find a suitable place for what I wanted to do, I spent ~2 months at Nissarana Vanaya - Meetirigala under the Venerable Dhammajiva Thero. He speaks fantastic English and the monastery is fantastic, very well funded by Sri Lankan standards. The monks there keep very good Vinaya by and large and as a part of the Galduwa tradition (Sri Lankan forest tradition) it has a good reputation amongst the pious Sri Lankan laity.

Ven. Dhammajiva will give you a meditation subject in line with your prior experience - For instance if you've already been practicing anapana he will continue to help you foster that, if you've been working with rise and fall of the chest he'll help you with that (that seems to be the preferred method there - As Ven. Dhammajiva spent many years in Burma under Ven. U Pandita if I recall correctly.

Personally I am trying to get rid of my debt so I can find a suitable place to ordain again in the next few years and if I chose Sri Lanka I would be more inclined to try and nag the hell out of Ven. Nyanananda 'till he relents and ordains me, as a Venerable monk of the Thai tradition told me he doesn't usually ordain people but if I rocked up and explained my situation (that I don't want a traditional mahavihara teacher) and nagged him enough he probably would.

So it depends really on what your practice involves. At the time in Sri Lanka I grew quite disconcerted by the fact that every Dhamma talk seemed to return at some point to the doctrine of flux - One that I think is logically and fundamentally opposed to the Buddha's teachings, but for one who does not have such qualms I think Meetirigala could be a good gig.

I also went and stayed at Kanduboda, not the old one but the new one under Ven. Pemasiri. Ven. Pemasiri is quite famous in Sri Lanka and his centre is very well funded and the conditions are excellent. It's not in the forest though so you do have to put up with some occasional noises such as tooting horns and the Muslims with their loud speakers blasting the call to prayer and various music through out the village at times in the evening. There's a lot, and I mean ALOT of westerners at Kanduboda, which can be a massive relief for those who start getting culture shock. I got a bit of that at Meetirigala because with my internal strife my meditation wasn't going well, so I began to lament the fact that nobody besides the teacher spoke English and I was very lonely. At Kanduboda there were a lot of people I could talk to. There was even a New Zealand monk there so I could relate kiwi stories with him, the only problem I found with the place is that the vinaya wasn't up to par for my wishes, I have no intentions of divisive speech so I'll leave it at that.

There are a lot of pious sinhalese lay people, and they bemoan the fact there aren't more good monks, there is a lot of sangha corruption in sri lanka which the laity are all too aware of. But they are also aware that the Buddha spoke prophetically of this age of degradation and said that even when the Sangha was filled with immoral monks who didn't practice his teachings that a gift to the Sangha was still of immeasurable value - So many sinhalese are very generous with their dana. Be careful not to take up any offers of people to be your dayaka unless you're absolutely sure you'll be staying in the robes. I did this by accident as much as by simple ignorance and I ended up upsetting an entire extended family who refuse to speak to me now because in their eyes all their hard earned gifts they gave to me (just things like food, mosquito repellent, a clock etc) were worthless when I stopped being an anagarika and returned to the lay life.

But if you do choose to become a monk, this can work very much in your favour as you will have absolutely no problem obtaining any requisites you need for the holy life, and quite possibly some things you don't need, which can then be passed on to the Sangha at large. It can cause issues though because other monks can become jealous of the rich Suddha who has all these dayakas tending to his every need, especially because you will be newly ordained or even just an anagarika (as I was) and you will have all these people wanting to help you (it can actually be a hinderance to one's practice) - So my advice in such a situation would be to share anything you don't desperately need with the community and that way any immoral monks will see you as a benefit to them rather than a thorn in their side. Not to put you off, but there are a lot of scurously monks out there (although the Galduwa has a lot less of such monks) I heard stories from Western monks while there of incidents of suddha monks being poisoned or threatened in one case death threats to leave town, because the local temple felt the western monk with his actual precept keeping and meditation would result in less spoils of dana for them. So in your travels just be careful not to piss anyone off haha, work that metta meditation to the max and try not to step on any toes, always always be humble, Sri Lanka like other Asian nations (although less so) has a culture of non-confrontation, criticisms are made indirectly - Especially in the Sangha, so do not speak harshly or criticically of anyone or their ideas to their face, find ways to suggest alternatives in manners that do not insult a person's precious sense of pride or 'face'.

Ultimately it's a case of having realistic expectations of what you're going to find. As Rob points out in his post above. You will find most monks are just average human beings, like all of us they are affected by greed, hatred and delusion, and while some are working hard on cutting those roots off, many others are not. Those who are of such a high calibre of bhavana are usually tucked away in remote areas such as Laggala (which I had the pleasure of visiting), so you'll do best if you don't go in thinking it's going to be like it is in the Suttas.

Anyway that'll do for now, if there's anything else you want to know just ask :)


I am considering ordination at Meetirigala Nissarana Vanaya if it is possible. Do you have any experience or insight to share?

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