Handicapped monks or nuns?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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Sati1
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Handicapped monks or nuns?

Post by Sati1 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:28 pm

Hello,

I was wondering if there are monks who are physically handicapped, i.e. blind, deaf, paraplegic, etc. Are any such monanstics mentioned in the suttas?

Thank you,
Sati1
London, UK

----
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.10, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)

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DNS
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Re: Handicapped monks or nuns?

Post by DNS » Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:54 pm

Not exactly a handicap, but being a dwarf precludes you from many professions (firefighter, police, etc.).

Ven. Bhaddiya was a dwarf during the time of the Buddha, ordained and attained enlightenment.

"I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion Ven. Bhaddiya the Dwarf, following behind a large number of monks, was going to the Blessed One. From afar, the Blessed One saw Ven. Bhaddiya the Dwarf coming, following behind a large number of monks: ugly, unsightly, stunted, treated with condescension by most of the monks. On seeing him, the Blessed One addressed the monks, "Monks, do you see that monk coming from afar, following behind a large number of monks: ugly, unsightly, stunted, treated with condescension by most of the monks?"

"Yes, lord."

"That, monks, is a monk of great power, great might. The attainment already attained by that monk is not of a sort easily attained. And by means of it he has reached & remains in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself right in the here-&-now."

Udana 7.5

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Mkoll
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Re: Handicapped monks or nuns?

Post by Mkoll » Sat Jul 19, 2014 1:01 am

This doesn't really count because he wasn't a monastic but Suppabuddha the leper attains stream-entry and then is suddenly killed.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Sati1
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Re: Handicapped monks or nuns?

Post by Sati1 » Sat Jul 19, 2014 6:47 am

Dear David and Mkoll,

Those references are very helpful. Thank you.

Metta,
Sati1
London, UK

----
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.10, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)

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Re: Handicapped monks or nuns?

Post by EmptyShadow » Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:28 am


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Sati1
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Re: Handicapped monks or nuns?

Post by Sati1 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:31 pm

EmptyShadow wrote:Thera Cakkhupala was blind
http://dhammapadaexplanations.blogspot. ... ada-1.html
Great, thanks, EmptyShadow for the reference!
Sati1
London, UK

----
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.10, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)

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Re: Handicapped monks or nuns?

Post by DNS » Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:44 pm

In the Khemaka Sutta, Ven. Khemaka is diseased and in pain. He remarks that his condition is worsening. Monks come to visit with him and believe he is an arahant. Ven. Khemaka insists that he is not an arahant. Ven. Khemaka visits some of the elder monks and in discussion with them about the clinging aggregates, attains enlightenment. He had to use his staff to get up out of bed to visit the elders.

This is a good thread. I think Buddhism and other rebirth religions have a reputation or rather misconception that handicapped are some how inferior due to bad kamma. And some might incorrectly believe that they do not have access to the holy life or awakening. The examples we are listing here show otherwise. Although there may be some prior kamma ripening, it is not something for us to speculate nor to judge and they have full access to awakening, as the Suttas demonstrate.

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Re: Handicapped monks or nuns?

Post by cooran » Tue Jul 22, 2014 1:57 am

It may be worthwhile reading what Ajahn Brahmavamso's article states on this question, especially the fifth paragraph.

VINAYA: The Ordination Ceremony of a Monk
http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebsut020.htm

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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DNS
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Re: Handicapped monks or nuns?

Post by DNS » Tue Jul 22, 2014 2:25 am

There are others still who should not be ordained, although if they are ordained by mistake their ordination is valid. These include: one with infectious diseases, a slave, one escaped from jail, one known to be wanted by the police, one with unpaid debts, one in the 'King's Service' (e.g. a soldier), one maimed, deformed, disabled or very old (meaning to the extent that it is impractical to perform the duties of monastic life).
That makes some practical sense so as not to be a burden on the other monks or to the lay community. However, apparently once one is ordained and then later obtains some sickness or other disability, they are not thrown out, which is also a good thing.

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Sati1
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Re: Handicapped monks or nuns?

Post by Sati1 » Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:29 am

cooran wrote:It may be worthwhile reading what Ajahn Brahmavamso's article states on this question, especially the fifth paragraph.

VINAYA: The Ordination Ceremony of a Monk
http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebsut020.htm

With metta,
Chris
Does this still apply nowadays? Would someone who is "maimed, disabled, deformed" not be allowed into the Order, or are there monasteries that provide facilities for such monks or nuns?

Metta,
Sati1
London, UK

----
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.10, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)

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cooran
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Re: Handicapped monks or nuns?

Post by cooran » Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:53 am

As far as I understand, it does apply nowadays.

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Sati1
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Re: Handicapped monks or nuns?

Post by Sati1 » Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:15 am

Interesting and a bit sad.
Sati1
London, UK

----
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.10, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)

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