Is monk allowed to criticise another monk?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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SarathW
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Is monk allowed to criticise another monk?

Post by SarathW » Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:45 am

Is monk allowed to criticise another monk?

Considering the current debate on a statement made by Bikkhu Bodhi and comments made by Ven. Thanissaro, I just wonder whtat is the best way to have a discussion among two monks.

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=21602

-Are we (lay people) allowed to make comments on monks behaviour?
- Should we only concentrated on our personal goal?
==========

Monks, do not wage wordy warfare, saying: 'You don't understand this Dhamma and discipline, I understand this Dhamma and discipline'; 'How could you understand it? You have fallen into wrong practices: I have the right practice'; 'You have said afterwards what you should have said first, and you have said first what you should have said afterwards';[1] 'What I say is consistent, what you say isn't'; 'What you have thought out for so long is entirely reversed'; 'Your statement is refuted'; 'You are talking rubbish!'; 'You are in the wrong'; 'Get out of that if you can!'

"Why should you not do this? Such talk, monks, is not related to the goal, it is not fundamental to the holy life, does not conduce to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, tranquillity, higher knowledge, enlightenment or to Nibbana. When you have discussions, monks, you should discuss Suffering, the Arising of Suffering, its Cessation, and the Path that leads to its Cessation. Why is that? Because such talk is related to the goal... it conduces to disenchantment... to Nibbana. This is the task you must accomplish

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

Sanjay PS
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Re: Is monk allowed to criticise another monk?

Post by Sanjay PS » Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:55 am

Superb advise by Lord Buddha for those keen to walk on the Noble Eightfold Path .

Thanks Sarath .

sanjay
SarathW wrote:Is monk allowed to criticise another monk?

Considering the current debate on a statement made by Bikkhu Bodhi and comments made by Ven. Thanissaro, I just wonder whtat is the best way to have a discussion among two monks.

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=21602

-Are we (lay people) allowed to make comments on monks behaviour?
- Should we only concentrated on our personal goal?
==========

Monks, do not wage wordy warfare, saying: 'You don't understand this Dhamma and discipline, I understand this Dhamma and discipline'; 'How could you understand it? You have fallen into wrong practices: I have the right practice'; 'You have said afterwards what you should have said first, and you have said first what you should have said afterwards';[1] 'What I say is consistent, what you say isn't'; 'What you have thought out for so long is entirely reversed'; 'Your statement is refuted'; 'You are talking rubbish!'; 'You are in the wrong'; 'Get out of that if you can!'

"Why should you not do this? Such talk, monks, is not related to the goal, it is not fundamental to the holy life, does not conduce to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, tranquillity, higher knowledge, enlightenment or to Nibbana. When you have discussions, monks, you should discuss Suffering, the Arising of Suffering, its Cessation, and the Path that leads to its Cessation. Why is that? Because such talk is related to the goal... it conduces to disenchantment... to Nibbana. This is the task you must accomplish

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html
The Path of Dhamma

The path of Dhamma is no picnic . It is a strenuous march steeply up the hill . If all the comrades desert you , Walk alone ! Walk alone ! with all the Thrill !!

U S.N. Goenka

SarathW
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Re: Is monk allowed to criticise another monk?

Post by SarathW » Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:34 am

Cross-question one another is OK.
=========
And when they have mastered that Dhamma, they cross-question one another about it and dissect it: 'How is this? What is the meaning of this?' They make open what isn't open, make plain what isn't plain, dispel doubt on its various doubtful points. This is called an assembly trained in cross-questioning and not in bombast."

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“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Cittasanto
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Re: Is monk allowed to criticise another monk?

Post by Cittasanto » Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:07 am

SarathW wrote:Is monk allowed to criticise another monk?
Are we (lay people) allowed to make comments on monks behaviour?
yes, however, it is not criticizing the person, rather the action. The Vinaya is full of instances of lay people and monks criticising the actions of a monk, then the Buddha hearing about it, asking the accused directly about it and either being called a foolish run of the mill person, or declared being not at fault.

It depends on where the criticism comes from. whether from a place of metta or non-ill-will, or from animosity, and ill-will.
Should we only concentrated on our personal goal?
yes and no. If someone is blind and about to walk into a hole pointing out and helping the person navigate around the hole is what an admirable friend does, but if they are not free of the tendency themselves one needs to work on themselves before they can be effective in criticising.

Kind Regards
Cittasanto.
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
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Dinsdale
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Re: Is monk allowed to criticise another monk?

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:26 am

Cittasanto wrote: It depends on where the criticism comes from. whether from a place of metta or non-ill-will, or from animosity, and ill-will
Yes, good point. And I don't see a problem with honest disagreement where there is mutual respect.
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SarathW
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Re: Is monk allowed to criticise another monk?

Post by SarathW » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:21 pm

Five spiritual barrennesses. Herein, friends, a brother doubts, is perplexed about the Master, comes to no definite choice, is not satisfied. He being thus, his mind does (sic, does not) incline (lit. bend) towards ardour, devotion, perseverance, exertion:—this is the first barrenness. When he doubts, is perplexed about the Doctrine, the Order, the Training, these are, in order, the second, third and fourth barrennesses. When he is offended with his fellow-disciples, vexed, agitated, sterile towards them, he being thus, his mind does not incline towards ardour, etc.

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Is monk allowed to criticise another monk?

Post by JamesTheGiant » Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:15 am

When I was a monk we were told Yes we can criticize another monk, if we meet the following conditions:

(The conditions are basically impossible to meet for a normal person, so the answer from my Ajahn was NO we should never criticize another.)
"O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu who desires to admonish another should do so after investigating five conditions in himself and after establishing five other conditions in himself. What are the five conditions which he should investigate in himself?

[1] "Am I one who practices purity in bodily action, flawless and untainted...?

[2] "Am I one who practices purity in speech, flawless and untainted...?

[3] "Is the heart of goodwill, free from malice, established in me towards fellow-farers in the holy life...?

[4] "Am I or am I not one who has heard much, who bears in mind what he has heard, who stores up what he has heard? Those teachings which are good alike in their beginning, middle, and ending, proclaiming perfectly the spirit and the letter of the utterly purified holy life — have such teachings been much heard by me, borne in mind, practiced in speech, pondered in the heart and rightly penetrated by insight...?

[5] "Are the Patimokkhas [rules of conduct for monks and nuns] in full thoroughly learned by heart, well-analyzed with thorough knowledge of their meanings, clearly divided sutta by sutta and known in minute detail by me...?

"These five conditions must be investigated in himself.

"And what other five conditions must be established in himself?

[1] "Do I speak at the right time, or not?

[2] "Do I speak of facts, or not?

[3] "Do I speak gently or harshly?

[4] "Do I speak profitable words or not?

[5] "Do I speak with a kindly heart, or inwardly malicious?

"O bhikkhus, these five conditions are to be investigated in himself and the latter five established in himself by a bhikkhu who desires to admonish another."

— AN V (From The Patimokkha, Ñanamoli Thera, trans.)

TRobinson465
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Re: Is monk allowed to criticise another monk?

Post by TRobinson465 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:05 pm

It seems like this shouldn't be allowed. Unless im reading the rule wrong it seems to break one of the pacittaya rules.

‘If a monk speaks abusively, he commits an offense entailing confession.’”
Speaks abusively: he abuses in ten ways: about caste, about name, about family, about work, about craft, about illnesses, about physical traits, about defilements, about offenses, and by insulting.

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"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.

TRobinson465
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Re: Is monk allowed to criticise another monk?

Post by TRobinson465 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:12 pm

Although the dispute between bhikkhu bodhi and ven. thanissaro seems to not really fit these cases. more like a disagreement than actual criticism/insults.
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Is monk allowed to criticise another monk?

Post by JamesTheGiant » Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:28 pm

TRobinson465 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:05 pm
It seems like this shouldn't be allowed. Unless im reading the rule wrong it seems to break one of the pacittaya rules.
It's only a pacittiya if it is abusive speech. If it is gentle speech designed to correct someone's behavior, it's not a pacittiya.

Bhante Sudewa Thero
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Re: Is monk allowed to criticise another monk?

Post by Bhante Sudewa Thero » Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:50 pm

SarathW wrote:
Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:45 am
Is monk allowed to criticise another monk?

Considering the current debate on a statement made by Bikkhu Bodhi and comments made by Ven. Thanissaro, I just wonder whtat is the best way to have a discussion among two monks.

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=21602

-Are we (lay people) allowed to make comments on monks behaviour?
- Should we only concentrated on our personal goal?
==========

Monks, do not wage wordy warfare, saying: 'You don't understand this Dhamma and discipline, I understand this Dhamma and discipline'; 'How could you understand it? You have fallen into wrong practices: I have the right practice'; 'You have said afterwards what you should have said first, and you have said first what you should have said afterwards';[1] 'What I say is consistent, what you say isn't'; 'What you have thought out for so long is entirely reversed'; 'Your statement is refuted'; 'You are talking rubbish!'; 'You are in the wrong'; 'Get out of that if you can!'

"Why should you not do this? Such talk, monks, is not related to the goal, it is not fundamental to the holy life, does not conduce to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, tranquillity, higher knowledge, enlightenment or to Nibbana. When you have discussions, monks, you should discuss Suffering, the Arising of Suffering, its Cessation, and the Path that leads to its Cessation. Why is that? Because such talk is related to the goal... it conduces to disenchantment... to Nibbana. This is the task you must accomplish

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html
Sanghadisesa (a set of vinaya-rules monks must follow) uses the phrase "a corrupter of families". That is to say if the criticism is of a type that destroys the community etc. then it is not allowed. (Sanghadisesa 13). I would guess the quotes you present represents such cases (hence the expression "not wage wordy warfare") and not criticism in general or criticism in order to correct a wrong statement or view. That is not considered as waging wordy warfare. There is a lot of this in the monastic life but the criticism is done very gently.

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