Definitions of alajji and lajji bhikkhus

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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A. Bhikkhu
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Definitions of alajji and lajji bhikkhus

Post by A. Bhikkhu » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:45 pm

Dear all,
after a discussion with one of the most strict and stern teachers of vinaya I have met so far I would like to request some help in form of pointing out some definitions and giving some explanations. On the basis of a passage which he read in Thai (it was translated for me) he maintained that it is an offense for a bhikkhu to simply stay with unconscientious (on the word alajji the text was based upon) bhikkhus within the same monastery boundaries, however far-reaching the circumference might be. He argued that any bhikkhu who has fallen into any small offense, which he does not mend, is considered alajji and ground for an offense for any other bhikkhu who stays with him. Now these questions bother me at the moment regarding this:

1. Where is his mentioned passage to be found in Paali or English (if at all)?
2. What are the definitions of lajji and alajji regarding bhikkhus? Do they match the mentioned case or are they generally different?

He also mentioned that it is the responsibility of conscientious bhikkhus to point out the offenses of his co-resident bhikkhus, if he neglects it he would incur an offense himself. I see that there is Paacittiya 64 which stipulates so but argued that in the no-offense clause we find the following exemptions:
There is no offence if he does not tell, thinking: “There will come to be quarrel or dispute or strife or contention for the Order”; if he does not tell, thinking: “There will come to be a schism in the Order or dissension in the Order”; if he does not tell, thinking: “This one, harsh, rough, will be an obstacle to life or to the Brahma-life”; if he does not tell, not seeing other suitable monks; if he does not tell (though) not desiring to hide (him); if he does not tell, thinking: “It will be evident from his own action”; if he is mad, if he is the first wrong-doer.
So, to my mind, if a _bhikkhu_ doesn't say something because he doesn't wish the whole day finding faults and talking to other monks (in Pa Auk Mawlamyine, just to give a random example, this would be a full-time job with so many hundreds of monks) that would be no offense because he doesn't want to hide, is that also your understanding? He said there is somewhere another passage which says one has to confront issues regardlessly but he could not find it? Are you aware of any? 

Thank you so much for the assistance!
Mettaa
"One should not consider the faults of others, nor their doing or not doing good or bad deeds. One should consider only whether one has done or not done good or bad deeds." -- The Buddha (Dhp.50)

Website: www.embracing-buddhism.jimdo.com

Ruud
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Re: Definitions of alajji and lajji bhikkhus

Post by Ruud » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:22 pm

I am not very familiar with the Vinaya at all, but I remember these terms (lajji, alajji and dussilo) being defined and discussed in Ledi Sayadaw’s “Dhamma dipani” (“A Manual of the Dhamma”, as found at http://www.softerviews.org/AIM/dhamma.html#).
Dry up what pertains to the past,
do not take up anything to come later.
If you will not grasp in the middle,
you will live at peace.
—Snp.5.11,v.1099 (tr. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)

Whatever is will be was. —Ven. Ñānamoli, A Thinkers Notebook, §221

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Bhikkhu_Jayasara
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Re: Definitions of alajji and lajji bhikkhus

Post by Bhikkhu_Jayasara » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:31 pm

A. Bhikkhu wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:45 pm
On the basis of a passage which he read in Thai (it was translated for me) he maintained that it is an offense for a bhikkhu to simply stay with unconscientious (on the word alajji the text was based upon) bhikkhus within the same monastery boundaries, however far-reaching the circumference might be. He argued that any bhikkhu who has fallen into any small offense, which he does not mend, is considered alajji and ground for an offense for any other bhikkhu who stays with him. Now these questions bother me at the moment regarding this:

1. Where is his mentioned passage to be found in Paali or English (if at all)?
2. What are the definitions of lajji and alajji regarding bhikkhus? Do they match the mentioned case or are they generally different?
Firstly I'd like to say I'm certainly no vinaya scholar, however in the past four years I have read through the patimokha probably 10 times, and im on my 4th current read through of the Vibhanga, I've also read a lot of the Khandakas, which contains the majority of the minor dukkata offenses and rules.

What I've come to find in my experience is that there are multiple extra layers of rules and norms for monastics above and beyond the vinaya in countries like Thailand and Sri Lanka. These are usually based off of commentarial additions, like in the BMC Bhante THanissaro talks about the "Vinaya Mukkha" which is a Thai commentarial text heavily used.

I have had probably close to a dozen experiences of monks telling me about a rule, but then finding out it doesn't exist in the Vinaya, or the rule they know of is based on a commentarial understanding of the vinaya. A major issue I've found is that a lot of monks don't actually read or know the vinaya, only various commentaries on it or vinaya summaries or what their teacher told them.

I cannot recall ever seeing an offense for living in the same monastery as unconscientious monks(not to say it may not exist, memory is failable after alL) , although knowing the importance of your surroundings in support of the practice, that isn't a bad principle to live by, regardless if it is an offense.

The purity of a monastic also is important with regards to the rules, which is why the Patimokkha shouldn't be read until all bhikkhus are pure, and if a bhikkhu is on probation he cannot be reinstated without a full group of 20 monks none of whom are on probation etc. So Legalities wise it makes a difference.

As for the Pali terms , according to the DPR =

alajjī: shameless; not afraid of sin

lajji: was ashamed or abashed.
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A. Bhikkhu
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Re: Definitions of alajji and lajji bhikkhus

Post by A. Bhikkhu » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:47 pm

Ruud wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:22 pm
I am not very familiar with the Vinaya at all, but I remember these terms (lajji, alajji and dussilo) being defined and discussed in Ledi Sayadaw’s “Dhamma dipani” (“A Manual of the Dhamma”, as found at http://www.softerviews.org/AIM/dhamma.html#).
Thank you, very nice. Sayadaw is one of my favorite teachers ...
"One should not consider the faults of others, nor their doing or not doing good or bad deeds. One should consider only whether one has done or not done good or bad deeds." -- The Buddha (Dhp.50)

Website: www.embracing-buddhism.jimdo.com

A. Bhikkhu
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:40 pm
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Re: Definitions of alajji and lajji bhikkhus

Post by A. Bhikkhu » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:51 pm

Bhikkhu_Jayasara wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:31 pm
Firstly I'd like to say I'm certainly no vinaya scholar, however in the past four years I have read through the patimokha probably 10 times, and im on my 4th current read through of the Vibhanga, I've also read a lot of the Khandakas, which contains the majority of the minor dukkata offenses and rules.

What I've come to find in my experience is that there are multiple extra layers of rules and norms for monastics above and beyond the vinaya in countries like Thailand and Sri Lanka. These are usually based off of commentarial additions, like in the BMC Bhante THanissaro talks about the "Vinaya Mukkha" which is a Thai commentarial text heavily used.

I have had probably close to a dozen experiences of monks telling me about a rule, but then finding out it doesn't exist in the Vinaya, or the rule they know of is based on a commentarial understanding of the vinaya. A major issue I've found is that a lot of monks don't actually read or know the vinaya, only various commentaries on it or vinaya summaries or what their teacher told them. [...]
Bhante, thank you for your reply and your assistance.

Actually this teacher quoted directly from the Thai version of the tipitaka, which may have contained passages of the aṭṭhakathā. I may have to get in touch with him once more for some more detailed references, in Pāli or English.

Mettā
"One should not consider the faults of others, nor their doing or not doing good or bad deeds. One should consider only whether one has done or not done good or bad deeds." -- The Buddha (Dhp.50)

Website: www.embracing-buddhism.jimdo.com

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