Is the Vinaya that important for monastics?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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TamHanhHi
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Is the Vinaya that important for monastics?

Post by TamHanhHi » Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:09 pm

I've been considering what it would be like to ordain as a monk (years down the line and after much reflection.) So far I've resonated with the Theravada teachings of the Thai tradition as well as some Mahayana Zen/Chan teachings, but I've noticed that the two traditions approach the Vinaya quite differently. I'm already aware of how the different sects came to be and of many of the differences in practices and beliefs, but as someone who holds the Pali Canon in high regard, I'm having some difficulty reconciling my affinity towards Chan/Zen... especially the parts that clearly contradict the Canon's teachings and the patimokkha.

To put it simply, would it be a hindrance to ordain in say a Chinese Chan or Vietnamese Thien order even though some monasteries allow the use money, cooking, buying possessions, watching movies, etc.? My instinct is that these practices are distractions on the path, but I wonder if I'm being too inflexible?

I suppose it could also be my own preferences and likes for a community or teacher clouding my judgment, but essentially I'm wondering just how important the Vinaya is for ordained monastics, especially the so-called minor rules. Any insight would be appreciated :smile:
"Just as a large banyan tree, on level ground where four roads meet, is a haven for the birds all around, even so a lay person of conviction is a haven for many people: monks, nuns, male lay followers, & female lay followers."AN 5.38 :candle: | Blog at http://dhammareflections.wordpress.com

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Dhammarakkhito
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Re: Is the Vinaya that important for monastics?

Post by Dhammarakkhito » Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:12 pm

"Yes, headman, in answering in this way you are speaking in line with what I have said, you are not misrepresenting me with what is unfactual, and you are answering in line with the Dhamma so that no one whose thinking is in line with the Dhamma will have grounds for criticizing you. For money is not allowable for the Sakyan-son contemplatives, the Sakyan-son contemplatives do not consent to money, the Sakyan-son contemplatives do not accept money, the Sakyan-son contemplatives have given up gold & jewelry, have renounced money. For anyone for whom money is allowable, the five strings of sensuality are also allowable. For anyone for whom the five strings of sensuality are allowable, money is allowable. That you can unequivocally recognize as not the quality of a contemplative, not the quality of a Sakyan son.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

“And how, great king, is the bhikkhu possessed of moral discipline? Herein, great king, having abandoned the destruction of life, the bhikkhu abstains from the destruction of life. He has laid down the rod and weapon and dwells conscientious, full of kindness, sympathetic for the welfare of all living beings. This pertains to his moral discipline.

“Having abandoned taking what is not given, he abstains from taking what is not given. Accepting and expecting only what is given, he lives in honesty with a pure mind. This too pertains to his moral discipline.

“Having abandoned incelibacy, he leads the holy life of celibacy. He dwells aloof and abstains from the vulgar practice of sexual intercourse. This too pertains to his moral discipline.

“Having abandoned false speech, he abstains from falsehood. He speaks only the truth, he lives devoted to truth; trustworthy and reliable, he does not deceive anyone in the world. This too pertains to his moral discipline.

“Having abandoned slander, he abstains from slander. He does not repeat elsewhere what he has heard here in order to divide others from the people here, nor does he repeat here what he has heard elsewhere in order to divide these from the people there. Thus he is a reconciler of those who are divided and a promoter of friendships. Rejoicing, delighting, and exulting in concord, he speaks only words that are conducive to concord. This too pertains to his moral discipline.

“Having abandoned harsh speech, he abstains from harsh speech. He speaks only such words as are gentle, pleasing to the ear, endearing, going to the heart, polite, amiable and agreeable to the manyfolk. This too pertains to his moral discipline.

“Having abandoned idle chatter, he abstains from idle chatter. He speaks at the right time, speaks what is factual and beneficial, speaks on the Dhamma and the Discipline. His words are worth treasuring; they are timely, backed by reasons, measured, and connected with the good. This too pertains to his moral discipline.

“He abstains from damaging seed and plant life.

“He eats only in one part of the day, refraining from food at night and from eating at improper times.

“He abstains from dancing, singing, instrumental music, and from witnessing unsuitable shows.

“He abstains from wearing garlands, embellishing himself with scents, and beautifying himself with unguents.

“He abstains from high and luxurious beds and seats.

“He abstains from accepting gold and silver.

“He abstains from accepting uncooked grain, raw meat, women and girls, male and female slaves, goats and sheep, fowl and swine, elephants, cattle, horses and mares.

“He abstains from accepting fields and lands.

“He abstains from running messages and errands.

“He abstains from buying and selling.

“He abstains from dealing with false weights, false metals, and false measures.

“He abstains from the crooked ways of bribery, deception, and fraud.

“He abstains from mutilating, executing, imprisoning, robbery, plunder, and violence.

“This too pertains to his moral discipline.

https://suttacentral.net/en/dn2
"Just as the ocean has a single taste — that of salt — in the same way, this Dhamma-Vinaya has a single taste: that of release."
— Ud 5.5

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rightviewftw
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Re: Is the Vinaya that important for monastics?

Post by rightviewftw » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:00 pm

AN 6.12 PTS: A iii 289
Saraniya Sutta: Conducive to Amiability
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 1997

"Monks, these six are conditions that are conducive to amiability, that engender feelings of endearment, engender feelings of respect, leading to a sense of fellowship, a lack of disputes, harmony, & a state of unity. Which six?

"There is the case where a monk is set on bodily acts of good will with regard to his fellows in the holy life, to their faces & behind their backs. This is a condition that is conducive to amiability, that engenders feelings of endearment, engenders feelings of respect, leading to a sense of fellowship, a lack of disputes, harmony, & a state of unity.

"Furthermore, the monk is set on verbal acts of good will with regard to his fellows in the holy life, to their faces & behind their backs. This is a condition that is conducive to amiability, that engenders feelings of endearment, engenders feelings of respect, leading to a sense of fellowship, a lack of disputes, harmony, & a state of unity.

"Furthermore, the monk is set on mental acts of good will with regard to his fellows in the holy life, to their faces & behind their backs. This is a condition that is conducive to amiability, that engenders feelings of endearment, engenders feelings of respect, leading to a sense of fellowship, a lack of disputes, harmony, & a state of unity.

"Furthermore, whatever righteous gains the monk may obtain in a righteous way — even if only the alms in his bowl — he does not consume them alone. He consumes them after sharing them in common with his virtuous fellows in the holy life. This is a condition that is conducive to amiability, that engenders feelings of endearment, engenders feelings of respect, leading to a sense of fellowship, a lack of disputes, harmony, & a state of unity.

"Furthermore — with reference to the virtues that are untorn, unbroken, unspotted, unsplattered, liberating, praised by the wise, untarnished, leading to concentration — the monk dwells with his virtue in tune with that of his fellows in the holy life, to their faces & behind their backs. This is a condition that is conducive to amiability, that engenders feelings of endearment, engenders feelings of respect, leading to a sense of fellowship, a lack of disputes, harmony, & a state of unity.

"Furthermore — with reference to views that are noble, leading outward, that lead those who act in accordance with them to the right ending of suffering & stress — the monk dwells with his views in tune with those of his fellows in the holy life, to their faces & behind their backs. This is a condition that is conducive to amiability, that engenders feelings of endearment, engenders feelings of respect, leading to a sense of fellowship, a lack of disputes, harmony, & a state of unity.

"These are the six conditions that are conducive to amiability, that engender feelings of endearment, engender feelings of respect, leading to a sense of fellowship, a lack of disputes, harmony, & a state of unity."

Virgo
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Re: Is the Vinaya that important for monastics?

Post by Virgo » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:33 pm

Do yourself, your fellows in the Holy Life, and all generations to come after you a big favor -- if you decide to become a monastic follow the rules as well as you possibly can.

Kevin

santa100
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Re: Is the Vinaya that important for monastics?

Post by santa100 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:57 am

TamHanhHi wrote:Is the Vinaya that important for monastics?
Obviously some follow it whole-heartedly while others show no regards for it. So a more accurate question is whether the Vinaya is important for making any progress on the Path, and the answer is: absolutely. It's absolutely the pre-requisite, the starting point to any subsequent progress on the Path:
AN 10.1 wrote:Thus, Ānanda, (1)–(2) the purpose and benefit of wholesome virtuous behavior is non-regret; (3) the purpose and benefit of non-regret is joy; (4) the purpose and benefit of joy is rapture; (5) the purpose and benefit of rapture is tranquility; (6) the purpose and benefit of tranquility is pleasure; (7) the purpose and benefit of pleasure is concentration; (8) the purpose and benefit of concentration is the knowledge and vision of things as they really are; (9) the purpose and benefit of the knowledge and vision of things as they really are is disenchantment and dispassion; and (10) the purpose and benefit of disenchantment and dispassion is the knowledge and vision of liberation. Thus, Ānanda, wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost.”

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TamHanhHi
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Re: Is the Vinaya that important for monastics?

Post by TamHanhHi » Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:11 pm

santa100 wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:57 am
A more accurate question is whether the Vinaya is important for making any progress on the Path.
You're right, that is a much more accurate question. And thanks everyone for citing those passages in the Canon—they've definitely given me perspective. I also know that regardless of what everyone else is doing, I'm the one responsible, ultimately, for my own progress and for sticking with what I know (and what the Buddha has said) is true. It would be interesting to hear how some monastics ended up settling (or not) where they are because I also know different monasteries, regardless of tradition, do things differently.

:namaste:
"Just as a large banyan tree, on level ground where four roads meet, is a haven for the birds all around, even so a lay person of conviction is a haven for many people: monks, nuns, male lay followers, & female lay followers."AN 5.38 :candle: | Blog at http://dhammareflections.wordpress.com

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Dhammarakkhito
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Re: Is the Vinaya that important for monastics?

Post by Dhammarakkhito » Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:55 am

The Buddha once gave Ten reasons to Ven Upali, for the laying down of the Buddhist monastic code (Patimokkha, the 227 rules of the monk, and 311 for the nun).

They are as follows.

The welfare of the Sangha,
The comfort of the Sangha,

The comfort of well-behaved Bhikkhus,
The restraint of unsteady men,

The pleasing of those not yet pleased (by Dhamma),
The further pleasing of those already pleased,

The restraint of the taints in this life,
The restraint of the taints in future lives,

The benefit of the Dhamma,
The benefit of the Vinaya (discipline).

- Source: The Upali Sutta (AN 10.31)
https://suttacentral.net/en/an10.31
"Just as the ocean has a single taste — that of salt — in the same way, this Dhamma-Vinaya has a single taste: that of release."
— Ud 5.5

https://www.facebook.com/noblebuddhadha ... 34/?type=3

http://seeingthroughthenet.net/
https://sites.google.com/site/santipada ... allytaught

Planetary
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Re: Is the Vinaya that important for monastics?

Post by Planetary » Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:14 am

Virgo wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:33 pm
Do yourself, your fellows in the Holy Life, and all generations to come after you a big favor -- if you decide to become a monastic follow the rules as well as you possibly can.

Kevin


:goodpost:

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