difference in ordination during buddha time vs now?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
Post Reply
confusedlayman
Posts: 230
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:16 am

difference in ordination during buddha time vs now?

Post by confusedlayman » Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:49 pm

now the ordination involves very big process but during buddha time, its just 2 second to a minute to ordain. but today, I guess we have to go trail class for 3 months and see if monk hood is cool by staying in monastery and observing rules and then interview where senior monks ask questions like are you from snake kingdom or humans? how ordination procedure changed due to time and new changes are because to avoid corrupt people entering sangha?
non-agitation is highest peace
living unaffected by other cause and condition to suffering is true bliss
not associating with stupid people is immediate peace
- CL (confused layman)

dharmacorps
Posts: 925
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:33 pm

Re: difference in ordination during buddha time vs now?

Post by dharmacorps » Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:51 pm

confusedlayman wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:49 pm
now the ordination involves very big process but during buddha time, its just 2 second to a minute to ordain.
How do we know this? I have never heard this.

User avatar
Bhikkhu_Jayasara
Posts: 216
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:54 am
Contact:

Re: difference in ordination during buddha time vs now?

Post by Bhikkhu_Jayasara » Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:57 pm

you can see the evolution of the process in the suttas and vinaya. In the early days it was simply a matter of the Buddha saying " come Bhikkhu" and you were a monastic, then it went to taking refuge in the triple gem, then it turned into the rules that are still followed today in some lineages and which you can read in the various parts of the Khandakas in the Vinaya.

The full process if done in one go, from pabbajja(going forth) to upasampada(higher ordination), could probably be done without too much pomp and circumstance in about 20-30 minutes. both of my ordinations(separated by a year) above were in essence only about that long, but there is added a talk by the preceptor which includes explaining the process to the laypeople in attendance and some chanting that brings it out to about an hour.

Of course here its a very simple, bare bones ceremony, I've heard of ordinations in Asian countries where 10+ people are involved with parades and all kinds of pomp, I've never experienced that.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________
Bhikkhu Jayasāra -http://www.youtube.com/studentofthepath and https://bhikkhujayasara.wordpress.com/

confusedlayman
Posts: 230
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:16 am

Re: difference in ordination during buddha time vs now?

Post by confusedlayman » Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:31 pm

dharmacorps wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:51 pm
confusedlayman wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:49 pm
now the ordination involves very big process but during buddha time, its just 2 second to a minute to ordain.
How do we know this? I have never heard this.
buddha said come sir, practise for good for yourself and others and achieve deathless. I saw it in many sutras.
non-agitation is highest peace
living unaffected by other cause and condition to suffering is true bliss
not associating with stupid people is immediate peace
- CL (confused layman)

confusedlayman
Posts: 230
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:16 am

Re: difference in ordination during buddha time vs now?

Post by confusedlayman » Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:32 pm

Bhikkhu_Jayasara wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:57 pm
you can see the evolution of the process in the suttas and vinaya. In the early days it was simply a matter of the Buddha saying " come Bhikkhu" and you were a monastic, then it went to taking refuge in the triple gem, then it turned into the rules that are still followed today in some lineages and which you can read in the various parts of the Khandakas in the Vinaya.

The full process if done in one go, from pabbajja(going forth) to upasampada(higher ordination), could probably be done without too much pomp and circumstance in about 20-30 minutes. both of my ordinations(separated by a year) above were in essence only about that long, but there is added a talk by the preceptor which includes explaining the process to the laypeople in attendance and some chanting that brings it out to about an hour.

Of course here its a very simple, bare bones ceremony, I've heard of ordinations in Asian countries where 10+ people are involved with parades and all kinds of pomp, I've never experienced that.
can someone self ordain themselves?
non-agitation is highest peace
living unaffected by other cause and condition to suffering is true bliss
not associating with stupid people is immediate peace
- CL (confused layman)

User avatar
Bhikkhu_Jayasara
Posts: 216
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:54 am
Contact:

Re: difference in ordination during buddha time vs now?

Post by Bhikkhu_Jayasara » Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:51 pm

confusedlayman wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:32 pm
Bhikkhu_Jayasara wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:57 pm
you can see the evolution of the process in the suttas and vinaya. In the early days it was simply a matter of the Buddha saying " come Bhikkhu" and you were a monastic, then it went to taking refuge in the triple gem, then it turned into the rules that are still followed today in some lineages and which you can read in the various parts of the Khandakas in the Vinaya.

The full process if done in one go, from pabbajja(going forth) to upasampada(higher ordination), could probably be done without too much pomp and circumstance in about 20-30 minutes. both of my ordinations(separated by a year) above were in essence only about that long, but there is added a talk by the preceptor which includes explaining the process to the laypeople in attendance and some chanting that brings it out to about an hour.

Of course here its a very simple, bare bones ceremony, I've heard of ordinations in Asian countries where 10+ people are involved with parades and all kinds of pomp, I've never experienced that.
can someone self ordain themselves?
No, only a monastic with 10 years standing(Thera, or Elder) and considered to be capable(ie not in need of lifetime probation) can ordain others. Same thing with being an Acariya(teacher), they must also be 10 years.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________
Bhikkhu Jayasāra -http://www.youtube.com/studentofthepath and https://bhikkhujayasara.wordpress.com/

confusedlayman
Posts: 230
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:16 am

Re: difference in ordination during buddha time vs now?

Post by confusedlayman » Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:54 pm

Bhikkhu_Jayasara wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:51 pm
confusedlayman wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:32 pm
Bhikkhu_Jayasara wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:57 pm
you can see the evolution of the process in the suttas and vinaya. In the early days it was simply a matter of the Buddha saying " come Bhikkhu" and you were a monastic, then it went to taking refuge in the triple gem, then it turned into the rules that are still followed today in some lineages and which you can read in the various parts of the Khandakas in the Vinaya.

The full process if done in one go, from pabbajja(going forth) to upasampada(higher ordination), could probably be done without too much pomp and circumstance in about 20-30 minutes. both of my ordinations(separated by a year) above were in essence only about that long, but there is added a talk by the preceptor which includes explaining the process to the laypeople in attendance and some chanting that brings it out to about an hour.

Of course here its a very simple, bare bones ceremony, I've heard of ordinations in Asian countries where 10+ people are involved with parades and all kinds of pomp, I've never experienced that.
can someone self ordain themselves?
No, only a monastic with 10 years standing(Thera, or Elder) and considered to be capable(ie not in need of lifetime probation) can ordain others. Same thing with being an Acariya(teacher), they must also be 10 years.
thanks bhikku.
non-agitation is highest peace
living unaffected by other cause and condition to suffering is true bliss
not associating with stupid people is immediate peace
- CL (confused layman)

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 21524
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: difference in ordination during buddha time vs now?

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:15 pm

Greetings,

One thing that seems different nowadays is that there's more discrimination... especially around age. I cannot remember the Buddha saying, "No, you are too old to ordain". Some may argue it's a pragmatic and justifiable economic consideration, but it's a form of discrimination I don't recall seeing in the traditional texts.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

User avatar
robertk
Posts: 3177
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: difference in ordination during buddha time vs now?

Post by robertk » Thu Sep 05, 2019 2:25 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:15 pm
Greetings,

One thing that seems different nowadays is that there's more discrimination... especially around age. I cannot remember the Buddha saying, "No, you are too old to ordain". Some may argue it's a pragmatic and justifiable economic consideration, but it's a form of discrimination I don't recall seeing in the traditional texts.

Metta,
Paul. :)
There is a sutta where an older man wishes to ordain but the monks refuse. However the Buddha knew his potential .
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... el090.html

the Commentary to verse 76 of the Dhammapada relates that there was living at Savatthi a poor brahman who stayed in the monastery. There he performed little services such as weeding, sweeping, and the like and the monks supported him with food. They did not, however, want to ordain him. One day the Blessed One, in his mental survey of the world, saw that this brahman was mature for Arahatship. he inquired about him from the assembled monks, and asked whether any one of them remembered to have received some help from the poor brahman. The Venerable Sariputta said that he remembered that once, when he was going for alms in Rajagaha, this poor brahman had given him a ladle full of almsfood that he had begged for himself. The Master asked Sariputta to ordain the man, and he was given the name Radha. The Venerable Sariputta then advised him time and again as to what things should be done, and always Radha received his admonitions gladly, without resentment. And so, living according to the Elder's advice, he attained Arahatship in a short time.

BKh
Posts: 360
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 12:43 am

Re: difference in ordination during buddha time vs now?

Post by BKh » Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:49 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:15 pm
Greetings,

One thing that seems different nowadays is that there's more discrimination... especially around age. I cannot remember the Buddha saying, "No, you are too old to ordain". Some may argue it's a pragmatic and justifiable economic consideration, but it's a form of discrimination I don't recall seeing in the traditional texts.

Metta,
Paul. :)
As far as I know, you are correct that the Buddha never said that. But there is, obviously, precedence in having requirements that are in some way justified.

The Buddha did have this to say about the situation:
AN 5.59. Gone Forth in Old Age (1)

“Bhikkhus, it is rare to find one gone forth in old age who possesses five qualities. What five? It is rare to find one gone forth in old age (1) who is astute; (2) who has the proper manner; (3) who is learned; (4) who can speak on the Dhamma; and (5) who is an expert on the discipline. It is rare to find one gone forth in old age who possesses these five qualities.”

AN 5.60. Gone Forth in Old Age (2)


“Bhikkhus, it is rare to find one gone forth in old age who possesses five qualities. What five? It is rare to find one gone forth in old age (1) who is easy to correct; (2) who firmly retains in mind what he has learned; (3) who accepts instruction respectfully; (4) who can speak on the Dhamma; and (5) who is an expert on the discipline. It is rare to find one gone forth in old age who possesses these five qualities.”
So one could argue that if the Buddha knew this, he should have just made a prohibition. But he does say it is rare, not impossible, therefore he may have wanted to leave it up to the local community. As well, the Buddha knew that average lifespans change, so it's hard to see one particular age as being a good cutoff. I guess he could have said, "as long as they are still able to scare off crows they can still ordain."

One thing important to keep in mind is that although we use the English word "ordain" it's much more useful to remember that the upasampada is about joining a group. And as part of the process as the Buddha finally formulated it, involves everyone present agreeing to let the person join the group. So it's not the case that as long as someone meets the explicit requirements then the monks are obligated to let them join. But it instead allows the local group to decide if they are able to take on the responsibility to look after and train the new candidate. And that's not a small commitment.

It's quite a different thing from some nikayas refusing to ordain people from the "wrong" caste. This is far harder to find any justification for. None that I can think of, actually.
buddha said come sir, practise for good for yourself and others and achieve deathless. I saw it in many sutras.
This is traditionally known as the "ehi bhikkhu/come monk" ordination and was in fact all there was at first. And the Buddha did sometimes continue to use this even after he established a more detailed procedure for the monks to use without him. But there are also plenty of times when he let the sangha ordain people. It's a generally held interpretive principle that the Buddha was a special individual within the sangha who could and did act differently from what was expected of other monks.
ReadingFaithfully.org Daily Practice with the Suttas | BuddhaRupa Images of the Buddha across time and space

confusedlayman
Posts: 230
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:16 am

Re: difference in ordination during buddha time vs now?

Post by confusedlayman » Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:58 pm

BKh wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:49 am
retrofuturist wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:15 pm
Greetings,

One thing that seems different nowadays is that there's more discrimination... especially around age. I cannot remember the Buddha saying, "No, you are too old to ordain". Some may argue it's a pragmatic and justifiable economic consideration, but it's a form of discrimination I don't recall seeing in the traditional texts.

Metta,
Paul. :)
As far as I know, you are correct that the Buddha never said that. But there is, obviously, precedence in having requirements that are in some way justified.

The Buddha did have this to say about the situation:
AN 5.59. Gone Forth in Old Age (1)

“Bhikkhus, it is rare to find one gone forth in old age who possesses five qualities. What five? It is rare to find one gone forth in old age (1) who is astute; (2) who has the proper manner; (3) who is learned; (4) who can speak on the Dhamma; and (5) who is an expert on the discipline. It is rare to find one gone forth in old age who possesses these five qualities.”

AN 5.60. Gone Forth in Old Age (2)


“Bhikkhus, it is rare to find one gone forth in old age who possesses five qualities. What five? It is rare to find one gone forth in old age (1) who is easy to correct; (2) who firmly retains in mind what he has learned; (3) who accepts instruction respectfully; (4) who can speak on the Dhamma; and (5) who is an expert on the discipline. It is rare to find one gone forth in old age who possesses these five qualities.”
So one could argue that if the Buddha knew this, he should have just made a prohibition. But he does say it is rare, not impossible, therefore he may have wanted to leave it up to the local community. As well, the Buddha knew that average lifespans change, so it's hard to see one particular age as being a good cutoff. I guess he could have said, "as long as they are still able to scare off crows they can still ordain."

One thing important to keep in mind is that although we use the English word "ordain" it's much more useful to remember that the upasampada is about joining a group. And as part of the process as the Buddha finally formulated it, involves everyone present agreeing to let the person join the group. So it's not the case that as long as someone meets the explicit requirements then the monks are obligated to let them join. But it instead allows the local group to decide if they are able to take on the responsibility to look after and train the new candidate. And that's not a small commitment.

It's quite a different thing from some nikayas refusing to ordain people from the "wrong" caste. This is far harder to find any justification for. None that I can think of, actually.
buddha said come sir, practise for good for yourself and others and achieve deathless. I saw it in many sutras.
This is traditionally known as the "ehi bhikkhu/come monk" ordination and was in fact all there was at first. And the Buddha did sometimes continue to use this even after he established a more detailed procedure for the monks to use without him. But there are also plenty of times when he let the sangha ordain people. It's a generally held interpretive principle that the Buddha was a special individual within the sangha who could and did act differently from what was expected of other monks.
yes
non-agitation is highest peace
living unaffected by other cause and condition to suffering is true bliss
not associating with stupid people is immediate peace
- CL (confused layman)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: acgamasantana and 17 guests