Why not ordain?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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Phra Chuntawongso
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by Phra Chuntawongso » Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:14 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings bhante,
Phra Chuntawongso wrote:While this does fall into the classification of rites and rituals I find myself taking part in some of these things.
In saying that though, I think it's worth making clear what is being meant by "rites and rituals".

In terms of the fetter of "rites and rituals" (sīlabbata-parāmāso) which is to be broken, I believe this relates not to partaking in certain "rites and rituals" but a belief in their efficacy.

Which isn't to say for example that chanting isn't beneficial, if done with a pure mind and such (therefore being wholesome), but there's no belief that the words or tones have some kind of magical potency.

Metta,
Retro. :)
I agree.Unfortunately there probably are those who believe in the efficacy of these things,but as you say these things done with a pure mind can only be viewed as wholesome.
When the Thai people come to the temple for what ever reason,I think they do so with the right intention.
Anyway this is probably heading way off topic,so I will wish those who would like to ordain all the best and all those who do not,or can not I wish them all well on their paths.
It is not about us and them.Artists all have different styles,so do we.
With metta,
Phra Greg.
And crawling on the planets face,some insects called the human race.
Lost in time
Lost in space
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Maitri
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by Maitri » Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:11 pm

I am not ordaining as I am married. However, I have spoken openly with my spouse the possibility of ordaining if he passes away before I. Hopefully that is many years in the future. :heart:
"Upon a heap of rubbish in the road-side ditch blooms a lotus, fragrant and pleasing.
Even so, on the rubbish heap of blinded mortals the disciple of the Supremely Enlightened One shines resplendent in wisdom." Dhammapada: Pupphavagga

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/

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Viscid
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by Viscid » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:36 am

Can't ordain because that would require me to make believe that the Buddha was the grandest guy ever.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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Guy
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by Guy » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:23 am

Viscid wrote:Can't ordain because that would require me to make believe that the Buddha was the grandest guy ever.
Correct me if i am wrong, but it sounds like you are ridiculing those who ordain out of faith in the triple gem.
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm

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pilgrim
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by pilgrim » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:41 am

Viscid wrote:Can't ordain because that would require me to make believe that the Buddha was the grandest guy ever.
Belief is unnecessary as it is factual.

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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by kirana » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:01 am

Viscid wrote:Can't ordain because that would require me to make believe that the Buddha was the grandest guy ever.
the Buddha only show the way, we have to go along.

mettacittena,

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Viscid
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by Viscid » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:17 am

Guy wrote:Correct me if i am wrong, but it sounds like you are ridiculing those who ordain out of faith in the triple gem.
I'm not; they don't think they're playing make believe. I respect that.

However, I am convinced after reading and comparing the writings of contemplatives in other religions, that worship of The Buddha is not required for enlightenment. I hold him in no higher regard than I hold Aristotle.

While Buddhist teachings are remarkably accurate, and the Theravadin Sangha is probably the best developed monastic community there is, the requirement to treat The Buddha with reverence is unsubstantiated.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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Guy
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by Guy » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:39 am

Viscid wrote:While Buddhist teachings are remarkably accurate, and the Theravadin Sangha is probably the best developed monastic community there is, the requirement to treat The Buddha with reverence is unsubstantiated.
I would have thought that in order to follow the teachings of the Buddha would in a certain sense "require" than we humbly bow down to (what we believe to be) his supreme wisdom. But some might regard the Buddha as being merely more knowledgeable than the average human, rather than a supremely wise teacher, in which case I can understand why they would not particularly want to revere him.
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm

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Viscid
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by Viscid » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:52 am

Guy wrote:...it is only considered unsubstantiated to those who do not believe that the Buddha discovered the Four Noble Truths and was therefore worthy of titles such as Arahant (Worthy One) and Buddha (Awakened One).
I am fully willing to lend belief that he authored the four noble truths and was worthy of such titles. It does not warrant his worship. Such mandate is unnecessary.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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Guy
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by Guy » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:58 am

Viscid wrote:I am fully willing to lend belief that he authored the four noble truths and was worthy of such titles. It does not warrant his worship. Such mandate is unnecessary.
I suppose it depends on how important we believe the Four Noble Truths are. Do we consider the knowledge of the Four Noble Truths equal to, say, the knowledge of how to ride a bike? Or do we consider it to be the highest form of knowledge which is the only knowledge that is capable of leading to liberation?

Unless we are Enlightened, this is a matter of faith.
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm

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Viscid
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by Viscid » Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:14 am

Guy wrote:I suppose it depends on how important we believe the Four Noble Truths are. Do we consider the knowledge of the Four Noble Truths equal to, say, the knowledge of how to ride a bike?
But why would any idea, no matter how great, warrant worship of its progenitor?
"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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Ben
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by Ben » Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:17 am

Greetings Guy,
Guy wrote:Unless we are Enlightened, this is a matter of faith.
Ummm....
Not quite (from my pov). There is one's own experience. Having experienced the benefits of practice, even at the mundane level, one is filled with gratitude and devotion to the Buddha. Devotion is the first of the panca bala and balances and to an extent conditions wisdom. Devotion in this context isn't blind. In the words of my teacher, devotion must be an 'enlightened devotion', a devotion that has the eye of wisdom open.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
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in mountain clefts and chasms,
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Guy
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by Guy » Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:47 am

Hi Ben,
Ben wrote:
Guy wrote:Unless we are Enlightened, this is a matter of faith.
Not quite (from my pov). There is one's own experience. Having experienced the benefits of practice, even at the mundane level, one is filled with gratitude and devotion to the Buddha. Devotion is the first of the panca bala and balances and to an extent conditions wisdom. Devotion in this context isn't blind. In the words of my teacher, devotion must be an 'enlightened devotion', a devotion that has the eye of wisdom open.
You are right, one's experience can help to strengthen faith. We can keep the precepts, for example, and see that we are indeed free from remorse and our general mood is uplifted. We can practice meditation and see that we are becoming more peaceful, less caught up in the worldly winds and capable of seeing things in a more realistic way. This is certainly a basis for an increase of faith. This is a reason to believe that the Buddha's teaching is indeed more useful than knowing how to ride a bike.

However, the point I was making is that we cannot be absolutely 100% sure that the Buddha was Fully Enlightened until we have at least reached the stage of Stream Entry/opened the eye of wisdom. Until such time it might be best described as "inferential faith" if we have experienced some benefit but are not yet a Noble One. If we were Fully Enlightened then it would not be accurate to say that we have faith in the Buddha, instead it would be accurate to say that we have realised the same Truth that he had realised.

I would have thought that a natural consequence of experiencing benefit as a result of practice would be increased faith/reverence/devotion/worship. But maybe I am wrong about this. Worship here, I would define as seeing the "worth" in something. I believe the Buddha is the "Worthy One" so I "worship" him.

This is what I meant by "unless we are enlightened this is a matter of faith"...but I probably should have expanded on that a little.

Metta,

Guy
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm

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cooran
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by cooran » Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:10 am

Hello all,

I think there could be a misunderstanding about the word ‘’worship’’.

‘Worship’ in the Buddhist world simply means to ‘pay respect’ by bowing.

Lay people and Ordained people bow to the Buddha. Lay people bow to those who have Ordained.

It doesn’t mean the one bowing regards the object of the bowing as a God.

It is simply paying respect to those worthy of respect. With monks, I am not judging who is worthy or not – I simply bow to the yellow robe as symbolising the Ariya Sangha.

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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Vardali
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Re: Why not ordain?

Post by Vardali » Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:54 am

cooran wrote: It is simply paying respect to those worthy of respect.
It's fine to pay respect but that doesn't have to include "worship" (which I understand as blind idolation) nor bowing (which appears to me a cultural/traditional form for expressing respect rather than a necessity in itself). Respect for the Buddha's achievement and his wisdom can well be expressed in speech, general behaviour etc.

If Viscid was coming from that angle, I would actually agree with him in that the Buddha does not warrant any (special) idolation/worship.

I still bow if I visit a temple (but out of respect for customs more than worship, and that applies to Hindu temples as well as Buddhist temples), I cover my head when visiting churches in Spain etc., and I enjoy my Buddha statue at home as a reminder of the path ;)

But respect doesn't equate worship for me ...

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