Canonicity of the Bhikkhuni Garu Dhamma

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
Individual
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Re: Canonicity of the Bhikkhuni Garu Dhamma

Post by Individual » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:40 am

Sasana wrote:
Individual wrote:Rather than engaging in speculation, I think it would be better for some monasteries to make men and women equal in rules, and for other monasteries to keep the traditional rules. Then we can be mindful of the results.

If there are already monasteries out there which are like both, perhaps people with experiences with both monasteries could share their insights on how they think their way is the best. :)
I think in reality we would find that there would be little difference between men and women. Although it's true to say men and women are different, well it is also true that I am different to you and you to another and so on. The middle way should when practiced properly eliminate the potential for problems regardless of gender IMHO.

Just my two cents as I have always thought it strange the gender bias involved in the Sangha.

With Metta,

Adam :mrgreen:
Pardon me if I am politically incorrect here, but men and women are not equal -- not simply in terms of genitalia and giving birth -- but even in terms of brain chemistry and composition. These differences are subtle, but perhaps there are meaningful differences that may be a justification for an unequal set of rules. There are the stereotypes that women are more strongly influenced by emotion, are prone to being petty, jealous, and troublesome. Perhaps these are just stereotypes or perhaps not. Outside the western world, in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, perceptions like these persist. Perhaps they are misguided or maybe there is some basis behind it.

When it comes to conversations like this, I am reminded of a quote by Socrates, "When woman is made equal to man, she becomes his superior." Think about what exactly that means and why Socrates might say it. :)

Of course it also depends on the woman. We could create further distinctions whereby there are some male monks who need further rules too, and there are some women who could probably do with less.
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Sasana
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Re: Canonicity of the Bhikkhuni Garu Dhamma

Post by Sasana » Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:58 am

Individual wrote:
Sasana wrote:
Individual wrote:Rather than engaging in speculation, I think it would be better for some monasteries to make men and women equal in rules, and for other monasteries to keep the traditional rules. Then we can be mindful of the results.

If there are already monasteries out there which are like both, perhaps people with experiences with both monasteries could share their insights on how they think their way is the best. :)
I think in reality we would find that there would be little difference between men and women. Although it's true to say men and women are different, well it is also true that I am different to you and you to another and so on. The middle way should when practiced properly eliminate the potential for problems regardless of gender IMHO.

Just my two cents as I have always thought it strange the gender bias involved in the Sangha.

With Metta,

Adam :mrgreen:
Pardon me if I am politically incorrect here, but men and women are not equal -- not simply in terms of genitalia and giving birth -- but even in terms of brain chemistry and composition. These differences are subtle, but perhaps there are meaningful differences that may be a justification for an unequal set of rules. There are the stereotypes that women are more strongly influenced by emotion, are prone to being petty, jealous, and troublesome. Perhaps these are just stereotypes or perhaps not. Outside the western world, in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, perceptions like these persist. Perhaps they are misguided or maybe there is some basis behind it.

When it comes to conversations like this, I am reminded of a quote by Socrates, "When woman is made equal to man, she becomes his superior." Think about what exactly that means and why Socrates might say it. :)

Of course it also depends on the woman. We could create further distinctions whereby there are some male monks who need further rules too, and there are some women who could probably do with less.
Sorry but that to me sounds silly, I think in reality whatever differences lie underneath they do not qualify as superiority or inferiority.

Now I'm not sure if you meant in the fact that women are not equal in terms of in society now, which I would agree. But if you meant women are not equal at all to men then I must simply disagree with this evaluation.

With Metta,

Adam
"If the problem can be solved there's no use worrying about it, if it cant worrying will do no good." - 7 years in Tibet

"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." - The Buddha

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Re: Canonicity of the Bhikkhuni Garu Dhamma

Post by Hanzze » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:43 am

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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Re: Canonicity of the Bhikkhuni Garu Dhamma

Post by Individual » Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:16 pm

Sasana wrote: Sorry but that to me sounds silly, I think in reality whatever differences lie underneath they do not qualify as superiority or inferiority.

Now I'm not sure if you meant in the fact that women are not equal in terms of in society now, which I would agree. But if you meant women are not equal at all to men then I must simply disagree with this evaluation.

With Metta,

Adam
"Superior," means in terms of authority or status, not personal value.

I acknowledge women and men are equal in some cases and different in some cases. What I'm saying that their similarities might be good basis to get rid of the old rules, but their differences might be a good basis to keep the old rules. :)
The best things in life aren't things.

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Sasana
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Re: Canonicity of the Bhikkhuni Garu Dhamma

Post by Sasana » Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:32 am

Individual wrote:
Sasana wrote: Sorry but that to me sounds silly, I think in reality whatever differences lie underneath they do not qualify as superiority or inferiority.

Now I'm not sure if you meant in the fact that women are not equal in terms of in society now, which I would agree. But if you meant women are not equal at all to men then I must simply disagree with this evaluation.

With Metta,

Adam
"Superior," means in terms of authority or status, not personal value.

I acknowledge women and men are equal in some cases and different in some cases. What I'm saying that their similarities might be good basis to get rid of the old rules, but their differences might be a good basis to keep the old rules. :)
I think it will be a case of agreeing to disagree. There cannot be a major enough difference that would warrant such blatant segregation, it is merely a symptom of the times in which they were written and more than likely the outcome of a male dominated forte.

With Metta,

Adam
"If the problem can be solved there's no use worrying about it, if it cant worrying will do no good." - 7 years in Tibet

"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." - The Buddha

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Re: Canonicity of the Bhikkhuni Garu Dhamma

Post by yuttadhammo » Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:43 am

Didn't really want to broach the subject again, as it doesn't seem to be an easy one to discuss rationally, but here it is broached already :)

The intention was to try to show how the reason for the unequal footing has nothing to do with differences between men and women, but the relationship between them. As said, there is no equality among bhikkhus as it is - everyone has a place in the totem pole irrespective of their personal worth. I think this point is missed by a mile in most discussions of the garu dhamma.

One thing the OP failed to take into account is that the garu dhamma do not just enforce unequal footing, they also enforce inequality in practices, e.g. length of vuṭṭhāna-vidhī. But again, I don't see the reason for these rules as being a view that women are inferior; since adding Bhikkhunis to the mix is going to create more problems, it is not hard to see why the rules regarding Bhikkhunis should be more strict. Fair? No. Expedient? I think so. Surely many will disagree, but given that we monks are happy to take on rules, the stricter the better (hence the dhutanga practices), it still seems little more than conceit that drives most of the "equality" rants in regards to the bhikkhuni ordination. The rest of us are rather a bit jealous of the challenges allowed for bhikkhunis over bhikkhus ;)

Apologies in advance for stirring up the hornet's nest once more.

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Re: Canonicity of the Bhikkhuni Garu Dhamma

Post by Individual » Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:28 am

yuttadhammo wrote:The rest of us are rather a bit jealous of the challenges allowed for bhikkhunis over bhikkhus ;)
If that's the case and if you're really so jealous, maybe you actually should let yourself be restricted in the same way as bhikkhunis -- to calm the hornet's nest rather than stir it up.
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Re: Canonicity of the Bhikkhuni Garu Dhamma

Post by yuttadhammo » Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:08 am

Individual wrote:
yuttadhammo wrote:The rest of us are rather a bit jealous of the challenges allowed for bhikkhunis over bhikkhus ;)
If that's the case and if you're really so jealous, maybe you actually should let yourself be restricted in the same way as bhikkhunis -- to calm the hornet's nest rather than stir it up.
Yes, the problem is I have respect for the rules as passed down. As the Buddha said, "the growth of the bhikkhus is to be expected, not their decline, bhikkhus, so long as they appoint no new rules, and do not abolish the existing ones, but proceed in accordance with the code of training (Vinaya) laid down." (D 16). Had the rules been different, I would, with Mahāpajāpati Gotamī as my role model in humility and restraint, "receive them like a garland of flowers placed on the head" (CV.10). To do aught else could only be attributed to conceit.

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Re: Canonicity of the Bhikkhuni Garu Dhamma

Post by Individual » Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:16 pm

yuttadhammo wrote:
Individual wrote:
yuttadhammo wrote:The rest of us are rather a bit jealous of the challenges allowed for bhikkhunis over bhikkhus ;)
If that's the case and if you're really so jealous, maybe you actually should let yourself be restricted in the same way as bhikkhunis -- to calm the hornet's nest rather than stir it up.
Yes, the problem is I have respect for the rules as passed down. As the Buddha said, "the growth of the bhikkhus is to be expected, not their decline, bhikkhus, so long as they appoint no new rules, and do not abolish the existing ones, but proceed in accordance with the code of training (Vinaya) laid down." (D 16). Had the rules been different, I would, with Mahāpajāpati Gotamī as my role model in humility and restraint, "receive them like a garland of flowers placed on the head" (CV.10). To do aught else could only be attributed to conceit.
If you say so, I suppose.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra

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Re: Canonicity of the Bhikkhuni Garu Dhamma

Post by rowyourboat » Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:16 pm

I think the Buddha could see far more than we can see in our limited logical ways of viewing the world. All our arguments amount to nothing if the Buddha could (and it is said that he can) see the outcomes of current causes (ie future effects). He proclaimed that what he taught was like a handful of leaves and what he could see was like all the leaves in the forest. So I think we need to be a bit humble in our judgements of his decisions.

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Re: Canonicity of the Bhikkhuni Garu Dhamma

Post by Modus.Ponens » Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:55 am

rowyourboat wrote:I think the Buddha could see far more than we can see in our limited logical ways of viewing the world. All our arguments amount to nothing if the Buddha could (and it is said that he can) see the outcomes of current causes (ie future effects). He proclaimed that what he taught was like a handful of leaves and what he could see was like all the leaves in the forest. So I think we need to be a bit humble in our judgements of his decisions.

with metta

Matheesha
The question is: was it a decision of his to lay down the 8 rules?
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

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Re: Canonicity of the Bhikkhuni Garu Dhamma

Post by rowyourboat » Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:40 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:
rowyourboat wrote:I think the Buddha could see far more than we can see in our limited logical ways of viewing the world. All our arguments amount to nothing if the Buddha could (and it is said that he can) see the outcomes of current causes (ie future effects). He proclaimed that what he taught was like a handful of leaves and what he could see was like all the leaves in the forest. So I think we need to be a bit humble in our judgements of his decisions.

with metta

Matheesha
The question is: was it a decision of his to lay down the 8 rules?
We the answer is: we don't know.

Now sit.

with metta
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& Upekkha

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Re: Canonicity of the Bhikkhuni Garu Dhamma

Post by Gharchaina » Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:36 am

Frankly I would rather believe the Eight Weighty Rules were and interpolation than that the Buddha taught them.

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Re: Canonicity of the Bhikkhuni Garu Dhamma

Post by Modus.Ponens » Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:40 am

rowyourboat wrote:
Modus.Ponens wrote:
The question is: was it a decision of his to lay down the 8 rules?
We the answer is: we don't know.

Now sit.

with metta
No, the answer is that we have clues that he didn't decide that.
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

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Re: Canonicity of the Bhikkhuni Garu Dhamma

Post by Dan74 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:29 am

One aspect of this discussion that I would like to comment on is the absurd assertion that monks and nuns cannot coexist in the same monastery. It is reminiscent of some of the reasoning adduced for the decision against Ajahn Brahm by the Thai Forest hierarchy. To me this is insulting to the Sangha and also borne out to be false by more monasteries than I can count. People sometimes need to look further than their own backyard.
_/|\_

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