Could someone please explain this rule?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
alan
Posts: 3094
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: Could someone please explain this rule?

Post by alan » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:33 am

Buckwheat,
Holy Sh*t! Are you seriously comparing Charlie Parker with a rule book?

User avatar
Anagarika
Posts: 915
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:25 pm

Re: Could someone please explain this rule?

Post by Anagarika » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:34 am

And, of course, great caution should be exercised before any rules, whether minor or major, be discarded. While there is no "Supreme Court" of Theravada to interpret Vinaya or apply these laws to modern society, it is also appropriate that before the Theravada rejects any minor/major rule, there should be serious analysis of these rules and a consensus developed as to their interpretation and application. We're fortunate that we have scholars such as Thanissaro Bhikkhu and Bhikkhu Bodhi who are willing and able to comment on issues that arise.

My own sense is that rules matter. What is the Vinaya of the Tiptaka if they are not, in part, rules? If rules do not matter, then the Tipitaka begins to not matter And without the foundation of the Tipitaka, we may as well let the monks make up the rules as they go. As Western Buddhism morphs into Dharma Burgers and Zen Hotels, I'd just as soon retain as many of these dusty old rules as possible; Buddhism without rules will cease to be Buddhism at all.

alan
Posts: 3094
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: Could someone please explain this rule?

Post by alan » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:09 am

That is an odd understanding of the Dhamma, which is about understanding, and not about rules, or who is best at following rules.
Rules are for people who are too dumb to figure out how to live for themselves.

User avatar
Monkey Mind
Posts: 538
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:56 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest, USA

Re: Could someone please explain this rule?

Post by Monkey Mind » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:25 am

Nay, most people are too dumb to figure out, themselves, how to live in cooperation with other humans. Pick any page from any newspaper for amble evidence of this.

I used to think that laws against jay-walking were completely stupid. I can, on my own accord, look both ways and judge for myself if it was safe to cross the street. The first time I jay-walked, and a group of kids mimicked my behavior, I thought twice about my logic. The kids had no reference for how fast cars are driving, or the ability/ inability of drivers to see pedestrians and respond appropriately. I don't jay-walk any more.

Many of the rules of the vinaya, though specific to monastics, provide a good template for human cooperative behavior.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 20150
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Could someone please explain this rule?

Post by retrofuturist » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:38 am

Greetings Alan,
alan wrote:Rules are for people who are too dumb to figure out how to live for themselves.
I think your statement is insulting to the Vinaya, to the Sangha who follow it, and to the Buddha who laid it down.

I think it would be wise to reflect on your comments in light of this to avoid slander of the Triple Gem.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

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

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

User avatar
DNS
Site Admin
Posts: 11889
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, Estados Unidos de América
Contact:

Re: Could someone please explain this rule?

Post by DNS » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:59 am

The link to the rule and the explanation provides some pretty logical reasons for the rule:
A more likely explanation is that at the time of the Buddha the duty of memorizing and reciting the texts was considered the province of the bhikkhus and bhikkhunīs. Although some lay people memorized discourses (Mv.III.5.9), and bhikkhus of course taught the Dhamma to lay people, there was apparently the feeling that to teach non-ordainees to become skilled reciters of the texts was not good for the relationship between bhikkhus and the unordained. There are three possible reasons for this:

1) People may have felt that the bhikkhus were shirking their responsibilities by trying to pass their duty off onto others.
2) Brahmans at the time were very strict in not allowing anyone outside their caste to memorize the Vedas, and their example may have led lay people to feel disrespect for bhikkhus who were not equally protective of their own tradition.
3) A bhikkhu acting as a tutor for a lay person wishing to memorize the Dhamma might, over time, come to be seen as the lay person's hireling.
It is important to know the context and in doing so, the rules all have a logical basis for existing.

User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
Posts: 3753
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: Could someone please explain this rule?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:35 am

Monkey Mind wrote:The first time I jay-walked, and a group of kids mimicked my behavior, I thought twice about my logic. The kids had no reference for how fast cars are driving, or the ability/ inability of drivers to see pedestrians and respond appropriately. I don't jay-walk any more.
:goodpost:

The Buddha gave ten reasons for the laying down of the Vinaya Rules: (The Heart of Buddhism)
  1. For the excellence of the Sangha.
  2. For the well-being of the Sangha.
  3. To control wicked individuals.
  4. For the comfort of well-behaved bhikkhus.
  5. To restrain present taints.
  6. To prevent the arising of future taints.
  7. To arouse faith in those who lack faith.
  8. To strengthen faith in those who have faith.
  9. To establish the true Dhamma.
  10. To support the Vinaya.” (A v 70)
BlogPāli FontsIn This Very LifeBuddhist ChroniclesSoftware (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

Buckwheat
Posts: 960
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:39 am
Location: California USA

Re: Could someone please explain this rule?

Post by Buckwheat » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:08 pm

alan wrote:Are you seriously comparing Charlie Parker with a rule book?
Majjima Nikaya 11 - The Shorter Discourse on the Lion's Roar: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .ntbb.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
9. "Bhikkhus, there are these four kinds of clinging. What four? Clinging to sensual pleasures, clinging to views, clinging to rules and observances, and clinging to a doctrine of self.

Charlie Parker was talking about how to develop a skill. Virtue, concentration, and discernment all have components that require skill. This is why Buddhism is practiced. One must learn the very basic fundamentals of virtue in a rudimentary way that makes a person act outside of their normal comfort zone. This is like learning the chords (boring, tedious, etc). After mastery, one does not need to cling to rules because they clearly see actions that lead to suffering vs liberation. This is like virtuoso musicianship. Thus, "Learn the changes, then forget them" is akin to "learn the rules, then forget them".

Kudos on the Jay Walking post, Monkey Mind :anjali:
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

User avatar
theravada_guy
Posts: 208
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:06 am

Re: Could someone please explain this rule?

Post by theravada_guy » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:26 pm

Alan,

I don't mean any disrespect, but you seem to have such high disregard for rules, what do you think of the Five Precepts?

I, for one, see all the rules as valid. Don't ask me to explain it, it's just how I feel.

Also, as far as removing the minor rules that the Buddha said could be removed, I think the time for that has passed. I don't think anyone in this modern age is fit to decide which rules He was talking about and subsequently abolish them.
With metta,

Justin

User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Could someone please explain this rule?

Post by daverupa » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:53 pm

theravada_guy wrote:Also, as far as removing the minor rules that the Buddha said could be removed, I think the time for that has passed. I don't think anyone in this modern age is fit to decide which rules He was talking about and subsequently abolish them.
It's true that the Buddha changed the Vinaya quite a number of times throughout his career, laying down a rule and then changing it or revoking it as the situation warranted; basically, the Vinaya is among the first case-law legal documents. For example, the Buddha made three robes the limit because three robes were all that were required for sufficient warmth through the night in that climate. So, if the Buddha had arisen, say, among the Norse, the "triple robe" would be very different.

Another example: If it hadn't been for people complaining about bhikkhus and bhikkunis trampling vegetation and microbes during the Rains, the Buddha might not have instituted the Rains Retreat. With just a subtle change in culture or climate, many aspects of the Vinaya would have necessarily been different than what we have now.

So, some thoughts for us:

1. Isn't it possible that the sekhiya rules were added after the parinibbana, as they don't have a penalty ascribed to them?

2. What about those rules which were introduced because of layfolk - isn't it at least possible that, with different layfolk, there'd be a different Vinaya in these respects?
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

Buckwheat
Posts: 960
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:39 am
Location: California USA

Re: Could someone please explain this rule?

Post by Buckwheat » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:48 am

daverupa, it seems you are taking a pragmatic approach, but if we're being practical one would have to convince a well respected senior monk to establish a new lineage that uses those modified rules. Zen monks don't follow the same rules, but I'm not sure the history of how that evolved.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

alan
Posts: 3094
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: Could someone please explain this rule?

Post by alan » Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:42 am

I'm not against all rules--just the dumb ones. Some rules are useful, obviously.
I'm complaining about centuries of non-thinking conformity to pointless, irrelevant rules, which are then assumed to be untouchable points of reference, even as they may be detrimental, or wasteful of time and emotional energy.

User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Could someone please explain this rule?

Post by daverupa » Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:25 pm

alan wrote:I'm not against all rules--just the dumb ones. Some rules are useful, obviously.
I'm complaining about centuries of non-thinking conformity to pointless, irrelevant rules, which are then assumed to be untouchable points of reference, even as they may be detrimental, or wasteful of time and emotional energy.
Pakinnaka (miscellaneous):

...
A bhikku should train himself thus: If I am not sick... I will not defecate, urinate or spit into water.
It seems to me that this is a minor rule, for example.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

User avatar
Dan74
Posts: 3012
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: Could someone please explain this rule?

Post by Dan74 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:35 pm

Buckwheat wrote:daverupa, it seems you are taking a pragmatic approach, but if we're being practical one would have to convince a well respected senior monk to establish a new lineage that uses those modified rules. Zen monks don't follow the same rules, but I'm not sure the history of how that evolved.
Regarding the Japanese situation, here's an article for those interested, written by one of the foremost Rinzai masters of recent times, late Soko Morinaga. He also puts forward his view regarding the usefulness of rules and issues that may result. It's more of a personal account rather than a scholarly essay.

http://www.pcf.va/roman_curia/congregat ... en_en.html
_/|\_

pulga
Posts: 1320
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:02 pm

Re: Could someone please explain this rule?

Post by pulga » Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:46 pm

I personally would have greater respect for a 10-precept samanera who authentically and sincerely believed in the code of conduct by which he lived his life while accepting the indignity of his lower monastic status than a bhikkhu who meticulously - and perhaps I might add neurotically - adhered to the Vinaya in an inauthentic manner out of concern for what others might think of him. There's something disconcerting about basing one's sense of purity on a code of behavior that one doesn't believe in. But the Vinaya Pitaka should remain sacrosanct and closed, just as the Sutta Pitaka.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 25 guests