Could someone please explain this rule?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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daverupa
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Re: Could someone please explain this rule?

Post by daverupa » Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:27 pm

pulga wrote:But the Vinaya Pitaka should remain sacrosanct and closed, just as the Sutta Pitaka.
Not even the Buddha treated the Vinaya as a closed system, unlike the Dhamma. I think ossifying the Vinaya is just as silly as throwing it all out the window.
  • "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]

pulga
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Re: Could someone please explain this rule?

Post by pulga » Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:38 pm

daverupa wrote:
Not even the Buddha treated the Vinaya as a closed system, unlike the Dhamma. I think ossifying the Vinaya is just as silly as throwing it all out the window.
I suppose as the Buddha he had a perogative that we as puthujjanas shouldn't assume that we are entitled to.

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daverupa
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Re: Could someone please explain this rule?

Post by daverupa » Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:27 pm

pulga wrote:I suppose as the Buddha he had a perogative that we as puthujjanas shouldn't assume that we are entitled to.
I think the fact that lay complaints were a prime mover of Vinaya formation even while the Buddha was alive puts things in a rather different light.
  • "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]

pulga
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Re: Could someone please explain this rule?

Post by pulga » Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:14 pm

daverupa wrote: I think the fact that lay complaints were a prime mover of Vinaya formation even while the Buddha was alive puts things in a rather different light.
I must admit that I have sympathy with your view. But I think the Theravada Sangha provides a place for those who question the reasonableness of its rules by allowing such persons to remain as samaneras. It's really just a matter of tolerance on both sides: the tradition needn't be violated in any way.

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manas
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Re: Could someone please explain this rule?

Post by manas » Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:50 pm

daverupa wrote:
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.
Actually dave, there was a quite valid reason for that one:
Attitude towards Pollution

Environmental pollution has assumed such vast proportions today that man has been forced to recognize the presence of an ecological crisis. He can no longer turn a blind eye to the situation as he is already threatened with new pollution-related diseases. Pollution to this extent was unheard of during the time of the Buddha. But there is sufficient evidence in the Pali canon to give us insight into the Buddhist attitude towards the pollution problem. Several Vinaya rules prohibit monks from polluting green grass and water with saliva, urine, and feces.[43] These were the common agents of pollution known during the Buddha's day and rules were promulgated against causing such pollution. Cleanliness was highly commended by the Buddhists both in the person and in the environment. They were much concerned about keeping water clean, be it in the river, pond, or well. These sources of water were for public use and each individual had to use them with proper public-spirited caution so that others after him could use them with the same degree of cleanliness. Rules regarding the cleanliness of green grass were prompted by ethical and aesthetic considerations. Moreover, grass is food for most animals and it is man's duty to refrain from polluting it by his activities.
(source: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... itude.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

with metta
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

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daverupa
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Re: Could someone please explain this rule?

Post by daverupa » Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:06 pm

manasikara wrote:Actually dave, there was a quite valid reason for that one:
Yes, there was. But, is there? Times change, and given the motive for the rule, new and better environmental Vinaya could be undertaken, could it not?
  • "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
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Re: Could someone please explain this rule?

Post by Buckwheat » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:17 am

daverupa wrote:
manasikara wrote:Actually dave, there was a quite valid reason for that one:
Yes, there was. But, is there? Times change, and given the motive for the rule, new and better environmental Vinaya could be undertaken, could it not?
Actually, there still is a need for this rule, and maybe even more so. Fortunately, even if it wasn't in the monk's code, there are already governmental regulations against defecating close to bodies of water. When I'm camping I have to be so and so far away from water to start a fire, relieve myself, or any other type of terrible pollution. And I'm thankful for that rule. With the overcrowding of even our wilderness areas now days, I don't think the lakes would be enjoyable without those rules.

From my understanding, monks can still use a toilet, so the rule really just applies to natural bodies of water (lakes, river, streams...). Anybody know if I am correct on that?
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Ytrog
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Re: Could someone please explain this rule?

Post by Ytrog » Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:23 pm

When reading the pages that was referred on this thread I came upon the following rule
Should any bhikkhu lie down together (in the same dwelling) with an unordained person for more than two or three consecutive nights, it is to be confessed.
I now understand a bit why it was forbidden as a lay person to enter specific areas of the monastery (Cittaviveka, upper floor main building). It isn't only a matter of privacy for the monks (which would be understandable in it's own right), but there is more to it. :anjali:
"Now at that time, lay men came to the monastery to hear the Dhamma. After the Dhamma had been taught, each of the elder bhikkhus went to his own dwelling, while the newer bhikkhus went to sleep right there in the assembly hall with the lay men — with muddled mindfulness, unalert, naked, mumbling, and snoring. The lay men criticized and complained and spread it about, 'How can their reverences go to sleep with muddled mindfulness, unalert, naked, mumbling, and snoring?'"
I suppose that every (closed) room in a building counts as a separate dwelling for this rule, so that this rule isn't broken when lay people and Bhikkus live on separate floors of the same building. :reading:

Oh, and about the above discussion whether rules are silly or not: you lay those rules upon yourselves. It's you that decides to follow the five precepts and it is you who decides to become a monk and follow the Patimokkha. Besides: I've heard some monks say that it's the rules that free them from worry. The freedom of not having to worry about whether you did something wrong or not. It's the very reason Sila is listed as necessary for meditation.
I must admit that when I was visiting Cittaviveka earlier this year and took the eight precepts it was a weight coming off my shoulders. Try it and you might find for yourself why rules aren't always a restriction, but sometimes quite the opposite. :)
Suffering is asking from life what it can never give you.
mindfulness, bliss and beyond (page 8) wrote:Do not linger on the past. Do not keep carrying around coffins full of dead moments
If you see any unskillful speech (or other action) from me let me know, so I can learn from it.

Bankei
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Re: Could someone please explain this rule?

Post by Bankei » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:23 am

daverupa wrote:
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.
Modern toilets have water in the bowls. Many Thai toilets had water up to the top of the bowl too. How would a monk get around this rule if they were not living in a forest.
-----------------------
Bankei

Buckwheat
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Re: Could someone please explain this rule?

Post by Buckwheat » Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:19 am

Bankei wrote:Modern toilets have water in the bowls. Many Thai toilets had water up to the top of the bowl too. How would a monk get around this rule if they were not living in a forest.
According to: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... .ch10.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
75. Not being ill, I will not defecate, urinate, or spit in water: a training to be observed.

According to the Commentary, water here includes water fit for drinking or bathing, but not water unfit for such use — e.g., salt water, stagnant water, water already befouled with spit, urine, or feces — or water in a toilet. If there is a flood with no dry ground available, there is no offense in relieving oneself in the water.

As under the preceding rule, the Vibhaṅga says that there is no offense if — after defecating, urinating, or spitting on the ground — the feces, urine, or saliva then spreads into the water (§).
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Re: Could someone please explain this rule?

Post by Buckwheat » Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:37 am

Here is the long answer which directly addresses the OP: (source http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... h08-1.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)
4. Should any bhikkhu have an unordained person recite Dhamma line by line (with him), it is to be confessed.

This is an offense with two factors:

1) Effort: One gets a student to recite Dhamma line-by-line with oneself (which, as we shall see below, means to train the student to be a skilled reciter of a Pali Dhamma text).
2) Object: The student is neither a bhikkhu nor a bhikkhunī.
Only the first factor needs explanation, and is best treated under two headings: Dhamma and reciting line-by-line.

Dhamma the Vibhaṅga defines as "a saying made by the Buddha, his disciples, seers, or heavenly beings, connected with the teaching or connected with the goal." The Commentary devotes a long discussion to these terms, coming to the conclusion that connected with the Dhamma refers to the Pali Canon — in Pali, not in translation — as agreed on in the first three councils, while connected with the goal (attha) refers to the Mahā Aṭṭhakathā, the most revered ancient commentary (only in its original Pali version, the Sub-commentary says).

The ancient commentaries disagreed as to what other works would fit under this category, but Buddhaghosa's conclusion seems to be that — in the Milinda Pañhā, for example — Ven. Nāgasena's quotes of the Buddha's words would count, but not his own formulations of the teaching, and the same principle holds for other texts quoting the Buddha's words as well. The ancient commentaries are unanimous, though, in saying that Dhamma does not cover the Mahāyāna sūtras or any compositions (this would include translations) dealing with the Dhamma in languages other than Pali.

This interpretation, identifying Dhamma with particular Pali texts, has caused no controversy in the context of this rule — although it seems unlikely that the compilers of the Vibhaṅga would have had the commentaries in mind when they said, "connected with the goal" — but it has met with disagreement in the context of Pc 7, and so we will discuss it in more detail there.

Reciting line-by-line. To make someone recite line by line means to train him/her by rote to be a skilled reciter of a text.

Bhikkhus in the days of the Buddha committed the teachings in the Canon to memory to preserve them from generation to generation. Although writing was in use at the time — mainly for keeping accounts — no one used it to record teachings either of the Buddha or of any other religious teacher. The Pali Canon was not written down until approximately 500 years after the Buddha's passing away, after an invasion of Sri Lanka had threatened its survival.

The Vibhaṅga lists four ways in which a person might be trained to be a reciter of a text:

1) The teacher and student recite in unison, i.e., beginning together and ending together.
2) The teacher begins a line, the student joins in, and they end together.
3) The teacher recites the beginning syllable of a line together with the student, who then completes it alone.
4) The teacher recites one line, and the student recites the next line alone.
At present, reciters of the Vedas still use these methods when practicing their texts.

The origin story states that the Buddha forbade these methods of training unordained people because they caused the lay students to feel disrespect for the bhikkhus. The Vinaya-mukha explains this by noting that if a teacher made a slip of the tongue while teaching in this way, his students would look down on him for it. If this were the right explanation, though, the non-offense clauses would have listed "proper" ways of training novices and lay people to recite the Dhamma, but they don't.

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.
At present, the entire Canon is available in print, and even bhikkhus rarely commit it to memory, although they do frequently memorize parts of it, such as the Pāṭimokkha, the major discourses, and other passages chanted on ceremonial occasions. To train a lay person or novice to become skilled in reciting such teachings by rote would entail the full penalty under this rule.

Offenses are counted as follows: If teaching an unordained person to recite line-by-line, one incurs a pācittiya for each line; if teaching syllable-by-syllable, a pācittiya for each syllable.

Intention is not a mitigating factor here. Thus if a bhikkhu is training a mixed group of bhikkhus and novices, he incurs a pācittiya even if his intention is to train only the bhikkhus in the group.

Perception is also not a mitigating factor. If the person being trained is unordained, the bhikkhu incurs a pācittiya if he perceives him as unordained, a pācittiya if he is in doubt about the matter, and a pācittiya if he perceives him as ordained. If the person is ordained, then the bhikkhu incurs a dukkaṭa if he perceives him as unordained and a dukkaṭa if he is in doubt about the matter. Only if the person is ordained and the bhikkhu perceives him as ordained is he not grounds for an offense. This pattern of six possibilities — three pācittiyas, two dukkaṭas, and one non-offense — is standard in many of the pācittiya rules where perception is not a mitigating factor. We will note other rules in this chapter where this pattern also applies, but explain it in detail only here.

Non-offenses. Because this rule is aimed at methods of teaching, the Vibhaṅga states that there is no offense "for one made to recite in unison." This, says the Commentary, refers to a young bhikkhu who, in the process of learning a text, is told by his teacher to recite together with a novice who is also the teacher's student.

Also, there is no offense if a bhikkhu "rehearses" a passage in unison with unordained people. In the time of the Canon, this meant the practice of reciting a passage one had already memorized. At present, this would include the practice of bhikkhus reciting together with lay people who are reading from a text or reciting from memory — for example, during the evening chanting — and are not learning the text from the bhikkhus. The Commentary extends this allowance to include cases of bhikkhus learning a text from an unordained person, probably on the model of the Itivuttaka, which — according to its Commentary — the bhikkhus first learned from a servant woman who had memorized some of the Buddha's teachings that the bhikkhus had overlooked.

Finally, there is no offense if a bhikkhu corrects an unordained person who has memorized most of a passage or who is reciting in a confused manner.

Summary: To train a novice or lay person to recite passages of Dhamma by rote is a pācittiya offense.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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