Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
Paññāsikhara
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by Paññāsikhara » Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:53 am

Manapa wrote: Had computer problems then, so lost the original I was trying to post
I can see two possibilities here
1 - it is referring to Brahms excommunication from the Thai Sangha.
in this case it is don't hire (or accept a job) someone who doesn't agree with the rules of the organisation, this could be because the organisation has changed or the employee has, or the goals were not compatible from the start, be honest and don't accept the post or leave, voice the concerns but don't try and have your cake, with Ice-cream when ice-cream isn't available.
2 - be accurate with your words
three possibilities with this one in reference the the use of Mahayana
A - assuming it wasn't the transcriber changing it - as Ajahn Brahm is the first to use the term Mahayana, they were following his lead, and the closeness to hinayana use and derogatory meaning you point out is inferred by the reader.
B - assuming it was changed, my earlier remark "don't trust every translation" is still relevant, and would be relevant to 'A' as there are different ways the word can be understood, plus the word in itself does not automatically refer to a derogatory meaning in use to a group.
C - assuming it was used independently by each speaker, the context could be read in a non-representational manner, whether by the words used or the translators translation style, remember there were allot of hurt feelings about the way brahm went about this & Mahayana is and can be used with no derogatory meaning associated unlike the hinayana counterpart.

unless you have specific evidence that they used the term Mahayana in a derogatory manner, meaning to be derogatory to the Mahayana then this would just be circular.
Paññāsikhara wrote:I've been trying to think of an analogy, and maybe this is as close as I can get:

A branch campus in Italy of a Jewish university in Tel Aviv is looking for a professor of the old testament. They already have great scholars with the Hebrew bible, but they know that this is insufficient. So, they decide that they need an old testament scholar who knows Greek and Latin, too. They have an applicant, from the United States, an old testament scholar. She is a Christian, but knows her old testament well. Once she studied Islamic interpretation of the New Testament, in the USA. So, the head of the branch campus in Italy hires her, and gives her the job. Soon, the main campus in Tel Aviv calls up the head of the branch campus, and demands an explanation: "Why have you employed a Muslim professor?"

It's not the perfect analogy, but if you actually have a good think about it...
Hi Manapa

I didn't mention anything about being derogatory. The point I am making is that the ordination of those nuns has nothing to do with a Mahayana ordination.

Perhaps you can share with us your understanding of how a "triple platform ordination" works, and how the bhiksuni ordination is Mahayana, because I certainly cannot see how it is.
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: Huifeng's Prajnacara Blog.

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Jan 04, 2010 3:40 am

Hi Paññāsikhara
I was using derogatory as a short form for this.
Paññāsikhara wrote: They are related, by association, yes. But because in most Theravada countries they basically believe that the Mahayana is heretical, evil and whatnot, the term "mahayana" is not in any way an appropriate substitute in this context.
i took this to be how you thought the term was being used in the transcript, considering the other comment by bankai, about how Mahayana is being used like Hinayana, and your response
Paññāsikhara wrote:Yes, it has nothing to do with Mahayana. That lineage of bhikkhuni ordination is from other Sthavira lineages.
I simply pointed out that it could of be used in that way, even though historically inaccurate.
Do you know of a surviving Vinaya lineage which isn't Sthavira? as I have said the Mahayana is a teaching lineage, not a Vinaya Lineage, but I wasn't claiming it was anything else I was talking about the use of the term on this occasion as found in the transcript.
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by Paññāsikhara » Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:15 am

I am going to leave it here. I guess I am expecting too much from a Theravada forum.
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: Huifeng's Prajnacara Blog.

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:30 am

Hi Venerable,
Paññāsikhara wrote:I am going to leave it here. I guess I am expecting too much from a Theravada forum.
I think that there is some confusion in this discussion. I don't think anyone disagrees with you about what what terminology should be used.

However, the transcript http://sujato.wordpress.com/2010/01/02/ ... ahn-brahm/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; has Ajahn Brahm explaining the background of the preceptor like this:
Ajahn Brahm wrote:A bhikkhuni was Pavattini (Upajjhaya). Tathaaloka has been to Thailand long ago. She has 12 Pansa (Vassas/Years since full ordination). She was ordained in the Mahayana in a sect in the United States.
Who knows what has been lost in translation from what he said in Thai, and whether the English is garbled. Maybe he mentioned the Vinaya line (he's certainly well aware of that), and it didn't get translated, or maybe he thought it was more understandable to say that Ven Tathaaloka was ordained by a Mahayana Bhikshuni (I'm not sure of all the details of her ordination).

Metta
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by cooran » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:19 am

Hello Jack,

Only just noticed your post ....

No deep explanation ....

The questions were:
blackbird said: Do we not have a duty as lay people, to shore up bad behavior?
To shore up means to strengthen. Lay people do not have a duty to strengthen bad behaviour.
No example was given of bad behaviour either of type or who it was performed by.
Is not the Canon filled with examples of the laity complaining to the Buddha of monks behaving badly?
Not to my knowledge. If the Canon is filled with examples, I'm assuming you mean scores of complaints. Please provide links.
Is not the laity a vital check and balance in ensuring the integrity of the Monastic community?
No. A monks' integrity is the primary responsibility of himself, his upajaya, and the community of bhikkhus.
Sure, laypersons have a small role ~ I've given alms on the streets of Bangkok with Thai laypeople who "did not see" and therefore "did not invite" a monk on the other side of the street to come for alms. When I began to make the slight bow (Wai) to invite him to come, the other ladies, without looking up, hissed and whispered "no, bad monk! bad monk!". They did not tell me anything more, and I did not ask. But that is really the extent of lay persons influence ~ anything more would involve gossip, and wrong speech. So .... not a vital check ~ he still got alms down the road.

metta
Chris
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by BlackBird » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:41 am

Hi Chris

Thanks for the response, my understanding of 'shore up' was to drain. Thank you for the correction.

I will work on a more thoughtful response later, for now I'm gonna have a sit.

metta
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:19 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:I am going to leave it here. I guess I am expecting too much from a Theravada forum.
So what were you expecting? and what do you think you have found?
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by cooran » Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:33 am

Hello Manapa,

Perhaps it would be better to discuss that with Ven Huifeng in a PM?

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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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:07 am

Chris wrote:Hello Manapa,

Perhaps it would be better to discuss that with Ven Huifeng in a PM?

metta
Chris
possibly,
if he wishes to say via PM I would be happy with that.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by BlackBird » Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:18 am

Hi Chris

I guess the drift of my earlier posts was not to do with specific misdeeds, by specific monks, but rather than general trend of the Sasana. Safe to say Thai Buddhism in is a bad way, and needs some serious reform. However, it's the institution that needs reforming, and you're right it's not up to people like me to go around hauling individual monks up about their behavior, that is the business of a Monastic community and that's quite clear in the Vinaya.

Anyway, please have a read of Bhante Sujato's post on projection, if you have not already done so - If you wish to get a better understanding of where I am coming from on this

http://sujato.wordpress.com/2009/12/20/projection/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

p.s. nothing to do with Bhikkhunis :tongue:

metta
Jack :heart:
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by Dan74 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:46 am

I think Ven Sujato is doing good work in bringing it all down to earth, but for most of us before we are truly ready to embark on a critical examination of the Sangha and the institutions of Buddhism, we should get established in practice first.

Otherwise all this does is shore up the same old nihilistic doubt - "everything is corrupt anyway, might as well enjoy it!" This is a sad travesty that leads away from practice and into suffering.

I am not a Theravada practitioner and nothing more than an interested onlooker with some affinity for the issues and deep respect for the practice. But I would strongly encourage people especially beginners to focus on their practice and put all ideas of monks and institutions to the side. There are great monks out there, worth learning from, and besides worshipping the Sangha, we worship our own commitment to practice and give thanks for the preservation of the Dhamma.

So all the human and cultural accretions, all the hypocrisy and corruption, yep they are there, and we can focus on them and lose faith in the teachings and enthusiasm for practice, or we can take it as encouragement to proceed and not linger.

Surely in our own lives there is much that can be improved?


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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by BlackBird » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:09 am

Dan74 wrote: Otherwise all this does is shore up the same old nihilistic doubt - "everything is corrupt anyway, might as well enjoy it!" This is a sad travesty that leads away from practice and into suffering.
Hi Dan

What leads you to believe in the inevitability of nihilistic doubt for one not well established in practice?

What might lead a practitioner to make a sweeping generalization that because institutional Thai Buddhism is largely corrupted, that there isn't honest, diligent and realized practitioners in Thailand, or the world today that they might rely upon as teachers and friends? Furthermore, for one who has come to a rudimentary understanding of impermanence and dukkha - what is there to enjoy?

metta
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:26 am

Hi BlackBird,
BlackBird wrote: What might lead a practitioner to make a sweeping generalization that because institutional Thai Buddhism is largely corrupted, that there isn't honest, diligent and realized practitioners in Thailand, or the world today that they might rely upon as teachers and friends?
I'm puzzled about this statement. Many of us know honest, diligent (I can't assess realised) practitioners in Thailand, or trained in Thailand, supported by Thai institutions and lay followers, that we do rely on as teachers. Without them we'd be nowhere...

Metta
Mike

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by BlackBird » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:51 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi BlackBird,
BlackBird wrote: What might lead a practitioner to make a sweeping generalization that because institutional Thai Buddhism is largely corrupted, that there isn't honest, diligent and realized practitioners in Thailand, or the world today that they might rely upon as teachers and friends?
I'm puzzled about this statement. Many of us know honest, diligent (I can't assess realised) practitioners in Thailand, or trained in Thailand, supported by Thai institutions and lay followers, that we do rely on as teachers. Without them we'd be nowhere...

Metta
Mike
Hi Mike, that question you quoted was in response to this:
Otherwise all this does is shore up the same old nihilistic doubt - "everything is corrupt anyway, might as well enjoy it!" This is a sad travesty that leads away from practice and into suffering.
My pondering on this above quote was as follows:
1. Not everything is corrupt, there is still honest, diligent and realized practitioners in Thailand, or trained in Thailand, supported by Thai institutions and lay followers.
2. After coming to know the true state of institutional Theravada, and becoming disillusioned with it, what would lead a person who is not well established in practice to assume that "everything is corrupt anyway, might as well enjoy it". For nobody is stating that because there is widespread corruption in the Sangha, that honest, diligent, upright and realized practitioners don't exist within it.

I think the way this thread's panned out and particularly threads on Ven. Sujato's blog, may have answered my own question in that through all this talk of widespread corruption and scandal, perhaps we are not quick enough to remind new practitioners that there are plenty of realized beings still on this planet, plenty of honest and diligent practitioners in both Monastic and lay communities, plenty of people to turn to for advice and guidance on the spiritual path.

metta
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by BlackBird » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:58 am

I'd also like to apologise to you Dan, in case it seems I am being nitpicky, re-reading your OP it seems we're of the same general opinion.

Sorry
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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