Ordination

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Re: Ordination

Postby Zhen Li » Wed May 14, 2014 2:12 am

The question as to whether we should dismiss the possibility of writing earlier than Ashoka is what kind of materials were people writing on?

I think it may be possible that writing did exist for some time longer than we have epigraphical evidence of, but rather the materials for writing were what was transmitted culturally from the west.

That is to say, just as sculpture for religious iconography was introduced by the Greeks, and first adopted by Buddhists and then theistic Brahmins, epigraphy as such was introduced by the Greeks. That is different from claiming sculpture as such (i.e. non-religious, non-iconographical) was introduced, and different from saying writing as such (i.e. non-epigraphical) was introduced by the Greeks. It also doesn't mean religious iconography didn't exist in other forms prior also - i.e. that the Greeks introduced stone sculpture, rather than iconographic sculpture in general.

There are so many degrees of pre-existing materials that may either have been present or not have been present. We know what the degrees may be, what range they may be in, but the dial whereby we can read the gauge is obscured in the mists of time.
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Re: Ordination

Postby JKhedrup » Wed May 14, 2014 7:47 am

Until recently, the received opinions on these issues, in the west at least, have mainly been based on or at least strongly affected by their explication by Georg Bühler fully one century ago in his highly influential, if somewhat controversial monograph On the Origin of the Indian Brahma Alphabet (Indian Studies No.III) . [5] Bühler argued for an early origin of writing in India and posited an extensive pre-history, going as far back as the 8th century BC, for the Brâhmî script, which he derived from the Phoenician script. Although more recent writers such as David Diringer [6] have tended to doubt such an early date for Brâhmî and have looked to the Aramaic rather than the Phoenician script as its probable source, Bühler's materials and arguments have continued to guide the discussion long after many of them have become outdated (Falk, p.11). The arguments of specialists have largely focussed on evaluations, criticisms, and modifications of Bühler, while presentations by non-Indologists such as Diringer and Hans Jensen [7] in their general works on the history of writing have relied heavily and often uncritically and inaccurately on him (see e.g. Falk pp.96, 123). In general, some form or other of Bühler's essential thesis that Brâhmî was developed out of a Semitic prototype in pre-Mauryan India has been accepted by most scholars in the west, but rejected by the majority of South Asian experts, who generally argue for a separate and indigenous origin for the Indic scripts, often by way of derivation, direct or indirect, from the Indus script.

http://indology.info/papers/salomon/

A further problem in deriving Brâhmî as a composite of Greek and Kharo.s.thî are the several Brâhmî characters which are more readily explained by reference to the presumptive Aramaic prototype of Kharo.s.thî than to the Kharo.s.thî (or Greek) characters themselves. Among these are Brâhmî ¤ ha , which can reasonably be derived (by inversion) from an Aramaic ¤ he , but hardly from Kharo.s.thî ¤ ha , and ¤ ta from Aramaic ¤ taw , but not Kharo.s.thî ¤ ta ; several other such examples could be cited. What this boils down to is the old problem that each of the proposed prototypes for Brâhmî, viz., Kharo.s.thî, Aramaic, Phoenician, and Greek, can provide models for some of its characters, but no one of them can explain all of them; to do so, one must revert to rather far-fetched combined derivations of the sort proposed by Halévy (see n.). Falk does not address these problems head on, and perhaps would be inclined to dismiss them, as have some others, on the grounds that the characters of Brâhmî were essentially arbitrary creations, with a general input from Greek and Kharo.s.thî but not systematically patterned on either of them. This too is not impossible, but still the resemblance of many of the Brâhmî characters to phonetically cognate ones in one or the other scripts is troubling. It may not ever be possible to fully establish the derivations of each Brâhmî character, and this was clearly not Falk's intention, but I cannot help feeling that in this regard he has over-estimated the role of Greek at the expense of Aramaic.

http://indology.info/papers/salomon/
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Ordination

Postby Seishin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:40 pm

Indrajala wrote:
No, I didn't ordain independently. I went through the motions of an ordination ceremony here in India with senior monks and was given the robes, precepts and so on. I don't really identify with the ceremony and all the details (vehicle, tradition, country, monastery). It was just a formality that orthodox Buddhist traditions demand. I'm not one for following the crowd.

I am however very independent (and find it inherently difficult to conform to any institution) and as time goes on less interested in what the Vinaya has to say about how I should live my life after reading and researching all about how it developed historically, to say nothing of the utter nonsense you find in some of it (for example, like how to properly draw up loan contracts with laypeople which is actually attributed to the Buddha who lived in a time with no writing!).

I prefer to be a Baba-ji rather than Bhante to be honest. To a certain extent perhaps the influence of India has made me feel uncomfortable with the kind of monasticism you find in Tibetan Buddhism or Theravada where the chiefs get to tell the underlings whether they're allowed to wear underwear or not. I want no part of that. If someone ever told me I can't wear underwear I would tell them to #### off.

I'm fortunately in a position though where I can be independent. I just do whatever I want really. Now that isn't to say I'm having sex, drinking alcohol and doing all kinds of questionable things (I'm not). I just prefer to be a śramaṇa (mendicant, not novice) on my own terms, which in my mind is more in line with the original spirit of the Buddha's time. There are common features found in ancient śramaṇa traditions: celibacy, non-violence, simplicity, mendicancy, etc. A lot of what you find beyond that is clearly aimed at self-preservation and propagation of institutions (like the strong obsession in the Vinaya with keeping a sparkling clean image for the the paying laypeople).

If all this makes me a heretic, then I'll happily walk away from Buddhism and simply follow Buddhadharma. :anjali:
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Re: Ordination

Postby Seishin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:41 pm

He was ordained by Ven Gyomyo Nakamura http://www.gurujigyomyo.com/
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Re: Ordination

Postby Seishin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:54 pm

I am e-friends with his preceptor and have seen the photos of the ceremony. I also remember Ven Indrajala mentioning it in DW somewhere (but can't find it) so didn't see any problem in sharing. If however it he feels it's too much information he is welcome to ask the admin to remove my post :smile:

And as you say, if anyone doesn't feel my information is credible they can contact Ven Indrajala directly for verification. :smile:

Gassho,
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Re: Ordination

Postby catmoon » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:04 pm

I for one am quite satisfied that his ordination is not only legit, but actually of better pedigree than average. I went to his alma mater site and it turns out to be a Japanese university dating back to 1592 with a Soto Zen heritage that goes right back to the day the university was founded. He told me he has an MA from that institution and I have no reason to doubt it, for the simple reason that such a claim is readily disproven if it is false. He'd have to be a complete idiot to make such a claim if it were false. And he is definitely not an idiot.
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.
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Re: Ordination

Postby catmoon » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:26 pm

I assumed he would be ordained via the university. Is that not correct?
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Re: Ordination

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:32 pm

No. V. Indrajala is not ordained through the university.

Despite being offended by his recent posts that revealed an anti-Tibet bias, I know V. Indrajala personally and have visited the temple in Delhi , India where he ordained.
So he is not misleading people when he says that he received vows through a Buddhist precept transmission ceremony.

I stayed overnight at this temple and I know that he is accepted as a duly-ordained monk and part of the community there, including by two Ladakhi monks that are the caretakers of the place.

We can disagree and perhaps even be offended by someone's views, but there is no need to question their character based on averements.
Last edited by JKhedrup on Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2327
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Ordination

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:00 pm

The thread will remain locked until Venerable Indrajala's return, whereupon he will be able to personally answer people's questions, if he cares to do so.

Thank you for your understanding.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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