Catmoom... I agree overall considering the terminology used. Monasticism in any application may not be mentioned in scripture but contrary is subject to interpretation of scripture.
I have no opinion on that as scripture itself seems malable. Reading the Theravadan Brahamajala sutta and then reading the Mayahanan Brahama net sutra beings that to mind for me.
There exists a issue of monasticism that I have heard some discuss. The question raised was the status of monastics. The wandering lifestyle of the monks and nuns of the day seemed to allow for no real establishment of permenant abodes. Though some park areas were donated to the sangha those did not comprise real established monasteries.With the establishment of permenant structures and the necessity of maintance of those structures arose the necessity to establish a continual stream of income. Changing what was buddhist monastic perhaps to something else. The politic then becoming a necessity for the monastic organization. Hence seemingly some would contend with political necessity arose the corruption of buddhism and interpretations of things that perhaps were not formally buddhist to being considered buddhism.
I do hold that view, but as scriptures are mentioned as malable, changeable instruments of at times apparent political intention I find usually conventions do not run contrary to them. They are changed or interpreted to allow for such or perhaps just reinvented to allow for such...what the politic necessitates in some cases that being to maintain the edifice of the monastic. Buddhisms success or failure can be pretty well equated in geographical areas with its success in establishing itself with the governing body, and the revenues that ensue from such a establishment. While events may precipitate or incite such things, events like the MUslim invasion of India, the real death knell for buddhism in India began with a steady erosion of state sponsorship of the religion, as per one example. STudying Buddhism generally it falls or runs with the state.
All that aside I do agree that monasticism does have a result of some attaining meditative capacity. And how can we equate being such as HHDL as being not representative of the order they are in.
I can however see that certain considered relatively advanced spiritual techniques are the only future for buddhism. The application of that however being in a notmentioned context. The ground of devotion, prayer, fasting, singular vehicles such as these some may be described as lower tantras has already largly been taken in the religious community with more effective application by those of theist bent.
My personal conjecture is that if buddhism is indeed just that....it will within the next 250 or so years be unrecognizable from those theism of common content and thusly not exist at all for all intents and purposes. There being in a final consideration being not a whit of difference between amittaba pure land and the heaven of the theists for the vast majority. Object name and perhaps quality of place, are representative of cultural differences only by my take, there being the same exact mechanism.
So in a differing fashion I agree also on the advanced practices and the result of them being the only future for buddhism.
Though this certainly differs from the progression mentioned in this thread of that event.
So I agree and disagree with both sides on this issue.
I have however reinforced my assumption you are a logical able to consider alternate views of issues and discussions even in very fine points of presentation, person. YOur comment to mine is totally appropriate and worthy of consideration. Many would not respond in that fashion. You do so thanks.
On a side note....reading the Brahma net sutra reminded me of the varying attempts of chinese warlords/rulers/emperors at times throughout history attempting to rule by removing all weaponry from the populace; in fact outlawing such, as a part of their governance. Some contend original martial arts resulted from buddhist monks receiving those edicts and attempting to defend themselves from robbers and such by then learning martials arts and emloying the useage of common farm impletments such as wooden staffs but disallowing the very same instruments which are mentioned in detail in (coincidentally most would state)...in the brahma net sutra.
When to burn fields things of that sort....I find this scripture has application in a very broad context but specifically seems to apply govenmental necessities of the day to buddhism. UNcontrolled wildfires being a real challenge to governments of the day and the overall societal need for security.But a line between buddhism and government seems to have become somewhat blurred in such a sutra. Monastic permenant structure would allow for that blurring.But to run contrary to scripture...there appears no need...the needs of government have become scripture. But few perhaps have read that thing....I don't know.
Just my personal opinion, which I now state. I agree and disagree, with both sides.To my take there are seeds of this thing in scripture that which would disallow a formal substantial monastary from arising. HInts of such, things like... monks may not handle gold or money, in scriptures at times(and others). By my take those are residuals of initial impetus to see that buddhism did not become religions of state such as brahamism was back in the day.
When structures of permenance were established they did become religions of state as necessity for continuance, and hence corrupted. So it started with that.
I would suppose that was a very real threat to initial buddhism and was spoken against in varying forms. By my take also then the eventual fall of buddhism in india began not with the muslims but with ashoka and his equilivency of buddhism and state. The corruption of necessity for monastic being... permenant structure leading directly to a necessity of combining church/temple and state and thusly the needs of church/temple and state. Ultimately in those things when state becomes in disfavor as both are identified as part and parcel of eachother when one fails so does the other.
I predict such will happen in america over the next 100 or so years but that is a different subject. The more identified with theism is america(which in times of strife I see as in ascendency) the more will theism in its presently identifiable form be likely to dissolve with the state.
2500 years from now people will be asking...how exactly did america become a area with no identifiable christian theism(hard to say what will supplant it)....this is how.
As ashoka's kingdom crumbled in india(largly through the work of his son) so did buddhism, very very gradually crumble in india. The muslims but sped it on its way. State and religion being equal assured it. All nations eventually fall on bad times. When the times become bad and the form of government replaced so goes the religion....most typically. This may take a thousand years to evolve however. Or as quickly as a hundred years in a very small display such as perhaps evolved in a very small island in the pacific years ago.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.