Pratimoksa and Bodhisattva Vows

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Pratimoksa and Bodhisattva Vows

Postby plwk » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:44 am

Is it true as one Gelugpa I know asserts that in Vajrayana, one, after taking refuge can go ahead and receive the Bodhisattva Vows without the preliminary foundation of receiving the Pratimoksa (here, the context of the laity's 5 [or during the sojong's 8]) Precepts? If not, why? If yes, why? :thanks:
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Re: Pratimoksa and Bodhisattva Vows

Postby Tom » Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:16 am

plwk wrote:Is it true as one Gelugpa I know asserts that in Vajrayana, one, after taking refuge can go ahead and receive the Bodhisattva Vows without the preliminary foundation of receiving the Pratimoksa (here, the context of the laity's 5 [or during the sojong's 8]) Precepts? If not, why? If yes, why? :thanks:


It is not necessary to first take the pratimoksa vows but it is usually recommended - the pratimoksha is usually included in the first of the three Bodhisattva moralities. The relationship between how the pratimoksa support bodhisattva morality,and whether bodhisattva pratimoksa is unique is explained differently by different masters see for example Asanga, Atisha, Sapan and Tsongkhapa.
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Re: Pratimoksa and Bodhisattva Vows

Postby plwk » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:32 am

It is not necessary to first take the pratimoksa vows but it is usually recommended - the pratimoksha is usually included in the first of the three Bodhisattva moralities.
Agreed as this is also taught in Mahayana to some interpretation but I am also thinking that perhaps, there are some who may not be ready for the extensive scope and practice of the Bodhisattva Vows so this is where the Pratimoksa vows come in as an introductory or foundational scope and practice, hence as you said, 'recommended' and 'necessity'?
The relationship between how the pratimoksa support bodhisattva morality,and whether bodhisattva pratimoksa is unique is explained differently by different masters see for example Asanga, Atisha, Sapan and Tsongkhapa.
Yes I have read that before, especially in terms of karma, effect and motivation amongst the many considerations.
But and it is here that I am intrigued by another matter, related to 'necessity'.
If the Bodhisattva Pratimoksa is so 'complete' and even encompasses the Sravaka Pratimoksa, in the context of monastic ordination, why didn't these masters receive ordination utilising it then, like what the Japanese did in setting aside the Sravaka Vinaya Pratimoksa in favor of the Bodhisattva Pratimoksa?
Why do they still receive monastic ordination under the systems of Mulasarvastivada for Sapan & Tsongkhapa, the Mahasamghika for Atisa and in Asanga's case, some say it could be from Mahisasaka or Mulasarvastivada, all of which are the Sravaka Pratimoksa systems (which today one can see the complexities of ordination processes) whereas the Bodhisattva Vows do not contain monastic vows nor imposes celibacy unlike the Sravaka Pratimoksa for the ordained, hence its openness to all, ordained and laity alike.
And the other matter is also the traditional sevenfold classes of disciples of bhikshu, bhikshuni, sramanera, sramanerika, siksamana, upasaka & upasika are derived from the Sravaka Pratimoksa model according to the level of precepts/vows taken but the Bodhisattva Vows do not have such to the same effect in that all seven classes are holding the same number of vows in the Bodhisattva Pratimoksa system?
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Re: Pratimoksa and Bodhisattva Vows

Postby Tom » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:49 am

plwk wrote: If the Bodhisattva Pratimoksa is so 'complete' and even encompasses the Sravaka Pratimoksa, in the context of monastic ordination, why didn't these masters receive ordination utilising it then, like what the Japanese did in setting aside the Sravaka Vinaya Pratimoksa in favor of the Bodhisattva Pratimoksa?
Why do they still receive monastic ordination under the systems of Mulasarvastivada for Sapan & Tsongkhapa, the Mahasamghika for Atisa and in Asanga's case, some say it could be from Mahisasaka or Mulasarvastivada, all of which are the Sravaka Pratimoksa systems (which today one can see the complexities of ordination processes) whereas the Bodhisattva Vows do not contain monastic vows nor imposes celibacy unlike the Sravaka Pratimoksa for the ordained, hence its openness to all, ordained and laity alike. ?


So, although Asanga might have envisioned the Bodhisattva sangha as an alternate to Monastic sangha this is not the approach of later scholars. Atisha thought it best to be a monatsic in order take Bodhisattva vows and Tsongkhapa says if it is possible we should take the pratimoksha vows previously to taking the bodhisattva vows because it accords with the skillful means of the Buddha's teachings. However, there are some classed of beings who do not have this opportunity and so only take the bodhisattva ceremony. The essence of pratimoksha, non-harming is covered in the bodhisattva morality with the addition of aspiring to benefit of others.
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Re: Pratimoksa and Bodhisattva Vows

Postby songhill » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:14 am

True pratimoksa has nothing to do with one’s obedience to certain rules or regulations. In the commentaries to the Pali canon it says:

It is the Patimokkha since it is the fallen that it frees (mokkheti) from the suffering of samsara. For it is due to the release (vimokkhena) of the mind (cittassa) that a being is spoken of as ‘liberated’” (UdA 223—224).
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Re: Pratimoksa and Bodhisattva Vows

Postby jmlee369 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:52 am

It has been a while since I read any textual source for my understanding, but different levels of vows can fuction to fulfil different roles. In the case of kriya and carya tantra, for example, the bodhisattva precepts alone serve as the tantric vows. In terms of the three bodhisattva moralities (the training of morality that is restraint, gathering virtuous dharmas, and benifitting beings), the pratimoksha vows that one has taken serves as the first of the three moralities. I came across a sutra that serves as the basis of the bodhisattva precepts mentioned in the Yogacarabhumi Shastra in Chinese translation and it required people receiving bodhisattva precepts to have taken pratimoksha precepts of some sort as well.
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Re: Pratimoksa and Bodhisattva Vows

Postby Tom » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:59 am

jmlee369 wrote: the pratimoksha vows that one has taken serves as the first of the three moralities.


I think this position is a little tricky and different scholars take different positions with regard to it. For example, the Pratimoksha vows do not travel with us from life to life where as the Bodhisattva vows do. So we have to make some distinction here or else provide an explanation. Dragpa Gyeltsen certainly does not agree with the above statement and Tsongkhapa I think agrees but with some qualifications. I remember reading some debates on this but my memory might be leading me astray!
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Re: Pratimoksa and Bodhisattva Vows

Postby Tom » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:31 am

jmlee369 wrote: I came across a sutra that serves as the basis of the bodhisattva precepts mentioned in the Yogacarabhumi Shastra in Chinese translation and it required people receiving bodhisattva precepts to have taken pratimoksha precepts of some sort as well.


I'd be interested in the reference if you have it to hand (is it Akshaya sutra?). The Bodhisattvabhumi itself seems to suggests this that someone taking the Bodhisattva ceremony requires both aspirational bodhichitta and also be either monastic or lay - which commentators take to be referring to the actual vows.

Interestingly, I think and please someone correct me if I am wrong that the Sakya masters with their Yogachara/Madhyamaka distinction say that although the Yogachara bodhisattva ceremony requires ordinary pratimoksha as a prerequisite while with the Madhyamaka bodhisattva ceremony it is not required.
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Re: Pratimoksa and Bodhisattva Vows

Postby jmlee369 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:15 am

From the Bodhisattva Virtuous Morality Sutra (菩薩善戒經), Scroll 4, Chapter 11 on the Bodhisattva Ground Morality. Taisho No.1582

一切戒者。在家出家所受持者名一切戒。在家出家戒有三種。一者戒。二者受善法戒。三者為利眾生故行戒。云何名戒。所謂七種戒。比丘比丘尼。式叉摩那。沙彌沙彌尼。優婆塞優婆夷。菩薩摩訶薩若欲受持菩薩戒者。先當淨心受七種戒。七種戒者。即是淨心趣菩薩戒。


"Those of the all morality: all morality is the name for that received and upheld by householder and homeleaver (monastic). Householder and homeleaver morality is of three types. 1) morality, 2) receiving virtuous dharmas morality, 3) acting for the benefit of sentient beings morality. What is called morality? They are the seven types of morality. Bhikshu, Bhikshuni, Shikshamana, Sramanera, Sramaneri, Upasaka and Upasika. If there are Bodhisattva Mahasattvas desire to receive and uphold the bodhisattva morality, they should first purify their mind (read with pure mind?) and receive the seven types of morality. Those of the seven types of morality, are namely the pure mind's realm bodhisattva vows."

This is in reference to the second of nine tupes of morality, the all (or complete) morality.
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Re: Pratimoksa and Bodhisattva Vows

Postby kirtu » Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:28 am

Tom wrote: Dragpa Gyeltsen certainly does not agree with the above statement and Tsongkhapa I think agrees but with some qualifications.


Which "above statement" were you referring to?

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Re: Pratimoksa and Bodhisattva Vows

Postby Tom » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:06 pm

kirtu wrote:
Tom wrote: Dragpa Gyeltsen certainly does not agree with the above statement and Tsongkhapa I think agrees but with some qualifications.


Which "above statement" were you referring to?

Kirt


Just the quote directly above it from jmlee369 that I copied, "the pratimoksha vows that one has taken serves as the first of the three moralities."
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Re: Pratimoksa and Bodhisattva Vows

Postby Tom » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:05 pm

jmlee369 wrote:From the Bodhisattva Virtuous Morality Sutra (菩薩善戒經), Scroll 4, Chapter 11 on the Bodhisattva Ground Morality. Taisho No.1582

一切戒者。在家出家所受持者名一切戒。在家出家戒有三種。一者戒。二者受善法戒。三者為利眾生故行戒。云何名戒。所謂七種戒。比丘比丘尼。式叉摩那。沙彌沙彌尼。優婆塞優婆夷。菩薩摩訶薩若欲受持菩薩戒者。先當淨心受七種戒。七種戒者。即是淨心趣菩薩戒。


"Those of the all morality: all morality is the name for that received and upheld by householder and homeleaver (monastic). Householder and homeleaver morality is of three types. 1) morality, 2) receiving virtuous dharmas morality, 3) acting for the benefit of sentient beings morality. What is called morality? They are the seven types of morality. Bhikshu, Bhikshuni, Shikshamana, Sramanera, Sramaneri, Upasaka and Upasika. If there are Bodhisattva Mahasattvas desire to receive and uphold the bodhisattva morality, they should first purify their mind (read with pure mind?) and receive the seven types of morality. Those of the seven types of morality, are namely the pure mind's realm bodhisattva vows."

This is in reference to the second of nine tupes of morality, the all (or complete) morality.


Thanks for the reference. I am not sure what "pure mind's realm bodhisattva vows" exactly refers to - is it another name for the first of the three bodhisattva moralities?
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