Precepts in China and Japan

Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby lama tsewang » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:44 am

First of all the O.BC isnt a hodge podge a hybrid practice . There way of taking precepts and their tradition of following the Brahmajala Sutra m is an ancient thing. iT SATARTED IN jAPAN WITH sAICHO THE FOUNDER OF THE tENDAI sCHOOL
they even perform regular renewals of precepts like others do. WHAT THEY RECITE AT THEIR RENEWAL CEREMONY IS tHE bRAHMAJALA sutra.

sara H, I THINK IT IS NOT A GOOD THING TO BE CONTRASTING THE obc WITH OTHER MONASTICS AS YOU ARE DOING , I dont think that they would like that at all, theuy consider themselves an integral part of the BUDDHIST MONASTIC COMMUNITY, IN CONTRAST TO MOST OF THE OTHER sOTO zEN GROUPS HERE.
they dont think that they are better and they dont contrast themselves with the rest of the BUDDHIST MONKS AND NUNS.

there are other two other co ed monasteries here. GAMPO abbey and sravasti abbey, i dont see them making a big deal aboutn it , or that they are doing anything revolutionary. AND IDONT HEAR THEM SAYING THAT THIS MEANS OUR TEACHINGS ARENT MODERN ENOUGH. or that they are more up to date.

another thing about this, ar rge ObC centre near me, when some nuns wanted to join their community, THEY WENT AND RENTED AN EXTRA HOUSE, SO THAT THE NUNS WOULD HAVE THEIR OWN SEPARATE RESIDENCE.

i think it s a real error to call our precepts , vows that is a big misunderstanding its changing our teachings in a very significant way . look at pali we say we undertake the training not to kill etc..

ALSO WHEN WE BECOME bHIKSHUs
WE DONT RECITE , AND COMMIT TO FOLLOW 250 OR SO RULES , WE JOIN a community of monks with the assent of the othersb in the community.

ALSO THE VINAYA IS A SET OF TEACHINGS RELEVANT TO THE MONASYIC COMMUNITY , ITS NOT JUST THE PRECEPTS THATS JUST ONE PART OF IT , ITS A WHOE PITAKA THAT HAS ALOT OF OTHER THINGS IN IT SO MOSTLY WHAT WEVE TALING ABOUT HERE IS TE PRATIMOKSHA , NOT THE VINAYA , ITS JUST A PART OF SOMMETHING THATS BIGGER

finally a lot of people like to disparage the teachings in the VINAYA , SOME TREAT IT AS A LAW BOOK AND LOSE THE SPIRIT OF IT , WITNESS SOME OF THE STRANGE REASONINGS THAT HAVE BEEN USED TO KEEP WOMEN FROM BECOMING BHIKKHUNIS OYHERS RIDICULE IT FOR BEING SILLY BECAUSE ITS OUTDATED . THEY ARENT MUCH DIFFERENT FROM THE LAWYERS BECAUSE NEITHER EXTREME FOCUSSES FIRST AND FOREMOST ON THE INTENTION, THE SPIRIT , WHICH IS TO ENHANCE DHARMA NOT TO PREVENT PEOPLE FROM PRACTICING IT.


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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:29 am

Sara H wrote:A matriarchal society is no more gender-equal than a patriarchal one.
So you believe that modern patriarchal military-industrial petroleum based society has more gender equality than pre-modern matriarchal society?
...Women over men is no more gender-equal than men over women.
This is how you conceive of matriarchy? Women over men? I think you are confounding sex (physical characteristic) with gender (social characteristic). In patriarchal society a woman (XX) can dominate a man (XY) if the woman can express the social characteristics that define being a "male" more effectively than the man. Remember we are talking about gender here and not sex. In matriarchal societies it is the qualities associated with being a woman (qualities that have a basis in physical characteristics too) that are dominant, not women per se. Now obviously, like in patriarchal societies, where men, by the mere fact that they are men, tend to more "naturally" display these qualities and thus will be found in positions of dominance, we may find the same dynamic applying to matriarchal societies.
We're becoming more of a gender-neutral single society with shared, or gender-irrelevant leadership, instead of two societies; men's and women's co-existing side by side with one gender taking the leadership role over the other.
We are not becoming a gender neutral society, we are still, quite clearly, a patriarchal society, albeit one that allows women to be patriarchs (or to be dominated like men) .

Anyway, I personally see no problem with sex specific roles in areas that are dominated by physical structure. Women, for example, have the physical capacity to bear children and mammary glands that produce milk. Men do not. Thus, this is an "advantage" that women have over men. Because, apart from the capacity to lift heavy things (a capacity that is not displayed by all men anyway), us guys, realistically, do not have all that much over women. Women have been fooled (read socialised) into believing that their natural physical qualities are a disadvantage/negative. I do not consider milk formulas and the quest for extra-uterine development of embryos (or even the pill, since you mentioned it) as steps forward for womens freedom. Quite the contrary. These are all developments made within the cultural boundaries of patriarchy and thus developed to further male domination. Sure, maybe they can be used as a tool to free women (like a gun can be used to liberate or dominate, through essentially the same mechanism), but as things stand right now...
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Astus » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:32 am

How does this discussion of gender roles have a relevance to following the Vinaya or other sets of precepts? The OBC follows the Japanese version of bodhisattva precepts, or a combination of different regulations. This is one thing. In Buddhism being a bhikshu/ni is defined by the Vinaya, that is another thing. Since the OBC does not follow the Vinaya calling their clergy bhikshu/nis is incorrect from the Vinaya perspective. From a different perspective than the Vinaya it is a different matter. But since the Vinaya is one of the three baskets it is regarded as the definitive source of monastic regulations by the majority of Buddhists. As we all know, Japan is the one main exception where the Vinaya ordination has long disappeared. OBC, following the Japanese practice, don't have Vinaya ordination either. Arguing that a non-Vinaya system is better than the Vinaya system is again a different subject. However, expecting those who regard the Vinaya as the definitive source of monastic regulations to agree calling non-Vinaya ordained people bhikshu/nis is unrealistic.

Anyway, why the need to be called a bhikshu/ni when it is acceptable to abandon the Vinaya system?
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby AlanI » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:07 am

Maybe when it comes to people's precepts, we can just say that there is no standing in front or behind. Some people for monasteries and some not, some for celibacy and some not. It is not that Chinese or Japanese Precepts are better or worse. I gave up the bullshit about whose practice or precepts are more "real" and legit a long time ago. It is the same reason I left seminary years ago in the Catholic Church. I would never say that a Catholic priest or protestant minister or Imam or rabbi is higher or lower than another, and as a Buddhist I do not think a Japanese Roshi or a Chinese Bikkhu or Tibetan Rinpoche is any higher or lower from each other in the grand scheme of things. Just different ways to go about it. Buddhism changes over time, and so it has in going from India to China or Japan or Tibet, and practice and precepts change too.

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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Indrajala » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:36 am

AlanI wrote:Buddhism changes over time, and so it has in going from India to China or Japan or Tibet, and practice and precepts change too.

Al


One traditional Vinaya idea is that the Vinaya is the lifeline of Buddhism which enables it to abide in the world. It is with the degeneration of the Vinaya that the lifeline is eroded and Buddhism passes from the world.

Nevertheless, Vinaya as an institution and Vinaya as personal discipline are two different things. The former is part of the institutional apparatus of the organized religion called Buddhism while the latter is really one of the three trainings which enable liberation. In that sense it isn't so much about whether or not you're allowed to eat yeast and lees, but simply behaving yourself in a way that fosters optimal conditions with which one can actively pursue practice.

The Buddha gave permission to adjust and change the Vinaya as needed, which actually happened though perhaps unofficially.

The monastic lifestyles prescribed in Japan by Saicho and Dogen might not have been based on the Indian Vinaya, but nevertheless they were disciplined and suitable to the climate and culture. The karma proceedings and assorted procedures prescribed by the Indian Vinaya were not really carried out in China, so all the less so in Japan.

Nevertheless, there were communities of dedicated practitioners and it worked out reasonably well over the long-term. Buddhism wasn't destroyed in Japan, and for all its human problems it actually survived a number of massive civil wars and preserved a lot of ancient Tang and Song culture from China. They preserved the Chinese canon and many initially Chinese forms of Buddhism better than the Chinese themselves did, even though they didn't really place much importance on the Vinaya.

Keep in mind that Tendai and Shingon, plus any number of scholastic lineages like Sanron, were preserved quite well despite a widespread lack of Vinaya, especially after the Heian period. A lot of what was preserved in Japan was completely lost in China.

So while Vinaya is perhaps important, you have a country that lost it but managed to keep its Buddhism running strong for many centuries. China had a Vinaya lineage, and still does, but its Buddhist communities still fell into decline. Now Taiwan has kind of pulled together the pieces, but its future remains uncertain. A few decades of amazing prosperity is no guarantee of a bright long-term future.
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:27 am

One traditional Vinaya idea is that the Vinaya is the lifeline of Buddhism which enables it to abide in the world. It is with the degeneration of the Vinaya that the lifeline is eroded and Buddhism passes from the world.


It is also I think about the preservation of the complete three baskets of the teaching- The Sutra Pitaka, Abhidharma Pitaka, and Vinaya Pitaka. These are considered by many to the the textual foundation on which the complete tradition can stand. They are connected with the Three Higher Trainings in Concentration, Wisdom and Morality respectively.

Since the practice of the Three Higher Trainings are such a crucial aspect of the teachings many hold that if even part of one of the three Pitakas is lost that Buddhist practice will swiftly degenerate.

One should note that there are trainings for the lay community included in the Vinaya as well, though they are relatively brief. In the Tibetan tradition the "5 Types of Vows of Those Gone Forth (monastics)" are mentioned along with "The Division of vows of Laymen and Laywomen" as well as "One Day Householder Vows". So actually the Vinaya, at least scripturally, is broader than might first appear.
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Indrajala » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:53 am

JKhedrup wrote:
One traditional Vinaya idea is that the Vinaya is the lifeline of Buddhism which enables it to abide in the world. It is with the degeneration of the Vinaya that the lifeline is eroded and Buddhism passes from the world.


It is also I think about the preservation of the complete three baskets of the teaching- The Sutra Pitaka, Abhidharma Pitaka, and Vinaya Pitaka. These are considered by many to the the textual foundation on which the complete tradition can stand. They are connected with the Three Higher Trainings in Concentration, Wisdom and Morality respectively.


Master Sheng Yen said the Vinaya is like a preservative. :smile:

As you note though, "Vinaya" can also refer to the literature on ethics and precepts not limited to the bhiksu Vinaya.



Since the practice of the Three Higher Trainings are such a crucial aspect of the teachings many hold that if even part of one of the three Pitakas is lost that Buddhist practice will swiftly degenerate.


Some might argue that without a bhiksu Vinaya Buddhism will quickly degenerate, but on the contrary in Japan despite having abandoned Vinaya ordinations it still lasted, even thrived, for several centuries. It was only with modernization and secularization (coupled with a strong shift towards materialism) in Japan that Japanese Buddhism really started to decline. The Edo period saw plenty of great authors and practitioners of every lineage, and they had no Vinaya.
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:58 am

But you don't think that, for example, the problem of the hereditary priesthood that has led to the "funeral Buddhism" of Japan and the ambivalent attitude to practice by many Japanese in the modern period can be traced back to the disappearance of Vinaya? I have read several articles that seem to hold that position.



I would argue that a strong monastic Sangha would have weathered modernization better than the present system.
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.
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Indrajala » Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:21 am

JKhedrup wrote:But you don't think that, for example, the problem of the hereditary priesthood that has led to the "funeral Buddhism" of Japan and the ambivalent attitude to practice by many Japanese in the modern period can be traced back to the disappearance of Vinaya? I have read several articles that seem to hold that position.


Reading some 20th century Chinese authors, it sounds a lot like pre-WWII China suffered the same problems despite having a monastic system in place. They had plenty of monks who basically did long-life blessings and pujas for deceased people as a kind of profession. There wasn't much in the way of widespread serious interest in Buddhist philosophy and practice. There are some eminent examples of erudite scholars and adept yogis in 19th and 20th century China, but nevertheless it wasn't necessarily any better than Japan. This incidentally prompted the new Buddhist organizations in Taiwan to ensure all ordinands have a basic education in Buddhism and to offer a lot of classes to laypeople, but then at the same time in contemporary Japan there are equivalent projects.
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:30 am

Oh Okay, I will take you word for it as you lived there. I have never been to Japan.

So would you say in fact the state of Buddhism in Japan is not as dire as some scholars present it?

Are the efforts at the promotion of Buddhism successful?

Also, what is the impact of the new religions (Shinshukyo)such as Rissho Koseikai on the flourishing of Buddhism in Japan? If the influence of these organizations is so pervasive in Japanese culture, how can the more traditional forms of Buddhism remain relevant?
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.
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Huifeng » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:17 pm

The highs and lows of Chinese Buddhism often follow the highs and lows of the various states and empires we often now designate as "China". We cannot just look at Chinese Buddhism in a vacuum. As such, looking at internal conditions alone may not give us the best picture of what is going on. In this case, whether or not the presence or absence of Vinaya ordination and practice in Chinese Buddhism viz its highs and lows. For instance, almost everything - opium trade notwithstanding - was rather at a low in late Qing China. In the face of events such as the Taiping rebellion, minor invasions by a number of foreign states, etc. it is not at all surprising that keeping up even basic things like general education or health for anybody would be rather difficult. Not implying that there was any such thing as state sponsored universal education or health care, but that even those few that would otherwise have these things would have difficulties. I think that these broader circumstances are probably as significant, if not more so, in painting a picture of late Qing and early Republic Chinese Buddhism.

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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Indrajala » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:54 pm

JKhedrup wrote:So would you say in fact the state of Buddhism in Japan is not as dire as some scholars present it?


It is definitely on the decline. Generally speaking, Buddhism is called a funeral religion, though you still have serious practitioners and scholars. The archaic rites which the privileged clergy perform are a kind of fossil of a bygone era that Japanese society still feels compelled to pay for, though that is changing. The massive temples of old still attract plenty of tourists and are supported by the state, which provide income for a lot of people, so they'll be kept in good shape for the foreseeable future.

I think Japanese Buddhism will become very low key, but still in the background. Society still supports Buddhism to a degree and value is placed on the history and traditions, which form part of the Japanese national identity. Serious practice will still be had, but it won't be like in the old days with big Zendos all over the map.

There are fewer and fewer priests, which reflect an ageing population and moreover a shift towards modern urban, and very secular, lifestyles on the part of younger generations.

People in Japan still seek out spirituality, but more and more, like in the west, it isn't found in organized religion.


Are the efforts at the promotion of Buddhism successful?



It doesn't seem to be in many respects. Fashion shows with monks parading around in their outfits and manga are not really succeeding.



Also, what is the impact of the new religions (Shinshukyo)such as Rissho Koseikai on the flourishing of Buddhism in Japan? If the influence of these organizations is so pervasive in Japanese culture, how can the more traditional forms of Buddhism remain relevant?


I would guess that as free agents initially they didn't have to work within a settled hierarchy, so they could do what worked and implement things quickly.
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Indrajala » Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:10 pm

Huifeng wrote:The highs and lows of Chinese Buddhism often follow the highs and lows of the various states and empires we often now designate as "China".


That actually helps to explain the prosperity of the new Buddhist organizations in Taiwan: they rode the economic boom of the late 20th century. They also had unofficial state support. The business and political classes were well connected or even largely the same people, so permission from the KMT to build and expand plus financial support from the business elites was not such a struggle evidently given what happened.

Buddhism served a useful function both immediately after the KMT moved here and wanted to "de-Japanize" Taiwan, and later when society was more settled and these organizations fostered worthwhile virtues in citizens. Most of the eminent Buddhist leaders after WWII were from the mainland originally and promoted Chinese Buddhism, which again strikes me as noteworthy considering the KMT agenda.

I'm not saying there was a coordinated conspiracy or anything, but just that the economic prosperity coupled with favourable political conditions really allowed for Buddhism to grow in Taiwan over the late 20th century. I honestly don't know how much of a factor the resurrected Vinaya system was. If it wasn't for said political and economic factors, not much would have happened.

That actually begs the question what will happen when the economic good times halt and the political landscape changes...
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Indrajala » Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:13 pm

One thing I'd like to add to this discussion is that not having a Vinaya doesn't mean you can't have celibate monastics. If you followed the old monastic systems in Japan that lacked the formal Vinaya component, you still swore yourself to celibacy and monastic living.
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Sara H » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:12 am

Astus wrote:How does this discussion of gender roles have a relevance to following the Vinaya or other sets of precepts? The OBC follows the Japanese version of bodhisattva precepts, or a combination of different regulations. This is one thing. In Buddhism being a bhikshu/ni is defined by the Vinaya, that is another thing. Since the OBC does not follow the Vinaya calling their clergy bhikshu/nis is incorrect from the Vinaya perspective. From a different perspective than the Vinaya it is a different matter. But since the Vinaya is one of the three baskets it is regarded as the definitive source of monastic regulations by the majority of Buddhists. As we all know, Japan is the one main exception where the Vinaya ordination has long disappeared. OBC, following the Japanese practice, don't have Vinaya ordination either. Arguing that a non-Vinaya system is better than the Vinaya system is again a different subject. However, expecting those who regard the Vinaya as the definitive source of monastic regulations to agree calling non-Vinaya ordained people bhikshu/nis is unrealistic.

Anyway, why the need to be called a bhikshu/ni when it is acceptable to abandon the Vinaya system?


They reffer to themselves as monks. and Monastics.

You're the one assuming it's all the same.

Dogen and his disciples were monastics, they were not vinaya. There is a long Buddhist history associated with this.

Monk, Nun, Monastery, Monastic,..-These are all English words, which also have a long established English and western history.

It is entirely accurate for them to call themselves that, in also a Buddhist sense as well. See here:

Huseng wrote:The Buddha gave permission to adjust and change the Vinaya as needed, which actually happened though perhaps unofficially.


Yes. Exactly. Thank you for pointing that out.

Huseng wrote:One thing I'd like to add to this discussion is that not having a Vinaya doesn't mean you can't have celibate monastics. If you followed the old monastic systems in Japan that lacked the formal Vinaya component, you still swore yourself to celibacy and monastic living.


Yes, exactly.

Astus, they do not claim to be vinaya.

They will clearly state that they are not, I know this for sure, because this came up in a conversation with Rev. Master Haryo, and he said clearly "we're not vinaya".
There's also a reference in that article I linked to earlier in this thread where another monk had clearly stated what their practice was, and that they were not vinaya.

So it's clearly their habit, practice, and policy to state this, so they're not misrepresenting themselves as you seem to be implying.

It's you who are associating the two terms together, that "Buddhist monk=vinaya", that's not in line with Buddhist history, or the Buddha's teaching Himself, or the history of the usage of the English words. It's entirely accurate for them to call themselves monastics in both a Buddhist historical context, of Buddhist monastic practice, and in line with the western meanings of the English words.

They call themselves Soto Zen Buddhist Monks.

They clearly are.

And as Huseng pointed out, the Buddha gave people permission to alter the vinaya as needed.

Even He saw that as needs changed, there may well be a need for people to do so.

That some current vinaya practitioners hold that these things must be a forever unalterable ceremony, and a ridged set of rules, was not the teachings of the Buddha.

Nor is it in line with historic context.

They (the OBC) are Buddhists, and they are monks, therefor they are Buddhist monks; that's an entirely accurate statement.

Both the teachings of the Buddha Himself, and Buddhist history, support this.

It's this ironclad traditionalism, which was not what He supported, and in fact is the kindof thing he advocated against, as such practice was common with the Vedic religions of the day.
One traditional Vinaya idea is that the Vinaya is the lifeline of Buddhism which enables it to abide in the world. It is with the degeneration of the Vinaya that the lifeline is eroded and Buddhism passes from the world.

[Thank you Huseng for pointing this out. : )]

This may be a view held by some, but in Zen, it is Dharma Transmission and the unbroken teachings passed directly from Master-to-disciple, on, and on, that are considered the lifeline of the Buddhas.

There may be more than one lifeline, indeed, the ceremony in Jukai, that teaches about this is called Ketchimyaku: The Bloodline of the Buddhas.

There are many paths that lead to the top of Mount Sumaru.

What's important is that you pick one, and follow it.

In Gassho,

Sara H.
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IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Huifeng » Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:35 am

"The Buddha gave permission to adjust and change the Vinaya as needed...."

Well, not really. The Buddha supposedly said that "the minor rules can be rescinded", but at the first convocation nobody knew exactly what those "minor rules" were, so Mahakasyapa (who was heading the convocation) said that none should be rescinded, and apparently he had the support for such a position. Which is not really "permission to adjust and change".

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Indrajala » Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:59 am

Huifeng wrote:"The Buddha gave permission to adjust and change the Vinaya as needed...."

Well, not really. The Buddha supposedly said that "the minor rules can be rescinded", but at the first convocation nobody knew exactly what those "minor rules" were, so Mahakasyapa (who was heading the convocation) said that none should be rescinded, and apparently he had the support for such a position. Which is not really "permission to adjust and change".

~~ Huifeng


Doesn't the Vinaya, at least in Chinese, say it is okay to change things? The Mahīśāsaka Vinaya does have the Buddha saying...


《彌沙塞部和醯五分律》卷22:「雖是我所制。而於餘方不以為清淨者。皆不應用。雖非我所制。而於餘方必應行者。皆不得不行。」(CBETA, T22, no. 1421, p. 153, a14-17)

“Even if it be something I have prohibited, if it is not considered pure [conduct] in other lands, then it all should not be adopted. Even if it is not something I have prohibited, if something must be carried out in other lands, then it all must be carried out.”
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Sara H » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:01 am

Huifeng wrote:"The Buddha gave permission to adjust and change the Vinaya as needed...."

Well, not really. The Buddha supposedly said that "the minor rules can be rescinded", but at the first convocation nobody knew exactly what those "minor rules" were, so Mahakasyapa (who was heading the convocation) said that none should be rescinded, and apparently he had the support for such a position. Which is not really "permission to adjust and change".

~~ Huifeng

That was his decision, not the Buddha's.
And I'm sure he felt like he was doing the best thing.
But they were different people, and different people can have different views on things.
In his time maybe that might have been good to say and do.
In another time, and place, maybe that's not the case.

That Mahakasyapa said it , doesn't mean he was right for all eternity Huifeng,
Only that we can guess he made the best decision for his time and place.
Things Change Huifeng, and what's good to do then, isn't nessicarily good to do now in all places.

Sometimes leaders have to make a call, that seems like the best idea at the time, that later, another leader has to undo.

They don't stand against each other. That's why we have the law of Change.

People are expected to listen to their sitting, and trust to the Eternal, the Buddha Nature on this.

This is why we take Refuge in the Buddha (in our sitting), the Dharma, and the Sangha.

Not just one.

Clinging to Dharma exclusively, to the the ignoring of our own intuition and sitting with the Buddha Nature, as well as the experience of other Sangha members, leads to incorrect understanding of the Dharma.

This is why we have this, as a checks and ballance against wrong understanding.

You are free to disagree with that, but other people have other opinions from their own experiences on this.

We may have to just agree to disagree.

In Gassho,

Sara H.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Sara H » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:03 am

Thank you Huseng, I think you said it perfectly,
quoting the Buddha's own words.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Huifeng » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:34 am

Huseng wrote:
Huifeng wrote:"The Buddha gave permission to adjust and change the Vinaya as needed...."

Well, not really. The Buddha supposedly said that "the minor rules can be rescinded", but at the first convocation nobody knew exactly what those "minor rules" were, so Mahakasyapa (who was heading the convocation) said that none should be rescinded, and apparently he had the support for such a position. Which is not really "permission to adjust and change".

~~ Huifeng


Doesn't the Vinaya, at least in Chinese, say it is okay to change things? The Mahīśāsaka Vinaya does have the Buddha saying...


《彌沙塞部和醯五分律》卷22:「雖是我所制。而於餘方不以為清淨者。皆不應用。雖非我所制。而於餘方必應行者。皆不得不行。」(CBETA, T22, no. 1421, p. 153, a14-17)

“Even if it be something I have prohibited, if it is not considered pure [conduct] in other lands, then it all should not be adopted. Even if it is not something I have prohibited, if something must be carried out in other lands, then it all must be carried out.”


Yes, this is one of the arguments in the other direction. We already see a number of cases like this in the Vinaya. For example, when Kaccana (and I guess, later, Srona) from Avanti encountered a number of situations which the Avanti people considered appropriate but which differed from the central regions where the Buddha was mainly based.

However, in the 小小戒可捨 "the minor precepts may be rescinded" case, as well as this, they refer to a minor issues of decorum (perhaps the siksapadani) and cultural issues (eg. bathing times). While I don't recall if it has been raised in this thread, such alterations seem hardly to extend to issues such as how the ordination process takes place, the precepts of "defeat" (parajika), and other more core issues.

Just mentioning this to make a distinction, not implying that anyone here is suggesting otherwise!

~~ Huifeng
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