Ben Yuan wrote:This may have been addressed elsewhere, but I believe I remember reading in text, a very long time ago, something about an Upasaka abstaining from discussing Sangha affairs.
It certainly was not referring to the extent of causing a schism or spreading sectarian views, but more or less speaking in any manner which might be construed as negative with regards to the Sangha. I believe it was translated from a Chinese text, but I am not sure, so feel free to redirect this thread.
I wonder what is meant by "at liberty", exactly?
One of the bodhisattva precepts is to refrain from speaking of the faults (transgressions) of the renunciate assemblies (monks, nuns, novices...).
That means you basically don't announce it when someone breaks their precepts. That's supposed to be handled inside the sangha using the appropriate procedures. According to the Vinaya, the layperson has no right to formally bring up the precept violations of a monk or nun. It is supposed to be an internal matter.
Ben Yuan wrote:I wonder, could you possibly provide a direct quotation or link to the text which includes this?
Thank you both.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... e.html#faq
FAQ 14: "When a monk commits a paaraajika offence, do the lay people have the right to ask him to disrobe? What is the usual procedure as stated in the Vinaya?
What happens when a monk has been proven to have committed a paaraajika offence, yet refuses to disrobe in spite of demands from lay devotees and there is no Sangha Council to enforce the demands, as is the case in non-Buddhist countries? Under such circumstances, what do the lay people do?"
A: If a bhikkhu commits a paaraajika offence he is 'defeated' and no longer a bhikkhu even if he is wearing robes.
The Community of bhikkhus will have nothing to do with him and will expel him. (See Disrobing and End Note 31.)
However, if the accused 'bhikkhu' does not admit to the offence and it cannot be proved, the results of kamma must be allowed to run their own course. Buddhism has never engaged in violent witch hunts. (See Strictness and Blaming Others.) And for how lay people dealt with stubborn monks in the Buddha's time, see Disputes.
Q : The Master always says “To truly recognize our faults and do not discuss the faults of others. Others’ fault are simply my own. That is great compassion.”
However, the Venerable Master often criticizes others (in the Vajra Bodhi Sea). Doesn’t that mean you don’t practice what you preach?
A : If what I say is true, then I’m not finding fault with them; if what I say were false, then I would go to hell.
You know the person who said, “Great cultivators are not affected by cause and effect,” had to face the consequence of being a fox for 500 lives.
I would go to the tongue-pulling hell if I were wrong or have twisted the facts by treating black as white, white as black, true as false, and false as true.
If what I say is correct, I am not guilty. Why do I talk about the ways in which others are right or wrong? It is because there is too much gossip in the Buddhist community, calling this one the Black Sect, that one the White Sect, Yellow Sect, Red Sect.
There are so many colors that they blind people’s ability to tell them apart. They can’t tell that black is black and white is white.
Therefore, I must say what others dare not say.
Huseng: As I understand it, the idea is that you don't go around announcing that someone has broken their precepts. You can still criticize them and their ideas, but just don't bring up the matter of their precept violations. There is a proper procedure for dealing with this within the sangha itself where collective confession is carried out. The laity are not permitted to participate.
I think some people mistake this as meaning you cannot criticize monks and nuns, or say that they're wrong about something, as if some dreadful karmic retribution will be suffered for having said anything negative in respect to a sangha member.
6. Sixth Major Precept: On Broadcasting the Faults of the Assembly. A disciple of the Buddha must not himself broadcast the misdeeds or infractions of Bodhisattva-clerics or Bodhisattva-laypersons, or of [ordinary] monks and nuns -- nor encourage others to do so. He must not create the causes, conditions, methods, or karma of discussing the offenses of the assembly.
Really? The Chinese laity at the temple I attend like to gossip about the failings of other members. But, it's never to their faces. Is that what you meant?Huseng wrote:In Chinese culture, generally, to criticize someone or even outright disagree with them is rather offensive, but in a Buddhist context it takes on a degree of religious neurosis. Within your organization you don't criticize your superiors. Externally it is bad form to criticize other Buddhists, especially monastics.
Konchog1 wrote: But, it's never to their faces. Is that what you meant?
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