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 Post subject: Re: Emotion and Reason
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:45 pm 
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Huseng wrote:
jeeprs wrote:
I remember a profile on one of the Ayatollahs in charge of the Iranian revolution. Many years before he came to power, he witnessed one of his wives die by drowning. He showed no visible emotion. This was taken as a sign of his spiritual maturity.


In the Mahāsāṃghika Vinaya it says if a woman is drowning the monk can refrain from jumping in and saving her thus avoiding contact with a female, and be at no fault.


Do you know if this is related to an incident that occurred during the Buddha's time, hence it is in the Vinaya? Or is it kinda just there with no indications of a prior incident?

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 Post subject: Re: Emotion and Reason
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:58 pm 
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From 'Zen Flesh, Zen Bones', I think.

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 Post subject: Re: Emotion and Reason
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:36 am 
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pueraeternus wrote:
Do you know if this is related to an incident that occurred during the Buddha's time, hence it is in the Vinaya? Or is it kinda just there with no indications of a prior incident?


It is most certainly a later development. This is just a hypothetical situation added onto the existing rule.

The Vinaya literature itself is strange because each school has most of the same rules, but the stories behind them all differ in the details.

Some scholars have suggested the Vinaya is a late development. Conceivably there were rules, but the details got uniquely fleshed out at a later time by individual schools. We can imagine there were people asking what a monk should do if a female is drowning. Does he break his precept and grab her or not? There were differences of opinion on this. If you read the Vinaya literature some of it promises a gruesome extended stay in hell for even minor violations, so if you believe that then not touching a female even to save her life would seem wise.

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 Post subject: Re: Emotion and Reason
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:40 am 
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jeeprs wrote:
So much for compassion, eh?


In the old days there were such people as "Vinaya Fundamentalists"

The Vimalakīrti Sūtra frequently pokes fun at them.

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 Post subject: Re: Emotion and Reason
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:00 am 
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Huseng wrote:
pueraeternus wrote:
Do you know if this is related to an incident that occurred during the Buddha's time, hence it is in the Vinaya? Or is it kinda just there with no indications of a prior incident?


It is most certainly a later development. This is just a hypothetical situation added onto the existing rule.



Thank you.

Quote:
The Vinaya literature itself is strange because each school has most of the same rules, but the stories behind them all differ in the details.

Some scholars have suggested the Vinaya is a late development. Conceivably there were rules, but the details got uniquely fleshed out at a later time by individual schools. We can imagine there were people asking what a monk should do if a female is drowning. Does he break his precept and grab her or not? There were differences of opinion on this. If you read the Vinaya literature some of it promises a gruesome extended stay in hell for even minor violations, so if you believe that then not touching a female even to save her life would seem wise.


I suppose these scholars are referring to the vibhanga portions of the various Vinayas? The pratimokshas must have been bestowed by the Buddha - those can't possibly be later developments. Except maybe the garudharmas for the bhikshunis.

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 Post subject: Re: Emotion and Reason
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:07 am 
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Huseng wrote:
In the old days there were such people as "Vinaya Fundamentalists"


Among the five types of bhiksus (经、律、论、法、禅), Vinaya bhiksus are known as 律师 (Vinaya master), which in modern parlance and usage means lawyer! :tongue:

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 Post subject: Re: Emotion and Reason
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:17 am 
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Huseng wrote:
We can imagine there were people asking what a monk should do if a female is drowning.
Thankfully, that's only a dilemma for a Shravaka.

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 Post subject: Re: Emotion and Reason
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:38 am 
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Quote:
In the old days there were such people as "Vinaya Fundamentalists"
I can sympathise with this to some extent but there are situations where for instance that the lay people could be trained on what are the allowables and non allowables for monastics to keep the observance of the Vinaya pure. For instance, Tsongkhapa was said to have a reputation for upholding the Vinaya purely amongst most during his time and in the Gelug Trad, it's said that the color of the pandita hat is yellow to reflect this attitude yet I have seen how lay sponsors blatantly give out bare cash to monastics say after a ceremony is completed as dana and the more discreet ones in envelopes or what the Chinese call a hong bao, there are even videos on youtube that has this.

Yeah yeah, the usual reasons are belted out when I ask on this like how the Bodhisattva Vows trump over the Pratimoksa but isn't it only in limited and exceptional circumstances? It seems that some places are just using this as an easy way out. Is this another callous case of extending the 'spirit' of the practice trumping the form? Don't even make me talk about the issue of monastics eating full meals beyond their stipulated time. So on one hand, they are 'pure' and bureaucratic when it comes to restoring the Siksamana and Bhiksuni levels of ordination in Mulasarvastivada and the women can wait and wait (and those who can't would cross over to the Dharmaguptaka side) but in obvious daily and basic observances like handling of money, meals and hugging women in public, it's ok to trump the rules?

I have yet to hear anyone who can confirm this for me when someone once shared a rumor that in the chapters of Ajahn Chah's monasteries, apparently they give a 'special place' at the front row for monastics of the late Ven Master Xuan Hua's group (as they are dhuta practitioners) as they are well regarded as those who purely uphold the Vinaya compared to the rest of the other Chinese Dharmaguptaka monastics.
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http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/vin/
The monastic tradition and the rules upon which it is built are sometimes naïvely criticized — particularly here in the West — as irrelevant to the "modern" practice of Buddhism. Some see the Vinaya as a throwback to an archaic patriarchy, based on a hodge-podge of ancient rules and customs — quaint cultural relics that only obscure the essence of "true" Buddhist practice. This misguided view overlooks one crucial fact: it is thanks to the unbroken lineage of monastics who have consistently upheld and protected the rules of the Vinaya for almost 2,600 years that we find ourselves today with the luxury of receiving the priceless teachings of Dhamma. Were it not for the Vinaya, and for those who continue to keep it alive to this day, there would be no Buddhism.

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 Post subject: Re: Emotion and Reason
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:40 am 
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Simon E. wrote:
Can I ask the context of that quote Dan ?


I don't have Myokyo-Ni's books handy, but here's a quote from her student Ven Sochu (Martin Goodson) that should provide some context:

Quote:
If we truly become aware of our passion driven thoughts, they can become humanized into wisdom and compassion, the two great pillars of Buddhism. However, wisdom and compassion are required equally. Wisdom, clear seeing, is on its own not enough because it is cold, clinical and unmoved by human suffering. Compassion without wisdom degenerates into sentimentality. Energy as passion is blind, and results in going to war to fight for 'the true cause.' But the energy of the passions transformed has all the wisdom, warmth and compassion of the Buddha nature.


http://www.purifymind.com/PassionsNature.htm


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 Post subject: Re: Emotion and Reason
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:42 am 
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pueraeternus wrote:
I suppose these scholars are referring to the vibhanga portions of the various Vinayas? The pratimokshas must have been bestowed by the Buddha - those can't possibly be later developments. Except maybe the garudharmas for the bhikshunis.


No, they mean the literature in general. Bronkhorst's opinion is most relevant in this respect.

There were rules for the sangha, but the original number and punitive measures all remain unclear. I personally don't believe the Buddha actually said people would end up in hell for an extended stay just for having a taste of alcohol. There was a later perception of the Buddha as a supreme law-giver and hence any violation of his laws meant hell.

As Buddhism as an organized religion developed, there was a need to please benefactors and hence the severity of the Vinaya and all the additions to whatever original set of rules existed.

In general śramaṇas in Magadha shared a common culture and the rules of conduct would have generally been the same minus some minor things like meat eating.

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 Post subject: Re: Emotion and Reason
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:07 am 
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plwk wrote:
Yeah yeah, the usual reasons are belted out when I ask on this like how the Bodhisattva Vows trump over the Pratimoksa but isn't it only in limited and exceptional circumstances?


In Tibetan Buddhism a great deal of emphasis is placed on maintaining samaya under penalty of some ghoulish punishments in hell, but the same threats are given in the Vinaya literature, too, yet in Tibetan Buddhism the Vinaya isn't taken overly seriously and a lot of reasons are given for this.

I guess it really comes down to what is commonly held as important.



Quote:
Don't even make me talk about the issue of monastics eating full meals beyond their stipulated time. So on one hand, they are 'pure' and bureaucratic when it comes to restoring the Siksamana and Bhiksuni levels of ordination in Mulasarvastivada and the women can wait and wait (and those who can't would cross over to the Dharmaguptaka side) but in obvious daily and basic observances like handling of money, meals and hugging women in public, it's ok to trump the rules?


Cui bono? Who benefits? Who stands to lose out? Who stands to surrender their power and privileges?

Buddhist religions are all too human. Most people are ridden with afflictions. You can't expect too much. Unfortunately, this isn't readily admitted, so there is the façade of purity presented to the outside world, meanwhile there's a lot of questionable stuff happening behind closed doors.

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Were it not for the Vinaya, and for those who continue to keep it alive to this day, there would be no Buddhism.


This is a myth and belief. The Japanese did fine up until modernity without a functioning Vinaya. They had their unique monastic rules and they worked well enough as they were suited to that environment. China was not really big on the Vinaya either, and their Buddhism has survived for twenty centuries. Throughout much of its history it seems segments of the monastic population took the Vinaya seriously (or ever received a full ordination), yet it still survived.

So, in this quoted narrative who benefits?

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 Post subject: Re: Emotion and Reason
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:28 am 
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Huseng wrote:
pueraeternus wrote:
I suppose these scholars are referring to the vibhanga portions of the various Vinayas? The pratimokshas must have been bestowed by the Buddha - those can't possibly be later developments. Except maybe the garudharmas for the bhikshunis.


No, they mean the literature in general. Bronkhorst's opinion is most relevant in this respect.


Fascinating. Is this from his "Shadow of Brahmanism"?

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 Post subject: Re: Emotion and Reason
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:38 am 
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pueraeternus wrote:
Fascinating. Is this from his "Shadow of Brahmanism"?


See Buddhism in the Shadow of Brahmanism and Greater Magadha.

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 Post subject: Re: Emotion and Reason
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:41 am 
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Huseng wrote:
pueraeternus wrote:
Fascinating. Is this from his "Shadow of Brahmanism"?


See Buddhism in the Shadow of Brahmanism and Greater Magadha.


Thanks and noted. Ugh, two more volumes on top of everything else.

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 Post subject: Re: Emotion and Reason
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:45 am 
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pueraeternus wrote:
Thanks and noted. Ugh, two more volumes on top of everything else.


You should read Greater Magadha first. Actually, if you read these two works plus Virardi's recent work Hardships and Downfall of Buddhism, a lot of things about the development of Buddhism will make sense.

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 Post subject: Re: Emotion and Reason
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:50 am 
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Huseng wrote:
pueraeternus wrote:
Thanks and noted. Ugh, two more volumes on top of everything else.


You should read Greater Magadha first. Actually, if you read these two works plus Virardi's recent work Hardships and Downfall of Buddhism, a lot of things about the development of Buddhism will make sense.


I ordered Hardships and Downfall a few days ago. Scribd has both Bronkhorst's works I think, so I won't need to inflict more hardships and downfall on my wallet.

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 Post subject: Re: Emotion and Reason
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:54 am 
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Huseng wrote:
In Tibetan Buddhism a great deal of emphasis is placed on maintaining samaya under penalty of some ghoulish punishments in hell, but the same threats are given in the Vinaya literature, too, yet in Tibetan Buddhism the Vinaya isn't taken overly seriously and a lot of reasons are given for this.
Please elaborate.

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Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
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 Post subject: Re: Emotion and Reason
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:09 am 
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Konchog1 wrote:
Huseng wrote:
In Tibetan Buddhism a great deal of emphasis is placed on maintaining samaya under penalty of some ghoulish punishments in hell, but the same threats are given in the Vinaya literature, too, yet in Tibetan Buddhism the Vinaya isn't taken overly seriously and a lot of reasons are given for this.
Please elaborate.


- In our modern day, how can we follow all these rules?
- We need to understand the context in which such rules were formed.
- Milarepa achieved realization without the Vinaya.
- Guru Rinpoche wasn't a monk.
- The tantric vows are supreme. Hīnayāna precepts are not so important.

I've heard that generally there isn't much education on the Vinaya. Monks know they're not supposed to have sex or drink alcohol of course.

Personally it isn't an issue for me, but it is interesting how certain prescriptions are held as sacred while others easily dismissed. In Chinese Buddhism as well the Vinaya has had a secondary role throughout history. There was the Vinaya school where such matters were studied, but everywhere else it was seldom treated as core. In the present day full ordination is common, but that's due to revivalists like Hongyi. Japan ditched the Vinaya sometime before maybe the Kamakura period, but it managed alright with the basic rules laid down.

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 Post subject: Re: Emotion and Reason
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:23 am 
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The Tibetan monks or lay lamas who had been novices that I know all report studying the vinaya in detail regardless of school.


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 Post subject: Re: Emotion and Reason
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:25 am 
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Sherlock wrote:
The Tibetan monks or lay lamas who had been novices that I know all report studying the vinaya in detail regardless of school.


As novices they studied the bhikṣu Vinaya?

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