Restrictions on joining the Samgha

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Restrictions on joining the Samgha

Postby enjitsu » Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:58 pm

Amito Fo,

These days there sometimes arises confusion regarding who is and is not a legitimate member of the Samgha. So to be clear I will list some of the restrictions.

You cannot have caused a Buddha to bleed
You cannot have killed either your mother or father
People who are born with both sex's (hermaphrodite) are not eligible
People who are born sexless are not eligible

Additionally any confusion regarding sexual orientation. Gay'ism, Lesbian'ism, Bi-sexual'ism, Sexual Mutilation / Transgender'ism/ Transexual'ism should be cleared up beforehand.

The above is a sub-section of the rules regarding appropriate/inappropriate sexual conduct. Please to reference the authorized books section.

Amito Fo,

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Re: Restrictions on joining the Samgha

Postby plwk » Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:58 am

Additionally any confusion regarding sexual orientation. Gay'ism, Lesbian'ism, Bi-sexual'ism, Sexual Mutilation / Transgender'ism/ Transexual'ism should be cleared up beforehand.

Uh huh...in the same breath...being 'straight' and thinking that others must conform to that too...
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Re: Restrictions on joining the Samgha

Postby ronnewmexico » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:04 am

How about women and men in certain countries who shave all there obvious body hair so they look like children.......is that allowed?

If a buddha then has a nose bleed is it curtains for him samgha wise?

How can one be born sexless. Does that mean less sex or sex less?
To what extent is such sex less. Is more sex then mandatory in this samgha?
Or is this philosophical....is more then less?
Black grey and white then black?

And if sam joins this samgha....is then a sexless sam a samghaless samgha?
Or is lesssamghaless then equal to nothing
And then no sangha then found to be samgha and then nonexistant?
Is sam then nonexistant.
If sam is gay.....then what of him?
And if her developes a nosebleed...what then?


Answer me these questions....oh great wise one. Inquireing minds want to know.
And perhaps more importantly..what exactly of illigitimate members of the samgha.
What of them. If they develop nosebleeds...what of them?
Ha, rumors be then bastards they then be quite illigitimate they be, bastards one and all. they seem like me.

What of them? This samless samgha be?
What of me?
sexless samgha me.
illigitimate bastard I be
what of me?.

Sung to the tune of razor scraping hair free legs of variscose veined mottled flesh type clear and clean to underarm and chest. Ignorance what name I. Named so be me.

Ot to put it more explicitedly...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPk11AugG4c

Those things you may now see...fleeting glimpses of light and construct bright..mind them not, my protectors they but be, no harm will they do thee.
"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.
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Re: Restrictions on joining the Samgha

Postby Kyosan » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:14 pm

I never before heard that there are any restrictions to becoming a Buddhist. My belief has always been that if you sincerely want to become a Buddhist and follow the teachings of Buddha you can.
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Re: Restrictions on joining the Samgha

Postby Individual » Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:44 am

Seems pretty bigoted (ignorance + hatred) to not believe gays can join the Sangha?
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Re: Restrictions on joining the Samgha

Postby Kyosan » Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:28 am

Individual wrote:Seems pretty bigoted (ignorance + hatred) to not believe gays can join the Sangha?

When I officially became a Buddhist no one asked me what my sexual orientation was; they knew I was sincere about Buddhism and were happy to conduct the ceremony.
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Re: Restrictions on joining the Samgha

Postby remm » Sat Oct 16, 2010 3:15 am

Kyosan wrote:
Individual wrote:Seems pretty bigoted (ignorance + hatred) to not believe gays can join the Sangha?

When I officially became a Buddhist no one asked me what my sexual orientation was; they knew I was sincere about Buddhism and were happy to conduct the ceremony.


We're talking about ordination as a monastic, not as a lay person.
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Re: Restrictions on joining the Samgha

Postby ronnewmexico » Sat Oct 16, 2010 4:29 am

Mahayana Buddhism is a general section. There are many differing schools of Buddhism that abscribe to the Mahayana view.
As such it is inappropriate to post such things as statements that a samgha must contain this or that type peoples.

That may perhaps be true(or not) for one form of Buddhism that is Mahayanan but not all.
The inferal is that this school or view is superior to others, as other view is not mentioned, and a authorization is and is implied. My school, the school i study... recognizes no such authorizations.

So this thread is in a inappropriate place. In the general section. It is offensive to all that do not abscribe to that view. It should have been posted in the place of the specific school it references.
These days confusion arises when people post things in a inappropriate manner, that implies authorizations that are not held over others nor recognized by others to be held.

Capiche??

These days....
"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.
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Re: Restrictions on joining the Samgha

Postby Kyosan » Sat Oct 16, 2010 4:35 am

remm wrote:
Kyosan wrote:
Individual wrote:Seems pretty bigoted (ignorance + hatred) to not believe gays can join the Sangha?

When I officially became a Buddhist no one asked me what my sexual orientation was; they knew I was sincere about Buddhism and were happy to conduct the ceremony.


We're talking about ordination as a monastic, not as a lay person.

Are you sure about that because I think that all Buddhists are members of the samgha? I guess the original poster might have meant only monastics though.
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Re: Restrictions on joining the Samgha

Postby ronnewmexico » Sat Oct 16, 2010 4:42 am

Yes..hence the confusion.

Samgha may by some be taken to mean sangha. In general terms sangha implies all monastic and lay.
Many schools identify it as such composite.

I would suppose in this particular school the statement is correct....samgha would imply ordained.

It seems rather ironic one intending by statement to prevent confusion is by statement causeing confusion, by not following the intention of the site, and proper placements.

If this was posted in the school specific site, or even if perhaps followed with a qualifier such as in my school this is how it is, such confusion could be avoided, and those unintentionally offended would(perhaps) not be so ...... but no.......

we post whatever we want whereever we want...seemingly
"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.
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Re: Restrictions on joining the Samgha

Postby Indrajala » Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:34 am

In reality the conditions and rules regarding becoming a bhiksu/ni (aka the Sangha) are kind of extensive.

The Vinaya is probably the least popular literature both east and west.

That being said, a lot of Vinaya regulations often get circumvented and/or ignored.

Then in the Mahayana they developed the 'Three Sets of Pure Precepts' 三聚淨戒. The first is no different from the Sravaka Vinaya. The second is doing all good deeds. The third is compassionate behaviour for all beings.

The latter two hold supremacy over the first according to some interpretations (which would probably be the majority). It allows for a lot of archaic rules to be bent or circumvented so that things can be adapted, with compassion and wisdom, for people. The spirit of precepts, not the letter of it.
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Re: Restrictions on joining the Samgha

Postby Individual » Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:53 am

I've never heard of anything in Vinaya or the suttas which would justify barring homosexuals from ordination.

The closest thing is the prohibition against ordaining "pandaka," which appears to be a specific kind of homosexual -- an effeminate, promiscuous gay man.

Monks are required to be celibate regardless, so sexual preference should not even be an issue.
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Re: Restrictions on joining the Samgha

Postby Indrajala » Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:23 am

Individual wrote:I've never heard of anything in Vinaya or the suttas which would justify barring homosexuals from ordination.

The closest thing is the prohibition against ordaining "pandaka," which appears to be a specific kind of homosexual -- an effeminate, promiscuous gay man.

Monks are required to be celibate regardless, so sexual preference should not even be an issue.


One thing to keep in mind is that terms like "homosexual" and "heterosexual" are quite modern.

Such terms don't necessarily correspond to the ideas in ancient cultures. Sexuality isn't so clean cut as it is.
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Re: Restrictions on joining the Samgha

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:38 am

Kyosan wrote:
remm wrote:We're talking about ordination as a monastic, not as a lay person.

Are you sure about that because I think that all Buddhists are members of the samgha? I guess the original poster might have meant only monastics though.


Traditionally and scripturally, "sangha" refers strictly to the community of monks and nuns. It doesn't mean that laypeople are less Buddhist or something, but the term does differentiate between those who have chose the worldly route of working and raising families and those who opted to drop all that and instead make the Dharma their principal aim and engagement in this life. In the Buddha's day and for quite some time afterward, there was a living renunciant culture and it was feasible and normal for some people to drop all worldly aims and solely pursue a spiritual path, and that was highly regarded in their society, whereas those who chose the worldly path did not have near the luxury we now have to make a living and raise a family AND study & practice the Dharma more intensively. So most lay Buddhists in Asia have historically been more of the pious, devotional types whose main function was to support those engaging in more intensive Dharma practice. The use of "sangha" to refer to all Buddhists is more of a modern Western usage which I think has become so well established because many Western Buddhists have not been inclined to leave the serious study, contemplation, and meditation only to monks and nuns, but rather they wished to really learn and apply the Dharma as practitioners themselves. Compared to the majority of lay Buddhists in the East, past and present, many of us kind of occupy an intermediate position between monastics and traditional lay people.
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Re: Restrictions on joining the Samgha

Postby ronnewmexico » Sat Oct 16, 2010 6:43 pm

I disagree with that in part.

In Tibetan Buddhism there is a long history and tradition of the spiritual being not just relegated to the monastic order. The Tulku tradition speaks to that. Spiritual progression did not start with Gampopa, nor even the many ceremonial aspects. I can mention great masters that perform ceremony and have all the spiritual attributes that one may in other asian countries associate only with the monastic.

The two over time have vied for a spiritual supremecy of sorts with the monastic order winning the day, but still continues a healthy nonmonastic contingent of those of spiritual attainment.

How many children did Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche have? I recall reading a story of how his mother refused those who wanted to make him a monastic as a early child. His stories in fact speak of a historical Tibet in which a choice of nonmonastic may be a proper spiritual choice for some. His great great grandfather was Chokgyar Lingpa, who initially trained in the monastic order but rejected that and later bacame the treasure revealer of many of Padmesambhavas teachings. And many ceremonial aspects were handed down from father to son and as apparent, since such was happening....all were not monastics. So those were not sanga members.....I think not.

My conjecture is the monks write the history.....so it seems all is monastic in this thing. We just hear a whole lot more about monastics. I recall distinctly the most significant lineage holder at least one...having a family and a son. He taught one who taught another who became a monastic.
Who taught the reformed magician? Was his son not to express the lineage but unexpectantly died?

The reality was far differing. So I firmly reject the assertation that the sanga being a lay and monastic thing is a western thing of recent invention.

In very very general terms what is stated above is absolutely true and well expressed.
Regardless... the initial poster should not in any manner shape nor form expect us to accept his blanket authority.
"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.
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Re: Restrictions on joining the Samgha

Postby Luke » Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:26 pm

Okay, Enjitsu, I've read a few of your threads. You may mean well, but what would happen if people actually carried out everything you wish?

What would happen if there was a "great purge" and all the books written by non-ordained Buddhists were burned and all the gay and transgendered Buddhists were driven out of the temples? Would more sentient beings benefit?--I really don't think so.

While I appreciate your desire to keep things "pure," I think benefiting the most sentient beings as possible is more important.

Real bodhichitta means the desire to benefit ALL sentient beings: gay ones, straight ones, bisexual ones, transgendered ones, hermaphroditic organisms, asexual organisms--everything with a mind!
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Re: Restrictions on joining the Samgha

Postby Huifeng » Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:21 am

Kyosan wrote:Are you sure about that because I think that all Buddhists are members of the samgha? I guess the original poster might have meant only monastics though.


Not really.

The most common definition throughout the history of buddhism is that of the bhiksu and bhiksuni samgha; and the next most common is the arya-samgha. Which means that majority of upasika and upasaka are not part of the samgha.

In the west, with a leaning towards an egalitarian approach, the term samgha is used to refer to a specific community, lay and monastic. This is not entirely new, but is a different emphasis.
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Re: Restrictions on joining the Samgha

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Sun Oct 17, 2010 6:57 am

ronnewmexico wrote:I disagree with that in part.


Vajrayana is an exception to what I, and now Ven. Huifeng, have said. In Vajrayana, at least in Nyingma, there is the historical convention of speaking of a red sangha - monks and nuns - and a white sangha - lay anuttarayoga tantrik initiates. But Vajrayana is a completely different animal and operates on a unique model.
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Re: Restrictions on joining the Samgha

Postby remm » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:27 am

ronnewmexico wrote:I disagree with that in part.

In Tibetan Buddhism there is a long history and tradition of the spiritual being not just relegated to the monastic order. The Tulku tradition speaks to that. Spiritual progression did not start with Gampopa, nor even the many ceremonial aspects. I can mention great masters that perform ceremony and have all the spiritual attributes that one may in other asian countries associate only with the monastic.

Also have you know that Buddhism doesn't reach Tibet until what we can call "Late South Asian Period" or Era of Syncretic Buddhism which you can date roughly around 600 - 1200 CE. This is quite late, actually, since the life of the Buddha and the spread of the early Buddhist schools start roughly around 500 BCE - 100 BCE, and later you have the development of the Sanskritic School of Buddhism which dates around 100BCE - 600CE. Note that the beginning of the reincarnating lamas doesn't start till about 13th century CE, and by this time it has been influenced a lot by the Pan-Indic traditions; especially through Advaita Hinduism. Advaita Hinduism was known for their powerful practices in tantra which heavily influenced Tibetan Buddhism during this time.

The most common definition throughout the history of buddhism is that of the bhiksu and bhiksuni samgha; and the next most common is the arya-samgha. Which means that majority of upasika and upasaka are not part of the samgha.


I agree. The notion of Arya-Samgha, I'm pretty sure meant the stream of Noble beings which consisted solely of stream-enterers, once-returners, non-returners, and arhats, and the stages in between. I guess it is wise to say 'majority' of the upasaka and upasikas are thereby not part of the samgha.
Even when we look back in the early texts we'll find that the Buddha himself talks about the Samgha being the assembly of monks and nuns. It's only until recent that we've expanded this notion into including laypeople.
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Re: Restrictions on joining the Samgha

Postby Tilopa » Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:18 am

remm wrote:I agree. The notion of Arya-Samgha, I'm pretty sure meant the stream of Noble beings which consisted solely of monastics only.


Yes and no - 'Arya Sangha' does refer to those who have realized emptiness/selflessness and have thus overcome ignorance and are therefore considered Noble (Arya) beings but this can be lay people too not just monastics. Anyone can generate dharmic insights and attain liberation or enlightenment.

Even when we look back in the early texts we'll find that the Buddha himself talks about the Samgha being the assembly of monks and nuns. It's only until recent that we've expanded this notion into including laypeople.


Yes correct. Sangha has traditionally referred to monks and nuns who keep Vinaya precepts.
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