Indrajala wrote:Malcolm wrote:Right, most monastics are religious professional providing ecclesiastical services, which is not what Buddha intended for bhikṣus, etc. There were already brahmins for that.
History decided otherwise, especially when the traditional mendicant lifestyle became infeasible in some territories. You have Brahmanical literature which talks about what a bad omen it is when yellow robed monks show up. The long conflict between Buddhists and Brahmins, which the former lost, saw a need for landed monasticism.
There were and are all kinds of mendicants in yellow robes in India, not just Buddhists.
Later on full bhikṣu ordinations were restricted by the state. Until fairly recently there were not so many full bhikṣu-s in Chinese Buddhism. Modern authors sometimes lamented how earlier a lot of monks just had the tonsure and that's it.
Yes, my point precisely.
In the case of Zen, a Zen monk in Kamakura Japan was a monk. He lived in a monastery, shaved his head and was expected to maintain celibacy. That's what we call a monk in English. They weren't legally defined as bhikṣu-s, but then in Japanese "bhikṣu" became a humble first person pronoun. Their own forms of monasticism developed based on environmental and social circumstances.
As you know from the E-sangha debacle, for me a Buddhist "monk" is a bhikṣu. So called Buddhist "monks" who are not bhikṣus, etc., are just celibate/non-celibate lay people.
My position on this has not changed one iota. The fact that there are so called Buddhist "monks" who do not have vows, and generally behave like ordinary people just illustrates my point even more.
The fact that money carries value is sufficient. There is no intrinsic value to gold, its value is also determined by fiat.
There ain't no precepts against having fiat currency through a plastic card connected to a global banking network.
Yes, and there is no precept against smoking tobacco, despite the fact that Buddha would have disapproved of it.
Christian monks, yes, not Buddhist monks.
You should visit Taiwan. They got full bhikṣu-s growing food.
Well, then they are breaking their precepts, and that is a pity.
The Vinaya[s] is/are the only basis upon which someone can be considered a bhiḳsu or not.
Bhikṣu just means beggar. There's a legal definition of the term, but you fail to recognize that the Buddha's first disciples and some other eminent followers were technically bhikṣu-s without having received any precepts at all (this is called a svagata bhikṣu in Vinaya jargon). The first disciples had no precepts because precepts only came to exist, at least as the story goes, because of incidents occurring that caused problems for the community.
Yes, this is true. But when you ordain you receive all of these accreted vows, and are expected to maintain them. For example, when you receive Bodhisattva vows, you don't decide which ones you are going to follow based on whether it is convenient for you. You try your best to follow all.
The first disciples of the Buddha were generally stream entrants very quickly. Later as more common foolish people ordained, Buddha needed to elaborate rules for their conduct. Buddha also was able to merely declare someone a Bhiksu, without any other rite. But this is not how it is for us today. In order to become any kind of ordained person up to bhikṣu, you must become ordained through a rite. Or are you suggesting we can just dispense with ordination rites as well, since after all, Buddha did not use them in the beginning?
The Vinaya system nevertheless is a later development and the fundamentalist interpretation of it, which you are pushing here to justify your lack of generosity towards monastics, was not the Buddha's intent at all. Even according to the orthodox story, he told Ananda to drop the minor rules. He's also on record starting that things could be adapted to foreign environments.
Yes, when monks live in cold climates, they can have leather sandals and fur cloaks; when they are sick they can drink alcohol, and so forth. Ananda, as we know, forgot to ask what "minor" meant and no one so far as had the arrogance to decide what that meant.
There's nothing wrong with ignoring or simply cutting away rules and regulations...
Statements like this merely prove that this age is not a suitable age for monasticism. Pretty soon we will see Buddhist "monks" "inventing" rules that allow one to be married, non-celibate, and wealthy (Oh wait, we already have that in Japan).
...which make no sense anymore (like having to smear your room with cow dung after having eaten garlic).
Cow dung mixed with cow urine and spread on the wall of a clay house smells quite sweet. But granted, it would be hard to do anywhere in the West. But the intent is obvious-- if you eat garlic you need to deodorize yourself.