If Buddhist priests ask you to go drinking with them...

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Re: If Buddhist priests ask you to go drinking with them...

Postby kirtu » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:48 pm

Huseng wrote:I've never met a priest from a Japanese sect who was completely vegetarian, sober, celibate and refrained from wearing lay clothes.


Vegetarian: many people aren't completely vegetarian
sober, celibate: these are priests not monks. Are there any monks
in Japan?
refrained from wearing lay clothes: well this thing of seeing robes as a kind of work suit is disturbing.

It certainly sounds like the vinaya is not being upheld in Japan and one hopes for improvement.

At least they aren't killing or stealing and I hope they are refraining from harsh speech.

Is there a tradition of taking the eight vows for one day and holding them purely?

My experience is mostly with Soto Zen, but then I've also never heard of anyone alive today matching the above criteria from another sect either (okay, Eijo is the one exception! :smile: ).


No Shingon, Tendai, or Obaku monks upholding the vinaya?

This all comes from the Imperial Buddhism of the late Meiji and militarist period?

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Re: If Buddhist priests ask you to go drinking with them...

Postby Indrajala » Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:28 am

kirtu wrote:
Vegetarian: many people aren't completely vegetarian
sober, celibate: these are priests not monks. Are there any monks
in Japan?
refrained from wearing lay clothes: well this thing of seeing robes as a kind of work suit is disturbing.


If you take Bodhisattva vows in East Asia one of the minor precepts includes refraining from eating meat. There have been people in other countries like China who flagrantly disregarded it in the past, but generally the expectation in places like Taiwan, China and Vietnam is that Buddhists should be vegetarian and that monks and nuns simply are vegetarian by virtue of their precepts.

There are bhiksu in Japan, yes, but they belong to non-Japanese traditions like Theravada. I understand the the Vinaya technically still exists in some sects, but it isn't maintained or observed.

Also, the precepts regarding alcohol are still found in most Japanese traditions.

Is there a tradition of taking the eight vows for one day and holding them purely?


In Japan you only hold the precepts you feel like holding. When you get tired of it, you can ditch it and nobody will tell you otherwise.

No Shingon, Tendai, or Obaku monks upholding the vinaya?

This all comes from the Imperial Buddhism of the late Meiji and militarist period?


No, as far as I know no present Japanese tradition observes the Vinaya. It was actually lost in Japan (though apparently Kegon still technically has the lineage), thus why there are no bhiksu in Japanese traditions.

A lot of the older generations of the 20th century seemed to largely maintain the traditional lifestyle.
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