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Maciamo
Oct 28, 2003, 10:09
I know that Shinto priest can get married (and even have bigger families than average), but what about Buddhist priest and/or monks ? Is there any differences between sects, or more broadly between Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism ?

I was discussing with a Japanese friend about a current TV drama at the moment where a Buddhist priest falls in love with a girl. That's why I was wondering if there was any restriction on sex for Buddhist priest, but my friend wasn't sure, and neither am I.

Satori
Oct 28, 2003, 11:05
Hi Maciamo,

I just posted your question over at the Buddhist forum at: http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/ I'm curious about the answer myself, so I thought I would see what they had to say about it over there. Since there are several monks and lamas who frequent that site, I'm sure they will know. I'll be sure to post any responses for you!

Satori
:)

kirei_na_me
Oct 28, 2003, 11:19
Well, I don't know any details, really, but Moto has a friend who is a monk and he is married and has children...

Satori
Oct 28, 2003, 11:23
I received this response so far, but I'm sure there will be more:


"There are married Lamas, and Zen priests. Generally speaking, monks vows include celibacy. It just happens that not all Buddhist adepts are monks."



:happy:

Hoyu
Oct 28, 2003, 13:54
Having been a monk myself, and currently looking into it again, I can tell you the following.

Monks of Japanese Zen, Pure Land, Tendai, Shingon, Nichiren, etc., etc. (all denominations of Japanese Buddhism) can marry and be Monks at the same time (but not all do).

Monks of some traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, like the Nyingmapa, can marry. While other Tibetan traditions, like the Kagyupa, cannot.

The same is true for Korean Buddhists. Some can't, and some can.

Typically Theravadin Monks (Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, etc.) may stay in monastic practice for a period of time, then some will decide to leave and get married and get a job. This is totally accepted and encouraged.

Chinese, Taiwanese, and Vietnamese Monks are expected to uphold the vows of a Monk for the rest of their lives. These vows include celibacy, which means that Monks may never marry in these traditions.

If I have forgotten anyone, and I probably have, then please don't hesitate to ask me about them too.

Respectfully, Kakuzen :bow:

Maciamo
Oct 28, 2003, 15:27
Thanks a lot Kakuzen ! That was a very satisfying explanation. :cool:

Satori
Oct 28, 2003, 20:02
Hi Kakuzen,

Are you "Hui Kung" at E-Sangha? The reason I ask is I was just about to post this response, and then realized it is the exact same response that you have posted here!


"Having been a monk myself, and currently looking into it again, I can tell you the following.

Monks of Japanese Buddhist denominations can marry and be Monks at the same time (but not all do).

Monks of some traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, like the Nyingmapa, can marry. While other Tibetan traditions, like the Kagyupa, cannot.

The same is true for Korean Buddhists. Some can't, and some can.

Typically Theravadin Monks (Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, etc.) may stay in monastic practice for a period of time, then some will decide to leave and get married and get a job. This is totally accepted and encouraged.

Chinese, Taiwanese, and Vietnamese Monks are expected to uphold the vows of a Monk for the rest of their lives. These vows include celibacy, which means that Monks may never marry in these traditions.

If I have forgotten anyone, and I probably have, then please don't hesitate to ask me about them too.

Respectfully, HK"


Thank you so much for the explanation. I thought it was the best explanation so far.
:happy:

Also, if you wouldn't mind, I am curious about something. What is the difference between priest, monk, and lama--or are they different terms for the same thing? (Sorry if that's a stupid question.) Thank you.


Satori
:)

Hoyu
Oct 29, 2003, 01:21
Yes... I also go by Hui Kung, and it was me who posted at e-Sangha. I followed the link you had left here, and posted a similar answer there. The moderator has apparently taken issue with a couple of things I wrote, so I responded to him/her this morning in another post to e-Sangha.

Regarding your question about the difference between priests, monks, and lamas: There is none. While the practices may be different in the Mahayana, Theravada and Vajrayana, the Vinaya is similar in the precepts for monastic life. With the exception of Japanese and Korean Buddhists, as I had indicated before. While those who do not hold to the 250 vows of monk cannot be considered a monk, there are what is known as sort of lay-monks (Hiso Hizoku) to be found throughout Japanese Buddhism in particular. We call them Reverends here in the USA.

I hope this has not been too confusing, and has helped a bit.

Respectfully, Kakuzn

Satori
Oct 29, 2003, 02:00
Hi Kakuzen,

I'm so glad you came over there! I was thinking about how much they could use you over there, as your postings over here are very informative, but I wasn't sure if your interests were in primarily Japanese Buddhism. I hope you'll continue to post in both places. Actually, I found that place through this site. It was listed on the Japan Reference home page. I had been reluctant to post much over here, because I wasn't sure if some things fell within the category of "Japanese" Buddhism. However, it doesn't seem to be a problem under the Zen category, so maybe that's not as big of a problem as I thought.

Thanks for the explanation regarding priests, monks, and lamas. I figured priests and monks were the same, but I wasn't quite sure about lamas.

I thought your response to Maciamo's question was the most informative, especially over at that site. As you discovered, there are a lot of differing views over there! They all disagree with each other all the time, but that's what makes the discussions so interesting. In fact, I think I ticked off a lama recently. There was a topic called "Do you believe in reincarnation?" I answered yes (even though maybe rebirth is the correct term) and then gave several examples, as others had. Well, it evidently pushed his buttons and he immediately objected to everything I wrote, basically accusing me of making it all up. I realize it's not exactly an accepted belief, but this is an area I have researched for many years and feel quite comfortable with. Thankfully, I also know enough about Buddhism to be "non-attached" about it and to know that he was merely disagreeing with my opinions (something I possess) and not with me. I disagree with what he wrote, and he disagreed with what I wrote. My attitude is, So what?! Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, for what it's worth.

Anyway, like I said, I hope you'll keep posting over there. And thanks again for your response!

Satori
:)

Hoyu
Oct 29, 2003, 12:45
Thank you Satori,

I might just add that over the past 7 years that I have been interacting with Buddhists on the Internet, I have met a boat-load of charlatans out there. They call themselves anything from Lama this to Venerable that, yet in reality hold no ordination whatsoever. Secondly, I should also mention that there are fully ordained Bhikshus on the Web who have little training and experience, and don't have a clue what they are talking about half the time. These are the dangers of "dharma talk" on the Internet.

This being said, I must report that I have met several very awakened people (lay and monk) on the Web who offer precious gems of wisdom. But they tend to pop in and out, and rarely stay around long enough to get noticed. You will know them when you meet them, so be quick about asking them for an email address.

Respectfully, HK

Satori
Oct 30, 2003, 05:20
Thank you for your advice, Kakuzen. I appreciate it. The Lama in question was Lama Shenphen, who is ordained, I believe--at least, there are pictures of his ordination on his web site at Dharmaling.net. For the most part, he seems nice and I agree with most of his posts, but with respect to the reincarnation issue, it just appeared to me he might need to work on his ego a bit, that's all--at least, that was my perception, for what it's worth.

You are so right about recognizing the truly awakened monks, however. In fact, there is one monk who recently joined the Sangha Forum, who I thought seemed so very kind, respectful and humble. Later, I saw that people were calling him "Venerable," but like you said, it was something I could recognize without knowing that beforehand. You probably know him, as I read recently that you used to be at BuddhisBoards and he was over there as well. His name is "Panyavuto" and he is with Wat Arun in Thailand. There's just no ego at all about him, he's so very kind and humble. And you're also right about his popping in and out--that's exactly what he seems to do!

A lot of the people at this Sangha Forum used to be at BuddhisBoards, so you will probably reconnect with a lot of people you know. I think "Nevermind," "Bodhimind," "Q," "Rickpa," "Imago," and "Srimala," to name but a few, were over there. I'm happy to see that Maciamo has joined as well! His question certainly seems to be a big hit over there! I think these two forums compliment each other. Maybe some of the people over there would be interested in posting here at Japan Forum as well.

Thanks again for your thoughtful advice. I really do appreciate it.

Respectfully,
Satori


:)

Satori
Nov 16, 2003, 19:47
Anyone wishing to follow the discussion on Maciamo's question can do so here:

http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index.php?showtopic=557

:)