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Is An Order That Is Not Part Of The Sangha Still Buddhist?


sbk

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A discussion that took place in one of the News Clippings article (well more of a "yes it is" "no it isn't" back and forth than a discussion :o) got me wondering.

Santi Asoke is considered a sect and is not a part of the Thai Sangha. So, are their monks still considered monks? Are they still considered Buddhist or is it required to be part of the Sangha for this?

What about monks that belong to other Buddhist organizations that are not Thai? Are they still recognized as monks in Thailand?

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web.abo.fi/comprel/temenos/temeno32/horn.htm

Read this. I found it to be informative. From what I remember, it was well-written for that purpose as opposed to offer biased criticisms like many others. But it's been awhile since I read it so that may not be the case.

It seems that Santi Asoke was not recognized by neither the government and its laws nor the Thai Buddhist Council. It seems that ordination was not compliant.

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Remember, there was no Thai Sangha at the time of the Buddha so the only criteria to judge is by the Vinaya. The vinaya states that a preceptor must have at least 10 years as a monk. I think the the Santi Asoke monks were being ordained by Bodhirak, long ago, even though he did not have the 10 year history. But this does not necessarily mean that the ordinations performed were invalid, but that Bodhirak had committed some offences.

In Thailand I think the Thai Sangha requires all the monks wanting to act as a preceptor. There is an exam and other requirements. But there are no such requirements in the Vinaya.

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OK, thats interesting. What about monks from say Sri Lanka or even Tibet (which is totally different) are they accorded the same status as Thai monks or are they considered lay people coming for a visit? (i don't mean just visas etc but by the Thai Sangha, Thai temples etc)

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Sri Lanka is Theravada too so the monks there are recognised as monks in Thailand. There are many sects and sub-sects over there, so standards vary which means some of the stricter thai monks may refuse to do certain ceremonies with them - ordinations etc as they are considered to be a different group.

Non-Theravada monks are usually acknowledged to be 'monks' but they since they follow a different vinaya they will be considered outsiders. Some of the stricter monks would even consider them to be not properly ordained, and thus not monks at all.

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The boss of santi asoke, bodhirak, was, long ago, a properly ordained monk. He later decided he was a sotapanna (enlightened) and no longer needed to bother with simple diversions like Theravada doctrine and Vinaya, being that he knew more than anyone else. As he got more anmd more mental the outcry among lesser Buddhists (like other normal monks) grew until the Buddhhist sangha had him disrobed. He and his cult then put on different robes , coloured and cut and worn in a different way to Theravada bhikkhu, so that they are now supoosed to be laymen who happen to wear the same uniform.

His number 2 is the equally mental co-leader of PAD , chamlong srimuang.

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