20 January, 2020

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Child Ordination: Positive Aspect

By Kapila Abhayawansa

Prof Kapila Abhayawansa

Prof Kapila Abhayawansa

Every phenomenon in the world can be looked at both positively and negatively. Child ordination too has no exception. Sharmini Serasinghe looking at the child ordination through a mother’s eye has seen completely the negative aspect of it, as she expressed in her letter appeared in the Colombo Telegraph. We cannot condemn her ideas for she presented them through an emotionally constituted state of mind. Emotion is not a trustworthy means to arrive at a truth involved in something. Emotions lead to the prejudices. Truth should be found out by means of impartiality. I am not going to deny the negative aspect of the issue of child ordination as revealed by Sharmini.  What I am trying to say is that we must examine both the aspects, compare them and decide whether it is good or bad.

Child ordination in Sri Lanka is not a Mahawamsabased Buddhist practice. It is reported that a seven years old Sāmanera known as Ngrodha was responsible for the King Asoka’s conversion to Buddhism. It is coming through the history of the Buddha-sāsana starting from the time of the Buddha. One of the stories related to Ven. Sariputta says that advice given by a seven year old Samanera respectfully accepted by Ven Sariputta. There is the rule in vinaya-pitaka which enable monks to ordain even a child. Therefore there is no objection from Buddhist Vinaya for child ordination. For the same reason it is in practice in all Buddhist traditions. In every country where Buddhism became the traditional practice child ordination has been a common occurrence.

Buddha was always concerned with the esteem in which the public held his monastic organization. Such a consideration was vital for its existence and prosperity. In this respect, monk should be endowed with not only Buddhist religious values and qualities but also with the moral manners.

Buddha was always concerned with the esteem in which the public held his monastic organization. Such a consideration was vital for its existence and prosperity. In this respect, monk should be endowed with not only Buddhist religious values and qualities but also with the moral manners.

The concept of child ordination in my opinion, involves some moral questions. There are two parties concerned in the child ordination namely, parent, and the monk to be teacher or guardian. Moral question on the part of parent is that whether the donation of a child by parent is good or bad. On the part of the monk who is assigned to ordain the child a question arises as to whether it is good or bad for him to ordain a child who has no idea of what is going to happen to him in his life even though parents have given permission..  Both questions really refer to a moral conflict in moral philosophy. In such a case, we can argue in favor of both the aspect of the question. Therefore, looking at the one side only of the equation cannot come to a decision.

When we look at the negative aspect of the donation of the child by the parents one can argue as Sharmani did it, it is not ethically correct to commit a child, to a life-long sentence of deprivation that he never chose for himself, viz from married life, family life, celibacy and a whole host of other taboos, at an age when he cannot understand the high price, he has been called upon to pay. For Sharmini this is not only a child abuse but also a violation of a human right.

When someone looks at the positive aspect of it, he may argue that though the child does not know the gravity of the situation, it is ethically good that the parent donate the child with the intention that the child becoming a monk works for his own spiritual benefit and for the welfare of many. Parents really donate a child to be a monk seeking qualitatively high position of the life of the child which cannot achieve allowing him to lead a normal household life.

Somewhat similar situation can be found when the parent leaves their children in school’s boarding houses. The child of course likes to live in association with his parent having their affection. When the parent leaves him alone in the boarding house he suffers a lot. Parent also does not do that happily. But they have grate expectation about the future life of the child.

. When there are two consequences of the same act it becomes a moral conflict. In such a situation what we have to make a choice. According to the ethical pluralists, there is no purely rational measure to ascertain which is preferable. Hence moral decisions often require radical preferences with no rational calculus to determine which alternative to be selected. On the contrary, some moral philosophers denying the pluralistic view are of the view that values are indeed commensurable as they can be compared by their varying contribution towards the human good. Buddhism also can be categorized into that group.

Once, Prince Abhaya came to the Buddha and asked the following question from him:

“Lord, would the Tathagata say words that are un-endearing & disagreeable to others?”

The Buddha replied: “Prince, there is no categorical yes-or-no answer to that.”

The Buddha wanted Prince Abhaya to understand the circumstances in which he would make a statement that may be disagreeable to the recipient. With this intention the Buddha followed up with a counter question, as follows:

“What do you think, prince: If this young boy, through your own negligence or that of the nurse, were to take a stick or a piece of gravel into its mouth, what would you do?

Prince Abhaya explained: “I would take it out, lord. If I couldn’t get it out right away, then holding its head in my left hand and crooking a finger of my right, I would take it out, even if it meant drawing blood. Why is that? Because, I have sympathy for the young boy.”

Then the Buddha said: “In the same way, prince: In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, but un-endearing & disagreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them.

In this episode what is important for us is the state of mind that Prince Abhaya had when he was confronted with the problem of his baby son. Similarly, a parent would have the same motive when he/she donates a child for ordination. As Mahendra Silva pointed out in his article in CT no parent would donate a child for ordination without the consent of the child. In many cases in Sri Lanka parents donate their children when they are forced by the children’s desire to be a monk.  On the part of the monk, he also ordains the child with a high moral expectation that the child after becoming a monk he would lead a good moral life and in the future he would take the responsibility of protecting the Sāsana, After entering to the Order when newly ordained monk get used to it he would not feel that he is facing a life-long sentence of deprivation, because the Buddhist Order is not a prison. According to the Buddha’s advice the teacher must have the fatherly affection to his pupils and pupils also must behave as the sons to their teacher.

However, when we consider from the point of view of the Order, ordination of the teenagers is more profitable than that of the elders. Buddha was always concerned with the esteem in which the public held his monastic organization. Such a consideration was vital for its existence and prosperity. In this respect, monk should be endowed with not only Buddhist religious values and qualities but also with the moral manners (Abhisamacarika) which lead to create confidence for those who do not have faith (appasannānam vā pasādāya) and to develop the faith of those who have already faith on Buddhism (pasannānam vā bhiyobhāvāya). Those moral manners can be more easily practiced and get used to them by those who ordain in early ages rather than by those who get ordained in later ages of the life.

All these are valid so long as monks earnestly engage in Buddhist practices. But, in the presence of the evolving deterioration in Buddhist Sangha in Sri Lanka I too have to agree with Sarmini in some respect. Today, majority of the monks in Sri Lanka is no different from the lay people in their life style except in their dress. They do not pay their due concern towards their pupil monks. It is the duty of the monk who is the teacher to his pupil monks to train them in Buddhist monastic discipline. Even before the ordination, a child has to undergo certain practices to get the qualification for the ordination for considerable time under tutelage. Presently it seems that the monks do not give due training to the children who come to the temple for the ordination. Within two three months’ time they are promoted to monk- hood.

Immediately after the ordination without letting them stay under their teacher they are sent to the Pirivena. In the Pirivena education system there is no way to ensure monastic behavior of the young monks. Some directors and the principals of the pirivenas require only the number of the students to increase the grant money from the government available according to the number of the students. After the pirivena education they are admitted to the universities. There they flock together without due direction and behave on their own accord. They do not have any respect to the robe that they are wearing. It is only a dress for them. The respect to the robe (sivura) is only in the mind of the lay people. In this situation, it is not surprising that there arise among them different form of thugs in the names of senā, balaya, rāvaya, urumaya and so on. When there is no respect to the robe received from the Buddha how can there be a respect to the Order. Without respect to the Oder or Buddha Sāsana how can they clime that they are taking the step to protect the Buddha-sāsana. They really implement their hidden agenda in the guise of protecting Sāsana. Under such a situation parents have to think twice before they donate their children to the Sasana.

It is important to mention that there are monks in Sri Lanka who live with shame and fear for the wrong doings and lead a praiseworthy life which is beneficial to them and to others equally. But, unfortunately they too do not come forward to take the necessary action against the miscreants who make the irreparable damage to the Sāsana, when there are enough provisions granted by the Buddha to flush away such impurities from the Sāsana.

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Latest comments

  • 12
    0

    ” Every phenomenon in the world can be looked at both positively and negatively. “

    If so, can you tell what are the positive aspects of child sexual assault ?

    • 18
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      Dear Professor Kapila Abeywansa,

      Yes. there are positive aspects to everything. Yes, when a young girl is raped, she ends up being a mother, one can claim, the most important goal of a women to to procreate, and that the rapist did the girl a favor, by makinbg her a mother!

      1. The child ordination of young 8-year old children, Buddhist or not, is the same. Parental permission or the ordination by the Chief Monk does not reduce the abuse the child is facing. Do you want your 8=-year old sons to be ordained? Even Buddha was 29 years old when he abandoned his wife and child.

      2. Child ordination is child abuse by the parents, under duress abused by the senior monks. Children miss their childhood. The same was done by the LTTE in recruiting Child Soldiers. If they want new monks, let them make the decision when they are 21 years old, mature and can make an independent decision. Poverty is not a good reason. Would you give a child for slavery because of poverty? imagine the psychological trauma a child had to go through to be separated from family;y and friends. 2. Buddha made the voluntary decision when he was 29 years old! This is way it should be. Ordaining 7 year old children under duress by the senior monks and the patents should be condemned. This is child abuse. Period.

      3. This is the same child abuse carried out by the tribal elders giving 8-year old girls in marriage to 60-year old men. This is perpetuation of the monk, priest and mullah hegemony. So, the Samaneras become fodder for the older monks. When they run out of Samamnrsas, they go after other children. The supporting evidence is given below.

      4. Child Abuse by a Monk in Habaraduwa
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNSC93mPs4I

      5. Child Abuse in Tibet by the Child ordination and by Monks. Buddhism The Great Evil — Part 1

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

      Buddhism The Great Evil — Part 2

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clcs2PSze0I

      Uploaded on May 29, 2010 She sent her grandson to school with the idea of providing him with proper education to make him a good person. The Buddhist monk in charge of the temple asked her to send the child to the temple and she sent him there because they were poor. There was no possibility for them to pay the money for tuition fees. That was the reason why they sent the boy to the temple school.When the child began to refuse going to the temple school so adamantly, grandmother had to look for the reason. It was then only that she discovered that the child who was sent to learn good behavior, ethics and Buddha’s Dharma from the monk had in fact been abused by the monk.

      • 6
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        How ever much writers try to defend Child Ordination, it’s futile,
        …..other than saying straight forward that the POVERTY is the reason for it & it’s understandable & no harm in it, because at least it protects the child from negative aspects of poverty & allow him to live a comfortable life ( of course without much of a Child hood )& to disrobe if needs later.

        Just take a count , how many children from upper middle class were ordained ?? perhaps none.

        Why ? they are bad Buddhists ?? no, they can provide kids with all their needs, so no need to “donate” to damn Temples.

        Shall we talk sense ?

        • 0
          0

          Shall we talk sense ?
          Sense is that even though Dogs bark, the caravan moves on!

      • 0
        1

        AMARASIRI:

        You talk like an Idiot and contradict yourself.

        Parental permission or the ordination by the Chief Monk does not reduce the abuse the child is facing.

        NOW READ THE SENTENCE BELOW.

        Do you want your 8=-year old sons to be ordained?

        Even Buddha was 29 years old when he abandoned his wife and child.

        Remember, Buddha’s only son also was taken to the Sasana when he was SEVEN YEARS OLD.

        • 2
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          Jim SOFTY,

          Only idiots and selfish will approve child abuse.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C4%81hula

          Child Abuse by the parents of Rahula, whether done the Buddha and his wife, for a 7-year old child, is still child abuse. Rahula wanted his kingdom. He was made a novice monk! Bait and Switch. This is child abuse.

          What Buddha should have done is say, son, you are too young, see and know the world, and when you are ready, become a monk.

          Read more:

          Rāhula was raised by his mother and grandfather, King Suddhodana. When he was seven years old, Rahula requested his father, missing him dearly; the Buddha returned to his home city of Kapilavatthu. On the seventh day of his return, Yasodharā took Rāhula to see his father, the Buddha. She told Rāhula that since his father had renounced the palace life and as he was the next royal prince in line, he should ask his father for his inheritance of crown and treasure for his future sake when his grandfather would no longer rule the kingdom.
          After the meal, Rāhula followed the Buddha, saying “Give me my inheritance.” Nobody tried to stop him, nor did the Buddha prevent him from following him. He then looked at his father and said, “Lord, even your shadow is pleasing to me.”
          Reaching the Park of Nigrodha, where the Buddha was staying, the Buddha thought to himself: “He desires his father’s inheritance, but it is wrought with troubles. I shall give him the benefit of my spiritual Enlightenment and make him an owner of a transcendental inheritance.”
          The Buddha called Venerable Sariputta and asked him to ordain little Rāhula who became the first Sāmanera (novice monk).
          “The King, discovering that now his grandson and a number of young men in the royal family had requested ordination, asked the Buddha only to ordain a minor with the consent of his parents or guardian. The Buddha assented. This rule was expanded to include the spouses of those intending to join the Order of monks and nuns.[5]

          • 1
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            Dear Professor Kapila Abeywansa,

            Only idiots and selfish who are infected with delusions will approve child abuse and human sacrifice, based on their delusions beliefs.

            See:

            Sam Harris simply destroys Catholicism

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcO4TnrskE0

    • 0
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      ha ha ha ! funny !

    • 1
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      Excellent one Daya !

    • 3
      2

      What an idiotic possessor KA is?

    • 0
      0

      Is child sexual abuse a phenomenon ?

      • 0
        0

        Child Abuse is not a Phenomenon, but a Habit for Buggers like you.

    • 0
      0

      Kapila did you enjoy seducing small children? Boys for instance?

  • 2
    13

    Sharmini Serasinghe presented the one mother’s view when there are miillions of mothers, who gave their child to the sasana in the world, and who lived since the time of the Buddha. Did Sharmini Serasinghe try to emphasize that every mother who gave her child to the Sasana was wrong.

    Besides, unlike buddhists who consider events in one life as just a few events of the whole samsara, others with the influence of theistic religions think this life is every thing and this is the one and the only life. In such a situation, giving a young life to the spiritual life is a wastage.

    Sharmini Serasinghe as this article mentions should understand how very young child who became an Arahant at the young age of Seven and changed the life of an emperor. That can not be the only example.

    The problem with sharmini Serasinghe is that she is dishonest to herself and she displays that very openly. She says she is buddhist and her endeavour is to correct Buddhists and to place them in the right path. Then at the same time she writes ignorant articles which clearly portrays her prejudice against buddhism.

    IF sharmini Serasinghe understands the buddhism as it is she would not write this kind of ignorant and prejudiced articles.

    IF she is writing for the love of children, she should be better of writing about Century old and world wide issue of Child sexual abuse by the Church priests that is being investigated at present by the UN.

    • 3
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      Jim Softy, It is priestcraft that you are talking about, Sharmini talks about morality,.

      • 1
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        Whose morality ?

        So, thousands of mothers who gave their children were immoral in comparison to Sharmini ?

        OR Sharmini is the only smart one in comparison to all those mothers whose children were offered to be monks ?

    • 3
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      Jim Softy, what makes you think that the story of mothers giving their children to the sasana is true.No it is fabricated by the priests for the preists for the pure pleasure of seducing the young.This is why sangayanas are held.

    • 1
      0

      Is Child-Labour accepable ?

      Similarly, can we investigate Child Abuse by our Monks

      Or is it better we let the UN Investigate that…………….

      And if the UN can investgate the Church, why not SL War Crimes !!

  • 15
    1

    Oh Kapila(wastu),

    To start with you believe in all these ancient parables such as the child Ngrodha converting Asoka, Saripattu story, Prince Abhaya story, vinaya pitaka etc etc. You seem to have never doubted or questioned such historical tracts that you enumerate here. Did you ever entertain any qualms that the Buddha stories you were told were figments of imagination of countless self serving monks? The starting point in your life is being enmeshed in such myths and fables. In this article you base your reasoning on such folklore and parables. How can you claim to be rational?

    How can a parent donate a child like the child is a thing, an object or an item of gift? As a child would you Kapila like to have been considered and inanimate object to be gifted here and there at the fancy of your father or your mother.

    You and your reasoning are profoundly out of place in modern rational thinking.

    • 6
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      APTLY put BBS Rep. ! Very Rational !

    • 8
      0

      BBS Rep – Spot on! Kapila’s analogy of the ‘boarding school’ is also way off the mark, as the reasons for parents placing their children in school hostels are often because they live too far a way from the school for the children to be day-scholars.

      Kapila is too immersed in myths and fables and really does have to have a reality check ASAP!

      • 0
        3

        What is reality for you Peter, the one hour programmes you get on TV?
        A bunch of people above have shown how ignorant they really are.

        • 3
          0

          NAK – what exactly are you trying to say? If you object to my comment let me know why – cryptic crap won’t make it!

    • 9
      1

      BBS Rep, I’m in total agreement with you.

      This is the type of ‘Professor’ who leads students of Buddhism up the garden path.

      Further, in all his high-handedness, he ‘Professor Kapila-wastu’ dismisses Sharmini Serasinghe’s pragmatic views on the subject of child ordination as, rantings of “an emotionally constituted state of mind”.

      This man is totally out of touch with reality.

      For instance he makes a ridiculous comparison with a child at a boarding-school and a young Samanera-

      What this ‘learned’ professor doesn’t seem to realise is, that a child abused in a boarding school can always go home to his parents. But can a child-Samanera abused by his elders at a temple do so?

      Also he, this ‘learned’ Professor agrees with Mahendra De Silva’s ridiculous notion “no parent would donate a child for ordination without the consent of the child”.

      How would this child of 7 years know what he’s giving his consent to?

      Are these mature men, supposedly intelligent and educated talking?

      This professor also states, “In many cases in Sri Lanka parents donate their children when they are forced by the children’s desire to be a monk.”

      Can this learned Professor come up with the names of “many cases” (NOT parables and myths) where children of 7 years have expressed a desire to be ordained?

      How on earth, this man Kapila earned his PhD, beats the hell out of me!

      • 0
        4

        Also he, this ‘learned’ Professor agrees with Mahendra De Silva’s ridiculous notion “no parent would donate a child for ordination without the consent of the child”. How would this child of 7 years know what he’s giving his consent to?

        This is ridiculous as ridiculous can be. Most Buddhist children know by the age of seven or eight what it is to consent because parents explain to them everything. Difficulties as well as benefits.
        Quite a number of children when they first start schooling refuse to go to school. But the parents some how persuade them and after a while they enjoy schooling. This is some thing similar.
        Nobody say’s it is child abuse when parents some times drag their children to school.

      • 2
        0

        Mahadana Mutta,

        Why is the Prof. Kapila, so Myopic ? He is approving that, because it was done by Buddha? The same argument is given by the Wahhabis for older men getting married to 9 year olds based on Prophet M,Mohamed’s traditions?

        It is based on early childhood brainwashing, with hard-wired neurons that cannot be easily dislodged for new circuits based on new information. Be it Buddhism, Christianity or Wahhabi ideologies, the same story.

        Child Abuse by the Buddha.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C4%81hula

        Child Abuse by the parents of Rahula, whether done the Buddha and his wife, for a 7-year old child, is still child abuse. Rahula wanted his kingdom. He was made a novice monk! Bait and Switch.

        This is child abuse. What Buddha should have done is say, son, you are too young, see and know the world, and when you are ready, become a monk.

        Read more: Rāhula was raised by his mother and grandfather, King Suddhodana. When he was seven years old, Rahula requested his father, missing him dearly; the Buddha returned to his home city of Kapilavatthu. On the seventh day of his return, Yasodharā took Rāhula to see his father, the Buddha. She told Rāhula that since his father had renounced the palace life and as he was the next royal prince in line, he should ask his father for his inheritance of crown and treasure for his future sake when his grandfather would no longer rule the kingdom. After the meal, Rāhula followed the Buddha, saying “Give me my inheritance.” Nobody tried to stop him, nor did the Buddha prevent him from following him.

        He then looked at his father and said, “Lord, even your shadow is pleasing to me.” Reaching the Park of Nigrodha, where the Buddha was staying, the Buddha thought to himself: “He desires his father’s inheritance, but it is wrought with troubles. I shall give him the benefit of my spiritual Enlightenment and make him an owner of a transcendental inheritance.” The Buddha called Venerable Sariputta and asked him to ordain little Rāhula who became the first Sāmanera (novice monk).

        “The King, discovering that now his grandson and a number of young men in the royal family had requested ordination, asked the Buddha only to ordain a minor with the consent of his parents or guardian. The Buddha assented. This rule was expanded to include the spouses of those intending to join the Order of monks and nuns.[5]

    • 0
      4

      What ever Prof Kapila believes is his belief and it is not your place to question that. If Belief’s are questioned all the religious belief’s are questionable.

      “How can a parent donate a child like the child is a thing, an object or an item of gift? As a child would you Kapila like to have been considered and inanimate object to be gifted here and there at the fancy of your father or your mother”
      There you are! So, here you acknowledge that there are things in this world that you don’t understand.
      While it is good to question, it should be to try and understand, not to pour scorn.
      haven’t you heard people donate Blood, Kidney, parts of Liver from their own bodies while still alive. What is so unbelievable about a child being donated. After all the parents know very well that no harm will come to the child.
      There may be some isolated incidents once in a while but the earth will continue to spin.
      I am flabbergasted at your modern rational thinking to say the least.

      • 3
        1

        NAK,

        Don’t talk poppycock.

      • 2
        0

        NAK – you are “flabbergasted” because of your myopic view. You say ” What is so unbelievable about a child being donated. After all the parents know very well that no harm will come to the child”. This just displays your idiocy. You need a ‘reality check’ as well – and this is not to be confused with your so-called “one hour TV programmes”.

    • 0
      5

      BBS REP:

      “You and your reasoning are profoundly out of place in modern rational thinking. “

      World is modern and rational to idiots like like you.

      Because, you know very little.

  • 1
    10

    It is easy to analyse issue by issue and find fault. If they consider the whole case. they can not find any fault.

    With the introduction of CREATOR, theistic religions has prevented investigation and have influenced people to think only about issues and the whole case.

    I don’t think people with theistic religious influence or the CREATOR -GOD and PEOPLE WHO ANALYZE THE QUESTION “WHY HER FRIEND GOT SICK WITH A TERMINAL ILLNESS” BY SAYING SHE IS A LESSER CHILD OF THE GOD, WOULD NEVER UNDERSTAND IT.

    Need to Remember what Lord Buddha had told. That is ” I AM WITH THE WORLD BUT THE WORLD IS NOT WITH ME”.

    • 2
      1

      PARAPHRASING, NOT quoting, Jesus’ word’s, ‘Be in the world, but not of the world’ !

    • 4
      0

      IN CHRISTIANITY, AFTER THE SAVIOUR, THERE IS NO LESSER CHILD.
      YET, THAT DOES NOT EXPLAIN THE SUFFERING, LIKE BLAMING THE CHILD OF SOME PERCEIVED REINCARNATED FAULT.

      THE ANSWER IS GIVEN BY SCIENCE & MEDICINE.

      (Thats why ‘medicine’ & the healer, whether a gift of god or due to some positive reincarnation, does not bring on that emotional argument)

    • 5
      0

      Softy – as usual, you are being totally irrelevant. Stick to the topic!

  • 4
    5

    Prof. Abhayawansa,
    Thanks for your great article. This is an another interesting piece, no doubt about that. I read this with great interest.
    But what comes to my mind instantly after reading all these 3 articles (yours, articles of other two writers) is:
    Firstly, whether those temples have been subjected to any kind of regular inspections by respective state institutions to guarantee those parents so that they fully rely on the responsible senior monks
    – from what we the readers get to know these days, needless to say, almost every parent would go into pieces hearing the misbehaviours of the monks in general – but the poor of the poor may nevertheless persuade their boys without having better options them to raise their kids. As I heard it so far – nearly 30% or more Buddhist temples are believed to be abusive to this day – abusive in the sense that are reported to be running various kind of businesses. Some of them are said to shamelessly run life styles similar to lay people, only difference being the UNIFORM – the saffron robe, some hold paedophile relationships (really dangerous, since nobody could know what really goes on in temples – all these are taboos themes to the many in lanken society so, since nobody dares to raise these issues either.
    Secondly, even if the child ordination takes place with the consent of the child – lack of reliable information, may be, these families will have to count with anxieties not knowing their samanera would have been misguided by so called senior abusive monks. So with the almost the conduct of significant numbers of monks being turned to the worst, the respective authorities should pay close attention on the Grey zone between people’s veneration and the code of conduct of the monks. From the point of view of child psychologist, parenting care is if child to be counted with a healthy future specially during childhood and adolescence.

    • 0
      1

      Aplogies:

      From the point of view of the child psychologists, parenting (mother) care is obligatory if child to earn a healthy future, specially during the young years (childhood and adolescence).

      So those senior monks that are bound to Samanera monks a better care – should be close to the average parents’ nature.

    • 1
      0

      Srimal,

      You clearly identified the problem and the accountability. The inspectors are the monks, no state inspection. The same problem happened with the Catholic Church.

      Child abuse at Habaraduwa, Sri Lanka Temple.

      Child Abuse by a Monk in Habaraduwa

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNSC93mPs4I

      Abuse of Monks in Tibet,

      Buddhism The Great Evil — Part 1

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

      Buddhism The Great Evil — Part 2

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clcs2PSze0I

  • 4
    1

    ……’no parent would donate a child for ordination without the consent of the child. In many cases in Sri Lanka parents donate their children when they are forced by the children’s desire to be a monk.’…I would respectfully suggest that both parent and child need independent counselling and possibly some psychiatric attention too.

    • 0
      1

      That is your opinion and you are entitled that. Likewise others are entitled to their opinion.

  • 7
    0

    Kapilawansa, the only positive aspect of Child ordination is, if a child understands what the Buddha really said, and begs His/Her parents to ordain Him/Her.
    The Buddha did NOT Believe in horoscopes, or that the planets could be aligned malefically at the time of a child’s birth. This is the most common reason for Child ordination.

  • 5
    0

    Prof Kapila Abhayawansa,

    Can you please tell me what positive aspect is from Sinhala children learning through their Kumarodaya reader that Tamils are very nasty people?

    I am sure you yourself might have read it as a child.

    • 0
      1

      Thiru, I was the only Tamil student in a leading Sinhala Buddhist school and there was only one occasion through out my schooling days that I was called demala by a twelve year old fellow student. I complained to my class teacher and she immediately called him to the front of the class and caned him warning not only him but the whole class never to use such remarks.
      First, it is wrong that such remark to be in a school text book but Kumarodaya is a book used in year one or two. Do you suppose that everyone who studied Kumarodaya in year one grow up to be Tamil haters.

  • 4
    1

    It is a shame for a supposedly scholarly professor to advocate such an irrational view.

  • 8
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    A person should enter the saasana only on his own will after realizing the fruitlessness of the material world and to seek solace by renouncing sensual pleasures.

    A child can never understand this and even if he wants to or agrees to being ordained, it is due to reasons based on his perceptions.

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    Has good professor donated his child to the temple?

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    I wonder why this so called Prof., professing to know Buddhism so well, was not inspired to become a Buddhist Priest? Is it that he did not know Buddhism well when he was seven years old? If as he alleges that children clamour to become Priests at seven having understood the Philosophy is all balderdash as no child at seven will have a complete knowledge of Buddhism. The story of a young child being an Arahath at seven years is all fibs because in that case the child should have been ordained very much earlier, possibly at birth like how some believe Gauthama wore robes and walked on Lotus Flowers as he was born and not at twenty nine as believed by many. Before one being an Arahath one has to attain the states of Sohan, Sakurdhagami and Anagami. So it is impossible for one to be an Arahath at seven years. For that matter for Rahula (Buddha’s Son) to attain the state of Arahath took years after being ordained at seven years.

    As Mahadana Muththa Jnr has said above, I wonder from where this Kapila Abeywansa has obtained his PhD? Sharmini Serasinghe without a PhD has an in depth knowledge on Buddhism than this Hoax of a Professor.

    Then there is another Donkey as NAK trying to compare of people donating blood and body parts to Parents donating their children. His level of intelligence is, he is unable to differentiate between the two. As for Jim Softy of Buddhist Kiss fame can not see beyond his arse leave alone his nose. Both these Buggers are not surprisingly ardent MR supporters.

    Honestly I feel sorry for the students of this Prof. Kapila Abeywansa and I wonder whether someone could forward his articles here on CT with the comments, to the University in Thailand.

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    There are no two words, Child Ordination in any Religion should be Banned. There are no Positive aspects or as some claim it is done with the Child’s consent. We all know the Dangers the children are exposed to and how vulnerable they are. None of these Proponents can assure the safety of the Children at the hands of Outsiders other than the family. This is the stark naked truth.

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      what areu talking about – there are thousands donkeys would not see the rights things in right time. So that is not the point, many in our society are like the writer and his mind set. They are not learnt to see it beyond. No matter any thing harm is being done by those senior safron robbed skin heads, they would just stay mum – leaving it further as a taboo topic.
      Looking back our child hood decades ago, I feel even then many of them were hidden behind the sivura (robes) – continue to be abusive minded.The myth that people should respect “robe” not the person- forced everyone to stay constipated. Today after 4-5 decades later, nothing has been changed in that area. It has even worsened. It is not easy to change mind sets of the people ” balu walige unupuruke dammath kelin koranna baha” – it is effortless to straighten dog tail. See now with all becoming worst – I ll bet you, just talk to 1000 (in all walks of lives) across the nation to pick their views about the ongoing issues related to the most UNEDUCATED president that the country ever produced; no doubt the outcome would be- they like the way MR performs.

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    Here people have Crocodile tears when children become Samaneras with the approval of their parents. These people know exactly what a child needs AND THEIR VIEW IS THE ONLY RIGHT VIEW BECAUSE, APPARENTLY, THEIR VIEW IS THE ONLY RATIONAL AND CORRECT VIEW.

    Why don’t they write articles about thousands of Child sexual abuses in all over the world over a time span of one whole century ?

    Even when Adult become Christian monks and nuns and they had sexual escapades. They are books written how christian nuns and Monks regularly met underneath tunnels build joining the Monastery and the Nunnery.

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      Really, whereabouts??

      I want to join

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      Jimboy, one word re your comment – Bollocks!

      You argument is like the criminal who gets caught and then tells the policeman ‘why me, go and catch all the others who are doing the same thing’. Let’s focus on the article at hand.

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      Celibacy and monasticism

      Those who choose to practice Buddhism as ordained monks and nuns, also choose to live in celibacy.[3]
      Sex is seen as a serious monastic transgression. Within Theravada Buddhism there are four principal transgressions which entail expulsion from the monastic Sangha: sex, theft, murder, and falsely boasting of superhuman perfections.[4] Sexual misconduct for monks and nuns includes masturbation.[5] In the case of monasticism, abstaining completely from sex is seen as a necessity in order to reach enlightenment. Buddha’s criticism of a monk who broke his celibate vows—without having disrobed first—is as follows:
      “‘Worthless man, [sexual intercourse] is unseemly, out of line, unsuitable, and unworthy of a contemplative; improper and not to be done… Haven’t I taught the Dhamma in many ways for the sake of dispassion and not for passion; for unfettering and not for fettering; for freedom from clinging and not for clinging? Yet here, while I have taught the Dhamma for dispassion, you set your heart on passion; while I have taught the Dhamma for unfettering, you set your heart on being fettered; while I have taught the Dhamma for freedom from clinging, you set your heart on clinging.
      “‘Worthless man, haven’t I taught the Dhamma in many ways for the fading of passion, the sobering of intoxication, the subduing of thirst, the destruction of attachment, the severing of the round, the ending of craving, dispassion, cessation, unbinding? Haven’t I in many ways advocated abandoning sensual pleasures, comprehending sensual perceptions, subduing sensual thirst, destroying sensual thoughts, calming sensual fevers? Worthless man, it would be better that your penis be stuck into the mouth of a poisonous snake than into a woman’s vagina. It would be better that your penis be stuck into the mouth of a black viper than into a woman’s vagina. It would be better that your penis be stuck into a pit of burning embers, blazing and glowing, than into a woman’s vagina. Why is that? For that reason you would undergo death or death-like suffering, but you would not on that account, at the break-up of the body, after death, fall into deprivation, the bad destination, the abyss, hell…
      “‘Worthless man, this neither inspires faith in the faithless nor increases the faithful. Rather, it inspires lack of faith in the faithless and wavering in some of the faithful

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        Girigoris,

        Carnal Desire is a Biological need, like food to a Human Body. This is not only peculiar to Humans, but to all living beings in this world. The answer is not what punishment the Penis could be given, but rather how one could discipline one’s mind. If one is frank, the truth is that every individual have masturbated one time or the other. If one stops masturbating or having sex, the excess semen leaks in dreams, and are called wet dreams. This is very natural to a healthy person. A person who has had enough sex with one partner or many, it is easy to give up Carnal Desire. But to those who have been ordained young will naturally exploit when opportunity arise. This is one main draw back when Children are ordained.

        Both these issues of Homosexuality and Heterosexuality among the Buddhist Priests have been brought to the notice of the Buddha while he was living. There was nothing that he could do as he was a mortal himself. Therefore to discipline one’s mind and body, first let the person enjoy as Buddha did and renounce desires afterwards.

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    Buddha may have laid Vinaya that all Buddhist Priests should renounce wealth and desire when they become Priests. The majority if not all the Children who are ordained, come from the very poor sector of society. They have no wealth to renounce and neither they have enjoyed life to give up desire. Therefore is it any wonder with this kind of Buddhist Priests that the Temples have become Business houses today. Building bigger and better Temples with tiled floors, modern comforts as TV, Radio, Refrigerators, Computers and telephones, Air Conditioning and Luxury vehicles to boot. Visit any Temple and see how the Business Community try to out beat one another and the laity following suit to show the world how pious all the Buddhists are? What a mockery in the name of Buddhism these Dayakayas perform.

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      Gamini Demalo:

      Talk something that you understand if not read and learn.

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        Adey! Jimbo,

        Nee Badawa, Poi shollu wanda.

        It would do you a world of good if you practice what you preach to others.

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    If we have a good master, he will teach us to be good. The current situation of the world just like a battle field. Those who look at the child ordination negatively are correct in their point of view. When I was in my childhood, as a novice, I also thought that the children should not be ordained; but now I understand the value of my childhood ordination. When we study and follow the teachings of the Buddha, I extremely believe that we can realize the truth of the life. A boy in my age may not be able to look at the life and conduct senses as I do because they are attach to worldly life very much. I just try to be good because definitely I know that I have to get ready for my death any time. It can be right now, today, or tomorrow. We have knowledge to understand and argue but we do not have wisdom to realize. The problem is not with the child ordination. It is with the corrupted current world situation and the environment around us.

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    Mr. Wajiraseeha,

    Your attempt to disguise as a Priest to narrate here an experience to convince the readership very subtly that Child Ordination is in order except that the current world situation and the environment around us is bad, is a poor attempt.

    You say that, ‘Those who look at the child ordination negatively are correct in their point of view. You also admit that, ‘ I also thought that the children should not be ordained; but now I understand the value of my childhood ordination. Why are you contradicting your own self? Is it because you are a Good Businessman in Robes now although you felt sad when your childhood was robbed?

    You also say, ‘A boy in my age may not be able to look at the life and conduct senses as I do because they are attach to worldly life very much. I just try to be good because definitely I know that I have to get ready for my death any time. Why, Certainty of death you have realised only now? Is it exceptional only to you?

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    Since my childhood, I am learning Buddhism. If you really wanna be happy just try to enter into the Dhamma. You will certainly realize it. Without knowing do not try to ignore others. Try to realize the truth with your own experience. I am still in my youth. I do not think any one think of their death when they are strong physically or when they are in their youth. They just try to do what they want;but everyone try to find something that causes happiness to them when they become old;because they know that definitely they die near future. If we realize that in our youth, we do not wanna be worry about death because we have already understood the truth of life.I think of death because of Buddhism. I think of the impermanence of life because since my childhood I have been studying the teachings of the Buddha. An ordinary child is unable to get this opportunity because they are very much cling to their parents, brothers and sisters, friends and all the other mundane things.

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